How to Sew a Curved Hem on Knits

Sewing curved hems on knitted fabrics can be a tad tricky. How do you achieve the perfect hem on your outfits? Most people sew hems perpendicular to the fabric.

Moreover, for curved hems, they prefer to sew on the bias. That may sometimes give a stretched-out, puckery or wavy apparition, all of which are not very pleasant in appearance.

Have you been trying to avoid the curved hem madness? Nevertheless, you don’t have to do that anymore. There are several methods and tricks you can borrow to make this process significantly more manageable for you.

Read on from here to find out how you can rock your curved knit hems without having to suffer through the process.

How to Sew a Curved Hem on Knits?

There exist various ways of hemming a curved edge on a knit fabric.

Your choice depends on the type of curved edge, the kind of sewing machine you have and its accessories, the design you have in mind, and your sewing experience.

Regardless of the fabric or design, you want a beautiful finish. It adds a professional touch to a garment.

Tools You’ll Need to Hack That Curve

Great work emanates from a great team. These tools are going to make your work very easy.

1. Twin Needle

You can quickly get these from Amazon. The cheap packs are great. But, there isn’t a notable distinction between their quality and the quality of expensive ones.

The package contains needles of various sizes. Use the larger numbers when sewing thicker fabrics and the small numbers when sewing thinner fabric.

There’s a second number on the pack, which tells how far apart the needles are. A small number means they are close, and a larger one means they are farther apart.

2. Hem Tape

The hem tape is a fusible strip that holds the hem in place during sewing, and it also stabilizes the fabric by interfacing it.

You may want to go for Easy Knit Tape or even Stitch Witchery. Stitch Witchery is a great stabilizer and fuses well with knit fabric.

Create a memory hem and lay the tape inside it, then press it. This move will merge it and make it more stable, saving you the hassle.

It is paramount to ensure that the hemming tape is sew-able. If not, they may leave a gooey residue which results in damaged needles.

3. Wooly Nylon Thread

It goes to the bobbin and helps to add stretch to the stitch. Regardless of the device you use, make sure you set the stitch’s tension and stitch length based on the material you are using.

Usually, hemming knits require you to lower both the size and stress of the stitch. An advanced cover stitch machine has an automatic tension adjust feature.

If you are using a regular cover stitch, test your hemming on scrap fabric. It’s imperative which should be the same as your project.

4. A Lot of Clips or Pins

You don’t want your folded fabric coming out as you sew. After every 2 inches, either clip or pin your fold.

Sewing a durable seam is quite a breeze as opposed to when it’s adamantly unfolding. So, the choice between pins and sewing clips is purely a matter of individual decision.

Whatever makes you feel comfortable! Both will make your sewing experience very pleasant.

5. An Iron

To make your hemming experience even better, make sure you have hot iron. Moreover, put some of the water in its steamer. Iron your hem to create what is called a memory hem.

Now, you have to fold the fabric in the right size. Thus, understand your pattern’s directions to know it. Besides, this will also remove waviness and puckering, giving your garment a beautiful finish.

6. Tissue Paper

If you are using a lightweight fabric, your machine may try to eat. The tissue paper will help fix this. Put it below the material while sewing.

So, this makes it a bit more stable. When done sewing, carefully rip the tissue paper, and that’s it!

None of the above tools is an absolute requirement, but you can be sure that they’ll make your work very easy and pleasant.

Steps to Hemming a Curved Knit

You are almost complete with your garment. Just one step and you will have it! It would be terrible to ruin your work at this last step.

Have patience. Go slow! Take your time to guide the fabric through.

You don’t require a particular machine to hem a curved knit. Your standard sewing machine can also do just excellent!

Step1: Select the basting stitch option on your sewing machine.

Step 2: Baste a row of stitches at your preferred distance from the raw edge.

Step 3: Use the row of basting stitch as your pressing guide. Fold in the fabric on the stitch line, moving toward the direction of the wrong side of the garment.

On concave curves, you need to keep the outside flat. To do this, you’ll stretch the fabric raw edge. On convex curves, you’ll have extra material on the wrong side that may wrinkle.

However, it would help if you didn’t worry about this as the essential part is that the outside stays flat.

Step 4: Stitch the hemline.

Step 5: Remove the row of basting stitches and then press the hem.

That’s all there is to have a beautifully curved hem.

How to Sew Knit Fabric Without Puckering?

Sewing a stretchy fabric can be quite a hassle; most times, it results in puckering. Thus, it ruins the overall result and can be very frustrating.

There are a few useful tricks you can employ to help you escape the tragedy. Read on this part to see which and how you can apply these tricks.

1. Choice of Needle

With stretchy fabric, your choice of needle is critical. To avoid puckering, choose either the twin needle. What’s more, you can even use a ballpoint needle.

The stitch created by a twin needle brings together the knit fabric rather than pulling it apart, which is the cause of puckering.

On the other hand, a ballpoint pen has a rounded tip that does not make holes on the knit fabric.

2. Choice of Thread

You want to pick a thread that will handle your knit fabric well. Seamstresses recommend that you use polyester thread. It doesn’t stretch much, making it an excellent choice.

Moreover, keep away from the cotton thread when dealing with stretchy fabric. It is relatively easy to break and causes puckering.

3. Stitches

There are individual stitches that work best with stretchy fabric. Most recommend the narrow zigzag stitch.

You could also set your machine to stretch stitch, which pulls together with your material preventing puckering. What’s more, the lightning stitch is also very generous with stretchy fabric.

4. Use Tissue

Place a tissue on the fabric to make the needle hit the tissue before getting to the material. As you sew, tug gently on the fabric.

Cut the sewing threads in the end and remove the tissue from the material. If you can’t have a tissue nearby, printing or pattern paper will do.

5. Use a Coverstitch Machine

As we know, stretchy fabric will need a high-quality stitch. A cover stitch machine will provide you with just that! So, this goes a long way in preventing puckering.

What Tension Should I Use for Knit Fabric?

Knit fabric requires that you use appropriate tension as it is a stretchy fabric. If you are using lycra and elastane materials, use a high-tension level of 2-3.

Thus, be very cautious with the settings because a small mistake on tension could cost you stitch quality, and it could also affect the seam.

What Is the Best Stitch for Knit Fabric?

We often categorize knit fabric as a stretchy fabric. The best stitch known for such material is a zigzag stitch. Being pliable, you also want your stitch to stretch with the fabric,otherwise, it will lose its flexible feel.

There are various zigzag stitches. Thus, select one depending on the material you are using and the use cases.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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