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Tension Troubles
Need help with tension on thick fabric
MMD305
MMD305
Member since 11/4/12
Posts: 2
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Date: 11/4/12 7:27 PM

I'm finding it impossible to get a decent stitch while trying to sew some aprons with a thicker/rougher fabric than I'm used to. I put in a denim needle and tried first with an all-purpose thread, and then a heavy thread. The stitch on the bottom varies from looking good to looking a little loose as I change the tension. How ever, the top thread consistently lays at the top and does not loop properly. What to do!?

sewsally
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sewsally  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 8/18/02
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Date: 11/5/12 10:38 AM

Rewind the bobbin and make sure its threaded correctly. Also check that the top thread is not getting caught on anything including the notches in the spool.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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In reply to MMD305 <<


Date: 11/5/12 10:48 AM

This does sound more like a bobbin issue. Loopy top = mis-threaded bobbin; loopy bottom = mis-threaded top thread.

Use the same thread in both top and bottom, then test with scraps of the fabric that will be used in the project.

Also, when the fabric is thicker, it can help the lengthen the stitch - another test with scraps first.

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

MMD305
MMD305
Member since 11/4/12
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Date: 11/5/12 12:17 PM

I'll check the bobbin again and see if there is anything interfering with the top thread, but I think they're both fine. I tried all day yesterday and rethreaded both multiple times, with both thread types. If the stitch length is adjusted and made longer, how should the tension dial be adjusted? Should it be on a higher or a lower number? Also, can a secure stitch be made on thick fabric with regular thread, or should it be done with heavy thread? And am I using the right needle? It makes a sound as it goes through multiple layers of fabric, nothing crazy, but just a lot more noticeable. Is that normal?
Thank you!

Sharon Rose
Sharon Rose  Friend of PR
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Member since 3/10/11
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Date: 11/5/12 4:02 PM

Years ago, I had the same problems when trying to sew quilted fabric handbags. When I increased the foot pressure, the eye of the needle was able to get low enough to connect with the bobbin.
If your machine allows you to increawse foot pressure, you might want to try this before making all the adjustments to the tension. After I figured this out, the increased foot pressure "mashed" the fabric and my machine was able to function.

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