One of the things I think a lot of sewing beginners ask is can you sew knits without a serger? The short answer is yes, and the long answer we’re going to talk about.

I always believe with using what you have vs. buying the next greatest big thing. We’re tackling all of your questions about sewing knits sans serger.

Learn what a serger does, we’ll talk about if you really need one, and stick around for you some knit sewing tips about thread, stitches, needles. I’ll even give you some instances when a sewing machine just might be a better choice than a serger. Here we go!

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Pinterest image reading, "Can I sew knits without a serger" showing hands holding knit fabric on a sewing machine

What does a serger do, and do I need one?


A serger or overlocker uses 3, 4, or 5 threads to wrap the raw edges of a seam allowance. There’s a knife on it that trims the seam allowance at the same time as it makes the stitch.

With knits, you can use it to sew your seams without having to sew the seam first. Knits don’t fray like wovens, but the stretchy nature of a serger stitch makes it a great pair for knits.

For wovens, sergers make a nice clean edge that won’t fray. Because sergers sew much faster than regular sewing machines, they’re handier than a zigzag for finishing seams.

Do you NEED a serger? No. There are many sewists who do without one and make fine garments that anyone would be proud of. Is it handy? You betcha.

Can you still get good quality results sewing knits on a regular sewing machine?

Absolutely, and in some cases, your good old reliable sewing machine might even rival that shiny serger.

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever promote products that I use and love and I think you will love too. Thanks for supporting this blog!

Must-have needles for sewing knits without a serger

Pinterest image reading: How to pick the best needles for knits, flatlay of different knit fabric samples with stitching and needles for stretch fabrics

If you’re sewing knits without a serger, make sure you’re using the right needle.

Here I walk you through all the different options for picking the best needles for knits.

What stitch do I need for sewing knits without a serger?

Pinterest image reading "the best stitches for knits" showing samples of knit fabrics and stitches

Here’s a rundown of the best stitches for knits for your sewing machine.

Read on for the best threads for sewing knits without a serger…

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Elizabeth is a self-taught sewist with a love for all things DIY and creative. Her friend calls her "The Fabric Manipulator" and she's always looking for ways to squeeze the most out of her sewing time in between caring for her 4 kids and husband.


  1. “What does a serger do, and do I need one?”

    Oh, heavens to murgatroy! No!!

    You need two (20. In case the first one has to go into the shop.

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