Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

topstitching a V-knit top help?

dsergio2 | Posted in General Sewing Info on


I am new to this forum and and glad i found it.

I hope i can get some advice on v knit tops and how to embroider a simple design alone the v neckline.

The shirt has a facing and a v neckline. Now, i’m hesitant to topstitch anything on it in fear of the knit fabric stretching.

Can i use interfacing as a stabilizer?? Or do i need actual stabalizer?

I have at home a knit interfacing with a little stretch?

Would appreciate any advice on this. I’m thinking if i put stabilizer under the

topstitching, wouldn’t the fabric get too stiff?

Help please..!!

Thanks in advance






  1. Teaf5 | | #1

    Welcome to the forum! Maybe I can help with this question. I love v-neck tees and often convert purchased crewnecks to v-necks.

    Far more important that stabilizers is your pressure foot tension; that is, how firmly the presser foot pushes down on the fabric. If you normally sew on woven fabrics, it may be set fairly high (strong), and you'll need to loosen/lighten it in order to sew over knits without stretching them out of shape. Note that this is NOT the thread tension.

    The pressure foot tension adjustment is different on different machines, but it's usually in line with the needle, either on the top of the case or inside where the light is. The stretchier your knit, the lighter you need it, to the point it feeds the fabric through but does not push down on it.

    Check your machine manual on optimal settings and try it on scraps of similar fabric. It's really easy, once you find the correct tension.

    1. dsergio2 | | #2

      Thanks for offering me info on stabilizers.. I also like to try to convert

      t shirts with round necklines to v necklines.. but i have not had any success with it.

      What's the trick?

      Does it matter if you used self fabric binding, or store bought binding?

      I tried a v neckline and put store bought binding and the neckline was very

      flimsy, not laying flat like i'd like it to.

      Do you ever topstich (decorative stitches) around the necklines?

      If you do, what can i use so the fabric doesn't stretch so much in the neckline?

      Seems i have a problem with my necklines stretching and not laying flat with the

      v necklines.

      Hope to hear from you




      1. AlisonM | | #5

        Just a couple more tricks to add to your arsenal. . .

        For stabilizing necklines, especially on knits, you can use 1/4" clear elastic.  It's very thin, very flexible, and if you cut it to the exact length of the seam, but extend the ends by about 1/2" on either end of the seam, it'll pull the neckline just taut enough that it'll lay flat on your chest.

        For topstitching, and also for napped fabrics like velvet or corduroy, I love using a roller foot.  One of the reasons you end up with wavy finishes when topstitching, or top and bottom layers different lengths at the end of the seam is that the feed dogs are pulling the bottom layer away from you and the presser foot is putting resistance on the top layer, pushing it towards you.  The roller foot places pressure down towards the feed dogs, but no resistance on the top layer of fabric.  It's a lovely tool. 

        One more on topstitching. . .as awkward as it seems, sew all your topstitching in the same direction.  If you sew, for example, one pocket opening from waistline to side seam, and one from side to waist, one is going to be rolled and puckered.  This means that on one seam, the bulk of your fabric will be under the machine arm instead of off to the side, but it's a small inconvenience in order to get the best result.  On your neckline, this would mean ending or starting two separate seams or topstitching at the V, but if you pull the thread tails to the inside of the garment and hand tie them to each other, nobody will ever see, and the seam won't come undone in the wash.


        Hope this helps.

      2. user-7257885 | | #6

        I convert nearly all my t-shirts to a V-Neck style.  I cut off about 4" from the bottom (I'm short) and use that for the binding on the T-shirt. 

        If you have trouble with it stretching, spray it heavily with spray starch - several coats.  No, you won't want to wear it with that much starch but you can wash it after you have converted it. 

      3. Teaf5 | | #7

        Like another poster, I convert almost all my crew necks to vnecks, also. Sometimes I use the extra length from the bottom as a binding, and other times, I grab a lightweight scrap of coordinating fabric (not knit) to use as a facing. I have never used a stabilizer or interfacing, but in both methods , I run a line of staystitching just above my stitching line before cutting anything so that the neckline stays flat.

      4. mygaley | | #8

        There is a liquid stabilizer on the market that will make any fabric as stiff as you want it. It washes out with water. I used it a lot before I learned about spray starch; with either product, you can add layers until it is as stiff as you want. Store the liquid bottle in a zipper bag so it doesn't evaporate after opening. I once read that for V necklines, to cut the V with a slight inward curve )(, and it would look straight wearing it. Try a Sample. God bless you Galey.

  2. mem | | #3

    hello Diane , Welcome . I would use a sticky tear away stabilizer under the area that you are going to embroider and I think that the interfacing will act as an insitu stabilizer but you need the stick on while you are doing the embroidery as you dont want to hoop up a knit as it will distort . You hoop up the stabilizer and then tear the paper off exposing the sticky and attach you shirt to it and then do your embroidery. If you are just doing top stitching I reacon TEAFs advice is spot on.

  3. dlk311 | | #4

    Hi Diane,

    I have a little different take on the stabilizers.  I don't use the sticky tear-aways because they tend to leave pieces that cause puckering when washed.  SO, I use Sulky's Soft 'n Sheer cut-away, non-woven stabilizer, hoop the stabilizer, and spray it with a spray adhesive to adhere the garment to the stabilizer (don't hoop the garment, just the stabilizer).  This seems to work the best for me.

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All