Sewing Patterns, Pattern Review, Sewing Classes, Sewing Machines and Sewing Machine Reviews!
Platinum Sponsor: Stylish Fabric
Over 20,000 of high quality reorderable fabric

[SIGNUP - FREE Membership & 1 FREE Sewing Lesson ]
[Sewing Classes|Shopping Bag Your Shopping Bag|Login|Help]
Sewing Review and Pattern Reviews Sewing Knowledge Base Sewing Patterns Sewing Classes & Sewing Lessons Sewing Machine & Embroidery Machinery Sewing Message Boards Sewing merchants Blog Help/FAQ About Pattern Review
Enter your e-mail address:




Advanced Search
Tags
New to PR?
Sewing Machines
Compare Sewing Machines
Sewing Machine & Serger Reviews
Embroidery Machines
Sewing Reviews
Sewing Patterns
Review Gallery
Sewing Books
Sewing Supplies
Sewing Websites
Sewing Stores
Sewing Class Reviews
Sewing Expo Reviews
Sewing Tips & Techniques
Sewing Podcasts
NEW!Fabric Glossary
Sewing Review Requests Add a Review Request
Your Account
Edit Profile
My Page
Favorites
Wish List
Pattern Catalog
Notifications
Friends of PR
Join Friends of PR
Find a member
Deal Corner
Photo Album
Calendar
Chat Room
Chat Schedule
Chat Transcripts
Sewing Classifieds
Add a Classified
Sewing Contests
enter contest
contest report
contest gallery
Favorite Links
reviews with comments
merchant gallery
article archive
newsletter archive
Craft Resources
contact info
shipping rates
returns & refunds
testimonials

Platinum Sponsor - Stylish Fabric
Stylish Fabric
You are not logged in. Login here.



Message Board > Beginner's Forum > zig-zag stitches bunch up ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

Please LOGIN or Join PatternReview
Go to Page:
zig-zag stitches bunch up
Can you tell I learned on a straight stitch machine?
dove29

dove29  Friend of PR
Intermediate
USA
Member since 4/28/07
Posts: 1090
Login to reply to this post

Date: 4/2/10 4:02 PM

A lot of the time when I sew with a zig-zag stitch, the fabric bunches up in it. Instead of looking like a real zig-zag, it looks straighter but the fabric gets bunched up in it. I see it a lot if I'm trying to finish a seam & especially if it's a light, soft fabric.
How do I keep this from happening? I suppose something is adjusted wrong...
Sewing on an old Kenmore that has about 12 stitches, & don't know where the manual is.
Thanks!

Patti B
starstarstarstar
Patti B  Friend of PR
Intermediate
OR USA
Member since 9/29/02
Posts: 2337
Login to reply to this post

Date: 4/2/10 4:09 PM

It sounds like one of the tensions is messed up. I'm not much help because I haven't sewn on this machine but the stitches and the fabric should lie flat.

------
Patti

R-r-r-ripping my way to fitting success

Doris W. in TN
star
Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
Intermediate
TN USA
Member since 2/9/04
Posts: 7457
Login to reply to this post

In reply to dove29


Date: 4/2/10 4:32 PM

If you mean 'bunched up' as in gathered, I agree that it's a tension issue. If the zig-zag stitch width is pretty wide, and the part you are zig-zagging is bunching up under the thread, that is called 'tunneling' and you may need a stabilizer .

Michelle T

Michelle T
Intermediate
BC CANADA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 4406
Login to reply to this post

In reply to dove29


Date: 4/2/10 5:50 PM

Are you sewing on one or two layers of fabric?

Do you have a Overcast foot?

This foot helps to keep lightweight fabric flat when zig zagging.

------
Proud parent of a Dwight International School Honour Roll Student

sewsally
star
sewsally  Friend of PR
Intermediate
WA USA
Member since 8/18/02
Posts: 1287
Login to reply to this post

Date: 4/2/10 7:17 PM

After checking the thread path and making sure the thread is not caught on the spool or anything else, I would try loosening the needle tension first.

