DIY Crafts

Published on February 19th, 2014 | by Becky Striepe


How to Sew Knit Fabric with the Tissue Paper Method

How to Sew Knit Fabric with the Tissue Paper Method

Do you have warping and stretching problems when you’re sewing jersey? Here’s how to sew knit fabric with a simple stabilizing trick!

Today’s tutorial was supposed to be how to make super adorable springtime legwarmers for your baby, but due to some measuring problems and a stomach bug, that project didn’t shake out so well. Seriously, it was an utter fail, but I’m going to give it another whirl next time I have a tee that needs refashioning. The bright side is that I tried a new-to-me technique that I’d seen on discussion boards about how to sew knit fabric, and it worked so well, I’m sharing it here, too!

When you’re sewing jersey – especially worn jersey like reclaimed t-shirts – there’s a tendency for he fabric to stretch. Because the fabric is stretchy and your sewing machine uses tension to move the fabric through, the bottom piece of fabric tends to move at a different speed from the top piece, causing wrinkles, ripples, and warping. BOO!

Seriously, I avoided jersey for years, but I really wanted to make these legwarmers, so I decided to try out this tissue paper method below, and it worked so great! Here’s how you do it:

How to Sew Knit Fabric with Tissue Paper

How to Sew Knit Fabric with the Tissue Paper Method


  • jersey fabric
  • light colored tissue paper
  • pins


1. Trace and cut your pieces of knit fabric for your project, as usual, but don’t pin yet!

2. Before you pin, sandwich your pieces between two pieces of tissue paper. This doesn’t have to be new tissue paper. Do you have some left from gift bags you got for Christmas? That works perfectly! It doesn’t even have to be nice and smooth. As you can see in the photos, mine was totally crumply. I just smoothed it out a bit with my hand before pinning.

3. Sew like usual! If you are super smart like I am and choose a tissue paper that makes it hard to see your fabric, just take your time sewing, and use your fingers to feel for the edge of the fabric.

4. When you’re done, gently tear the paper away! I was afraid that this would hurt my stitches, but if they can’t stand up to you gently tearing away flimsy tissue paper, chances are they won’t stand up to regular wear and tear either. Consider it a quality assurance test!

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

One Response to How to Sew Knit Fabric with the Tissue Paper Method

  1. Pingback: How to Sew Knit Fabric With the Tissue Method by Becky of / Britex Fabrics | Britex Fabrics

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