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Trouble shooting Knit with Nikki from Bubby and me

Nikki Marsh - Bubby & Me Designs

Today we have a guest blogger – Nikki from Bubby and Me Creations.  Nikki has contributed the Willow Dress to Issue 10.  Nikki also contributed the Penny dress to Issue 6 and guest blogged about sewing a facing to a sleeveless bodice back in 2015.  Today Nikki is going to share her troubleshooting tips for sewing with knit fabric.


Sewing with knit fabric - troubleshooting skipped stitches-01

I am definitely no expert when it comes to sewing with knit fabric.  I feel I learn something new with every garment I make and it’s usually through trial and error!  But it’s not just using knit fabric it’s also learning how my sewing machine handles knit fabric.

I have a sewing/embroidery machine and up to this point, it’s been amazing.  Can’t complain.  But once I started to make items using knit fabric I started to experience some issues that have made me realize that I can’t just turn my machine on and expect it to sew perfectly.

So here a few tips that I have learned that work for me and hopefully, will work for you too!

I have found that it’s really important to use good quality thread especially when using a stretch stitch.  In my experience, my machine shreds the cheapy thread causing it to break constantly.  I use Gutermann but I also know many people recommend Rasant as well.

Another issue that has driven me bananas is skipped stitching particularly when twin needle stitching.  To date, I have not been able to get this right on my whiz bang sewing machine, but it’s no issue on my good ol’ trusty back up machine which is as basic as basic comes.  But I’ve also experienced skipped stitches when sewing with the stretch stitch and when using a gathering stitch (which you need in STEP 1 of the Willow Dress pattern).

To fix the skipped stitches on the stretch stitch setting, I make sure I am using good quality thread including in my bobbin.  Make sure you are using the correct size sewing needle (obviously a stretch needle) and then I slow my stitching right down.  It might take a little longer, but I find this works best for me.

And for the issue of skipped gathering stitches, I found this worked a treat.  In STEP 1 of making the Willow Dress, you need to stitch a gathering stitch along the edge of the ruffles.  But my gathering stitch kept skipping.  So after a quick Google search, I found the issue I was having was referred to as “fabric flagging” which is the fabric bouncing up and down as you sew.  There are a couple of ways to fix this and this one worked for me.

My machine needle is automatically set to the centre of the sewing foot.  When the needle goes through the fabric, it’s causing the fabric to “bounce” and the stitching is skipping.

Troubleshooting knit sewing image 1

By moving the needle position to the far left, which gave it a bit more stability, my stitching worked and there was no skipping.

Troubleshooting knit sewing image 2

So that’s what worked for me.  If you’ve experienced these issues, hopefully these suggestions might work for you too.

Willow Dress Stand Alone Cover from One Thimble Issue 10 You can purchase Nikki’s pattern for the Willow Dress as a single pattern HERE  or Purchase Issue 10 which contains this pattern HERE.

If you want to find out more about Nikki you can read my interview with her HERE or visit Nikki’s website to find out more about her other patterns HERE.

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