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How to make a Seam with Knit Fabric and a Seam Finish with Knit Fabric

When working with knit fabrics, a serger is your best bet for a seam finish.  However, the following directions work fine and are what seamstresses have used for years before sergers were even available to the public.

For this example we are going to use the sleeve on the jacket that is shown above.  This jacket was made from soft velour knit fabric.  It was a little difficult to work with because it was a "slippery" fabric.  But all turned out well.  It is made well, looks attractive, and is very comfortable to wear.

First, pin your seam as you would normally.  Some "knit only" patterns have you do 1/4" seam allowances.  If it doesn't say to, then stitch your seam allowance as you normally would using a 5/8" seam allowance.

When stitching seams with knit fabric you must use a very small zigzag stitch and stretch your fabric a little bit as you sew.  If you look at the bottom of this photograph you can see the little zigzag stitch I used.

The purpose of this is because your fabric is knit, it stretches.  Once you have made the garment and wear it, your garment and seams will move and stretch along with your body movements.  This type of seam on a garment allows a "stretch" or "give" when you move around.  If you use a straight stitch, and you stretch your body, there is no "give" in your seams and your stitches in your seam will break. 

If you did not use a 1/4" seam allowance, then trim all of your seams to 1/4".

With the seam allowance together, zigzag stitch along the edge, stitching both seam allowances together, as shown in the photo.  This gives a nice clean look to the inside of your garment with no threads coming off, and it washes very nicely.


Working with Knit Fabrics

Machine Stitches, Seams, and Seam Finishes

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