Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

problem sewing on this fabric

fabricholic | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I am having trouble sewing down a waistband casing on my skirt. The material is kind of like challis and also, the lining. It keeps getting stuck. Something is hanging. I have switched to ball point needle, thinking that it was getting caught on the challis. I don’t know what else to do. Any suggestions? I have cleaned out the bobbin casing very good.


  1. JeanM | | #1

    Are you able to change the pressure?  Have you tried a walking foot?

    Some people use a thin tear-away between the fabric and plate, then just tear it away after the seam is sewn.

    1. fabricholic | | #2

      No, but I think I know why I am having trouble. It just occurred to me. I used Sobo glue to glue the lining to the skirt on the top and since I folded it over to make the casing, I am probably sewing where the glue is. I guess that is the problem. I guess I can slip stitch it by hand, but I think I will have trouble getting the stitches I have already sewn, out of the material. I do stupid stuff like this and get so mad at myself for not thinking it through. Thanks for your help.

      1. JeanM | | #3

        "Did you use glue on your fabric?" would probably have been my 10,001st question to you.  LOL

        1. fabricholic | | #4

          So, have you experienced trying to sew with glue on the fabric?

          1. JeanM | | #5

            I was ready to say "No, of course not"  when I remembered that I did once.  It was one of my first zipper insertions and I had read that to keep the zipper in place put some glue on the zipper to hold it to the seam allowances.  It probably is a good idea but I think they meant a drop of glue.  I could not get it to sew for anything.  I needed either a new zipper or more thread (can't remember which) and it was a Sunday night so I had to wait, and waiting was not one of my best attributes.

            Wait---there's one more time!  I used the liquid backing for machine embroidery and probably used too much or didn't wait long enough for it to dry.  It was only a practice piece so no harm done. 

            I rarely use glue even with a glue gun.  I can't seem to control the glue from going everywhere.  Want to see the ceiling of my sewing room?  LOL

          2. fabricholic | | #6

            I got the idea from Mary in Colorado. She uses it to hold the lining on pants, but the important part is, she uses it in the seam allowance. I was thinking seam allowance, but forgot that when I fold it over, I will have to sew in that allowance.

          3. MaryinColorado | | #7

            Sorry, but I don't think it was me, I rarely use glue except for a few tiny miniscule drops.  I haven't made lined pants in years. 

          4. fabricholic | | #8

            Oops. I had it in my head it was you. Well, they know who they are. lol

          5. MaryinColorado | | #9

            ha ha that's okay honey, just thought you'd want to know it wasn't me.  I've been avoiding making pants or anything fitted for quite awhile.  My weight has been fluctuating like crazy, being only 5' tall it's really obvious to me too.

             Now my embroidery machine won't take disks so I have to take a break from that until I can afford to take it in to be worked on, I think it's time to upgrade to a new machine or have my Designer I upgraded to the memory stick at least.  Just can't justify spending the money so soon after Christmas and all the birthdays this time of year. 

            I've been ripping out seams alot lately.  Removed large patch pockets from a denim long coat to redesign and embellish it.  I also removed cuffs from a jean jacket to shorten the sleeves.  I'm still debating on wether to make them and the collar out of velvet or lace for a more feminine look.  I'm changing the elastic in a skirt and hemming it.  Then maybe start some home dec or a landscape quilt. 

            I want Spring to get here SOON!!!  Already sick of the cold!  wah wah wah!!!

          6. fabricholic | | #10

            Our weather is kinda warm and wet with rain and storms today. I just got back from Wal-Mart. I bought some bias binding for dgd slip. Do they sell slips anymore? I've got to sew that elastic waistband casing down and I have been putting it off. Do you think slip stitching it will be o.k.? I think it's a great idea to put velvet or lace on your jeans jacket cuffs. I took mine to a lady that does alterations to have the sleeves shortened. When I got it home and put it on, I don't think she shortened them. Isn't that weird. She wouldn't do that on purpose, but honestly, it doesn't look any shorter. It's so hot in the house. I've got to open a window or something. Hubby would have a fit if I turned on the air conditioning. I hope you get a new machine or the Designer 1 updated. I think I will put a little design on her slip at the bodice. I bought some satin ribbon just to see what it would look like on another dress I will make. It's not double sided, so I thought, if it looks good, I will buy some silk satin ribbon from Martha Pullen. Shoot, I might even buy a little lace. Can't go crazy though, too expensive.Marcy

          7. MaryinColorado | | #11

            I used to have a child's slip pattern, it was very simple and I made them out of batiste so it would be lightweight and cool.  Seems like it was Kwiksew or from Martha Pullen, can't remember, my daughter is in her 30s now so it's been a long time ago.  I bought my grand daughter's at Joslins, which is closed now, it was cotton too. 

