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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Sewing with nylon/spandex knit- won't work ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Sewing with nylon/spandex knit- won't work
Stitches are skipping & all over the place
Arline

Arline
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Date: 4/28/09 0:36 AM

What has happened to my machine??? For the first time, I am sewing with a rather slinky knit (for underwear) and trying to establish a decent stitch on the scrap first. I'm using "regular" thread, a ball-point, #11 needle for knits and both the straight stitch and zig zag are skipping and are all over the place. I even tried with a piece of paper underneath but it was no help. I also adjusted tension but no help. Egads. The fabric is basically a nylon or poly spandex, sewing two layers together.

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
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Subject: Sewing with nylon/spandex knit- wont work Date: 4/28/09 0:42 AM

I think you need a different type of needle.

For nylon lycra, Sandra Betzina recommends a 70/10 SUK ball point. That's what you are using. Maybe try another needle or...For other lycra blends, try a 75/11 HS Stretch needle.

peraspera

peraspera
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Date: 4/28/09 1:07 AM

Thin knits tend to get sucked too far down in the needle hole and then get pulled up with the needle which makes for skipped stitches. I had this problem recently with a very thin knit. I got a knit (tricot) foot on eBay which solved the problem.

Solvy makes a water soluble paper stabilizer. Cutting a strip of that and putting it under your fabric is another solution.

You also might want to try using a microtek #10 needle. They are very sharp and won't tend to push the fabric down as badly as a blunt ball-point needle.

Another thing that works is saturating the seam lines of the fabric with dissolved Solvy or Palmer & Pletsch Perfect Sew. Once dry, these products make the fabric very stiff. That prevents it getting sucked up and down by the needle. A blow dryer works to dry the fabric quickly.

Elona
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Date: 4/28/09 1:18 AM

If your machine can accept a stretch needle (check your manual), that's what you need! These babies can cure skipped stitches when all else fails. They can literally perform magic. It has to do with the shape of the "scarf" of the needle and the way the stitch is formed, and it's different from ball points.

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noddy
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Subject: Sewing with nylon/spandex knit- wont work Date: 4/28/09 4:11 AM

Check the foot tension?

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Sew4Fun
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Date: 4/28/09 4:45 AM

Always use a stretch needle on nylon/lycra fabrics. This needle is made for this fabric or any fabric with a high lycra content. It is designed to help with skipped stitches on these fabric types.

Stretch needles come in two sizes 75 and 90. If you are only sewing two layers together (eg a seam) then the 75 will be suitable, however if you need to apply elastic then switch to the size 90. HTH

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Nancy K
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Date: 4/28/09 11:32 AM

A while back I had to alter my dd's bathing suit and I put in a stretch needle. Would not sew without leaving a nest of threads underneath. I tried rethreading, different needle, and finally at my wits end, I put in a microtex needle and it was perfect. Sometimes the opposite of what we think will work does.

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un|steady
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un|steady
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Date: 6/24/10 1:57 PM

Without an overlock machine (or serger), sewing spandex, Lycra, Nylon etc is a total nightmare. But getting a serger is an investment you'll never regret.

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ryansmumAria
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Date: 6/24/10 2:29 PM

I often wonder why a stretch or a jersey needle works perfectly for some but not for me!

I sew on knits almost exclusively and there are just some knits that hate being sewn on. I do agree that a serger does do things that a single need machine won't but sometimes you need just a straight stitch.

This is when I have to cut thn strips of fusible interfacing and iron it on to the seamline - it works like magic but I truly hate doing this. It's just a lot of work however good to know in times of desperation

Please let us know what ended up helping...

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JTink
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JTink
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In reply to Arline


Date: 6/24/10 2:43 PM

I agree with the others about the needle. The ball point isn't going to work. It has to be a needle for stretch knits. Schmetz(spelling) makes one that I use and it works just fine.

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