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How to hem knitwear on a regular machine

Overlock foot

The main condition for processing the edges. the presence of a special foot-overlocker for the sewing machine. It differs from the usual additional rod. It does not let the edge of the material pull down or twist. That way the zigzag stitch will look like a real overcasting stitch. If using a regular foot on a overlock stitch machine, it is highly recommended to make an allowance of 5mm. And then iron and trim.

Important! It is always important to look at the marking on the machine. Here are some stitches to use for different fabrics.

How to hem knitwear on an ordinary machine

Often a situation arises when you need to hem pants, and there is no time to take them to the atelier. In that case you can do it yourself. It is quite affordable for beginner seamstresses. It is best to use a sewing machine, so the stitch is much neater and safer.

How to hem knitwear on an ordinary machine

I often get asked what kind of fabrics a machine sews. Buyers are greatly surprised when I don’t call very heavy materials or light knitwear. Recently added to the astonishment are reproaches, which in a neglected case sounds like this: “- On other sites write that the machine will sew super heavy fabrics, but I can not sew jeans on it hem! Why did you sell me such a bad machine??”

After that statement, I decided to clarify the issue and make my own material range grading system. I will evaluate only the quality of the straight stitch and the very possibility of doing it without using a stabilizer. I’ll use a five-point scale.

Before you try to sew, it’s important to choose the right thread and needle for your material, and to set the tension of the threads correctly. You can only sew kitchen towels without such a fitting. The memories of my grandmother’s machine, which “could sew everything from chiffon to leather with one needle without adjustment” is not worth referring to. leave them in my childhood, when the grass was greener.

So, for quality work with very light fabrics (crepe de Chiffon, voile, cambric) from the machine requires a small hole size in the needle plate and the foot pressure regulator on the fabric. For the presence in the catalog accessories foot and needle plate with a round hole or built-in mechanism to reduce the size of the hole will be given two points, and for other machines for a small size hole in the standard plate for zig zag award one point. The pressure regulator will be evaluated by one point. Work with thin materials is a matter of subtlety and another two points will be left for the subjective part of the evaluation, and the labor intensity and the very ability to configure the machine to work with these materials will be evaluated.

In general, lightweight fabrics (calico, sateen, chemise, dress fabrics, satin) are easy to sew with the right thread selection and appropriate tension control. A basic score of 4 points will be assigned to each machine. Another point will be added for ease of setting up the machine. And in the case of inability to get quality stitching, points will be reduced.

Medium and moderately heavy fabrics (flannel, tricot, corduroy, fine denim, suit fabrics) must be sewn by a fiver by any machine. If there are problems with these fabrics, then the score will be reduced from the basic 5 stars.

Strong motor power is important for confident handling of heavy fabrics (denim, gabardine, raincoats, light coats). Machines with DC motors over 45W and machines with regular motors over 75W receive two points while machines with less powerful motors receive one point. Great help when sewing heavy fabrics with the built-in upper fabric conveyor. One point will be added for its availability. Developed wide toothed comb of bottom conveyor will get one more point. Ironmachines weighing more than 8 kg receive another point. High presser foot lift is important for thick fabric but there is no point in evaluating it because almost all domestic machines have the same foot lift of about 6 mm in the first position and about 12 mm in the second position.

Very heavy fabrics (thick denim, drape, tarpaulin) on modern household machines should not sew. You often hear that the machine sews through 8 or even 10 layers of jeans. But it is correct to say not to pierce, but to pierce. Many machines can pierce such materials with a relatively fine needle, as long as they have enough motor power. But just pierce not enough, you still need to move the material to the length of the stitch, tighten the loop inside the fabric and sometimes climb on the thickening for the passage of seams. These are tasks that no modern home machine can do. I wouldn’t even recommend trying, because sewing such materials can quickly cause damage to the needle plate, displacement of the hook or needle barrier, and other such mishaps. In industry, to work with very heavy materials, machines with triple advancement, with an enlarged hook and thick needles 40-160 (by the way, the domestic standard 130/705H does not produce needles with numbers greater than 120).

