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Hemming Knits
My hem is buckling - any advice?
JenniferMM
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JenniferMM
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Georgia USA
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Date: 5/5/12 1:53 PM

I'm currently working on my first knit dress and everything was going perfectly until I started to hem it. I ran it through the serger to finish the edge, folded up 1", pinned, and started topstitching with a zigzag stitch on my sewing machine. The hem looks even but it is buckling. Can I steam/shrink that out? Will it relax? Or did I mishandle the fabric? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

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- Jennifer

Melody
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Melody
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Date: 5/5/12 1:59 PM

I've had that happen in the past, what works for me is to used steam a seam light tape to stabilize the hem. Wavy puckers are now a thing of the past. I have also had great success with hem sized strips of fusible interfacing of the kind that works best with the fashion fabric. On ITY's (matte jersey) I use a lightweight fusible tricot. Good Luck!

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Melody

Ugh, really?

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/5/12 2:48 PM

Take out the top stitching and steam relax the knit.

Do some experiments on scraps to find the ideal stitch length. I use a straight stitch and longer length.

You may want to lighten the presser foot pressure if you can.

I use 505 temporary spray adhesive to hold up the hem and prevent slipping when I sew. Mary Tilton recommends this but it is a little messy so use file folders to shield the fabric that you don't want sticky.
-- Edited on 5/5/12 2:48 PM --

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/5/12 2:49 PM

If it's wavy, that means there's too much pressure. If your sewing machine has a presser foot pressure adjustment, set it lower.

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My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

beauturbo
beauturbo
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In reply to JenniferMM <<
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Date: 5/5/12 2:50 PM

That is one of the reasons all those people are buying coverstitch only machines! But I did without one for maybe 3 decades, so I don't think every one has to have one at all. That happens as fabric gets stretched out as you sew cross wise over it, with the sewing machine. You could also try a triple straight stitch (on a waste scrap first, not the real hem, as if you decide to pick out, it would probably leave holes) or sew with paper/satbilizer under it, and rip that off later, or maybe use a twin stretch needle, or even now that you serged it off, just hand hem it. I still even do that sometimes, (the hand hemming bit) even with having cover stitch capability.

Or since you have a serger, you could even fold the fabric back, and use the serger more to just blind hem it too. So lots of choices. But practice any of them on a waste scrap first, not the real thing, so you don't have to pick put later if you don't like it.

JKimes
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JKimes  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/5/12 3:01 PM

You might also try a walking foot with a zigzag--I've found it really helps keep the fabric from stretching out.

Juliette

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Juliette near Austin, TX
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JenniferMM
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JenniferMM
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Date: 5/5/12 4:19 PM

Thanks so much, everyone, for your replies!!

Unfortunately, I cannot adjust the pressure of my machine foot. My serger is new and I've not yet ordered the blind hem foot for it but, I'll try that as soon as I get it. For now, I'll try the walking foot with a zigzag stitch and a stabilizer.

Thanks again, everyone!

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- Jennifer

heathergwo
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In reply to JenniferMM <<


Date: 5/5/12 4:33 PM

Let us know how it goes! I also have a knit top that sits in my closet unworn because the bottom hem came out TERRIBLY! I would love to know if what you're trying works so I can actually wear it!

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Brother Innovis 1250D
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beauturbo
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In reply to JenniferMM <<


Date: 5/5/12 5:22 PM

You don't really need any special serger blind hem kind of foot, to blind hem on a serger, but I think nice to have one. But you could just even use a one and only regular kind of foot too. And just eyeball it instead. Advantages I think of having a more blindstitch kind of one, is that you might more have a guard, to keep you from more by accident, getting fabric you don't want under blades into those blades. Practiced better always on a waste scrap than the real thing though!

LynnRowe
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LynnRowe  Friend of PR
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In reply to JenniferMM <<


Date: 5/7/12 10:04 PM

Use a straight stitch, rather than a zigzag. Unless there will be a lot of stress on the area...usually unlikely in a dress hem...a straight stitch is fine. Try a medium stitch length. A walking foot will seriously help (or use the IDT if you have it on your machine, ie Pfaff).

With knit hems, ALWAYS press the hem up first. This helps prevent the ripple drag lines.

And when you're ready, buy a cover stitch machine.

-- Edited on 5/7/12 10:07 PM --

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I heart Panzy, Pfaff Creative Performance, the sewing machine love of my life!
And Baby (Enlighten serger), Victor (BLCS), Rupert (Pfaff 2023-knits expert) Ash (B350SE-Artwork), Kee (B750QEE-Panzy's BFF), Georgie (B560-Kee's baby sister) and the Feather-Flock!

Most of all, I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

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