Cutting Knit Fabric and Fiskar Giveaway // Stretch Yourself

This series is sponsored by Baby Lock. For over 40 years,  Babylock has been dedicated to the love of sewing by creating machines for sewing, embroidery, quilting and serging – all with ease-of-use, high quality and a touch of elegance.

stretch-yourself-logoTo begin our week of knit sewing tutorials, Miranda is gonna tell you everything you ever wanted to know about knit fabric and selection, and round here I’m going to show you how to cut knit fabric properly. Of all the steps involved in garment making, I’ll admit that cutting is my least favorite. It just isn’t as fun as fabric selection and design, nor is it as rewarding as the actual sewing.  Here are some key steps to cutting knits that are quick, easy and accurate, so you can move on to the fun part!

Prep the fabric:

  • Pre-wash it! It saves you from heartache and misery later! Just do it!
  • Find the grainline. Square up your fabric by folding it in half lengthwise (or perpendicularly  to the greatest degree of stretch), and then holding each all four corners separately i.e. your palm, pinky and ring finger hold one side, and your thumb, index and pointer hold the other. Gently shift the front and back from side to side until you have no diagonal pulling or distortion. It should be smooth and straight.  The fabric is now ON grain.



mad mim_stretch yourself_cutting knit fabric06

Another way to accomplish this—especially if you don’t want to fold the fabric in half down the middle (to minimize waste), is to eyeball about where you’ll need to fold, and then carefully place a long ruler down (Fiskar’s 3X16 is perfect) so that it’s exactly parallel to the rows created by the knits. While holding you’re ruler in place, fold the fabric over it, and then carefully slide it out.

Prep  the pattern:

mad mim_stretch yourself_cutting knit fabric02a

  • Determine size based on your measurements, and cut pattern out  (you may want to trace the pattern onto tracing paper first, so that you may use again in a different size–I’m a tracer! Sunni has a great post about tracing patterns, fyi.) If you do trace, be sure to clearly mark the pattern name, size, pattern piece and cutting instructions.
  • Iron on a low, dry heat if needed.
  • Determine whether or not you need to add a seam allowance (usually not necessary, but for instance, Ottobre patterns require you to add your own SA.  It will probably be indicated in the cutting instructions).
  • Reference the cutting layout to maximize your yardage.

Prep  the surface/tools, you’ll need:

mad mim_stretch yourself_cutting knit fabric03

  • A good hard surface like a dining room table, and make sure that none of your fabric hangs off the table as it will distort the fabric and prevent accurate cutting.
  • A good self-healing mat and sharp rotary blade cutters (my preferred method by FAR, it’s so fast!)
  • OR a sharp pair of dressmaker’s shears and pins.
  • Pattern weights or equivalent . I use large (1 ¾”) metal washers, but you can also use cans of tuna, butter knives, or baby food jars. Use what you have!

mad mim_stretch yourself_cutting knit fabric05

  • Marking tools i.e. water soluble pen, tailor’s chalk, your kid’s washable markers (never actually tried that one), or my favorite—a sliver of soap.


mad mim_stretch yourself_cutting knit fabric01

  • Arrange your pattern carefully on your fabric according to instructions, and then either set pattern weights, or pin securely.

mad mim_stretch yourself_cutting knit fabric04

  •  Regardless of whether you are using a rotary blade or shears, you need to position yourself correctly.  You want your left hand stabilizing the fabric, and your right hand positioned upright  with your cutting tool (no angles). Reverse if left-handed.   If you are using scissors then use long even snips, and if you’re using a rotary blade then go slowly, and use scissors for corners.  ALWAYS close your blade when not in use, and ALWAYS keep your cutting tools far away from children.
  • Move yourself around your cutting, (or if using a cutting mat, you can rotate it) but never move the fabric once you start cutting.
  • Transfer all notches and markings onto wrong side of fabric. For notches, making a small snip is sufficient.
  • Finally, I like to fold my pieces together with their patterns, just in case I need to check or re-mark anything before sewing.

Now you’re ready to construct!

