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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
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    Stretch Fabric on a straight stitch machine

    Many of the older, older machines do not have a zig zag stitch. For most purposes that does not matter. Particularly when using things like nylon which does not stretch that much. However, fleece, spandex and other fabrics designed to stretch will break stitches like mad. There are ways to minimize this on a straight stitch machine.

    When stitching such things as elastic and stretch fabrics, pull the fabric/elastic as you stitch it. Stretch that piece out to the degree you expect it to be stressed. Also use a longer than normal stitch length. That will pucker the stitches on the piece, but it should not significantly compromise the integrity of the stitch. Then when the fabric is stretched in use the stitches are not pulled beyond their breaking point.

    All in all a zig zag is nice to have for stretch applications. Most gear, however is perfectly reasonable without a zig zag. There may or may not be after market attachments that can be used for old straight stitch machines.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

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  2. #2
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Winston-Salem, NC
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    Nice. Great advice. I was just sewing some fleece last night and had the issues you discuss in the first paragraph above (breaking stitches). I'll go back and do as you suggest after the Mt. Rogers hangout.

    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
    - Mark Twain
    I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Wichita, Ks

    Thumbs up

    Thanks for all the good pointers! As you said in one of your videos, most of the sewing guides are geared towards fashon, and don't get to the issues that gearmakers come across...It is nice to have you and others to help us less experienced folks with things we will all encounter!

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