Which stitch to choose when joining seams on knits?

Sewing seams on a knit fabric is surprisingly straight forward.

  • On a very basic machine a tiny zig-zag stitch is your best option. Adjust the length and width of your zig-zag stitch to very short and narrow. Do a test row and stretch the fabric to see if any cracking occurs.
  • If you have a stitch on your machine that looks like continuous lightening bolt - well, this stitch is also excellent for seams.
  • Another stitch on some sewing machines is the triple stretch stitch. This stitch was really intended to sew curved seams in woven that need a bit of ease and super strength. It's very strong and stretchy and great for swimwear. But beware - using this stitch on light fabrics will chew them up! Most knits don’t need the edges finished so one row to join your pieces is usually enough.
  • For joining seams the hands down winner is the four-thread overlocker. It is able to stretch without breaking thread and finishes seams all in one. Overlockers with three threads will need additional seaming done on a domestic machine.
    You can prevent seams from warping on an overlocker with a differential feed which can also do a faux flatlock for joint and hemming knits.

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