How to Sew Knitted Shoulder Seams

How to Sew Knitted Shoulder Seams

The process of seaming knitted shoulders can be intimidating for many knitters, but with a few simple techniques, you can achieve a professional finish. Whether you are working on a sweater, cardigan, or any other garment, properly seaming the shoulders is crucial to ensure a comfortable and well-fitting piece.

One of the key elements to a seamless shoulder is joining the pieces accurately. Begin by laying the two shoulder pieces side by side, aligning the stitches and ensuring that the edges are even. This will make it easier to identify the corresponding stitches and prevent any misalignment in the finished product.

Next, using a tapestry needle and matching yarn, thread the yarn through the first stitch on the front piece, and then through the corresponding stitch on the back piece. Pull the yarn through, leaving a tail that can be woven in later. Repeat this process for each stitch, working from one side to the other.

Pro tip: To ensure a sturdy seam, it is recommended to work with a double strand of yarn. This will provide extra strength and stability to the shoulder seam.

As you work your way across the row, use your fingers to gently guide the stitches to ensure they are aligned and even. This will help prevent any puckering or distortion in the fabric. Take your time and work methodically, making sure the tension is consistent throughout the seam.

Once you have finished seaming the shoulders, it is important to block the garment to shape and set the seams. Wet blocking is usually the preferred method for achieving the best results. Lay the garment flat on a towel, gently shaping the shoulders as desired. Use pins or blocking combs to hold the shape in place and allow the garment to dry completely before removing.

By following these step-by-step guidelines, you can seam knitted shoulders like a pro, creating a seamless and professional finish to your knitting projects. With practice, you will become more confident in your seaming skills and be able to tackle any shoulder seam with ease.

Choosing the Right Tools

Before you start seaming the shoulders of your knitted project, it’s important to gather the right tools. Having the proper tools will make the process easier and ensure a professional finish.

Here are the essential tools you will need:

  • Tapestry Needle: Choose a tapestry needle with a blunt tip and a large enough eye to accommodate your yarn. This needle will be used to stitch the shoulder seams together.
  • Scissors: A pair of sharp scissors is necessary for cutting your yarn and trimming any excess.
  • Stitch Markers: Use stitch markers to mark the stitch placement on both sides of the shoulders. This will help you keep track of your stitches and ensure an even seam.
  • Measuring Tape: A measuring tape is essential for accurately measuring the length of your shoulders and ensuring that your seams are even.
  • Blocking Supplies: Depending on the fiber content of your yarn and the desired finish, you may need blocking supplies such as pins, blocking mats, and spray bottles.

By having these tools on hand, you will be well-prepared to tackle the task of seaming knitted shoulders like a pro.

Preparing the Shoulders

Before you start seaming your knitted shoulders, there are a few important steps you need to take to prepare the shoulders:

  1. Block the pieces: Block the front and back pieces of your knitted garment to ensure they are the correct shape and size. This will make it easier to line up the shoulders for seaming.
  2. Identify the shoulders: Identify which edges of the front and back pieces are the shoulders. The shoulder edge is usually the straight horizontal edge at the top of the piece.
  3. Count the stitches: Count the number of stitches along the shoulder edge of both the front and back pieces. This will help you determine how many stitches to seam together.
  4. Mark the center stitches: Find the center stitch on both the front and back shoulder edges and mark them with stitch markers or contrasting yarn. This will help you align the shoulders evenly.
  5. Cut the yarn: Cut a long length of yarn in a contrasting color to use for seaming. Make sure it is long enough to comfortably seam the entire shoulder.
  6. Thread the yarn: Thread one end of the yarn through a tapestry needle, leaving a tail long enough to weave in later. This will be the yarn you use to seam the shoulder.

Once you have completed these steps, you will be ready to start seaming your knitted shoulders.

Setting up the Seaming

Setting up the Seaming

Before you begin seaming the shoulders of your knitted garment, there are a few steps you’ll need to take to set up the seaming process.

