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It zigs but it will not zag
Fruzzle

Fruzzle
Intermediate
Member since 1/26/07
Posts: 388
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Date: 10/21/12 2:25 PM

My machine is skipping stitches when I try to zigzag. I KNOW it's some combination of stitch length, width, and tension that I need to hit right, but I'm not finding it, so I'm tapping into the brains trust.

I'm sewing fleece with a standard ballpoint needle and regular thread, and I want to edge-finish seams and an applique piece with zigzag. What am I doing wrong? I get bits where my stitches look like regular zigzags and bits where they just look like straight stitch.

Fruzzle

Fruzzle
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Member since 1/26/07
Posts: 388
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In reply to Fruzzle <<
thumbsup 3 members like this.


Date: 10/21/12 2:35 PM

Quote: Fruzzle
My machine is skipping stitches when I try to zigzag. I KNOW it's some combination of stitch length, width, and tension that I need to hit right, but I'm not finding it, so I'm tapping into the brains trust.



I'm sewing fleece with a standard ballpoint needle and regular thread, and I want to edge-finish seams and an applique piece with zigzag. What am I doing wrong? I get bits where my stitches look like regular zigzags and bits where they just look like straight stitch.

Um.

Dear self. Read the label on the needle package.

<- embarassed
andye
andye  Friend of PR
Beginner
Virginia USA
Member since 5/9/09
Posts: 1899
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Date: 10/21/12 2:59 PM

Care to tell us what needles you were using?

I've basted with double eyed needles-- the thread doesn't catch on the right side of the zigzag so that really long stitches result. Best results seem to be with the blind hem stitch.

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Bernina B330
Feet: 1,2,3,3A,4,5,7,8,10,13,16,18,20, 29,32,35,37,50,64,70,71,82,85,86, 92

cinca
cinca
Member since 4/27/11
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In reply to Fruzzle <<
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Date: 10/21/12 3:22 PM

Don't be embarassed. It is a relief for it to be so easily remedied.

We all have done this.

beauturbo
beauturbo
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In reply to Fruzzle <<


Date: 10/21/12 4:08 PM

I don't think you need to edge finish the seems with any zig zag as it does not un-ravel anyways, but if you really want to try to do that, I think a 3 step zig zag, with 3 little straight stitches for each zig and zag, and done pretty wide open as in a long stitch length would probably be better for that. You could try that.

I could not applique one piece of Polar Fleece onto another loose and floppy one very good with a tight zig zag satin stitch at all actually. Because my fabric would not like that very much. In order to do that, I would probably have to stick something under it to more stabilize it first. Like either some real stabilizer, (made for that kind of thing) or at least a piece of typing paper or computer bubble jet paper. If I actually wanted the tight satin stitch zig zag of the applique edges to look nice, I would have to do that very loose and open or might even have to put some wash a way clear stabilizer over the top of it too,not even counting the real stabilizer under it also, before even doing that, and also so my applique stitches did not all sink into the polar fleece and look not all that great.

Also try a real nice and sharp non ball point needle on a waste scrap and just see what happens. Then pull on it, and make sure you get no fabric runs. I don't think ball point needles are always all they are cracked up to be for everything always, and sometimes a good small sharp needle can even be better. You just have to try to see.

If your fabric is moving up and down every time the needle is going into it, and riding up on that fabric with each upwards needle movement, (same thing as flagging) that can make you skip stitches when it tries to make a stitch there too sometimes.

Fruzzle

Fruzzle
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Member since 1/26/07
Posts: 388
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Date: 10/21/12 7:25 PM

I was using a regular needle for wovens. As soon as I switched out for a ballpoint, all the problems went away.

I zigzag seams closed on fleece for a more finished look and also to give an extra set of stitching at the seams to strengthen them.

And I've definitely appliqued fleece to fleece before (pinned it first) using just a zigzag stitch. I usually zigzag inside the edges of the top piece then clip the edges to the edge of the zigzags.

Anyhoo, all is working well and I will have a small mouse costume in time for Halloween!!

marec
starstarstarstar
marec  Friend of PR
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Member since 5/11/08
Posts: 4426
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Date: 10/21/12 7:54 PM

This is why my copy of More Fabric Savvy is near my machine. S. Betzina lists all the little details which might help in sewing a particular fabric.
Here is a link to Amazon---> More Fabric Savvy

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

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