August 03, 2020

259 Comments




 

 


How To Sew A Hem On Knit Fabrics - The Coffee Filter Trick

Do you have a fear of sewing hems on knit fabrics? Don't fret, many of us do too! In this post, I'm excited to share with you a quick and easy tip to sewing a hemline on knits with no stress at all! The secret is the use of a coffee filter as a stabilizer - seriously, it works! After trying this, I'm pretty sure you'll never go back to your old method and you will have the confidence to sew knits without fear! 

BONUS - Limited Time Giveaway! This week We're giving away a $50 Pixie Faire Gift Card!

To enter the giveaway, be sure to scroll to the end of this post and leave a comment. Tell us - your favorite "sewing with knits" tip or share with us your biggest challenge!

This exciting sewing tip is being shared with you as an excerpt from the full Sewing With Knits MasterClass course. This is one of our most popular courses, if you haven't already checked it out I encourage you to take a peek and pick up a copy of the course today, or join the Sewing With Cinnamon community for more sewing tips, tricks, and community interaction.

Now onto the tutorial... All you need is a plain coffee filter (white or natural) and a knit fabric project to test this out. It can be any sewing project, it doesn't have to be just for dolls. Although, if it's larger than the coffee filter, you'll probably need several to get the job done!

 

Wasn't that amazing? Are you ready to try this out yourself?

 

 

Applying this method can help you approach sewing patterns designed for knit fabrics with confidence! Be sure to check out our Summertime Styles With Knit Fabrics to see more patterns where you can apply your new skills! Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

 

 

  

 

ENTER TO WIN A $50 Pixie Faire Gift Card!

 

To enter this week's contest, simply click the link below and then enter through the giveaway widget at the bottom of the blog post, there are many things you can do to earn multiple entry points!

Contest Details: You enter through the entry form that is embedded on this page and appears just below this paragraph, if you don't see it, be sure to visit the page from your desktop or an alternate browser such as Google Chrome. It may not appear on all mobile devices. The complete rules and entry details appear on the entry form. This is not a comment contest - in other words, leaving a comment on the bottom of this page is not an official entry method. The only required entry method is to leave a comment under this post and then confirm that you did it in the contest widget. One person will receive the PF Gift Card. You can enter once, or gain multiple entries by completing the other entry methods and increase your chances of winning. Please review all Terms and Conditions on the giveaway page before entering. While we wish we could run this contest everywhere, for legal reasons it is only open to eligible residents of the U.S. and Canada, not including Rhode Island. This contest is exclusively endorsed by Liberty Jane Clothing and Pixie Faire. 

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We'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment and tell us - your favorite "Sewing With Knits tip" or share with us your biggest Sewing With Knits challenge! 

Commenting below and confirming your entry in the widget above gives you one entry method, the other methods are listed in the widget above, be sure to enter in as many ways as you can to receive the maximum amount of entries to win one PF Gift Card!

Thanks, everyone!

The Pixie Faire Team


100 Comments

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November 29, 2020

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G
G

August 10, 2020

Every thing OLD is New again! So here we go bringing back Knits in fashion !

Granny Sandy
Granny Sandy

August 10, 2020

going to try the coffee filter Thankyou for the tip!

Terry
Terry

August 09, 2020

My biggest sewing with knits tip is to put in a ball point machine needle. It glides through the knit fabric better instead of pulling at the threads.

Judith
Judith

August 09, 2020

Sewing with knits became so easy for me once I realized that I could press a bumpy hem with a steam iron (up and down motion) to smooth everything out. Serging seams, or an edge before I turn it also helps give me a clean look. And of course, using stabilizer of some kind is the way to get the whole line of stitches off to a great start!

Teresa-Jo
Teresa-Jo

August 09, 2020

It’s been my advise to bring any knits that need hemming to the dry cleaner. I avoid using that fabric for my projects as well. But I will try the coffee filter trick and maybe enjoy my sewing future using knits!!

drwcarroll
drwcarroll

August 09, 2020

I can’t wait to pull out all the knits that I purchased and was reluctant (scared) to sew, Watch out world…..I HAVE COFFEE FILTERS AND I’M NOT AFRAID TO USE THEM……

Patti
Patti

August 08, 2020

Thank you for all the tips. Going to try the coffee filter!