  1. Block your knitted pieces: It’s important to block your knitted pieces before seaming to ensure they are evenly shaped and sized. Follow the blocking instructions for your specific yarn and stitch pattern.
  2. Arrange your pieces: Lay out your knitted pieces on a flat surface, making sure the right sides are facing up. Align the shoulders so that they are even and parallel to each other.
  3. Prepare your tools: Gather the necessary tools for seaming, including a tapestry needle, scissors, and yarn in the same color as your knitted pieces.
  4. Thread the yarn: Thread a length of yarn through the eye of the tapestry needle. Make sure the yarn is long enough to seam the entire shoulder and leave a tail for weaving in later.
  5. Find your starting point: Determine where you want to begin seaming. This could be the edge of your shoulder, the center of a stitch, or a specific point indicated in your pattern.

By following these steps to set up the seaming process, you’ll be ready to start joining the shoulders of your knitted garment with a professional finish.

Starting the Seaming Process

Before you begin seaming the shoulders of your knitted garment, make sure you have all the necessary materials and tools on hand:

  • A pair of sharp scissors
  • A tapestry needle
  • Thread or yarn in a matching or complementary color to your knitted piece
  • Pins or stitch markers

Once you have gathered your materials, follow these steps to start seaming your knitted shoulders:

  1. Using the scissors, carefully cut the yarn tails at both shoulder edges, leaving a tail of at least 6 inches on each side.
  2. Thread one of the yarn tails onto the tapestry needle.
  3. Identify the wrong side (WS) and the right side (RS) of your knitted piece. The RS is usually the side that will be shown when wearing the garment.
  4. Line up the shoulders of your knitted piece, matching the stitches and ensuring that the RS is facing outwards.
  5. Use pins or stitch markers to hold the two shoulder edges in place, making sure to align the stitches.
  6. Start seaming from the bottom of the shoulder, inserting the needle under both layers of the first stitch on one edge, then under both layers of the corresponding stitch on the other edge.
  7. Continue seaming using a mattress stitch or your preferred seaming method, working your way up the shoulder. Make sure to keep the tension even and the seam neat.
  8. When you reach the top of the shoulder, secure the final stitch by weaving the yarn tail through the neighboring stitches and trimming any excess.

Repeat the process for the other shoulder, ensuring that the stitch alignment and tension are consistent with the first shoulder. Once both shoulders are seamed, you can proceed with the remaining steps to complete your knitted garment.

Working on the Back Seam

When it comes to knitting the back seam, there are a few key steps to follow to ensure a professional finish:

  1. Prepare the shoulders: Lay the knitted pieces flat with the wrong side facing up. Line up the edges of the shoulders and secure them with stitch markers or pins to prevent the pieces from shifting during seaming.
  2. Thread the tapestry needle: Use a tapestry needle that is large enough to accommodate the yarn you used for knitting. Thread a length of yarn through the needle, leaving a tail long enough to work with.
  3. Start seaming: Begin seaming at the bottom edge of one shoulder. Insert the needle into the first stitch on the edge and pull the yarn through, leaving a small tail on the wrong side.
  4. Work the seam: Bring the needle through the corresponding stitch on the other shoulder, from back to front. Continue working in this manner, going back and forth between the shoulders, until the entire back seam is completed.
  5. Secure the seam: To secure the seam, weave in the ends of the yarn on the wrong side of the work. Use a tapestry needle to thread the yarn tail through a few stitches, then trim the excess.

Keep in mind that when seaming the shoulders, it’s important to maintain the same tension as your knitting to ensure that the seam doesn’t pucker or pull too tightly.

If you prefer visual instructions, you can also consult knitting tutorials or videos that demonstrate the process of seaming knitted shoulders.

Back Seam Steps
Step Description
1 Prepare the shoulders
2 Thread the tapestry needle
3 Start seaming
4 Work the seam
5 Secure the seam

Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches

After seaming the shoulders, there are a few finishing touches you can add to make your knitted garment look professional and polished.