In a good way, the knit should be sewn on an overlock and a flat sewing machine. Stitches that perform these units are obtained elastic, and differential conveyor does not allow the knitted fabric to stretch. If you are serious about working with knitwear, read the article How to choose an overlock machine and budget for its purchase. Medium-thickness knitwear can also be sewn with a sewing machine, but the result will most often be close to unsatisfactory. This is the basic rating. two points. every machine gets. For the presence of the machine foot pressure adjustment or built-in top conveyor add another point. Special stitching for knitwear will be evaluated by another point. We will not give more than four points. Thin knitwear, especially with the addition of synthetic elastic fibers, the sewing machine shuttle stitch is not likely to be sewn normally. The only, more or less working option. to glue the seams with a fashionable water-soluble stabilizer, gelatin or apply another method of stabilization. I will not be evaluating the machine’s ability to sew this type of knitwear at all.

Machine for sewing lightweight garment leather must meet the same requirements as for heavyweight fabrics. The rating will simply be copied from there. Additionally, a slip-covered foot and special needles for leather will be required. Domestic machines are not suitable for sewing heavy saddlery or shoe leather.

Here’s how popular machines would score with this system :

Very light 3 (1 for the small hole in the needle plate 1 for the pressure regulator 1 for the adjustability) Light 5 (4 1 for the adjustability) Medium and moderately heavy 5 Heavy 4 (2 for power 1 for weight 1 for the conveyor comb) Knitwear 3 (2 1 for the availability of pressure adjustment) Leather 4

Very light 4 (1 for the small hole in the needle plate 1 for the pressure regulator 2 for adjustability) Light 5 (4 1 for adjustability) Medium and moderately heavy 5 Heavy 4 (2 for power 1 for weight 1 for the feed dog) Knitwear 3 (2 1 for pressure adjustment) Leather 4

Very light 3 (1 for pressure adjustment 2 for easy setting) Light 5 (4 1 for easy setting) Medium to moderately heavy 5 Heavy 3 (1 for power 1 for weight 1 for feed dog) Knitwear 4 (2 1 for pressure adjustment 1 for knitwear stitch) Leather 3

Very lightweight 5 (2 for being able to buy a foot and needle plate for straight stitching 1 for pressure adjustment 2 for being able to adjust) Lightweight. 5 (4 1 for ease of adjustment) Medium to moderately heavy. 5 Heavy 5 (2 for power 1 for top conveyor 1 for weight 1 for conveyor comb) Knitted. 4 (2 1 for having pressure adjustment and upper conveyor 1 for knit stitching) Leather 5

How to hem a knitted skirt

knitwear, regular, machine

Knit fabrics are very practical and comfortable, but they are quite difficult to sew on conventional machines. Machine stitch often loops, sometimes there are gaps in the stitch, and in any case, its appearance is quite ugly. Even to do the hemming of the bottom by hand and that is difficult. Lining does not look like a “factory”, often during wear it turns out or sags.

In this article you will learn a simple and original way how you can hem the bottom of a knitted skirt, trim the cut sections of the sleeves of the bottom hem and the sleeves of a knitted T-shirt, etc.п. True, for this you will need an overlock or, in a pinch, a zigzag stitch.

How to sew with knitwear (and without an overlock). Part 2.

Good afternoon, my dear self-taught seamstresses. We continue to learn the tricks of sewing knitwear. In the first article of this series about knitwear I told about the equipment facilitating work with knitwear and how to prepare the fabric, and how to cut easier slippery stretch knitwear. And in this article I will tell you what stitches are used to work with knitwear. As I said before, in order to sew from knitwear, it is not necessary to have an overlock machine. I do not have it, and I love knitted tunics and stretch dresses. and I sew them on the usual still grandmother’s machine with only one type of stitch in the set.

So I want to encourage you and assure you that no matter what stitch you choose from the proposed below. in any case, you get a good thing. And so you won’t be bored reading this, I’ll show you some inspiring photos of various chic things made of knitwear. and all these models

So get inspired, sew and wear it in good health. And all the tips from these articles will give you confidence in sewing with knitwear, and help in case of difficulties. On the agenda of this and the next article are such questions:

  • How to sew with slippery stretch fabrics.
  • What kind of seam to choose for stitching parts.
  • How to ensure the stretchiness of the neckline
  • How, on the contrary, to prevent excessive stretching of the neck
  • How to sew the button-holes
  • How to sew the bottom of the piece
  • How to calculate the pattern for a skirted dress, based on the fact that the stretch fabric is very stretchy.