            I'm going to price machines today and to the quilt shop I love to get some fabric for a dragonfly applique quilted wallhanging.  Decided to start something new for the New Year and set aside the other projects in waiting. 

            Enjoy your day!  It's cold here today, in the 20's I think, brrrrrrrr!  Mary


          8. fabricholic | | #12

            I'll send you some warmth.

          9. MaryinColorado | | #13

            Oh thank you!  I love warmth!  I shouldn't complain, we aren't being hit as hard as so many others.  We just have a light blanket of snow.  I'm just being a cry baby, wah wah.  I used to love all the seasons but since Arthur Itis moved in, it's uncomfortable to get cold, he's such a brute! 

            I had fun yesterday at the Quilted Moose and bought the fabrics for the dragonfly wall hanging and talked about techniques with the owner, she is such a sweet lady and so talented! 

            Was very tempted to buy a new Viking Designer SELE but didn't....yet.  Must continue to evaluate possibilities and cost. 

          10. fabricholic | | #14

            That's exciting. I hope you get a new machine. How did you come up with the dragonfly? Last night it was 73 degrees in the house. I turned the fan on high and got cold in the middle of the night. I never know what to wear. I usually take a sweater and end up pulling it off and carrying it. Well, spring will be here soon. I just went shopping for a dress I could wear to a co-worker's wedding. I got a deal. Went to Macy's and found a cute dress that said $89 and found a little black jacket over another dress and it said $89, also. The black dress said $160. I noticed that the dress was a size 12 and the jacket was a 14. I really just wanted the jacket to wear over the other dress. I ask the sales assoc. and she said that they could not sell mix matched and that it obviously didn't go together because of the size different and they both had tags on them. They called a manager and she said to sell me the jacket at 50% off. Well, they rang up my dress and the odd ball jacket, plus I had a 20% off coupon and she said $37. I said did you ring up the dress and she said yes, and said I got a deal. YEA!

          11. MaryinColorado | | #15

            Wow!  You did get a great deal on your dress and jacket!  I guess I better head over to Macy's!  Can't buy the fabric and pattern for that price!  I could use a nice basic black dress.  Thanks for the tip!

            I'll be so happy when Spring breaks through again.  73 degrees sounds heavenly to me!

            Still thinking about that machine, I want it but am probably going to procrastinate until it's gone. I just can't justify spending the money right now though.  We'll see what ends up working out for the best on it.  Maybe she'll call me and make me an offer I can't resist?  Hope so, if she would throw in the fabric mover and stitch regulator I'd buy it in a heartbeat!  Mary


          12. Crazy K | | #16

            Oh Mary........it's so exciting to be thinking of a new machine!  I had a Designer I and that was great......the SE is even better.   Are you going to keep the DI to sew while the new one embroiders??  See...........I've got you buying it already!  Shame on me!  I know that's a big expense.  I'm sure they've come down since I got mine......with the new one out now.  At least you have the software and wouldn't have to buy that. 

            We're cold here too...........below zero and windchills.  I'm beginning to have some of 'arthur' visiting me too.  Nothing bad but cold and major weather changes cause some aching.  Ugh.........I'm not ready to get old........don't think I ever will be.  A kid at heart.  I think we're about the same age if my failing memory isn't failing!!  But I'm taller than you are..........by about 1 inch!!! ha ha ha  I don't like sewing for myself or shopping at all anymore!  ish!  Nothing that I like fits the way it should.  The styles stink for the most part.........and I don't want to look like MY grandma! boo hoo

            Hope you had a great holiday.  We're waiting for next weekend for DH's kids to come and then we're done.  Then I'm ready for spring............however, I think I'll be waiting a while!!

            Have fun dreaming...........


          13. MaryinColorado | | #17

            Thanks for your encouragement.  Oh, I have a mouse in here!  Gotta go get that taken care of "stat"  yikes  I can hear him but not see him Thank God! 

          14. Crazy K | | #18

            Oh no......that's not good!!!  I think all those little critters are hibernating here........below zero this morning.  Northern part of the state is in the 20's below.........we're much warmer here.........our thermometer says only -3!! ha ha

            Good to hear from you.......even though you had to cut it short!!  Keep me posted on your machine decision.


          15. MaryinColorado | | #20

            I'm sitting on my sewing chair with my feet up, not too comfy, ha ha.  My little Yorkie that passes away was a good mouser so I haven't experienced mice in over a decade.  Yikes!  I had forgotten about them until last night. 

