Using a Walking Foot with Knit Fabrics

Jersey Basic Seams

One of the reasons a lot of our workshop attendees are put off from sewing jersey is that they think you need to have an overlocker. Now don’t get me wrong an overlocker is a wonderful thing and will make your dressmaking and sewing life a whole lot easier, but you don’t need an overlocker to sew jersey! There I’ve said it now and there are no more excuses.

However, there are several things that will make life easier sewing knits on a normal machine.

One of which is little bit of kit that will help you to sew nice flat seams on jersey with your ordinary sewing machine and that is a Walking Foot.

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If you’re a quilter you may already know about this little gem, but if not it is a rather clunky looking appendage that has a top set of dog teeth that help to grip the top of the fabric as it passes under the foot. It works in partnership with the bottom set of dog teeth on your machine to grip and pull the layers of fabric evenly and smoothly under the foot as you stitch.

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It prevents the top layer of fabric from dragging and causing the fabric to stretch as as it’s sewn. (Quite a few of the GBSB contestants used one in the last series of the show). It works well on other tricky fabrics too as well as knits.

You can see the difference on this sample of a row of sewing with a normal foot and then a walking foot. Note how the top row with the normal sewing foot has ripples where the fabric has been stretched as its passed under the foot. Unlike the row from the walking foot which is much flatter and more even.

Hems Hand Sewing Slip Stitch 4-236

Don’t be put off by thinking sewing with knit fabrics is tricky. It really isn’t so just give it a go.

We will be posting other tutorials on choosing the correct needle and different stitches to use on jersey very soon.