Home Article How to sew knitwear on an ordinary machine

How to sew knitwear on an ordinary machine

How to sew from knitwear without overlock and overstitching machine

Many people do not take to sew from knitted fabrics simply because they do not have an overlock and chain stitch machine. We will tell you how you can do without them, and how to facilitate the work when sewing from this material.

First of all, you need to know about the special equipment for sewing knitwear, devices and materials that will simplify the work with this fabric, as well as sewing techniques that can make up for the lack of such equipment.

For sewing knitted garments using a special machine. Flat embroidery machine (chain stitch machine). Its backside seam looks like a pigtail. And for stitching and processing the slices of knitted fabrics use a knitted four-strand overlock, with a stretching cloth differential with a simultaneous stitching of the stitching chain stitch. Some items can be sewn with an overlock alone.Special needles and threads are also used for sewing knitwear. Many people, trying to sew knitwear on an ordinary sewing machine, noticed that she well does not want to make a nice and smooth stitch. It forms gaps, the lower thread can loop or break. Why does this happen and how can you fix it?

Below we will deal with how to get around without the need for special sewing machines for knitwear and what equipment, materials and devices should be used to obtain quality stitch. Consider other factors that may affect its quality.

Special needles for knitwear (thanks to the rounded head of the needle enters the fabric, pulling the threads, rather than piercing them, eliminating damage to the material (if you use conventional sharp needles in the material form small holes and after a few washings on the seams may go arrows). These needles are of two types: jersey (for woollen and cotton knitted fabrics) and stretch (for synthetic and also high-stretch knitted fabrics or lycra).

How to Sew Knit Fabrics

Needle size. An important factor for a perfectly formed seam is the correct choice of needle size (needle number), which is selected according to the density of the fabric to be sewn.

Fine knitwear: needle size 60, needle type H, H-S Medium knitwear: needle size 70-80, needle type H-SUK Heavy knitwear: needle size 80-90, needle type H-SUK Fine elastic knitwear or lycra fabrics: needle size 65-70, needle type H-S Medium elastic knitwear or lycra fabrics: needle size 80-90, needle type H-S

Double needle. combines two needles in one needle holder and leads parallel two stitches, fits any machine. Used for armholes and at the bottom of fabrics. There will be two parallel stitches on the front side of the seam, and on the wrong side. zigzag stitch. Needles are available in three sizes (70, 80, 90) and three types (universal, for dense fabrics, for embroidery), the distance between the needles is indicated on the package in mm (1.6, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 4.0, 6.0). The higher the number, the greater the distance between the needles. Needles 4.0 и 6.0 are only for straight stitching. Place the two spools on the holders so that they unwind in different directions (clockwise and counterclockwise) so that the threads do not get tangled. If your machine only has one holder, you can adapt a small box to hold a second bobbin.

Upper conveyor (“knitting foot” or “walking foot”). this device helps more convenient to sew 2 layers of slippery stretch fabric, very dense fabrics or “sandwiches” of fabric and sealant: helps move the top layer of fabric, while the lower teeth of the sewing machine promotes the bottom layer of fabric. Both conveyor belts ensure that the layers of fabric move simultaneously at the same speed and the fabrics are sewn evenly. You can get by without the foot if you tack the layers by hand before sewing, but that takes extra time. Do not be lazy to do this, because without tacking and without the walking foot there is every chance of sewing unevenly. with a tightening (prorosadka) of the bottom layer, because of which you will have to spend even more time to rip and redo the stitch.

Thread for knitwear. Straight-line machines “dislike” sewing knitwear. But, modern household machines cope with the task if you observe some requirements. One of the basic. Good quality threads and the right tension. Sewing threads for knitwear should be strong, elastic, smooth and thin. Almost all modern threads meet these parameters. Nevertheless, you should experimentally determine which type of thread will work best with your machine.

Tension. Before you sew knitwear you must correctly set the tension of the upper and lower thread. Normally the bobbin thread should not be adjusted, but when sewing knitwear is often to eliminate looping thread in the stitch. If the looping at the bottom does not stop when pulling the upper thread, try loosening the tension of the lower thread. When you sew knit fabrics, the stitch will be looser in one direction (usually crosswise). Eliminate this “effect” by adjusting the tension is not possible, because the knitted fabric under the influence of the foot and teeth rkake stretches, and later takes the same shape and the stitches are weakened. Foot pressure must also necessarily be adjusted. To eliminate this effect stabilizing pads (strips of thin paper) are used. When sewing, a paper strip is placed under the fabric and later carefully pulled out of the seam. If you have replaced the needles and picked up thread, adjusted the tension, and loops and skips do not disappear, then you need to adjust the sewing machine. Configure the machine to sew from knitted fabric can an experienced craftsman.

