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  1. Admin Staff MaulMaus's Avatar
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    Jun 11, 2006, 1:28 AM - Sewing With Zam Fabric #1

    I thought we should have a new thread to discuss cutting and sewing the Zam neoprene fabric to keep from confusing it with obtaining it through ZamIAm.

    To restate what I wrote on another thread:

    According to "More Fabric Savvy: A Quick Resource Guide to Selecting and Sewing Fabric" by Sandra Betzina Pgs. 184-185 - "Wetsuit" Sold under the brand names Neoprene ... [it] has a foam layer between Lycra layers.

    Sewing Tips: Let fabric feed into machine naturally. A roller foot is the answer to sewing on foam-backed fabrics.

    Layout: "Without nap" layout, single thickness.

    Cutting: Larger rotary cutter or scissors.

    Thread: Nylon.

    Needle: 75/11 HS (Picture shows "Stretch" needles)

    Stitch length: Tiny zigzag (0.5 mm width, 2.5 mm length)

    Presser Foot: Roller foot.

    Seam Finish: Serging the seams with a flat-lock stich is your best choice since bulk is eliminated. If you don't own a serger, use the overcasting foot to finish edges that do not curl.

    Hem: Turn up 3/4" hem, machine stitch with triple zigzag stitch for most stretch.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I pulled out my fabric from the first run that ZIA did and found it had more stretch to it than I remembered. In fact it has almost enough stretch for my t-shirt pattern sized for stretch knits only, which I had planned to modify for the top pattern. I cut a couple pieces off the end to test some different stitches as well.

    Note: I used red polyester thread so the stitches could be more easily seen, but I used no special needles or feet on my machine. I will probably invest in a roller-foot before sewing my costume though!



    This is a closeup of the first piece I did using a straight stitch (2.5mm length) ... The first seam went smoothly, but the second one was more difficult. It did not want to go straight and tension will need to be adjusted, at least on my machine, if I use a straight stitch.



    This is a closeup of the zigzag stitch I used (The one recommened 0.5mm wide, 2.5mm length). The seam isn't nearly as noticeable and the sample has more stretch to it as well, in both directions. It really doesn't look "zigzag," and appears more "straight" to me than my straight seam!
  2. Iceheart's Avatar
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    Jun 11, 2006, 10:59 AM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #2

    Did you have a problem with the thickness of the fabric on your machine, MaulMaus? And if not, what kind of machine do you have?

    Also, yes. Get a walking/roller foot. It is a MUST for costumers. I use mine on satins, velvets, heavy cottons, everything that doesn't feed evenly, and it's made a world of difference. Just be careful with it on really delicate fabrics, because it can snag if you're not paying attention.

    Julie
  3. Admin Staff MaulMaus's Avatar
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    Jun 11, 2006, 1:30 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #3

    I have a Pfaff machine which has a built in walking-foot (which I love!!!). I've never had a problem getting material to feed evenly with it ... ever. In fact I took the Zam fabric sample with me when I went sewing machine shopping figuring it would be the "ultimate test" - some of the other machines didn't do so well with it... skipped stitches etc. The Pfaff flew through it like butter... perfect stitches. (My mom's old Penney's machine couldn't sew straight through cotton sheeting! )

    I've never had a problem with bulky fabric. As long as I could get it under the presser foot, I could sew through it. The test seam went through three layers w/o a problem. Keeping the fabric pulled to the side tightly w/o pins was a bigger problem for me, hopefully it will be easier on the garment pieces rather than the dinky test pieces. That and I need to practice welt seams... Lots of muslins and lots of practice....

    Honestly, I think any good home machine can sew through this with 1) A roller-foot 2) A large supply of stretch needles that are changed often 3) A large dose of patience and time to practice.

    Also... here are the full-sized pics of the seam samples...



    The straight stitch sample ...



    The zigzag stitch sample ...
    Last edited by MaulMaus; Jun 11, 2006 at 1:57 PM. Reason: Edit url
  4. kimncris's Avatar
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    Jun 11, 2006, 2:34 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #4

    Thanks for posting your experiments! It is unlikely I'll end up sewing my own, but this will be good info to pass along to a seamstress. (My sewing skillz extend to window shades, and that's about it! )

    Kim
  5. Zam I Am's Avatar
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    Jun 13, 2006, 11:35 AM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #5

    Actually, I didn't think about zig zag with it being tighter... I had my seamstress sew that. I had to sew the button holes myself, but that's about it. So, you guys would be better at describing stuff than me. Great look MM!
  6. Zam I Am's Avatar
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    Oct 24, 2006, 5:31 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #6

    Quote "Maulmaus" said:
    http://www.simplicity.com/index.cfm?...eamBasics.html
    Topstitched Seam
    This treatment accents the seamlines. It also helps keep the seam allowances flat—a great benefit when you’re working with crease-resistant fabrics. You can use a straight, zigzag or decorative stitch for the topstitching, whichever you prefer.

