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No Presser Foot Tension Adjustment, No Walking Foot
D Hart
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Date: 9/8/13 10:04 AM

I'm a beginner with a Bernina 380. Some sewists I've read/viewed seem to state that it's possible for any current/aspiring sewist to compensate for the lack of pressure foot adjustment capability by the way they hold/ feed the fabric. One person suggested that you just need to hold the fabric taut in front and in back with equal tension. Another person said you can compensate by gripping the fabric with your right hand while pressing down on the fabric with your left hand on the fabric ahead of where it reaches the feed dogs.

I would love to hear comments/observations on this subject.

Mufffet
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Date: 9/8/13 10:12 AM

How does your 380 feed? I think it would feed just fine as is, so see how it goes, and then see if you have to worry about such issues at all. Then save for a walking foot. Yes, fabric can be handled as you describe, but that is a process that must be done gently so as not to pull the needle out of alignment.

I think you will find your Bernina 380 is going to work fine as is in almost 99% of your sewing needs. :)

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"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 9/8/13 10:28 AM

No pressure adjustment of the presser foot. Then you should look into getting a walking foot. You can find them for a better price than at the dealer if you search online.

As Muffet stated, you may not need the pressure adjustment or the WF for general sewing tasks.

Test scraps of the project fabric before you begin the construction to see which needle, thread, stitch length, or even the foot does the best job.


-- Edited on 9/8/13 10:32 AM --

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beauturbo
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Date: 9/8/13 4:44 PM

I don't think there is any "lack of pressure foot capability" going on for a whole lot of people with a whole lot machines actually. When a machine does not have a "manual pressure foot adjustment" most times that pressure foot is still not on top of the fabric in the same place just no matter what you sew on, just because the more "automatic part" is doing it instead with some spring or sensor. That is the case with all of mine, that are like that, and I've never had any trouble sewing on them, but I do know how to sew good and been doing that for a long time. so I would take anything more as particular to some situation, and not a sweeping thing at all.

If I had not read "all over the internet" about a whole ton of new sewers all feeling somehow compelled to bolt some generic walking foot onto their sewing machines to just sew everything and anything, which I do read sometimes, I would have actually never even believed I would ever read that someplace. Just because I don't know anyone whom while learning to sew, ever had to do that at all either. Or would be wanting to do that all the time. so maybe take some of that stuff with "a grain of salt" and not an absolute at all.

I could see for somethings maybe, like matching up a long piece of fabric with plaids or quilting through a big quilt, or trying to sew on some very thin fabric if you had instead a pretty crummy machine, but not most times.

I think that kind of thing though, it gets kind of perpetuated also, by machine companies that sell machines with a built in walking foot saying that they are always better than some others- not really true always and I do have some of those toand some not, but they all sew fine for me. Also probably gets kind of perpetuated by places that just want to sell you a bolt on walking foot, just because then they would get at least an extra 25 to 50 dollars from everyone too.

It also still floors me, when I see a lot of new sewers on the internet, all think they need some kind of bolt on walking foot to just sew any kind of knit at all, as for me and everyone else I have actually sat and sewed with, that is just not the case there either. So, I think you need to take somethings kind of "with a grain of salt".

Sewing is kind of personal and everyone likes to do it in different ways, and probably does do it in different ways and if you like doing something, and you feel it's helpful to you and not just a bunch of other people, then you should check it out, if not though, just because a bunch of other people might feel they sort of "need some of those sewing crutches" sometimes, does not mean you might at all.

It does have a lot to do with experience and just how you operate something, as a user. But I don't think you have anything you probably "need to compensate for" there either for most sewing, so I think if you just guide the fabric with your hands and just let the feed dogs carry the fabric through the machine all by themselves, that most times is the very best thing and most times works out just fine.

SewLibra
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Date: 9/9/13 0:27 AM


I think if you just guide the fabric with your hands and just let the feed dogs carry the fabric through the machine all by themselves, that most times is the very best thing and most times works out just fine.

[/quote]
I agree with the above, and also to say that I have a Bernina mechanical and a Brother computerized sm. Neither machine has a presser foot pressure adjustment, so I purchased a walking foot for each machine. I only have to use the walking foot if I have many layers with thick fabrics, velvet, corduroy, plaids or stripes to match and the like. I do not pull and push my fabric in the machine! If I had to do that I would go crazy and my dentist would be happy to repair my clenched teeth!
-- Edited on 9/9/13 0:30 AM --

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SewLibra
Brother SB4138, Bernina 1008, Brother 1034D, Janome Harmony 9102D

Janie Viers
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Date: 9/9/13 6:30 PM

polar fleece is another item that benefits from a walking foot. it's easier to keep the seams even and the top stitching smooth. And I do have a machine with foot tention adjustment but the walking foot is best for non-20 mph sewing that won't be worn by kids that are never still long enough to notice a stitch isn't straight!
-- Edited on 9/9/13 6:31 PM --

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JanieV

Doris W. in TN
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Date: 9/9/13 9:31 PM

I have the Bernina 350 and it, like my old 1130, also has automatic self-adjusting presser foot pressure. Generally it has not been a problem with wovens, especially cottons. Whenever I sew on knits, woolens, thick fabrics, etc., then I use my walking foot. It truly is the best way to maneuver those type fabrics. I only use taut sewing if the fabric is slippery and wants to pucker while being sewn.

Mufffet
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Date: 10/11/13 10:12 AM

D Hart....how is your 380 behaving for you? I sure hope you are getting along well with it!Your dealer should have some classes as well. We are interested!

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"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

PattiAnnJ
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Date: 10/11/13 2:23 PM

If you are not having a problem, don't worry about it.

Some of us have been sewing for eons without any issues, taut or not (the stitching and not the sewing machine operator).

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

D Hart
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In reply to Mufffet <<


Date: 10/12/13 11:08 AM

When stitching a straight seam, I still run into mismatched feed rates between the top and bottom pieces of fabric. I haven't had much luck on my own resolving this issue, so it probably wouldn't hurt to schedule a session with one of the teachers at the local dealer.

In the meantime, I welcome any and all suggestions. Thanks for asking!

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