Stretch Stitch: Sewing Tip

Honestly, when it comes to sewing with knits, a trusty serger machine will make quick work of your task.  If you don’t have a serger, don’t worry.  There are many stitches on your standard machine that will help you conquer this fabric, including the Stretch Stitch!

Stretch Stitch is your friend!

 

Stretch Stitch Sewing | The Sewing Loft

With this simple stitch you can not only join seams but create beautiful hemlines.  The stretch stitch allows for the fabric to give when pressure is applied.  Without it, your thread would snap and break leaving you with a hole.

The stretch stitch is sometimes referred to as a triple stretch stitch. That name refers to the 3 overlapping stitches.  These stitches allow for the knit to stretch and the thread to flex. When using this stitch, the needle position is located to the left.  Personally, I like to adjust the position to the right. This can be done very easily.  Please refer to your machine manual for further instructions.

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Comments

  1. Heather, thanks for the reminder about the stretch stitch. Owning a serger makes me forget about the existence of some really useful stitches on the sewing machine.

  2. Ronda Halvorsen-Ferns says:

    Thanks Heather I shared it with some FB friends, love your tutorials! @Samina I always do the same thing now that I have my Evolution….. But got myself in a bind the other day going wild with the serger and cut off way tooo much allowance..

  3. I just got my first sewing machine. It is a basic singer, how do I set the stich with just the basic round knob?
    Thanks!

  4. and, on some stretch items like fleece, you might want to lengthen your stitch and lighten up your tension..

  5. Bless you! Bless you! Bless you! I want to make an animal print dress out of some expensive material but didn’t want it to look cheaply made or unraveling as I walked. This helps so much!

  6. This stitch can be extremely difficult to “unstitch”. There are other options.

  7. Thanks for your post. A new machine after

    years, couldn’t find what a stretch stitch was. A triple stitch. Thanks

    • By “triple stitch”, do you mean the wide zig zag that is made up of three stitches for each zig or zag? My machines are good sturdy ones, and they have an assortment of zig zag stitches, but the machines were made before knit fabric was an option for home sewers. None of the instructions in the manual indicate which of the stitches is appropriate for knits. My machine does not have the “lightening bolt” stitch.

      • It would be helpful too to see an example of the stitch you mention in the original post. If it is the picture with the pink fabric, it doesn’t make sense to me as it doesn’t look like a stretch stitch. It just looks like someone stitched the same straight seam three times. Color me confused.

        • Hello Patty,
          Sorry to hear that you are confused but yes, the triple needle stitch looks very similar to stitching

          rows close together. While sewing, the feeddogs move the fabric back and forth while shifting slightly to create this stitch. It allows for the thread and fabric to stretch together. Be sure to check your manual to see if your machine offers this stitch.
          ~Heather

      • A wide zig zag is a completely different stitch. It is created by moving the needle from side to side while walking along the fabric. This stitch type is also helpful/useful when sewing with knits.
        ~Heather

  8. My Pfaff has this stitch too and it’s really one of my favorites. I also use this for topstitching.

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