August 03, 2020

300 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! 

 

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:

 

 

  

 

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

Debbie
Debbie

August 04, 2020

I find that some knits are easier to work with than others but it’s always a bit challenging to do necklines.

Anna
Anna

August 04, 2020

I use tissue paper but it does leave a ton of tiny pieces. Will try the coffee filter trick next time.

Katherine E Ackerman
Katherine E Ackerman

August 04, 2020

I think this is a great idea. I have had trouble with sewing knits, trying to keep from stretching and getting caught in the feed. Also stiches getting skipped.

Gail Beam
Gail Beam

August 04, 2020

The only time I sewed with knits it totally stretched out of shape, so I have no tips, but I will definitely try the coffee filter and other tips given.

Rose
Rose

August 04, 2020

Sewing on knit fabrics can be challenging.
Love the coffee filter idea, so much sturdier than tissue paper!

Cora
Cora

August 04, 2020

I always use a ball point needle for knits. I have trouble hemming knits. I pin often.

Kendra
Kendra

August 04, 2020

Thanks so much for the awesome tip for hemming knits! Hemming has been one of my biggest challenges. I can’t wait to try the coffee filter method!!

Maureen
Maureen

August 04, 2020

I used to sew with stretch and sew patterns when my children were small. Now I quilt!

Lorraine M
Lorraine M

August 04, 2020

I always use a Ball Point needle for knits and if you start sewing on a scrap square of fabric, then place the doll garment right up against the edge of the scrap, so you just keep right on going, Take a back stitch or two, then keep going and your machine won’t eat the knit ( it won’t get stuck in the presser foot.) Simply cut off the square scrap afterwards and you can use it for the next time! I use Tear away stabilizer or Stitch and Tear stabilizer, although I have used coffee filters too.

Jackie Stanley
Jackie Stanley

August 04, 2020

When I sew with knits, I always use a strip of wax paper, so the knit does not try to stretch while I am sewing, then when finished I just tear the sewn line of the wax paper away clean an neat.

Sue
Sue

August 04, 2020

Biggest challenge is the fabric stretching or getting holes.

Rebecca
Rebecca

August 04, 2020

I tend to shy away for knits because of the stretching. The coffee filter trick is the best tip I have seen yet. I will definitely try it

Laurie
Laurie

August 04, 2020

I use a longer stitch length which helps a lot! Thanks for the chance to win!

Megan
Megan

August 04, 2020

I find sewing knits without stretching them a real challenge. Can’t wait to try out these tips. :)
~ Megan

Phyllis
Phyllis

August 04, 2020

I like to use a double needle when sewing knits. It has a bit of stretch and looks like a cover-stitch.

Beth Reiman
Beth Reiman

August 04, 2020

I don’t do knits. it never lays right. I’ll have to give it another try with the filter.

June
June

August 04, 2020

My biggest challenge was getting the seam started. It always wanted to get pushed down in the throat plate. Then I heard about using tissue paper and I have much better luck with that. But I really do like the coffee filter idea.

Melissa
Melissa

August 04, 2020

Great tip! I’ll have to try it. I like using a ballpoint double needle for sewing hems on knits.

Maria L Badani
Maria L Badani

August 04, 2020

The coffee filter is a great tip and if it is done with a new needle, it will be the best!

Beth Reiman
Beth Reiman

August 04, 2020

I don’t do knits. it never lays right. I’ll have to give it another try with the filter.

Janet  P
Janet P

August 04, 2020

I love the coffee filter idea for sewing with knits. I have used tissue paper previously and it help but it is messy.

And, as other people said – using a new ball-point needle made for knits is key.
I will certainly use the coffee filter idea when I next want to sew knits.

Shasta
Shasta

August 04, 2020

Knit is challenging a lot of the time.

Cindy
Cindy

August 04, 2020

Sewing with knit is a challenge most of the time.

Bridgette
Bridgette

August 04, 2020

My biggest challenge is skipped stitches

Carolyn Meyers
Carolyn Meyers

August 04, 2020

I love this coffee filter tip! I sew with knits all the time but doll clothes present special issues due to their size as opposed to my own knit garments. A ripply neckline is always discouraging and now I know just the tank top pattern to use this application on!!! Thank you sew much!

Bridgette
Bridgette

August 04, 2020

I try not to stretch it.

Carole
Carole

August 04, 2020

My biggest challenge is knowing what needle to use.

