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Thread: off topic - how to sew this fabric?

  1. #1
    Senior Member grammatjr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Lincoln NE
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    A lady approached me at church last night. She is trying to remake a dress for her daughter, wanting to add a little to the length.

    The fabric is a very slick polyester type. When she sews it loops on the bottom of the fabric.

    I suggested:
    1- Since the fabric is slick, maybe add some interfacing to help the machine grab hold.

    2- Check the tension. She said that she has a machine that AUTO is the tension control, and so doesn't mess with that.

    Any ideas? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I would ask if she's using a new needle or the correct needle for the fabric. Is the thread looping or something else? Does she know what kind of fabric she has? She could check with the fabric store. She could try to sew the fabrics and use adding machine paper as a base under the fabric for stability. The best thing would be to get some washaway stabilizer if it can be ironed to the fabric. She may need to change the type of thread she is using as well. What are the two fabrics being sewn together? Are they the same type of fabric? She should check the manual and also the machine's brand's website for tension issues. The site may have a forum where she could ask additional questions regarding her problem situation and get some suggestions or advice.

    That's about all I can think of at the moment.

    Pam M

  3. #3
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    New Hampshire
    Here's some info on sewing on silk, but would also work for just plain slippery fabric.

    Use a Universal needle suitable to the weight of your fabric. However, very fine silk fabric may require a "sharp" needle. Sew a test seam to determine the best stitch quality. Generally 8-12 stitches per inch will be best. Again a test seam is the best way to tell. Being a natural fiber, silk does not dull needles as quickly as synthetic fabrics. However, you should still consider starting with a new needle.

    The slippery silk fabric that was difficult to cut out may also be difficult to sew. You might try laying the fabric on top of strips of tissue paper and sewing through all layers. Some seamstresses have had luck using adding machine tape or even toilet paper as a support. These can be set in your lap and unreeled as you sew. Should the silk fabric tend to poke down into the hole under the presser foot, consider using a single hole throat plat or create your own by putting a small piece of tape over the opening. Sew a few stitches to make a nice hole in the tape, then sew through a scrap of fabric to clean any sticky residue from the machine needle.

  4. #4
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    north east
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    The first thing that came to my mind is that the thread may not have been in the tension disk properly. Rethread the machine and try again (top and bobbin).

  5. #5
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    I agree with using a different needle. I'm wondering if a ball point may work. It is rounded and sort of slips between the threads of the fabric rather than piercing them. I also agree with trying a tear away stableizer or tissue under the fabric.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    I agree with the needle. There are specific needles for specific types of fabric. She should check her manual and get the appropriate needle.

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