I set out to master sewing knits this year, and here is what I learned.
Knits behave differently
Every knit behaves differently so be sure to test out your stitch length and lower your differential feed accordingly. If the setting is too high it will pull the fabric and cause your seam to curl. Try below 1 for serging and set the tension dial to 2 for the sewing machine.
Get the right tools
I cannot emphasize this enough! You will save yourself time, money, and a whole lot of frustration by using the correct needle. Get yourself a couple of different sizes of stretch needles. Fine for lightweight knit, and medium for most other knits, even stretch denim. Depending on your machine, you don’t really need a special foot. I have used a walking foot and it didn’t make any difference on my machine. I saw that there is a knit foot and you could try that, but really as long as your settings are right and you use the correct needle you should be just fine.
It is tempting just pull the layers to force them to line up while you sew but resist that urge. You really do need to pin or like me, use clips to keep from over stretching the fabric. Especially for neck and arm bindings. Your pattern instructions will usually tell you to pin the quarters, but I say pin the eighths! This way you know ahead of time that your binding it is just the right fit.
Yes. Take the time to add in a strip of Ponte knit, or even cotton to the shoulder seams. No !after how sturdy it feels at the time, I tell you that seam will warp and unravel over repeated washes. Well, not always, but why take the chance?
So there you have it. My top tips on sewing knits. I started out hating the process, and now I love it cause it is easier, and also have you noticed knits are cheaper than wovens? So I get to sew more things and you know, sewing is more about the process for me than just collecting garments.
I recently enjoyed sewing this cleverly drafted Viola Knit Top pattern from Forget Me Knot Patterns. I watched the video she provided to get the tucks just right, and just extended the length out to turn it into a dress. Then I tried it on, and pinned it enough so it would skim my frame but not be too form fitting. This is why we sew right?