             It's funny what will motivate us to take action.  I've been wanting to move my computer desk out of the walk in closet and put the doors back on.  Now it will be done!  I want to take everything out of here and check it and clean thoroughly. Hopefully today! 

            Brrrrrrrr!  Now I feel guilty about complaining re the cold!  I grew up in Wisconsin and Illinois so know what you are going through up North.  We don't have the dampness here, I'd be in bed 24/7 with the heating pad there!  Please bundle up and stay cozy and warm as possible.  Bless you!  Mary


          16. fabricholic | | #19

            That would be awesome. Sometimes, it's best to sit back and wait. Maybe a better deal is around the corner. The fabric mover is for the continual stitching designs, right?

          17. MaryinColorado | | #21

            The stitch regulator and fabric mover would make it easier to do free motion quilting.  I've discovered a love of quilting in the past year and it's addicting!  So many people here on Gatherings have helped and inspired me.  Mary

          18. fabricholic | | #22

            I want to learn these things this year:
            welt pockets
            bound buttonholes

          19. MaryinColorado | | #25

            I watched a few minutes of Dr. Phil today.  He was talking about New Years resolutions, to be realistic, set a timeframe and a goal...missed the rest, maybe I'll check his website for pointers.

            Those are some excellent goals you set.  You might check the Threads main website for those items.  I know they had a great article on bound buttonholes that helped me. 

            Are you going to use one of those smockers that you thread like on Martha Pullen?  Your little grand daughter always looks so darling in all your creations for her.  She will look like a little doll if you smock her something!  I don't smock, but practiced all the heirloom techniques on doll clothes, some newborn infant and toddler sized and 18" dolls.  It's less stressful and less expensive.

            I completely cleared the walk in closet and put the desk in the sewing room.  I was so afraid the mice might have ruined my good luggage!  All is well, just alot of work and a good shock to my system.  I'm a bit of a germaphobic I guess.  ewwww!


          20. fabricholic | | #28

            I don't blame you about the mouse. I had one dive towards me when I opened a box he had been living in and scared me to where I screamed. He had his little paws together and just dove at me! It was very traumatic. I know his friends were high fiveing him. I have the article on the bound buttonholes and all the instructions I need. I know people with pleaters or I could buy material already pleated. That is actually at the bottom of my list, though. I get to go on a ride along today with a sales person at my company. They know what I do, so they decided I need to see what their day is like. It will be fun, but we have a lot of storms today.

          21. MaryinColorado | | #29

            I hope you enjoy your day!  What a nice opportunity to share your day with a coworker and discover what "the other side" is all abut!  It sounds like a progressive company!  How refreshing!

          22. fabricholic | | #32

            I had fun and learned about what she goes through every day. I also, learned the customers want suggestions from us, like an assisted living facility needed new ideas on a light supper, because they have a big breakfast and their lunch is big with meat and vegetables. Another customer needed ideas about advertising. She needed to pull in at least 100 customers a day and it was not happening, yet. She hasn't been opened for long. We had a broker with us and she showed some of her new products and left samples. My boss is on top of it, as far as helping the sales people to help the customers. I didn't have time to think about sewing all day, though.

          23. MaryinColorado | | #33

            I worked a little bit on my dragonfly wallhanging but didn't get much done.   Too much time on the computer! 

            Ah well, tomorrow is another day, right?  Hopefully we'll be blessed enough to be here and make the most of it!

            Glad you enjoyed your "field trip", it sounds interesting and fun to be able to do something different and learn something new.  Great team building idea too!  Mary

          24. MaryinColorado | | #30

            love the part about the other mice "high fiving" him!  Too funny!  I always loved Tom and Jerry cartoons, this reminded me of them. 

          25. fabricholic | | #31

            Maybe that's where it got into my head. I don't know what ever happened to him. He ran toward the door, but I don't know where he went out, if he did. I never thought I was afraid of mice and rats, until then. I actually screamed. My horror is of spiders and roaches. Oooooh. Yuk.

          26. sewelegant | | #34

            I have to share this mouse story with you... I have never been an "animal person" so know nothing of how they think, act or what they need.  Back in the 80's we were living in an old Navy Issue home on the base and one night my teenage son was lying on the sofa eating potato chips and watching tv late at night.  He dropped a chip on the floor and started to pick it up when he saw this mouse come sauntering over, pick it up and take it back to his hole in the baseboard.  When he told me about this I called maintenance and they came out and offered to set out those glue traps... ugh.  Another option was a cat!  I took the cat.  I thought that was working until one morning I came downstairs and saw the cat sitting on the dining room table staring over at the far wall baseboard where a little mouse was lounging just inside the hole!  I suspect they were playing cat and mouse all night.  I found the cat to be a much bigger problem than the mice especially when I found the kittens using my fabric stash as their litter box. 

