Hemming Knit Fabric on a Sewing Machine

Ready? This may be the world’s easiest tutorial. Knit can be hard to sew, and for many a project I wanted to know how I could just finish an edge simply. HOW DO YOU HEM KNIT?!?! Of course this is the simplest solution ever, but it was a revelation to me.

1 Fold it under. I don’t iron, I don’t pin. I just simply fold it under.

2. Then, setting my machine to an overlock stitch, I align my presser foot up with the edge of the fabric.

*NOTE!!! I usually use a my STRETCH twin needle to hem the bottom and sleeves of my t-shirts nowadays. It looks more professional looking. I’ve also found that using a strip of soft knit interfacing along the edge can really help stablize the fabric, and reduce any slipping or rippling. I found mine at my local fabric store, but something like Sof’ Knit from HTC.

3. Then I sew, securing that folded edge down. Make sure to keep your fabric in place, as it has a tendency to slide unfolded. Uhh, maybe pinning would help with that..

File Aug 16, 3 25 49 PM

4. When you use a coordinating color, this gives you clothes a nice finished edge.

For a more professional look, use a straight stitch. The trick is to use a 1/2″ bias strip of soft knit interfacing and then stretch the fabric slightly as you sew. This might sound crazy, but with a little stretch and the interfacing, the straight stitch will acquire a little give, and prevent breakage.

Good luck!



  1. Posted November 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    This tutorial on how to Hem Knit is great. Who knew that it could be this easy to do? Thank you for the instructions and pictures to go along with them.

  2. sarah
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Is the overlock stich the same thing as the zig zag stitch? Yours looks different from mine, so I thought i should check.

    • Posted April 23, 2011 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Hi Sarah,
      No an overlock stitch is different than a zig zag, although they can be used interchangeably in a pinch. . The overlock has just a little more to it is all and so is a little more stable, and it also takes much longer. Most machines have an overlock stitch, although they might not look exactly like mine.

  3. Susan
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    What does it look like on the right side? Does it have two rows of tiny stitches?

    • Posted March 11, 2012 at 12:48 am | Permalink

      On my machine and overlock stitch, the bottom and the top look the same. On a serger with a coverstitch, the top stitch is two parallel straight stitches.

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