How to Sew with Sweater Knits

This week we debuted our Women's Cowl Neck Poncho, Girl's Cowl Neck Poncho pattern and our Mommy and Me BUNDLE which includes BOTH the Women and Girl's Poncho Patterns!! Wow! You all are rocking this one!! I cannot wait to see what you make!! Since this is finally sweater weather, I wanted to share some tips on how to sew with sweater knits.



Don't forget to grab your patterns while they are ON SALE HERE through tomorrow!

1. How to care for your sweater knit: Always hand wash your sweater knits in cold water, squeeze to rinse and lay flat to air dry. No matter how badly you want to put it into your dryer, fight the urge! Even if you put in your sweater knit for cool dry, this can damage your fabric easily. The less friction you apply to your sweater knit, the longer it will last. 

Photo from All Free

2. When sewing, use a walking foot. This allows the fabric to glide under the presser foot so you do not have to pull your fabric through. Remember, pulling means distorting the size and shape of your fabric. Let it glide through easily. 


3. Choose a ballpoint needle. A ballpoint needle has a rounded tip on the needle. This allows the needle to separate the fibers, instead of pierce the fibers, each time the needle touches it.




4. Use a stretch stitch or serger. Since sweater knit fabrics have a good bit of stretch to them, you want your stitch to match the type of fabric. You need your stitches to stretch while you pull it over your head or push your arms through the armholes. This calls for a stretch stitch, or zig-zag stitch. If you used a straight stitch the stitches would pull and break since they would only be met with resistance. 

5. Stabilize shoulder seams before sewing. Since your shoulder seams will have to repetitively stretch and recover, stabilizing your seams will help with this. Simply sew on your choice of stabilization using a 5/8 inch seam allowance on the wrong side of the fabric with a zig-zag stitch. You do not want to sew your stabilizer in the shoulder seam, as it would make it too bulky. Types of stabilizers: stay tape, knit interfacing, twill tape, clear elastic or even a thin piece of ribbon strip. Then, place your shoulders right sides together and sew them together using your seam allowance as the pattern states. 

Photo from Tilly and The Buttons


6. Always keep a few fabric scraps to test your sewing machine settings. Use a fabric strip of your knit or sweater knit and test out various stitch lengths and stitch widths for your zig-zag stitches. The best setting will keep your fabric laying flat and will not have puckers or waves. 

7. When using a twin needle for hemming, apply glue stick to your folded and ironed hem before sewing. This will keep your fabric in place while you sew the hem and is washable. 

A twin needle allows for a double needle straight stitch to be visible on top, but uses a stretch stitch on the bottom of the fabric, which allows for stretch when worn. 

Photo from Riley Blake. 


8. Do not stretch the fabric as you sew. Do not pull the fabric through the presser foot or do not pull the fabric towards you. This will distort your fabric and the shape of the finished garment. Use a serger or a walking foot instead. 


9. For thicker knits like ponte or scuba use a reinforced straight stitch. 

Photo from Seamwork


10. Knits should be hemmed using a single fold. You can use a zig-zag stitch, serger, win needle, overlocker, scallops or more!

Photo from Melly Sews

 Do you have any other tips you can recommend?

Hapy Sewing!
Jenny Hall



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