Oliver + S

Difficulty with topstitching visibility

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    Profile photo of roundtheworldgirlroundtheworldgirl @roundtheworldgirl

    I finished my Playtime dress and it was every bit as fun to sew as I had imagined. I am very pleased with the results except the topstitching on the neckline. That was my favorite part of the dress, and I cannot get it to show up, I am guessing because of the business of my black/white print. See photo here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23557464@N03/10228175455/in/photostream/. I actually did three rows of topstitching in three colors but you can’t see it. Sob. I tried doubling the thread and using a topstitching needle, but I don’t have a ballpoint topstitching needle (does such a thing even exist?) and my regular topstitching needle was skipping like crazy on my interlock fabric. I am considering handsewing there with embroidery so that it will show up, but I am worried about that too – I’d need a larger needle and that will poke huge holes into my fabric, right? Any suggestions or should I just leave it alone?

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    Profile photo of with love Heidiwith love Heidi @with love Heidi

    I would use a regular ballpoint needle with 2 threads going through, I noticed Lightning used 3 threads on her latest trousers so maybe try 3 or 4 if your game. A practice run might be good first 🙂

    Top stitching on patterned fabric is often hard to see.

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    Profile photo of Lightning McStitchLightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch

    Heidi’s right. More of the same thread is the way to go. She put me onto the idea of two lots of regular thread and then I recently tried three and that worked well.

    I bought some “embroidery” machine needles but I can’t see nay discernible difference in the eye size and so I’ve just used whatever was left in the machine. It’s not that hard to thread the needle with two, or even three threads of regular thread. trim them to the same length and lick them well! If you have an old fashioned wire loop needle threader it would be even easier

    I find topstitching thread MUCH harder to get through the needles. And you buy lots of different colours of topstitching thread that you don’t use again…..

    The other thing I recently found was some high sheen thread and a few strands of that will give even more oomph as it shines nicely.

    Your dress is gorgeous

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    Profile photo of needlewomanneedlewoman @needlewoman

    The playtime dress with applique is charming, rtwg, as is your little one in it! For top stitching, and for finishing applique I use Mettler Silk Finish. Comes in a wide range of colours, is mercerised cotton, and falls between ordinary cotton sewing thread, and machine quilting cotton for thickness/width of thread. Just gorgeous to work with. Unfortunately, despite my efforts to spread the word, not many shops carry it but it’s worth hunting for it. No trouble with going through needles or winding on bobbin.

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    Profile photo of roundtheworldgirlroundtheworldgirl @roundtheworldgirl

    Thanks for the help, guys! I threaded a ballpoint needle with two threads and it worked perfectly (once I figured out that I had to have one spool going counterclockwise, and the other clockwise).

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    Profile photo of needlewomanneedlewoman @needlewoman

    So glad it worked for you, rtwg. Thank you for useful info about spools going in opposite directions; I never would have thought of that.

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