Preparing the fabric for cutting. If you purchased a synthetic or highly elastic knitwear, prepare it for cutting is not necessary, because it gives very little shrinkage, you can just iron it with a steam iron. And if you have chosen a natural knitwear (based on viscose fibers, cotton, wool), then you must remember that it necessarily gives the shrinkage, often even after the second wash. Therefore, before cutting the fabric must be deaktivated (cotton knitwear twice wash, viscose. can be soaked in water at 30-40 °, woolen knitwear. Moisten or iron with steaming to 100 °). In any case, you need to pre-iron a piece of fabric to determine the degree of shrinkage and stretch. Knitwear can be washed by hand or machine in a manual mode for delicate fabrics with a spin at minimum spin, using a powder-gel or shampoo for washing.

Iron your garments with the iron on the backside of the iron, as the iron can make them look dull. Take care not to inadvertently smoothen the stitching on the knitted fabric, it is very difficult to iron it out later on. Do not stretch knitwear with an iron (spread it gently with the palm of your hand, do not press the iron down. Press down and release gently.). Do not iron knitwear when it is wet or very damp. It will stretch and become less elastic.

Rules of cutting. Unstretch the knitted fabric without stretching it. Laying out the pattern on the fabric, make sure that the direction of the grain of the thread coincides with the direction of the buttonholes (marked with a long arrow on the pattern). Pair patterns (e.g. left and right side strips) or patterns of the same plane (e.g. hem and bodice) so that their bottom edges face the same way. On slippery fabrics, the pattern is best pinned with non-sharp pins or glued with pieces of masking tape. Slippery knitwear should not be cut in 2 layers, as they can shift during cutting. You can also press the pattern to the knitted fabric with weights, moving them during cutting.

How to sew with regular stitching in knitwear. You can sew from knitted fabrics with normal stitching, normal threads, but always with knitting needles. When sewing the patterns you need to stretch the fabric a little: use your thumb and forefinger to stretch the fabric a little in both directions. When sewing in front and behind the presser foot, set a slow sewing speed and take care not to stretch the fabric too much. The seam may be stretched and create wavy stitches. You can apply several techniques to make the stitch more stretchy: if the stitch is laid very small, it will have a larger margin of stretch and look neat. Also it is necessary to choose more elastic thread and adjust the tension well, so that the seam does not shrink, does not pull down the fabric when sewing. If you still can’t get a beautiful stitch because the presser foot and sewing foot are pulling the fabric too taut, or if you’ve overstretched the fabric yourself, try sewing with paper, as described above.

Elastic stitches. There are several types of stitches on modern domestic sewing machines that have stretch elasticity. The easiest. Zigzag stitch (for greater elasticity set stitch length 3 mm, width 1 mm), there is also a stitch with a double needle, overlock stitch (similar in quality to overlock) and knit stitch (three stitches forward, one backward). You can adjust the stitch of your choice for sewing knitwear this way: fold the fabric in two layers, stitch with a zigzag stitch, then stretch the seam with your hands with force. Seeing which thread is broken. top or bottom, you can understand what tension. bottom or top. to loosen or tighten. Need to ensure that the threads are torn at the same time, or not torn at all, which will indicate a uniformly adjusted seam, which will have the greatest degree of elasticity.

Possible difficulties with knitwear. Sometimes the layers of knitwear to be sewn are so slippery or elastic that the presser foot can not move them evenly, as a result the seam and one of the layers can be overstretched, distorted. In this case it is still advisable to take time and tack the parts before stitching. Also useful here is the “walking foot” or stitching with thin paper or a special water-soluble stabilizer film. We have already mentioned these methods above, but there is also this trick. you can starch the seam with a brush and a starching solution, once dry, the fabric will no longer be slippery. The solution to another problem. The knitwear is too thin and the presser foot can not press it properly. Adjusting the position of the presser foot or placing several layers of papyrus paper under the fabric can be a solution. Some types of knitwear are too light and viscous, during the needle stroke such knitwear is lifted up with the needle. therefore missing stitches or two stitches on the same point occur. This can also be the case when the needle is not new and has roughness. The way out can be this. put thin strips of paper over the fabric on top of the seam itself, paper towels or pharmacy bandages can be useful for this purpose.