**We are so excited today to offer a giveaway from Fiskars–the world’s #1 scissors brand! They are generously offering one lucky sewist a rotary cutter starter’s set, which includes an 18″ X 24″ cutting mat, a 45 mm rotary cutter, and a 6″ X 24″ acrylic ruler, three sewing tools I couldn’t live one day without! Like I mentioned above, cutting knit fabric is so much easier and faster with a rotary cutter and mat, and if you don’t have or have never tried these tools yet, they have the power to change your sewing life completely. To enter, simply leave a comment in this post! You can enter until next Sunday (1/13/2013) at 6:00 pm MST, when we’ll draw a winner to announce on Monday. NOW CLOSED**

Be sure to check out the counter-part tutorial for today knit fabric and selection over at Miranda’s blog, it’s an amazingly informative and comprehensive post, and one that I will definitely be referencing in the future! 

More Stretch Yourself:

Making a Pattern from a Tee Shirt at OLM // Drafting a Tee Pattern from Measurements at MM

Basic Tee Shirt Construction at OLM // Finishing Details for Knit Fabric at MM

Tee Shirt Dress Variation at OLM // Peplum Tee Variation at MM

Drafting and Sewing Leggings at OLM // Drafting and Sewing a Maxi Skirt at MM

Serger and Coverstitch Techniques at OLM // Baby Lock Diana Threading and Coverstitch at MM




  1. Posted January 7, 2013 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    I have never heard of getting knit fabric on grain by shifting it back and forth like that. It would have come in handy yesterday when I was working with a dodgy tissue thin knit.;) I’ll have to give it a try next time!

  2. Kathryn
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    I’ve just started sewing with knits and would welcome all of those tools into my arsenal!

  3. Christy G
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    This is amazing! I could use new tools!

  4. Posted January 7, 2013 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Some great tips! Until now I’ve been too scared to sew knits but I should get over that…. :)

  5. Mary
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Very helpful post- I would love some new cutting supplies from Fiskars!

  6. Elise
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Very cool, thankyou for posting! And I would love to win some cutting tools :)

  7. Heather
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I would love a rotary cutter’s set, I’ve wanted one forever!

  8. Kristie
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I have one of their rotary cutters and I love it. And I am also forever misplacing it. This would be awesome to win!
    And thanks for the tips. Knits are not my favorite to sew with, as my machine hates them. Hopefully some day I will get brave and get over it. :)

  9. Laura
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    These are wonderful tips! I haven’t sewn much with knit fabrics in the past, and I’m excited for this series! Thanks for the chance to win the tools!

  10. Ricki
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Yay! Knits demystified! I have just been trial and error-ing my way through some rather sloppy looking garments. Thank you!

  11. Jen
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I am sooo excited about this whole knit sew-a-thon. I’ve been completely intimidated by sewing with knits, but this post has me all revved up. Keep ’em coming! Thank you!

  12. LindaC
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    This is a great tutorial and tips. I especially love your little demo video of how to find the grain. I am going to link to this page every time I see anyone ask a question about how to cut knits or find the grainline on their knit fabric. Thanks.

  13. june lovell
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    thanks for the great tutorial–straightening the grain is my bete

  14. Gwenan
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    That grain tip is great! I’d love to know if you have any tips for cutting coarser knits that might unravel easily… I’m scared to cut into this: – do I need to stabilise it first somehow? (I’d also love to win those tools…)

    • Posted January 7, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      That’s a great question, and I can think of a couple of things I might try. I just read about a technique where you cut freezer paper templates from your pattern pieces (MINUS the seam allowance), and then carefully iron the paper shiny side down to the wrong side, and sew just outside of it before gently removing. You don’t have to cut the entire piece, but especially use it around the sleeve caps and armholes. Also make sure you garment is very basic with little seaming, and stick to only vertical seams, as sweater knits stretch horizontally. Another idea would be to add soft knit stablizing tape to your seam allowances directly after cutting. This would make construction easier, and prevent the fraying. Stablize your horizontal seams like the shoulders with twill tape for sure. It’s really beautiful fabric, Gwenan, hope that helps!

      • Gwenan
        Posted January 8, 2013 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        That’s so helpful, thanks! I was wondering if I could somehow sew around the shape before cutting to stabilise it, but the freezer paper idea sounds much easier and more effective. I didn’t know there was such a thing as knit stabilizing tape either… Thanks!