In the previous article I explained what needles, threads and technical devices will make your knitting work easier. And also how to prepare the fabric for cutting and properly conduct the cutting itself.

And now we’ll talk about all kinds of stitches used in work with knitwear. we will talk not so much about overlock stitches, but about what alternatives to overlock can give an ordinary sewing machine.

The usual stitch for sewing knitwear

  • Yes, yes, all my dresses, including very stretchy pants I sewed on my grandmother’s old manual Singer machine most ordinary stitch, most ordinary thread. but always with a knitting needle (it does not pierce the elastic fibers, but gently pulls them apart). When I stitch (sew together) parts I just on just a little bit of stretch fabric during the race of the stitching. Stretch to both sides and behind the presser foot and in front of the foot. for this purpose enough two fingers of the left hand. thumb and forefinger. Well of course the stitching is not at high speed. But do not get carried away stretching. only a little for a slight elasticity, otherwise the seam can stretch and go flounces.
  • There are different tricks to make a regular stitch more or less stretch: first, if you do a straight stitch is very small (on the unit) then its margin of expansion will be larger. And of course choose stretchy threads. And adjust the normal tension. so that the stitch did not pull down on the fabric when sewing, not shrink it. Such a shallow seam looks nice.
  • If you sew everything seems right, and the seam looks stretched (whether the tool and foot so tighten-stretch the fabric, or whether you overdo it with your fingers), then you can fix it. Just rip the old seam, reattach the parts to each other, and under the fabric put a paper (newspaper, toilet paper) and stitch. With paper the stitch will be neater, and the paper can simply be removed.

Stitches alternative overlock machine.

There are many modes on a modern normal machine that allow you to choose a stitch that has stretch elasticity.

You can choose yourself that very zigzag pattern, which is most suitable in your case. and it looks beautiful and has elasticity.

You can practice beforehand, and adjust the zigzag stitch you want. Do it this way: fold the fabric in two layers, stitch zigzag. We take out from under the foot and strongly and strongly stretch with our hands. Let’s check if the seam has torn along the upper thread or the lower one. According to the logic of a busted seam we should either loosen or tighten the tension of the upper or lower thread. Make sure that the threads either do not tear, or both at the same time. This will mean that the stitch is evenly adjusted and has the greatest degree of elasticity.

  • You can select the machine program “pseudo-overlock” or “overlock” it gives a line similar in quality to the overlock.
  • You can choose a knit stitch (three stitches forward, one backward).
  • Double needle stitch. Double-needle special hanging (or built-in) equipment giving on the front side 2 parallel stitches, and on the wrong side of the stitching zigzag. Such a stitch is used when processing the bottom of the product. about this we will talk a little later in this same article. About the double needle I wrote in a previous part of this article.

These are, in fact, all the stitches that are useful to us when working with knitwear on an ordinary machine.

Now let’s talk about the nuances and vagaries of the fabric when sewing. What can be encountered and how to treat it.

Techniques for working with cranky knitwear.

A very stretchy knitwear. It stretches even a zigzag stitch. You lead the stitching and after it has already waved, like a ruffle, although we and the fabric is not stretched under the foot of the machine. How to struggle?

Or starch the seam (with a brush in a starchy solution), wait until it dries out and sew. Instead of starch can be put both the top and bottom of a special water-soluble film Avalon, its residues in the seam dissolve in plain water.

Or try putting paper under the fabric. maybe the bottom feeder is catching your fabric with its teeth, holding it in and making the seam wavy. a paper pad between the feeder and the fabric will eliminate the problem.

Sometimes the stretch fabric is so smooth and slippery that the conveyor belt slips over it, not pushing it forward as the stitching progresses. Then simply place newspaper under the fabric. The conveyor will move the newspaper, and with it the fabric lying on it.

Uneven milling of very slippery knitwear (stretch or oil) parts. It turns out that the parts lying on top of each other slip together when the lower part moves on the conveyor belt, and the upper part slips and does not move as fast under the presser foot as the lower part. As a result, the two parts are grinding against each other unevenly and the lower part is shrinking relative to the upper part. How to avoid?

