Knit Fabric Sewing Tips

We have lots of lovely new knit fabrics, so we thought it might be helpful to compile a list of knit fabric sewing tips. We’ve questioned and debated with all the experts at Croft mill to get their thoughts, and the good news is you don’t need a Serger! But without further ado, here are the Croft Mill team’s top knit tips:


  • First things first, knits do have a reputation for shrinkage! But you can easily get around this by pre-washing, drying and then ironing the cloth before you start. One thing to keep in mind is just to care for the cloth, as you would the clothes.
  • Sometimes you can’t just cut and sew (more’s the pity) you have to get technical; which can be scary if you’re a beginner. However there is a very simple way to work out the stretch of your chose knit fabric. Fold it perpendicular to the grain line, and place pins 4cm apart down the fabric you’re testing. Then hold the fabric firm at the edges and pull. See we told you it was easy! The final thing to do is too measure the difference in length from when it is stretched compared to the original length. Also, if it goes back to its original length, you know the fabric has excellent recovery.
  • When you go to cut the fabric, it is sometimes easier to use weights (or even tins of beans) to keep the fabric in place rather than pins.
  • Another thing to remember when cutting knits is that you want the stretch to go width ways around the body rather than length ways. After all, the occasional large lunch is probably more likely than an amazing growth spurt.
  • When it comes to stitching the seams of your knit fabric together, use a zig-zag stitch to allow for stretch. If you want something with a bit more strength, just make the zig-zag stitch slightly narrower (but not too narrow to remove all stretch!)
  • Knit fabric hardly ever frays so if you’re not in the mood to hem/don’t have time – don’t bother!
  • Once you’ve finished your garment, don’t be too worried if it looks wavy; once you put the garment on; chances are that the fabric will stretch to fit and in doing so, the wavy seams will straighten out.

We hope the tips help, and give you the confidence to try your hand with knits because they really are a great fabric. If you have any other tips you could share, please comment with them!


  • Reply
    22/09/2014 at 9:08 PM

    That is the handiest, best ‘sewing with stretch fabric’ that I’ve seen. Thank you!

    • Reply
      23/09/2014 at 8:14 AM

      Thanks for your comment! We aim to please!

  • Reply
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