  15. Kimeran
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Love your tips and sewing on knit. So fast!

  16. HollySharp
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    what a great series and a much needed giveaway! THANKS!

  17. Dianne Lavender
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I love sewing knits on my Babylock evolve serger. So easy and fun!

    • Posted January 7, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Oh man, you have an Evolve?! Those are the absolute bees knees when it comes to sewing knits, how fun for you!!

  18. Carla c
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I can’t wait to improve my sewing skills!

  19. Posted January 7, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Hey, I can always use a new pair of scissors and a cutting board. With many seamstresses at my house it would be quite helpful. I just love sewing with knits.

  20. Mary M
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    This is so helpful. Thank-you! New tools would be so nice.

  21. Susanne
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I’ve bought a bunch of knit fabric recently but have been a little intimidated to cut into them. I need to suck it up and go for it, thanks for the tips!

  22. Jillishness
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Love the tips! I’ve been sewing lots of rayon lycra, but I’ve had issues with neckline stretch. Any suggestions on how to stabilize a neckline on really lightweight knit? (I use a babylock evolve, and fold over then coverstitch).

    • Posted January 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Yes! And if you can just sit tight, I’ll be covering every single finishing tip I know (and then some) on Wednesday! Stay tuned!

  23. Dagrun Svensson
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I’d love thouse tools! Great tips by the way:-)

  24. Kaydee
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for doing this seris! I can’t wait to read all of your and Miranda’s posts!

  25. Posted January 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Excellent use of a GIF, ha ha. :)

  26. Meg
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I am so excited for this series. Made a goal this year to learn to sew with knits! Thanks so much for the great info.

  27. Erin
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Me again! I am excited to read about this series. I am one who is still intimidated by sewing with knits…slippage…twistage…stretchage…turns into not-awesome-age. I’ll be looking to be converted here. :)

  28. Posted January 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Standing ovation on this one! Great job Mim! Really clear and thorough. Too many times I just want to dive right into cutting the fabric, but this makes me want to prep everything first…I’m just so dang impatient and always on some kind of sewing time crunch 😉

  29. Posted January 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I would LOVE a rotary cutter and mat. I’ve always wanted one but the price of the mats has put me off buying one for years. Awesome giveaway!

  30. Posted January 7, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Love this! I wear knits most of the time, so why shouldn’t I sew my own. Can’t wait for the rest of the series. :)

  31. Faye J
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    This is a great tutorial and at such a great time! I belong to a great sewing group of 15 ladies and we are starting a serger class this month and going to learn about kits….You rock for sharing this! I would love to have a new rotary cutter to share with the group!

  32. Kristin L
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    These are fabulous tips! I’m just learning to sew and of course the first thing I want to try is a knit, but I’m a little intimidated! I’ll be sure to follow your and Miranda’s blogs for more great suggestions on knit fabrics this week!

  33. Ashley Jeanne
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    I was just getting ready to buy the mat and rotary cutter after reading the this post when I came to the drawing. So count me in!

  34. Linda
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Another thanks for this great tutorial, particularly finding the grain and trueing the fabric. Would love to add some fiskars tools to my arsenal :)

  35. Rusty
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Great info on prepping knits, never shifted my fabric until now!

  36. Kristi Dennis
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    I have tried to sew with knits before but did not have much luck. I am hoping that this informational series will help me a lot. It is so informative already and it has just started. Thank you.

  37. Pat S
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always wanted to learn to sew knits. Thanks for the great information!

  38. Barbara
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tutorial and Fiskars for the giveaway! Hope to win. My cutting mat has curled and is hard to use.

  39. Posted January 7, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for all the wonderful information! :) This novice sewing is trying to soak up as much as she can online and your blog is very helpful.

  40. Posted January 7, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Great post! Cutting knits is always tricky, and new scissors/rotary cutters/blades are always welcome, so thanks for the giveaway too!

  41. Posted January 7, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Amazing giveaway!! Gah soo hoping I win this one.

  42. Anouk
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    I am really looking forward to this series. I have made quite a few garments with knits but have always used basic, medium weight, medium stretch knits. I have just started using knits with lycra\elastane and really slinky, stretchy knits. I am finding them a little more challenging but I am getting there slowly. The more I sew with them the better I get.

