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Topic: Sewing stretchy fabrics when one is stretchier than the other  (Read 640 times)
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Elphelba
« on: February 23, 2007 09:44:13 AM »

I have two knits that I want to sew together. Both are rather stretchy, but one is a good bit more so than the other. Would a reglar stretch stitch work, or will I need to take extra precautions given the difference in stretch. I would try it out myself, but I only have a very limited ammount of fabric.

Thanks,
Lisa
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Stop being so damned positive. Staring at the sun only blinds some one. By only looking at the positive, you miss an entire beautiful world of shadows and colors. Don't be overly negative, be realistic. The world is so much more complex and beautiful that way.
dyno
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2007 10:21:21 AM »

what are you making?
what fabrics are you using (what are they made of)?
where are the two different fabrics joining?
have you compensated for the difference in stretch when you cut the pieces?
is this a close-fitting garment?
do you have a pic?
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Elphelba
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2007 11:50:16 AM »

what are you making?
what fabrics are you using (what are they made of)?
where are the two different fabrics joining?
have you compensated for the difference in stretch when you cut the pieces?
is this a close-fitting garment?
do you have a pic?
I don't have a pic. I'm making a long sleeved tight fitting shirt. The stretchiest fabric is striped, and I was going to use that as an accent on the sleeves and the top of the body of the shirt. The fabric will be joining under my bust and just above the elbows. Both fabrics are a jersy knit, the only difference is that one is stretchier (one four inch sgement of the really stretchy one can stretch to about 8 inches, a four inch segment of the other will go to about 6).
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Stop being so damned positive. Staring at the sun only blinds some one. By only looking at the positive, you miss an entire beautiful world of shadows and colors. Don't be overly negative, be realistic. The world is so much more complex and beautiful that way.
dyno
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2007 12:06:09 PM »

for the one that's more stretchy, does it have 1-way or 2-way stretch?

how did you cut it... did you cut it on the crosswise stretch (so the width of the garment piece has the most stretch)?

did you calculate the difference in stretch when you cut it? (in other words for the more stretch fabric if you needed a 6" cuff band, did you cut the fabric to be 6" long? or 3" long?)

the type of stitch won't change (use a stretch stich, a tight zig zag, or a twin needle top stitch), but how you deal with the difference in stretch will depend on the above.  one may pull much more than the other when feeding through the machine. You'll probably need to put the more stretchy on the feed dog side, rather than the foot side.  You may need to ease one side into the other, you may need to taut stitch, you may need a walking foot.

Even the smallest scraps you have can be used to test this. Smiley
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Elphelba
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2007 02:54:08 PM »

Thanks! You've been really helpful. I'll have to go test these things out now.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Stop being so damned positive. Staring at the sun only blinds some one. By only looking at the positive, you miss an entire beautiful world of shadows and colors. Don't be overly negative, be realistic. The world is so much more complex and beautiful that way.
dyno
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2007 03:17:29 PM »

you're welcome. Smiley sorry if I'm vague, it's just hard to say for sure without knowing the  whole scoop. Smiley

I'd try a few 2"x2" or 2"x4" scraps and see how it feeds. if the stretchier one is stretching too much you can try a few things:

  • - cut the more stretchy fabric shorter ("negative ease") and PULL it to match the OTHER fabric as you sew
    - cut the more stretchy fabric shorter ("negative ease") and EASE the LESS stretchy fabric to it as you sew
  • - pull the less stretchy fabric to match the rate of the more stretchy one
  • - use a walking foot alone or in combo of the above
  • - cut them both the same length, sew slowly while you gently tug or try to hold the fabric taught/still in front and behind the needle to keep the feed rate even

... I'd be careful how much you stretch as you sew as this can give bad rippling results. I generally try to avoid this whenever sewing knits. when you're testing try the more stretchy fabric on the bottom, then try it on the top. the feed dogs push the fabric through at a different rate than the foot does.

Also, you may want to pin everything together before stitching to test the fit. a fabric that has so much stretch may not hang right on the body. it may end up being too loose, or could end up distorting the lines with one fabric pulling tight and the other not pulling at all across the body. Smiley
« Last Edit: February 23, 2007 04:16:53 PM by dyno » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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