Hello everyone! It’s day two of our Sloan Legging Sew Along! Today we’ll be going over the different machine stitches that you can use to sew your leggings. We’ll also talk a bit about the difference between using a serger and a regular sewing machine.
We know that a lot of people have hesitations about working with knit fabrics, but fear not, it’s really not that scary! Plus, this pattern is a great project to help you learn how to sew with knits!
Above you will see the four different machine stitches used for our sample swatches. If you are not familiar with them, #1 is a zig zag stitch, #2 is the lightning bolt stretch stitch, #3 is the triple straight stretch stitch, and #4 is the machine overcasting stitch which is a finishing stitch.
All of our stitch examples have pictures that show what the seam will look like when it is fully stretched. Some are more visible than others and we have used a bright colored thread to really show off what the seam will look like.
The first example is a zig zag stitch. This is a stitch that every machine has and everyone has the option of using! We have our machine set to a stitch width of 1.5 and a length of 2.5.
We stitched two rows at 1/4″ and 1/8″. Having two rows of stitching provides a nice finish on the inside of the garment, as well as reinforcing the seam.
The second stitch is the lightning bolt stitch. This stitch provides a straighter row of stitching plus a lot of stretch! A great option if your machine has it!
The third option is the triple stitch! This straight stretch stitch is a personal favorite of all the ladies here at Harts! We love this stitch for it’s straight even seams and excellent stretch. It’s also great for athletic wear because the seams do not show at all when stretched!
This swatch also has an example of the overcasting stitch. This is an excellent way to finish your seams if you don’t own a serger since it works with knits and wovens! You could use the overcast stitch with any of the stitches we showed above.
The last option is to use a serger. A serger cuts, sews, and finishes the seams all in one motion. Depending on your tension, sometimes when stretched and pulled apart, you will see the stitches. However; in this sample, even though the thread matched the fabric, the tension looks good and no stitches are visible.
If you are going to be super active and want to have finished seams with a little extra stretch protection, you can always combine a serged edge with another stitch like the triple stretch stitch.
Remember, this is totally optional! We recommend trying out a few samples with your fabric and seeing what you like best!
When sewing knits it’s easy to forget about your sewing machine’s needle.
Using the correct needle is always important! So don’t forget that when you are sewing a knit fabric, you need to switch to a ball point needle!
Ball point needles have a rounded tip that prevents your needle from damaging knit fabrics. If you are sewing with an especially elastic knit, like athletic wear, we recommend a stretch ball point needle to prevent skipping stitches.
So let’s recap. We recommend experimenting with these stitches on some scraps of fabric to determine what will work best for you and your machine. Make sure to use your fabric and a new ball point needle to avoid frustration.
It’s always helpful to have your project fully planned and prepped before jumping into the actual sewing. No one likes a surprise setback when they are sitting down to sew!
Check back next week! We’ll be talking about the optional gusset and getting our fabric cut out. See you then!
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