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The Best Stitches for Stretch Fabric (+13 Tips for Sewing Knits 2023)

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Stretchy fabric is a little bit various to function with than woven fabric The truth that it is flexible methods that we require to pay undue attention to the types of stitches we can utilize.

What is the best sew for elastic fabric The best sew for elastic fabric is a zigzag stitch. We require a versatile stitch that can get stretched with the fabric There are different zigzag stitches according to the choice of fabric as well as it’s usage situations.

Allow’s check out what the best stitches we have available (on a lot of sewing equipments), and also when to use which type.

The basic zigzag stitch

When we are working with knit fabric the stitch will have to be adaptable. If we select a typical straight stitch that can not obtain extended, we will pop the thread apart when the fabric is extended.

In order to stay clear of that we utilize the zigzag stitch.

The beauty of the zigzag stitch is precisely that: The joint can stretch as well as obtain drawn and dragged without popping the string. That is why the zigzag stitches are recommended for fabric that can stretch

All sewing equipments have a basic zigzag stitch. So that’s your fallback if we can not discover something smarter that works with your particular sewing maker. However more recent versions have a great deal of stitches to select from.

Be certain to read your manual, and know what options you have. You might have some special stitches that are distinct to your version, that we are not covering in this blog article.

Before we dive right into the information concerning the zigzag stitch there are two important things to bear in mind:

  1. See to it you utilize the ideal presser foot! You require to alter it before you do any zig-zagging. If you use the incorrect one, you will certainly damage the needle as it will hammer into the metal of the foot. The proper foot will have an oblong hole to let the needle move left as well as right.
  2. When you are about to finish a seam, you can utilize the dial to relocate the needle slowly, in order to do a wonderful coating.

The default zigzag stitch is common 3,5 mm (0,14) large and also 1,4 mm (0,055) long. It’s a short stitch with a tool size.

This stitch will normally not recoup perfectly after being extended a great deal, as well as it will be very stretchable. So make certain you don’t pull and also drag the garment excessive, also though it’s easy to do.

The basic brief zigzag stitch is a good choice in many cases as a result of the flexibility.

The smaller zigzag stitches will certainly be stretchier. The longer stitches will certainly be the much less stretchy.

So make use of just the lengthy zigzag stitches for areas you do not require to stretch much. Do not use it for a neck, and also don’t use it for youngsters garments, as they have a tendency to tear and also draw a great deal. That may have the clothes look broken prematurely.

Allow’s have a look at some of the various other usual stitches for use with stretching fabric

A twin needle sew

As the name indicates this stitch utilizes two needles

A Twin needle has a standard shank on top and branches out right into two parallel needles. It’s a special needle you need to acquire in the ideal dimension. Right here’s an instance of what it resembles:

IDEA: Make sure to use a ballpoint twin needle (the one pictured above is not a ballpoint needle since we really did not have one laying around to make use of for the photo). A ballpoint needle is additionally referred to as Jersey needles. It’s a needle that is rounded on the tip and also not sharp like a normal needle. This attribute allows the needle to pass via the fabric by dividing the strings in the fabric rather of permeating it.

The bobbin thread will do a zigzag sew on the backside as well as both needles will certainly create 2 straight stitches on the front.

It’s a really elastic stitch (like a little zigzag stitch), and it’s a pretty one as well. Looks wonderful on the front with the 2 straight stitches

You will have to place a second spindle with string for the 2nd needle. You then lead the string via the very same route as your regular top string on the machine.

This kind of stitch is great for making a hem on the extended material. It looks far better than the zigzag stitch (which will only be visible on the back of the fabric with this stitch).

The three-way zigzag sew for extra stamina

There is likewise an additional prominent zigzag stitch, which is designed to supply extra strength This is especially helpful for products like exterior gear, kites, tents and other jobs that will be utilized in instead severe climate as well as tornados.

One more group of garments is underwear.

