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Unread 09-23-2013, 12:30 AM   #5
Evil Bishounen
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Gonna break this down into quotes for easier replying....

Originally Posted by ShinobiXikyu View Post
My biggest concern, is what technique do I use for stitching all this together? I've read that stretch velvet can be a real pain in the ass to sew, and usually requires a stabilizer or a walking foot, and I've heard both straight and zigzag stitch types used (and I didn't intend to make it actually stretchy, so I don't know what one is better).
Use a straight stitch. A zigzag stitch is only when you WANT stretch, because when you pull on that seam, the stitching will "straighten" out.

Now, if you're using a straight stitch in a direction where the fabric CAN stretch as you put it on and wear it, the stretching of the fabric can break the thread and the seam will pop open. But if this fabric is two-way stretch and you're not placing any seams along the stretch direction, you shouldn't be dealing with this problem much. If it does become an issue, you could reinforce the stitching. (There's that triple stretch stitch on a lot of machines that'd work for stuff like this.)

I'm honestly not even sure what a stabilizer is, as I haven't had to use it before (all the stretch I have worked with, went fine through my machine).
"Stabilizer" is something you apply to fabric to prevent it from stretching or buckling, and/or to reinforce it. It's different from interfacing; interfacing is meant to be permanent, and it's used to stiffen fabric or make it sturdier. Stabilizer may or may not be permanent - in fact, many types are removable.

Stabilizers are a very important thing when doing machine embroidery. A stabilizer is used as a backing to the fabric you want to embroider so that the fabric doesn't shift or pull in the hoop as the needle passes through it at high speeds, and so the tension of the stitching doesn't cinch or stretch the fabric and produce a buckling effect.

I personally have never used a stabilizer on a project that isn't embroidery or satin-stitching. But, it can be used in cases like preventing fabric from stretching while sewing. It's kind of an expensive way to deal with the issue, though. Good quality stabilizer is not cheap.

I don't have a walking foot or teflon foot on my home sewing machine and the usual foot tends to press down pretty hard, but I'm in fashion school and the worklab does have a machine with a walking foot, but only straight lockstitch.
I HIGHLY recommend getting a walking foot. If you work with any variety of textiles, it's something you need to have. I seriously use mine on at least half of the projects I do.

You don't need a teflon foot for stretch velvet. But you really should have a walking foot. It will allow you to feed the fabric properly while minimizing stretching, and you won't crush the hell out of the nap.

Oh, and as an extra that I could stand to know- am I dreaming at the thought of being able to press stretch velvet seams open or can it actually be done?
Nope. You can press stretch velvet. You need to use the synthetic setting on your iron so you don't melt the fabric. And you need to use a towel so you don't crush the nap.

Place a towel on your ironing board, and then place your velvet against the towel so that napped right side is against the towel. Then, press the seam allowance open like you would most other fabrics. If you want to protect the seam allowance nap too, you could put a second towel or a washcloth on top before you press down.
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