          27. MaryinColorado | | #35

            Oh you poor dear!  Sounds like things went from bad to worse on the "critter" front!  Well, needless to say, I won't be getting a cat! 

            I did have a fleeting fantasy about "borrowing" the neighbors' cat.  I babysit their menagerie at their house when they travel so I'm sure they'd agree.  Stripey would probably do something naughty though because we chase him out of the yard.  He kills birds and loves to sit on the fence and tease my dogs.  The fantasy ended with the vision of sheer bedlam, cats and dogs tearing up the house, and the mouse belly laughing in a corner! 


          28. Palady | | #36

            Your exploits living in old Navy housing brought many :-) 's.  Thanks for posting.


          29. Ocrafty1 | | #38

            I wanna learn how to do the first 2 on your list this yr. too.  I did hand smocking for a dress for one of my daughters more than 30 yrs. ago, but can't really find the same kind of patterns anymore. They used to have an iron-on page that came with the pattern...you just connected the dots and 'voila' the smocking was done.  Now you have to have a special machine to do the stuff that's in 'Martha's' magazine.  I ABSOLUTELY HATE that!  I know they didn't have to use those in the old days....so I gave up on smocking.  Any extra $$ I get is being saved for a new sewing/embroidery machine.....and at the rate I'm going, by the time I get it, I'll have arthritis too bad to use it! LOL



          30. KharminJ | | #39

            Hmmmmm .....Deb, you just hit my ThinkingCapOn switch!

            Surely, there is either a pattern out there (from the last hundred years or so!) or a program for the magic box (computer) that could be used to replicate the "connect the dots". ??? I know I've seen Smocked Pillow patterns that used gingham as the base - you connect the corners of the plaid in a certain order, et voila', perfect smocking! Hmmmm, I say!Kharmin

          31. Ocrafty1 | | #41

            I know there are patterns out there....but nothing that is comprable to the ones that are in Martha Pullen. I actually dug out that old Simplicity pattern...from about '75 or 6... and the 'dots' page is still there, but it is a little smeared.  I'm afraid to try and use it again...the dots might be permanent now.  I'm trying to think of a way to replicate it.  Possibly with tracing paper and a serated wheel, but I have problems 'staying on the lines', even when I use a ruler.  It would be nice if there were a way for us to create the 'Martha' style smocking without using a pleating machine.


          32. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #46

            How far apart are the dots? If you copy the dots on paper, can you punch the holes with an awl and use chalk? I love my copier/scanner for stuff like that. Have you looked at some of the free graph paper sites to see if you can replicate dot paper with the same placements? Cathy

          33. Ocrafty1 | | #47


            Good ideas!   DUH!!!! I HAVE graph paper with dots in almost every space difference...from my Elem. Edu. math classes.  I'll have to play with this a lot more....but I've got some sewing projects I want to do for now...good idea for a rainy day.


          34. Ceeayche | | #26

            You're blessed!  Our Wal-marts eliminated their sewing departments.  I'm so bummed.  That has been my lifesaver during late night projects. 

          35. Ocrafty1 | | #37

            Don't rub it in!!!! We're expecting a blizzard tomorrow! Out here in the country the wind will be whippin' that snow around somethin' fierce! Boooo hoooooo!  I'm going thru withdrawal...too cold and slick to ride the Harley...DH wanted to put it in the back of the truck and take it to the Florida Keys over Xmas, but that didn't happen. Guess I'll just have to wait til March...Unless we'd happen to have 1 nice day before then. 

            In the meantime, I'm gonna bundle up with a blanket and watch TV and crochet.  My sewing room isn't really heated and it will be way too cold to sew....unless I decide to make a blouse or something by hand...just for the heck of it!  May try some 'couture' techniques or something that I saw in an old Martha Pullen mag the other day.....


          36. fabricholic | | #40

            What are you crocheting? I just started edging a blanket. I was making a blanket doing crochet, but found I can't count and kept goofing it up. We are getting a little winter today. Low was 15 degrees. That's cold down south. High's on Friday will be in the 30's. I know what you are talking about connecting the dots. When I googled smocking patterns for toddlers, I found a website that sells patterns and one that didn't need a pleater. I think it was a honeycomb smocked pillow. It was very pretty.