Christine
Christine

August 04, 2020

My best tip is, when you start sewing a hem on a knit garment (or a turned over neckline or armhole, begin a cm or so in, then backstitch, and go forward from there rather than starting at the edge. This helps avoid getting material stuck or twisted under the needle.

Dianne
Dianne

August 04, 2020

Hemming has been my problem with it stretching out even if I hold it loosely. Will try this coffee filter trick since it doesn’t leave a lot of leftover paper. Thank you!

Jude Boese
Jude Boese

August 04, 2020

I like the idea of the filter. Yes , tissue paper can leave a mess. Sometimes I use water soluble paper that you can get online, and if it’s a really slippery fabric I use the double sided 1/4 water soluble tape that works for placing trims too. Thanks for the great ideas. Every bit helps

Margaret
Margaret

August 04, 2020

Love this idea, works like a charm!

Kelly
Kelly

August 04, 2020

I have had some luck using a needle for stretch material and a stretch zigzag stitch on my sewing machine.

Sharon B.
Sharon B.

August 04, 2020

My biggest challenge is sewing slinky knits.

Suzan V
Suzan V

August 04, 2020

I use a stretch straight stitch and it turns out ok. Will check into the coffee filter method next time. Thanks!

Nancy
Nancy

August 04, 2020

OMG, I haven’t been making my American Girl doll clothes for awhile, just checking the site for something new when I saw this tutorial. I am over the moon
1 haven’t been making knits because I didn’t think I could do the neck and armholes, talk about being in the right place at the right time! I am going to my patterns and pull out all the knit patterns . Thank you so much!

Sherril
Sherril

August 04, 2020

I don’t have any challenges since I have never tried working with knits, I stick to quilter’s cotton.

DellaSue Sheline
DellaSue Sheline

August 04, 2020

I leave the knit projects to do last!

Sue S
Sue S

August 04, 2020

I’m looking forward to trying the coffee filter tip. It looks like a very useful trick. Thanks.

Barb White
Barb White

August 04, 2020

Can’t wait to try this, tiny clothes are sometimes tricky.

Carol
Carol

August 04, 2020

i used tearaway stabilizer. Always seem to have plenty of spare pieces laying around.

Glenda
Glenda

August 04, 2020

The coffee filter is a great idea. I have to re-adjust my bobbin tension (my machine is probably out dated!) other wise it doesn’t sew smoothly.

Peg
Peg

August 04, 2020

I was using my 1/4 inch foot to sew on knits! It was horrible! Switching to a regular foot helped a lot. Looking forward on trying the coffee filter trick. Thanks

SARAH K
SARAH K

August 04, 2020

My biggest fear of sewing knits with a double needle without stretching the fabric. It always stretches when I sew across the fabric

Sue
Sue

August 04, 2020

Spray starch ironed onto the hem area sometimes helps me get a smooth hem

Kendra
Kendra

August 04, 2020

My problem with sewing knits is that my machine always eats them. I have used tissue paper, which works, but as the blog said, there is often residue which can be hard to get out without ruining my stitching. The coffee filter is a great idea. I’ll definitely try this next time. Thank you.

Tracy .M.
Tracy .M.

August 04, 2020

Great idea with the coffee filter, I will definitely try this tip, Thanks so much!

Leanna
Leanna

August 04, 2020

I stabilize my knit seams with stay-tape, fusi-knit around necklanes (on the wrong side), and use washaway wonder tape to hold fiddly seams together.

Joanne E
Joanne E

August 04, 2020

My biggest challenge is to get hems in t-shirt knit fabric to lay flat. I have never thought of using a coffee filter to help. I will have to try this method!

Maya S
Maya S

August 04, 2020

Wow, this is perfect timing! I have just started sewing again—mostly knits. I tried the tissue paper trick in the the past, but just like you mention in the video, the tissue paper doesn’t come out cleanly, creating a whole new headache. My favorite tip for sewing with knits is pretty simple: change with knits you are using. I mostly use knits from old t-shirts, and I’ve found that a lot of unisex and kids’ shirts are made from much less stretch-prone fabric. Switching to making my dolls clothing out of these shirts has been key!

Mardelle J.
Mardelle J.

August 04, 2020

If possible, use a serger on knits; makes it so much easier.

Donna Landreth
Donna Landreth

August 04, 2020

My biggest challenge is heming the sleeves on a knit dress or blouse. Thank you Cinnamon for the awesome giveaways.😘

Susan
Susan

August 04, 2020

I took a class about knits. Use clear elastic meant as a stabilizer in the seam. It doesn’t show, but keeps the seam flat and not won’t stretch out.

