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Help: slippery bathing suit material

Allyson | Posted in General Discussion on


I am new to the Threads discussion forum and I am so excited to have a virtual “world” of experts at my fingertips to ask for advice!  Here goes my first question.

I am sewing a children’s bathing suit (it looks like a full body wet suit) on my new Bernina 1300 serger.  The type of fabric I am using is VERY slippery and sewing 2 layers together without slippage is a real challenge.   I tried using little pieces of “Wonder Tape” to hold the fabric in place at various points across the seam being sewn.  This is working but is taking a LOT of time to place the tape.   Does anyone have any other “quicker” ideas?    Has anyone worked with “Solvy?”

BTW – I am pretty certain that changing the “differential” on my serger won’t help …. but am open to suggestions. 

THanks in advance for your ideas.



  1. carolfresia | | #1

    I made some UV suits for my kids this spring (two-piece bathing suits with sleeves and legs), using the same machine as yours, and with that squirrely nylon-lycra blend fabric, and had the same problem as you. I ended up just going slowly, arranging the fabric as I went along; the turtleneck collars are not the best I've ever attached, either. Have you pinned? I know pins are not recommended on the serger, but a few pins just to keep the seams lined up probably wouldn't hurt if you're very careful to pull them out before they reach the knife.

    I usually really like a narrow, 1/4-inch seam allowance when I'm serging knits, but sometimes it's easier if the seam allowance is wider--you have a little more room to manoeuver and the raw edges don't slide out from under the needles quite as easily.


    1. Allyson | | #2

      Thanks for sharing your experience Carol.  I am learning that there are various types of "nylon lycra" ... some are much more user friendly than others.  I have made these suits numerous times (with nylon lycra) and they sewed up like a charm.  The print I'm using on the current suit giving me challenges seems to have a slippery sheen to it .... thus all the slippage.

      I did play around with my differential last night ... and still found that leaving it on N was the best way to go.   This will take some patience (thank goodness it's for a toddler so the garment is small!).

      1. Alexandra | | #3

        GLUE is your answer.  Glue in the seam allowance and it will wash away when you are finished the garment.  Just cheap stationary glue will work.  (Crossing fingers that this will post as I have been having trouble all day)

  2. SewTruTerry | | #4

    This is a time when I would use hand needle and thread to baste those layers together.  This accomplishes several things at once.  For one although it may seem like you are taking extra time by basteing it but will save you in the long run on the serger and get better results.  Also you won't have to worry about the pins mucking up the serger. And third reason you will keep your sanity and will be proud to announce that you made it yourself.

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