“Overcoming Obstacles”

Since our cold snap arrived this past week I have been wearing my favorite jacket.  It’s warm and comfortable…. and about 10 years old.  Though it’s great for a walk in the neighborhood, it’s no longer so pretty going places where I’d like to look nice.  I decided to use some very thick sweatshirt fleece to make myself a new casual jacket and, since the material was sweatshirt fleece, I decided to use a twin needle for all the top stitching, as is found in ready to wear sweatshirts.  I set up my machine for twin needle sewing and chose a 6.0/90 needle for the job.

Anytime a twin needle is used a raised seam is produced. This is the seam from the front of the fabric.
This is the same seam from the wrong side of the fabric. A raised seam is produced by the zig-zag stitch that joins the two rows of stitching together.

(If you have forgotten how to set up your machine for using twin needles, please see my June 6, 2018 blog entry or your machine’s manual.)  I made all the necessary changes in my Settings Menu and began my first top stitching using my Interchangeable Dual Feed foot.  The foot would not budge on the top of the fabric!  I had lowered my presser foot pressure and had set everything up correctly, so what was the problem?  It turns out the plastic “feet” on the bottom of the “walking” foot that are supposed to keep the top and bottom layers of fabric moving together, were catching and getting snagged on the fashion side of the sweatshirt fleece.  The answer?  I used two scrap pieces of tear away stabilizer, placing each piece under each side of the foot so the plastic teeth could interact with the stabilizer instead of with the sweatshirt fleece.

The stabilizer kept the plastic “walking” feet of the foot from getting snagged on the fabric.
When top stitching each seam, I kept the red mark in the middle of the foot on the line of the seam. This meant each needle ran a scant 1/8″ away from the seam on both sides.

I used tear away stabilizer in case I happened to inadvertently sew over it; I could just tear it away from the stitch with no harm done and no using the seam ripper! All I had to do now was to lower the speed of my machine, which is a good idea anytime you are using twin needles, and keep my eye on the seam, repositioning the pieces of stabilizer as I went along.  The jacket is not quite finished:  it still needs side seams, a hem and elastic around the wrists of the sleeves, but I’m pretty pleased so far.  May your sewing by obstacle free this week! 

There’s still a way to go before I finish, but I like the way the raised seams show up on the jacket.
This is a little closer so you can see more detail.
Okay, okay! That’s close enough! Happy sewing!