Today's Crafty Gear 411 isn't really about "gear" per se, but about technique. Having the right info is just as good as the right tools in my book. I often hear people lamenting about sewing with knits. Not just from beginners, but also from those with years of sewing experience. And many people think that sewing knits means you need a serger, which is a nice item to have, but not required. Since I'm going to be sharing some new knit tutorials this week, I thought I'd share how I sew my knits. Frustration-free and not requiring a serger!
Even the most basic sewing machines have the ability to sew a few overlock or knit stitches. Consult your machine's manual for all your specific options, but this knit stitch is my personal favorite and found on most machines:
It produces a stitch that is especially flexible, so it works ideally for joining stretch fabrics - especially those with 4-way stretch. Just sew with a decent sized seam allowance (like the usual 5/8 inch used in most patterns) and then to trim down the seam allowance with shears when done. Just be careful not to clip the stitching!
I also find using nylon thread in the bobbin adds a little extra stretchability for seams that will be pulled a lot (like neck holes). The trick is to hand wind it so the pliable thread isn't fully stretched taut on the bobbin. It works like a charm!
For hemming knits my go-to stitch is really a go-to needle. Twin needles are just what they're called, a single shank that has two actual needles that stitch two rows of stitches parellel to one another. It's fast, precise and easy.
And like the aforementioned stitches, most basic sewing machines can accomodate a twin needle. Both my Janome HD1000 and Brother SE400 machines came with twin needles and have simple set-up to thread two spools. My Janome literally involves no extra steps other than looping the threads on opposite sides before threading the needles and no special stitch selection. It's that easy!
While using a basic straight stitch for two perfect rows of stitching on the top side,
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