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Topic: sewing stretch fabrics without zigzag?  (Read 1045 times)
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Ludi
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« on: March 22, 2013 03:04:55 PM »

Is it possible and not a horrible idea to sew stretch fabrics such as jersey with only a straight stitch?  My sewing machine is an old one with only straight stitch, and I have generally sewn stretch fabric by hand after my previous machine with a zigzag broke.  Sad   What pitfalls and dangers should I be aware of if trying to sew stretch fabrics with a straight stitch machine?  Or should I just not try it?

Thanks for any advice, warnings, etc!
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kjlutz
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2013 06:04:55 PM »

I've done it before, the only challenge is that the seams won't stretch with the fabric so it is not great for very tight clothing.  I would say it works okay, not great but not terrible either.
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Ludi
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013 06:33:18 PM »

Ok, that's actually pretty encouraging, since I want the stretch more for ease than for tight clothing.  Smiley

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AlenaSelene
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013 01:00:38 PM »

You can use a straight stitch on knit fabric. Just treat the knit the same way you'd treat a fabric with no stretch at all. Choose a pattern or design that works with non-stretchy woven fabrics and you should be ok
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Ludi
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013 02:44:50 PM »

Thank you, that's very helpful!  Smiley

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liliv-1
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013 07:46:47 PM »

If it is jersey, I usually stretch the fabric a bit while sewing with a straight stitch. The more stretch the fabric is, the more I stretch. Sometimes the seam is a mess, but after pressing it smooths.  It hasn't always good results but you can try and see if it works.
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CharlieC
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2013 03:00:13 AM »

If you don't mind how the seam looks in the end you can just go ahead and do it (just be sure to stretch it a bit to avoid breaking while wearing)
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liliv-1
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2013 10:40:08 AM »

If you don't stretch the fabric while sewing it is almost sure that the seam will break. Even if the garment isn' t fitted you will make some movement that will stretch the fabric and break the thread.
If you stretch the fabric while sewing the result depends on the kind of fabric. Some kinds of fabric remain stretched and the seam is curled and ugly, others go back to their initial shape after a good pressing. If the fabric remains strecthed at the seam maybe you need to reduce the  stretching while stiching.   
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2013 02:23:02 PM »

You can use a double needle to sew knit fabrics, which allows some stretch. If you google it, there are lots of different tutorials. Here is a simple one I found....
http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/05/sewing-tips-basic-stitches-plus-double.html
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Ludi
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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2013 03:50:07 PM »

Thank you all for these suggestions.  Smiley

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