How To Use A Serger To Sew Knits

Stitch settings and needle choice make all the difference when sewing with knits. It creates a single line stitch similar to the sewing machine.

Perfect coverstitch tutorial Sewing machines best

If you don’t have a serger, try a “double zigzag” approach.


How to use a serger to sew knits. With woolly nylon in loopers, narrow stitch can seam very stretchy knits. Preshrink interfacing as you have preshrunk the knit fabric. If you want additional help sewing with knit fabrics, make sure to also check out my roundup of tips and video tutorials in this blog post.

There are two kinds of sewing machine needles you should use with knit fabric. This means that when you sew two pieces of knit fabric together with the serger, both pieces will have to lay on top of one another on the left side of the needle. How to sew seams on knits ?

Sew the seams with a narrow zigzag, then sew a wider zigzag down the middle of the seam allowance. Is a serger a machine you must have to sew knits? Both directions of the fabric will behave differently and may require slightly different settings.

Using a traditional machine gives you more control with slippery fabrics, especially on details like hems and neckbands. Use ballpoint pins to avoid damaging knit fabric while cutting and sewing. It joins 2+ pieces of fabric together to create a seam.

Test stitches with the stretch of the fabric and against it. Makes nice edge in any width with deocrative thread in one or both loopers. This is the main stitch you buy a serger for.

Is it a fantastic complement to sewing and are you going to love it if you sew a lot of knits? Knits don’t fray like wovens, but the stretchy nature of a serger stitch makes it a great pair for knits. Schmetz ballpoint needles in various sizes.

If you have a serger, it will automatically finish the raw edges as you sew. For this, go slowly so that you do not take too many stitches. Use on knits and some stretch fabrics.

Overlock seam sewn with serger. You then use your sewing machine or coverstitch machine to hem and topstitch. But all of your main construction seams are done exclusively by your serger.

With knits, you can use it to sew your seams without having to sew the seam first. The serger gives a nice stretchy stitch and finishes the fabric edges in one go. You can use regular serger thread, wooly nylon thread, or (my favorite) stretch thread.

Basically, every seam that keeps all of your pattern pieces attached to each other. Cut out your pattern pieces with extra seam allowance. They don't distort the fabric, the needle doesn't skip stitches, and the loopy stitches allow knits to stretch a bit without breaking.

Your clothes are more durable and should not fray. A ballpoint needle is the first step to sewing knits on your machine. Jersey or ball point needle*:

Unlike other knit fabric, most sweater knits will fray. However, most sergers will have powerful knives to trim the frayed edges, so any fabric that’s leftover on the right side of the needle will be cut off. Trim close to the wide zigzag and press the seam allowance to one side.

Easy, complete and time saver! So when you’re sewing knit fabrics, your overlocked seam won’t break when stretched. Always reserve a few scraps to test your needle and machine settings.

If you do not have a serger, you can use your conventional machine for every step of the process. Suitable seam or edge finish for sheers in narrow width. For more details on what these particular stitches look like and best applications, you can check out my past post on ways to sew knits without a serger.

You can also use the self fabric as interfacing if the fabric has good stretch. Seams on knits and wovens. The best way to sew seams on knits is using a serger.

Use inside needle position for lightweight fabrics, outside needle position for firmer fabrics. After that, lift the foot up once you have created enough chain and then pivot the fabric in the line with the edge. I have a blog post here about how to sew knits without a serger.

If you own a serger then this is the ideal way to sew with knits. Here are the one i use: Smaller needles go with lighter weight fabrics and bigger needles go with heavier weight fabrics.

The medium ball point does not damage or break knit fibers. Always test on scraps how much elastic are your stitches, stretching the knit on its stretchiest direction, and see if the seam has the same stretch of your fabric. Each needle comes in different sizes which corresponds with the weight of your fabric:

An overlock stitch can stretch! You can see from the illustration above that the ballpoint needle is rounded instead of sharp and it is designed to push the thread around the knitting of the fabric, instead of piercing it. The use of a flatlock stitch is often on athletic fabrics where the seams are laid flat and stitching overtop joining the two fabrics together.

Therefore, using this stitch is much easier to sew with a sewing machine than threading a serger and stitching. After reaching the first corner, you need to take one or two stitches off the edge just to create enough chain to pivot the fabric. This is the method i use to sew my knit clothing, purely because it’s quick and easy.

You need to use the lightest weight fusible. Many people would not give up their serger or overlock machine when they are sewing knits and stretchy fabric. Choose the size of the ballpoint needle according to the weight of the knit you are sewing, using a lighter weight needle like a size 65/9 or 70/10 for lighter weight knits, an 80/12 for moderate weight knits, etc.

Unfortunately, most machines do not come with one. There are just a few tips to keep in mind, when sewing knits with your favorite sewing machine. You can sew knits with a sewing machine, but sergers give a much better finish.

All you need to know to better use your serger! For wovens, sergers make a nice clean edge that won’t fray.

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