How to sew with knit fabric

Knit/jersey fabric has a really tough reputation in the sewing world and for any newbie sewist can be a bit off-putting and scary.
However with a few tips sewing with knits can be just as easy, if not easier than sewing a woven fabric. Especially as knits don’t fray so there’s no need to finish seam allowances.

1. Start with ponte/interlock/thick jersey fabric.
Online this can be really tough to figure out but the fabrics above are really stable and don’t flop about much. They are still stretchy but don’t have as much movement.
I have had great success with eBay for knits and also Minerva Craft. Make sure you prewash your fabric first before using as it tends to shrink more than wovens.

2. Use wonder tape
If there’s one product that has really earned it’s name, it’s wonder tape! This fab little tape washes away but you use to to keep hems in place whilst sewing so that you don’t have to pull or move the fabric much.

3. When sewing the fabric don’t stretch it!
By this I mean do not move it at all, let the machine move the fabric through the dogs otherwise you’ll end up with wavy hems.

4.  Use a ballpoint needle
I was really surprised how much difference the type of needle you use affects your sewing, I especially found this when quilting and used a quilting needle which made a massive difference with no skipped stitches! Refer to your machine guide for needle size but for a ponte/thick jersey I used 90/10 ballpoint (not stretch) needles.

5. Use decent quality thread
I bought a box of thread from Aldi yonks ago and it’s great for colour matching. I’ve never had any problems with sewing with it until recently, halfway through my grey Marianne dress the lower bobbin starting scrunching all the thread together. Once I switched to Gutemann I had no problems! Also Minerva will match your thread to your fabric in their online checkout. What a service!

Try a beginner pattern, some cheap fabric and have fun! Sewing with jersey fabric can be so easy and rewarding.


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