The Sewing Place

Hemming a ribbed knit with a coverstitch machine

Helen M

Hemming a ribbed knit with a coverstitch machine
« on: September 29, 2019, 19:47:43 PM »
Have any of the coverstitch machinists on TSP successfully managed to hem a ribbed knit?

I'm trying to shorten sleeves on a tunic sweater and not having very good results. I'm not too bothered if it isn't a success but I'm sick of the sleeves rolling down when I wear the sweater!

I have a Janome 1000CPX and I've set the diff feed to 1.5 and stitch length to 3. I've also lessened the foot pressure.

First sleeve flared out but second one was a lot better after I'd adjusted the diff feed and stitch length. I also think I need to narrow the bottom of the sleeve with the overlocker which may also help

Are you better with a shorter stitch with something like this?
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 18:15:06 PM by Helen M »
Stash Busting 2020
Goal: 35 metres
So far: 3 metres

jk1066

Re: Hemming a ribbed knit with a coverstitch machine
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2019, 14:48:28 PM »
Haven't any real help for you except that you may get good advice if you join 'Janome Elna Coverstitch Support Group' this is a facebook group but I've found some really good tips on there for using my coverstitch machine . Worth joining.
Hope this helps Judy

Bodgeitandscarper

Re: Hemming a ribbed knit with a coverstitch machine
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2019, 15:45:33 PM »
For anything that may stretch out too much when stitching, I use wondertape to temporarily stabilise it.  Works a treat while stitching, then washes away.

Helen M

Re: Hemming a ribbed knit with a coverstitch machine
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2019, 18:19:07 PM »
@Bodgeitandscarper do you put the tape on the stitching line or the fold line? It's more that the actual edge splays out.

I've washed the garment to see if the sleeve comes in but I think it's just not meant to be done. I think a knit fabric handles differently to a machine knitted garment somehow as I've hemmed ribbed knit fabric successfully.
Stash Busting 2020
Goal: 35 metres
So far: 3 metres

Bodgeitandscarper

Re: Hemming a ribbed knit with a coverstitch machine
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2019, 20:29:47 PM »
I put the tape along the edge of the fabric then turn it up to were required, so the tape is where you're stitching.

Stitchalot

Re: Hemming a ribbed knit with a coverstitch machine
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2019, 08:03:14 AM »
Are you trying to stitch on or near the edge of the turned under fabric? If it is mainly the edge which is splaying badly and you can afford to, turn up a fairly wide hem allowance. Then stitch reasonably close to the fold and after stitching, trim away the excess, thus avoiding the edge.

If you think the foot is splaying out the ribbing, You could try stitching with a narrow strip of tissue paper under the foot and ripping it away afterwards.

If I didn’t  have much hem allowance to play with, I might try overlocking the edge with differential feed first.
Just some food for thought - good luck!


wrenkins

Re: Hemming a ribbed knit with a coverstitch machine
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2019, 08:30:23 AM »
@Bodgeitandscarper what kind of tape is that? When I search wondertape the only thing I find is hemming stuff which doesn't wash away.
can you tell I'm new to this?  :[
Fashion fades, style is forever!

Ploshkin

Re: Hemming a ribbed knit with a coverstitch machine
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2019, 08:40:42 AM »
@wrenkins  do you use Amazon?  That's where I got some.   Put Wash Away Wonder Tape in the search. 
Life's too short for ironing.


wrenkins

Re: Hemming a ribbed knit with a coverstitch machine
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2019, 10:05:51 AM »
Thanks @Ploshkin and @Greybird. In my basket.  0_0
Fashion fades, style is forever!

Ohsewsimple

Re: Hemming a ribbed knit with a coverstitch machine
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2019, 11:45:06 AM »
Wouldn’t be without this stuff.  It’s great for putting in zips. 

HenriettaMaria

Re: Hemming a ribbed knit with a coverstitch machine
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2019, 12:49:26 PM »
Would putting a horizontal tuck in the sleeve to mimic where a cuff joins the main sleeve work?  Then it's just a simple overlocking job rather than cover stitching a new hem.

Bodgeitandscarper

Re: Hemming a ribbed knit with a coverstitch machine
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2019, 16:07:19 PM »
Sorry @wrenkins I'm not ignoring you, just been busy all day and not seen this until now.  But fortunately the other have helped you.
I love wondertape, use it for all sorts, as Ohsewsimple says, it's great for zips, especially on stretch fabrics.

Helen M

Re: Hemming a ribbed knit with a coverstitch machine
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2019, 16:12:30 PM »
I put the tape along the edge of the fabric then turn it up to were required, so the tape is where you're stitching.

@Bodgeitandscarper I thought that would be the case but just wanted to check!

@HenriettaMaria there isn't a cuff on the garment, it's a skinny rib tunic sweater.
Stash Busting 2020
Goal: 35 metres
So far: 3 metres

Helen M

Re: Hemming a ribbed knit with a coverstitch machine
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2019, 16:29:09 PM »
Are you trying to stitch on or near the edge of the turned under fabric? If it is mainly the edge which is splaying badly and you can afford to, turn up a fairly wide hem allowance. Then stitch reasonably close to the fold and after stitching, trim away the excess, thus avoiding the edge.

If you think the foot is splaying out the ribbing, You could try stitching with a narrow strip of tissue paper under the foot and ripping it away afterwards.

If I didn’t  have much hem allowance to play with, I might try overlocking the edge with differential feed first.
Just some food for thought - good luck!

@Stitchalot I was aiming for a 5/8" turning having already overlocked the edge using the diff feed to avoid any lettuce leaf effect as I prefer to coverstitch fully on double thickness and trim away afterwards on most garments. Wasn't sure how this would handle on a raw edge so overlocked. I don't think that is causing the problem. I did wonder if I should have gone for a 1" turn.

I think the problem is that it's a soft and quite stretchy sweater and it's not suited to being shortened!  I've had it for a while and if I turn back the cuff when wearing it the hem splays out and in general the sweater gives quite a bit although usually goes back in on washing.

I'm going to unpick (I must be mad as it's a charcoal grey and a devil to see on a dark day!) and see how it behaves with just the overlocked edge although still too long. Then I may trim to the correct length and have a go at using either a narrow hem or rolled hem, as I recall a friend doing that on a skinny ribbed sweater where the sleeves were too long. If that doesn't work it's a bin job but at least I've tried!
Stash Busting 2020
Goal: 35 metres
So far: 3 metres