2 machines later……

In my last post I shared with you my latest sewing project, a pair of leggings for running. Sewing exercise gear involves learning how to deal with extreme stretch. My last sewing item was jersey which was stretchy enough but spandex is a whole new ball game. I have read so much about it on the web. Apparently I need an over-locker which I don’t have and have no intention of getting either. (Waaaay too expensive!) I could have used the zig-zag stitch on my simple but trusted machine …….. but then I found out that I could borrow an old, but top of the range machine.


Just look at all those buttons!

Just look at all those buttons!

This machine is amazing. It can even embroider words! I spent a happy time reading the instruction book and generally acquainting myself with it. Yesterday I sat down to thread the bobbin and had just worked out how to thread it when smoke began to pour out of it. I hadn’t even started stitching anything yet. Arrggghhhh.

It was not a pleasant experience. I turned it off and unplugged it. There was still smoke pouring out of it. In the end I decided to put in the garden – just in case! (I had visions of it bursting into flames!)

Talk about being gutted. When things go wrong I tend to tell my parents. Luckily they are very nice and understanding. My Mum said that it wasn’t my fault (but it couldn’t have been anyone else!) and even volunteered to lend me her machine (very brave!).

Machine number 2!

Machine number 2!

Less buttons but still lots of stitches and very shiny. I spent another lovely afternoon acquainting myself with this machine, trying out all the stitches to find the perfect one for my leggings. I decided to use a bobbin that was already loaded to prevent a re-occurrence of the last time and finally settled on a stretchy straight stitch. Setting it all up for ‘the real thing’ went without incident. After about an hour I ended up with:

Look - the leggings are beginning to take shape.

Look – the leggings are beginning to take shape.

A long way from being done but they are definitely on their way. I shall be getting the original machine looked at but for now I am happy with the one I have borrowed. Fingers crossed I will not blow this one up! (In case you are wondering, yes I have told the people whose machine I borrowed (my brother) and he just laughed. Phew!


23 thoughts on “2 machines later……

  1. travellinghopefully

    I’m well impressed with this project! Have you tried using a twin needle on the stretchy stuff? It’s good with that sort of fabric and if you can get your seam lined up right, you can kind of fake it looking overlocked.

    1. jodiebodie

      I was trying to work on something stretchy this week too and noticed that the twin needle was called a “twin stretch” needle but I don’t know how to use it. What stitch would need to go with it? Is it only used to overlock/overcast the edges or can it be used for hemming too?
      I am not very experienced with sewing so any advice about how to approach stretch fabrics would be appreciated.

      1. knitnrun4sanity Post author

        Not sure yet. I have yet to use a twin needle, indeed only learnt if their existence a week ago! I think I may have a go at the hem. From what I understand you can use most zig zag stitches with a twin needle. Don’t quote me though!

        1. jodiebodie

          Do you mind if I link back to your post here from my blog? I will be blogging about my adventure with stretch fabric and I thought it would be nice to link to yours too because of the coincidence. Maybe between our blog posts we will uncover the mystery of a twin stretch needle! πŸ™‚

  2. *Wisher*

    emmm.. was thinking about the smoke too.. could it be some motor thingy in the machine that was not working.. :/
    glad mom comes with a sewing machine.. and the pants looked so professionally made.. πŸ˜‰

  3. jodiebodie

    What a coincidence that you should post about sewing stretch fabrics – this week I was trying to do the same except I was trying to turn a pair of leggings into bike shorts. It took me a number of tests or practices with the cut off legs to find a good stitch setting to make a neat overcast and hem. In the end I settled for a stretch zigzag for overcasting and the hem.
    Shame about the burning machine. My grandfather was a tailor and he was always warning everybody not to leave you machine switched on for too long without having it running (sewing something) because the motors tend to overheat quickly. Perhaps yours had extra dust in it if it hadn’t been used for a while – that would interfere with the ventilation and also provide something to burn. What a shame. I hope your brother’s machine is insured and easily fixed. How fortunate your mum could come to the rescue. Good ol’ mums, hey? πŸ˜‰
    Your garment looks great. I am impressed. Thank you for sharing your process so that others (like me) may learn from you. Good luck! πŸ™‚

    1. knitnrun4sanity Post author

      I too wondered if it was dust in the motor. Who knows? I will have to find someone to look at it. As for the tips, I am not sure I gave many except not to blow your machine up! Thanks for taking the time to comment. It made me smile.x


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