The safest way is to be sure not to be too lazy to hand-sew the pieces to each other before placing them under the machine

Or starch the stitches. when the starch dries, they will not slip relative to each other and everything will be sewn correctly.

Or you can use the upper protractor (I talked about it in the first article)

The knit is too thin and the presser foot won’t hold it.

Or adjust the presser foot, unscrew the fixing screw, lower the presser foot and screw it back on. Or for thickening put a couple of layers of newspaper under the fabric. This will make the stitching mass thicker and the machine will happily stitch to its usual thickness.

Some types of knitwear is too viscous and light, and during the jumping needle upwards and such knitwear rises with the needle. hence the skipped stitches or two stitches at one point. By the way it may be if the needle is not new, and has roughness.

The solution is this. put a sheet of paper on top of the fabric. Of course, you won’t be able to see the work front itself behind the sheet, and sewing blindly is very inconvenient. Then you can just cut thin strips of newspaper and put them directly on the seam itself. To newspaper does not stain, I cut in the place where there are no letters. or toilet paper, paper towel is great.

If you’re afraid that the paper particles will get into the mechanism of the machine, don’t be afraid. it’s already full of fabric particles))). By the way, instead of paper, you can also put a strip of drugstore bandage, then cut close to the seam and pull the threads out of the seam.

Now turn directly to the technique of processing these or other elements of sewing parts. we will talk about the side and shoulder seams, about hemming the bottom, processing throat and armholes.

Side seams processing nuances.

The side seams of a knitted garment are the simplest. they can be stitched without much thought. They are located in the same direction as the buttonhole columns in the knitted product, which means that they do not have much stretch, and they can just stitch a normal seam without much tension (or zigzag stitch or pseudo-curl stitch).

The only thing is that if the fabric of your knitted fabric is equally stretched along and across. then it is better to stabilize the side seams all the same. So that your dress or top does not have a miraculous ability to stretch down immensely or tear up when walking. To stabilize the side seams, it is sufficient to glue them with a strip of fleece or the seam itself to do over a non-stretchy narrow ribbon (or a thin braid). Put a braid on the seam (we’ll sew it by hand), put it under the foot and sew over the braid. the braid will not stretch and will not let the seam pull, even if it is zigzag.

Shoulder seams processing nuances.

Shoulder seams. their peculiarity is that they are directed across the buttonholes of the knitted fabric, and therefore stretch. If you do not want your shoulders to stretch and move down your arm over time, the shoulder seams should also be stabilized. Either a strip of fleece (doublerin, adhesive tape) or the usual braid, embedded under the seam (there is, incidentally, for this purpose, a special braid for knitwear). This reinforced shoulder seam will not stretch and will always maintain its shape and length.

It is better to glue the side and shoulder seams on the parts of the shelves, not on the back. That way the finished seams can be conveniently scuffed onto the back side afterwards. If you are, of course, engaged after sewing all this zautuzhka seams. I, for example, too lazy.

Processing buttonholes on knit and stretch fabrics

First, you need to reinforce the thin knit in the places of the future slits for loops. To do this, I lay two sides of the loop or fleece or avalon (this stabilizer is such a special embroidery, it then dissolves in water when washing).

Or you can use glue cobwebs. It does not even need to be glued. just put it on top and bottom of the buttonhole and perform processing of the buttonhole, removing unnecessary edges and cutting through the buttonhole itself. Then we iron the buttonholes with a steam iron, the cobwebs melt and, like glue, seal the buttonhole.

This method of loop sealing is very good for stretch fabrics. such a loop does not stretch, even over time.

The insertion of a zipper on the knitted fabric and stretch.

Here it is necessary to secure against stretching in places of stitching a zipper. that is to glue the cuts, in which the zipper will be sewn, with narrow strips of interlining or with glue tape. This is so that the zipper, over time, does not begin to bend in waves.

I had such a thing with one dress from the store. though it fit me perfectly and without unbuttoning this very zipper. I do not understand why it is needed there. Later I saved the situation by whipping the zipper out of the dress and just sewed up this seam.

And in general in knitwear zipper is rare. except for dresses-fools from thick winter jersey. and not always. Although if you remember about warm sweaters with zippers.