  43. mom of many
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    I just bought a bunk of knit on sale and can’t wait to start sewing. Thanks for the great tips.

  44. Teresa
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much for doing this series! I would love to be entered into the drawing.

  45. Aly S
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    I’ve not yet gotten up the nerve to try sewing with knits, but I’m pretty excited to see how this week of tutorials progresses. Maybe this will be the year for knits and me!

  46. Debora
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I am just returning to sewing after a long absence. Sewing knits are new to me! Thank you for the two great tuts! I have never used a rotary cutter for patterns – just crafting. A new adventure awaits!

  47. Posted January 8, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Great series! I’m a new follower converted from One Little Minute.

  48. Rina
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Love the tip on shaking the fabric to get the straight of grain……so easy now.

  49. Narelle
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the post! Would love to be entered for the giveaway also…recently bought a bunch of knits!

  50. Martha Patterson
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Love the tips. No matter how long you have been sewing you are always looking for new tips to help with your sewing. I have several Fiskars tools and love each one of them. Use them every time I cut a new pattern.

  51. Chris
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I always want to skip the first stage, prewashing the fabric. I am always in a hurry to get the project done. I have learned some new tips from you and am looking forward to sewing a new project soon.

  52. Steffanie Bowen
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the refresher. I’ve just started sewing again after a long absence and I need all the help I can get!

  53. Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Maybe this prize and your instructions will motivate me to get my server out of its box!

  54. Chrissie
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I, too, like the grain tip, Mim. I’m a novice sewer with all of two projects under my belt, one a garment and the other a project bag with zipper. I’m having such trouble with the rotary cutter. It seems to have a mind of its own! I’ll position it aside my ruler and begin to cut and then the thing just hares off to the right and I’ve cut my fabric in the space where the pattern lies. I’m determined to keep practicing, tho’.

  55. Jayne Castillanes
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    The information on knit fabrics was so informative! I received a sewing machine last year and a Babylock serger for Christmas so I am trying to learn as much and as fast as I can. Love this blog.

  56. Anna
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I would just love to have a rotary cutter and mat!

  57. OBcean
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I have a love/hate relationship with knits. Love to sew and wear them! Hate trying to find the straight grain. Your tutorial, especially the tips for establishing grain, is great! Thank you and I look forward to continuing the series.

  58. Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I had never heard of the sliver of soap idea. Thanks so much for the tip!

  59. Elaine Stevens
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I will be taking my first sewing class in a few weeks! This information is so helpful. Thanks, Elaine

  60. Posted January 8, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    you don’t know how excited I am about this series! You ladies are KILLING IT.

  61. Mariann R.
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Love your tips, Thanks for posting. I love tips that make sewing go easily.

  62. Posted January 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    So that’s how it’s done. My skills have deteriorated. Thanks for the tips!

  63. Patti Christman
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I have sewn with knits since the 70’s (when it was all the rage) and never heard of setting the grain that way. Wow, huge help! Any hints on cutting out slippery fabrics?

  64. Posted January 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    I love sewing with knits! I just started last year and am completely hooked. I am always looking for more tips and tricks, so thanks!

  65. Elizabeth Voight
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Very neat idea. Thanks for the tips

  66. Becca
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Oh man, I would LOVE to win this giveaway!

  67. Posted January 8, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I clicked thru from Miranda’s blog, I’m so excited to follow along with this series!

  68. Lu
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. I want to try and sew a little girls dress with knit and this will help me get started. I will be sure and bookmark this.
    Thank you for the chance at some great prizes.

  69. Debbie
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Love the grain line tip! Thank you!

  70. Camisgirl4
    Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never thought of shifting the fabric for the grain line.

  71. benita
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    I live so far away, but I would like to try :))

  72. Bella
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    I’m new to sewing and have only undertaken small projects so far! But this is such a lovely giveaway with some much needed items that could be added to my sewing arsenal! Lovely tips and tricks! Thank you for an informative and interesting post!

    Take care,


  73. Posted January 9, 2013 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Thank you for compiling all the facets to be successfuly with working with knits. I’m looking forward to success!
    Peggy Ellis

  74. Lisa G
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I’m new to sewing. As in I’ve watched my dad do it a few times. My great grandmother owned a semstress shop during the depression. A great aunt, both grandmothers and several cousins sew and I’d like to learn, too. I love the smart clothes Sally Fields wore as Gidget. Would love to be able to recreate them. The Fiskars starter set would definately help!

