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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Bernina 930 owners -- do you sew knits? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Bernina 930 owners -- do you sew knits?
Any tips on how to deal with not having variable pressure foot pressure?
marjoriekh
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marjoriekh  Friend of PR
Intermediate
VA USA
Member since 8/28/10
Posts: 550
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Date: 1/26/12 10:46 PM

I've been using my walking foot extensively, and find that I need it with most knits to keep the top layer fom crawling forward as I sew.

However, I also find that with my walking foot on I can't sew a short, narrow zig-zag, or indeed any short stitch at all on many knits. The walking foot puts so much drag on the fabric on short stitch settings that the stitch ends up a mess. An easy fix for this would seem to be to lessen the pressure foot pressure, but the 930 doesn't have this feature.

I've been mired in a laborious process of sewing every seam twice -- first with the walking foot and a long basting stitch, and then with my zigzag foot and a short, narrow zigzag. To make matters worse, I find that I really need to change my thread back and forth between basting and sewing so that I can easily tell the difference when it comes to removing the basting stitches. (Also, I don't want to use up all of my matching-color thread before the garment is done.) I only have the one machine.

Help! It's taking me a week's worth of sewing time to finish what others are calling a 2-hour dress. I'm usually very happy with the end result, but frustrated with the huge expenditure of time.

How do you sew knits on your 930?

------
marjoriekh

Soolip
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Soolip
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CA USA
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Date: 1/26/12 11:00 PM

This is one of the reasons i got rid of my 930. It's a great machine for certain things, but it's not terribly versatile. It stretches knits out of shape, chews up acetate, marks up taffeta.

However, when I owned this machine I did find a work around. I don't have the package, and I can't remember exactly what it's called. It's a narrow, adhesive, wash-away tape. You stick it to the seamline on the top layer of fabric and stitch. Once you're done, throw the garment in the washer, and the tape washes away. You won't get any waves or distortions. It's a hassle, and you can only use it on fabric you have pre-shrunk and intend to wash, but it works.

marjoriekh
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marjoriekh  Friend of PR
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In reply to Soolip


Date: 1/26/12 11:11 PM

Thanks, Soolip, I'll look around for that and see if I can find it.

I've loved this machine for the last 25 years, but my new obsession with knits may finally force me to be untrue.

------
marjoriekh

Maia B
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Maia B  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/26/12 11:12 PM

I don't sew knits often, and I know it's not a total solution, but I think a tech can lessen the presser foot pressure.

------
🌸 Plenty of machines, mostly Berninas 🌸

Sibilance7
Sibilance7  Friend of PR
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In reply to Soolip


Date: 1/27/12 1:32 AM

Is it Wonder Tape that you're thinking of? I've been using to do zipper windows for handbags and it is truly a wonder. It comes in a few different widths and does exactly what Soolip says, plus it won't gum up your needle.

------
My blog: www.feministstitch.com

I sew on:
Olivia, my Pfurple Pfaff Creative Performance
BabyLock Evolution

iSewQuiltArt
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iSewQuiltArt
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Date: 1/27/12 3:30 AM

Wonder Tape is great stuff! It sounds exactly like Soolip's description and is immensely useful not only for knits but all sorts of sewing applications. Great for basting in zippers without the need to baste etc...

------
Quilting up a storm
Bernina Girl, in possession of a small herd...

RadarRadiance
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RadarRadiance
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Date: 1/27/12 9:55 AM

I just pulled out my 930 again because my pfaff is being a problem child lately. I know I've used it on knits and the pressure foot hasn't been a problem. For me it is more a play with stitches, thread tension balance, needles and thread. Make sure you are using a ballpoint needle and the smallest size you can get by with. I prefer the regular stitches, zigzag and perforated zigzag for stretch stitches. The back and forth (red) stitches always stretched out knits. I loosen my lower and upper tensions as much as I can to get a balanced stitch. You can always re-enforce the fabric running a water soluble stabilizer cut in strips while sewing, similar to Soolip’s idea. I know this isn't much help but if you want to sew knits I highly recommend looking for a serger! Your stitches won't pop and you can sew all the knits beautiful and get a professional result. When I started doing all my husbands t-shirts, etc. this was the best investment I made.

Barbara3
Barbara3  Friend of PR
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In reply to marjoriekh


Date: 1/27/12 10:47 AM

I sew lots of knits and find my 930 sews just as well on them as my newer Berninas that do have the presser foot pressure adjustment feature. I love the feel and stitch of the 930 with or without the walking foot (something I rarely use). But because of comments about this on PR over the years, I'm guessing there might have been some variability in how the pressure was factory set on the 930s. So, I agree that you might want to have a tech take a look at adjusting it for you. Take some of the fabrics you like to sew most often, so s/he can test them too. I also agree with the suggestion of getting a serger, if that's in the budget. The value of a serger goes well beyond having the right presser foot pressure. Sewing with knits should be a pleasure! Hope you're able to get this resolved easily.

Soolip
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In reply to Sibilance7


Date: 1/27/12 11:32 AM

I think it IS called Wonder Tape, just couldn't remember.

Great stuff. Nylon zippers on polar fleece were always a nightmare. This stuff helps a lot.

marjoriekh
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marjoriekh  Friend of PR
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VA USA
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Date: 1/27/12 12:01 PM

OK -- off to order some wonder tape and give it a try.

I'm mulling over the machine tech idea -- I don't have a tech I absolutely trust, so I'm a little hesitant, but I am wondering if this might be a solution. My pressure does seem very high, and the fact that there are others of you not experiencing the same problem is suggestive.

I will experiment with finer needles, too. I do use the ballpoints, and play around with the tension, thread, stitches a lot on each new project. And I, too, have found that the red stitches are not viable on knits with my machine. I've been very happy with my results using the baste-then-zigzag method -- great stretch in the final seam -- just unhappy with the labor.

Ah, a serger. I've been thinking about it. May break down. I've been enjoying the less-is-more aspect of having a single machine, esp. in a household where the children seem to accumulate new 'stuff' with every breath they take. Must shovel faster.

Thank you for all of your suggestions. I'll report back with any progress.

------
marjoriekh

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