Marie
Marie

August 08, 2020

Thanks for the great knits sewing tip. I don’t have any tips I can think of at the moment.

Grannie Frannie
Grannie Frannie

August 08, 2020

I started using either tissue paper or waxed paper to sew t-shirt knits with – it works like a charm and tears away completely.

Sandra L.
Sandra L.

August 08, 2020

I have avoided sewing on knits like you would avoid the plague. They are scary and intimidating. I know after sewing for 60 plus years I should have attempted it by now but nope, hasn’t happened.

It’s on my bucket list of things to do but it keeps getting pushed the bottom of the list. I have promised myself after reading all the advice here that I will try sewing on knits before the end of this year. Great advice and I’ve used coffee filters for other projects so will give it a try.

Laurie
Laurie

August 08, 2020

I don’t like to sew knit fabrics because they stretch so much and look uneven. I will try the coffee filter trick.

Rebecca
Rebecca

August 08, 2020

I have had successes using stretch needles, micro needles, and universal needles. I’ve also had success using stretch stitches. I’ve used tissue paper and liked it okay. I finally bought some coffee filters, but I haven’t tried them yet. I’m excited to give it a try.

Cristy
Cristy

August 08, 2020

While sewing knits I always use a ballpoint needle and a piece of stabilizer or a coffee filter to get the first few stitches started! This helps tremendously! Good luck!

Patricia Shehan
Patricia Shehan

August 08, 2020

I will try the coffee filter technique, I don’t usually like to sew on knits.

Darlene
Darlene

August 08, 2020

Learned to use the coffee filter when sewing knits and have avoided many headaches.

kim
kim

August 07, 2020

I am new to sewing with knits. I need all the help I can get.

Deb H
Deb H

August 07, 2020

I usually avoid sewing knits because the fabric tends to stretch and gets mis-shaped. I am going to give the coffee filter a try. I have knit fabric to make T-shirts for my granddaughter’s doll

Bev Hiler
Bev Hiler

August 07, 2020

I would love to try the new coffee filter for sewing on knits as I am sure it will become my favorite technique. It is unbelievable how many tips I have learned from Pixie Faire. Thank you for sharing!

Rebekah
Rebekah

August 07, 2020

I’m following this, as I have very little experience with knits. I recently bought a needle especially for knits, but haven’t used it yet. Thanks for the great suggestions!

Linda
Linda

August 07, 2020

I can’t wait to try this. I have always had trouble with hemming knits. Thanks for the tip.

lisa
lisa

August 07, 2020

Thanks for the tip. I don’t sew with knits because I don’t know how.

Kim V
Kim V

August 07, 2020

I look forward to trying this. Knits are always challenging. I always make sure I’m using a knit needle in my machine. Thank you.

Lee Ann
Lee Ann

August 07, 2020

I am apprehensive sewing elastic to knits. Any good hints.

Karen
Karen

August 07, 2020

I will definitely use this tip! Thanks.

Joanne Salerno
Joanne Salerno

August 07, 2020

What a great idea I can’t wait to try it. You always give the best tips and offers.
Thank you and God bless you and your business.

Dorothy
Dorothy

August 07, 2020

This is a very clever tip, because the filter tears off so smoothly after guiding the curved edge around without puckering or stretching. Thank you so much for this and other tips that you’ve shared with us.

Theresa
Theresa

August 07, 2020

Great idea and just in time to try it out.?..I need tee shirts!

Andrea
Andrea

August 07, 2020

Just watched the tutorial on using coffee filters to sew a seam on knits. Looks very interesting. I plan to try very soon.

Heidi Brown
Heidi Brown

August 07, 2020

I have plenty of knits to upcycle. The coffee filter tip is just what I need to get started working through my collection of fabrics.

Shirley
Shirley

August 07, 2020

Thank-you for this awesome and helpful tip on sewing with knits!

Glenda
Glenda

August 07, 2020

Thanks for the awesome tip! My biggest issue is sometimes when I start the seams and as others have said, the fabric is pulled down into the machine. The coffee filter should fix that😀

Bonny
Bonny

August 07, 2020

I’ve always had trouble with knits stretching. I loved your tutorial on hemming knits with coffee filters!

rosemary Kelley
rosemary Kelley

August 07, 2020

my biggest promble is my hems roll & streagle.what should i do ?

