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Tips for working with very thick fabric

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    I’m using a very thick wool for a School Days coat and it’s so thick that a double layer needs to be squeezed and prodded to get it under the presser foot at all! It doesn’t ravel, so I tried stitching down the seam allowances to hold them in place. I tried two different spacings and while the wider one (a line a little farther out from the seam line) looks better, neither looks all that great. It’s a little hard to even see what’s happening as the material is so fluffy. Imagine a cross between cord and melton — no pile in the sense of being directional, but puffy and kind of striped. Have I hit a thousand words yet? Haha. It’s too dark to take a decent photo but I’ll post one in the morning.

    Any suggestions for handling this stuff?

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

    Are you having problems top stitching or with the main sewing? If it’s the top stitching I would be inclined to leave it off, otherwise use a thick thread and long stitch length. Or if you are feeling patient and it goes with the style what about hand sewing running stitch with like six pieces of embroidery floss? Like Frances Suzanne has done down the front of the dress http://francessuzanne.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/signature-style-pr-season-7-week-4-part_30.html

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    Profile photo of sahmcoloradosahmcolorado @sahmcolorado

    I have the same question, Sarvi – what is the trouble you’re having with it? Just trying to get it under the presser foot, finishing seams, or the top stitching? If it doesn’t ravel and you are lining the coat, then you don’t need to finish the seams at all. Is the trouble that it won’t lie flat when you press seams open?

    One general tip I have is to reduce the pressure on the presser foot to help bulky fabrics feed through. Does your machine have an adjustment for that?

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    Well, I am not exactly having any problems yet — I am just trying out stitches on scraps and kind of am wondering what the best practices are. There is a presser foot pressure adjustment, so I will try lightening that and seeing what it does. I also reduced the tension and think that might have been an adjustment in the wrong direction. It definitely does need *something* for the seams — they form a thick, bulky ridge where sewn together. Hand sewing would be kind of fantastic but I am trying to get this done for Halloween and I have about eleven million other things to do between now and then.

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    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    Shoot me down, but how would a modern finish of laying one fabric on the other and stitching in place. I have a woollen tweedy skirt with that finish and I love it!

    Two rows of topstitching holding it in place.

    Clear as mud?

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    Ooh, ooh! No, I can totally picture that. Let me go try it.

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    Say, that looks kinda dinky! I’ll post photos in the morning and see what the hive mind thinks. I’d just need a half inch overlap and trim away the excess, right?

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

    Love Nicole’s suggestion!

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    Shoot. How do I do this on a curved seam, like the hood? Maybe I can do this for the front (placket, pockets, side seams) where it’s straight and do a regular seam for curves?

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    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    If you baste it first you may still be able to.

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    Profile photo of melelizameleliza @meleliza

    Do you have a walking foot? That may help.

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    Profile photo of needlewomanneedlewoman @needlewoman

    Yes, walking feet are the best for just this sort of thing because they pull the two layers of fabric together through the feed dogs. Nicole, I think your idea is brilliant. I intend to bear it mind for the future.

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    Thank you so much for all the great tips and encouragement, gals! I took the plunge with topstitching down the seam allowance on curves and will use the Nicole technique on the ‘straights’. So far so good! Lots and lots of pinning is helping. I actually am kind of enjoying it, I think because it’s wool. It ‘feels’ nice, if you know what I mean. I mean, I’m not sewing by hand but you can still kind of feel the needle bite in a satisfying way, don’t you think?

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    Profile photo of Mama_KnowlesMama_Knowles @Mama_Knowles

    it sounds so lovely! Any work in progress pictures pretty please?

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    Yes, I’ll post some when this little monkey jumps off me!

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)

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