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Forum > Beginner's Forum > How to finish seams with knit fabrics? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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How to finish seams with knit fabrics?
Seam finish
SeamRipper

SeamRipper
Beginner
District of Columbia USA
Member since 8/3/06
Posts: 48
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Date: 12/7/07 4:27 PM

I just started attempting to work with knits -- my first v-neck t-shirt was a disaster and it scared me off knits for a while but I'm back on the horse again.

Using interlock, I was able to complete a shirt with raglan sleeves, but I wasn't too happy with the results.

I have a regular sewing machine, not a serger. The instructions said to finish the seams by overcasting them together. This is what I do for wovens and have not had a problem, but I found with the knit fabic, the seams end up kind of hard and wavy after I overcast the seam allowances together. They're still wavy even after some heavy pressing.

Here's a link to the picture:

Wavy seams

You can see how wavy the seam is on the left side seam and also at the collar, particulary on the left side (outside) of the collar and on the inside by the label.

Is there something I'm doing wrong or is there a better way to finish seams for knit fabrics so they remain straight?

Thank you

Debbie Cook
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Debbie Cook
USA
Member since 4/11/02
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Date: 12/7/07 4:36 PM

Actually, I think it looks pretty good.

You don't have to finish knit seams because it doesn't ravel. Just trim them and you're done. Using a sewing machine's overlock function isn't the same as a serger and as you've found out, it puts way too much thread into the seam allowance. If you want to do *something,* use a wide zigzag instead, and then trim the seam allowance up to the ZZ.

Also, interlock is very bad for stretching out. In other words, it's not you but the fabric. Try tossing it in the washer/dryer to bring it back into shape.

------
--
"I base my fashion sense on what doesn't itch." Gilda Radner
http://stitchesandseams.blogspot.com

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Oregon USA
Member since 8/24/02
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Date: 12/7/07 6:22 PM

Wavy seams in knits can happen when the presser foot pressure is to high. Most but not all machines allow you to adjust it. Lower the pressure and you'll have better results.If you use a quick sew or stretch and stretch pattern it will probably have 1/4" seam allowances and you won't need to trim. Stay away from knit stitches, and use a narrow zig zag instead. My rule of thumb is, if the fabric doesn't ravel, you don't need to finish the seams.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

Trinity.
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Trinity.
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Massachusetts USA
Member since 10/9/05
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Date: 12/7/07 6:48 PM

I always get a little wave like that on either side of the label. (I have to put labels in because my mostly male household always complain that they can't tell front from back without one) If you take a look at RTW, you'll see the same thing happens.

I second the washing/drying suggestion. Always seems to work wonders.

------
Trinity

http://thimblesthreadsandneedles.blogspot.com/

Sew_Creative
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Sew_Creative
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Arkansas USA
Member since 10/10/07
Posts: 212
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In reply to SeamRipper


Date: 12/7/07 7:09 PM

Yes sewing with knit can be a bit tricky, what I like to do is add a fusible nylon interface to the neckline and anywhere else that might caused me trouble you can also use a twill tape on the seams to stabilize the wave effect and sometimes if you just stay stitch about a quarter inch from the edge that will help as well, but what ever you do try to be in the habit of not pulling the fabric when you stitch and if you have to pull only pull from the back, I hope this has helped, as you advance in sewing try to buy a serger or a cover stitch machine you will love it. good luck DT

------
Stash as of 1/1/08 estimated 400 yds
Yardage sewn in 2008 8yds
Items sewn : 1
Yardage bought in '08 - 8 yds

Calendria
Calendria
Advanced Beginner
Alaska USA
Member since 7/4/05
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Date: 4/24/11 4:49 AM

btw, your knit top was beautiful. it looked like rtw. awesome job.

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
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Washington USA
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Date: 4/24/11 5:23 PM

I think the top looks just fine.

One suggestion -- use a longer stitch length.

Sherril Miller
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Sherril Miller  Friend of PR
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California USA
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Date: 4/24/11 6:43 PM

Interlock is a terrible fabric for a first time knit project. It behaves badly, but with the suggestions you've already gotten, it will be fine. Try some poly/lycra jersey for your next project. You'll be much happier with the results. Also, if you have one, use your walking or even feed foot. A tiny zigzag will keep the stiches from breaking.

------
Visit my blog at http://sewingsaga.blogspot.com

If it's worth sewing, it's worth sewing well;
and if it's worth sewing well, it's worth FITTING FIRST! - TSL

solosmocker
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solosmocker
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Date: 4/24/11 9:57 PM

I so agree with Sherril. I am not a big knit sewist but the first one I did was a cotton interlock and I now wear it for pajamas it is so bad. Then I did a couple out of some nice poly lycra knits, much better results. So now I am not afraid to keep going with knits.

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http://lasewist.blogspot.com/

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