Undergarments is typically drawn up as well as down. The mix of elastane/ stretch and the fact that it just gets put on out faster than various other clothing makes it essential to choose a solid as well as extremely strong stitch.

Find out more below regarding the strong three-way zigzag stitch

This stitch is additionally great for kids clothes, as you might require that extra toughness for play.

Great tips for sewing stretchy/knit fabric

Let’s begin by dealing with the misunderstanding that you require a serger to collaborate with knit materials. You don’t need a server to work with weaved fabrics. It’s excellent to have it, and I would always select the serger for sewing edges on stretchy fabric, however you do not need to.

If you don’t recognize what a server is, right here’s an example.

We have a web server to the left and also a regular sewing machine to the right:

serger versus sewing machine

It’s an expensive maker for lots of people, and also you can absolutely utilize your sewing maker to sew tasks with stretchy fabric It simply takes a bit even more time, and if you really feel the need gradually you can constantly make the financial investment later on.

Let’s consider some of the tips and also tricks that can assist you to get an excellent result when you utilize your basic sewing device to do projects with knit fabric

  1. Do not stretch the fabric while sewing The fabric demands to be “loose” as well as not tightened while you sew.
  2. Laundry the fabric before you begin sewing This is constantly a great suggestion, to ensure the fabric will certainly not diminish way too much. Specifically, when collaborating with flexible fabric
  3. Have enough space for cutting and also determining. See to it the fabric does not turn over the edge of the table, to avoid it from stretching. Or else, it will be more challenging to make precise measuring as well as cutting.
  4. Use a ballpoint needle (described previously in this article)
  5. Know your stitches Modern sewing makers frequently have a ton of stitches This fundamental model from Brother, for example, has more than 100 different stitches to pick from! So there are several stitches below designed for extended fabric
  6. Make certain the foot is not pushing also hard on stretch fabric It may result in the fabric being extended while sewing which is bad. You will typically need to loosen the foot a bit compared to sewing woven fabric
  7. If you go with the twin needle stitch, make sure to double the quantity of access string. That type of stitch will require that to maintain every little thing in the best order.

Let’s round off with a take a look at the various sorts of knit/stretchy fabric

Different types of elastic fabric

There are quite a great deal of various stretchy materials.

Some are just elastic throughout flat (called 2-way stretching) and other kinds will certainly also be a stretchable up and down (called 4-way stretching). So relying on what you such as and also which kind of garment you desire, there are different fabrics for that. Knit fabric will normally stretch both ways.

Allow’s have a look at what we’ve got.

Jersey Jersey is thin as well as light-weight material, despite the fact that the name could have you thinking about cows. You possibly understand jacket from your t-shirts that are stretchy. It is also usually used for gowns as well as other upper-body clothes and also will generally have the ability to stretch around 30%.

Lycra as well as spandex (cotton) Great for tee shirts too. A little bit thicker as well as extremely smooth externally. These sorts of fabric will usually stretch 30-50 % and be a little less comfortable to wear.

Double knit Medium weight and fantastic for leggings. It does not roll as much and is much easier to work with. Great material to select for your initial job with stretchy fabric

Care: There are a lot of different high qualities around for every single sort of elastic fabric, so see to it to feel the fabric before you get it. Or else, ensure you can return it if the high quality or stretch is not as promoted.


A lot of times you will certainly be fine using the typical zigzag sew you will certainly find on any sewing equipment. It will certainly get the job done and also leave you with an excellent and extremely stretchy result that will work well with the fabric

If you want a little additional strength sturdiness you can go for the triple stitch zigzag. It’s simply stronger and a terrific suit for youngsters clothing as well as other tasks where you need a little added strength.

For making hems you can utilize a server (if you have one) or you can make use of a twin needle to make a lovely coating on the front as well as a great zigzag on the back of the fabric

Satisfied sewing, we wish you like the short article and also found out a thing or two!

Stitches for stretchy fabric like jersey

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.