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Old 03-17-2013, 09:26 PM   #1
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I need sewing help: all my boy projects look frilly!

I must be stretching my seams. Right? Is that it?



I'm trying to convert a bunch of onesies into t-shirts, and the 3 I have done so far all look like ruffly belly-shirts! I've tried a zig-zag stitch, and then switched to a straight stitch and even a 3-point straight stitch, thinking things were getting stretched. I am very careful no to pull on the fabric. Doesn't matter. All the hems come out with a gentle wave, like the ruffle on a Sunday dress.

Do I need to switch to a walking foot? Is that the problem? Would a double needle help or just make things harder? I'm using a brand new ball-point needle, and I have a double needle but I don't think it's ballpoint and I've never used it before.

I'm so super annoyed that I've basically ruined 3 shirts so far.

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Last edited by Palooka; 03-17-2013 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:28 PM   #2
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Re: I need sewing help: all my boy projects look frilly!

use an iron on the edges and it will pull the ruffle out.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:29 PM   #3
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Re: I need sewing help: all my boy projects look frilly!

I'd try it with a double needle. It creates a similar look to a coverstich machine (so it looks a little more store-bought than homespun) and it allows some stretch when pulling it over the torso without staying stretched out. If that doesn't work, then I'd try the walking foot.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:39 PM   #4
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Re: I need sewing help: all my boy projects look frilly!

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use an iron on the edges and it will pull the ruffle out.
tried that. I also washed and dried one of the shirts thinking that would help, but it didn't. The fabric is seriously wider on the bottom where I hemmed than on the rest of the shirt now.

I just found a blog suggesting tissue paper (cheaper than stabilizer) to prevent the feeder foot from stretching the knit. I'm pretty sure that's what's happening. I'm going to try that right now and then update!

Last edited by Palooka; 03-17-2013 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:51 PM   #5
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Re: I need sewing help: all my boy projects look frilly!

I starch ironed the hem before sewing on mine and it reduced the ruffle a ton!
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:07 PM   #6
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Re: I need sewing help: all my boy projects look frilly!

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tried that. I also washed and dried one of the shirts thinking that would help, but it didn't. The fabric is seriously wider on the bottom where I hemmed than on the rest of the shirt now.

I just found a blog suggesting tissue paper (cheaper than stabilizer) to prevent the feeder foot from stretching the knit. I'm pretty sure that's what's happening. I'm going to try that right now and then update!
Nope. Fail. I tried tissue paper but it gummed up my stitch (used a "stretch" stitch) so I gave up after an inch or two. This is what I got after attaching the walking foot:

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Old 03-17-2013, 10:11 PM   #7
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Re: I need sewing help: all my boy projects look frilly!

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I starch ironed the hem before sewing on mine and it reduced the ruffle a ton!
That's a good idea. But we are out of starch and getting out the ironing board at this hour is not going to happen. I will have to try it another time.

Ugh I'm so frustrated! I have a stack of these I wanted to do "real quick" before bed, and I've now mangled #4! I never have time to do this stuff during the week so the whole project is probably going to sit now for a week.

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Old 03-17-2013, 10:17 PM   #8
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Re: I need sewing help: all my boy projects look frilly!

I've used a glue stick to keep stuff from stretching. You do have to let it dry before stitching. I've also used that glue they sell especially for hems, before sewing as well. I think it's called fabric tack, or liquid stitch. I've heard some people use Elmer's glue (the kind that washes out).
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:04 PM   #9
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Well, let him start a new trend with ruffled belly shirts!

Have you used a stretch stitch and changed your tension for your foot?
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:05 PM   #10
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Re: I need sewing help: all my boy projects look frilly!

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Well, let him start a new trend with ruffled belly shirts!

Have you used a stretch stitch and changed your tension for your foot?
Yup that photo was of one on a stretch stitch... but the footer tension... Nooo! I haven't checked that. How the heck do I check that? I'm looking at the stitch and there are no thread loops or puckering, so I figured the tension was fine. Hmmmmmm....
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