How To Sew Knit Fabric on a Standard Machine
20 Tips For The Beginner Sewist
Sophisticated, chic, elegant, knit fabrics are not only comfortable, but todays knit fabrics are stunning. Have you fallen in love with this fabric but just haven’t been brave enough to try it out? Don’t let the stretch of the fabric steal your confidence. With a bit of practice and a few techniques you will be conquering this fabric in no time.
Keep in mind that there are a variety of knit fabrics and it is worth getting to know more about them. Since I am writing a post and not a book, I think it's a good idea to look up information on the particular knit fabric you favor most. There are plenty of good fabric books that have in-depth information. I recommend: Sewing With Knits, by Connie Long.
You will want to develop a system to keep track of the right and wrong side of your fabric, tape or sticky notes work great for this. Be sure to lay your pattern out as you would any fabric that has a nap. There are techniques to find grainline which are different than finding the grainline in woven fabrics. In a future post I may discuss that a bit more with photos or maybe even a video.
Today's blog post is part one in a series of four to give you some best practices when sewing knit fabric on a standard sewing machine, not a serger. Enjoy the first 5 tips we have compiled to get you started.
Part 1: Our first 5 tips to get you started!
- Make sure you are using a pattern designed for knit fabrics. You may not realize it, but you just can't use a pattern designed for a woven fabric and expect good results. The drafting of a knit pattern is designed differently, it has negative ease. An exception, would be a Ponte fabric as it behaves much like a woven and so you can use it with a woven pattern. Always check the suggested fabrics on your pattern envelope as they are a guideline to help you make a good fabric choice.
- Compare the stretch of your knit fabric to the required stretch of the pattern. Not all knit fabrics are created equal, some don't even stretch much. That's called a mechanical stretch. A stretch scale can be found on the back of the Big 4 pattern envelopes that will help you measure your fabric’s stretch. This is an important step if you want the garment to fit.
- Use ballpoint pins. They will not put holes in your fabric, which is probably not a look you're going for.
- Avoid using fabric clips to hold your fabric and pattern pieces together as they can sometimes shift, stretch or distort your fabric, especially slinky knits.
- When cutting out your yardage be sure all your fabric is on the cutting table. You do not want any of your fabric hanging off the table as this will cause the fabric to stretch. (If this isn’t common practice for all your fabric cutting, it should be).
We hope you have found our first five tips useful. We can't wait to share more. If you are looking for some designer knit fabric be sure to check our collection.
Here's a line up of what we will be posting next in this series:
Part 2 – How To Sew Knit Fabric -Tools and Practices For Success!
Part 3: How To Sew Knit Fabric: More Tools and Practices for Successful Sewing
Part 4: How To Sew Knit Fabric- Sleeves, Hems and More!
Don't forget, if you ever have a question about one of our fabrics we will be more than happy to help! Just shoot us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org