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 anyone use sewing machine for finishing?
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cyndilv
New Pal

19 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  3:10:40 PM  Show Profile Send cyndilv a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have completed a summer sweater that will not finish nicely. It is one of my first sweaters and I've about given up to trying the sewing machine. Several of the women in my knitting group have been knitting for over 50 yrs. and they can't get it to look good either. Have anyone tried this method and if so what did you do or would you do differenly? Thanks for any help you may have!

bfaye
Seriously Hooked

USA
721 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  4:55:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit bfaye's Homepage Send bfaye a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have not tried this but the seamstress part of me says if you try it, put a layer of tissue paper on the underside of your knitting over the feeddogs so the knitting is not drawn into the machine. I would pin carefully, easing fullness, and use a basting stitch to start with so you can rip it out if it doesn't work. After basting, if you are pleased with the result, you could slowly restitch with a smaller stitch. Handbasting ahead of time might also save some tedious ripping out of stitching and elminate the need for pins. I don't know why it wouldn't work in theory, sweaters purchased in stores, no matter the cost, are machine sewn. Good luck and let us know how it works.

benne
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NastiJ
Permanent Resident

1288 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  5:39:47 PM  Show Profile Send NastiJ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bfaye
...I don't know why it wouldn't work in theory, sweaters purchased in stores, no matter the cost, are machine sewn...


I think commercially retailed sweaters are put together with machines that are more like sergers http://www.crhowto.org/modern_sewing/96.html than home sewing machines. They don't have feed dogs.

Nancy J.

"Learning how to knit was a snap.It was learning how to stop that nearly destroyed me." Erma Bombeck
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bfaye
Seriously Hooked

USA
721 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  6:04:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit bfaye's Homepage Send bfaye a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's true, Nancy. I have a serger but I hesitate to advise someone to use one on their sweater, it's a permanent solution, whether it works or not. The tissue paper will keep the fabric out of the feed dogs and stabilize the fabric as it is stitched. Be interesting to experiment on a recalcitrant project using the sewing machine and see how it works out.

benne
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fiberlicious
Permanent Resident

1637 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  6:41:19 PM  Show Profile Send fiberlicious a Private Message  Reply with Quote
THe reason we don't use a sewing machine to seam is that sewn seams have no give. Sweaters are all about give, and need to be seamed in a manner that will do so. IMO, of course.
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bfaye
Seriously Hooked

USA
721 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2007 :  7:14:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit bfaye's Homepage Send bfaye a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I imagine it would have a better chance of working on cotton or linen than on other fibers with more give. There would also be the problem of the appearance and bulkiness of the stitched seam. I would think the seam would need to be as close to the edge as possible. As I said, I've never tried it, so this is all conjecture on my part.

benne
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Valk_scot
Permanent Resident

United Kingdom
1281 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2007 :  01:27:39 AM  Show Profile Send Valk_scot a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I`ve seamed up childrens sweaters on the sewing machine, where the look of the finish wasn`t so crucial. I use the tissue method above and a zig-zag or stretch seam finish. It is 100% permenant though, and doesn`t look nearly as good as hand finishing. And you can`t even frog the sweater after if you don`t like it.

Does your LYS offer a sewing up service? Might be worth a few $$$$, if it`s the difference between a wearable sweater and one you hate.

Val.


http://spinningfishwife.blogspot.com/
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mokey
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15375 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2007 :  05:34:32 AM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The sweater will still have give even if sewn on a machine. I can't stand seaming and have had a friend machine some of my work.

As for being permanent I thought that was the point!

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HoJo
Permanent Resident

USA
1474 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2007 :  08:23:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit HoJo's Homepage Send HoJo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a friend who does all her finishing on a sewing machine and it looks great with plenty of give.

One of the reasons I bought my serger was to sew hand knit garments, but as it turns out I haven't yet. I have, however, used the serger for lots of other things and love it.

I haven't used it yet, because I zealously avoid doing seams by knitting in the round and modular knitting ;}. I had planned on using it as part of steeking but my courage (and time) have failed me so far.

HoJo

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cyndilv
New Pal

19 Posts

Posted - 03/15/2007 :  1:08:52 PM  Show Profile Send cyndilv a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I sure appreciate all the input. No one in our little town offers a finishing service. There isn't a LYS for many, many miles. This sweater is probably a good candidate to try this method on as no one has been able to save it any other way yet. I will let you know how it goes as soon as I build up the courage to sit down at my machine.
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Knitfool
Chatty Knitter

USA
245 Posts

Posted - 03/16/2007 :  12:03:52 PM  Show Profile  Send Knitfool a Yahoo! Message Send Knitfool a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi,

have you tried to crochet your pieces together?
Sometimes if it is very difficult to match up the pieces I use a single crochet stitch to put all the pieces together with a clean finish.
It's easy to take a apart and restitch. I use a smaller hook size to minimize the bulkynes if the stitch.

I have also used a sewing machine, with two fabric strips top and bottom to keep the fabric from snagin in the dogs or the foot.
However you have to align your pieces just so to get a clean finish.
I agree with bfaye that a basting stitch would be advisable to keep the pieces aligned.

Claudia


Live Happens, learn to deal with it!
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Knitfool
Chatty Knitter

USA
245 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2007 :  06:29:42 AM  Show Profile  Send Knitfool a Yahoo! Message Send Knitfool a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Cyndilv,

How did the seaming of your sweater go?

Claudia

Live Happens, learn to deal with it!
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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2007 :  03:22:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh this reminds me of my first knitting attempt - and first knitting disaster. A man's norwegian ski sweater that I sewed on the sewing machine. Ugh. none of the stripes lined up no matter how hard I tried. but I was 17 at the time and it was already such a mess i didn't actually make it worse.

So, Cyndilv, did you sew those seams? How did they turn out?

I still think sewing seams is a viable option. If I were going to sew them on the machine, I'd set the tension very loose and use a zig zag stitch for give, as well as using the tissue paper to keep the fabric - very thick loose fabric, which knitting is - from either catching in the feed dogs or sliding out of alignment.

Bess
http://likethequeen.blogspot.com
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Yelena_knitter
Seriously Hooked

USA
898 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2007 :  09:06:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit Yelena_knitter's Homepage Send Yelena_knitter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I used sewing mashine for my knitting quite often.
Some times, when yarn is not very expensive I can even redesing it with cutting a seams or sleeve's shape with overlog sewing mashine. Specially, when it old-fashion and I want to change it, or I lost weight and need it more narrow, or thiner on the waist...

Of couse, after that I can't take it on the pieces and repair it(I have to wear such thing already to the end,and put it in a Trift store), but it works for a couple more years...

So... if your summer sweater looks better with sewing-- why not???

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Wheat
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
406 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2007 :  06:43:19 AM  Show Profile  Visit Wheat's Homepage Send Wheat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by fiberlicious

THe reason we don't use a sewing machine to seam is that sewn seams have no give. Sweaters are all about give, and need to be seamed in a manner that will do so. IMO, of course.



While I would agree that straight stitching could create a problem, if someone is comfortable with garment construction, there are stitches (often built in) that are meant to be used with knit fabrics.

I have used both Serger & Machine on hand knit, hand crocheted fabric and with practice and some caution (the tip about using tissue or other tear away it excellent advice BTW)

But in any event, it sounds like there may well be design and fitting issues that would have been better address either in the original pattern or in the knitting.

I suspect that it will not matter at this point what technique is used to construct the finished garment, it is never going to be be satisfactory.

Wheat
trying not to step onto the soap box about technical editing or the lack thereof in far too many patterns on the market today.

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