Binding of the bottom of the knitted product.

What you have to pay attention to:

What I do not like with some of the purchase items is when the bottom of the knitwear stretches and starts to “wavy”, resembling a ruffle. Especially if it’s a dress with a straight, not wide hem. This does not apply to articles made of firm elastic stretch fabrics. it most often happens with natural cotton or woolen knitwear.

To avoid this. it is necessary when processing the bottom of such a model to stretch the fabric slightly. Here you have to include a little. on the one hand you don’t want the seam to pull the dress down, not allowing it to be elastic and almost creasing it at the bottom. On the other hand you do not want it to allow the dress to stretch. It is best to practice on pieces of leftover fabric.

I made such “straight-edge” dresses with regular stitching without stretching (but only straightening) the fabric under the presser foot. And you get a neat hemline.

Or to be absolutely sure. you can glue a strip of fleece under the stitching processing the bottom (or glue tape0 and sew directly on it. This will fix the seam and give a static shape to the bottom of the piece.

And now I will tell you about the variants of hemming the bottom of the product in all other cases.

Option one. if the fabric at the cut itself wraps neatly and reluctantly gives the arrows (usually it is a non-slip cotton jersey). then you can leave it like that. I have this cut at the bottom of my daughter’s knit dress. She wears it and rolls down the hill and wears it mercilessly. everywhere she climbs on bushes. No matter what. elastically wrapped in a roll, the cut is fully protected from the external environment.

Option two. bend on the wrong side 2-4 cm and hand-sewn “goatskin”. Such a stitch maintains its elasticity. For fabrics with incomplete arrows, the cut can be left untreated.

Or even in advance, before hemming, you can process the cut with a zigzag stitch. That is, passed the zigzag edge of the cut (zigzag will zachit lekguyu cut from creeping) and then we bend the cut to the wrong side and sew it goat (or any other in t.ч. and machine stitching)

If the fabric on the cut is wrapped in a roll, then zigzag a little away from the edge, and cut the excess against the zigzag. And such a trimmed edge bend to the wrong side and hem with a goat.

Option three. we folded the seam to the wrong side by 4 cm and sewed with a twin needle. Such a stitch processing the bottom of the product or edge of the sleeve is found on almost all the factory T-shirts. If you do not have a twin needle. you can simply stitch side by side (parallel) two regular stitches. and trim the remaining allowance next to the second stitch. You can sew not 2 ordinary stitches, but 2 zigzag lines.

Option four. cut from another non-stretch fabric strip and trim the bottom of the product with it. you get a decorative element and bottom processing.

Option number five. you can include your ingenuity and come up with a new way. nowadays fashion gives a lot of freedom for creativity. you can do whatever you want and present it as a design idea

Processing armholes and sleeves.

If the product without arms and stretch is not very promising to hold its shape, the edges of the sleeves before processing (edging or hemming) can be glued with adhesive tape. If you want to. But to be honest, I’ve never done this. and from a synthetic stretch sewed dress-maidens and from x\b jersey. all with armholes were fine without any glue.

Bottom sleeve tucked better not simple hemming, and sew a cuff, which will be a little bit narrower than the sleeve itself. Then the bottom of the sleeve will never treacherously stretch.

3 Ways on How to Hem Stretchy Fabric WITHOUT IT Getting Wavy (no serger) || SHANiA

If you sew a free spacious cut sleeve (as in tunics) it can be processed by any stitch from folding the bottom.

Tips for Hemming Knit Fabrics on a Regular Sewing Machine

HOLE treatment of knitted garments.

If we do not need to stretch the neck (that is, it is large enough for the free passage of the head), then you can safely reinforce it. Namely