    With right sides together, stitch a plain seam with a regulation straight stitch. Open fabric so that right sides of fabric are no longer together; press fabric and seam allowances open.

    Working on the outside of the sample (right side of fabric up), topstitch on both sides of the seam 1/8" to 1/4"(3mm to 6mm) from the seamline, stitching through both fabric and seam allowances.

    As an alternative:
    With right sides together, stitch a plain seam with a regulation straight stitch. Open fabric so that right sides of fabric are no longer together; press seam allowances to one side.

    Working on the outside of the sample (right side of fabric up), topstitch on one sides of the seam 1/8" to 1/4"(3mm to 6mm) from the seamline, stitching through all layers (1 layer of fabric, both layers of seam allowances).
    I think my seamstress used this alternate method without the "welt" the cutting of the one seam allowance.After the first straight stitch on the wrong sides, and opening up the seam allowances, She sewed the second stitch through 3 pieces with the seam allowances pressed to one side. Lastly, she serged the two seam allowances together at the edge to prevent the unraveling of both seam allowances.

    I guess I will mimick that with my swatches... As, I don't quite understand the double welt seam, and I wouldn't like one edge exposed to possible unraveling, although the likely hood with the glue would keep any unraveling to a minimum.
  7. Zam I Am's Avatar
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    Oct 24, 2006, 5:47 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #7

    Actually, I don't know if my sewing machine does a serge stitch,I might do a regular welt. MM, you sewed through 3 pieces right? like the two seam allowances pressed to the side plus the top one piece?
  8. FANGS's Avatar
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    Oct 25, 2006, 12:28 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #8

    I have a walking foot and a roller foot. I haven't used the walking foot yet but the roller foot was a huge help when I was sewing with PVC. This is all looking very exciting!
  9. Admin Staff MaulMaus's Avatar
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    Oct 25, 2006, 1:09 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #9

    ZIA: Yep - I sewed through three pieces of fabric on my machine and didn't have a problem. I sewed a regular seam - then stretched it to the side and sewed another seam through the seam allowance (I didn't trim the middle layer like I "should" have). I honestly don't know how that would work with this fabric being so thick and bulky... I'll have to try it to see.

    I would really, strongly recommend getting a roller foot for your machine even with the double/laminated fabric.

    Sorry I haven't had time to get the scan to you yet.. I've been slammed with work and real life again...
  10. Zam I Am's Avatar
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    Oct 25, 2006, 3:00 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #10

    Quote MaulMaus said: View Post
    ZIA: Yep - I sewed through three pieces of fabric on my machine and didn't have a problem. I sewed a regular seam - then stretched it to the side and sewed another seam through the seam allowance (I didn't trim the middle layer like I "should" have). I honestly don't know how that would work with this fabric being so thick and bulky... I'll have to try it to see.

    I would really, strongly recommend getting a roller foot for your machine even with the double/laminated fabric.

    Sorry I haven't had time to get the scan to you yet.. I've been slammed with work and real life again...
    No problemo. I did a test on some scraps of moleskin. I have a walking foot, not sure the difference between that and the rolling foot. I will be putting a seam through the 3 layers ~ that's like what my seamstress did, and try to figure out if I can do the serging type thing on the 2 seam allowances.

    Your simplicity link is great!
  11. FANGS's Avatar
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    Oct 25, 2006, 3:24 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #11

    With my machine, which is a Singer, I have both. The walking foot is this huge contraption (okay....huge for a sewing foot but not really all that huge) and although it was explained to me how it works, I couldn't tell you how now since I haven't used it. The rolling foot actually has a roller in the foot that helps slide the foot over the fabric if the fabric is difficult. I had gone in asking for a teflon foot to work with PVC and was given the rolling foot which worked like a charm.
  12. Zam I Am's Avatar
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    Oct 25, 2006, 9:50 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #12

