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Topic: beating a dead horse.......among other things. (sewing knits)  (Read 1469 times)
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« on: September 09, 2008 05:23:49 PM »

 Cry    i know that the topic of sewing knits is frequently discussed and many have answered every question there is to ask, but I need to vent. I have been determined to conquer the land of knits with little experience, and two brand new machines by my side. I have been beaten badly time and again. It has come to the point where I want to quit sewing, because I feel like too much of a novice. But, I go on...barely.
     Tonight I was trying to finish a tissue-thin cotton t-shirt for my daughter. I decided to forgo formal hems (to make things easier on myself) and serge the edges. Okay, one problem down.
     I managed to pin on the sleeves and gather the excess fabric at the top to make a slight poof. i was happy with sleeve #1. Sure I could repeat it, I did the same thing with #2 only to find it sewn on inside out! AAAAARRRRRGGGHHHH!!!
     I need encouragement from someone please! I know this is very word heavy and desperate, but I need someone to tell me things will get better.
     Here's a pic of the poor attempt at the knits.....
This one is the new ant and cupcake print knit(very thin). See the inside out sleeve?

This one is a rib knit. You can see how wavy my seams turned out.

« Last Edit: September 10, 2008 09:05:57 AM by sweets4ever » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2008 06:42:17 PM »

You're doing fine! We all sew in sleeves inside-out at some point - it just seems like a bigger deal when it's serged because it takes longer to rip it out!

As far as the pink top goes, you might be able to take out some of the waviness by steaming/pressing it. I think you've done it the right way - you've sewn it with stretch, because that neckhole needs to be stretched over the head. If you didn't stretch it sufficiently, then your little person would get stuck inside it every time! (Amusing but not particularly efficient  Wink ) And at the end of the day, it's kids' clothing - they are harsher on the garment than you will ever be.

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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2008 07:05:17 PM »

You're doing fine! We all sew in sleeves inside-out at some point - it just seems like a bigger deal when it's serged because it takes longer to rip it out!


This shirt is now a somewhat awkward looking sleep top. she doesn't care if her new sleep top has a wierd sleeve. I am trying anew with a different print tomorrow. Onward...!
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2008 10:01:36 PM »

I can't tell you how many times I've had to rip out a seam because it was put in wrong.  There are some things I won't do when I'm tired - putting in sleeves is one. 

As for the neckline, I would steam it, then pat it down - don't press.  It should go down enough and look good.   Let me know if it works.   
Keep on sewing, it does get easier.   Cheesy

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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2008 09:00:14 AM »

I pulled nearly half of my seams out yesterday while making a jacket for my son. I had to laugh at myself for being so silly for doing nearly the same things you did.  Cheesy

My kiddo loves it and will not take it off now.

« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2008 09:00:32 AM »

I'm sure it doesn't help that you're picking some of the trickiest knits to work with (even seasoned seamstresses hate tissue thin knits and ribs!).  I would try my hand at some interlocks or other stable knits if I were you...it'll let you get the feel for a knit and how it handles without the puckered and wavy seams, etc.  Waffle knits are another one of those offenders.  

Sometimes the waviness comes from you pushing or pulling the knit/stretching it as it sews even when you aren't intending too...sometimes the machine does it on it's own b/c the tensions aren't right.  I find it helps to baste in the beginning...check the fit with the iron...if it's already too loose or tight then it's not that difficult to remove the basting and try again.  Once you've found a pattern you like to work with you won't need to do this step every time, so be encouraged!  On extra tricky knits you may need to stabilize with either a water-soluble spray, starch, or use tissue paper under the seam and tear away afterward.  

And the sleeve...ugh, I can't tell you how many times I've done stupid stuff like that!  Times like those I just let the steam come out of my ears and push the project aside for the evening!  Grumble-grumble grrrrrrr (yep, not just you-I promise!).  

You'll get there!  Keep trucking  Wink  
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2008 12:05:21 PM »

My husband just reminded me.  Several years ago we saw a baseball type jacket made by Escada.  It was $1100.  Although it looked great - it WAS $1000.  It was velvet, with crisscrossing satin ribbons and lace throughout.  Just beautiful.   Well, my husband said (being the great supporter he is)  "You can do that".  I got the fabric, ribbons, lace, etc and started making it.  Let me tell you - sewing velvet is horrible...but sewing satin ribbons on it is hell.  I can't tell you how many times it landed in the garbage with me saying not nice words.  But, I went to my local sewing store, got advice on sewing with velvet - got a walking foot - kept on coming back to it, and it turned out gorgeous.  If I could find a picture, I'll post a link to it.   Have I ever had other setbacks, mistakes, etc?  Heck yeah, but I do it because I love the creative process, have something different, and save money (over $1000 on this jacket alone).  Hang in there.

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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2008 08:01:43 PM »

Thank you himtnc1 for those words. It may be that someday we can reach those heights.

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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2008 05:10:20 AM »

I've been there many times with the inside out arm (or pant leg, neck binding, collar...).  I do second the suggestion of sewing with interlock.  That is about the only knit I buy lately.  I would also suggest that you don't topstitch your neck.  Serge the neck binding on and iron it really well.  I don't feel the topstitching is necessary and after someone suggested that I do it that way, I started to like sewing with knits much better.  My sewing machine hates knits, so I do everything knit on my serger...no topstitching and only rolled or serged hems.  Good luck and keep trying!!

« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2008 09:23:54 AM »

Thank everyone so much for the encouraging words. I bought a different pattern that I might try with the knits. Maybe this one woll be simpler for me. I have also decided to buy some plain t-shirts and do some embellishing. It is cheaper, and still rewarding. My kids had a ball painting their new shirts last night. It was fun!
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