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Help!!
mommy2myboy
mommy2myboy
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Date: 7/31/12 8:11 PM

Sorry to be asking so many questions here lately, but I'm not sure who else to ask.

I am currently working on a maternity band and am trying to sew the elastic in. So far I have already broke/bent 2 needles and I'm afraid if something doesn't change it will be 3. At first I was pulling the fabric along with the elastic and realized that was a no no. So I stopped and am just trying to pull the elastic and my sewing machine keeps saying WAIT! Machine overload! What do I do? Also at first when I was pulling the fabric the stitches were longer/bigger. Now they are smaller and seem tighter. I rethreaded everything and double checked my screen and it's set right. What's going on? Please help me if you can. Thank you sew much!

PS I have the Viking 835

sewme47
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sewme47
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Date: 7/31/12 8:21 PM

Hmmm. I've never had that problem. What kind of needle are you using? A ball point needle might help. Also, what kind of stitch? I find that sewing elastic goes much more smoothly if you use a zig-zag stitch--even a very narrow zig-zag will help. The stitch length should be med to long.

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A balanced diet is a cupcake in each hand.

mommy2myboy
mommy2myboy
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Date: 7/31/12 8:38 PM

The needle I am currently using is 90 stretch. My 75 stretch needles broke. The stitch is called a three step zig zag.

Sew4Fun
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In reply to mommy2myboy <<
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Date: 7/31/12 8:47 PM

There is a knack to sewing on elastic. It's a skill you need to practice. If you are breaking needles it usually means you are pulling the elastic through the machine, rather than letting the machine do the work.

What you need to do is with one hand behind the presser foot and one hand in front, grab the elastic and pull it slightly stretched. Now this is where it gets tricky. You must hold the elastic taut but let the machine feed the elastic through. Do NOT pull the elastic through yourself. This is where you will break needles. Let the machine do all the work. Your only job is to hold the elastic taut (slightly stretched). Clear as mud? As I said it is an acquired skill. I'd suggest practicing on scraps for a while until you get the hang of it. It comes with practice. Just remember, let the machine do the work of feeding the elastic. You just hold and stretch elastic. You will need to stop with the needle DOWN in the fabric every few inches to re-position your hands. HTH

Edited to add: With this technique you will need to increase your stitch length. It will seem too long as you sew, but once the elastic springs back the stitches will be the right length. You don't want too many stitches in the elastic anyway.

-- Edited on 7/31/12 8:49 PM --

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Belinda. Melbourne, Australia
http://sew-4-fun.blogspot.com/

Marie367
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Date: 7/31/12 8:58 PM

Are both fabrics elastic? Put the non-stretch side next to the feed dogs. Then you might need to hold the fabric at the back of the foot (gently) while you are gently stretching the elastic. Your triple zigzag is a good choice. Depending on the thickness of your fabric, you may need the equivalent of a 14 stretch. Using a walking foot might help too (although I don't use one). Sew slowly. Don't be afraid to try a different type of needle. A sharp needle 14 or even a 16 might work better than a stretch if your fabric is a non-stretch. Sometimes it just takes some experimenting. HTH!

mommy2myboy
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Date: 7/31/12 9:12 PM

Thank you, Sew-4-Fun and Marie 367! Very helpful. The fabric I am working with is knit. I was going to shut down for the night, but with the help from you all I'm going to try again. Thank you!

sewme47
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Date: 8/1/12 10:21 AM

Oh, dear...I'm so sorry I wasn't more helpful. I sure hope you were able to complete your project, and I wish you much successful elastic sewing in the future!

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A balanced diet is a cupcake in each hand.

mommy2myboy
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Date: 8/1/12 6:35 PM

Sew Me 47 - you were all helpful! Sorry i wasn't more clear!

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