  1. Weave in Ends: Use a yarn needle to weave in the loose ends from your seaming and any other yarn tails from your knitting. Make sure to secure the ends so they won’t come loose with wear.
  2. Block: Wet blocking can help smooth out any unevenness in your seams and stitches. Gently wash your knitted garment, then lay it flat on a clean towel to dry, shaping it into the desired shape. You can use blocking pins to secure the edges if necessary.
  3. Steam: If you don’t want to wet block, you can use a steam iron to lightly steam your seams and stitches. Be careful not to press too hard or stay in one spot for too long, as this can flatten the stitches.
  4. Press: If your knitted garment has a collar or cuffs, you may want to press them with an iron to give them a crisper look. Place a damp cloth between the knitting and the iron to protect the yarn and use a low heat setting.
  5. Add Buttons or Fasteners: If your knitted garment has a buttoned or fastened closure, sew on the buttons or attach the fasteners according to the pattern instructions. Make sure they are evenly spaced and securely sewn on.
  6. Add Embellishments: If desired, you can add decorative touches like embroidery, applique, or beads to your knitted garment. Use a matching or contrasting yarn and follow a pattern or create your own design.

By following these finishing touches, your seamed knitted shoulders will blend seamlessly into your garment, giving it a polished and professional appearance. With a little extra time and attention, your knitted project will look like it was made by a pro!

Final Result and Tips

Once you have finished seaming the knitted shoulders, you will be left with a clean and professional-looking finish. The seam will blend seamlessly with the rest of the garment, giving it a polished appearance.

Here are some tips to help you achieve the best results:

  • Use the right yarn: Make sure you use the same type of yarn as your project when seaming the shoulders. This will ensure that the seam is consistent in texture and appearance.
  • Match the gauge: Before seaming, check the gauge of your knitting and adjust if necessary. Matching the gauge will ensure that the shoulders are the correct size and shape.
  • Block your pieces: Blocking your knitted pieces before seaming can help relax the fibers and make the seaming process easier. It also helps to ensure that the finished garment retains its shape.
  • Use a contrasting yarn: If you find it difficult to see the stitches when seaming, try using a contrasting color yarn. This will make it easier to identify and pick up the stitches as you go along.
  • Secure the seams: To ensure that the seams are strong and durable, use a secure seaming method such as the mattress stitch. This stitch creates a nearly invisible and flexible seam that will hold up to wear and tear.
  • Take breaks: Seaming can be a time-consuming process, so it’s important to take breaks and rest your hands and eyes. This will help you maintain focus and accuracy throughout the sewing process.

By following these tips and taking your time, you can achieve professional-looking seams on your knitted shoulders. Practice and patience are key, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempt isn’t perfect. With practice, you’ll become more confident and skilled at seaming.


Why is it important to seam knitted shoulders properly?

Properly seamed knitted shoulders ensure that the garment fits comfortably and looks professional. It also adds strength and durability to the finished piece, preventing any unraveling or stretching of the seams.

What tools do I need to seam knitted shoulders?

You will need a tapestry needle, scissors, and matching yarn or thread to seam knitted shoulders. It is also helpful to have stitch markers to keep track of your stitches.

Can I use a different seaming technique for knitted shoulders?

Yes, there are other seaming techniques you can use for knitted shoulders such as mattress stitch or backstitch. However, the method described in the article provides a seamless and professional finish.

How do I prepare my knitted shoulders for seaming?

Before seaming, block your knitted pieces to ensure they are the correct size and shape. Make sure the shoulders are aligned correctly and any stitch markers or pins are in place to hold the pieces together.

What is the step-by-step process for seaming knitted shoulders?

The step-by-step process includes: 1) Thread your tapestry needle with yarn; 2) Insert the needle under the first stitch on the front shoulder and the last stitch on the back shoulder, pulling the yarn through; 3) Repeat this process, alternating sides, until all stitches are seamed; 4) Weave in any loose ends to secure the seam.

Are there any tips for achieving a professional-looking seam on knitted shoulders?

Yes, some tips include making sure your tension is consistent throughout, pulling the yarn tightly enough to create a secure seam but not too tight that it distorts the fabric, and using short and even stitches for a neater appearance.

What should I do if I make a mistake while seaming knitted shoulders?

If you make a mistake while seaming, carefully undo the stitches and re-seam the area. Take your time and check your work regularly to ensure a seamless and professional finish.


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