Best Sewing Machine for Knit Fabrics

Knit fabrics are a popular choice for many sewing enthusiasts, as they are soft, stretchy, and comfortable to wear. They come in various colors, patterns, and weights, and can be used to make fashionable and cozy garments for any season. However, sewing with knit fabrics can also pose some challenges, as they require special care and skills to avoid common pitfalls like skipped stitches, puckered seams, or stretched edges. That’s why you need a reliable sewing machine that can handle knit fabrics with ease and precision. In this article, we will help you find the best sewing machine for knit fabrics by reviewing the top 5 models available on the market. We will also share some handy tips and tricks for sewing with knit fabrics, and answer some frequently asked questions. Whether you are a beginner or an expert sewer, you will find this guide helpful and informative.

If you want to sew knit fabrics, you might prefer a sewing machine over a serger. Sergers can be tricky to use and have some limitations. But not all sewing machines are suitable for knit fabrics. You need to find one that can handle the stretch and the texture of these fabrics.

To help you out, we have tested some of the best sewing machines for knit fabrics and picked our favorites. Here they are:

  1. Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine – Best for Beginners
  2. Singer 4423 Sewing Machine – A Great Choice for Your Budget
  3. Brother CS5055PRW Sewing Machine – Our Top Pick
  4. Janome 2212 Fullsize Sewing Machine – A Good Option for Drop Feed
  5. Brother XR9550 Computerized Sewing Machine – A Great Choice for Professional Workloads

1.Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine

Features

  • Maximum Stitching Speed: 800 stitches/minute
  • Threading System: Automatic needle threader
  • Free Arm Support: Supported
  • Item Weight: 12.6 pounds
  • Number of Stitches: 27 built-in stitches

Our top choice is the Brother XM2701, a user-friendly and versatile sewing machine from a reputable brand. It offers 27 different stitches, including a stretch stitch that is perfect for knit fabrics. It also has a zigzag stitch, a blind hem stitch, and many decorative stitches to choose from.

You can also use a twin needle with this machine, which gives you more flexibility and stretch when sewing knit fabrics. Plus, it has a free arm feature that makes it easy to sew sleeves and other curved parts. And with an automatic needle threader and a drop-in top bobbin, you can save time and hassle.

This machine comes with all the accessories you need, such as a needle set, bobbins, and manuals. It is ideal for beginners who want to sew knit fabrics with ease and confidence.

 PROS:

 • Twin needle compatible

• 27 built-in stitches

• Automatic threading system

 • Free arm feature

 • Comes with accessories

• Easy to use

CONS:😒

  • May have some issues with thread tension
  • Could have better build quality

2. Singer 4423 Sewing Machine

Features

 • Maximum Stitching Speed: 1100 stitches per minute

 • Threading System: Automatic needle threader

 • Free Arm Support: Available

 • Item Weight: 14.5 pounds

 • Number of Stitches: 23 built-in stitches with 97 applications

If you are looking for a low-cost sewing machine that can handle stretchable fabric, you might want to check out the Singer 4423. This is a budget-friendly option that does not compromise on quality. You might think that a low price means a slow speed, but that is not the case with this machine. It can deliver up to 1100 stitches per minute, which is almost as fast as some of the sergers. Needle threading can be a hassle for many users, but not with this machine. It has an automatic needle threader that makes it easy and quick to thread the needle. This machine has a sturdy metal frame inside, which gives it a solid base for professional results. Now, let’s see what accessories it comes with, as the manufacturer must have saved some money somewhere. But surprisingly, it still includes the essentials such as a seam reaper, spool pin felt, needles, bobbins, quilting guide, and more. It also comes with a decent number of feet. For instance, you get the zipper foot, all-purpose foot, and button sewing foot, which offer excellent results. Finally, the 23 built-in stitches and 97 applications make this one of the best machines.

 PROS:

• 23 built-in stitches

 • Powerful motor

• Amazing stitching speed

• Reasonable price tag

 • Durable metal frame

CONS:😒

• Quality control could be better

 • Lack of clear instruction

3. Brother CS5055PRW Sewing Machine

Features

• Maximum Stitching Speed: 850 stitches per minute

• Threading System: Automatic needle threader

• Free Arm Support: Available

 • Item Weight: 14 pounds

 • Number of Stitches: 50 built-in stitches

One of the main advantages of having a sewing machine is that you have a lot of stitches to choose from. Even the best serger for knits might not offer as many stitch options as you want. This Brother sewing machine for stretch stitch gives you a total of 50 stitches, which is amazing. They include all the essential ones you need for your everyday work and some decorative stitches. But that’s not all — you also get five auto-size buttonholes, which make sewing buttons a snap. Moreover, you can use stretch stitches to customize your project further when sewing knit fabrics, making this a suitable option. Another unique feature of this product is its user interface. Unlike many other machines, this one has an LCD screen that shows the necessary information. You just need to press the buttons to make things work. One vital feature that we think all machines should have is an automatic needle threader. This feature saves you time and makes things easy. To our delight, you get that here, which works very well. It also has a jam-resistant drop-in bobbin, which adds to the excellent experience. However, it can be somewhat difficult to figure out even if you already know how to sew knits with a serger.

