How To Sew A Rolled Hem On Knit Fabric

A knit fabric garment has a great fit, comfortable to wear, and typically does not collect around the closures. These features make knit fabric make it quick and versatile sewing projects.

However, they have various characteristics as opposed to woven fabrics that you should consider.

There is a different approach when you roll the hem of the knit fabric. And, in this article, we will tell you how to do the perfect roll on the hem of the knit fabric.

How To Sew A Rolled Hem On Knit Fabric?

Hemming knits are generally the trickiest part as you need to ensure the openings to the garment remain stretchy enough to pull on and off the body.

If you wear a knit garment the same as you would do your woven garment, the stitches of the fabric may pop or become wavy when stretching the garment over the head.

In this section, we will be focusing on sewing rolled hem on knit fabric.

For a rolled hem, you need to adjust the foot to a setting known as the rolled hem foot. These are ideal for giving the roll the edge of the fabric and stitching it in place. You will see this on knits and lightweight and delicate fabrics.


Considering that knit fabrics are lightweight, you should use cotton-wrapped polyester thread along with needle size 80/12 or 70/10. When preparing the knit fabric, irrespective of the kind of hem, make sure you consider the hem depth.

If you end up making the wrong cut and make it shorter than expects, using a rolled hem can be great as it does not need much fabric. Following are the steps to create a beautiful rolled hem on knit fabric:

Set The Sewing Machine

The first step is to get the settings of your sewing machine right for a rolled hem on your knit fabric. Select the straight stitch switch and attach the hemmer foot.

Prepare The Fabric

Start by pressing the edge of your fabric between 1/8 and ¼ inches into the wrong side. The inch will depend on the width of your hemmer foot. Generally, you do not need pins for making a rolled hem.

Start The Roll

Place the fabric under the sewing machine’s foot while keeping the wrong side on the top. Thereafter, lower the presser foot while folding over the pressed edge.

This will ensure that the needle is proportionate to the inner edge of the fabric’s fold as well as the guide on foot. So this way the raw edge will hide under the second layer.

Get The Finishing Right

Lower the machine’s foot in order to keep the fabric in place. If your sewing machine comes with a knee lift feature, then you will be able to lower the foot without having to take your hand off the fabric.

Now, lower the needle into your knit fabric, and it should at the inner fold. Thereafter, lift the presser foot while keeping the needle down into the fabric.

Furthermore, insert the fold upside and over inside the foot guide while holding the fabric edge tautly.

Start Sewing

All there is left to do now is to start your sewing machine. Make sure you do not lose the hold on the fabric but also do not hold it too tight.

There should be enough flexibility so that the fabric can easily get into the foot. And, your rolled hem knit fabric is ready.

Tools To Sew Knit Fabric

The Right Sewing Needle

Choosing the right sewing needle is important to ensure that you get professional and clean results.

Try to use a ballpoint or jersey needle as these work well with most of the knit fabrics. This is because these needles have a dull tip that slides between the fabric’s fibers; instead of going through the fibers.

Moreover, if you are sewing workout gear and swimsuits, then we recommend a stretch needle. It works great with all kinds of stretchable fabrics.

If you have a universal needle handy and have no other option, then you can use it on sturdier knit fabrics.

Try A Twin Needle

A twin needle works to stitch the seam that will stretch and move along the wearer. Contrary to the unusual appearance, using a twin needle is quite easy, and it is easily accessible.

The needle has two threads that form two stitch lines on top of your fabric using one thread. It connects the fabric on the back in a zig-zag pattern. This seam looks more professional, similar to the top-stitched seam.

Even Walking Foot

It evenly feeds both the layers (top and bottom) of the fabric through the machine. Since the knit fabric is stretchable, it can cause the fabric layers to separate while sewing. It can, especially when you are stitching in a single direction while the fabric continues to stretch.

A walking foot features an additional set of feed dogs for the fabric’s top layer that works with the bottom feed dogs of the sewing machine. This will help the fabric to stay in place while sewing.

Clear Elastic

Turn your t-shirt inside out and see its shoulder. You will likely see clear elastic stitched into the seam. These are clear elastics that maintain the seam in the right position and help it from drooping over time.

You can sew it directly into the seam wherever you need less stretch.

Fusible knit Hemming Tape

Using fusible knit hemming tape to hem the knit fabric can do wonders. This proves really helpful when you are trying to create wavy seams on the knit garments.

After fussing the tape to the raw edges of the fabric, you will get better stability and less stretch. Thereafter, you can continue to stitch the fabric seam normally.

Setup Sewing Machine For Sewing Knit Fabric

Following are some of the steps that you need to follow to set up your knit fabric:

Select Stretch stitch

Knit is a stretchable fabric in order to offer a better fit, so you can expect the seam to be stretchable as well. Generally, sewing machines come with multiple stitches, particularly knits. You can see the manual to see where the setting lies.

Make Use Of The Feed Dogs

The feed dogs on the machine will feed the knit fabric evenly. When sewing your knit fabric, it is crucial to allow the fabric itself under your presser foot without pulling the knit fabric.

If the knit is stretched, it will stay stretched after the sewing as well, creating an unprofessional and undesirable finish.

Do A Test Run

Layer a small scrap knit like you would do when sewing the garment. Try a trial run with your preferred stitch and check whether or not you are happy with the results.

Different Types Of Knit Fabric

There are different kinds of knit fabrics that differ in features, flexibility, and stretch. Following are the types of knit fabric you will find in the market:

Jersey: It is the common form of knit fabric, which is used to make textile using a single needle. It is also known as plain or single knit.

Rib-knit: It is known as ribbing due to alleviated textured lines. Rib-knit is used to make a double bed knitting machine using two needles featuring vertical textured lines.

Interlock Knit: It is the same as rib knit to a great extent. Interlock knit appears as if two single-knit layers are piled on top of one another.

French Terry Knit: This kind of fabric comes with soft piles and loops of yarn. It is a light-weight absorbent and moisture-wicking material.

Fleece Knit: It is a warm, durable and stretchy fabric featuring a deep, thick pile. Fleece knits dry quickly, making it ideal for activewear.



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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