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Sewing With Knits

serger machineSewing with knits is always something of a challenge for any sewer, experienced or inexperienced. This particular fabric is reputed for being stretchy and complicated to manipulate, which is why it’s extremely important to adopt both the proper techniques and equipment required for working with knit. You can of course sew knit by hand or with a regular sewing machine but in most cases, it is advisable to go for a serger since this apparatus is designed to work with more complicated fabrics.

Be sure to invest in the proper tools

Even if you can’t afford to invest in a serger machine at the moment, there are a few accessories that you should absolutely purchase to be able to successfully see your project to the end. Here are the main accessories that you might need:

  • Ballpoint needles
  • Twin needles
  • Rotary cutter
  • Self-healing cutting mat

It is important to note that rotary cutters are recommend instead of scissors to ensure that your fabric does not stretch out of place during the sewing process.

Use stay tape

Instead of pins, it is recommended to invest in stay tapes to adjust features like shoulder seams. However, if you are using a presser foot, there is the faint possibility that the stay tape sticks to the presser foot. To avoid this issue, you can layer tissue paper on top of your fabric and remove it off later on. Alternatively, you can also use a Telfon-coated presser foot to prevent the tape from sticking.

Finishing Inside Seams

To finish inside seams, it is highly recommended to use a serger machine. Not only does it add a polished and professional finishing look to your project, but this apparatus ensures that your project will not unravel after use. In fact, if you’re working with a delicate fabric, the edges may have a tendency to roll up after some time. To prevent this, it is advisable to allow a very small allowance of fabric when you sew or cut down.

Walking foot

If your knit is very stretchy, it is recommended to sew with your walking foot. Priced between $15 and $20, this small gadget is extremely handy and can be used to prevent your fabric from stretching out. However, if you’re sewing with jersey, you will be glad to learn that you can omit the walking foot since this fabric does not pucker up easily.

Best Sources For Sewing Patterns

Sewing Patterns SorucesIf you’re an avid sewer, chances are that you will soon run out of sewing patterns at some point. While sewers with more experience under their belts probably have a database of sewing patterns, beginners might not be so lucky. However, you will be glad to learn that the internet provides an extensive database of resources for couture sewing patterns. These range from easy to more extensive projects and can easily be adapted or personalized to fit your requirements.
Below are some of the best online sources for sewing patterns.

Merchant & Mills

Founded by an independent British pattern designer, Merchant & Mills has rapidly amassed a collection of patterns that will appeal to just about any sewer. With an aim to adopt a more contemporary approach to sewing, Merchant & Mills print their sewing patterns on card instead of tissue paper. Consequently, these patterns last for far longer. They are also much easier to transfer than tissue paper patterns. Merchant & Mills also provides a pattern book for sewers, enabling them to hang up their patterns.

My Sewing Adventure

Featuring cutting-edge patterns with a pronounced avant-guard theme, My Sewing Adventure contains hundreds of sewing patterns that you can download. More importantly, all the patterns are entirely free of charge. You can easily print them at home and amass quite a nice collection for all your various sewing projects. You can also find guides and tips about sewing. There are also few dozen of sewing machine reviews. Check them out here


Butterick is another website that provides an extensive range of downloadable sewing patterns at no extra cost. On this website, you will mainly find patterns for holiday crafts, home decorating items and accents, general accessories and clothing. Users will be glad to learn that this particular website caters to various levels of expertise. The sewing patterns can be downloaded in PDF format. Beginners will be able to benefit from a tutorial and every user needs to sign up by providing their email addresses before downloading the sewing patterns.


Craftsy is one of the most popular online sewing resources for anyone looking for detailed sewing instructions and patterns. Established by couturier Susan Khalje, this website especially emphasized on French patterns and will help you learn the skill of sewing techniques such as French seams and the likes. Users can also benefit from online sewing classes such as The Couture Dress where techniques are demonstrated through a Vogue pattern.

What Is a Sewing Machine?

Sewing MachineOver the years, sewing has evolved from tedious hours of sewing by hand into a more rapid operation involving machine. One of the most practical piece of equipment that you can own, sewing machines is commonly used to put together different types of fabrics to create a plethora of items such as bedding, tapestries, towels, clothes, and the likes. Sewing by hand does have its series of advantages: for example, this technique provides you with more precision, hence enabling you to work on more delicate projects such as hemming, cuffing, collars and the likes. However, with a sewing machine, users can gain both speed and precision.

How easy are they to use?

While most people believe that sewing machines are complicated to operate at first, the truth is that those apparatuses are exceptionally easy to operate. In fact, the majority of models include a detailed instructions manual, hence allowing you to familiarize yourself with the different options and features. The majority of beginners normally find that they need around two to four weeks to get used to their apparatus.

Additional accessories

Users will be glad to learn that sewing machines also come with additional accessories such as extra needles, extra spool pins, darning plates, twin needles, screwdrivers, bobbins, buttonholes and different types of feet such as the presser and zipper foot. Some apparatuses also include automatic needle threaders.

Computerized or Mechanical?

Sewing machines can either be mechanical or computerized. While mechanical sewing machines are less expensive and ideal for beginners, computerized apparatuses are far more convenient in terms of features. For example, most of them come with LCD screens to help you shuffle through the different thread designs and additional features. Some computerized machines can even be connected to the internet, hence enabling you to download additional stitch designs.

