Advice on sewing lycra

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I just finished my first project sewing lycra.  I made a long sleeve shirt for
my SO. out of this nifty fabric he found ages ago that was red with large
(9inches by about a foot and a half) yellow and black dragons and it tured out
pretty well considering I figured out the pattern by tracing a similarly styled
lycra shirt he already had and making the alterations he wanted.  The only
problems were based around the fact that the stuff was shifting so much that it
was all I could to to make an almost straight line of stitches.  I have never
worked on something that moves so much.  Does anyone have any tips for how to
do better next time?  He loves it but I could see all the flaws.  I also have
some stretch velvet that I wanted to make into something for myself but I don't
want to risk ruining it with crooked seams.  Thank you so much!


Re: Advice on sewing lycra
Winnie2463 wrote:
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A walking or roller foot may help, as will a stretch stitch.  For panne
velvet I like to use a small stitch with a very narrow zigzag where I am
not serging.  If you don't have a serger and plan to do a lot of
stretchy stuff, take a look at them as they are the biz for any knits or
stretch fabrics (as well as having a host of other uses), and there are
good used ones about for the budget conscious.
Kate  XXXXXX (well known for having spent the wedding dress budget on a
sewing machine 20 years ago, and who never looked back!)
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Re: Advice on sewing lycra
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I used a stretch stitch.  I was actually really impressed with how stretchy the
stretch stitch was if that makes sense.  It didn't diminish th stretchyness of
the the lycra at all.  Honestly my main problem was keeping the line of
stitching straight.  It ended up being a bit wobbly.  Will a walking foot help
with that?  And Where would I find one?  I have looked before by never seem to
come acros one.

I was thinking about making a clingy skirt with the panne (is this the name for
all stretch velvet or just crushed stretch velvet?).  Would I want to use the
stretch stitch for the side seams?  I think so because I don't want the fabric
to sag from the seams but I'm not sure.

I've thought about getting a serger but honestly I just don't do enough that it
would help with.  most of the time the only reason I use knits is it make
panties and those go really nicely and quickly with my machine.

I don't really have anyone around here to ask these questions because everyone
I know who sews pretty much only does ren faire or dickens costumes.


Re: Advice on sewing lycra
Winnie2463 wrote:
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Nancy's Notions sells generic ones, but if you have a good quality
machine, buy the one for it from a dealer.  They are a lot more
expensive than the generic ones, but work far better.

As for keeping stuff in line, yes it will help with that as well as any
piled fabrics, and anything with checks, or that you want the pattern to
match exactly.  The walking foot will grab the fabric on top and pull it
through at the same rate as the bottom, where an ordinary foot can push
the top fabric out of alignment.
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Panne velvet is the knitted stretchy kind, crushed or not.  There are
also woven stretch velvets made with spandex/elastane/lycra in the
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Ok, leave a serger for now.  Later, as we get you going, you may decide
that investing a few shekels in one would make sense.  They finish the
seams off soooooo neatly...
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Yes you do!  You have us!  :)  We are right there in the living
room/sewing room/study/wherever the puter is with you.  That's the great
thing about this group.
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Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
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Re: Advice on sewing lycra
I'm sure you are aware of the thread
tension dial.  There is probably a
pressure foot tension dial, too.  If
you loosen the pressure foot tension
then the upper cloth slide under the
foot as easy as you want it.
Depending on the cloth or
circumstances the pressure foot
tension can be adjusted to meet many
needs.  When I was making the back
pockets on some trousers the foot
tension was way to much, being several
thickness and one part of the foot was
on the high part, but wanted to slide
off onto the thinner area, by
adjusting the tension for the foot the
problem went away and it was easy
sewing.  By adjusting the foot tension
can make a big difference on what the
cloth does under it.  I've certainly
adjusted it for one type of cloth and
then tighter or looser for another -
whatever makes it easy, but effective.


"Kate Dicey"
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