  • The easiest way, even before processing the neckline, is to sew a straight stitch around the edge of the neckline, leaving a gap of 1 cm. Then fold it to the wrong side and stitch it again.
  • Pre-stitch around the neck with adhesive tape. A narrow strip of fleece. And then cut the hemline and process the neckline as usual with a hemstitch (that is a straight stitch).
  • You can not glue the fleeces, just hem out of stretch fabric and sew it to the wrong side of the neck. And firstly the hemstitch has to be fitted to the neckline to make sure it is well fitted to the neckline. That is the hemline does not shrink anywhere, does not stretch the neckline, and that when fitting the neckline looks natural.
  • You can limit the stretchiness of the neckline in a quick and easy way. Sew a piece of ordinary narrow ribbon to the wrong side of the neckline on the back side. That’s very useful. Such a ribbon-restrictor on the back side keeps the collar from stretching to the right and left and crawling off the shoulder. relevant when the product has a large and wide neckline.
  • There’s another great way to work a very-stretchy neckline (good for slippery Lycra jersey). We just go over the seams with a brush soaked in starchy solution, fold the seam to the wrong side, let it dry and stitch with a double needle. And you don’t have to go through the trouble of gluing the fleece.
  • You can trim the neckline with a slant from the same knit fabric. if you sew it a little taut, it will hold the neckline. It’s good if you’ve made a mistake and the neck is already stretched. Then sewing on the strait to tighten the neckline will add weight to the neckline.
  • You can also add weight to the neckline (already stretched) with regular machine stitching, adjusting the tension of the thread so that the stitch slightly ducked the seam, making the fit of the edge of the neckline.
  • You can add embroidered tape, lace or even applique to the neckline
  • You can work with a roll. if the knit you’re sewing from rolls up at the cut, you can use that as a characteristic of the fabric for the neckline. Namely. cut (not obliquely, but across the looped columns) 3-4 cm wide strip of knitwear. It is immediately wrapped at the slices with two counter rolls. Sew a strip on the edge of the neck so that the seam went to the center of the strip between the rolls. When finished, the rollers will curl toward each other, hide the seam, and look like a decorative element of the neckline.

To stretch the neckline

The following is a suggestion for when we need the neckline to stretch. That’s when the neck collar is narrow and no buckle is provided (like in shorts or shirts with narrow necks), which means we need to keep the neck stretch to fit the head through.

  • neck seams can be made with an overlock (ask the atelier they will run one stitch for a fee),
  • Or use a regular machine stitches close to overlock (they are called “overlock”, “pseudooverlock” and are described in the instructions to the machine)
  • or use a double needle stitch. where the front side is two lines, and on the wrong side of the zigzag. such a stitch is stretchy and after stretching itself retracts back.
  • Or use a zigzag stitch. the entire treatment could look like this: fold the edge to the wrong side of 1.5 cm and sew in a zigzag stitch.
  • Or, as a last resort, sew with a regular stitch. but with a decent amount of tension on the fabric when sewing (also fold the edge to the wrong side and sew)
  • To handle such a stretchy neck is better to apply additional treatment with a strip of fabric. it will not let the neck over time to lose form the constant stretch-shrinking.

Just like regular t-shirts. Cut a strip of fabric (across the buttonholes), fold it in half lengthwise, and sew to the neckline with any of the stitches suggested above. Strengthened in this way the neck, will stretch (thanks to the correct stitching) and will not unravel over time (thanks to an additional strip of fabric).

This strip of fabric can be cut from an elastic band knit of a similar or contrasting color, or you can cut it from the same knit (cut across the looped columns) from which the piece itself is made. Sew the strip of knitted elastic band slightly taut.

That’s probably all. If I learn any more interesting stitching techniques. I’ll add them to this article.

Now let’s get to the most interesting question :

“How to take into account the degree of stretchiness of knitwear, when constructing a pattern for body-fitting dresses.”

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How to Sew Knitwear on a Machine in One Stitch?

Many machines have stitches that combine zigzag and straight stitch. They should also be laid, with a few millimeters from the cut, and then trimmed by hand. On the front side the product will look very neat.

When working with this stitch it is better to loosen the tension of the upper thread. feel free to set it to one or two to avoid deformation of the knitted fabric. Some machines also have such a handy thing as a presser foot pressure regulator. Reduce it for the specific material you are working with.

If in spite of all the advice, deformation, bending, skipped stitches occur. The front side will look very neat and tidy, without special stabilizers, over which the stitch is sewn. You can use tracing paper or interlining, but then they will be difficult to get out of the finished stitching. Ideal option. Water-soluble stabilizer: it looks like fleece, but dissolves in water.

