Sewing With Knits

I’ve been sewing with knits since making sweats for my children 25 years ago.  Wow, that seems like a long time.  Anyway, I’ve read many times over these years that you are supposed to use a special needle called a ‘stretch’ needle.  Up until recently, I never had to use one.  Apparently, you don’t need one for every project.  Sewing sweats, t-shirts, shorts and even nylon slips worked just fine with the regular 80/12 universal needle I bought at the local sewing/fabric store.  A month ago I started working on a cute skirt pattern from Deby Coles.  See her website link in the column at the right of this page.  I downloaded her pattern for the Flirty Skirty.  Cute name.  Anyway, I used a couple yards of flowy knit fabric with a wild print that I ordered from  All the serging of seams went well.  No special needles required.  I used a regular sewing machine for the elastic casing and the hem.  The casing didn’t really look too good but its not going to show so I didn’t worry about it.  But the hem was a different story.  It was going to show.  A lot.  I tried a regular needle. Then a bigger needle.  Then a smaller needle.  I researched online and found the recommendations were to use a stretch needle.  But since I never had to use one before, I figured I wouldn’t need one and I could surely find a way around it. I tried a microtex needle then a jersey needle.  Several trips to Joann’s later I finally decided that I should maybe try the stretch needle.  I also put strips of  lightweight knit  interfacing in the hem.  After many tries, many needles and many moments of frustration, I had a beautiful hem on a very cute skirt.  I will probably still try all sorts of different ways to do things, but it’s nice to know someone has already figured out the right way to do it

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