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Forum > Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers > Serger won't cut and sew crosswise edges on lycra ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Serger won't cut and sew crosswise edges on lycra
Viking 936 stitches are a mess on lycra fabrics
katlew03
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katlew03  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/3/12 10:31 PM

I just made a dress out of a poly lycra fabric and everything was find until I tried to serge the hem edge before turning it up to topstitch it. The fabric pulled, made different sized stitches and some of the stitches were off the edge of the fabric. I had this same problem a while back trying to make a doll skirt for DGD on a swimsuit fabric. I was able to serge the vertical side seams and the crosswise shoulder seams without any problem because they were two layers. But when I tried to finish the edge on the armholes and hem, it was a mess. I had sections where the stitch formed away from the edge, leaving big holes.

I am going to try to serge over strips of water-soluble stabilizer to see if that will help. I was planning to covert to my coverstitch to do the hems but did not have enough time to do this and complete my dress before wearing it to an event, so I ended up just turning under the hem and stitching a narrow hem. It turned out to be very uneven but I ended up having to wear it anyway -- thank goodness for a large print fabric.

My old serger never had any fabrics that it refused to sew. I am going to experiment on some leftover fabric but thought someone might have a solution before I cut off the hem and try a new one. I really don't want to fuse the hem with steam-a-seam on such a stretchy knit. So far I think my choices are:

(1) Change to stretch needles (never had to before)
(2) Place water soluble stabilizer strips under fabric edge
(3) Place tissue paper under fabric
(4) Use steam-a-steam 2 to fuse hem and then stitch over it
(5) Use blind hemmer on machine
(6) Use wooly nylon in loopers
(7) Hem the dress by hand
(8) Fold up edge and seam over double thickness and then turn up hem and stitch over serging (I think this would be too bulky).
(9) Adjust the differential feed -- tried this but some of the stitches still pulled away from the fabric -- it's like some sewed and some didn't even though I did not move the edge of the fabric.

I have sewn lots of knits but have can't ever remember having a problem with them in sewing with the stretch of the fabric.

Sorry for rambling. I read several articles that said that this type of knit was difficult to sew with a serger but other writers said the serger made sewing with lycra so much easier. I am using a 3-thread overlock stitch, if that makes a difference. The 4-thread seems to be a little bulky for this weight of knit.

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Sewn in 2012: 176.212 yds.
Total sewn in 2013 -- 225.848 yds.
Total yards in inventory 1/1/14 -- 1752.5
Goal for 2014 -- 400 yards

Machines: Designer Diamond, #1+, H Class 100Q, and Viking 400 Serger: 936 Singer Coverstitch

heathergwo
heathergwo
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Subject: Serger wont cut and sew crosswise edges on lycra Date: 6/4/12 1:14 AM

Although I don't have experience with that particular fabric, in general I've found a few things helpful with the serger.

How old are your knives? They do eventually wear out and MAYBE they just can't handle it anymore?? Ebay has some good shops for buying replacements.

Also, I would DEFINITELY change your needles - this is the first thing I'd try. I have found that with the right needle, almost anything is possible!

Beyond that, it seems like you've got a pretty good list of techniques to try out!

Good luck!!!

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Brother Innovis 1250D
Babylock Enlighten
Singer Curvy 8763
Brother 1034D
Janome 385.19606
Brother 2340CV

katlew03
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In reply to heathergwo <<


Date: 6/4/12 2:06 AM

I changed to a stretch needle and placed some water soluble stabilizer under the fabric and serged across it. It is better but the loops are not consistent. I turned it up about a half inch and sewed a narrow hem. It looked pretty good. It was a straight stitch so would probably do a very narrow zigzag or even try the coverstitch -- such a pain to convert to it, though.

------
Sewn in 2012: 176.212 yds.
Total sewn in 2013 -- 225.848 yds.
Total yards in inventory 1/1/14 -- 1752.5
Goal for 2014 -- 400 yards

Machines: Designer Diamond, #1+, H Class 100Q, and Viking 400 Serger: 936 Singer Coverstitch

Judy Kski
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Judy Kski  Friend of PR
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In reply to katlew03 <<


Date: 6/4/12 6:57 AM

Try it with the water soluble stabilizer on the top instead of the bottom. I use this trick when I have thin fabric that tunnels such as lining fabric. I've also used it when serging side seams on tricot. It works like a charm to give the fabric that little bit extra stability that it needs. Good luck!

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Judy

LynnRowe
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In reply to katlew03 <<


Date: 6/4/12 3:34 PM

NM, I was thinking CS, not serging.


-- Edited on 6/4/12 3:35 PM --

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I heart Panzy, Pfaff Creative Performance, the sewing machine love of my life!
And Baby (Enlighten serger), Victor (BLCS), 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.

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/5/12 8:30 PM

I don't know what serger you have but have you tried lightening up the foot pressure? Changing the differential might help but it sounds like you tried that. Several others suggested new needles. I don't know what else to tell you to try. You have done everything I would do.

quathy
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quathy  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/5/12 11:39 PM

Try ballpoint needles. If they don't work, try microfiber needles. It could be that your needles aren't penetrating properly and throwing the whole thing off.

kittykate
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kittykate
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Date: 6/6/12 10:59 AM

The rib of the fabric is trying to run away. This seems counter intuitive, but think about trying to slightly gather the fabric and adjust your differential to do so.

sew2006
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sew2006
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In reply to katlew03 <<


Date: 6/10/12 9:54 AM

I always use new stretch needles on thinner knit fabric. Check that the machine is threaded properly and that the thread isn't caught on the bottom edge of your spool. For a single knit fabric a narrow 3 thread sometimes works better than the wide. Lessen the pressure of your foot to prevent excess stretching. Also check that there's no thread lint inside your tension disks (common when stitches aren't even). Increase the cutting width to a higher number, this leaves more fabric between the knife where it's cut and where the machine forms the stitches. You can also tighten the looper tensions by .5 to 1 higher. If you had tried a roll hem make sure that the stitch finger is back up (this would also make the stitches not form properly). Your machine also has a 2 thread overedge option good for thinner fabric.

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Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.

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