Freddy Sweater Part 1: Stripes and Machine Woes

I’ve been slowly working on the beginnings of a Freddy Krueger sweater for a friend’s daughter for Halloween.  I’m moving a bit more slowly than I would like, mostly because last week was crazy at work.  However, as of today, I can say most of the stripes have been sewn on, although not according to my original plan.

I was going to use this Tear Easy Lightweight Stabilizer stuff to make sure the two knit fabrics played nicely together.  But as I tested it out, I had a few issues.  First, it ripped a little too much.  In the picture below, you’ll see how it looked to sew the green stripe on the tear easy, and then tear the stabilizer off – this part worked well.  Then you’ll see the extra ripping that occurred – that did not go so well.

I am still glad I bought this stabilizer, and I am sure it will be useful to me on other projects down the road.  There were a couple other things that contributed to me not using the stabilizer.

1) First, I couldn’t see a way to stitch the stabilizer in that would (a) guarantee me no messy edges on the outside of the sweater, and (b) not require me to do extra steps.  I didn’t want to add white to the outside of the sweater in any way, and if I had to attach stabilizer to all the stripes and THEN attach all the stripes to the red fabric, I would be a very miserable seamstress indeed.

2) The stabilizer might restrict the wearer’s ability to put the sweater on.  The advantage of knits is that they are stretchy, and I didn’t want to lose that advantage by adding the stabilizer.

So, I resorted to my handy dandy tissue paper trick.  So far the only bad thing I can say about this is that the inside of the garment looks funny until it is washed (see below).

Let me backup a tiny bit and say that I did some very careful pinning and measuring using my green self-healing cutting mat to make sure that the stripes were evenly spaced and straight!  Although, once I got to the machine, the pins were kind of useless since the green knit stretched a bit naturally as I stitched.  They served as a very useful guide.

I did have some interesting issues with my machine while I was attaching the green stripes using my tissue paper trick.

1)  I was using Stitch 04, my standard zigzag stitch to tack down the edges of the appliqued stripes.  For some reason, my machine was occasionally skipping some of the zigs or zags.

From what I have read online, I might need to try a “stretch” needle, rather than a ball point or normal needle (I was using a ball point here).  Has anyone had a similar issue and know of a good fix?  I hope I don’t need to take my machine in to the shop … No matter what, the needle always moved as if it was doing a zigzag stitch, just sometimes it didn’t.  Very odd.

2)  I had some interesting catches happening every now and then as I sewed.  My project looked like this, immediately after one of them:

These catches were easy for Fred to fix, but they were annoying.  I thought maybe a thread tension issue, but none of the traditional signs were there.

All in all, I have attached stripes to the front and back pieces of the sweater.  I used the first piece I sewed as a guide when I was pinning the stripes on the second piece so that they would line up nicely, like below.

I have read up on good ways to attach a t-shirt like collar, which I think may be one of my next steps.  I am debating how to do the sleeve stripes.  Do I attach them now, before I put the sleeves on and run the risk of non-matching stripes?  Or do I attach the sleeves with a flat method and try to appropriately gauge where the stripes go before I close the sleeve?  I am leaning towards the second option, but please chime in if you have thoughts on this.

I am hoping to get this nearly done in the next week or so, as I have offered to sew an Inuyasha costume for my friend’s other daughter … time’s a ticking! 🙂

 

11 comments for “Freddy Sweater Part 1: Stripes and Machine Woes

  1. October 8, 2012 at 7:55 am

    This looks great so far! I think you’re right about the stretch needle, but I’ve never used one before either. For the sleeves, I think I’d go with option #2, and not just because I prefer to sew sleeves flat. It would drive me insane to do all that work and then not have the stripes more or less lined up with the rest of the sweater.

    By the way, I like your new layout. I’m still pondering mine.

     
    • jadesabre9
      October 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      Agreed – doing all that work to make the stripes even and such, it would suck if they don’t like up nicely when done.

       
  2. October 8, 2012 at 7:55 am

    This looks great so far! I think you’re right about the stretch needle, but I’ve never used one before either. For the sleeves, I think I’d go with option #2, and not just because I prefer to sew sleeves flat. It would drive me insane to do all that work and then not have the stripes more or less lined up with the rest of the sweater.

    By the way, I like your new layout. I’m still pondering mine.

     
    • jadesabre9
      October 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      Agreed – doing all that work to make the stripes even and such, it would suck if they don’t like up nicely when done.

       
  3. Jill F.
    October 8, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Looking awesome!! But I don’t think you need to worry about the collar part looking nice. His is all shredded and raveled anyway!! If it were me, I’d just lay a strip of fabric around the top edge and top-stitch it. The thing I have learned from years of sewing my kids’ Halloween costumes is that NOBODY is going to inspect your work. You can shortcut and Velcro and fusible-web it to death. 🙂 Your sleeve stripes can not line up and people will still ooo and ahh over the fact that a little girl is dressed up like Freddy Krueger. 🙂

     
    • jadesabre9
      October 8, 2012 at 5:30 pm

      Haha very true. And all the cutting and burning and what not that he is going to do to the sweater it probably won’t matter … but I still want to do it with a collar and cuffs, for the practice if nothing else.

       
  4. October 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Ok, educate me- i thought ballpoint needles were for stretch fabrics, what do i use them for?

     
  5. October 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Ok, educate me- i thought ballpoint needles were for stretch fabrics, what do i use them for?

     
  6. jadesabre9
    October 8, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Haha very true. And all the cutting and burning and what not that he is going to do to the sweater it probably won’t matter … but I still want to do it with a collar and cuffs, for the practice if nothing else.

     

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