Features commonly found in sewing machines

With the extensive numbers of sewing machines on the market, users can benefit from a wide range of features and options. Deciding what machine o opt for requires a lot of care since sewing machines are often long-term investments. For example, if you plan on working on larger projects, it is best to go for heavy-duty apparatuses. Similarly, sewers can opt for apparatuses with options such as monograming, embroidery, quilting and the likes. Since sewing machines are also available in different price ranges, you will certainly be able to afford one, regardless of what your budget is.

Mechanical vs Computerized Machines: The Pros And Cons

computerized sewing machineIf you’re planning on buying a sewing machine, it is important to know that these apparatuses can either be mechanical or computerized. Extremely handy, sewing machines can be used to make just about anything from clothes to darning small rips. With this apparatus, it is also possible to indulge in different projects including window treatments, fashion, bedsheets and other such home decorating accents. Some machines can even be used for quilting and embroidery. Smaller apparatuses can even come in quite handy for creating and adjusting buttonholes.

To know which type of sewing machine to go for, it is important to analyze your needs beforehand. Beginners might want to start off on mechanical machines since they tend to be less fiddly than more advanced models. Still, both types of sewing machines are undeniably useful in their own ways which means that you do have to carefully analyze each feature, as well as the pros and cons of each apparatus before you indulge in any purchase.

Read on for an overview of mechanical and computerized machines, including the pros and cos of each model.

Computerized Sewing Machines

Computerized sewing machines are brimming with features designed to help you enhance your sewing project. It is true, however, that these machines can be slightly more expensive than mechanical ones. Because of their extended range of features, computerized sewing machines are not recommended to users with no prior experience since the interface can be confusing to beginners.

Still, on the flip side, they can come in quite handy to more experienced users. This is mainly due to the fact that they are often equipped with touch LCD screens that will help you easily find your way around the various features. Consequently, you only need to push down on a few buttons to navigate from one feature to the other. Most of them even include an automatic needle threader to render this task far easier for you.

Mechanical sewing machines

Mechanical sewing machines are far less expensive than computerized ones. The majority of mechanical apparatuses are operated by a foot pedal designed to help you easily adjust your sewing speed. They also tend to be quite compact, which means that you can move them around- something that can be quite handy if you’re attending sewing classes. Best of all, they have quite straightforward interfaces which make them easy to manipulate.

As far as cons are concerned, mechanical sewing machines can take up more of your time. This is mainly due to the lack of digitalized features: indeed, users need to manually shift through the various features. Most of them do not include options such as automatic needle threaders, so threading the machine can be something of a hassle for elderly users or any sewer who suffers from a poor eyesight. The lack of a tension control knob can also hinder the quality of your stitches. In fact, beginners might even find that they initially get uneven and loose stitches because their machines are not equipped with tension knobs.

Why Should You Invest In a Sewing Machine?

sewing machine guideIf you want to cut back on a few expenses, it’s not a bad idea to invest in a sewing machine. Often hailed as one of the most practical pieces of equipment that you can own, sewing machines can be used to cut back on different expenses such as clothing, home décor and the likes. For example, some home-owners choose to decorate their interior with homemade tapestries, window treatments and the likes. If you’re thinking of buying this appliance, you will be glad to learn that sewing machines are available in different price ranges- with most compact machines priced at below $100.

Make your own items

Because a sewing machine is so versatile, you can make anything you want from scratch just with your fabric and thread. Indeed, even beginners are able to successfully make straightforward items such as aprons, skirts, shirts and the likes. With some more practice, you will even be able to make more complicated items such as quilts, bedspreads, pillow cases and other such items. Being able to make your own clothes and home accents can help you cut back on quite a few expenses in the long-term. Most importantly, it is also possible to start your own home-based business with a sewing machine.

Multi-Purpose machines

Contrary to what several inexperienced users seem to believe, sewing machines can be used for different purposes as well. Instead of limiting yourself to sewing, you could also look into models with added features such as quilting and embroidery. With these options, you can actually decorate your projects while bringing a polished look to your sewing as a whole. If your machine has a monogramming feature, you will able to very easily personalize your cushions, towels, bathrobes, handkerchiefs and the likes. By this token, you can also use your sewing machine to personalize gifts for your friends and family.

Cutting Edge Features

The majority of sewing machines are equipped with cutting-edge features that will not only enhance your sewing but will also help you complete your project in a mere matter of days and weeks instead of months. In fact, the majority of machines also come with super-sewing speed of 1000 SPM, if not more. If you can afford to splurge a little, you might even want to purchase a machine that includes an LCD touch screen. Through the screen, you can easily navigate through the various features and quickly shuffle between the different stitch designs.

Easy to operate

Most sewing machines are also quite straightforward to operate, even if you’ve never used one before. Unlike older models, modern appliances are handily equipped with a wide variety of options and functions which you can use to quicken your sewing pace. For instance, the majority of sewing machines now come with automatic needle threaders, hence enabling you to thread your machine in a mere matter of seconds. Some models also include more advanced features such as built-in stitches, stitch charts, drop-in bobbin systems, one step buttonholes and the likes.