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5 ways to sew knits without serger

I love sewing knit fabrics, but I know this task can be a bit scary, especially if you don't have a serger at home. Luckily, you can sew knits without serger and get great results! In this article, we will talk about 5 ways how you can sew knits at home using only domestic sewing machine, no serger needed!

This post is created in partnership with Mettler - manufacturer of high quality threads.

Founded in 1883 in Switzerland, Mettler has been a part of Amann group since 1988. Mettler threads are known for their high quality and broad range of colours, surface finishes, looks and effects. No matter what needlework project you are working on - sewing, quilting, embroidery or overlocking - Mettler will have the right thread for you!

Now let's dive into ways how to sew knits at home without serger.

Click screen below to watch detailed YouTube video, or scroll to read all 5 ways how to sew knits on domestic sewing machine.

5 ways how to sew knits without serger

Method No.1: sewing with elastic thread.

This method as simple as it gets: on your sewing machine, switch standard all-purpose sewing thread to elastic sewing thread (like Mettler Seraflex) and sew with standard straight stitch, that's it!

Rolled hem on lightweight knit fabric, sewn using Mettler Seraflex

Mettler Seraflex elastic thread is created using innovative raw material PTT. Thanks to this material, thread has more elasticity than standard sewing thread and allows to stretch thread up to 65%. Use Seraflex as top and bobbin thread, release thread tension and sew using straight stitch - your seams will be elastic thanks to elasticity of the thread!

Mettler Seraflex comes in 72 colors

Even though I do have a serger, I like using this method, as it allows me to use a variety of different finishes using standard straight stitch: from rolled hem, elastic binding, to even making French seam on fine knits!

Elastic binding sewn using Mettler Seraflex thread

Mettler Seraflex can be used to sew women's, men's or children's clothing, sportswear, as well as for underwear and lingerie. This thread comes in 72 colors and even in 4-color thread set, which would make a cute gift idea.

Mettler Seraflex thread kit

Method No.2: stretch fabric and sew with straight stitch.

Prior to using elastic sewing thread, this was my favourite method how to sew knits on my industrial straight stitch machine. The idea is very simple: stretch fabric, keep it stretched and sew with straight stitch. Once seam is finished and fabric is released, the stitches 'shrink' along with the fabric. Next time when you stretch the fabric, stitches stretch back to their initial length and seam does not break.

With the method, there are a few things worth knowing: 1) try to stretch fabric equal amount when you sew, so that the seam has same elasticity all around; 2) once fabric is released, it might be a bit wavy, however this will be easily solved by pressing and steaming it.

Method No.3: sew using twin needle.

Twin needle is a great substitute for coverlock machine for home use, especially when it comes to sewing elastic hems. Twin needle is threaded using two threads at the top and when you sew a seam using twin needle, you get two rows of stitches on the outside of the garment and zigzag on the inside - thanks to that zigzag, the seam is elastic.

Twin needle for sewing stretch fabrics

Method No.4: sewing using zigzag stitch.

This method is commonly used among home sewists, as zigzag - thanks to the 'V' shape stitch - creates an elastic seam. To sew knits using this method, there are a few things to note: 1) use narrow zigzag stitch, as wider stitches may result in seam visible on the garment outside; 2) use a longer stitch than your usual stitch (most common stitch length is 2.5mm, to sew knits using zigzag, you should use 3mm or a bit longer stitch).

Method No.5: sewing using elastic stitches.

Depending on your sewing machine model, it may have elastic stitch option. Elastic stitches are standard stitch variations, that create stretch seams: for example, when sewing with elastic straight stitch, the machine is repeat each stitch 3 times before moving on the next stitch, thus creating elastic seam. For this method, it's worth noting that seam will take longer time to produce (as it will be doing each stitch 3 times) and it may not work well with all types of knits (speaking from experience here!).


I hope you enjoyed learning about these 5 ways how to sew knits without serger and it will encourage you to try this comfortable type of fabric!

Best wishes,



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