KNIT FABRICS: OPTIONS for BINDING NECK & ARMHOLE & HEM EDGES PART 1

You might remember I mentioned in August 2014 (Sewing for the Summer Part 4)  that I would list some options for finishing the neck and armhole edges when sewing knit garments. My apologies that it has been so long in the coming……Wow life can get super hectic.  However, none of you asked for it so maybe it was not missed….lol?!

One of the many patterns that are available to make quick, simple garments with easy neck, armhole & hem finishes.

One of the many patterns that are available to make quick, simple garments with easy neck, armhole & hem finishes. And incidentally, these Jalie patterns have great diagrams & instructions for the neck & armhole finishes discussed in this post.

There are a quite a few different neck, armhole & hemline finish options to share so stay tuned as there will be a separate post for most of the options.

Perhaps you might like to send us a comment to let us know what you think – what is your favourite go-to technique? Or do you use a variety of techniques depending on the pattern style; fabric and look you wish to achieve?

Option 1: This is the very easiest way to finish a raw edge: DO NOTHING! Yes, most knits will not fray or unravel so just leave the edge trimmed and untouched. I have done this often and then washed & worn my garments many times. Rarely have I had even so much as a  fuzzy.  Some may say it is lazy……well I don’t think so as I get a lot more garments completed when I take this easy labour saving route……. well that’s my story & I’m sticking to it! Leaving the edge unfinished does mean that the lovely soft drape of the fabric is unaffected …..which is how I want it.

 A recent addition to my closet: the Circle jacket by Saf-T-pockets. Has seams from neck along shoulder to cuff but forms a big circle. Best made from a  soft, drapey fabric like this ITY fashion knit I selected.

A recent addition to my closet: the Circle jacket by Saf-T-pockets. Has a seam from neck along shoulder to cuff & forms a big circle. Best made from a soft, drapey fabric like this ITY fashion knit (polyester) fabric in the pic.

Close up showing the raw edge of the knit fabric all along the full circular edge of the jacket.

Close up showing the raw edge of the knit fabric all along the full circular edge of the jacket.

Another Saf-T-pockets pattern I really like. I left the soft drapey sleeve un-hemmed so that it stayed soft.

Another Saf-T-pockets pattern I really like. I left the soft drapey sleeve un-hemmed so that it stayed soft.

the raw sleeve edge - unhemmed.  This has been washed & worn many dozens of times , no unraveling at all.
the raw sleeve edge – unhemmed. This has been washed & worn many dozens of times , no unraveling at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Option2: This is probably the second easiest method. Use a fusible hem tape to turn over the edge and then fuse it in place….no stitching, nothing to show on the right side of the fabric. The product I probably use most often is Steam-a-seam 2 but I will be honest & say that it does not always stick well with polyester knit fabrics. My hems seem to eventually open up after a number of times through the washer. Maybe I am not fusing it with a hot enough iron? But I would not want to “melt” my fabric! Any suggestions?

Hem fused with steam a seam showing both sides. The fabric is a soft ITY polyester knit print

Hem fused with steam a seam showing both sides of the hem. The fabric is a soft ITY polyester knit print

Option3:  Another quick & easy method of finishing a raw edge with knit fabrics is to simply turn the raw edge over to the wrong side of the garment and stitch it down. As the fabric is a knit which stretches, a stretch stitch, preferably a coverhem stitch, is recommended or the stitching may pop when the fabric is stretched.

Another ITY fashion knit tunic top favourite of mine: I turned the neck edge over to the wrong side and simply cover hem stitched it down. It lies flat and looks professionally finished on both sides. Yes, you could use a twin needle if you must, but this still does not have the same stretch as a coverhem would so the stitches may pop at some point.

Another ITY fashion knit tunic top favourite of mine: I turned the neck edge over to the wrong side and simply coverhem stitched it down. It lies flat and looks professionally finished on both sides. Yes, you may use a twin needle if you must, but this still does not have the same stretch as a coverhem would so the stitches may pop at some point. Really way better to have a  5  thread serger which does coverhem or have our simply awesome separate coverhem serger: the JANOME CPX. One of the best additions I made to my sewing room was purchasing the JANOME CPX….I get SO much more sewing done as I don’t have to switch back & forth between 4 thread serging & coverhem on my 5 thread serger  AND my garments look properly & professionally finished.

Right side of the neck edge - 2 thread coverhem wide. And YES, I used stay tape to stabilize the very soft knit fabric.

Right side of the neck edge – 2 thread coverhem wide. And YES, I used stay tape to stabilize the very soft knit fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

Same neck edge seen from the wrong side/inside of garment.

Same neck edge seen from the wrong side/inside of garment.

 

 

 

 

 

What is your favourite technique?

Part 2 coming up in 2 weeks showing some more options for finishing the edges of knit fabric garments.

About lizafrica

I work in the Education Dept at Janome & Elna, Canada and LOVE to sew. I have been employed full time in the sewing and quilting industry for almost 30 years so I bring a wealth of sewing knowledge & expertise to this blog. I enjoy all forms of sewing from quilting to sewing garments to machine embroidery and software. Pretty much everything in my life is seen through the eyes of a passionate sewer! I am constantly on the look out for fun, innovative and inspiring ideas to share with you all on this blog. I also love to read, knit , travel and spend time with my family and friends.
This entry was posted in Creativity, Fashion, GARMENT SEWING WITH JANOME, Janome Fun, JANOME PROJECT IDEA, Janome Sewing Machine and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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