Sewing with Difficult
Whilst an overlocker is
ideal for dealing with knits, stretch fabrics and for creating delicate
rolled edges on finer fabrics there are a number of accessories
available for your sewing machine that will help you to sew difficult
fabrics, these include:
Non Stick Feet: (No
52 Zigzag, No 54 Zipper and No 56 Open Embroidery) The non-stick
coating on these feet glides easily over difficult fabric, eliminating
any drag of the foot moving across the surface. Ideal for sewing
leather, plastic and vinyl Applications for this foot include sewing
rainwear, luggage, tote bags, toys, home furnishings and garments.
Overlock Foot (No 2)
This foot is equipped with a pin which acts in a similar manner as the
stitch finger on an overlocker. When the pin is placed along the edge
of the fabric, it reinforces the edge as the stitch forms, preventing
tunnelling of the fabric. The right side of the sole is cut away so the
stitched edge of the fabric can move smoothly under the foot without
any unnecessary pulling or stretching.
Bulky Overlock Foot (No
12) One side of the foot is higher than the other to accommodate
the uneven layers encountered when seaming sweater knits. The extra
space under the foot helps prevent knit fabrics from stretching as they
Jeans Foot (No 8)
The single needle hole provides extra stability for the needle even as
it crosses thick bulky areas. The narrow groove in the sole of the
foot, behind the needle, allows heavy threads to pass under the foot,
preventing skipped stitches when topstitching. This foot can be used
with size 100 or 110 needle when sewing thick, dense fabrics (as when
hemming jeans). This foot is uniquely designed to actively brace a size
100 or 110 needle and help prevent needle breakage when sewing through
heavy layers. Jeans Foot #8 can also be used with a size 70 ballpoint
needles to sew fine knit fabrics without puckering and wrinkling.
Dual Sole Walking Foot
(No 50) has two interchangeable soles, one designed for sewing with
difficult or slippery fabrics and one designed for quilting.
Roll and Shell Hemmer
Foot (No 69) Use this foot to make a roll and shell hem 3-5mm wide,
depending on the weight and texture of the fabric. On soft fabrics,
this foot produces a shell effect. This foot is recommended for soft,
light to medium weight fabrics. Other sizes are available.
Straight Stitch Plate
promotes perfect stitch quality when working with very delicate fabrics
such as fine batiste, silks, etc. The small needle hole provides fabric
support all around the needle as the stitch is formed, preventing
distortion in delicate fabrics. Use in combination with Foot #13
(straight stitch foot) when maximum fabric control is required.
Attachment is designed to work with Buttonhole Foot #3A on heavy or
uneven fabrics such as chenille or corduroy. The foot clips into the
attachment and lets the foot ride easily over the uneven fabric
surface, resulting in beautiful buttonholes on the most difficult of
fabrics. Also great for multi-layers areas such as making buttonholes
in quilted garments.
assist with sewing performance by reinforcing underneath the fabric.
Stabilisers are available in various weights and types e.g. woven,
non-woven (bonded fibers with no grain) knitted, fusible and non
fusible. Match weight and finish with type of fabric being sewn. Bring
a sample of your fabric and we will help you choose the most
appropriate one. Always test before trying out on your garment.
Other helpful products:
- Temporary Spray such as 505
- Cotton Tape, which can be applied
through the foot of an overlocker
- Fabric Glue
- Sew Perfect (Spray Starch)
- Fray Stop
- Awls – to help push fabric under
Needles: Always choose the right
needle for the type of fabric you are sewing. The general rule is to
use a fine needle for finer fabrics and a heavier needle for thicker,
- Sharp point needles (jeans/denim or
top stitch) are suitable for woven fabric or knits with an open lose
- Ballpoint needles are more rounded
(blunt) and so are good for knits as they push the yarns aside rather
than pierce them
- Universal are modified ball point
needles and can be used on many woven and knitted fabrics but if a
universal needle snags your fabric change to a ballpoint needle
- In addition you can choose Stretch or
Microtex needles, designed for sewing and embroidery on microfiber
fabrics (rayon, polyester) and fine silks
Using a finer thread like Metrolene for
finer fabrics will also give you a better result.
Working with Knits: Use a stitch
with a certain amount of give so that the seams do not distort the
fabric. 3-step zigzag is a good choice. Be careful not to break the
fibers as this can create “ladders” or holes in knit fabric. Stretch
fabric as you sew it to build elasticity into the seam.
Buttonholes on Stretch Fabric:
Position the buttonhole lengthways along the least stretchy side.
Working with Sheer & Silky Fabric:
Skipped stitches can be common. This can be minimized by prewashing the
fabric, stitching slowly, using a straight stitch plate. Changing the
needle regularly will prevent puckering and snagging. You can also
adjust the pressure regulator. Edges can be finished with bias binding.
A few other fabric tips:
- Sequined Fabric: Immediately after
cutting out garment sections, stay stitch to reduce sequin loss. Sew
with sequined side up to prevent the feed dogs catching the fabric.
Remove sequins from seam allowance and save for filling in any gaps
after the garment has been constructed
- Organza: Use a fine needle and avoid
topstitching as this can cause the fabric to curl
- Taffeta: Will fray easily so back with
a strong fabric to prevent split seams and neaten raw edges
- Lurex: Pink or apply Fray stop to edges
- Net or Mesh: Sew with fine zig zag
- Transparent fabric: Use narrow,