Victorian Sweatshop Forum
Sign up Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
Chaly

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 893
Reply with quote  #1 
Since sewing knits has always been a big challenge for me, I thought I'd start a thread to share what has worked for me and for others to contribute their wisdom.

It has just been in the last year or so that I've been experimenting using my vintage machines for knits  Prior to this I used my serger and was never too happy with some of the results - basically all the thread required, threading (I have an old serger), bulky seams, and so on.  

I'm finally at the point where I have my vintage machines setup for what they do best to tackle knit projects.  I use my vintage Elnas for their great utility stitches - unmatched by any of my other vintage decorative stitch machines (Rocketeer, Supernova).  In particular, disc #165, which is referred to as the superoverlock stitch, is as good to me as any serger overcasting.  Transverse shuttle machine, Singer 48K, gives me a nice flexible stitch (see Elena's blog for more info: https://vintagesewingmachinesblog.wordpress.com [wink] and beautiful seaming. A narrow zigzag or a serger seam just does not have the nice result for seaming, in my view, as a flexible straight stitch.  I think a chain-stitch machine would also be great for providing a straight flexible stitch for seaming knits.  And lastly, many times one needs to provide a flexible hem stitch or neck bindings when working with knits and twin needle/double needle sewing provides the answer.  I like my Rocketeer best for this because I don't have to use twin needles - can use two ball point needles - Also, I like how I can adjust the needle position to line up to my topstitch spacing needs.

So, I have my Singer 48K setup for seaming, my Elna for overcasting, and my Rocketeer for double needle stitching.  This makes my work fast and easy as I can just change machines for each task I'm doing on a project.  Finally, I'm taking advantage of all the different machines I have.

I have not used my serger in years and I think with how I've figured out double needle stitching, I will never have need for an expensive coverstitch machine.  It's amazing that I can sew modern fabrics - performance wear, etc - with these vintage machines.  I usually use a ball-point needle, wooly nylon thread in the bobbin for double needle work, and adjust tensions according.

Pictures are of my current project - a tee for my daughter.  Photos show a seam using a flexible straight stitch and cam 165 to overlook, neck binding using double needle stitching on my Rocketeer, threading on the Rocketeer, and the superoverlock Elna cam.

For years, I didn't take advantage of utility stitches nor double needle work.  These are really great functions on vintage machines that compare with their modern counterparts.

should seam.jpg  Elna disc 165.jpg  double needle neck binding.jpg  double needle threading.jpg  double needle threading 2.jpg 

0
Bags

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 355
Reply with quote  #2 
Thank you for posting this.  I always enjoy reading about your adventures and discoveries with your VSMs and then seeing examples.
0
Mavis

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,069
Reply with quote  #3 
That's a very professional looking top!  So great; keep posting these great gems of how-to's!
__________________
Mavis
from Minnesota
0
Chaly

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 893
Reply with quote  #4 
Bags and Mavis - glad to know my postings are of interest to you both.  I like to share what I find out works for me - especially after some interesting adventures to get to my successes. It never ceases to amaze me that these vintage machines are such great useful tools and I hope to pass on my enthusiasm for using them.  I chuckle when I hear the frequent: it sews; the needle goes up and down; 5 layers of denim, etc.  There is so much more to getting everything to work - needle type and size, upper AND lower tension settings, thread type, presser foot tension,  etc. etc. to get wanted results.  I believe to really test a machine, one has to sew a project on it to get a feel for all its workings - not just sew a line of some sample stitches.
0
morningstar

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 571
Reply with quote  #5 
I have so much of that nylon wooly threadbut never used it . Don’t know where or how.
One person said she used in her serger butthats all the help I got..
I seem so reluctant to try it bc don’t want to have machine issue afterwards..

Sure a nice top for your daughter.

__________________
Kathleen 
 
northeast of Toronto, ON  or
southwest Fl in winters
0
Chaly

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 893
Reply with quote  #6 
Kathleen,  the wooly nylon thread is great for lots of applications for decorative stitching and especially in the bobbin when doing twin needle/double needle work.  It has a bit of flexibility to it and prevents tunneling and provides additional stretch to the stitch.  Especially nice for thinner fabrics when you are unable to use a stabilizer.