Margaret Goodman
Margaret Goodman

August 07, 2020

My biggest challenge on knits is everything! Material stretches when I sew, stitching is not right tension and uneven stitches.

Bea
Bea

August 07, 2020

What a great tip!! thanks

Rebecca
Rebecca

August 07, 2020

My biggest issue with knits is those that are really thin and slippery like ITY or rayon. I’m definitely afraid of them.

Suzanne
Suzanne

August 07, 2020

Thanks for the tip! I will use coffee filters in place where I usually use tissue paper when I am sewing with vinyl. I love how nicely it tears off! I could use a giant coffee filter to do some hems on adult size clothing! I have the hardest time with that!

Chrislin Payne
Chrislin Payne

August 07, 2020

Can’t wait to try this . Sewing knit circle skirts for my granddaughters now. Want to give them AG skirt, and Wellie to match. Thank you

Maureen MacLean
Maureen MacLean

August 07, 2020

Can’t wait to try this trick. I tried a hem on a knit last night with a terrible result.

Joy
Joy

August 07, 2020

Thanks for the tip about hemming with a coffee filter. Enjoyed reading Ann’s helpful post.

Carol
Carol

August 07, 2020

I’ll try the filter next time. Like all the blog hints, very helpful.Thanks

Connie M
Connie M

August 07, 2020

I always use a new needle, tear away stabilizer and hold the threads before I start to sew.

Rose
Rose

August 07, 2020

I sew alot with knits especially your great t-shirt patterns. I learned about a year ago to use the coffee filter to start my seam. This keeps the fabric from being sucked into the machine. Always have coffee filters on my sewing machine.

Connie
Connie

August 07, 2020

I was taught with tissue paper, but this was long before paper coffee filters. The coffee was “perked” and strong … i still don’t drink coffee.

Kay
Kay

August 07, 2020

I like to sew on knits. But, sometimes they jam in my machine. I will try the coffee filter. I always forget the ballpoint needle too!

Ruth Ann
Ruth Ann

August 07, 2020

Thanks for the tip about coffee filters! I don’t sew much on knits, but when I do I always use a ballpoint needle.

Christa
Christa

August 07, 2020

I usually avoid knits. My hint would be don’t forget the ballpoint needle. Thanks for the tutorial!

Peggy
Peggy

August 07, 2020

I like to use a light tear away under my stretch fabric, it helps to keep it stabalized and feed through easier.

Kathy S
Kathy S

August 07, 2020

My biggest problem is bobbin tension. My machine is supposed to adjust automatically but doesn’t always look like it does.

Kate
Kate

August 07, 2020

What great tip, love sewing your patterns for my granddaughters!!

Jacque
Jacque

August 07, 2020

I love the coffee filter in place of tissue paper which tends to tear. The tip I always give everyone is “sew with a relaxed bottom”. This just helps me remember to put the piece that needs to be eased in on the top. I very seldom get any little tucks.

Rhonda
Rhonda

August 07, 2020

I watched the video and can’t wait to try the coffee filter.

Joanne
Joanne

August 07, 2020

I’ve learned to sew slowly on knits.

Alecia Simpson
Alecia Simpson

August 07, 2020

I’d say my biggest challenge with sewing anything is figuring out the right tension. It’s always so hard to get it just right for anything I need to sew. Takes several tries and I always feel like I’m wasting my fabric. lol.

Connie
Connie

August 07, 2020

I was taught with tissue paper, but this was long before paper coffee filters. The coffee was “perked” and strong … i still don’t drink coffee.

Ruth
Ruth

August 07, 2020

I enjoy your patterns and classes. I wish everything I tried to master offered great classes such as yours. Thank you.

Maryann
Maryann

August 07, 2020

It’s a challenge to sew knits and I have an older machine, but the problems I have are jammed and skipped stitches.

Carol
Carol

August 07, 2020

Thanks a million for your tip – can’t wait to try!

Jackie
Jackie

August 07, 2020

Thanks for the tip!

