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Wooly Nylon problem ??

ctirish | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi everyone,   I made some cute pajamas for my grandson.  I used my serger and a combination of serger thread and wooly nylon in the loopers.  I used a size 12 needle and sewed them on a Bernina 800D for the overlock seams and a Baby Lock Ellure for the cover stitiching.

My dd has a great mil who comes and does the children’s clothing for her and irons everything. They kids always looks so neat and cute to start out the day.   Anyway- the seams and hems started getting holes in them. At first I thought it might have been too big a needle but I have made many other knit garments with these settings and not had a problem. So, I am attaching a couple of pictures (I hope) so you can see the results.  the pics are of the waist on the  bottoms but every seam had the same problem.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, jane


  1. Josefly | | #1

    Jane, those are darling pajamas.Do you mean that the seams are showing holes after laundering and ironing?

    1. ctirish | | #3

      Yes, where the needle and thread go through the fabric there are little holes all the way down the seam.  HIgh tension areas (the crotch seam and the sleeve to shoulder seam are the worst. The waistband pretty much came apart in several places.


      1. Tatsy | | #6

        That sounds more like a needle problem. Are you using ball point or universal needles?  Sharps will cause that problem even on a sewing machine.  Sometimes a needle gets nicked and tears the fabric.

        1. ctirish | | #8

          When I did my testing I used the needles recommended for the serger, the result was  getting excess thread everywhere in the stitching.  So, I switched to a ballpoint needle that was a 12/80 and that seemed to work.  I used that needle for the seams  and then I started taking a course on PR on knits and she suggested using a smaller needle for the hems and the neckline.  The fabric is made by Siltex and it is the softest knit fabric I have ever found for pajamas. I would really like to figure out what went wrong as I have more fabric from them for the grandkids.

          Thank you to all for your help with this.  These questions are for anyone reading, thanks  

          What do you use for thread to sew knits?

          Do you ever sew for children?

          Do you use a 3 or 4 thread for seams?

          Have you ever used the safety stitch for sewing - it is a 3 thread overlock with a straight seam on the inside of the overlock seam.  I have only seen this seam on heavy jeans for men.

          1. Crazy K | | #9

            To try to answer your questions.........

            Yes, I sew for children often...and have for years.  I make lots of pajamas....some flannel, some knit as well as pants, shorts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc.  I use my serger with a 4 thread overlock stitck and Maxi-lock thread........80/12 universal point needles.  My Babylock takes a special needle but I use Maxi-lock thread for the coverhem as well and haven't had problems.  Often when sewing kids things, I can make an entire garment without my sewing machine..........all done on the serger.  I do use my sewing machine to turn down the waist band on elastic waist pants.......I use the serger to attach the elastic though.

            Yes, I have used the 5 thread safety but not often.  If you have a fabric that ravels easily, it can be helpful for seams that have stress.

             With regard to the holes and ironing.  I do iron/press things as I sew and when a garment is completed.  I think if you use Maxi-lock or reg. polyester thread it would hold up better.  Either that or someone is using a very hot iron!

            Hope this helps.


          2. Tatsy | | #10

            I sew kids' clothes all the time and have for 35 years.  For sewing knits, I use any thread that's handy and have never had any problem.  However, I do use cotton threads on cotton knits only.  I don't use my serger that much for knits as they don't ravel.  I do use it to finish almost all seams on woven fabric.  I haven't used the 5-thread safety stitch to sew and finish seams because I don't particulary like the way seams look that I have done on my serger.  I have made several woven cotton prairie skirts using the serger for everything but the elastic casing and loved the simplicity of the process.  The only problems I have ever had sewing knits have been caused by using sharp needles, having the wrong length stitch or too tight a tension.  I started sewing knits back in the Stretch and Sew days and those classes were superb.

  2. Stitchwitch | | #2

    I've got the BERNINA 1300 and I had the same problem sewing stretched fabric. I find the normal serger thread, I used Metrosene, seems to jump out of the tension disks. I solved that by covering the thread in thread nets just to "hold" it back slightly. That seems to have solved my problem. It was VERY annoying as you can believe. Just when I got to tghe middle of a seam it jumped out and I had to unpick and start all over again. I don't know if this will solve your problem but try! Also use a ballpoint needle. I always try and use the same needle in my Serger than in my sewing machine. NEVER use a needle larger than 90 or a STRETCH needle and stick to size 80,  70 might be a bit small and weak to handle the speed of a serger unless you serge slowly.

    1. ctirish | | #4

      Did you get a nice seam when you finished and then wash, dry and iron it to find the holes? The holes did not start until after it was washed, dried and ironed a few times.  I did use nets on the serger thread early on because it was pulling too much thread at a time.


