Trouble Sewing Lycra

I love thin Lycra fabric, because it drapes well and is very comfortable, but my machine does not sew it very well. Most of the stitches are missed (like it isn't hooked around the bobbin). I would sew a whole line and then when I'm done and look at it, 3 would look right and about 4 did not stitch and then 2 stitched right and 3 did not, if you know what I mean. It is very frustrating! Could someone please tell me what to do?


By Heksie

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June 11, 20110 found this helpful

It's an experimental thing when sewing stretchy slippery fabric. Try a new thinner needle (new means it's very sharp). Try smaller stitches, larger stitches, different tension, zig zag, etc. I've heard it recommended to place tissue paper over the area you are sewing to give the presser foot more grip, then tear the tissue away from the finished product. Don't know if it actually works, though.

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June 12, 20110 found this helpful

Thank you very much! I'll try untill I find the right way!

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June 15, 20110 found this helpful

The best needle for any knit is a ballpoint for lycra preferably a #9, which is the thinnest. Definitely try the zig zag. Also baste your pieces together first before sewing. These methods usually work for me.

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June 15, 20110 found this helpful

Yes, oliveoyl it does work and sometimes you can use 2 pieces of paper, one on bottom and one on top. Just make sure you aren't stretching the material. Apparently Heskie doesn't use her top and bottom tensions much. With the foot in the down position lessen the tension on the top of sewing machine. Your book will show you where usually the first or second threading duflunkey when you are threading machine. On bottom (which is the top tension) you will find 2 screws on the side.(careful here and remember or write down how far and which way you move the screw.) Tiny bits at a time loosen the screw then hold the bobbin up by the thread if it just falls it is too loose and if you have to shake it hard it's too tight and work accordingly.


When you give the bobbin a little jiggle and it drops about 2 inches you are about right.

Using this method I can sew anything without skipping stitches. Making suit linings with two slippery materials together is real fun too. The screw on the bobbin is the larger of the 2 screws. If you need a picture email me and I will send them to you. It will take 2.

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June 15, 20110 found this helpful

Adjust the tension on your machine. It can be changed when ever you change the weight of your fabric. You have to have a hand book that came with your machine. This will guide you.

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

I agree with OliveOyl, make sure you are using a new needle for the correct type of fabric. Also, I've found that using a good thread helps cut down on skipped stitches; cheaper threads just don't sew as well or last as long.

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