Lazy Tips for Sewing Knits: Trimming the Selvedge

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I love sewing knits. Sure, I was intimidated by them at first, but once you get the feel for working with them, knits are so forgiving and fast to sew!

There all kinds of great tutorials out there on how to sew knits, but I thought I’d share some of the quick and lazy ways that I choose, cut, and handle with knits! Nothing couture, nothing fancy… just the tricks that I’ve learned along the way. In return, I’m really hoping you’ll share your own tricks in the comments! 

First up: Trimming the selvedge! 

selvedge curl

Knit fabrics and woven both have selvedge edges. But have you ever noticed that when you prewash some knits, the selvedge shrinks smaller than the rest of the fabric?

selvedge doesn't line up

See how the stripes match up near the scissors? But just 10” along the fabric, by the pattern weight, the stripes are already mismatched? If you are trying to match up prints, that can be a big problem! 

selvedge trimThe easy solution is to slice off at least an inch of fabric along the selvedge. (See how the trimmed piece is shorter than the main fabric? If you are dealing with a few metres of fabric, that difference in length can really add up!)  Once your trimmed off the selvedge on both sides, you are ready to cut and sew! 

That’s my tip for now! Next time, I’ll show you my lazy way to find the grainline! 

If you haven’t sewn much with knits, are there any fears I can help you with? If you do sew knits, how did you learn? By trial and error, or by reading or taking a course? 


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