The “Essential Techniques” department in Threads #178 covers just about everything you need to know for successful staystitching. In this sewing tip excerpted from “Staystitching,” author Daryl Lancaster explains when it’s necessary to staystitch knits.
Knits usually aren’t handled in the same way as wovens. If you choose to staystitch, the stitching shouldn’t negate or eliminate any stretch inherent in the knit and essential to the garment’s fit or style.
To determine if staystitching is necessary in a knit garment, consider the intended silhouette and what will be attached to the edge in question. If a knit needs to be stabilized, staystitching can help. On the other hand, if the edge needs to retain movement or flexibility, use a fusible interfacing such as Fusi-knit tricot (JoAnn.com). Cut the interfacing on the crosswise grain in 3⁄8-inch-wide strips, and fuse them to the fabric’s wrong side at any unstable edges. If using a pattern-tracing medium, such as HTC’s Red Dot Tracer, fuse the interfacing strips while the fabric is attached to the pattern. (This technique works well for loosely woven and unstable fabrics, too, as shown in the photo above.)
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