Friday, November 21, 2008

Dear Confetti Dot Fabric...

I have decided that we can no longer be friends. You are a mean, mean fabric. You leave weird residue on my machine needle:

Your dots pop off and stick to my iron no matter how low a setting I put it on, but I must press you to get a crisp hemline.

And worst of all, machine stitches skip so much on you, it is driving me insane!!!

You made me so frustrated yesterday, I cried all my eye makeup off and contemplated throwing my machine out the window. Then I borrowed a friend's machine, thinking mine was broken, and am having the same issues! (Although I now realize that I really really want a new machine for Christmas.) You make a very pretty dance skirt, but you are not worth all the sweat and tears. And were it not for the fact that I already bought yards and yards of you for my church's Christmas musical, you would be in the trash can.

I hope we never meet again!

Amanda S.

Seriously, does anybody have any tips for working with this stuff? I have tried just about everything: adjusting the tension up and down, sewing on the opposite side of the fabric, stretching the fabric, switching machines. I have 6 more dance skirts to make and don't want to make myself completely crazy. Thanks!


  1. Uh oh. I think I bought some fabric that might be similar. Hope someone offers suggestions, or I'll forgo using mine altogether.

  2. First, I would definitely use a press cloth. It can be any kind of 100% cotton you have lying around... I use muslin scraps. A press cloth will let the heat through and protect your iron.

    Secondly... is that a knit? Try using "Stretch" needles (the eye is specially shaped in those) with some Sulky rayon thread. Then sew with a narrow zig zag... that might help.

    Good luck!

  3. Dear Amanda,
    Here is a link I found that has some information in it...
    I have not sewn with it myself, but it reminds me of some "suede" I bought last year that gummed the needle, skipped stitches and basically made it so the machine had to be brought straight in...
    I love your sewing adventures and if these things don't help the only things I can think of would be **shudder** hand sewing and calling your local dance studio...the mom's there may have some tips.

  4. Funny post! Nothing to add here. I've just been enjoying reading your posts.

  5. I've had luck with applying fusible interfacing to the seam allowance and then sewing. I've also had luck with using stabilizers.

    Good luck!

  6. I echo both of Wendy's comments above: You should definitely be using needles for wovens/knits, i.e. not sharps--the sharps pierce the fabric and drag some of the threads with them, while the knit needles will push through the knit and make a clean stitch. This is almost certainly the root of the skipped stitches--looks A LOT like a tension issue, but it's really your needle.

    As for the sticking, press cloth, preferably slightly damp. I also use muslin, but any old scrap will do, as long as it's big enough to cover the piece you're working on.

    Don't give up! Knits are TOUGH. Hang in there.

  7. I found another link that might help from the Costume Goddess. I have used both Davina's and the Costume Goddess's tips. I think that the best tips were 1) to sew slowly, and take breaks, because the needle heats up when using the fastest speed the glue melts and gums up the needle. 2) When pressing, using one of those nonstick cookie sheets (not the thicker silicon ones) as a pressing cloth). The project was an annoying experience (although I love the resulting costume) so I decided to take not put in a hem (the hem reaches the floor), since the fabric will not fray. Good luck with the project. :) Rose

    The Costume Goddess webpage on glitterdot

  8. this is NOT a tip... just my own sense of frustration for you. :) I'd be thinking hot glue gun and grunge... grunge for all the areas i did NOT want to make a hem or pretty finish. there's got to be a way to make sparkly pretty grunge and that is the look i'd be going for with this one. :) ;) (like a 'normal' fabric underneath and this one LOOSELY layered over top). HAAA!

  9. I found your blog while crying like you were. The tip I found and used (and worked like a charm!!) was to oil your needle. I used baby oil and all the issues you described went away. It was easy after that! I applied it often after killing several needles with the glue residue. (Seach confetti dot fabric at and there are excellent tips in the review section!) Love the skirt. It's beautiful!

    1. This is a neat blog. So glad to find I'm not the only person upset with this stuff!! And Countess Laurie, thank you! I'm going to try this!

  10. I'm only posting because I LOVE this fabric and I am going to try the baby oil remedy...but if that doesn't work, I'm going to hand-stitch it....that's how much I love it. I MUST have a jacket made out of it. It's a moral imperative.
    However,'s actually the GLUE that holds the dots on - and the fabric is infused with it - that gums up your needle. I read at least THAT much...which is why I started thinking hand-sewing would be best (horribly time consuming, but oh well).
    I even considered doing a large zig-zag stitch -avoiding all the dots- yes, I'm crazy. I'll try the baby oil idea first though.

    Love your post by the way. Very funny.

  11. Such beautiful fabric.
    i have never felt so angry at a fabric before in my life. It's not the gumming up that's the problem. I have patience even when the thread frays and I have to stop and start again. But when it refuses to sew any stitches at all?!? How can stores sell a fabric as awful as this one?
    :( I'm considering giving up, unless google offers a solution to the stitch skipping.

  12. I came across this blog while looking for a solution for the same fabric. I will admit I'm about to use this fabric for target pratice because I am getting so flustered with it. I'm going to try knit needle and a few other things to see if it helps.
    But thank you for the laugh.

  13. I owe my completion of this project to the helpful comments in this thread. I was definitely nearing tears! I nearly cycled to the wholesalers to buy ball point and super sharp needles but found success through baking paper and baby oil and then with a long stitch length. I don't think I'll embark on another project like this anytime soon but at least I know what I am in for next time. 10 HOURS to make a fleece lined hoodie and it only took 1.5 to make and stitch the lining.... !!!

  14. It's a bit of a pain but place wax paper on the seam allowance then tear it away when you finish. It makes sewing easier but it is still time consuming. More expensive but easier is to use tear away stabilizer.
    Definitely change needles often and clean the needle even more often. The wax paper helps reduce the amount of adhesive that sticks to the needle.