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Technique for sewing narrow hem on a soft knit
Need advice - hem is stretched out and wavy
SewSea76
SewSea76  Friend of PR
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RI USA
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Date: 5/20/12 8:38 PM

Hello,
I was recently helping a friend make McCall's 6070 with a soft rayon knit. The neckline and arm holes call for a narrow hem. I tried doing this with my Janome 3260 QDC with a few different stretch stitches, but they would all come out wavy and stretched out. I tried reducing the feed dog tension a bit but didn't do a thing. Finally I ended up running the edge through my serger and then turning it under and putting a piece of paper under the fabric as I sewed a straight stretch stitch with my Janome. Then I just tore off the paper at the end. It came out pretty good, especially after ironing, but was still slightly stretched. All the review photos of this pattern seem to have perfect narrow hems at the neck and arm without any wavy problems, and I want to know how you people did it! Do I need to buy a walking foot? Is there a special technique I am missing out on? Please help!

LynnRowe
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In reply to SewSea76 <<


Date: 5/20/12 9:48 PM

I never use stretch or zigzag stitches on knits coz they do tend to stretch and make waves. Instead, I use a straight stitch, small hole needle plate and straight stitch foot...or my Coverstitch machine.

Try using a straight stitch with twin needles, and with a walking foot if you have. The walking foot will prevent the stretching that causes the waviness.

Others like to use steam a seam lite on their hems before stitching.

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marec
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In reply to SewSea76 <<


Date: 5/20/12 9:48 PM

It is frustrating, isn't it? I find I have my best results when I use the following combination on my SM:
*narrow ZZ and longer stitch length--->appears to be a straight stitch when finished
*sometimes will use Steam a Seam before hemming
*pressing the hem well before hemming is essential
*double needle works but I can get good results with a double stitched hem.

Here is a Tip from a search I ran for you:

tip

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my blog: http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/
Sewing through my pattern stash-145
completed.

MagnoliaHoney
MagnoliaHoney
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Date: 5/20/12 10:25 PM

I have taken t-shirt classes at my local knit fabric store, we used a zz stitch, but all hems had the fusible interfacing on them. also some knits are more fussy and fiddly then others. Make sure not to stretch as you go as well.

It will help to have a narrow foot on the machine. (not sure what that is called though)

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Visit my blog http://www.heathersprairie.blogspot.com

MagnoliaHoney
MagnoliaHoney
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Date: 5/20/12 10:26 PM

oh and use a needle for knits, in the class the teacher said really twin needles are never needed, but many people do like them. I've never done the twin needle, just regular needles for knit. and I sew a lot of knits.

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Visit my blog http://www.heathersprairie.blogspot.com

gramma b
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gramma b
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Date: 5/21/12 7:55 AM

Depending on the knit, when I try a straight stitch it will pop, despite fiddling with tension, length, etc. Sometimes I use one of the "ocean-wave" stitches, prettier than a zz.
One lady said she sets at 3 instead of 2.5, then stretches and it pops back to a shorter stitch, but this gets me uneven stitches.
I don't have 2 spools for a twin needle and bobbin won't fit on top of the other spool. Thin tissue-knits are the hardest.

tigergirl
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tigergirl
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Date: 5/21/12 9:41 AM

I've had a few knits that just would not behave around the armscyes - tried the walking foot, jersey needles, double needle, decreasing the foot pressure, every different type of stitch known to man, you name it - in the end I used wonder tape to turn it over and stick it down and then sewed through that. On hems that won't be getting stretched I've been know to use hemming web and not even bother stitching.

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Sharon Rose
Sharon Rose  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/21/12 3:13 PM

Would this be a situation where it would be good for stitching clear elastic into the seam of the hem around the armhole? It retains the shape of the armhole and yet allows stretch when needed. I haven't tried it, but have read where it should be stretchecd very slightly when applying. Has anyone else tried this for a hem in knits?

SewSea76
SewSea76  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/22/12 12:52 PM

I actually just bought some of that clear elastic and was wondering how to sew it on. When I am looking at my RTW clothes that have this elastic in the seam, it looks like it was put on the seam allowance and then serged over. Is that how to do it, or do you use a zig zag stitch on a regular machine? Either way I am sure it will take some practice.

Sharon Rose
Sharon Rose  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/22/12 7:51 PM

You can insert it into the seam either way. And it isn't that hard to do. I am sure the more you explore with it, you will find many uses for it.

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