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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: Sews4kate
Date: 02-26-2007, 11:01 AM (1 of 5)
I'm getting ready to make a dress with the pattern "Simplicity 4252".

The bodice is made with a knit, I bought some jersy knit. I've never used knit before. I do not have a serger. I'm starting to dread starting this simple looking dress because I don't understand what I'm supposed to do with the fabric:bang: , I don't have much to "practice" with and really need to get it right.

Reading the directions it says "If using a straight stitch...stretch fabric as you sew and sew seams 2 or 3 times close together"

so does that mean that I need to stretch the fabric with my hands as I sew?? And do I have to sew each seam over again 2 or 3 times??

Also, it says "a roller presser foot, used on double knits, will not stretch the top layer of fabric and thus keeps seams even. On single knits, it will not hold tricots and sometimes causes skipped stitches."

I may be dense, but does that mean I do or don't use my roller presser foot with single knit (I have no idea what 'tricots" means)?

Any other tips for working with jersey knit will be much appreciated!!!

Thank you!!
User: Sews4kate
Member since: 08-20-2005
Total posts: 182
From: DorothyL
Date: 02-26-2007, 12:04 PM (2 of 5)
Does your machine have stretch stitches? If not try a small zig zag stitch.
Use a ball point needle so you don't break threads in the fabric and get little runs.
I used to sew with knits all the time on an old treadle machine and that two or three rows of stitches close together is so when the thread breaks there is a back up. It helps, but a small zig zag is better and a stretch stitch even more so. The stitches need to stretch with the fabric is all.
Even just a few inches of scrap to test stitches on will help. You don't need practice, just a few tests to find the stitch you like best. It's not hard. You will do fine.
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: mommydionne
Date: 02-26-2007, 01:03 PM (3 of 5)
I agree with dorothy and would use a narrow zig zag stitch and don't stretch your fabric or you will get ripples. If you can... I would decrease the amount of pressure your presser foot (say that 10x fast) puts on the fabric (this also helps prevent stretch and rippling).
I have a rollar foot and have never used it, I sew knits all the time, Practice with scraps till you find where you need your settings to be.
Oh yes, use a ball point needle, fewer skipped stitches.
User: mommydionne
Member since: 01-08-2004
Total posts: 838
From: paroper
Date: 02-26-2007, 01:50 PM (4 of 5)
I pretty much agree with the others about knits. Most of the time they are not that hard to sew. If you are sewing pants, I would definately recommend the stretch stitch. It will look like 3 rows on straight stitching on your "stitch" selector, if you have is a pretty basic stitch and most machines do have it. It stitches two forward, one back two forward...making 3 rows of stitches that "give" with the fabric. If you do not have that stitch, I would, as others have suggested, stick with a very slight zig zag. On areas where there will be stress..crotches, arm holes, I would suggest two rows of stitching or a serged edge.

For MOST machines, a ball needle is perfect for knits. They just spread the fibers instead of going through the fibers causing less weakness and damage. There are some (esp. older) machines that skip stitches...and will stitch only a stitch every so often. If that should happen to you, let us know and we'll tell you what to do. These machines need a little different needle.

I don't recommend that you stretch the knits as you sew...I think that is older technology. When you stretch the knit, the grain tightens and it is a little harder to get a good straight stitch. What they want you to do is get more thread into the stitch to keep the threads from breaking. You accomplish that with the small zig zag or stretch stitching.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: Sews4kate
Date: 02-26-2007, 01:59 PM (5 of 5)
Thank you thank you!!! It all makes complete sense now!

I'm certain I have a stretch stitch on my machine, atleast I'd better have one, there are 50 stitches all together. I've only used a few so far and was wondering if I'd ever have a need to use any of the rest LOL!

I'll post back if I have any trouble! thanks again:bluesmile
User: Sews4kate
Member since: 08-20-2005
Total posts: 182
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