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Unread 11-08-2014, 09:40 PM   #1
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Fabric Issues

So I have a question about fabrics- I'm pretty new to all of this!
I got some stretchy sports type of fabric from my local JoAnne's and it worked pretty well, but it sort of ran like a pair of stockings would in a couple of places and I had to stop it with glue. Is there a particular type that will give but won't do this? Is it just because I bought the lesser expensive stuff?
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Unread 11-08-2014, 09:56 PM   #2
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I would suggest getting high quality polyester thread because that will work far better then glue for this.
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Unread 11-10-2014, 07:55 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply- I did use a polyester thread to sew it, but a few places that caught while the costumes were in use ran almost like a pair of stockings would. I wasn't sure if this is just a common problem in all types of stretch or if I just chose the wrong fabric. I've only sewed with basic cottons/fleece prior to these superhero costumes. Thx!
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Unread 11-10-2014, 08:31 AM   #4
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There are also sewing machine needles call ballpoints designed to slip off the side of a thread it comes down on, rather than slicing through it that are supposed to help you reduce the number of "runs" (what I call them too) you make when sewing.

If you think you like sewing so much you're going to expand your toolchest, you might look into spending a couple hundred dollars on a serger; they are great for knits and awesome for other kinds of seam binding. I don't know the science of why they are great for knits, I just know that in my own life, they work great on fabrics from spandex to terrycloth cotton.
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Unread 11-10-2014, 08:13 PM   #5
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If you need a stretch, then yes, there is a major difference in quality when it comes to price. The $20/yard performance lycra is that expensive for a reason, and for once it's not useless brand marketing or artificially inflated prices.

Finding the correct fabric for the purpose intended is part and parcel of the learning process of becoming a better sewer, but don't discount sewing method as well. Finishing off seams with a zig-zag (if you don't have a serger) is a good technique to get into the habit of using. But if the runs in the stretch fabric happen in the middle of the grain and not at the seam, then it's more likely the quality of the fabric than the methodology. Though, lemuries is right and it might also be equipment failure - a dull or burred needle can cause snags in any fabric, which in turn will unravel further/faster in a lower-quality fabric.
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