  75. Emily C
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Great tutorial. Just starting pieced quilting, could really use a good set of tools. Thanks for the giveaway.

  76. Tishh Hanson
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I’m LOVING this series! I was given a pile of jersey knit and, having never sewed with it before, really needed this! Thanks for all your hard work putting it together!

  77. Posted January 9, 2013 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Thank you thank you thank you! Love knits, but am properly scared of them! I’m pretty sure you should write a book with all of this info! What a great series!

  78. Posted January 9, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the information. Cutting is not my favorite part either.

  79. Tammy Hempel
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I have used a rotary cutter before and I agree they are GREAT!! I am just recently getting interested in working with knit fabrics. My idea of knits are the old fashioned double knit that is heavy and thick, itchy you know the type. I have come to realize that this is not the case any longer. Thank you for the giveaway.

  80. Honora
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    I was just about to head out to the fabric store in hopes of finding a knit to make a skirt. I’m just a beginner, so I’m glad I stopped by first!

  81. Dora
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Fiskars products are the best! Nice tutorial also.

  82. Myriam
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Great stuff !
    I just started sewing so these tools would be a great help. :)

  83. Emily
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Enjoying the series very much

  84. Ingrid
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Part common sense, part skill – thanks for making it all so clear! My old Fiskars could use a break…

  85. Katie M
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Well as you know, I’m really only a beginning sewer but thought I would enter this competition. Those tools would be handy to have :)

  86. Cheryl
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this tutorial. I would love to have new Fiskers tools. Thanks for the opportunity. Cheryl in San Diego

  87. Karey
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    That’s alot of good information in your article!! Thank you!

  88. Linda
    Posted January 9, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Great post and very timely for me. I just found some vintage knit in a beautiful coral color. I’d love to have those tools to get started on this project. Thanks for the chance to win.

  89. Posted January 9, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this! I never thought about using soap to mark the fabric, that’s a neat idea. Lots of good info here, pinning this for future reference. :)

  90. Michelle H.
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the informative tutorial…knits always spook me. Adding a quality rotary cutter to my sewing arsenal would help immensely I’m sure.

  91. Posted January 10, 2013 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    You have had some excellently thorough tips on this posts. Good work, ladies!!

  92. Deb C
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I don’t sew often with knits because I didn’t know how to handle them properly. This tutorial has been great for me.

  93. Katie
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Thank-you for making knits not so scary! Winning the Fiskars goodies would be great.

  94. Amy
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for all the great tips! I’m new to knits and you have helped so much. So would the Fiskers stuff. 😉

  95. Katy
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for this series! I just started to learn how to sew and love knits but have been frustrated with my results. Now I know where to turn next time I have questions!

  96. Maren
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    You and Miranda are two totally talented ladies. What a great resource this is (even for a super sewing novice like me).

  97. Melissa Carlson
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I have been sewing with knits for about 18 months, but I still learned a lot from each lesson!

  98. Gretchen
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Love the tips, and the straightening of the grain idea, which I realized I knew, but had forgotten. But while I love using a rotary cutter, I have never been brave enough to do so cutting out a pattern – how do you keep from cutting into the pattern and accidentally taking bites out or taking off the seam allowance? Maybe it’s just going really slowly? I just like the flat of the ruler to run the cutter along, I guess… But thanks!

    • Posted January 11, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      You know, it’s really not bad. Occasionally I slice a sliver off the pattern, but I’ve never really had a problem. I would say, just try and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is! Also, of course take it slowly and I think most important get your positioning right. Also position your body right over where you’re cutting, you get into problems when you start reaching! good luck!

  99. Candy
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Great tips on the grain and making sure the fabric does not hang before cutting. I am slowing working up the courage to sew some knit items and love all this info!

  100. Ellen
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    This is a wonderful series! You both have a great knack for teaching what I have always dreaded. You have taken the dread out for me and replaced it with “I can do this”! Thanks.

  101. Courtney Giardina
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I love knits! This is a very helpful thread! Thanks!!!

