Lazy Tips for Sewing Knits

If there’s one thing I know about sewing, it’s about whipping up some simple knit tops, skirts and dresses.

Lazy Tips for Sewing Knits: aka. The Basics

Lazy Tips for Fixing Knits: Tweaking knits to be better once you are done! 

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12 thoughts on “Lazy Tips for Sewing Knits

  1. Yay! I found you! I recognized you the other day and told you I was about to start the lady skater dress.I am going to read all your tips for sewing knits. I must admit the printed pattern thing has slowed me down. It is still sitting on the kitchen table. I will let you know how it goes.


    1. Hi Kathy! I’m so glad you got in touch! I realised after we chatted the other day that I should have told you about the KW/Guelph sewing group we have on Facebook. It’s here: (Called the Grand River Sewcialists, if that link doesn’t work!) We get together for coffee and a chat about sewing once a month or so. Hope you can join us sometime! 🙂


  2. Hi Gilligan,
    Thanks you for all the awesome tips. I also had a question I thought maybe you could help me with. Knitted fabrics and fabrics with stretch. Are you supposed to handle these differently? I get that the knit won’t frey, where the women will. But other than that, do you see a big difference in working with them?


  3. Gillian,
    I’ve been following your blog for a couple of years and have learned a lot. Thanks so much for all your help and inspiration. I have a question that keeps coming up and I can’t find an answer anywhere on the internet. It has to do with knits, so I thought you might be able to help me. I’ve recently started to sew with double-brushed poly and love the softness and wicking properties. But I can’t find a stretch stitch that is as stretchy as the dbp fabric that looks good enough for topstitching hems. Most of the stitches that are recommended online are not stretchy enough (zig-zag, straight stretch). I found one stitch that’s stretchy enough and works for seams, but gives a messy puckered look to hems. What am I doing wrong? Any ideas?


    1. Ooh, that’s a tough one! I use my coverstitch for hems, so I can’t speak from experience… but here’s a few things you could try?
      – make your zigzag width wider, so there is more stretch. You could try a longer stitch too.
      – choose patterns that let you finish the hem with a folded band, so there isn’t any exposed stitching
      – try stabilising your hem as you sew by putting a piece of tissue paper or tear-away stabiliser under the hem as you sew, which might help with the puckery look
      -try a double needle? I hate them, but some people love them!
      -leave hems raw on drapey tops – it shouldn’t fray or roll

      And… if all else fails, buy a coverstitch???
      Good luck! Let me know if any of that works!


      1. Gillian,
        What a fast response! Thank you!

        I have tried some of those ideas. I’m wearing an unhemmed t-shirt with folded band neck right now, in fact. But some of them are new and I will definitely give a try.


  4. Gillian- you are a brilliant !! I tried your method of determining the knit strip length for a knit neckband. I have used the mathematical measurement sine late 70’s. Your method is so easy. No more dragging my feet on cutting the strip.


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