When sewing with a stretch knit, particularly one with high elasticity such as a tricot, it’s imperative that you understand how to achieve the best results. Tricot is highly used for athletic wear, swimsuits, and undergarments. All of which require a comfortable 4-way stretch. Following a few simple tips and guidelines will make the world of difference in your finish garments. Get ahead the learning curve with this easy to follow free informational download. Make sure to keep it handy for your next tricot project!
Purchase Materials Used For Sewing With Tricot:
- Schmetz Stretch Machine Needles Size 75/11
- Singer Jersey Ballpoint Machine Needles
- Schmetz Stretch Twin Needle Size 2.75/75
- Clear Lasting Stretch Stay Tape
- Maxilock Stretch Serger Thread – 100% Nylon
- Heat’n Bond Lite Soft Stretch Web Adhesive
- Mood Designer Fabrics Metal Walking Foot
- Dritz Wax Free Paper
- Sewing With Tricot (free download below!)
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Cutting your pattern: Try cutting your fabric in a single layer. Pinning your fabric to tracing, or wax-free paper will help the edges lay flat. Make sure you only pin in the seam allowance, you don’t want to leave pinholes in your fabric. Most knits and 4-way stretch fabric like tricot will roll and curl at the edge. You can also prevent this by using a little spray starch on the edges. The starch will wash away with no problem.
Needles: Stretch needles and ballpoint needles will give you the best results. Ballpoint needles have rounded tips that push the yarns of the fabric to the side instead of piercing fabric. Stretch needles will aid in smooth sewing without breaking the thread. Using a stretch twin needle will give your finished seams a little added support.
Stitch: When sewing, you want to use proper stitches that allow for movement and stretch. You will need your seams and hems to be secure. A zigzag stitch will allow the fabric to naturally stretch without causing the threads to break. A twin needle stitch is great for sewing curved openings. The double straight stitch sits on top of the fabric while an overcast stitch on the wrong side helps with stretch and stability.
Presser foot attachments: A serger or overlock machine is ideal when sewing with tricot. Especially if you are making swimwear or activewear garments like leggings. If you are using a standard sewing machine, have no worries. With the proper presser feet attachments, you can achieve the same results. A walking foot will help keep a steady pace as you sew all while preventing unwanted stretching and puckering. An overcast or overedge foot will allow you to secure a stitch right over the raw edge keeping the yarns from fraying.
Check out the free informational download for a few extra tips and enjoy the video below from Project Runway Designer Helen Castillo!