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Sewing Slinky
Sewing machine or serger?
Yakityak
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Yakityak
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 8/16/03
Posts: 55
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Date: 9/12/10 9:51 PM

I am about to sew up Ottobre Woman 02-2009-14 in what I believe to be a slinky knit. It is a dress with a bodice constructed separate from the skirt. Bodice has flutter sleeves, a cowl neck with cut on facing, darts, and skirt is 8 gore.

I read through the tips on sewing with slinky. I had been all set to make the entire thing on my serger and cover stitch machines... but I read tips (now about 7 years old) that it's better to sew slinky on a sewing machine with a zigzag stitch.

I was wondering if this is still the prevailing wisdom.

Anyone?

Yak

------
Brevity is the soul of lingerie.
-Dorothy Parker
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WordNerd
WordNerd  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Iowa USA
Member since 2/7/10
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Date: 9/12/10 10:41 PM

All I know is that slinky knit stretches forever!

We had show choir dresses of slinky knit made which were SO stretchy they had to be pinned to the girls for their dress rehearsal. Then the "sewing moms" decided to remedy the situation. We took them in and in and in, straight stitching everything (some of those girls' dresses had enough stretch to get another girl in there with 'em!). We finally managed to take up enough fabric that the dresses didn't fall off, and the girls never had a problem getting in and out. There's a lot of stretch in slinky!

Try your fabric on both machines, see which gives the results you want--probably a combination of stability and stretch. Good luck!

------
~Debbie

mastdenman
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mastdenman  Friend of PR
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California USA
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Date: 9/12/10 10:54 PM

I use my serger, but on a horizontal seam use clear elastic to keep it from stretching. Practice a little first.

------
Marilyn

January 2009 to January 2010 81 yards out and 71yards in January 2010 to the present 106.7 yards out and 146.5 yards in. January 2011 to the present: 47 yards out and 69 yards in.

Yakityak
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Yakityak
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 8/16/03
Posts: 55
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Date: 9/13/10 3:50 AM

Thank you everyone! I have scads of clear elastic because I bought a ridiculous spool of it. I am wondering if I should just include it in every seam, or will the dress bag between the seams if I do? Hmm.

I'm glad to hear you use your serger. I had really hoped to do that - my experience sewing knits on my sewing machine has been less than stellar.

Yak

------
Brevity is the soul of lingerie.
-Dorothy Parker
---------------------------
Sewing blog & free sewing patterns at my website:

Yakityak Talks Back
www.yakityak.com

Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/13/10 9:26 AM

Be aware that slinky is quite heavy and drapey. The cowl neck will lay flat due to the nature of slinky.

I have always sewn with the machine first, using the walking foot and a .5 zigzag, then a 3-thread serging to reinforce.

------
iPad's auto-correct is my enema.

missbeth033
missbeth033
Intermediate
Tennessee USA
Member since 8/11/07
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In reply to Yakityak


Date: 9/13/10 9:43 AM

If you're planning to coverstitch the hem or use a double needle to topstitch, it's a very good idea to use steam-a-seam 2 or some type of unstretched elastic (clear or I've even used lingerie elastic) between the two layers. This stabilizes the slinky while you're stitching so you don't have any skipped stitches. I have found this makes a much better hem than hemming by hand.

The serger works fine, but if you really want to be safe, use a very narrow width zig zag on the machine and use the serger to finish the edges.

Another thought is that because slinky is so heavy and really grows in length, you may want to think about making a top and skirt instead of a dress.

It's also a good idea to make samples of vertical seams, horizontal seams, and different hem finishes with the slinky before you start working on your actual dress. Ask me how I know!

Linda in TN

Patti B
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Patti B  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/13/10 11:01 AM

I've only sewn slinky on my serger and it was easy to sew. I don't quite understand the advantage of using the sewing machine and then serging the seam edges since slinky, being a knit, doesn't ravel. The acetate slinky seems to be somewhat better quality than the polyester slinky I have encountered.

------
Patti

R-r-r-ripping my way to fitting success

MissTaraTara
MissTaraTara
USA
Member since 10/18/04
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Date: 9/13/10 2:09 PM

I have never worked with slinky but because I have quite a bit in my stash, I have watched the Emma Seabrook videos over and over. You can find them here. I thought there were 3 but right now only 2 are available. You'll need to scroll down; they are numbers 37 and 51.

Athene
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Athene  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
British Columbia CANADA
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Date: 9/14/10 0:36 AM

I have only sewn the slinky (both rayon and poly type) with my serger. Both serged really well and I had no issues, but I have only done tops and pants not dresses in slinky.

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ryan's mom
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ryan's mom  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/14/10 10:45 AM

I love working with Slinky but...it may require a fit adjustment because it "hangs heavy". For example, a Slinky top and a cotton/lycra top may have hemline lengths that vary. The weight of the Slinky will cause the top to be a bit longer.

A word of caution if using your sewing machine with a narrow zigzag. I'd rather stick myself with 10 sharp pins that have to seamrip a narrow zigzag knit stitch on Slinky. IMO, seamripping a serger stitch is FAR easier.
-- Edited on 9/14/10 10:45 AM --

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Big 4 Pattern size 12, RTW bottom: 6, RTW jacket 8, RTW top (no size fits me well!)
Measurements: 34 HB/36 FB (34C bra)/27.5/36 (and working hard to keep it that way.)
Machines: Sewing: Elna 760, vintage Kenmore Model 33 (1967), Janome Gem Gold 3, Singer Model 99, Singer 221/Featherweight. Sergers: Babylock Imagine and Babylock Enlighten. Embroidery Only: Janome 300E. Embroidery/Sewing Combo: Brother Dream machine. Coverstitch: Babylock BLCS. Straight Stitch: Janome 1600P.

If you think your sewing is better than everyone else's around here, get out of my way b****. I hate sewing snobs.

My blog: www.phatchickdesigns.blogspot.com

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