Now turn to the technique of processing the elements of the product and sewing details (side and shoulder seams, processing of the throat and armholes, hemming the bottom of the product).

How to get a knit stitch on a sewing machine

Why do mishaps occur when sewing knitwear?? There are three main reasons for this happening:

  • It’s better to sew knitwear on a specially designed sewing machine. Such sewing machines for knitwear are chain stitch devices. the stitch on the back side has a weave and resembles a “pigtail”. Under the description “sewing machines for knitted garments” falls and carpet maker, which combines the functions of a duvet maker and overlock.
  • To stitch knitted seams is also better to use a knitting overlock. It has a special stretching cloth rail (it is also called differential), which in the process of working laid stitching chain stitch.
  • If you still decide to use an ordinary sewing machine, you must use special threads and needles. They are the ones that will ensure quality stitching.

Experts do not hide the secrets of a good knit stitch on a sewing machine:

  • The rounded tip of the needle will not pierce the fabric, but will pull it apart. This is especially true when sewing thin fabrics (under normal threads, they can unravel). However, if the knit is dense enough, it can also be sewn with a regular needle without the risk of tearing.
  • Under the special threads are supposed to be polyester. They are widely available. It will not be difficult to find them.
  • In modern sewing machines in machines there is an upper conveyor belt, which is built over the needle plate. It is needed to move the top layer of the fabric.
  • Sometimes seamstresses place paper (it can be either on top of the material or under it). The process goes directly on the paper, which is then simply torn.
  • Before starting work, you should “practice” on a small scrap of fabric. Perhaps the problem can be solved by a simple rearrangement in the tension of the threads.

How to sew knitwear on a regular sewing machine: information about needles

So, the universal needle does not do very well with the “duties” entrusted to it. Not only does it harm the weave of the knitted fabric, but it also makes a very small loop near the eye of the needle. This is the reason for the skips.

On the package of needles for knitwear should be labeled “Jersy”. You should also pay attention to the “ball point” marking. which means that the needle will have a rounded point.

However, for older machines (“Seagull” or “Podolskaya”), even a needle change will not be successful. Perhaps their owners should seriously think about the fact that there are knitting sewing machines and it will be better to buy something of such a plan.

How to sew knitwear with an ordinary sewing machine: The correct thread tension

First of all, about the threads: they must be strong, thin, and elastic. all at the same time. It is best to use those that are sold in large cone-shaped spools, but such options are often expensive. In this case you should ask for their analogues in small spools. But you will have to forget about the following options:

In addition to the selection of the threads themselves is important to correctly set the tension:

  • Regulating the lower thread will help get rid of looping in the stitching.
  • If, after pulling the upper thread, the looping still does not stop, you need to loosen the tension in the lower thread.

Thread looseness can not always be corrected by tension. In this case, pay attention to the presser foot pressure. You may have to experiment a bit with adjusting it, too.

If nothing helps, even with all the manipulation, then the sewing machine itself needs adjustment. In such a case, it is best to invite an experienced professional to solve the problem.

How to sew with a double needle on the sewing machine

If you have a question about how to hem a knitted dress, try doing it with a double needle on the most common sewing machine. Processing the bottom of the products is better to perform overlock or overcasting device, but not everyone has them. The double needle makes stitches similar to industrial sewing. They are elastic because there are two straight parallel stitches at the top and a zigzag stitch at the bottom.

The design has a common holder and stapled needles. Operation Features:

  • It is necessary to have 2 spools, each of which unwinds to its own side.
  • If there is no second holder, you can take a shuttle bobbin and install it next to the main bobbin.
  • Threads are threaded together. to the point where they must be threaded into each needle individually.

Needles for knitwear

The most important stage in the preparation for any work is the preparation of the workplace and the precise choice of the tool with which you will make manipulations. The first thing to pay attention to when sewing knitted fabrics is the choice of needles. This is the part that has direct contact with the fabric, and consequently, the quality and correctness of treatment depends largely on it. Most all-purpose options are not suitable because they form gaps in the seams, not creating an even stitch.