NoraL
NoraL

August 04, 2020

My challenge with knits is the bulkiness of a hem, so much so that at times I just fold once and do a blind hem. Thanks for this hack – I definitely will use next time I’m hemming with the machine.

Monique Deloney
Monique Deloney

August 04, 2020

My challenge is sleeves. I’ll try the coffee filter trick.

Candace
Candace

August 04, 2020

Don’t forget to use a ball point needle, created specifically to sew on knits, also a bit longer stitch length helps to prevent stretching. Ball point needles are also available for sergers, and many machines have a differential feed option for knits. Don’t pull or stretch the fabric as you go either. The hardest thing to do is make buttonholes on knits… stabilizers are a must for that.

Cath
Cath

August 04, 2020

My biggest challenge with sewing with knits for dolls is keeping the bulk down. It often requires using different standards and methods of sewing that I wouldn’t use for my own garments and I don’t always know what those are. Happy stitching!

Shelly
Shelly

August 04, 2020

I’ve used copy paper as the backing, but I think the coffee filter way is best as it’s small enough to maneuver around the fabric. Thanks!

Tamara G
Tamara G

August 04, 2020

One of the more helpful tips I got was from one of the PixieFaire classes — using the product Steam-a-Seam. It helps to hold the hem edge together so it’s easier to sew and the fabric doesn’t stretch as much. It can be a bit fussy but it helped me a lot. Knits aren’t my favorite to sew with, I’ll admit! But I do have lots of coffee filters sitting in the pantry…now I can put them to good use!!

Cath
Cath

August 04, 2020

Using a stabilizer is a great idea. I don’t have coffee filters, but I do have lots of scraps of embroidery stabilizer, some wash away, some tear away and some uses the heat of your iron to disappear. I could use that scrap for this. Thanks for the ideas and thanks for the opportunity. Happy stitching!

Dianne
Dianne

August 04, 2020

I have a few favorite tips from the sewing with Cinnamon knit course. Using stretch lace and a twin needle to hem a t-shirt and using a steam iron to “shrink” the seam back into place. They both work well.

Roxanne Perez
Roxanne Perez

August 04, 2020

I think I just paanic when it comes to knits, I dont do too bad if I sew it on the serger.

Annette
Annette

August 04, 2020

I find that using a double needle can help it to stretch and not break, if you straight stitch with one needle it won’t stretch. Plus it looks like a coverstitch!

Leslie
Leslie

August 04, 2020

My biggest challenge is the stretching (knits). But I will give the coffee filter a try.

Doll LOver
Doll LOver

August 04, 2020

My favorite trick with knits is to sew with tissue paper to avoid it stretching.

Carrie
Carrie

August 04, 2020

My biggest knit challenge is how much the neck stretches out.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

August 04, 2020

My favorite knit tip is sewing with tissue paper, helps to keep the knit from stretching as I sew it. I also use it when I need to iron the garment of course on a low temp.

PATRICIA HORTON
PATRICIA HORTON

August 04, 2020

I have always hated to sew with knits. My project ends up going every which way, like a doll bathing suit i tried. That was a severe wreckage!! I will try the the COFFEE FILTER trick you told us about. I sure will give it a try. Maybe I can now redo the bathing suit!!

T
T

August 04, 2020

Biggest challenge when sewing with knits is the stretching of the fabric.

Gail
Gail

August 04, 2020

I have problems with hems stretching on me.

Sandy
Sandy

August 04, 2020

My challenge is getting my machine to cooperate. Yes I use ballpoint needles and have used tissue paper, and then took an hour to get all the paper residue off. Definitely will try coffee filter next time. Just hope my machine isn’t hungry for knits!

Judy
Judy

August 04, 2020

I like using a double needle to do the hem. Makes it look like a store bought shirt hem. You have to sew a little slower than usual but it looks so much better. It works on sleeves as well if you hem them before sewing them into the shirt.

Denise
Denise

August 04, 2020

I have had trouble with hemming on knits. I

Lorretta
Lorretta

August 04, 2020

Thank you so much for the chance to win and for the help your always sending our way xx

HELEN
HELEN

August 04, 2020

My favorite way to sew any seam with knitted fabrics, hems, side seams etc. is to use tissue paper pinned to the bottom of the pattern pieces and sew. The tissue paper is larger and when tackling my grand daughters matching outfits, it helps the fabric slide and not get caught and bunch up.

