Thursday, November 18, 2010

Feet for Marcy Tilton's knit

Love, love, love this knit from Marcy Tilton. It's called *Midnight Black Rayon/Lycra Jersey* and it sews up beautifully. And it drapes elegantly. And it is slenderizing. Love, love, love it.

I was a happy sewer, humming along with the Weather Girls "Success" as I attached the waist band to the pants. Then I created a circle of elastic and began the Sandra Betzina technique for inserting elastic in a waist band. This requires stitching-in-the-ditch and this is where things went south.
Skipped stitches were everywhere. Luckily it's easy to remove such stitches because there's not much to hold them to the fabric. Otherwise, removing stitches from this jersey would've been impossible. But on the other hand I became very frustrated in my attempts to solve the skipped stitch issue.

Everything I tried seemed to make things worse.
I changed the needle first to a ball point, then to a jersey needle. No improvement. I changed to a single stitch plate. No improvement. I changed feet - first the ditch-stitching foot and then the zipper foot. All roads led to skipped, ugly stitches. Finally I just used the straight-stitch foot, and gave up on the ditch-stitching idea. The right toe of my straight-stitch foot is just about 1/8" wide so I arranged my stitching to have that narrow toe next to the bulk (elastic enclosed in waistband). Technically it's not stitched in the ditch - it's 1/8" away from the ditch. This created a perfect stitch.

I guess that sewing with this very, very stretchy knit requires a firm grip from the foot. So the winning combination is...
  • Straight-stitch foot (#13)
  • Universal needle for everything except the hem
  • Stretch twin needle for hem
  • Regular stitch plate - no need for the straight-stitch plate

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