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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Sewing on Denim - My test results. ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Sewing on Denim - My test results.
kcurtis
kcurtis  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/11/13 3:34 PM

I wanted to share something I discovered yesterday. Advance sewers may have already discovered this, but since this is a beginner’s forum I thought it might be helpful for some, so here goes….

I own 4 home sewing machines. They include the following machines:

Baby Lock BL-9
Singer Quantum Stylist 9960
Singer Heavy Duty 4423
Janome HD 1000

In every case one of the first test I did upon received these machines was sewing over the bottom hem of the retail jeans that I’ve cut off to hem over the past few months. The area they all struggle greatly with is when they hit the side seams, which is very dense on retail jeans.

Each time I used denim needles, which are size 16.

The only machine that actually sewed without completely stalling or breaking a needle was the 9960 Stylist. It did make some noise when it hit the side seam, but it made it through it. I know that amount of strain is not good for a home machine.

Yesterday, I received the box of 110/18 Schmetz Leather needles I had ordered, so I thought I’d install them on each machine and test again. The results were amazingly different.

Each machine hummed right through the side seam without any hesitation.

My test consisted of starting on the side seam and starting off and around to and over the second side seam. This allowed for me to see how it handled every situation in thickness changes.

I also sewed on some lighter weight denim to see if the larger needle had any bad effects on the fabric and it looked perfectly normal.

If you plan on sewing denim I'd pick up some size 110/18 needles to be safe. The mfgs must be testing those size 16 needles on 2 layers of denim and any decent pair of jeans as 3 to 6 layers in certain parts.

Anyway, I thought I'd share my results with you. I hope it saves you some time and frustration in the future.

Regards,
~Kevin
-- Edited on 10/31/13 2:50 AM --

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

aprilla
aprilla
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Date: 7/11/13 5:19 PM

Thanks for doing that thorough test and sharing your result Kevin. Very useful information.
I've made a note to pick up 110/18 next time I'm shopping sewing stuffs :)

plazaglass

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In reply to kcurtis <<


Date: 7/11/13 9:35 PM

Thanks for that info! I've been on a denim kick lately and every bit of good advice helps.

sewme47
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Date: 7/11/13 11:31 PM

Very interesting!

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A balanced diet is a cupcake in each hand.

Scrnme007
Scrnme007  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/12/13 1:04 AM

Good tip, thanks!

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SewWannabe-SewReady

cocosloft
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Date: 7/12/13 5:17 AM

What a super tip! thanks so much for doing this test and posting the result, Kevin!!

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Coco

annemie
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Date: 7/12/13 6:11 AM

Thank you for [posting your findings, I will remember it the next time I need to hem jeans.

bestgrammy
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In reply to kcurtis <<


Date: 7/12/13 6:11 AM

Hi...thank you for this information. Just to be sure about what needle you used...besides being size 18...this was a Leather needle as well, right?

Thank you for your pre-testing and posting.

Karin Mantefors
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Date: 7/12/13 6:18 AM

leather needles are sharp on the sides and cuts thrught the fabric so you actually make holes in the fabric, you breake the fabric, might not be visable at first. Do not recomment it, did the same thing when I started to sew.
there are these little plastic pieces that you put behind the flatlocked seam when hemming, can be callad "jeansmajiggit " or something, came with my sewingmachine but anything that lift the presserfoot is good

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www.karinskammare.blogspot.com

woole bully

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Date: 7/12/13 8:35 AM

both the thingamajig and leather needles are a great tip! along with everyone else, i have struggled with denim hems!

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