Wednesday, January 29, 2014

[ sewing machine tension secret ]

IF YOU sew at all, chances are you've encountered a time when your stitches aren't looking all that even. I managed to get through my pouf project with only minor problems but a new day brings a new problem...

While testing for a new project, I just keep encountering this uneven stitch problem and no matter how many times I tried rethreading, changing the needle, cleaning out the lint, nothing was helping. 

I consulted my manual and all it suggested was to adjust the tension dial on my machine...

Well, I had already tried that and to be honest over the past few projects, my dial has crept from the recommended middle mark to -5 on an ongoing basis as my stitches were slowing becoming more and more uneven. I had no where left to go.

Here's the secret!
Did you know that you can adjust the tension of your bobbin? I KNOW! This is a serious revelation for me! Having sewn since childhood, I can't believe I didn't know ~ a critical bit of information that every sewing enthusiast should know about.

Apparently over time, your bobbin spring can loosen and start causing all kinds of problems like thread loops, puckering and uneven stitches. Just doing a simple test will determine if that might be the problem {I found this trick here}. Remove your bobbin with its case...

Hold it up by the thread and quickly raise your hand ~ if it unwinds slightly and only drops about an inch or so, it has proper tension. If it doesn't budge, it's too tight ~ if it falls to the floor, it's too loose. 

My machine has a built-in bobbin case so the design was a little different but the concept was the same. See in either design how there's a little screw on the bobbin case? You can adjust that with a tiny screwdriver!

If your bobbin is too tight, turn the screw slightly to the left {counterclockwise}. If your tension is too loose, turn it slightly to the right {clockwise} to tighten it...

Mine was WAY too loose so I turned the screw slightly to the right, put it back into the machine....

And tada! A thing of beauty!

My machine hasn't made a stitch this beautiful since the day I unpacked it from its box! I'm excited to know about this since I've still got my old Singer from the 80s {my first machine} that stopped having an even stitch years ago and I had given up on it. Maybe I've saved it from the trash pile!

Now my next project will be much easier to complete! First step: piping!

27 yards of piping to be exact! Can you guess what project I'm finally tackling? 

Off to sew!


[bobbin secret pics via cool; threads magazine]


a breath of fresh air said...

Amazing ......and spookily been having exactly the same problem with mine and was at my wits end as I had tried everything.....scoots off to check now,thanks for sharing.

Formerly known as Frau said...

Wow who knew! My machine is not that old but any helpful tips go a long way! Thanks! Happy Wednesday!

muskokablogger said...

I remember either my Mom or Nana showing me this one time...I wish I could put sewing at the top of my list. love your pouf! xo it's so cold here Lisa...and we got a dumping of snow AGAIN! ugh.

Johanna [Taloja ja Toiveita] said...

Oh, I did not know this! I guess this has been the reason multiple times when I gave up sewing - I hated the fact the tiches were awful. This might have been the solution.

Anonymous said...

So great you learned this one and shared it l once many moons ago was a sew machinist in a shoe factory we trained in a classroom for weeks before we were allowed on the factory floor..... tension is the bug bare of most sewing all instruction manuals it explains how to do this l think most are afraid to try it.just go careful on that tinyscrew..


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