Updated at: 13-04-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Anyone who wants to learn how to hem a piece of fabric using a sewing machine should consider three basic hem procedures. In this post, you’ll learn more about them so that you can decide which one to utilize for your project. On elastic materials, we’ll also discuss how to make hemming a little easier. Is hemming something you’d like to learn more about? To learn how to stitch the hem of a skirt on a sewing machine, check out our blog for lessons.

How To Hem Stretch Fabric With A Sewing Machine Easily

Twin needles

The double needle is the most frequent way for hemming flexible garments. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze to produce a professional-looking output. In the absence of a cover stitch machine, a twin needle hem is an alternative that can provide the same look and feel of a knitted cloth.

  • Check to see if your sewing machine can handle twin needles.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions for threading and inserting the twin needle. On an embroidery machine, you can follow this guide on how to thread the double-needle so that you can become more familiar with it
  • The knitted item’s length and width should be set on the sewing machine so that it sews in a straight line.
  • Sew the hem in the same way as you normally do.

Zigzag stitch hem

You can sew a hem just like you normally would.

  • Make certain that the zigzag setting on the machine is narrow.
  • If you can, serge the edge of the hem to ensure that it is straight.
  • Sew as normal, but avoid stretching your fabric as this could cause the hem to distort and become wavy.

Even if you don’t own a serger, you can still use a sewing machine to serge.

Straight stitch Hem

Hemming a single fold may not be sufficient to generate the zigzag stitch. Using a slightly elastic cloth for sewing a hem is also handy. Even if you don’t know how to sew, you can still complete this project quite quickly.

  • Set the machine to a straight stitch, with a sufficient length of stitch, to ensure that the stitches are uniform.
  • According to the instructions, finish the rough edge.
  • Don’t forget to sew the hem once you’ve pressed the button.

Double needle

Turn up the hem and stitch using a double-needle (also known as a twin needle) from the correct side of the fabric to obtain a more professional-looking hem without professional equipment. An elastic hem can be achieved by using an elastic bobbin thread.

For a professional-looking cover-stitched finish, you may want to first serge along the raw edge of the hem before you turn it up, if you have a serger.

Stretch stitch a blind hem

It is possible to use the same technique to sew blind hems on both woven and stretchable textiles. There is a stitch function on many modern sewing machines that is similar to the zigzag blind stitch. Creates an intermittently stitched hem, which hides the seams better than a single stitch (as long as the thread color matches the fabric). Knit pencil skirts and unlined unlined knit blazers are great for this hem since they are more sophisticated than knitwear that is more casual.

Do your normal hem pressing first. Once you’ve folded the hem back to its right side, you’re ready to sew it in place.

If you have a machine with a blind hem foot, by all means, use it. On a scrap, determine the stitch width and needle placement. When stitching along the exposed hem edge, make sure the wide zigzag threads catch the garment fold every few stitches. Sew the exposed hem edge from the wrong side. Put pressure on the hem.

What Sewing Machine Stitch Is Best For Stretchy Fabric?

Sewing stretch fabrics calls for a twin-needle, zigzag, or straight stretch stitch. As a result of their ability to stretch with the fabric, they reduce the likelihood of tearing or breaking. Be careful not to pull the fabric while using the straight stitch on stretchy materials. The zigzag stitch on a sewing machine is ideal for flexible materials like yarns and knits. In order to get an elongated zigzag, you’ll need a length equal to the breadth. Because it locks onto the fabric’s elongated edge, the overedge stitch can be used to complete a seam in one go.

Fabric bands

If you’re sewing a knit top and want to cover your stitching, you can use a folded band of cloth to finish the sleeves and/or bottom hem. For this finish, the fabric does not need to be stabilized.

To hem a garment, you must know the opening’s circumference. Make a separate rectangular piece of fabric that is slightly smaller than the opening of the clothing. Make sure the stretch is traveling in the same direction as the stretch of the garment. This will ensure that the bands don’t get slouchy as you draw them over your hands or shoulders.

