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Message Board > Sewing Techniques and Tips > ALternative to cover hem stitch? ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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ALternative to cover hem stitch?
sassyem
sassyem
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Member since 8/17/10
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Date: 1/9/12 5:04 AM

Hi, I am taking up a pair of polyester gym pants. The original finish on the hem is cover hem, but I am only a novice sewer and only have a singer sewing machine. Any advice on how to finish the hem on the pants?

rag doll
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rag doll  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/9/12 6:36 AM

Do you have a twin needle? A twin needle will sew two rows on one side of the fabric and on the underside the stitch looks like a zig zag. It's a nice stretch stitch that doesn't snap. A twin needle looks like 2 needles coming off the one shank. This needle is inserted exactly like a normal needle. If you have one you could thread your singer with 2 threads on the top of the machine and matching thread on the bobbin. Do a trial stitch on a similar scrap and see if you like it. Stretch Twin needles come in two widths, 2.5mm & 4.0mm. This is the distance between the parallel lines of straight stitching. I use the narrower one for thin fabrics and the wider 4.0mm for thicker fabrics. I set my machine on a slightly longer stitch length and only do straight stitch. Because of the width of the needles, especially the 4.0 wide one you can't zig zag. If you do the needles will hit the foot and snap....a costly little problem! You can buy one of these needles at most sewing and fabric stores, they are fairly common.

Happy sewing
Sue

------
Brother QC1000, Brother PQ1500, Bernina Virtuosa 160, Pfaff (old), Babylock BLCS, Bernette 1100D, Bernette 334DS

sassyem
sassyem
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Date: 1/9/12 9:57 AM

I had never heard of a twin needle, very interesting! Will get my hands on one and give that a try, many thanks

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/9/12 10:14 AM

Before I had heard of twin needles, I would just stitch around the hem twice, stretching the fabric slightly to make ease. You can also do a very narrow zig zag, but I never liked the look of either method. Sometimes I would hand stitch the hem normally just for the better appearance.

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allycovey
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allycovey  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/9/12 3:56 PM

I second twin needle, you can get them at any fabric store or sewing machine place. You should also make sure you get a ball point twin needle.

sassyem
sassyem
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Subject: Alternative to cover hem stitch? Date: 1/10/12 10:09 AM

thanks ladies, have just confirmed my machine has twin needle capacity, so am going to order extra spindle stick and needles.
The pants are 890% polyester and 10% elastine, would it be advisable to get ballpoint type needle or is that necessary.

allycovey
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allycovey  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/10/12 10:35 AM

I just always use a ballpoint for anything stretchy....I would like to hear what athers think as well.

Jane S
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Jane S
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In reply to sassyem


Date: 1/10/12 11:10 AM

I frequently advise my not so eager to sew friends who want to hem knits to just buy Steam a Seam 2 in 1/2" or 1/4 widths. Depending on the fabric weight : lite version for tops and regular version for bottoms. It bonds the fabric but still retains the stretch and can be washed. Many of my petite friends just want a hem on a sleeve or casual pant leg and this solution works without them trying to figure out their unused sewing machines. Yes, most of them do still own a machine, just haven't used it for another more than woven hems or small repairs. Steam a Seam 2 on Amzon

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www.luckysewandsew.blogspot.com

rag doll
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In reply to sassyem


Date: 1/11/12 8:00 AM

As far as I know twin needles come 2 ways, sharp & stretch. So far I haven't seen ballpoint. I use the stretch for anything stretchy. You can tell the difference as the sharp point have red plastic just below the shank and the stretch have a royal blue. The stretch only come in two sizes to my knowledge.

If an extra spool / spindle is hard to get hold of you can order a spool stand that sits just to the back right of your machine and just thread the machine in the regular way. It could be a whole lot easier to find if you're having trouble.

Ps....If you find that the fabric tunnels in a ridge on the right side you could try either loosening the needle (upper) tension by about 2 numbers or using a very light fusible stretch interfacing inside the hem to firm it up a bit.

HTH
Sue

------
Brother QC1000, Brother PQ1500, Bernina Virtuosa 160, Pfaff (old), Babylock BLCS, Bernette 1100D, Bernette 334DS

Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild  Friend of PR
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In reply to sassyem


Date: 1/11/12 8:10 AM

Do you have a 1960's or 1970's Touch and Sew Singer, or a newer one? If it's the older one, you can use two needles, provided they are the same size and type. If you have a newer model, you need to buy a twin needle.

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