It can also be used as the top thread providing accent to certain decorative or serged stitching since it has some fluff and gives a thicker appearance to the stitching.  It looks nice when edging an edge with a zigzag or serger -  especially when using the multicolor variety.
0
Pabry

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 54
Reply with quote  #7 
Agree with the others that this is very helpful. I’ve tried sewing knits but still haven’t figured out how to prevent the stretching. Not an issue since knits do not occupy a big part of my sewing. Next time I sew knits, I’ll be sure to try that cam. (I thought it was to sew decorative houses. Didn’t think about using it for a utility stitch.). Appreciate the sewing examples and tutorial.
0
WI Lori

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,334
Reply with quote  #8 
Chaly, beautiful work! A far cry from the knit pjs I used to whip up with the server when my boys were little. I would usually single topstitch the collar ribbing down. :)
__________________
Lori in Wisconsin
0
Chaly

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 893
Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pabry
Next time I sew knits, I’ll be sure to try that cam. (I thought it was to sew decorative houses. Didn’t think about using it for a utility stitch.).  and tutorial.


Pabry - That's too funny!  Although I can see how one could think of houses.

Actually, Elna has 3 great utility cams for overlocking:  #149 (single overlock), #163 (double overlock), and #165 (superoverlock).  I believe Elna led the way for utility stitches and overlocking on home machines along with producing publications on sewing knits.

I find sewing knits the most challenging projects to sew and I'm trying to tackle all the issues I've had and I'm coming along.  I really like having a flexible straight stitch and if I had a vintage chain stitch machine I'd be using this for knit seaming - but the Singer 48 does really well and next I will try my Singer 127 for comparison.  I've found tension settings along with the pressure foot pressure adjustments help with the stretching - and sometimes using the proper stabilizer (on areas where you don't want any distortion -like the shoulder seams).  It's all about trying different things.
0
Chaly

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 893
Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WI Lori
Chaly, beautiful work! A far cry from the knit ojs I used to whip up with the server when my boys were little. I would usually single topstitch the collar ribbing down. 😉


Thanks, Lori.  I think a serger has it's place and for children's pjs and many items it makes fast work out of these projects.  I'm just lazy and hate dealing with all the thread and threading and the knife, proper seam allowances, etc.  Plus it is so much funner for me to use a vintage machine.  I guess I've just never bonded well with a serger but for many it's their go-to machine for knits.  I also like the seams I get better with a flexible stitch plus an overcast.

I think you have a Singer 403?  The double needle function would work great if there is a next time for sewing collar ribbing down.
0
pgf

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 2,216
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
I'm just lazy and hate dealing with all the thread and threading ...


Show of hands please.  How many here would tend to use the terms "lazy" or "hate" when describing Chaly's relationship to threads or threading?
.
.
.
.


Yeah...   that's about what I thought.  ;-)

__________________
My machines: http://projects.foxharp.net/sewing_machines/by-age
0
knittriloquist

Avatar / Picture

Junior Member
Registered:
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #12 
Gorgeous result! Almost makes me want to hold onto my Rocketeer.
__________________
~Morgin~
0
denaliskyfire

Member
Registered:
Posts: 46
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgf


Show of hands please.  How many here would tend to use the terms "lazy" or "hate" when describing Chaly's relationship to threads or threading?
.
.
.
.


Yeah...   that's about what I thought.  ;-)


ROTFLOL [rofl][rofl][rofl]

__________________
-Naomi

Denali Skyfire Custom Crafts
0
Chaly

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 893
Reply with quote  #14 
Ha! This is really making me laugh.  Well, Paul, maybe you should let us know your serger experiences!  Let me just say that using a serger does not bring me joy.  They are great tools for some and many love them - just making the point that if you don't have one you don't necessarily need one.

Welcome Knittriloquist and Denaliskyfire.  This is a great and fun group as you can see.
0
WI Lori

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,334
Reply with quote  #15 
Chaly, changing serger threads doesn't happen often here. I keep just 5 colors, black, white, ivory, navy, and a medium blue (I had two boys, no need for other colors!) Some serge jobs just have to wait until I justify changing thread colors.

I like your approach to finer detailing with the cams option for both utility and decorative stitching. Thread doesn't cost an arm and a leg, either.

The 403 replaces my 401. The ease of using the cams with the 403 will hopefully revitalize my garment sewing.

__________________
Lori in Wisconsin
0
Cari-in-Oly

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 3,951
Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgf


Show of hands please.  How many here would tend to use the terms "lazy" or "hate" when describing Chaly's relationship to threads or threading?
.
.
.
.


Yeah...   that's about what I thought.  ;-)


Not me, I don't mind threading my sergers.

Cari

__________________
Olympia Washington
0
PMac

Junior Member
Registered:
Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #17 
Thank you, Chaly. Very good information! I have a Necchi BU Mira that has a double needle set up vertically, such that the two needles are in a vertical line facing the sewer. I have not used it yet. Have you any experience with such a set-up? If so, I would love to hear about it.
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.