  102. Terry
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Awesome! I have a lot of knits just sitting there because I feel intimidated

  103. Gina M
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Thank you! I have been sewing most my life (I turned 65 last year!), but somehow ‘missed’ learning to sew on knits! I guess, as they say, you are never too old to learn! I do have a Babylock serger… and I am ‘ready’….

  104. Lynn Swanson
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    My scissors are dull I need some new ones as there does not seem to be any place near me that will sharpen scissors anymore. I do like using my rotary cutter for cutting strips for quilting – never thought I could use them for cutting patterns.

  105. Sue Scott
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Great tips. I have a large stash of knits, I can’t wait to get started

  106. Tina Estrada
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    This is SO informative. I feel like I can actually do it. So I’m going to try. I’ve got several pieces of knit fabric in my statch, so I think I’ll just jump right in and get started.

  107. Judith Clauss
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Great information. Even after years and years or sewing, I am learning from this series! Thanks!


  108. Donna
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Just getting back into garment sewing after diving head-first into machine embroidery and embellishments. I just purchased a great “idea” book for embellishment with embroidery, and realized the ideas and techniques would be much easier and effective on garments I sew rather than on purchased garments. Thanks so much for the helpful information!

  109. Krista P
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Thank you for these tips – I’m really looking forward to sewing with more knits, both on my machine and my serger, and appreciate all the information!

  110. Kim W.
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m intimidated to sew with knit simple b/c my mom didn’t sew much with it and I haven’t practiced much with it. I’m excited to give it a try now with your tips! I just need tips on sewing it now!!

  111. Sandi Best
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    These tutorials are just great, I look forward to more on sewing knits.
    I just bought a Baby Lock Serger and it will be ideal to sew knits.

  112. Connie
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I am really enjoying the training. Purchased the Babylock Evolution last year. I have taught myself how to use the serger by reading posts on the internet and books. I have made 3 dresses and a prom dress for our niece. Can’t wait to begin working with knits and this will help. Tried to make a swimming suit last year for our younger niece and really struggled with getting the elastic attached. I appreciate all the time you’ve each taken to provide such wonderful training. Babylock, thank you for offering this course!

  113. Patricia Ozment
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I find that the information you are providing very useful. thank you for taking the time to do this.

  114. Eleanor
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    It’s never too late to learn! I’ve been sewing for years and still appreciate the opportunity to learn a better way. Thanks.

  115. Marseille
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I would love to win the rotary blade!!!!

  116. Cordie
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I just got a BabyLock Evolution for Christmas, and I am looking forward to ventruing into making clothing with knits (now that I can trust my serger!) Previously, I used a serger for basic overlock seams on woven fabrics. Now I will be able to do cover stitch and the “wave.” I am very excited to use this forum to learn more. I do have a question about cutting and determining seam allowances for serging. If I have a pattern that is designed without seam allowances, and I plan to serge the seams, how much seam allowance should I cut; and how much should I allow the serger to cut? (I hope that makes sense.)

    • Posted January 11, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      So I just make a 1/4 seam allowance for the serger, and then I just “drive” with the fabric right against the knife so that I try to not really cut off anything. I usually just end up with shavings. Does that make sense?

      • Cordie
        Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

        Yes! I think I will also trim patterns that normally call for 5/8″ seam allowance to just 1/4.” I do not mean to be cheap on fabric, but do not want to feel like I cut off too much. I do see a point for trying a 3/8″ first cut and serging off 1/8″ just to get perfect stitches, but either way I am concerned with accuracy of the actual seam line. I wonder if there is a benefit to marking where the stitching line needs to be? Am I being too particular for knits (since they are forgiving?)

        • Posted January 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          Well, knits are very forgiving, but I do give myself a generous 1/4″ just so I do have a little sliver to shave off, because the serged edge will be so much tighter that way! I wouldn’t worry about the seam line, what allowance your decide just do your best to stick with it, and you’ll be fine!

  117. Judy T
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Have learned so much from your tutorial. I want to be able to sew some knit garments for a very special great nephew due this summer. I would also love to win the Fiskars set.

  118. Judy T
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for the tutorial. I have been wanting to learn to sew with knit fabric. I have already learned so much. Also, what patterns do you recommend especially clothing for infants and children. Would also love to win that Fiskars set.