There are several varieties of needles. They differ in shape and function:

  • Universal needles have a sharp edge and are not always suitable for this kind of work.
  • The version with a rounded needle tip is called Jersey. The special shape allows not to pierce the thread and neatly make the seam.
  • Stretch. This kind also has a special rounded edge.
  • For denim, needle point has a sharp triangle shape.
  • Microtex is an elongated and tapered version of the previous design.
  • Leather needles cannot be confused with anything else, they have a characteristic appearance with a groove and a sharp end.

For sewing knitwear, the second and third versions are best suited. Before purchasing, consult a salesperson or consultant. A special set may be available. In this case, it is better to take it, because you will be able in practice to pick up the needles for comfortable work, and this can only be done when sewing on a machine. The choice should be taken seriously. Your whole job depends on it. It is better to choose everything carefully than to waste your energy and time with unsuitable tools.

IMPORTANT: Needles must be matched to the type of product, otherwise the stitch will be uneven and the stitches will slip, which will not give the desired result.

How to sew knitwear on a sewing machine: 5 ways

You can sew knitwear on an ordinary sewing machine. The main thing is that the knitted seam must keep its elasticity together with the fabric. Otherwise the stitching would tear.

Many types of knitwear does not crumble, so processing the cuts of the product is not required. It is enough to bind the parts. There are five ways to make “knit” stitches with a sewing machine.

Straight stitch

It is only suitable for little stretch knitted fabrics, as it has no elasticity. When stitching details, the fabric should be pulled lightly on itself. It will then take on its original shape and the stitching will be sturdy. After sewing, iron out the seam. Multifunctional ironing sheet available from Burda.

Zigzag stitch

Suitable for any knitwear. Zigzag stitching will not bind the fabric during sewing. Set the length and width of the stitch to a minimum on the machine, the stitch should be narrow. Do not stretch the fabric while sewing. After sewing, press out seam allowances.

Double stitching

Sew two straight or zigzag stitches that are sewn parallel, 3 mm apart. First sew one stitch with a 1.5 cm allowance. Next, step aside about 3 mm towards the cut and sew a second stitch. Trim the excess seam allowance close to the stitching. Sewing scissors are available at Burda.

To maintain the elasticity of the knitwear, while sewing with two straight stitches, slightly stretch the fabric. Sew with a double needle on one side.

How to Sew Knit Fabrics on Any Machine: A Beginner’s Guide

Double-needle stitch

Suitable for all types of knitwear. Double-needle stitching is a feature of almost every modern sewing machine. Follow the double-needle instructions. First thread the left needle, then the right needle. Sew on parts at slow speed.

The stitch maintains elasticity due to the zigzag stitch formed by the hook thread on the reverse side of the seam.

knitwear, ordinary, machine

Stretch stitch

This narrow stitch is specifically designed for sewing knit fabrics on a sewing machine and the ability to completely smooth out seams.

If you still need to sew open seams, the stitch mimics overlock stitching.

The result is a strong seam and a finished edge, just like overlock stitching.

For convenience, the overlock stitch is sewn using the edge stitching foot. The stitch width is about 5 mm. Do not stretch fabric while sewing.

  • Jersey needles are perfect for big, heavy knitwear.
  • Stretch” needles are designed for thin stretch fabrics: the point of this needle is rounded and does not tear the fibers of the knit fabric. Choose a quality thread with a smooth finish, polyester or nylon threads. Make sure to try different needle and thread solutions on a scrap piece of fabric to find the perfect needle size, stitch length, etc. д.

Try different stitches on scrap material and pick the neater one. Study the instructions of your sewing machine, perhaps in the range of available stitches are special “elastic” stitches.

Try sewing on pieces with a narrow zigzag stitch, with a small stitch width (up to 1 mm). If the sewing machine skips stitches, try putting thin paper (tissue paper, newspaper, wrapping paper, paper towel) under the fabric. Once the stitching is complete, the paper should be removed.

Tighten fabric slightly when stitching knitwear with a small degree of elasticity. Check the seam for elasticity. Pull firmly and determine if the tear is in the upper or lower thread.

Thread tension must be adjusted so that there are no breaks, or both upper and lower threads tear in the same place. Knitwear with a high degree of stretch is the most difficult to sew. If you can’t adjust the stitching in any way, try using a brush to starch the stitch area, let it dry and stitch. Special water-soluble reinforcement materials can also be used.

