Why Is This Happening?

Let me start by telling you what I’m working with.. two layers of 90% nylon, 10% spandex fabric blend (one layer is the lining).. I’m using a stretch needle with a Singer 7442.. All purpose thread.. and I’m actually following the instructions on the pattern which says:
“sewing technique for stretchable fabrics (if you do not have a serger)
1. First seam: a large zigzag stitch directly on raw edge of fabric, without stretching the fabric.
2. Second seam: a straight stitch 6 mm (1/4″) from edge of the fabric, stretching the fabric lightly.”

With this said, why is this happening?

messed up bobbin

My machine does fine with other fabrics but for some unknown reason to me seems to skip stitches with this stretchy material. I’ve tried the auto settings, adjusting the tension various amounts, even tried laying tissue paper under the fabric to help it move better. I’ve tried and tried.. and just can’t get it.
And, while I’m at it, what’s up with this?

stretching too much?

Am I stretching the fabric to much? I’ve tried less stretch but the thread breaks when my little gymnast pulls it over her shoulders?

Can anyone help me?

Signed – Desperate Gym Mama 🙂



Filed under fabric, Sewing

6 responses to “Why Is This Happening?

  1. On the zig-zag stitch on the pink—why are doing that on the raw edge? Is it to finish the edge somewhat? Because if that is what you are doing, I would completely skip that part. Lycra, swimsuit, t-shirt fabric is not going to ravel. Just leave it raw.

    If it is for something else—like topstitching, then I would suggest trying a multi-stitch zigzag if your machine has that option. It usually does 3 stitches on the zig and then 3 on the zag if that makes sense.

    Usually when I have problems with skipping stitches it seems that the fabric has a lot of spandex in it, not lycra, but spandex. I’m not sure why there seems to be a difference, and you don’t always know which piece is going to give you issues, unfortunately. If that pink fabric is showing the underside of your fabric I would double check your bobbin set up. Sew a little slower too, sometimes that will help with the skipping stitches if the fabric is being weird. I have sewn on some stuff that truly I could not get any needle or tension to work right. And that is extremely frustrating. (I’m still figuring out some of this, too.)

    For the darker piece, experiment on an extra piece and use that multi-stitch zigzag to topstitch. That might eliminate some of that “bunching” of the top thread. I have also used a double needle for the topstitching and love that. It ends up beig 2 straight lines on top and then a zigzag behind so that you do have more stretch to your stitch then just straight line sewing.

    Drop me a note again if it still doesn’t work right. I’ll see what else I can come up with.

  2. *I do appreciate you so much for responding. As I’ve said, I’ve tried and tried.. Tonight I will try again with a multi-stitch zig-zag as my main stitch and any part that gets a lot of stretch I’ll go back and finish with a multi-stitch zig-zag again. Cross your fingers for me. 🙂 Again, THANK YOU!!!! *

  3. nicole j bideau

    hi have you tried a walking foot it usually works with stretchy fabrics hope this helps keep calm and carry on lol

  4. Wish I could help you! I think I am still brain dead after tax season! I was thinking maybe the bobbin area needs to be cleaned out. It is so frustrating to run into these problems! I really hate working with stretchy fabrics because you never know what is going to happen with your stitching! I have a stretch stitch on my Elna that I love! It actually looks like a straight stitch. This has been a life saver to me, or should I say I am still able to comb my hair because of it! LOL! Good luck and let me know if you figure it out!

  5. It was all in the stitch. I finally found my straight stretch stitch and that made all the difference. Making these little leotards is probably going to break my bank. I’m totally addicted. & now that I’ve discovered the correct way to do I’m sure there will be no stopping me. 🙂

  6. Hey Nicole, Thanks for your suggestion. I hadn’t considered a walking foot. Your choice is so interesting to me. It’s inspiring.. It reminds me that I don’t have to do it the same way that everyone else does. Break the rules and get the job done.. I love that! Sorry if I got a little deep on you.. but you got me thinking about the ‘process’ and that’s my favorite part!!! Thanks so much!

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