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How to Stabilize Knit Fabric for Sewing

If you are a sewing enthusiast, you probably know that the biggest issue with knit fabric is too much stretch. To resolve this common hurdle, you should learn how to stabilize knit fabric for sewing.

While it may sound like a huge inconvenience, it isn’t as difficult as you’d expect. To help you, we have prepared a thorough article discussing why and how to do it. Let’s get started!

The Importance of Stabilizing Knit Fabric

Knit materials are fantastic for usage, but they tend to loosen up before their time, resulting in a shorter lifespan. That’s because they’re generally composed of looping threads. The lack of spandex also contributes to this phenomenon. Stabilizing knit fabric is critical, as it will increase the garment’s strength. This process is especially important if you are working with larger patterns.

In this article, we will focus on stabilizing seams. It is of utmost importance, especially if the cloth extends while you are working, which makes it incredibly difficult to take accurate measurements.

Step-by-Step Guide to Stabilizing Knit Fabric

The shoulder is one of the most significant sections of the garment in this regard. The actions you’ll need to take to stabilize the shoulder seams will be discussed below.

You should start by cutting a piece of stabilizer for the shoulders of your knit garments. You must ensure that the stabilizer is longer than the seam itself before cutting. Depending on the size of the seam, it might be 1 to 2 inches, or more.

You’ll need to sew the front and back bodice parts together once you’ve trimmed the stabilizer to size. You’ll want to make sure that the bodice components are facing the appropriate way in this section. This stage is a little tough, so take your time with it. You don’t want the building to fall apart.

After you’ve finished putting the parts together and double-checked that everything is in order, you’ll need to lay the two fabrics beneath the presser foot. However, be certain that they are correctly aligned first. Once accomplished, you should place the stabilizer on top of the bodice parts, making sure it’s on the seam line and that there’s no excess garment length.

The final step is to begin stitching or serging, whichever method you prefer. Sew until the seam is finished, and check that the line is lined properly once you’ve positioned the needle in the center. To complete the process, consider using a sewing machine for knits, or the finest industrial serger for knit materials. Once you’ve finished and you’re pleased with the results, cut off the excess stabilizer, making sure that both ends are even.

Seams to Stabilize

When working with knit fabric, there are a few seam types that you will want to stabilize.

Curved Neckline

The curving neckline is a major section of the knit fabric that is prone to excessive stretchiness. Furthermore, the more a knit item is worn, the baggier it becomes around the neckline. As a result, you should concentrate on strengthening the curved neckline seam. Even if it will be tough to align in that particular location, make sure you have incorporated a stabilizer.

Off-grain

Bear in mind that they’re normally more elastic and less sturdy, which is why you should pay attention to them. It may be a bother to apply stabilizers to these seams, but we promise it will be well worth it because you won’t have to worry about your knit fabric becoming baggy in a short period.

Waistlines

The presence of large seams in waistlines is pretty clear, and the size of the seams results in a lot of stretchiness, unless you use a stabilizer. Furthermore, larger and longer seams demand more strength, which is why you should place a greater emphasis on incorporating stabilizers.

Arm Holes

The armholes are another flexible section that is typically provided from the bias itself, and they should be on your focus list as well. Otherwise, your knit clothing risks getting quite baggy around the armholes, making it difficult to wear. The best way to ensure a custom fit is to create a template using the French – or curved – ruler.

Gathered Seams

These are commonly used for adding bulk. Even if they don’t require a stabilizer, it wouldn’t hurt to provide them with some more strength. To achieve this result, apply a stabilizer to the gathered seams to prevent them from stretching out as you wear the knit item.

Pocket Openings

The pocket openings are one of the most overlooked portions of a knit garment, as most people believe that expanding this part won’t make much of a difference. Still, pocket openings are a major source of tension. As a result, you should add stabilizers to the seams of the pocket holes to prevent them from stretching out over time.

Tips for Sewing with Knit Fabric

Apart from stabilizing the fabric, there are a few other points that you should focus on. Firstly, allow the feed dog to feed the cloth beneath the sewing machine needle while you are stitching using a sewing machine. Even if the feed dog is feeding the fabric, too much pressure on the presser foot might cause the cloth to expand.

Educating yourself on the different types and sizes of needles will save you a lot of time and ensure that you get the results you desire. The tip of a sewing machine needle for sewing knits is sometimes referred to as a ballpoint needle. It acquired this name because it does not have a sharp point, making it the ideal design to deal with the loops that make up the knit fabric.

Basting is one of the techniques you should introduce. It holds the cloth in place and prevents it from twisting out of shape, which is something that flexible fabric is prone to. Last, but certainly not least, is that you should consider investing in a serger or an overlock machine that can help you sew with more accuracy.

Wrap Up

If you want to prevent baggy clothing, you should learn to stabilize the knit fabric. At the end of the day, it comes down to adding a stabilizer to seams and reducing excess stretchiness. Good luck!