Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lycra and Spandex

I was at a hotel and they were having a comic book convention. I just love this pic and wanted to share it. Just for giggles.
I have gotten several calls about difficulty serging these types of fabrics.
There are a few things to know.
Sometimes you need to lengthen the stitch because the fabric is spongy and stitches too close together will make the fabric stretch out.
If the left needle thread keeps breaking it may be too loose and need to tighten the tension just a smidgen. I know you think that the thread tension is too tight but that is not the case. (Sometimes it looks like the needle is still threaded but looped and not forming a stitch....means tension is too loose.)
When working with these types of fabric I go SLOW, not super fast.
When serging over four layers of fabric (that may include elastic) for sure lengthen the stitch. Remember to allow for bulk - it doesn't necessarily make the stitch longer but allows for the needle threads to go into and out of the fabric without issue.

If your serger can use ball point needles you may want to try them. When I have made bathing suits, sportswear etc. I have used universal needles without problems. But of course use what works best with your serger. And again always test on scrap fabric first!

I may have said this before but I often use wooly nylon in the needles and/or loopers for these types of fabric. It gives the garment ease.

Note - remember to secure the thread tail ends. I tie them in a knot then trim the excess. Nothing worse than the serged seam coming undone when laundered or worn. Yikes!

For some easy patterns for lingerie, sportswear or bathing suits I like the KwikSew books. Of course I bought them years ago so I don't know if they are still available.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ms.Maddie,
    I am at my wit's end.
    My Brother 1034D skips stitches when serging multiple layers. What I have tried:
    changed the tensions
    put in new needles (90/14 Schmetz)
    I loosened the left needle tension and increased the presser foot pressure, and it almost stopped skipping stitches, but the seam isn't strong, since the left needle tension is too loose.
    The company told me to have it serviced, but it is slightly out of warranty.
    Any ideas?
    Thank you so much