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Microtex or Sharp needles uses
Mircrotex and sharp needles with lycra
Trisam
Trisam  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/24/13 8:21 PM

My machine is skipping stitches when I sew on swimsuit material and techsheen which is a nylon/spandex blend. I am making a bra with the techsheen.)
I have tried ball point and stretch needles and changed pressure foot and thread tension to no avail. The stretch does better, but still skips, especially over seams.
I have heard it mentioned that I might try a microtex or sharp needle. Is this safe? Will it not weaken the fabric with holes?
Thanks!

Elona
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In reply to Trisam <<
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Date: 8/24/13 8:30 PM

My own experience with lycras and other stretchies is that a Schmetz Stretch needle is the very best. In fact, when ANY knit fabric is behaving badly, this needle can often straighten out the issues.

I find fine Microtex/Sharps to be superb sewing tools, much superior to ballpoints or universals, whose blunted points can leave truly dreadful holes.

My suggestion to you would be to make samples using scraps of your fabrics and various needles to see what your machine prefers.
-- Edited on 8/24/13 8:31 PM --

beauturbo
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In reply to Trisam <<
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Date: 8/24/13 9:00 PM

I think a Schmetz size 12 Stretch needle (not ballpoint) is about the best you can do. I actually do use sharps or universal needles on some knits (more like cotton sometimes) if I can get away with it, as in no skipped stitches or holes that will run, but I don't think you can get away with it on that nylon/spandex at all. You could sew on some scraps, and then pull on the fabric, and see if holes or runs, but they might not even show up until it had been washed a few times. So I would not risk it on that. Also the stretch needle is made in such a way the scarf cut out of it, just gets closer and so less likely to even get skipped stitches on that nylon/spandex.

If wide zig zagging, try a 3 point kind of zig zag instead (one that has 3 little stitches in each zig and zag) of a regular one, as maybe less likely to skip and that way if you do get a skipped stitch, at least it would not show as much and even be smaller.

Also might not help at all, if your whole bobbin case and race area was really dirty and clogged up with fuzz. So, take your removable bobbin case out, and clean out under there, and make sure it's not sitting in and riding on, a whole bunch of lint and fuzz.

tourist
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In reply to Trisam <<


Date: 8/24/13 10:34 PM

Trisam - I share your pain. I have been having a wretched time with stretch fabrics and skipping for the past little while, in spite of having rather a lot of experience and a lot of success previously. You can read along here if you are interested. After a ton of experimenting, trips to the fabric store and probably a good deal of damage to my dental work, I came up with the same answer. Schmetz 90 (14) stretch needle. The ballpoints didn't work at all. This was for stretchy lycra and slightly heavy power mesh - similar fabrics to what you will be using for bra making and swim suits.

That being said, I have had good success in the past with microtex sharps, both Schmetz and Klasse brands. They really do not damage the fabric as far as I can tell and sometimes you just have to go with what works. In fact, it was sewing through a couple of layers of lingerie elastic on a body suit I was altering that I found they were most useful.

Good luck!

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

SheBear0320
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Date: 8/25/13 1:42 AM

I use Schmetz stretch needles (75/11) for the majority of the nylon/spandex I sew (and most other fabrics with spandex). I have used Microtex needles when top-stitching elastic -- just seems to work better on some fabrics.

------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
49.75 yards sewn (as of 07/17/14)
79.875 yards purchased (as of 07/17/14)

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