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Message Board > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Fraying fabric ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Fraying fabric
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Date: 8/28/04 6:45 AM

Hi,

I just joined and I'm so glad I found this message board! This fall it seems the boucles and loose weave wools are really in style, so I bought a loose weave wool to make a skirt. Problem is, it frays so badly that even trying to overlock the seams doesn't help. It just pulls right out. Is there something I can use to keep it from fraying? I  have fraycheck but won't that just wash out eventually?

Thanks!
Karen

GorgeousFabrics
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Date: 8/28/04 7:16 AM

Karen, when you say 'trying to overlock the seams', do you mean that you sew the seams using an overlock machine, or that you sew a 5/8" seam with a regular straight stitch, then overlock the seam allowances?  I have done the latter and had good luck.  Another way to keep the edges from fraying is to stitch your standard 5/8" seam on a regular machine, then stitch again using a short (2.5 mm) straight stitch about 1/4" closer to the cut edge and then pink the edge.  Is that clear?

HTH!
Ann

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Date: 8/28/04 7:53 AM

Ann,

I stitched a regular 5/8" straight stitch then tried to overlock the edges. Well, technically I used a zigzag stitch with an overlock foot. I will try your suggestion.

Thanks!

Karen

Janie Viers
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Date: 8/28/04 7:57 AM

Don't forget the option of using "seams great"....sheer bias strips that can be used to bind or simply reiforce the edge finish!

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JanieV

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Date: 8/28/04 8:52 AM

Aha! I've never heard of Seams Great. I assume this can be bought at the fabric shop? Oh no - like I need a reason to go back to the fabric store!! <g>

Karen

Janie Viers
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Date: 8/28/04 10:46 AM

seams great is a narrow bias cut roll of "net?" that you can use to stabilize or bind lightweight or shredding fabrics. It's on the notions wall!

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JanieV

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Date: 8/30/04 6:29 PM

Well, I'm a little embarassed to admit that I have a serger, but I don't use it. Since it would really help with the fraying problem, I decided to try it again.

I got my serger out today which Iíve never really used. I threaded it, got it all ready to go, tried to serge something, and then I remembered why Iíve never used this machine.

I have so much trouble with the threads getting bunched up and stuck in the needle fingers. I tried just serging a chain with no fabric, and it still got all bunched up. Itís a Simplicity SL 350 4-thread. The tensions are all set in the middle (about 4.5). Donít know if thatís right or not. Using regular sewing thread. The throat plate is the standard plate.

I recall even when I got it to work the stitching was all uneven and wavy. It never looked good. Is there a way to figure out what Iím doing wrong? I'd really like to use it sew seams, especially on this loose weave fabric. All the messages I read on the boards say how wonderful sergers are! Why can't I get mine to work?

Thanks,
Karen

AnneM
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Date: 8/30/04 7:45 PM

You might just be threading it incorrectly.  I have to go from right to left (lower looper, upper looper, right needle, left needle) when threading or it won't work correctly.  Perhaps you can find a shop where you can get a couple of lessons on how to use it.  (Maybe for free if you have a tune up? )  The waviness might be able to be corrected with a differential feed adjustment, if you have that on your machine.

In addition to the other suggestions given, a couple other options that might help are liining, underlining, or fusing.  Of course, those might not work with your garmet.  French seams might help, since the edges are enclosed.  Or a hong-kong finish (mamafitz has a great pictorial instruction of that on her website).  

good luck!

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With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.

ReneeO

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Date: 8/30/04 10:17 PM

I'll second what AnneM said about threading sequence with an added note. My Kenmore manual has me thread right to left BUT my machine is (R to L) lower looper, upper looper.... So I had been threading the lower looper first and the result was a wavy stitch. In a serger class I read that the upper looper is *always* threaded first and this change fixed my wonky serging. † Hope it's that simple : )

If your interested PR has a wonderful serger basics class that I really learned alot from, Lisa ( instructor) is great

Edited: to note that Anne threads in that sequence with apparently no problems.... Well it worked †for me †:confused:

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Date: 8/31/04 6:22 AM

Well, the good news is that after much fiddling and fussing I got it working last night. I did serge a couple of the seams and it's not bad, but the stitching still seems "loose" to me. Maybe if I play around with the tension?

The class definitely sounds great! How do I take a class?

Karen

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