Fabric Edging on Hand Knits

A useful technique is using a sewing machine to line the edges of hand knits with fabric bias tape.  This is a good way to keep knit edges from curling up, and to strengthen and stabilize an edge that has to support button holes or other load-bearing features.  It can also be very decorative if you find a complementing fabric.

The following example is from the Nightfall Lace-Up sweater.fabric-edging
The photo above is the reverse side of the side-placket encircled below.  The photos in the instructions that follow were taken while lining the front placket, also encircled below.
fabric-edging-3 fabric-edging-2


Cut 2 pieces of fabric on the bias (45 degrees, to the fabric selvedge edge.)

  • Width = 1.5”
  • Length = Length of the edge being lined + 1”.

See the following link, if you would like more information about making bias tape:http://www.coletterie.com/fabric-haberdashery/tutorial-how-to-make-bias-tape

For each strip, fold over one of the long sides by 1/4” and press it.  Then turn down one of the ends.4-300x202

Press the curled edge that you intend to line with the fabric.5-300x188

Pin one fabric piece to each edge as shown below. (Right side and wrong side of same edge, shown below.)  Fold down, and pin under, any excess length.

6 7










Take the second piece of fabric, and fold down the unfolded end so that it matches the first, pinned piece, in length.8

Pin the second piece, to the other edge:9

Install a walking foot on your sewing machine so that you can sew with the knit fabric on top without stretching it.  Sew along the border between the garter selvedge stitch and the stockinette area.10 11

This is what it should look like when you’re done:12

Fold back the bias tape as shown below, and pin it down:13

With the fabric side up, sew down the bias tape, along the folded edge, close to the edge:1415

Stop at the corners, raise the presser foot, turn your work, and sew straight across both pieces of fabric where they come together at the base of the bust, as shown below.  Back stitch a few times across this line for extra strength.1716

And you are done!  Turn it right side out and enjoy your work:)



  1. I’m currently trying to knit the lovely Galt Riverstone long cardigan. I would have found it easier if it had stated how many stitches you should have at any given time, throughout the pattern. It’s difficult, particularly when inc/dec rows to know if I’m on the right track.
    Is there any chance this could be incorporated within the pattern at this stage?

    1. Hello! Thank you for the feedback! I will see if I can incorporate that into a future update, and will let you know when that happens. Sorry for the delay in response. I just saw this now. I hope the rest of the sweater went smoothly and feel free to contact me if the pattern requires any additional clarification.

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