What special notions do you use with knits?


Do you have any special notions you like to use when sewing knit fabric?

In our 3rd video in the Shopping for Knits series, I share a few notions and tools you might want to consider for your next project.

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This series is in preparation for our new knits pattern, coming out next week (October 20). Stay tunes, we’ve got some cool special things we’re going to offer just for the first week.

In the meantime, check out the video, and download the free chapter from The Colette Guide to Sewing Knits that goes with it!

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 8


A really nice video series – so thorough, engaging and well done. I enjoyed them all! Great job!


I have been searching for a good way of hemming a circle skirt that is made from cotton jersey. I don’t want to end up with a lumpy hem. A straight hem is easy enough but with a circle skirt, the entire hem is curved. Any suggestions?


If it is made from a knit you do not need to hem it!


I have three methods for hemming knits. The first, best for miles of hem: serge the raw edge then turn it twice (3/8″ each time) and stitch in place with a double needle. The next makes a more traditional hem: Serge the raw edge and press up 2″. Stitch with a double needle–stitching from the right side of the fabric when using either of these techniques. My third: cut a bias or stretch strip in length equal to the circumference of the hem and 1 1/2 ” wide. Press 1/2″ on one long side, stitch the other side right sides together in a 3/8″ seam allowance. Fold, press and stitch to inside close to fold from the inside of the garment. This last works best with fabric that rolls like the bottom edge of knit tops.


Very valuable information. I ussually stay away from knits, but the video was very helpful.


I use a regular needle and Aurifil cotton mako thread to sew my knits.

I have been sewing knits for years, and I’ve found that the thinner and more elastic the knit, the fussier it is to sew. I’ve used stretch threads, ball point needles, walking feet, hand basting instead of pins, various stretch stitches (narrow zig-zag, triple-stitch straight, wider zig zag, multi-step zig zag). If you’ve got a modal/bamboo/ rayon tissue knit, every trick in the book may not be enough to save from disaster.

I decided a year ago to just forget the slinky knits. These days I use interlock, medium weight jersey, ponte–all with a high cotton content and decent heft. They all behave beautifully, in both sewing and wear, with my sturdy Aurifil, a 3-step ‘stretch’ straight-looking stitch, and a plain needle. It is so much less stress, and my garments turn out beautifully and last forever. I’ve got a cheap Brother machine, so it’s not like I have a fancy setup. Sometimes, readjusting our expectations and letting go of certain looks (like tissue knits in my case) are the easiest solution.


Should I wash my knit fabric before cutting and sewing?


Yes, knit fabric can shrink just like a woven. :)

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