The short edges of the band should now be serged or zigzagged together. Turn the band so that the wrong sides are facing out and fold the long edges together. Match the seams on the right side of the garment and serge or zigzag stitch both layers together. Pull the band tight.


The coverstitch is the ideal way to hem most knit garments, and you will typically see this finish on store-bought knitwear such as t-shirts and leggings. The right side features parallel rows of straight stitching, with the underside in a loop of thread that allows maximum stretch. You need a specific machine for coverstitching, however, which makes it the least accessible option. Many higher end models of sergers have a coverstitch function that requires a slightly different threading and blade configuration. There are also stand-alone coverstitch machines available for home sewers to purchase.

Most knit garments, such as t-shirts and leggings, are hemmed using the coverstitch, which is the preferred method. Both sides have symmetrical rows of straight stitching and a thread loop that allows for maximum stretch on the underside of the garment. To do coverstitching, you’ll need a special machine, so that’s why it’s the least practical choice. Sergers with a coverstitch feature often have a somewhat modified threading and blade design. There are other coverstitching machines that may be purchased by amateur sewers.

Most knit clothes, such as t-shirts and leggings, are hemmed using the coverstitch, which is the most common method used on store-bought items. Both sides have symmetrical rows of straight stitching and a thread loop that provides maximum stretch. To do coverstitching, you’ll need a special machine, so that’s why it’s the least popular choice. Several high-end sergers offer a coverstitch capability that requires a slightly modified threading and blade arrangement. Additionally, home sewers can purchase a coverstitch machine that does not require an additional machine.

Knits are no more difficult to hem than woven materials, as you can see. With any luck, these methods will make it a breeze for you to complete your knitwear and feel comfortable wearing it.

Can You Hem Stretchy Material?

Using these ways, you can quickly and easily hem elastic fabric:

  • Stretchy textiles can be hemmed with a broad zigzag stitch, while seams can be sewn with a narrower version.
  • If you’re using cotton or a blend, fold the edge of the cloth over and press the seam, but don’t use Spandex since it melts.
  • To finish an elastic knit fabric, simply flip the hem over one time, rather than double-hemming it, as is the case with other materials.
  • Check your stitching settings on spare cloth before cutting and hemming the raw edge using a broad zigzag.
  • When sewing, be careful not to stretch the fabric. The zigzag stitch settings should be adjusted to a width of 4.0 and a length of 3.0.
  • If the hem is puckering, press it and then use hemming tape.
  • Tape the opposite side of the hem, then fold it in half an inch.
  • Once you’ve finished pressing the hem, drag it across it in a circular motion to grab the raw edge
  • It’s important to push the hem till it’s done.
  • In order to get the best results, make sure your machine’s stitch length is adjusted correctly.
  • Depending on what you mean by “rough,”
  • Don’t forget to sew the hem once you’ve pressed the button.

What Sewing Machine Stitch Is Best For Stretchy Fabric?

Stretch materials are best sewn with twin-needle, zigzag, or straight stretch stitches. They move with the cloth, reducing the risk of it cracking or growing. When sewing stretchy textiles, a straight stitch performs quite well. Keep in mind, though, that you should avoid pulling the fabric in any way. The zigzag stitch is the best option for sewing machines when working with elastic textiles, such as yarns and knits. For a thin stitch like a zigzag, you’ll want it to have the same length as width. Additionally, you can use the overedge stitch, which fixes the edge of the fabric so that you can finish the seam all at once.

How Do You Sew Stretchy Fabric Without Puckering?

Swollen cloth can be prevented by using the correct needle, stitch, and thread combination. Keep the fabric from being pulled when sewing is also vital. Putting a tissue in front of the cloth so that the needle can hit it can help keep it stable.

How To Sew Stretchy Fabric Without Falling Into Despair

Knowing how to stitch stretch fabric is an essential ability for any sewer, whether they are experienced or just starting out.