Linda A C
Linda A C

August 04, 2020

Biggest challenge is stretchy hems so I will be trying the coffee filter trick.

Maryann
Maryann

August 04, 2020

My biggest challenge to sewing knits is stitches breaking. I will definitely try the coffee filter trick.

MARLENE
MARLENE

August 04, 2020

I love sewing on knits. The coffee filter tip is great. I love using a double needle, but sometimes it bunches. Maybe the coffee filter would help

Sherrie
Sherrie

August 04, 2020

My biggest challenge is getting started.

Bonny
Bonny

August 04, 2020

My biggest challenge in sewing hems on knit fabrics. The tip about sewing knit hems with a coffee filter was fantastic! I’ve always had trouble with the hem stretching but with this tip it comes out perfect. Thank you.

Roxanne
Roxanne

August 04, 2020

I’ll have to give this a try. Using a zigzag stitch is great for knits as it stretches with the fabric.

Judith Martinez
Judith Martinez

August 04, 2020

My biggest challenge is cutting out pieces with knits. Getting the fabric smoothed out so that the pattern is cut accurately.

Jane
Jane

August 04, 2020

I have a lot of knit sundresses my granddaughter has grown out of. I love making her 18" doll a dress from the material. I move the dress front pattern around to show her favourite characters on the material. I just finished a knit dress with a unicorn on the front. Now she will remember one of her favourite dresses that she had as a toddler.

Marilyn
Marilyn

August 04, 2020

The biggest problem is not tearing the knit.
Marilyn

Cheryl R.
Cheryl R.

August 04, 2020

My tip is to definitely use ball point needles and not sharps for knits….makes a huge difference!

Holly
Holly

August 04, 2020

Slowly learning to not fear knit fabrics, so my tip would be to just keep trying and don’t be discouraged!

Denise Darby
Denise Darby

August 04, 2020

My tip is making sure you use a jersey needle in your machine. Makes all the difference.

Kenisha Speights
Kenisha Speights

August 04, 2020

Using a stretch stitch helps a lot when sewing with know.

Penny
Penny

August 04, 2020

I love sewing with knits! Did the “Stretch and Sew” patterns back in the day! Biggest problem I have is getting stripes to stay lined up as material top or bottom seems to move no matter how many pins I use!

Granny Sandy
Granny Sandy

August 04, 2020

My tip would be to use a stretch stitch to help with sewing knits , Thankyou for sharing your tips!

Granny Sandy
Granny Sandy

August 04, 2020

Well my problem is knowing how to cut knit fabric? Do you cut it with the stretch going round or going up an down ? I always gat mixed up! Thankyou for all your Help!

pat p
pat p

August 04, 2020

I like to use a coffee filter to start the seam. If the knit is really fussy I have used the filter under the entire seam. I have one t=shirt I call my coffee filter t because that is what I had to do, but it looks perfect.

s.c.
s.c.

August 03, 2020

A very important thing to note when working with knits is to pay attention to the grain. If you are sewing on the bias there is a very good chance it might stretch a lot. I did this once with one sleeve and the sleeve looked like a totally different style than intended.

Maxi
Maxi

August 03, 2020

I use fuse knit interfacing for hems. I cut it in 1/2" strips and fuse to the bottom of a shirt before I hem. This interfacing is light weight and stretches enough when you need it to but hem doesn’t stretch while you are seeing.

kathy
kathy

August 03, 2020

I use to avoid sewing with knit. Then I watched the Sewing with Knit Fabrics with Cinnamon. Now I don’t mind working with knits.

Lynn M
Lynn M

August 03, 2020

I dread sewing with knits—my machine doesn’t seem to like them! Plus I always seem to get stretched-looking hems.

Heidi
Heidi

August 03, 2020

My biggest challenge when sewing with knits is hemming without having the fabric stretch.

Monica J.
Monica J.

August 03, 2020

I can’t wait to try this tip! Sewing hems on knits is always challenging.

Kimberly C
Kimberly C

August 03, 2020

I used to have problems keeping my marching from eating the knots, which then caused problems with the look of the item. I saw a trick where you take scraps to start the sewing and then slide what you’re sewing right next to it and then cut apart when done. That has been a saver!

Maureen A
Maureen A

August 03, 2020

My biggest challenge is knowing what knit type to use with what pattern.

Pat
Pat

August 03, 2020

My biggest Knit Challenge is hemming sleeves….they always have a “flare-out”! Will be trying this hint.

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