Marian Peoples
Marian Peoples

August 07, 2020

You know you have sewn forever when you read all the comments and realize you have done them all!. My good old Singer 237 and I had a love-hate relationship with double knits in the 70s, but knits and I have come to an understanding since. I actually do all of the things I read in the comments. I use the coffee filter, ball point needle and a tiny zigzag stitch since this machine doesn’t have a stretch stitch. On my electronic machines it is a little easier, but my go-to machine is still the the 237. I am crazy.. I sew on all types of knits, fairly easily.. but I have worked at it now for years.

Susie
Susie

August 07, 2020

Depending on the knit, mine gets jammed in the throat plate!

Anna
Anna

August 07, 2020

Biggest challenge is getting skipped stitches. I have an older machine and it is picky.

Alberta
Alberta

August 07, 2020

Ball point needle and a tear away stabilizer. I will try this method.

SANDRA NIXON
SANDRA NIXON

August 07, 2020

Keep all the tips coming. Thanks

Sheila Chelednik
Sheila Chelednik

August 07, 2020

Thanks for the tip.

Marietta
Marietta

August 07, 2020

I’m thinking to try my embroidery tear away stabilizer and see if that works the same. Great video. Thank you from Florida

Magdalena
Magdalena

August 07, 2020

I use a stretch needle and stitch, and on the shoulder seams I like to stabilize it with a thin piece of ribbon. If the knit is very thin I sometimes use some wash away stabilizer that is used for embroidery projects.

Suzie
Suzie

August 06, 2020

Hum I didn’t have sound up. Its 2:30am. I’ld wake the house. I’m assuming because coffee filter or tissue paper as many say in comments, keeps the feed from touching the fabric, it won’t stretch. Wish I knew that a couple days ago. Someone , without asking me, gave me shirts to shorten. Soft slipper knit tees. Light weight knits. I hate those. I helped h err out hoping it would lead to Christ. I hope she is happy with the hem. I was not. Sometime I’ll try light paper under an edge sewing on knits

Marie
Marie

August 06, 2020

I always pin it in a dbl fold and use the straight stretch stitch and it works well! this is a great idea, thank you! Thinner stretch fabric will stretch when I stitch it so I will try the coffee filter. For hems on any fabric I dbl fold and pin with the long pins along the hem not across the hem and as I sew i slide the pins out. I was manufacturing the doll clothes. I would buy up the fabric and cut 50 to 100 outfits then pin them all and run through the machine. It worked well with flannel I was always running out of nightys, pjs and diapers, I can’t do it anymore but it was fun! Now I sew just what I want in an amount for me!! I have trouble on starts with any fabric so as it starts to sew I start to pull on the 2 threads and it helps get the start going better and not going into the machine.

Rabbit
Rabbit

August 06, 2020

Thanks for the tip! I usually don’t sew with knits but I have been working up the courage to make some doll clothes from old t-shirts. I will try the coffee filters for sure!

Donna Sherry
Donna Sherry

August 06, 2020

I’ve always used tissue paper to sew knits and 1/8” ribbon on shoulders I will be trying some new ideas next time I sew knits.

Jocelyn
Jocelyn

August 06, 2020

I have always used tissue paper, but is always nice to have another way.

Betty
Betty

August 06, 2020

I have a problem with the fabric stretching. I am going to try the coffee filter. I may also try some some wash away stablilzer.

marilyn
marilyn

August 06, 2020

keeping hems from stretching.

Carrie Smith
Carrie Smith

August 06, 2020

I really like Pixie patterns. Simple and fast but look amazing.

BrendaK
BrendaK

August 06, 2020

I’ve always used tissue paper to sew on knits but it tears easily. The coffee filters sounds so much better!!!

Jackie Koepnick
Jackie Koepnick

August 06, 2020

hems !! but maybe with this tip i will get it

Vicky I
Vicky I

August 06, 2020

Don’t combine the twin needle with the straight stitch plate!

Bonnie
Bonnie

August 06, 2020

I usually avoid knits, but this idea makes me want to try. Thank you

Kristen B
Kristen B

August 06, 2020

Great tips! Thanks for sharing! I’ve been avoiding knit fabric but maybe will try it again.

Diandra
Diandra

August 06, 2020

It was suggested to me to pull lightly on the threads when you begin stitching to keep the fabric from being pulled down into the machine. I’ve been using that combined with using tissue paper underneath to help sew knits.