Sewing with elastic fabric can be tricky (for some, it’s downright frightening!). The vast majority of people’s wardrobes consist primarily of items made of stretch fabric. They’re quick to put on, don’t take up much space, and don’t require a lot of upkeep. You’ll be able to take your sewing to the next level if you learn how to sew stretch fabric. It’s not quite as difficult as you might expect.

What is a stretch fabric?

In the textile industry, “stretch fabric” refers to any textile that has more recovery and stretch than is often expected. Stretch-woven fabrics, single knits, some double knits, and even bias-cut fabrics are all examples of these textiles.

The majority of stretch materials are knits. The majority of this group is made up of garments made of jersey fabric. The 4-way stretch of these materials is by far their most notable feature. This implies that they are able to be stretched in both directions. The two-way stretch of some stretch fabrics is mainly found in heavier fabrics. Because of this, it is imperative that you verify that the stretchy fabric you are using is appropriate for your project.

What can stretchy fabric be used for?

Stretchy textiles are popular with people because of their inherent capacity to move and develop with the wearer. For those who lead an active lifestyle, these garments are ideal.

Can I learn how to sew with stretchy fabrics with my home sewing machine?

It is a prevalent misconception that a serger is required when sewing with elastic fabrics. Is it always necessary to use an overlocker or serger to handle stretch materials and create a polished finish? Sewing stretchy knits is made easier with a serger, but it is an additional expense for your sewing machine. It’s also not necessary to use elastic fabrics when stitching. Standard sewing machines can be used instead of sergers to make zigzag stitches.

When stitching stretchy textiles, some people may have problems due to the amount of stretch that some materials have. Consider the proportion of stretch in your chosen fabric, and make sure it matches the pattern you’re using.

Top Tips for sewing stretch fabric

Your ability to stitch stretch fabric will explode if you follow a few easy methods and recommendations. Your goal is to ensure that the final seams lie flat and cleanly, and that they don’t break when the garment is worn.

How to handle the fabric

  1. Make sure you have the proper fabric for your project or pattern before you start it.
  2. Pre-wash all stretchable clothing. Allow it to dry flat for at least a day to retain its shape.
  3. Place your design on the fabric using the pattern you created. Cutting patterns using scissors or a rotary cutter is an effective way to keep your fabric in place.
  4. Pins should be kept within the seam allowance when possible. This helps to keep the clothing free of rips and tears.
  5. Remove the curling iron’s bristles. Knitted jersey, for example, has edges that curl when stretched. Sewing may become even more difficult as a result of this. Make use of a starchy hairspray and press the hair’s ends to straighten it out.

The most important thing to remember while cutting fabric is not to stretch it. Ideally, it should be placed on a table or similar level surface. You don’t want it to stretch out of shape if you let the material dangle over the sides a bit.

What thread & needle to use for stretch fabric

  1. Make sure you’re using the proper kind of needle. You should use a ballpoint or a stretch needle to stitch all stretchy knit fabrics. When stitching, the rounded tip of a ballpoint needle pushes the yarns away from the needle. In the process of cutting and sewing, it protects the knit fabric from being damaged. This is in contrast to the traditional method of pulling them apart by piercing through them.
  2. It’s not just about how big you are. Make sure you use the correct needle size for your material.
  3. It’s not necessary to use specific threads for stretch fabrics, and an ordinary polyester thread works just well because it has some elasticity. You should avoid using cotton thread because it can break if pulled.

When sewing with stretch fabrics, patience is essential. When sewing with flexible materials, it is imperative that you take your time. With the needle still down, take a few moments to check that the raw edges of your material are properly aligned. Keep your cool!

