Sewing Tough or Heavyweight Fabrics?

June 3, 2005

Sewing thick curtains.Tips for sewing tough fabric. Post your ideas.



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June 3, 20050 found this helpful
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Use fishing line to sew up tough fabrics, it works like a charm.

By Charlene

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September 20, 20131 found this helpful
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When sewing heavy duty, tough fabrics by machine, first of make sure your sewing machine is rated to handle heavy duty fabrics. You can do everything else right - correct needle, thread, tension setting, and presser foot - but if your machine is not rated for heavy duty fabrics, you will 'kill' it trying to sew anything heavier than a mid-weight corduroy or twill.


The best way to ensure your machine can handle the extra stress of seaming heavy duty fabrics is to first check the owner's guide (most guides will state in the first few pages what types of fabrics the machine will handle without problems) or check the manufacturer website.

If your machine can take it, sewing heavy duty fabrics is a breeze as long as you take the time to figure out the correct presser foot/needle/thread/tension setting/stitches.

A good example is the leatherette and velveteen ottoman cover I'm about to make for a friend. After some research, I understand that while my Singer Talent 3321 is able to sew this, I'll need to use three different specialty feet - a walking foot, a roller foot, and a non-stick foot. I'll also need a specialty leatherette sewing machine needle, I'll need to use a different upper thread tension setting, and specialty thread for sewing heavy duty leatherette fabric.


I'll use the walking foot when stitching the casing for the elasticated hem to keep all three layers of fabric feeding evenly as I seam, the roller foot for the darts and inset velveteen to leatherette seaming to keep the two layers feeding evenly, and the non-stick foot when topstitching the heavy duty velveteen insets in the centre of the leatherette slipcover.

I'll make several test sewing strips to be sure I know which tension setting, size needle, thread, and stitch settings to use for good seams that don't fail, and topstitching that looks nice.

So the best tips for machine sewing tough fabrics is to first be sure the machine can take the extra stress, do the research (owner's guide, sewing reference books, Internet searches) so that the home sewer knows which attachments are needed, and then to make several test strips on spare bits of the fabric to decide the best tension and other machine settings (stitch length and widths, also any decorative stitching) to use.

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June 3, 20050 found this helpful

I used fishing line to repair a broken clasp on the front of my bra. It's still holding!!!

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June 3, 20050 found this helpful

Dental floss works great, too.

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