Barbara Coleman
Barbara Coleman

August 06, 2020

I always have trouble with hems on knit fabric especially t-shirt knits. It always stretches out. I am so glad You now gave me a solution. Thank you!

Christie E Bradley
Christie E Bradley

August 06, 2020

I used to avoid every pattern that required knit fabrics but the Pixie Faire courses for knits and sewing with socks have made it easy enough that now I seek out fun knit patterns and whip up upcycled clothes from old t shirts. The tissue paper trick works wonders, as does stabilizing with lace hem tape. I’m hoping to finally start sewing swimsuits soon so that will be my new challenge.

Beth Watness
Beth Watness

August 06, 2020

You can reduce the chance of the fabric getting stuffed into the throat plate by use the straight stitch plate instead of the more common zigzag plate — if your machine has one. Also start each seam or hem with a two inch piece of stablelizer, coffeefilter, or paper.

Diane Goff
Diane Goff

August 06, 2020

My biggest sewing with knit challenge is keeping tiny hems from being stuffed into the feed dogs.

JacquieCorrigan
JacquieCorrigan

August 06, 2020

Wow, so many great tips! I have been using a roll of tissue paper for years when needing to stabilize a fabric. I love the coffee filter idea — It is bigger and won’t require so much finicky positioning. Thanks so much Cinnamon.

Patti M
Patti M

August 06, 2020

I dreaded sewing on knits. The stretch factor combined with the feed dogs eating the fabric were the things of which my nightmares were made. I purchased the SWC class on knits and now I am beginning to have a bit of success and building confidence. This video is a great step along the way.

Tari Samples
Tari Samples

August 06, 2020

My biggest fear with sewing on knit fabric is it stretching out of shape as I sew and sometimes sewing over a bulky part. However, with the helpful hints of sewing with a coffee filter under the fabric and the knit stabilizer strips, it has become so much easier! Thank you Cinnamon for all you and your crew do for all of us out there! :)

Kaylee
Kaylee

August 06, 2020

My biggest trouble with knits would be hemming them, but thankfully if you iron knits then they usually shrink back.

Tish Evans
Tish Evans

August 05, 2020

My tip is to use a ball point knit needle and change out the throat plate to single needle to keep the fabric from getting sucked into the machine. I have much better looking results when I press the seams as I go along. Another tip for finishing raw edges on knits is to use 1 inch strips of tulle folded in half. Sew the raw edges of the folded tulle to the right side of the garment. Then turn the edge under and topstitch, catching the folded edge of the tulle in the seam. It makes a very neat, thin finish at a neckline or armhole edge! And tulle comes in so many colors and is cheap!

kathy m
kathy m

August 05, 2020

my favorite tip is coffee filter or the tissue paper it amazes I how much save tissue paper from package box it make sewing knits so much easier too and it work on those sheer fabric too for those small pieces

Ann
Ann

August 05, 2020

The coffee filter/tissue paper tip has been a game changer. It really does make sewing knits so much easier.

NancyB
NancyB

August 05, 2020

I love this tip! I always have trouble with getting neat stitches, but probably because I sew them from the wrong side. From the video I can see that the filter gives the stability to keep the neckline from rolling so that it can be sewn from the right side without any problem. I will give this a whirl on my next t shirt project!

Lisa
Lisa

August 05, 2020

I’ve tried coffee filters, but I prefer tissue paper …. I keep a ziplock bag of 1” strips in my sewing area, ready to grab when I need one. Huge help when sewing knits!

Candy
Candy

August 05, 2020

I stopped sewing knits on the machine because they looked so sloppy. I sewed them by hand. The coffee filter was such a good idea I’m getting some at the grocery on Friday. Thank you for such creative ideas!

Janice
Janice

August 05, 2020

Great tip. Just ordered the leotard pattern and ink this will be a great help

Linda
Linda

August 05, 2020

My tip would be to use a little bit bigger stitch width that helps but the coffee filter idea is amazing!

Mae Lynn Beck
Mae Lynn Beck

August 05, 2020

My tip would be the coffee filter as a stabilizer. My challenge is not getting the channel when I use a twin needle.

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