Stitching adjustments

With a regular sewing machine, try a few variations. Maximum resemblance to the sewing machine. Double-needle stitching. You can also zigzag stitch the seam, turn it to the wrong side, and hem it by hand. For the seam to remain elastic do not tighten the thread. The bottom can also be trimmed with a trim fabric edging or a stripe folded in half from the main material.

How to sew knitwear

One of the popular fabrics for sewing clothes today is rightly considered to be knitted. Its texture resembles knitted fabric, since it does not consist of crossed threads like textiles, but of loops connected to each other. Clothes made of jersey are elastic, soft, well-fitting figure. The fabric is versatile in its purpose: depending on its thickness, you can sew dresses, and T-shirts, and sweatshirts, and tracksuits, and fashionable hoodies. But working with this material has some specifics. On how to sew knitwear, we will talk in this article.

knitwear, ordinary, machine

What do you need for processing without overlock

Such a tricky fabric requires special tools and techniques.

What kind of needles are needed?

Sewing needles with a rounded head are used to work with this material.

Using your Sewing Machine to Sew Knitted Fabric

Thanks to the rounding, they enter the fabric, do not pierce the threads, and move them apart, so the weave of knitted fabric will not suffer.

The needles are available in two varieties: Jersey, for cotton and woolen knits, or Stretch. For synthetic or lycra-rich fabrics.

Which foot

When working with this kind of material, the main goal is to. Prevent the fabric from being distorted with each stitch. The foot should perform the following functions:

  • Prevent the fabric from shifting.
  • Ensure smooth progression of the fabric.
  • Gently hold the fabric in place where the needle pierces it.

Foot Aurora AU-126 is suitable for sewing knitwear. It is used for materials with elastane. fine fabrics, knitwear.

Another option. is the walking foot. It acts as an upper web conveyor and pulls the fabric from above, while a gear mechanism pushes it from below. That way the fabric stays in place without moving and the stitching is straight. Example of a walking foot. Aurora AU-152.

What’s the best way to set up a machine

  • Install a knitting needle.
  • Choose special threads (elastic, thin, strong).
  • Adjust the tension (it should not be weak, otherwise the stitch will be loose and ugly, but also should not be too strong, otherwise the thread will tear).

Getting started with knitwear: the right needle and special threads are installed, and the tension is adjusted.

Which stitch is correct

Stitches are different: double needle, zigzag stitch, stretch stitch and straight stitch.

Double needle

For knitwear, choose a double needle marked STRETCH with a needle spacing of 2.5 mm or 4 mm. Before proceeding, it is advisable to check:

  • Whether or not the upper and lower threads are correctly threaded.
  • Whether or not the upper and lower thread tension is correct.

It is best to check the setting of the sewing equipment on a small piece of fabric so as not to spoil the garment.

Important! Working with a double needle should be done at a reduced sewing machine speed.

Zigzag stitch

Helps with stretch fabrics without an overlock. Depending on the sewing machine, the zigzag stitch can be adjusted in length and width. For sewing knitwear, the maximum width of the zigzag stitch is used.

Stitching stretch

It is a narrow stitch that can be sewn on almost any sewing machine, specifically designed for stitching knitted parts. Suitable for vertical seams, but often tends to stretch too much when sewing horizontal seams.

Help! To try to correct the situation (waves on the fabric), you can loosen the presser foot or put a paper under it.

Straight stitch

Suitable for material that is slightly stretchy, as the fabric must be slightly stretched when sewing. The resulting seam is strong and elastic.

How to sew knitwear with an ordinary sewing machine: Proper thread tension

To get a perfect stitch, it is important to get a balance of the tension of the lower thread in relation to the upper thread. Typically, the controls that change the tension of the upper thread are located on the shoulder of the head of the machine or on the front panel and are numbered.

To determine the level of tension, you need to take out and hang the hook, holding the edge of the thread that comes out of the bobbin. The tension is correct if the hook does not descend by more than 4 cm, and the bobbin turns at the same time.Strong thread tension is when the hook does not sink at all when in the same position. Turn the screw on the surface of the bobbin case to correct the thread tension.

Important! The lower thread should only be adjusted after the upper thread has been adjusted. In most cases, the cause of uneven stitching is in the upper knot.

It is also worth noting that even a slight turn to one side or the other can significantly change the tension of the lower thread. For example, to loosen the filament, you need to turn the screw to the left, to increase the tension. to the right.



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