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 Post subject: Need help sewing knit fabrics
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:49 pm 
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Addicted to B12 Enemas
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My husband bought a cheapo sewing machine a couple years ago and it works fine so long as I'm sewing woven fabrics. I'm sure it would probably handle knits if I knew what I was doing. My only knit options I think are the zigzag stitches of which there are 3 types. But I think I'm missing something. Pretty sure I remember from Junior High Home Ec that I need a special needle but do I also need a different foot? This machine (Janome 3125) doesn't appear to have any sort of tension knob for the foot, just the thread. And knit fabrics, while they do pass through, tend to get puckered no matter what thread tension I try. And I've tried everything from 2 to 9 on the wheel.

And forgive me for asking another noob question but how do I know that a needle and foot will be compatible with my machine? Do I have to buy parts from the machine manufacturer? Or is everything so standard now I don't need to worry about it?

Sorry, it's been a while since I've sewn.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Need help sewing knit fabrics
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:42 pm 
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Brain Made of Raw Seitan
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Location: Tachyon-coma, WA
Hi there!
I read this earlier but wanted to have a free moment to reply properly. There is a way to relieve tension on your sewing machine foot while you are sewing by having your finger behind the foot as the fabric comes out. The regular foot is fine for knits but you do have to do some of the feeding yourself, unlike wovens.

Yes, you do need a different needle. A ballpoint or stretch needle will do. If you are using a regular needle, that could work, but it won't at all if it is not sharp. Needles should be replaced every 8 hours of sewing or they get burs which catch on the fabric. This is much easier to notice on the looped knit fabric.

Also, use the smallest (on my machine is it is 0.5mm) stitch width for a normal length (2.0mm) zig-zag stitch to sew knits. You might already have an overlock stitch on your machine which is great for knits and finishing seams.

Not all knits are created equal. I have found that something like a polyester backed knit stretch velvet or fleece is way easier to control than *anything* rayon/lycra. Don't be afraid to hand baste!

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 Post subject: Re: Need help sewing knit fabrics
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Sra. Nooch wrote:
There is a way to relieve tension on your sewing machine foot while you are sewing by having your finger behind the foot as the fabric comes out. The regular foot is fine for knits but you do have to do some of the feeding yourself, unlike wovens.

Yes, you do need a different needle. A ballpoint or stretch needle will do. If you are using a regular needle, that could work, but it won't at all if it is not sharp. Needles should be replaced every 8 hours of sewing or they get burs which catch on the fabric. This is much easier to notice on the looped knit fabric.

Also, use the smallest (on my machine is it is 0.5mm) stitch width for a normal length (2.0mm) zig-zag stitch to sew knits. You might already have an overlock stitch on your machine which is great for knits and finishing seams.

Not all knits are created equal. I have found that something like a polyester backed knit stretch velvet or fleece is way easier to control than *anything* rayon/lycra. Don't be afraid to hand baste!

Thanks! I did not know that about the 8 hour guideline. Bought a bunch of ballpoint needles and finally organized them all so I know what to use for which weight. I have been trying to pull the knit through when the feed dogs won't feed it but I mostly get that lettuce effect when I don't want it, like on seams. It appears to be dependent on the type of knit, slippery jersey for instance is hopeless for me.

And THANKS for the link. I'd been looking for a site that showed the stitch and the icon together so I could match it up to my machine. Now I know which icon is overlock for sure ;-]

Yeah, I did a skirt in that stretchy crushed velvet stuff and it was easy. Except for the elastic where they tell you to stretch the elastic to fit the length of the fabric so you can great gathers as you go. I just got an elastic lettuce edge :-o

I've got lots of practicing. And I'm peeved about all the patterns that specify twin needles. I don't think my machine can do a twin needle because there's no 2nd spoke-thingy for a 2nd spool of thread and no place to install one.

Can't wait to see what happens when I try to sew the stretchy tulle-like fabric with embroidered flowers. I read that you can put tape over the bobbin hole so light fabrics are less likely to get sucked down below.

Thanks again!!


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 Post subject: Re: Need help sewing knit fabrics
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:50 pm 
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Brain Made of Raw Seitan
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Location: Tachyon-coma, WA
Yes, do the tape thing. But use nice tape like masking tape because I always use scotch and it is so gummy and I regret it.

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This thread is about Rowans, Jason Mraz and vibrators. ~ Rowan


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 Post subject: Re: Need help sewing knit fabrics
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:55 am 
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Location: Tachyon-coma, WA
How are things going?

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This thread is about Rowans, Jason Mraz and vibrators. ~ Rowan


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 Post subject: Re: Need help sewing knit fabrics
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:39 pm 
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Sra. Nooch wrote:
How are things going?

Things are going well, thank you for asking :-)

That skirt I made in stretch velvet? You should check out the pattern, it's really cool. I've bought several types of fabric to make lots of skirts using this pattern: Vogue 8637

Working now on another much less stretchy knit skirt for a different pattern (Vogue 1292) . It's supposed to use tricot for the lining because the skirt is knit but the tricot doesn't have ANY stretch in the direction of the knit so I'm not entirely sure how it would allow the skirt to fit over my head or my hips when pulling it on. I could go without the lining but the tricot is also used create a slight bubble hem by pulling the skirt up under instead of a traditional hem. I'm not doing the origami version shown on the packet because I just don't have that much patience ;-}

I'm learning a lot. Am now thinking that my grandma's old Singer in the basement may not be broken after all. Maybe I was just using the wrong needles or maybe it needs a tune up. It was designed for fancy stitching (ducks and fancy stretch stuff) along hems so it would seem that it would be a perfect machine for knits.

Do you have a blog where you post your sewing projects?


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 Post subject: Re: Need help sewing knit fabrics
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:11 am 
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I know this is an old thread, but in case you are still puzzling over the double needle issue, this is a great tutorial for explaining how to make them work: http://www.nobigdill.com/2012/01/double-needle.html

Rae of made-by-rae also has a whole series on sewing with knits with lots of great info. http://www.made-by-rae.com/knits/


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 Post subject: Re: Need help sewing knit fabrics
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:57 pm 
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Starryeyed wrote:
I know this is an old thread, but in case you are still puzzling over the double needle issue, this is a great tutorial for explaining how to make them work: http://www.nobigdill.com/2012/01/double-needle.html

Rae of made-by-rae also has a whole series on sewing with knits with lots of great info. http://www.made-by-rae.com/knits/

OMG!! thanks! I had no idea that you could sew with a twin needle on a machine that only had one thread spoke. That first link is golden. Must try this weekend! XO


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