Hello there all you lovely people! Its been a very busy week for myself. Working late, crafting up engagement presents and trying to make a dress for this weekend which is taking way longer then normal.
Why is this you may ask? Well the fabric I chose for this task, while lovely and very nice for going out, is having a small fight with my machine. They just don't want to hang out with each other, so I've have to bring in a mediator
The fabric I chose is a stretchy knit gold Lurex. It has a really lovely drape and because its knitted, I can cut the hem in any shape as I please and it wont unravel and fray all over the place.
But the downside is that my machine has trouble picking up and carrying the fabric through the feed dog. It bunches, it skips stitches and generally makes sewing a dress a lot more stressful than normal
To help the machine and the fabric get along, I simply take a piece of grease proof paper and layer it over the fabric. In the below image you can see that the top layer is normal lining fabric and underneath is the paper.
It should feed through the machine easily and as it does, the needle will perforate the paper, which also makes it easier to tear away at the end. Sometimes you may need tweezers to get at the little bits that get stuck.
On the armscye I ironed on the lightest fusible interfacing I had in a thin strip. Trying to ease in a sleeve is hard enough without there being a layer of paper in the way and the interfacing worked quite well to stop the skipping
And here she is so far! I am yet to add a collar and the sleeves have been done since I took this photo.
The knit fabric allows for the scalloped edges at the bottom to hang free as they wont unravel and because I wouldn't want to add extra weight to the bottom as it will only make it sag more then anticipated. Be sure the allow hanging time when making knit/jersey garments as the final hem may stretch out! On this dress it added an extra 10cm more then I started with!
So in summary some basic tips for slippery fabrics:
* Use a jersey needle in your machine
* Layer with baking paper to assist the machine in "gripping" the fabric
* Use fusible interfacing or stay tape to stabilise the knit seams
* Hand sew parts that you are concerned with messing up with the machine
* Be patient and don't try to rush yourself or the machine. You'll only end up sitting there in hot mess with your garment all in a bunch
* A tip from Juxtapose - use a small zig zag stitch rather than a straight stitch. This will help prevent seams from popping when the garment stretches
Do you have any other tips for sewing with slippery fabrics or other sewing uses for baking paper?