Start your sewing adventure with us.    Join Seamwork

How to Reinforce Shoulder Seams

Prevent stretched out shoulder seams on your knit garments using two simple methods.





If you have a seam that will be stretched a lot, like a shoulder seam, you’ll want to reinforce it. Reinforcing a seam with stay tape, clear elastic, ribbon, or even twill tape will help your garment maintain its shape through lots of wear. Watch this video to see how Chelsea reinforces shoulder seams using these simple supplies.

Recommended Materials:


  • Clear elastic, stay tape, ribbom, or twill tape

  • Fabric scissors

  • Iron

Video Transcript


Knits are so fun to work with but without some extra precautions you could wind up with stretched out shoulders and that’s not so fun. Today I’ll show you two methods for reinforcing your knit garment shoulder seams.

Clear elastic is a great option to use for reinforcement at the shoulder seams. You’ll want to cut a length of quarter-inch clear elastic that is just a little bit longer than the length of the seam allowance you want to reinforce.

After sewing your shoulder seams and finishing the seam allowance in your chosen method, place the clear elastic onto the back seam allowance and pin. You’ll have a little excess of elastic on each side of the shoulder. Then either serge or use a zig zag stitch to attach your elastic to the seam allowance. Clip the remaining elastic from each side.

Another reinforcement option is stay tape. Just like the clear elastic, you’ll want to cut a length of stay tape that is a little longer than the length of the seam allowance you want to reinforce. Here’s a tip if you don’t have stay tape you can use a piece of twill tape or even ribbon to reinforce your shoulder seams. Just serge or zigzag it onto the
back seam allowance like you did with the clear elastic.

Some stay tapes are fusible so you can iron it on, aligning the stay tape with the raw edge of the shoulder seam allowance. Otherwise you can serge or zigzag it on. And now we have some reinforced shoulder seams. No stretching out here!

What reinforcement method do you prefer? And do you always reinforce your knit seams? Comment down below and let us know. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on our future videos! Thanks! Happy sewing!





Put your new skills to the test. Try sewing: