First time sewing with knits

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Hi all,
I have been gearing up for my first attempt at sewing with knits,
reading the Threads article about Jersey Knits, looking up tips
online, checking out my Sewing For Dummies, etc. I think this weekend
is when I will be trying it. My main question is- are there any
alternatives to using a walking/even feed foot? Is this more of a nice
thing to have or an ultimate critical need for sewing knits? I'm
starting with a rayon spanex fabric from joanns, the kind you see on
trendy/teen t-shirts. I am just planning to make a very basic t-shirt
to get the hang of sewing on a non-woven fabric. Any feedback would be
greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance and have a great day!
-Laura (Delso) Marschel


Re: First time sewing with knits
Laura.Marschel wrote:
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When I first started sewing with knits, many years ago, the instructor
advised the class to buy a roller foot each.  It was years later when I
finally bought a walking foot for other applications, but for the stuff
you plan to use now, a roller foot is quite sufficient and MUCH cheaper.

Olwyn Mary in New Orleans.

--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


Re: First time sewing with knits
Before getting a serger,  I used a regular  zig zag foot and stretched
slightly as I sewed with a straight stitch.  Some people use a slight
zig-zag stitch.  This allows the stitching to have a little "give" when the
fabric stretches.  I've never used my walking foot when making tops,
jackets, or swimsuits from knits.

Alice in PA
http://community.webshots.com/user/twosonsatpsu
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Re: First time sewing with knits
Olwyn Mary wrote:
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I wound up getting a silicone foot for sewing p/leather.


Re: First time sewing with knits

Starch, strips of stabilizer or a roller foot would be my suggestion.
I'd also prefer to see you start on a very stable (for a knit) cotton
interlock, and then move on to the lycra blends and jerseys.

Even digging through the ragbag for an old sweatshirt or sweatpants and
practicing sewing on them first will give you a better idea about
handling knits during sewing.

Kay


Re: First time sewing with knits

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I'd also support using cotton knits as a first try out before attempting the
more slippery stuff.  Knits are a breeze after woven fabric, but all
slippery fabric can be a pain in the neck.

I used to use a fine zig zag stitch using a normal foot before I got my
walking foot and I'm not really convinced that the walking foot does a
better job either.



Re: First time sewing with knits

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in my amateur experience i have found some walking feet suspect as well.

and moreover the quality of the walking feet varies greatly.

i have a *vintage* "Singer made" slant shank walking foot that is solid and
works great.

i had  a brand new "Singer made" ? low shank walking foot ($29) that was
crud crud crud....
i could tell as soon as i took it out of box. If i had looked at it in the
store it would never have come home with me. Did i say crud. Flimsy cheapo
stamped foil metal and the walking part was ready to fall off would not line
up correctly. (bent, not by me)  ? It went back to the store.


Does anyone have experince with something called "knit preser foot"

it does not walk it looks like a standard ZZ foot with a lever (controlled
by needle bar) that controls a toothed plate next to where needle enters
fabric and drops when needle enters and lifts te toothed tab when needle
raises ?

rob



Re: First time sewing with knits
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I didn't mean that my walking foot was at all suspect.  It works well, but
because I've been sewing knits for so many years before I bought it, I
believe that I can sew just as well (and certainly quicker) with just the
old zig zag foot.



Re: First time sewing with knits

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i didn't mean to imply your foot was suspect, i guess i should have left off
"as well"

i just meant to add my amateur  experience to the thread regarding walking
feet quality.

I have some vintage walking feet  that are well constructed and work great !
and i have purchased new ones that are absolute garbage, borderline
disposable.

if i had only ever used these new ones i might have thought walking feet are
not useful feet to have

i wonder if anyone else with lots more experience has had similar experience
and can recommend higher quality walking feet brand ?

rob



Re: First time sewing with knits
robb wrote:
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I have found that the Husqvarna one I got for my Lily is the best made
of the three I have: very solid, mostly metal, costs about 45.  The
next best was the cheapest, the Alphasew at 18.  It's the next
heaviest, too, and a very similar design to the HV one...  The 25
Singer one I have is the least robust, with springs that spring off!
It's the lightest by quite a bit, with far fewer metal parts.  I
wouldn't buy it again.

The next one I get will be the Bernina one for my new to me Bernina
1005.  That's another 'brick netty' design...  ;)

--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: First time sewing with knits
hi , thanks Kate

i will look into those,  i really do not mind spending more for quality
items that work well and occasionally less for low quality that are
troublesome

 it is the spending lots for junk that is really upsetting because you know
it probably cost almost nothing to make yet the brand name is used to
justify a high price

thanks again,
rob


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Re: First time sewing with knits
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I only have the one walking foot and that is for my Bernina.  I nearly died
at how much it cost but it works very well.  I use it for quilting and any
really thick stuff that I can't hold and manipulate effectively wihtout it.



Re: First time sewing with knits

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:-))  Well at least we are now both clear on what we meant.

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I only have one for my Bernina (bought probably in the last 6??? or so
years).  I can't remember how much it cost but it was what I thought was
hugely expensive at the time and far more that I expected to pay.  It does
work well, when I use it and I have never had a time when I've wondered
whether I wasted my money buying it.



Re: First time sewing with knits


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As a general rule, you'll have more success with feet designed for/by the
machine's maker rather than the generic feet.  Put some sanity tests around
this statement, but *usually* Vikings sew best with Viking feet, Singers
with Singer feet, etc.  I don't recall ever having sewn with a generic
walking foot that I liked.

Personally, I've never found walking feet all that useful.  Now a compound
needle feed machine, well, that's a different story <vbg>

Kay


Re: First time sewing with knits

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A lot is going to depend on your machine...some machines will only work
with a foot that is made for it...for example my Viking 1+ walking foot
is the best I've ever used but it was expensive!  Problem is, no other
type of foot will work (won't take the standard short shank, for
example). =20

-Irene
-------------
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough."
- Mae West

Re: First time sewing with knits
FarmI wrote:
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When I took the Stretch & Sew classes years ago, the assumption was that
you were using a straight stitch machine and a regular presser foot.  It
worked just fine.  I made really nice garments using the method.  No
walking foot or zigzag involved at all.
--
Joanne
stitches @ singerlady.reno.nv.us.earth.milky-way.com
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: First time sewing with knits
Pogonip wrote:
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I took that class also. It was great, the fabrics were high quality and
I learned so much that still applies to all my sewing.I use to make my
uniforms from good quality knits, from them. I had some pretty snazzy
uniforms. They were always different from what was available in stores
and far better suited to my purposes. Pockets when where I needed them,
not where some manufacturer  thought I needed them. I wish they were
still around. I'd take a another round of classes from them if thy were.
As Joanne said they taught you how to sew knits with a straight sew
machine. It worked fine every time.
Juno

Re: First time sewing with knits
Juno wrote:
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I still have a lot of S&S patterns.  They're not so out of date, and
since they're "master" patterns, there are lots of sizes.  I can't bring
myself to get rid of them....   The story of my life, I'm afraid.

But wait!!!  They *are* still around.
https://www.gmidesign.com/stretch/home.html
--
Joanne
stitches @ singerlady.reno.nv.us.earth.milky-way.com
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: First time sewing with knits
Pogonip wrote:
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I made some fantastic stretch knit things on my old hand crank straight
only Spinning Jenny (1923 Singer 66K).  No special feet, and jersey
needles were harder to come by in the seventies...  But with a little
extra care, we got there!  Some of the stretch techniques and fancy feet
certainly make it easier, but there's no reason for not doing the fabric
without the gadgetry!

--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: First time sewing with knits
Laura.Marschel wrote:
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   As Olwyn Mary mentioned, a roller foot would be great AND a lot less
$$ than a walking foot.  Another thing to use when sewing knits is a
backing of tissue paper.  I cut used tissue paper from gifts into 2"
wide strips and pin it to the bottom of fabric pieces so that the paper
is next to the sewing machine and the edge of the paper is even with the
cut edge of the fabric.  The tissue keeps the fabric from stretching
while you are sewing and also keeps it from getting scrunched down into
the needle hole of the machine bed.  It's an extra step but well worth
the bother IMNSHO.  I also use tissue when sewing anything that is
flimsy, stretchy or really delicate -- knits, lace, organza, voile,
chiffon, silk, etc.  Also, if you don't have a stretch stitch on your
machine, a very narrow zig-zag stitch is absolutely necessary on this
type of fabric.  CiaoMeow >^;;^<

PAX, Tia Mary >^;;^<   (RCTQ Queen of Kitties)
Angels can't show their wings on earth but nothing was ever said about
their whiskers!
Visit my Photo albums at  http://community.webshots.com/user/tiamary

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