/ Careful sewing with a twin needle

How to sew knitwear

Knitted fabric. is the intertwined loops in longitudinal or transverse directions. Such a structure provides the distinctive and irreplaceable qualities of this material: elasticity, softness, low crease and comfort. Working with knitwear. Pleasant and easy if you know the approach to this material.

Preparation for cutting

Depending on the type and quality, stretch fabrics may shrink during washing and ironing by up to 5-10%. To avoid this unpleasantness, the cut should be pre-designed.

Ironing Rules

Knitwear should be ironed on the reverse side (so as not to leave shiny traces), without effort, with a slightly or moderately hot iron. Never stretch the fabric.


Before sewing a knitted fabric the following patterns must be prepared. To do this, the basic basis of a fitted dress is rebuilt, taking into account the stretchability of the selected material. In sewing this factor is necessarily taken into account. According to the degree of stretchability there are three groups of knitted fabrics: weakly. 0 to 40%, medium. from 41 to 100% and highly stretchable. more than 100%. Both the material consumption and the calculations for the pattern depend on this indicator.

To determine the degree of stretch, fold the fabric crosswise 7-10 cm from the cut. Along the scythe line of the fold, mark a 10 cm segment and gently stretch it out to the width. The size by which the length of the stretch has increased. This is the stretch factor: 5cm. 50%, 2.5 cm. 25%. For plotting the pattern you also need to know the tensile strength of the knitted fabric.

No Serger, No Problem! Find Out How to Sew Knits on Your Sewing Machine

The stretch ratio is calculated using the formula: Cr = Dl.e : Dl.n, where Dl.д. Length of the segment before stretching and Dl.п. Length of the cut after stretching. Example: Cr = 10 cm :12 cm = 0.8. Consequently, the parameters Og, Ot and Ob must be multiplied by a coefficient of 0.8. We obtain the result taking into account the stretch factor of the fabric.

The width of the neckline and armholes are also made smaller, so that they do not stretch in the product on the figure. The sleeve is designed with a nonstretchy oakle.


For sewing knitwear, special needles are used, which differ from universal and standard needles in that they have a specially rounded spout that gently spreads the loops of material during sewing, without disturbing their integrity and without forming puffs and arrows.

Normally, knitting needles are marked “Jersey”. For cotton and woolen knits and “Stretch” for Lycra, “oils” and bi-stretch fabrics. The needle point setting will depend on the elasticity of the fabric. The more friable it is, the larger the needle radius should be.


There are special polyester long fiber and nylon fiber or textured threads. If you do not have them, the most common ones will do. type “The ideal is” (in spools) or their equivalent on large reels. The main thing: Threads must be both thin and strong. Before stretch fabrics can be worked on, the sewing machine must also be set up.


When sewing thin, slippery knitwear the normal presser foot may not press sufficiently, it will result in uneven stitching. Therefore it is necessary to adjust its pressure in advance, checking on a sample of the necessary pressure.

A knitting foot makes your work easier. Its secret is that it provides simultaneous advancement of two layers of fabric together with the lower conveyor at the same speed and avoids the problem of shrinking or tightening the lower part while sewing.

Knit stitches

Materials with low stretch can be sewn with a normal straight stitch with a small step of 1-1,5 mm, slightly pulling both parts (to give the stretch). Such stitching is suitable for longitudinal seams of details and products not very tight-fitting (tunics, T-shirts and loose-fitting pullovers), processing of collars, cuffs, shirts.

Details of high-stretch knitwear is best sewn with a narrow zigzag stitch: stitch width of 0.5-1 mm and length of 2-3 mm. Regular straight stitch is too vulnerable under tension. A zigzag stitch, on the other hand, allows for tension-free stretch.

In modern sewing machines to facilitate the work there is a set of special knitted stitches: for stitching. A small reverse zigzag stitch for elasticity, dotted zigzag stitch for bottoms and decorative elastic stitches. With these stitches can safely take on sewing items of stretch material: swimsuits, jumpsuits.

Also be sure to check and adjust the tension of the threads before working. Most of the time this applies to the upper thread. It should not be too tight. A few stitches should be sewn on the pattern, stitching two patterns, and then check for elasticity and firmness. If the thread breaks, the tension. loosen. A proper and reliable knit stitch should stretch along with the fabric.