    Quote BFett333 said: View Post
    With my machine, which is a Singer, I have both. The walking foot is this huge contraption (okay....huge for a sewing foot but not really all that huge) and although it was explained to me how it works, I couldn't tell you how now since I haven't used it.
    Actually, I have been using the HUGE'er walking foot for everything, just cause I think it about covers half of the things you need to sew (I think) without changing the sewing foots/feet? I love that big foot But I don't know if i have a rolling foot, and don't know the difference on how and what it sews in comparison to the roller. I have a kenmore. I've decided not to do that serging stitch, just the same as what MM and that alternate topstitch have shown above.
  13. FANGS's Avatar
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    Oct 26, 2006, 10:43 AM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #13

    Quote Zam I Am said: View Post
    Actually, I have been using the HUGE'er walking foot for everything, just cause I think it about covers half of the things you need to sew (I think) without changing the sewing foots/feet? I love that big foot But I don't know if i have a rolling foot, and don't know the difference on how and what it sews in comparison to the roller. I have a kenmore. I've decided not to do that serging stitch, just the same as what MM and that alternate topstitch have shown above.
    Hmmmmm......perhaps I'll have to put that bad boy on and give it a shot. Gawd knows I've got a few projects kicking around to work on....like about 14 of them. Gak! Thanks for the info, ZIA. Always good to learn new things and try out new feets...foots...stuff....
  14. Admin Staff MaulMaus's Avatar
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    Oct 28, 2006, 1:05 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #14

    ZIA: All I can say is wait until the Tatertot is older and going to school and there are problems with the school with the other kids at the school etc. Gawd I love P/T conference time... I'm stressed!

    Anyway... I've never used a walking foot attachment on a machine (my Mom's old machine had one, but I wasn't brave enough to try it ). My own machine has one built in (The main reason I bought it). The roller foot is the same principle - it helps feed both/all layers of fabric evenly. The roller works using rollers (duh ) and friction (and pins?) to feed the fabric - I would assume you would need to watch carefully for puckering and or slippage. The walking foot essentiall adds another set of "teeth" to the upper layer of fabric and feeds it through at the exact same rate as the bottom layer.

    I think the only way to know which works better is to try with the actual fabric. I would think a roller foot would be the least expensive route in any case though.
  15. Zam I Am's Avatar
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    Oct 28, 2006, 5:45 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #15

    Quote MaulMaus said: View Post
    ZIA: All I can say is wait until the Tatertot is older and going to school and there are problems with the school with the other kids at the school etc. Gawd I love P/T conference time... I'm stressed!

    I think the only way to know which works better is to try with the actual fabric. I would think a roller foot would be the least expensive route in any case though.
    Yeh, I know, right now it's a lot easier than usual for me cause I don't have my other full time job anymore, but I do watch my brother's kids on occasion, and I still teach and have to plan recitals etc. So, yeah, I am still quite busy with real life, not even mentioning holidays, birthdays, weddings and funerals... I consider it a major FEAT to post more than once a week

    Yeah, the walking foot did cost me a lot, but, I spent that money 3? years ago. And, it does zig zag, and many other stitches. The serging stitch, it doesn't do, so... not all, but it does cover lots of "regular" stitches. So, I try not to change it out if I don't have to~ anything to save time.
  16. Zam I Am's Avatar
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    Nov 6, 2006, 3:09 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #16

    I was looking at image 17 of Kaydee's pics, http://imageevent.com/kay_dee/fidm/b...v8it673.lion_s
    and noticed that they sewed something that looks a little different than how my seamstress sewed mine on the inner thigh, which could save you all from having to sew through four pieces = 12 layers. If it's all around two, then you could get away with less needle breakage with the neoprene depending on how you make your pattern I think**

    It looks like a 1/8" seam allowance instead of a 1/4 inch welt seam on the inner thigh (that's what my costume has). I dunno, just trying to help those without industrial sewing machines, if the run decides to stay neoprene instead of double fabric.

    Like I said, I can't decide on doublefabric vs neoprene. I have an inkling that it would cause you all to pattern it out to wear unitards if it was doublefabric. In some promo shots, the wrinkling in the arm doesn't seem right for it to be tricot neoprene. But in other promo shots, the double fabric doesn't seem to have enough bulk. :/
  17. Nov 7, 2006, 1:07 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #17

