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Forum > Sergers, Coverstitch and Blindhemmers > Serging Thick Fleece... ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Serging Thick Fleece...
kcurtis
kcurtis  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/30/13 1:25 PM

I have a Babylock Diana. I am trying to do a 5 thread cover chain stitch hem on the legs of some medium to heavy weight fleece fabric I picked up at JoAnn Fabrics. After testing and testing I can't seem to get through a small piece of test fabric without it jamming. I've tried every level of presser foot tension setting and thread tension setting I can think of, plus a few extreme settings just to see if the would work. I have verified that it is threaded properly as well.

I mostly work with industrial machines that handle this fabric with ease. I am hoping I don't have to buy one for my home projects though.

I've created a web page if you wish to view the images larger. Web Page Link

Meanwhile, here are some smaller images to show what I am running into:






Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Regards,
Kevin

------
Just a hack that sews for a living. ;)

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 4/30/13 1:42 PM

How does it work with thinner fabric? It could be that the needles are not large enough for the thicker fabric.

See if there is an adjustment for the presser foot pressure. The manual should explain how to adjust according to fabric thicknesses.

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

beauturbo
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In reply to kcurtis <<


Date: 4/30/13 3:46 PM

Since you use and are used to commercial machines, sounds like you already do know they can often sometimes sew through some much thicker stuff than some home ones, and I think you might be onto something with that, at least in your very first picture where you got the whole bunch of and looks like more and thicker layers than the other pictures. I have a Baby Lock Evolve and I'm not sure I with it, could really sew though that stuff in your very first picture always without jamming up either.

To get the very best chance of it though, I think I would use the very longest stitch length I could, to have the least amount of stitches in it per inch traveled and have the pressure foot adjustment adjusted for thickest of fabric possible. Also my knives the very sharpest possible as a dull knife might not be helping any.

How can you get a "5 thread cover chain stitch hem " ? I think if coverstitching with 2 needles that would make it a 3 thread stitch, with 2 threads for needles and one for chainstitch looper and instead if using a 3 needle coverstitch, then that would just make it a 4 thread stitch using, 3 needles threads and one looper thread, so where is that 5th thread coming in?

I guess you might be able to run a two thread chain stitch next to a 3 thread cover stitch, and have 5 threads that way though, (not seeing that in your needles in your photo's at all though) but just because you could maybe do in that, does not mean it would work for all fabrics and all thickness of fabric.

So I think you have just sort of hit or exceeded the limits of the machine, if changing your stitch types, and opening up your stitches, and making pressure foot as loose as possible, all does not make it better. Also if just too thick in one place, you could aways try just very carefully only turning the fly wheel by hand just in those places maybe. Maybe you really needed a more commercial kind of overlocker, to go with all those other more commercial machines even. Or maybe just turn under hem and straight stitch it down with a lockstitch sewing machine, using real long stitches instead, I do see that done on real thick fleece in the stores even, lots of times.

I think synthetic Polar fleece dulls your knife blades really fast, much faster than just sewing though some natural fiber cotton or such, so I would for sure switch out at least that softer top knife blade for a new one, as an experiment too, as maybe that might help some, particular if you have been sewing a whole lot of Polar Fleece on it. If that makes no difference you have not wasted a knife blade at all, just put old one back in and save the other one as a spare for later.
-- Edited on 4/30/13 4:08 PM --

If you got any scratches or dings from your needle hitting a stitch pin or plate or something like that, and it snags some thread, that might also be able to make your stitches catch and pile up like that and it even harder for all to move through the machine too. If so maybe smooth them off.
-- Edited on 4/30/13 4:43 PM --

kcurtis
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Date: 4/30/13 6:07 PM

Thank you both for your responses!

I did put new needles (sizes 14, 16 and 18) and it didn't help. As I noted in my post I also tried every presser foot adjustment I could - from the lightest to the heaviest it didn't make any difference.

Excellent advice on the blade Beauturbo - I replaced the blade as well. I forgot to include that detail in my post.

I just got back from taking it to my local Dealer (another advantage of buying local) and we ended up having to pull the fabric through at the start in order to get it to work on both their demo and my machine. The problem in doing this resulted in the stitches at the start, where the thicker crossing seam is located bunched up a bit and it was very noticeable. Just for kicks we then tried it on the Evolution and it sewed through it several times without any problem at all. Therefore, I am now a proud new owner of a new Baby Lock Evolution. LOL!

Now, I need to get it unpacked and finish off what I started this morning. After that I'll have time to play a bit to see all the new things I can do with this puppy. ;)

------
Just a hack that sews for a living. ;)

kcurtis
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Date: 4/30/13 6:08 PM

Patti
I forgot to answer your question.... it worked fine with thinner fabrics. It just refused to sew the thick fleece.

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Just a hack that sews for a living. ;)

sewsally
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Date: 4/30/13 6:45 PM

Does it work with just a plain coverstitch?

Skye
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In reply to kcurtis <<


Date: 5/1/13 2:55 AM

When I sew thick fleece I lock the blade on my serger.

This was recommended in the my Elna machine's manual when sewing very thick fabrics.
That works for me.

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Wellington, NZ

SandiMacD
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Date: 5/1/13 7:08 AM

Congrats on your Evolution. Mine has got stuck on a few bulky seams a few times over the years but have always been able to clear it and correct it to serge through. I know you will enjoy it- especially looper threading.

------
sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

Doris W. in TN
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In reply to kcurtis <<
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Date: 5/1/13 8:38 AM

Quote:
I am trying to do a 5 thread cover chain stitch hem


What is that? Can you post a photo of a finished 5-thread cover chain stitch hem? None of my machines do that; it's wither chain stitch or coverstitch.

BTW, Congrats on your new machine!
kcurtis
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Date: 5/1/13 1:09 PM

Sally - I didn't try a cover stitch.

Skye - that is a great tip. Thank you so much!

Sandi - thank you. I am sure I'll enjoy it.

Doris - sorry, that was a typo on my part. I should have read my own dang post. UGH!
The stitch I used was a 4-Thread Chain Stitch-2-Thread Overlock. I had 5 spools on my machine and I guess that through me off when I was typing. ;)

Thanks to all of you! So far I am enjoying the new machine. The jet air threading is going to really save me some serious time for sure. Seems I never sit down without having to change things up when I sew at home. Plus, the auto tension really amazes me. I did a test strip of fabric and I went from soft thin silk to 2 layers of denim and the tension was perfect.

Funny thing though, I'll still test before I sew on something I am going to wear or sell. Seems like machines sew perfect when you are testing and playing around on scraps. However, that all changes when you put an expensive finished fabric in them.

------
Just a hack that sews for a living. ;)

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