Thus, when starting to work, you must experimentally choose the right needle on a sample, set the necessary presser foot, adjust the tension of the thread and opt for a suitable stitch for sewing the details of the cut of knitted fabric.

If the machine stubbornly skips stitches, you can use a little trick: under the foot, along the seam, place a strip of paper.

Sewing with this foot, so the edge of the cut is not crushed

Cut the pattern with a coarse zigzag stitch, both parts together. allowances should be no more than 1 cm. It is not desirable to sew with a seam opening. The stitch becomes more vulnerable when under tension. You can do it with a stitch “pseudo overlock”, if your machine has one. Do not forget to change the presser foot. It should have a stopper on the right edge. It is better to sew at low speed. That way you can avoid skips. You can also sew with this foot with a zigzag stitch, so the edge of the seam will not crush.To avoid crumpling while sewing, the material should be pulled up behind the presser foot (it is even better to do it by the ends of the threads, then the stitching will be stretched, not the fabric itself), spreading the cuts in front of the presser foot. If there is a ripple, it can be pressed down with an iron and it will fall right back into place.

There are usually no problems with longitudinal seams, and processing with a coarse zigzag with a limiting foot is quite neat. With cross seams a little more complicated. On the sample you need to practice what is more suitable for your type of knitwear: stretch it a little or push it under the foot.

Shoulder seams

Shoulder seams in garments should not stretch, so they need to be stabilized. This is done with the help of oblique tape or oblique selvedge of a suitable color, which is tacked into the seam.For the same purpose you can use strips of ordinary or adhesive interlining, which are fixed together with the allowance. It is desirable to reinforce the seams on the shelf, for the convenience of piecing. If the neckline on the back must also be protected from stretching, a velvet ribbon is stitched on the seam.

Neckline and armholes

To preserve the shape of the neckline, a chain stitch is sewn along the cut at a distance of 1.2-1.5 cm. Quick and easy way. Glue on the allowances of the neck with glue cobwebs and tuck them in on the wrong side. That way we are protecting the neckline from being stretched (if it’s not necessary) and stitch-free at the hem of the garment. Do the same for the armholes if the product is sleeveless.

Ways to work the neck and armholes:

Finishing the bottom of the piece

The bottom of the product can be processed in different ways:

Hinges, collars, plackets

Before sewing buttonholes, be sure to reinforce the knitwear with fleeces, glue or webbing. Cut them with extra care.

If the product is supposed to have slit parts, these places are glued with adhesive fleece.

Collars and cuffs, as well as strips are also glued adhesive, preferably knitted, so that it pulls on the fabric.

And the final, finishing touch. Iron the finished product. This is a very important and responsible stage. The main thing: Iron with a moderately hot iron, without effort, pressing it to the surface of the article.

knitted stitch

The peculiarity of knit stitch is the ability to stretch together with the fabric, otherwise, the threads in the stitch will tear. To work with the material it is necessary to buy special needles and choose the right threads.

Two types of needles are available to work with knitwear:

  • Jersey. used for voluminous, dense fabric, such as machine knitted knitwear;
  • Stretch. suitable for fine knitwear, does not tear the material when working. It is easier to work with accessories that have a smooth surface and are made of polyester or nylon.

These needles have a rounded point, they do not pierce the material, which creates a hole, and pass between the fibers, the best needle size 75 or 90.

Thread must be strong and elastic, and varieties will do the job:

  • natural, cotton with polyester;
  • silk. number 50;
  • synthetic. number 50 or 60;
  • Cotton. number from 50 to 80.

After preparing the accessories, adjust the thread tension on the sewing machine. To do this, on sections of knitted fabric perform straight stitches and zigzag, setting a different stitch width. At the same time, many seamstresses are faced with skipping loops, stretching the stitches. In this case it is worth placing under the fabric tracing paper or a sheet of paper. This simple technique allows you to get an even and beautiful stitch. At the end of the work, the paper is easily removed.

Regulate the tension of the threads as follows:

Adjustment is carried out until, when stretching the material, the threads cease to tear. The most difficult to perform stitches on knitwear with a high degree of stretch, so while not enough skill, it is worth choosing a material of low elasticity.

When working with knitwear, some seams, such as shoulder seams, perform with fixation. To do this, use a special braid, which is inserted into the seam.



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