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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Ms. Velvet Cake's order...IGNORED! Beginners; USE A STRAIGHT STITCH ON KNITS. ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Ms. Velvet Cake's order...IGNORED! Beginners; USE A STRAIGHT STITCH ON KNITS.
LynnRowe
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Date: 4/11/14 0:10 AM

Apparently a pattern designer has "ordered" (all in caps, no less!) one of our very experienced and knowledgable PR members to "DON'T TELL BEGINNERS TO USE A STRAIGHT STITCH ON KNITS".

Well. I too am an experienced sewer, and in particular with knits.

When I use a sewing machine on knits, I use a straight stitch. Always have; always will.

And it's what I advise sewers to use, beginners or not.

So, Ms. Velvet... to you.

------
I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

RynV

RynV
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Date: 4/11/14 1:40 AM

That's very interesting, Lynn, because I've been told to use a slight zigzag (or serger) and I don't like using a zigzag. What length stitch do you use and how do you avoid stitches popping?

wendyrb
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Date: 4/11/14 1:45 AM

Quote:
how do you avoid stitches popping?
Her secret is a steady diet of Slimfast Meal Bars.

------
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

lelliebunny
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Date: 4/11/14 1:54 AM

LOL! I can tell you, however, that she has been known to eat real food from time to time. I have seen her doing so on quite a few occasions!

------
it doesn't matter what type of sewing you do. you are sewing, and sewing is good.

LynnRowe
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Date: 4/11/14 1:56 AM

LOL!!! Not that the damn things do me any good. Could be all the chicken fried steaks with mash tats and gravy that lelliebunny's referring to.

------
I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

lelliebunny
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Date: 4/11/14 2:02 AM

I'm obviously not Lynn, but I use my straight stitch default stitch length of 2.5, and I have only had an issue once on a sleeve hem (I hadn't figured out my coverstitch on my evolution yet). I've done 15 or 16 shirts made from knits including Ponte Roma, fleece, jersey, and both cotton & cotton/poly interlocks.

I don't like doing construction on my serger (seams seem less secure to me), so I save the serger for seam finishing and coverstitching.

------
it doesn't matter what type of sewing you do. you are sewing, and sewing is good.

lelliebunny
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Date: 4/11/14 2:02 AM

And the fish & chips we gotta go back to that place when the weather is better!

------
it doesn't matter what type of sewing you do. you are sewing, and sewing is good.

LynnRowe
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Date: 4/11/14 2:10 AM

Actually a lot of seriously expert knit sewers use a straight stitch, from the late great Ann Pearson onwards.

Especially for beginners, I find a zz too difficult. It's tough sewing a straight line with a non-straight stitch; it's tough pressing a nice straight seam when it's sewn with what is, in effect, a crooked stitch, and it's far more difficult for the machine's feed dogs to feed knits through smoothly & evenly with a zz than with a ss.

Most the knit experts who use a straight stitch prefer a stitch length of 3.0 to 4.5; I personally use a 2.5 length for rayon/lycra and silk/lycra knits, and a 3.0 - 3.5 for heavier knits or those without lycra.

I've never had stitches pop. If the garment is a reasonable fit (too large is as bad as too small; both can cause excess seam stress), your thread tension is balanced, and you take care not to distort the fabric, you shouldn't have any popping.

On the contrary, I wish they would, lol! I have 3 knit tops I still wear almost weekly; sewed them 8 years ago when my old serger was in the shop for several weeks, and the damn things just refuse to wear out!

------
I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

LynnRowe
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Date: 4/11/14 2:13 AM

Oh...right...forgot about the fish & chips (Pajo's, for the BC folk; if you haven't pigged on them yet, what the heck are you waiting for??! )

------
I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

RynV

RynV
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Date: 4/11/14 3:41 AM

This is fantastic news for someone who wants to sew more quality knits but doesn't want to take the risk of completely ruining expensive fabric by using the serger inappropriately. I mainly use it like you, to finish seams and coverstitch but I've never been thrilled with it for seam construction. I really thought the rule for sewing machines and knits was you had to use a zigzag stitch, otherwise the machine, or the fabric, would spontaneously combust. And all this time I could have done what I wanted to do all along and use a straight stitch. Thank you, ladies, for ridding me of the zigzag knit police in my head (and Mother, wherever you are, you were right all along).

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