A bit of a stretch

I have not really had much success with sewing stretch fabrics in the past. Well, I have made a lot of things from a couple of patterns that worked particularly well, and daggy things like track pants and hooded tops to wear around at home, but I haven’t had much joy from my attempts to sew things like close-fitting tops, or t-shirts or swimmers. The stretch in the seams would get out of hand, and I couldn’t get the finishing techniques to look very good-rib trim would be a bit wavy for my liking, hems wouldn’t look that great. They all looked a bit…homemade…but not in a good way. More in a dodgy way. So I wasn’t very inspired by these experiences. And I had plenty of other things to make in wovens or less stretchy knits so I didn’t fret too much over it. But as has happened so often in recent times, my thoughts on this have changed, and now I have a renewed vigour to make stretch sewing work for me. A year of unpaid maternity leave, a small person to dress and uninspiring  and overpriced choices in the shops is quite the motivator!

So I found another good pattern to try in the big bundle I had been given a little while ago-a simple long-sleeved envelope-neck top that I mentioned in my earlier post about Little D’s outfit for an upcoming wedding . She needs something to wear underneath the dress and I couldn’t find anything plain or in a colour other than pink, so I thought I would give it a try with some leftover grey rib I had in my stash. It came together really quickly and I like the shape and style .


But there were 2 problems:

1) I made size XXS, based on the size of the pattern piece held up against one of her tops that fits well. The pattern said that would be for babies up to 3kg-and let me tell you, Miss D hasn’t weighed 3kg since she was a FOETUS! She was certainly bigger than that as a newborn. But I decided to go by the size of the actual paper pattern and it turned out to be way too big-I would say it would be the equivalent of a size 0. But no matter because…

2) I had some of my old seam waviness issues at the neckline-I was careful not to stretch the fabric out but the rate that it fed under the foot of the machine caused the problem. I will trouble-shoot size and stretchiness issues and have another go.

Blah! Wavy neckline...

Blah! Wavy neckline...

I had a quick look at my new book that arrived from Amazon the other day-Sew U Home Stretch:The Built By Wendy Guide to Sewing Stretch Fabrics, by Wendy Mullin of Built By Wendy fame. And apparently what I needed was a walking foot to stop the fabric from being stretched out as I sew. Okay, fine-a quick trip to the sewing shop and $45 dollars later (yikes! hope it works) I have my walking foot. I think it may also be good for the leather and vinyl sewing that I do when I make bags  too. Will let you know how it goes…

(drumroll) The Walking Foot

(drumroll) The Walking Foot

~ by Little Red Hen on March 24, 2009.

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