          37. Ocrafty1 | | #42


            I love to do doilies, but I've done just about everything with crochet, as I've been crocheting for nearly 45 yrs. (started when I was 9). I love to put them around the house, and my 2 daughters and several friends have received many of them...I usually make them in pairs. I crochet while I'm watching TV at night....can't stand to just sit and do nothing....(last yr. I was on a counted cross stitch kick)....I have collected many crochet patterns over the years, from family members and auctions. I particularly love the really old and obscure ones. The one I started 2 days ago is supposed to simulate Armenian Lace and calls for No. 70 thread.  I could only find No. 80, which is actually tatting thread, and I'm using a size 12 hook. I thought it would only end up being about 15" diameter, but I've only completed the first 14 rows, and it is already 10".  It has a center medalion, with 12 diamond shaped motif's (each made of 25 rows) attached around that, AND and edging of 3 rows, so it will end up being much larger than I anticipated. 

            This 'booklet' has huge pages...11x16...hasn't got a publishing date,(published in Mass.) but includes pattens in several needlework styles from the 17 and 1800's. I suspect that it was published in the late 1930's or '40's. It was in a large box of crochet pattens that I got at an auction for $1 many yrs. ago. DH laughed when I bought it...but I love that stash!  The lady who's it had been, had handwritten pattens for edgings, etc. and had made small samples of them and had pinned them to each slip of paper. I love history...especially the daily things that women did.  So much of that is lost to us!  I love thinking that I might do a little to preserve it.


            P.S. I can count pretty well, but not when it comes to filet crochet....requires WAY tooooo much concentration while I'm watching NCIS and CSI...LOL

          38. fabricholic | | #43

            That's like my husband saying, make a quilt and one day it might be worth a lot of money. I don't do handmade quilts. The afghan I was making was probably very simple, but I kept getting off count. You might be on television one day, or your work. You are preserving history.

          39. Ocrafty1 | | #44

            Thanks for your kind comments, but I doubt if I'd ever get that far. I'd love to teach some of the old stitching crafts, including sewing, but there just doesn't seem to be any real interest.  There are some girls that do cross stitch in our local 4-H clubs, but there just doesn't seem to be a 'market' for it here in Indiana.

            I had thought about donating some of the patterns to our local museum, but after doing some volunteer work for them...that's out.  DH and I helped when a new curator took over (DH worked in the military and weapons, and I worked in clothing and housewares) and we saw some absolutely wonderful things that people had donated; old military uniforms, my favorite...a gown that had a pannier built into it (those things that stick out on both sides of the skirt, like Marie Antoinette wore)...damaged terribly 'cause it had been left on a filthy floor for Lord knows how many years....many books, glassware, etc.  Anyway, she decided that there was way too much stuff to be cataloged...so she told the volunteers to throw them in the dumpsters!  DH and I rescued several things, but we were told not to do it anymore.  I was livid.  All of those things had been donated by families who thought their gifts would be appreciated by the people of our county. We also learned that most museums do the same thing....they weed out the things that they have too many of and throw them out...since they were donated, they can't sell them. 

            Oops, sorry...got on my soapbox again.   I just hope my daughters and granddaughters will appreciate them when they get them.

            Don't give up on your blanket....I was told by a wonderful, elderly lady many years ago that every handmade article should have at least one imperfection in it. Mine usually include a strand of my hair crocheted into in....I have very long hair, and I usually wear it pulled back, so I don't know HOW it gets there....and thankfully it is usually hard to find and I don't until I press them...and its too late to get them out. LOL



          40. fabricholic | | #45

            I am 53, so we must be around the same age. I too, have long hair and this has happened to me. The story about the museum is horrifying, but I know what you mean. I have been attending my church all of my life. They had a kitchen shower to update some of our kitchen supplies. Then, a few years after that, they start getting rid of things that I know they received at the shower. It's ridiculous and if they get rid of some of the items that have been bought and donated in memory of someone, I will come unglued. Marcy

          41. User avater
            sweet_jenn | | #24

            You could try basting to hold things in place until you sew them instead of using glue.  Yes, it takes time to baste, machine stitch, and then remove the basting, but I imagine waiting for Soho glue to dry takes time too :)

          42. fabricholic | | #27

            Yes, it's too late to fix now. I will have to sew by hand. Needle will not work in the dried glue.

  2. User avater
    sweet_jenn | | #23

    Maybe it's getting caught in your feed dogs.  You know what I do with lightweight fabrics?  I spritz it with some spray starch and give it a good ironing.  The starch stiffens the fabric so your feed dogs won't eat it up, and it won't gum up your needle.

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All