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Old 11-20-2006, 03:28 PM   #1
Grafting the Toe
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Using a sewing machine for seaming.
I have recently been given a sewing machine and I was thinking that I would love to use it to seam my sweaters. Doesn anyone else do this? I am not talking about a serger. That cuts fabric as you hem/seam. I am talking about using a machine instead of hand seaming.

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Old 11-20-2006, 03:39 PM   #2
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Knitting is a lot thicker than regular fabric, so that might be a consideration. I don't sew much, but I hemmed some jeans once and I had to get a special doohickey to be able to go over the thick parts. People do use sewing machines for steeking, though, so it must be possible. Oh wait -- I think for steeking, you'd only be going over one layer to reinforce the cut edge, maybe? It might be harder to sew two layers together.

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Old 11-20-2006, 03:47 PM   #3
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I wouldn't try it. It would be too thick. As someone who could sew before I could knit I have given it some thought but wouldn't try it. A new heavy duty fancy maching might be able to manage it but I don't think the end result would look as nice as seaming, seaming looks like knitting, not two peices of fabric joined together.
I know a machine is used when putting in steeks but then one is only stitching through one layer of knitting not two. Also the seam is used as a temporary hold, it doesn't stay in once the garment is finished. The sewing thread may not be strong enough to hold yarn in a sturdy seam.
Also the bobbin mechanism picks up a great deal of lint just sewing regular fabric, it could be worse with sewing yarn. Or if it is too thick for the machine it could foul up the machine's tension.

Those are my thoughts on the matter. But someone else may have a different opinion.
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Old 11-20-2006, 04:51 PM   #4
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I sew pretty regularly, and I'd say that if you sew the side seams of a handknit garment, it could really affect the drape of the sweater. This is because the machine stitches are much closer together, therefore the sweater wouldn't be able to hang as freely from the sides as it does elsewhere. Also, the stitches made with a machine, in a machine stitched handknit garment, may not be strong enough to support the weight so they might break through wearing. The side seams would also be pretty visible because they wouldn't be as loose as when you hand seam them.

I've never sewn a handknit garment before, but this is what I believe would happen. I think it would also depend on the weight of the yarn of the sweater.

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