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Sewing with Knits 101

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Hi, Sara here again! Today I’ll be sharing with you a few tips on how to sew with knits!

On my next post I will be sharing a sewing project with knits, perfect for those who have never sewn with knits before. So, I thought we would better start with the tips first before we tackle the sewing project.


These tips for sewing with knits are good for sewing garments and also apply for t-shirt quilts.

Types of Knits


There are several different types of knits available. Your choice depends on what you’re making, regarding garment construction, since there are lightweight knits, medium-heavy knits, knits with or without stretch, some are more suitable for tops and other for bottoms.

Here are a few types of knits you can find:

  • Jersey knits, which is the most common for tees
  • Double knits, like interlock and ponti
  • French terry
  • Sweatshirt knits, like sweatshirt fleece
  • Tricot knits, which include lots of different knits used for swimwear and activewear
  • etc.

Selecting a Stitch


When sewing a lot with knits a serger is a must have because it makes it easier and quicker. But if you don’t owe one don’t worry, you can sew with knits with a regular sewing machine!

When sewing with knits it is crucial to select a suitable stitch otherwise the seams might tear easily with wear… Most sewing machines nowadays have a good selection of knit stitches so take a look at your sewing machine instructions and learn which ones you have available. The most common are:

  • a double straight stitch,
  • a triple zig zag stitch,
  • an overlock stitch (either a “mock” one or a true one).

If your sewing machine doesn’t have any knit stitches you can use a regular zig zag stitch, no worries. A regular straight stitch is not recommended since the stitches break easily with wear.

Selecting Thread

Cotton thread breaks easily on knit garments so make sure to use a 100% polyester thread.

Selecting a Needle

There are specific needles to use when sewing with knits: jersey/ ball point or stretch needles.

The tip of the needle is round (although it doesn’t look like it because it is still sharp) so it doesn’t harm the knit structure.


These tips are the 101 of sewing with knits. If you have this in mind we will be good. There are a few important things to have in mind while sewing but I will talk about them on the next post.

Stay tuned for a simple knit garment project!

sara contrib

1 Comment

  1. Sherry Schmidt

    Hi Sara,
    My name is Sherry. I am so exited that I found such a sewing site as yours. I am not young! Grandmother of 9 and Great of 4! How ever just now starting to pick up on an hobby.
    I have been sewing a little, made errors, but my sister said that is what makes an item special for my niece, who just adopted a baby girl. So I m looking for A LOT of guidance!

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