      1. Josefly | | #5

        Do you think something is happening when the wooly nylon is ironed? Could it be melting, hardening, and then causing the holes in the fabric? I'm intrigued by the problem, though I've never used wooly nylon. I would guess it can't take too hot an iron?

        1. ctirish | | #7

          I can't decide sometimes I think the holes are from ironing sometimes from the needle or the fabric. Today ironing is the winner -  The way they show up on the fabric. Some of the time it is seam that has the holes, but on the hems the holes are below the hem line - so I was staring at it last night and wondering if those holes were from the wooly nylon from the hem on the back piece of pajama.  Do you know what I mean - if you lie the top on an ironing board and then just press it - it looks like the holes might have come through from the hem on the back piece.  I had heard wooly nylon melts but I have never tried it and there aren't any hard pieces of it in the seams.  Do you think the hard pieces could have washed out?  My first thought was it was the needle but it didn't show up until after it was washed.  I made a new pair this past weekend and I used a new serger thread for knits that is polyester and stretchy.  I was telling a friend who is a engineer my problem and about my new thread and he said, polyester melts at a lower temperature then nylon.  Of course by then I had already finished the new pajamas, so now I will just have to wait and see. 

          My sil is upset that I asked him to ask his mother not iron the new pajamas. I know it doesn't take long to make the pajamas but it does take time and I try to make sure all the seams are finished and they fit well.  She irons everything, knits, sweatshirts, even underwear.

          1. MaryinColorado | | #11

            Nylon threads melt more easily than polyester.  It sounds as if she is using too hot an iron for the Wooly Nylon, maybe she could use a pressing cloth.  Your sil probably won't appreciate suggesting this idea either though.  That's family dynamics for you! 

            There is another thread that is very nice for serging baby clothes and sleepwear.  Success Serging Yarn by YLI.  It is very soft acrylic. 

             I press seams as I sew and have never had a problem with any of the threads except the invisible nylon I used for couching.  Now I use invisible poly. for that. 

          2. Crazy K | | #15

            Am missing your input.  I always got either good info or a chuckle out of your posts.  Haven't seen you for a bit. 

            Hope all is well........

            Happy Stitching!


          3. MaryinColorado | | #16

            Bless You!  Thanks for caring!    Mary

          4. Crazy K | | #17

            O.K.......you ARE out there!  You're just reading and not writing.........glad to know you're there.  Guess we all do that sometimes.........


          5. Josefly | | #12

            Jane, I don't know anything about using sergers or wooly nylon, but Marcy Tilton, in the recent Threads-online articles related to making t-shirts, seems to recommend just the needles and threads you've used. I do know I've accidentally melted threads with an iron set on a high "cotton" temp. Is your Siltex all-cotton?I think I'd stitch up some of your Siltex scraps, using the same thread and needles you used before, throw them in the washer and dryer, and then iron one or two with a hot iron, wash/dry again and compare to the un-ironed scraps. If I were nice enough to make pajamas for my grandchild, I would want to get to the bottom of the problem, too. - Joan

            Edited 8/30/2007 4:11 pm ET by Josefly

  3. Crazy K | | #13

    I just read the last posting from Josefly..........maybe I've been doing things all wrong for the past twenty-odd years.........but I don't use wooly nylon for t-shirts, pjs or any of that.  I did use it for some extremely stretchy stuff with lycra (can't remember now what I made) but for normal stuff I just use Maxi-lock with a 4 thread overlock stitch.  Am I missing something here?  It seems that rtw t-shirts are constructed with regular serger thread.  I've made pjs for one grandson when he was under two...............he's still wearing the pants because he likes them so much..........they are now capris!!  Please don't anyone tell him that boys don't wear capris!!  He just can't give them up..........and he's nearly five!  They have lasted all this time and believe me, he is NOT easy on them. 

    Please......I am not saying that anyone else is wrong.........I'm only telling you what I've done and it's worked for me.  I got lots of my tips and tricks from watching waaaay too many of Sandra Betzina's shows when they were on HGTV and I do not remember her using wooly nylon for construction of ordinary knits.  Who knows.....maybe my memory is failing me.  Surely wouldn't be the first time!



    1. ctirish | | #14

      You guys are all great, thank you so much for helping with this dilemma. I feel better just reading your replies and knowing there are people who care about how my projects turn out. The fabric is all cotton. I made the second pair using both the serger and the sewing machine. Time will tell if they survive the laundering process. I am going to try everyone's suggestions and see what works best with the siltex fabric so I can make the pair for my dgd soon. Today, I was working on embroidery projects, just printing templates, just trying to get to the point where I could sew something. Wanting that feeling of accomplishment , I am home alone tomorrow so hopefully I can do something. I better head to bed or I will be sleeping all day. I decided today I am going to try and get something for me cut out this weekend. I looked in my closet and realized I have nothing in my closet that fits. Have a great weekend, jane

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