    Not to step on anyones toes here.
    I was reading this and thought maybe I could add a bit of sewing input. The walking foot is great for sewing multi layers of different textiles together. For example in quilting when you have a batting layer between two cotton layers. It helps to keep the layers all on an even keel so to speak. So there is no slippage and at the end they are all even.
    The roller foot which I also discovered whilst trying to sew vinyl is a great foot for anything that tends to not glide smoothly. PVC, rubber, vinyl and even fleece sometimes.
    It is much better than the teflon foot imo but for for the Zam fabric if it is neoprene rubber backed I would use the walking foot for several layers going together. But if only a couple layers then the roller would work fine too.
    I would definatly try using a ball point needle or a finer leather needle even on the bulk of layers together. Try maybe a cutting point needle as well its for coated and synthetic fabrics. I always put a new needle in after 8 hours of use.
    Just test run different stitch lengths and a stretch zig zag is helpful for where you need a bit of stretch in your seam. IE: arm holes or your back to front inseam. Also you can cut down on bulk by doing flat joined seams too.
    I have a Bernina 153 so alot of the stitches are standard on my machine sorry to confuse you if I did.
    If you guys ever need to bounce seamstress help, just drop me a pm, I'd be happy to help.
    Christi
  18. Zam I Am's Avatar
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    Nov 7, 2006, 2:23 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #18

    crazy4BobaFett Thank you so much for all your imput ~ you aren't stepping on any one's "Foot" at all! I think half of us are learning as we go so, any pearls of wisdom on sewing is much appreciated. The zam fabric isn't rubber backed, it's a tricot, so there is a nylon backing. So my guess is both feet would work. My seamstress used a jersey point needle. lots of rubbing alcohol and cotton balls on the side, because there is a lot of glue that gets on the needle from the lamination.
  19. Admin Staff MaulMaus's Avatar
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    Nov 7, 2006, 4:22 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #19

    Yep... I noticed that seam before at FIDM and wondered a bit about it myself. I'm thinking something didn't line up properly Would it be possible to get a picture of your suit in the same position ZIA?

    I'm wondering about the thickness of the thigh pieces there... they don't look like they are the same thickness as the rest of the fabric. I'm wondering if they aren't just the top fabric sewn onto the regular neoprene fabric? Decoration rather than part of the pattern itself?

    Crazy4BobaFett - No toes stepped on here! This is one big learning experience for us all! Good advice on the needles! Nothing worse than a dull needle when trying to work on a sewing project! Not worth the misery and mistakes!
  20. FANGS's Avatar
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    Nov 7, 2006, 5:05 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #20

    Great info, Crazy4BobaFett!

    Hadn't thought about the glue...but of course it would be there. I've sewn a couple of things with those glued on sequins and talk about gumming up the needle. Never thought of the rubbing alcohol so thanks for that tip, ZIA!
  21. Nov 9, 2006, 1:58 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #21

    Glad it was of some help. Glue... oh wow, yeah I can relate. Nice that the fabric is backed with the knit I'm sure it is alot more comfortable that way. I have a latex shirt I made for a tomb raider costume and it does not breath at all. Good luck girls and I'd love to see the results!!
  22. The Sniffer is offline The Sniffer
    Nov 10, 2006, 11:40 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #22

    Quote crazy4BobaFett said: View Post
    Glad it was of some help. Glue... oh wow, yeah I can relate. Nice that the fabric is backed with the knit I'm sure it is alot more comfortable that way. I have a latex shirt I made for a tomb raider costume and it does not breath at all. Good luck girls and I'd love to see the results!!
    Aaah the fabric of our lives! Nothing like getting glimpes of a Vixens threads!

    Very nice indeed my princess, Very nice!
  23. Zam I Am's Avatar
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    Nov 13, 2006, 1:08 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #23

    Man, I deleted my last post. Someone suggested for those trying out patterns, before you get to the tricot fabric, to use stretch denim as your muslin test. That way you can get started on patterning. Um... pic of my welted seam .. let's see... See how she had a welt seam and she stopped short to avoid where the 4 pieces would come together, and the real pants were top stitched and there is a different 1/8" seam on the inner thigh in Kaydee's shot 17?


    Maulmaus also pointed out at FIDM when we were at the hotel that my seamstress put the seam allowances on the wrong side of the welt, that's why my inner thigh Ll Ll welts look indented rather than bulge out. Another patterning difference.
    Last edited by Zam I Am; Nov 13, 2006 at 1:17 PM.
  24. The Sniffer is offline The Sniffer
    Nov 17, 2006, 8:34 PM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #24

    The Sniffer has found a new Home. Perhaps he stray away from the Sarlaac Pitt and reside among the Zam croud!

    Jokes set aside though!

    Zam! You did a phenominal job with the trousers. Very good craftsmanship indeed!
  25. Zam I Am's Avatar
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    Nov 18, 2006, 9:30 AM - Re: Sewing With Zam Fabric #25

    Sniff, my seamstress did that~ I only did the button holes for the suspenders and the snap for the leg greeblie. I did help with the patterning, but other than that, she's the one who really made the final pattern and the sewing. I can't take credit for that.

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