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Knit Fabric Sewing Need Help

donnaraes_sewing | Posted in Teach Yourself To Sew on

Hi everyone.  I have searched google, my sewing books and asked and have not been able to find any insturctions for my question.  Am sure the experts here know. Wish I had thought about asking at Threads to begin with.

I bought a couple of knit shirts (tshirt type) for my mom.  She likes the shirts but wants then longer.  So I have all kinds of knit I can add or lace, am not sure how to add it with the stretch.  If I add the lace that is not stretch then I lose the stretch at the botton. Do I stretch the bottom out and then sew on the lace or mayve add elastice to the lace?  I hope I am asking this questin right.  I have found tutes for adding ruffles on tee’s (found here at tThreads) but the ruffles are going up and down not across like I want to do. 

Any help so appreciated!



Donna Rae


  1. stillsuesew | | #1

    Is the tshirt big enough around the hips without needing to stretch?  If it isn't I would add a border of knit fabric.  If it is big enough you can just sew the lace flat to the bottom with a very narrow stretch stitch or zigzag.  Lace at the bottom is very "in" right now.  I would not add elastic but if you needed to have stretch and lace you could gather it a bit and zigzag it on.  Remove the gathering thread and it should stretch.

    1. lasvegas0001 | | #4

      Nice Tshirt

      Designed by the famous cartoonist Joshua Quagmire exclusively for BombG T-Shirts.

      Joshua Quagmire is an American cartoonist for underground and more commercially popular comic books, best known for his creation Cutey Bunny.

      The design is printed approximately 12 inches tall on the front of the T-Shirt.

  2. User avater
    VictoriaNorth | | #2

    From Senior Technical Editor, Judith Neukam:

    This is a problem that calls for creativity more than sewing expertise. Whatever solution you choose you will be sewing a horizontal seam across knit. The seam has to stretch, so make it a zigzag. The seam edges can be lapped, abutted, or standard with a seam allowance. The seam allowance can be hidden or exposed.

    Let’s limit the choices of fabric to another knit, a woven, or a lace. In those categories, the knit can be different colors, weights, and textures; the woven could be sheer like chiffon or crisp like a quilting cotton or eyelet; and the lace could also be a mesh or net.

    This is where the creativity comes in: decide all of the places you could add length to a T-shirt. The easiest place is to add a second hem under the first—like a layered T-shirt. The trick to making additions look planned is to add the second fabric in more places than one. You can trim the neck or sleeve hems, or use the second fabric to add an applique. You don’t have to add the fabric to the hem; it could be more effective to add it in the middle of the T-shirt: Cut the lower 5 inches of the shirt off, add a band of fabric, and sew the original hem to the band. Instead of cutting the shirt horizontally, cut it diagonally for the addition. Another trick is to cut off about a third of the shirt, add a new knit at the desired length and then applique odd shapes to the new fabric cut from the original piece.

    One last tip: if you add a band, at the bottom or inserted into the T-shirt, add extra rows of stitching, or add two bands separated by a band of the original fabric, to make the change look planned.

  3. Pattiann42 | | #3

    Knit Fabric Help

    I would start by experimenting with a couple old knit shirts. 

    If you stretch the shirt and attach the lace you may not like the look when the knit relaxes. 

    Stretch lace may work. 

    What about a larger size shirt?  Sometimes they are longer.  You maybe able to alter the fit and have the length needed without re-hemming or adding onto the hem.

    I use stretch needles instead of ball point when working with knits.

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