PROS:

• LCD screen enhances convenience

 • You can use twin needles

 • Drop-in top bobbin

 • 50 built-in stitches

• Five auto-size buttonholes

CONS:😒

• Not suitable for heavy workloads

 • A bit challenging for some beginners

 4.Janome 2212 Fullsize Sewing Machine

Features

• Maximum Stitching Speed: 860 stitches per minute

• Threading System: Needle threader not included

 • Free Arm Support: Available

 • Item Weight: 13.2 pounds

 • Number of Stitches: 12 stitches plus buttonhole

 One thing that’s not very common in the sergers’ field is a drop feed. In this method, the normal movement happens when your needle is out of the fabric. That means the bottom feed dogs feed the material through the machine here. Our next choice from Janome has this feature and lets you use it effectively. And it can be useful for things like quilting or sewing knit fabrics. But let’s move on to the functionalities — the thread tension control, for example. The manufacturer gives you full control over the tension control, which allows for an easier time with getting strong and tight stitches. Moreover, it has a buttonhole stitch to save you some time with buttonholes too. However, it uses a four-step mechanism that takes more time and effort to finish the job. But considering the price, it’s still decent. In terms of the speed, you don’t lose much either. This machine can deliver up to 860 stitches per minute. Plus, you can use this one as a marine vinyl sewing machine also. When it comes to the number of built-in stitches, you will find 12 of them here (excluding the buttonhole). That means while you don’t get most of the fancy stitches, they should be enough. But you don’t need to worry, as you also get a zigzag stitch with up to 5mm width, which works well for knit fabrics. Lastly, the free arm support makes it a reasonable and attractive option.  

PROS:

 • 860 stitches/minute

• Manual thread tension control

• Drop feed dog

 • Flatbed convertible

• Color-coded threading

CONS:😒

 • Four-step buttonhole

• Not many stitches

5.Brother XR9550 Computerized Sewing Machine

Features

• Maximum Stitching Speed: 850 stitches per minute

 • Threading System: Automatic Needle System

 • Free Arm Support: Supports free arm

 • Item Weight: 19 pounds

• Number of Stitches: 165 built-in stitches

The machines that we have reviewed so far are good for lighter workloads. However, if you need a sewing machine that can handle larger projects, our final choice — the Brother XR9550 — should meet your needs. It’s also regarded as the best sewing machine for stretchy fabric. Let’s begin with the built-in stitches, as they are one of the most important differences between sewing machines and sergers. And that becomes even more obvious here, as it has a staggering 110 built-in stitches. Of course, you get the usual essential ones such as the zigzag, buttonholes, and so on. Along with those, there are a large number of decorative stitches for your projects, accompanied by eight auto-size buttonholes and 55 alphanumeric sewing stitches. These make this product quite suitable for knit fabrics. But you’ll be amazed to know that it’s also effective as a quilting machine, which is definitely a bonus. Moreover, the user experience is excellent here. Firstly, this machine is computerized, which automatically puts it on a different level. Moreover, it has an LCD screen that shows what you’re doing with the main controlling mechanism. It also has an automatic needle threader to save you some time, along with a drop-in top bobbin. Use it with the best thread for sewing knits, and you’re sure to get amazing results.

 PROS:

• Intuitive user experience

• Powerful and computerized

• 110 built-in stitches

 • Drop-in top bobbin

• Eight auto-size buttonholes

CONS:😒

• Very heavy

 • A bit difficult for beginners

What to Look for Before Buying?

Before you buy a sewing machine for knit fabrics, you need to do some research and find the best product for your needs. Not all sewing machines can handle knit fabrics well, unlike sergers, which are designed for them. Therefore, you need to pay attention to some features that will make your sewing easier and better. One of them is the foot.

The foot

The foot is important because it helps prevent the knit fabric from bunching up or puckering, which is a common problem with this type of material. Sergers have a differential feed mechanism that adjusts the speed of the feed dogs to avoid this issue. However, sewing machines don’t have this feature, so you need to use a walking foot or an even feed foot. This foot has two sets of feed dogs that move the fabric evenly through the machine.

The needle

Another thing to consider is the needle. Universal needles have slightly rounded tips, but they aren’t the best for knit fabrics. They can tear the fabric if they are too sharp. Use ball-point or stretch needles instead, which have rounded tops and slide through the stitches. Universal ones do a decent job, but not as great.

Twin needles

Twin needles are a great way to create beautiful hems with sewing machines, especially for stretchy fabrics like knit. Unlike sergers, which use overlocking stitches, twin needles use two parallel needles to sew hems that look professional and neat. You should use rounded-point needles to avoid any problems.

Available stitches

When you sew knit fabrics, you need to pay attention to the stitches that your sewing machine offers. Knit fabrics are stretchy, so you need stitches that can stretch with them. Some fabrics, like spandex, are even more elastic and harder to sew. Since you don’t have overlocking stitches, you have to use the stitches that come with your machine.

Zigzag

Zigzag is the most essential stitch for knit fabrics, as it can create a stretchy and neat seam. However, not all sewing machines can perform this stitch well, and you may need to adjust the settings to get the best results. Zigzag can also mimic an overlock stitch, but it won’t be as effective as using stitches that are specially made for knit fabrics.

Special knit stitches

Zigzag stitches can work well for knit fabrics, but they are not as good as stitches that are specially made for them.

Serging vs. Sewing Knits:

What to Know Sergers and sewing machines have different advantages and disadvantages for sewing knit fabrics. Here are some key points to consider:

 Pros of Sergers

  • They produce clean and stretchy overlocking stitches that look professional.
  • They have a differential feed feature that prevents fabric distortion and ensures smooth stitches.

Cons of Sergers😒

  • They have limited stitch options, which can reduce your creative possibilities
  • This is more noticeable for the low-end models.
  • They can only sew on one side of the fabric, because they have blades on the other side (usually on the right) that cut off the excess fabric.

Leave a Reply