The Best Stretch Stitches & Sewing Machine Settings for Stretchy Fabrics

  1. Use stitches that can withstand the fabric’s elasticity. To avoid puckering and breaking, the stitches must stretch with the fabric. The material should be held taut but not pulled when sewing a straight stitch.
    • It’s best to go with the narrowest zigzag possible, with a zigzag stitch length equal to stitch width.
    • One stitch does the job of both sewing and finishing a seam using the Overedge Stitch (also known as an overlock stitch).
    • Three rows of straight stitches make up the straight stretch stitch.
    • A twin needle is required for the twin-needle stitch. There are two rows of stitching running parallel down the right edge of the fabric on this side. The bobbin thread on the wrong side of the fabric zigzags.
  2. Try using a different foot on the press. You may prevent one layer of material from stretching out by using a dual feed foot or walking foot attachment on your sewing machine. Make sure to check your machine’s manual to see if it is compatible.

TOP TIP: Sewing in the direction of least stretch is recommended when stitching buttonholes in a stretch fabric. With a four-way stretch fabric, this may be tough, but check all sides to see if one has less give. First, stabilize the wrong side of the fabric using fusible interfacing. This should result in a buttonhole that is both attractive and sturdy.

It is our aim that these helpful hints on how to sew stretchy fabrics will instill confidence in your sewing abilities and prevent you from experiencing any unnecessary frustrations. Why not broaden your knowledge of stretchable materials now that you’ve honed your craft? To get started, simply click the button to the right.


What is the stretch stitch on a sewing machine?

Using a stretch stitch is the most frequent method for sewing stretch fabrics. A conventional straight stitch would break or pop if stretched, however this stretch stitch is exactly straight and allows for stretching without the thread popping or breaking.

Can you use straight stitch on stretch fabric?

We use straight stitches to sew woven materials since they can’t stretch, and straight stitches ‘pop’ and break when the fabric is stretched, which is why straight stitches are used. As a result, a stitch like a zig zag stitch, which can stretch with the fabric, is required.

Why is my sewing machine skipping stitches on stretch fabric?

When a sewing machine skips stitches, the needle is the most typical culprit. It is possible that the needle is bent, even though you can’t see it. Use has dulled or nicked the point, depending on your perspective.

Does stretch mesh fray?

Knitted clothing is typically only turned inside out once. You don’t have to finish the unfinished edge of most stretch knits because they don’t fray.

Which way should fabric stretch?

Rather than going up and down, the greatest stretch should move across your body. A good stretch fabric fit can be achieved by following these guidelines. When laying out your fabric, don’t worry too much about aligning up the selvedges.

Does a zig zag stitch stretch?

A zigzag stitch is an excellent method for sewing knit textiles together. Because of the fabric’s intrinsic stretch, there is no worry of a seam popping. Use a stitch length of 1.5 and a width of 5 on light to medium weight knits.

What is the order of threading the upper part of sewing machine?

Place a spool of thread on your machine’s thread pin to begin setting up the upper thread (also called a spool pin or spool holder). Put a needle through the thread guide and sew up the hole. Thread the thread through the thread guide on the left side of your machine. It’s time to thread the needle.

How do you stabilize stretch fabric?

To stabilize the seam, simply sew some non-stretch ribbon or stay-tape into the seam as you sew it. Knits will need to be hemmed differently than wovens because you’ll be needing an element of stretch to the seam. This unfortunately means that a regular straight stitch is off the menu!

What is diagonal stitch?

Simply sew some non-stretch ribbon or stay-tape into the seam as you sew it to ensure that the seam doesn’t stretch out. Because the seam on knits must be able to stretch, they must be hemmed differently than wovens. This means that straight stitching is out of the question.

What is a stretch blind hem stitch?

Stretch blindly as a strategy Hem For stitching hems that are nearly undetectable from the right side of fabric, Stitch was created specifically for you. For knit or stretchy fabric items, this stitch is ideal.


Yes, I found it really useful. To recap the methods available for sewing elastic hems on stretch materials, twin needles, zigzags, and straight stitches can all be used to achieve the desired results. Knits, for example. When sewing stretch materials, we recommend that you use the right needle and settings, such as the needle tension, width, and stitch length. If you have any queries, please leave them in the comments section below.