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Thread: Sewing question

  1. #1
    Senior Member ironridger's Avatar
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    Sewing question

    Sewing on 1.1 silnylon with a cheapo Brother machine. The feed dogs seem to really be marking up the material leaving it look wrinkled. Is this normal or any thing I can do? I do not see any adjustment for presser foot pressure adjustment.

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    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    First... unthread the machine down to the bare nothing and re-thread it. Try it with a normal piece of fabric, (not sil) See if it does what it is supposed to.

    If so it sounds to me like you have the tensions set too high. Check the stitch quality and see if the top spool tension is jacked way up there. Of it is real high... drop the top tension down to the middle of the range or lower. Have you been playing with the bobbin tension? You should not have been. But if you did it is too late for that warning. If the top tension is set properly (some where in the middle of the range) then AND ONLY THEN check the bobbin tension. Sewing machines come with the bobbin tension factory preset and the user is recommended not to change it unless you know exactly what you doing and why.

    This is usually not a presser foot pressure problem.
    Last edited by Ramblinrev; 02-06-2012 at 19:12.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

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    obxh2o's Avatar
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    I am far from an expert on this, but my cheapo Brother machine has a thread tension adjustment dial on top of the machine. If the material is "gathering" or "bunching up" the instructions tell you to decrease the tension.
    "I go because it irons out the wrinkles in my soul." -- Sigurd Olson

  4. #4
    Senior Member ironridger's Avatar
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    Upper tension is on 5. I haven't touched bobbin tension, did not even know where that was had to look that one up. Here is two photos front and back.
    Front;f 001.jpg
    Back;f 002.jpg

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    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    With 1.1, I find it helps to put tension in front of and behind the needle.

    In other words, pull it like your stretching it on both sides of the needle, but don't pull hard like your trying to stretch it.

    Likely problems are too much thread tension and/ or stitch lengths too large. If "stretching" doesnt work, try reducing top tension until the knot is definitely on the bottom. Then increase slightly from there until it acts right.

    Sil is very fine/lightweight. It doesn't take a lot of thread tension to bunch it up. Also, it's so thin, it's tough to bury the stitch knot, so it won't look like other fabrics. "stretching" the fabric helps with the bunching.

    It is finicky to sew, so you may be doing everything correctly.

    Smaller needle(9-11), smaller thread (v30, most is about v46), shorter stitches, less tension all help.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nacra533's Avatar
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    Pics

    You posted pics while I was typing.

    The stitching doesn't look that bad to me for sil, especially a fat felled seam where the 2 layers are constantly slipping.

    It looks like in the back view, the top stitch (unseen), that the layers were slipping a little. It appears they vary in size and are smaller. This indicates feeding was not even, but not necessarily a feed dog problem. Kind of the nature of working with sil. Too much presser foot tension makes the layers slide on each other. Too little presser foot tension makes the layers slide on each other. If you leave a piece of scrap on hard wood floors, foot pressure makes them slide on each other.

    On the front view, it looks like I can see some knots on the top, which indicates too much thread tension.

    Overall, I don't think it looks that bad for a drop feed machine. Neede feed and walking foot is how the pros do it ( I assume).

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    Senior Member MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Woohoo, I too have recently discovered the tension knob HA! Keep in the green is my motto

  8. #8
    Detail Man's Avatar
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    That looks like a thread tension issue to me as well. Both Nacra's and Rambilrev's suggestions are very good, especially about keeping the sil taut between the back hand and fore hand while the machine is feeding the fabric. Just be very careful not to pull, which is the tendency. If the stitches are of uneven length, you're pulling. You will know the tension is right when you can run your finger and thumb down the seam (front and back) and it feels smooth. If you feel a line of bumps, then the tension is too tight. The top thread is pulling the bottom thread all the way thru the fabric.

  9. #9
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironridger View Post
    Upper tension is on 5. I haven't touched bobbin tension, did not even know where that was had to look that one up. Here is two photos front and back.
    Front;f 001.jpg
    Back;f 002.jpg
    For 1.1 sil a tension of 5 seems a little high. Drop it down to 3 and see if that helps. Lighter weight fabrics need a lower tension. Play with it a bit.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

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    Check your bobbin, after you have done all of the above. Beside the tension being off, you need a new needle, they get dull, they also get bent. Do a little research on what type of sewing machine needle you need for the type fabric you are using. Different thread, acts differntly with between needle types. Always start your project with a fresh needle, it saves frustration.

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