Maybe a wash away or tear way stabilizer under the fabric.
Shorten stitch width and length since the fabric is fine.
And use a small sharp needle 60 or 75.


dove29

dove29  Friend of PR
Intermediate
USA
Member since 4/28/07
Posts: 1090
Login to reply to this post

In reply to Doris W. in TN


Date: 4/3/10 1:06 AM

I didn't want to say "gathered" because it's not happening along the length of the seam (it does not become short.) What happens is that it bunches up sideways, so a 5/8 seam allowance looks narrower and lumpy.
Hope this makes sense. I'll play with the tension a bit.

clt3
clt3
Intermediate
OH USA
Member since 2/6/06
Posts: 936
Login to reply to this post

Date: 4/3/10 6:34 AM

Try holding on to the ends of the thread with your left hand as you start stitching,

------
Singer 66-16. Singer 600e, Kenmore 158.1913 , Viking 1100, Brother 4000D, Brother Quattro, Bernina 930, White 634DE,
Babylock Evolve, 2 Featherweights ,Pfaff Creative Performance,Janome Coverpro 1000CPX






aquamarineerica

aquamarineerica
Advanced Beginner
OR USA
Member since 10/23/08
Posts: 306
Login to reply to this post

Date: 4/3/10 10:28 AM

Mine has done that too. If you have a 3-step zigzag, that works well also. Seems no matter what I do, if I use a regular zigzag stitch, it will tunnel. Although now, I will try what clt3 says and hold the threads!

Good luck!
Erica

------
Every day is a clean slate.
"Decisions are made by those who show up"...Allison Janney, The West Wing

Everyday Sewist
star
Everyday Sewist
Advanced Beginner
USA
Member since 9/14/02
Posts: 2707
Login to reply to this post

In reply to Michelle T


Date: 4/3/10 10:33 AM

Quote:
Are you sewing on one or two layers of fabric?

Do you have a Overcast foot?

This foot helps to keep lightweight fabric flat when zig zagging.


Ditto what Michelle T said.

I always have this problem when ZZ stitching over the edge of a seam. It has nothing to do with the tension, and the overcasting foot always corrects the problem and results in a perfectly flat seam edge.

Now, if you are having the bunching even when sewing away from the edge, then it may be a tension problem.
Doris W. in TN
star
Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
Intermediate
TN USA
Member since 2/9/04
Posts: 7457
Login to reply to this post

In reply to dove29
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 4/4/10 1:25 PM

Quote: dove29
What happens is that it bunches up sideways, so a 5/8 seam allowance looks narrower and lumpy.

That is called "tunneling" and it will happen when zig-zagging, especially a lightweight fabric. Try some of the suggestions already given here (on some scrap fabric) but it's better if you have an overcast foot. Most modern machines come with them as a standard accessory. Be sure the edge of the fabric is not sticking out beyond the 'pin' of the overcast foot.
Go to Page:
Please LOGIN or Join PatternReview
printable version Printable Version

* Advertising and soliciting is strictly prohibited on PatternReview.com. If you find a post which is not in agreement with our Terms and Conditions, please click on the Report Post button to report it. Beginner's Forum >> zig-zag stitches bunch up

Merchants on PR
Victoria Jones Collection
Timeless Hawaiian styles
Web site
So Vintage Patterns
Thank You for Joining!
Deals!
Fitz Like a Glove Ironing Board Cover
Made In Australia
Deals!
SewBaby
Unique Sewing Patterns
Deals!
Budo Bear Designs
Asian Designs
Web site

Copyright © 2014 PatternReview.com® , OSATech, Inc. All rights reserved.
Conditions of Use | Posting Guidelines | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Online Sewing Classes
Put it on the Bias
Fee: $49.00
(Regular $49.00)
Put it on the Bias

Online Sewing Classes
Beginners Guide to Sewing Jackets
Fee: $29.00
(Regular $49.00)
Beginners Guide to Sewing Jackets

Butterick 5608 misses top
photo
Review by Claverie on 8/18/11
Read Review

Paradiso Designs Perfect Pillows Pattern
Paradiso Designs Perfect Pillows Pattern

Details
Price: $9.00
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Shapes High Five Jacket Pattern
Shapes High Five Jacket Pattern

Details
Price: $16.00
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Blank Slate Clean Slate Pants/Shorts/Capris
Blank Slate Clean Slate Pants/Shorts/Capris

Details
Price: $7.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Blank Slate Fresh Bloom Frock Digital Pattern
Blank Slate Fresh Bloom Frock Digital Pattern

Details
Price: $7.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

No Pattern Used 000
photo
Review by Chris Stus... on 5/2/07
Read Review

McCalls 6105 Pattern ( Size )
McCalls 6105 Pattern ( Size  )

Details
Price: $13.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

McCalls 6845 Pattern ( Size XSM-SML-MED )
McCalls 6845 Pattern ( Size XSM-SML-MED )

Details
Price: $18.95
Add to Bag Add to Bag

Subscribe to PR Message Board Feed Subscribe to the PR Message Board Feed Add to My Yahoo! Subscribe at NewsGator Online Subscribe at Bloglines Add to MyMSN