    • Posted January 11, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Well, I’m a huuuuuuge Ottobre fan, and we’re having a review about it next week. I really love Sew for Baby the fun way by Kerstin Martensson (ebay), and Sewing Clothes Kid’s Love by Langdon and Pollehn.

  119. Posted January 11, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I always wondered how to find the grain for knit fabrics. It’s my pet peeve when my storebought shirts are off grain!

  120. Posted January 11, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I use Crayola washable markers for sewing and crafting. I’ve tried other brands with some success (some colors did not wash out completely) but I have never had the Crayola washable stay in fabric. I have avoided knits because no one ever showed me how to square it up. GREAT tip!
    Thanks bunches.

  121. Chris D.
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I would love to win the rotary cutting set!

  122. Posted January 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    What a great series. Thanks for all the tutorials and I’d LOVE to win the fiskars set!

  123. Mary Murray
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I have not sewn garments in years, but now have a Baby Lock serger and look forward to sewing some knits. I know nothing about the fabric or the technique, so this tutorial is perfect timing. Thank you, mary

  124. Pat Beesley
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I am just learning to sew knits and finding your posts so very helpful. Thank you very much!

  125. Christy
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always been afraid to try to sew knits. I’m determined to give this a go. Can’t wait to read more about the techniques. Thanks for writing them.

  126. Sandy Chavez
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Great Tutorial, especially the section on making sure you fold on the straight of grain; that one always has eluded me. Thank you for the give-away oppportunity and thanks to both of you for this great series.

  127. Grace Lively
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Great information. Many years ago, I made clothes from cotton knits for my daughter. I took Stretch n Sew classes and learned a lot aboutmsewing with knits. Now I am making knit clothes for my granddaughter. Thanks for a great refresher.

  128. Laura
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Your blog is amazing! I wish I could come take lessons from you! :)

  129. Lila
    Posted January 11, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    I’m an oldie sewer, but a newbie to serging. Just purchased a Babylock serger and am excited to learn how to sew with knits. This blog is so helpful. I guess a rotary cutter would be too!

  130. Michelle H.
    Posted January 12, 2013 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the tutorial and tips…I need all the help I can get as a brand new sewing enthusiast

  131. Karen
    Posted January 12, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I have a bunch of knits sitting because I hate cutting them out. Your tips will help!

  132. Yvette Lopez
    Posted January 12, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I feel like I have just joined a club with so many smart folks out there who all love what I love, sewing! These tutorials make it easier and reading the posts makes it fun. The prizes are icing on the cake. Bravo

  133. Cammie
    Posted January 12, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I wish I had found this last week before I mis-cut my knit fabric for a skirt. I’m glad I found this before I restarted the project; it’s a great resource!

  134. julia
    Posted January 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I am excited for this series, lots of great info so far.

  135. Denise Judy
    Posted January 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait for the next lesson!!

  136. Posted January 12, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Love the ideas. Thank you so much for sharing. Would love the Fiskars set! Love love love Fiskars products!

  137. Brittany Dunlap
    Posted January 12, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Ohhh I would love to win the set! This series is awesome!

  138. Andrea
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Tips for knits are appreciated. Thanks for the post.

  139. carol
    Posted June 7, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    I love your work. Will be doing a sewing retreat on the Central Coast California and would love to have you as a teacher. It would be in November 2014


  140. Marilyn
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    I have been sewing for years, including some costuming but have little to no experience in knits. Great tutorial, esp using weights on the pattern.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  • sidebar divider
    • sidebar divider
    • sponsors

    • sidebar divider
    • minted

      Shop now: Minted wall art.

    • minted

      Shop now: Minted art prints.

    • vote for me Minted

      Vote for my
      design on minted.
      A Cheerful Morning
      see more from Miriam Tribe
      vote for me!
      Check out my competition in Christmas cards and Save the Date cards at Minted.
    • Recent pins

    • copyright stuff

      all the stuff (photos & tutorials etc) that you see around here is copyrighted by me (miriam tribe) for when using any of my stuff (photos & tutorials etc) for your stuff (blog, website or forum) please cite my website & work by linking back. thanks!