You can sew fabric by hand, but most people think of a sewing machine when it comes to a sewing project. You can also use a sewing machine to assemble hand-knitted or crocheted items. Sewing the seams together will give you a sturdy enough finish for the knit / crochet garment or home decor item. Here are some tips for engaging your sewing machine to help you finish your hand knitted or crocheted item.
A basic sewing machine will work for stitching knit / crochet items as long as it has the ability to do an adjustable zig-zag stitch. It helps if you can adjust the pressure on the presser foot of your sewing machine. This can be very useful with thicker knitting / crochet threads.
One suggestion is to make a few samples of your knit / crochet item (for example, make two squares to sew together) so that you can practice a few times before moving on to the finished garment or decor item.
Once the items are made, you will need to block the edges of the knit garment. Blocking out a finished knit or crochet item will help the edges lie flat, making it easier to sew and allow sections of the knit / crochet hook to be shaped to fit the necessary measurements of your specific pattern. (Blocking is a discussion for a future column.) It can also be helpful to be able to adjust the thread tension on the machine and in the bobbin, although I usually don’t mind the sewing machine’s bobbin tension much. . I’m always afraid to do something with the bobbin tension and take my sewing machine to the repair shop to get the bobbin tension properly readjusted. I guess I can usually make most of my tension adjustments with the tension knob on the front of my sewing machine.
Sewing on a sewing machine for your knit / crochet items should be done with care and should not distort or alter the drape or grip of the garment / home decor item. You may need to adjust your stitch length. It is suggested to use longer and wider stitches on bulky yarn items and shorter or narrow stitches for lighter yarn items. Again, I would suggest creating a sample to assemble to see how your thread project handles sewing on the sewing machine.
You can also use a zigzag stitch along areas of a garment prone to stretching (for example, the shoulder seam). Create the selvage edge along the seam line before sewing two sections together and this will give a firmer edge to reduce stretch and give the seam more stability.
I only used my basic sewing machine to put together two knit or crochet pieces. If you choose to overcast the edges together with an overlock sewing machine, make sure the overlock cutting blade is retracted or removed before sewing the two pieces together, unless you are sewing something where the fibers are fine. felted before sewing the items together. I have repaired many store bought sweaters because the thread comes off a serged seam line that allows the cutting blade to cut the edges while the seam is sewn together.