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Tips & Techniques > Absolutely straight stitching lines

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Posted by: Janie Viers
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About Janie Viers star
Member since: 4/8/02
Reviews: 61 (tips: 29)
Skill level:Advanced
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Posted on: 2/9/05 9:25 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 10 people   
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Use a sharp or top stitch needle for stitches that do not vear from the straight. Any universal point needle will allow the fibers to slide to the left or right of the needle point and make the stitches ever so minutely be off center.

You can see this by taking a piece of fabric and doing a straight row of stitches with the universal point and right next to that with the sharp/top stitch point needle. The sharper needle actually peirces the fabric exactly in front of the needle, forcing the fibers to either side of the needle. A unviersal point is made for all kinds of fabrics and chooses the path of least resistantce..i.e.: if it's easier to slide the needle into a space 1/100th of an inch to left or right of the optimal piercing point, that's what it will do.

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luv2stitch said... (7/30/09 4:32 AM) Reply
Wow I will have to try this. I do tailored shirts and now my new machine does not have a speed limiter which is the other thing I would suggest for great topstitching!!
Pat K said... (2/11/05 11:05 AM) Reply
Another great tip, Janie! I stopped using Universals on woven fabrics a couple of years ago except when I have nothing else left and it does make a difference. Both Microtex and Denim needles from Schmetz seem to do the trick. Like you, I'm now stuck with a bunch of Universals in my stash. And why is it tht every year, when I take my machine and serger in for service, they come back with a fresh pack of size 90 Universals as a gift?? Most of my sewing is done with size 80 or 70.
Amelie said... (2/11/05 4:59 AM) Reply
Good to know. Thanks!
PamJr said... (2/10/05 6:30 PM) Reply
Thanks for the tip. I did not know this either. Will try it.
Janie Viers said... (2/10/05 10:52 AM) Reply
I use the universal needles when I sew interior seams. A full skrt doesn't care if the seam is infanticimally off!
cindyann said... (2/10/05 9:05 AM) Reply
Thank you! Great tip. I've stopped using universal needles too, but what to do with the 50 or so in my stash? LOL
Nancy Anne said... (2/10/05 7:46 AM) Reply
What a great thing to know! Thank you for the tip!
Karla Kizer said... (2/10/05 6:23 AM) Reply
Good tip, Janie. I've just about given up using universal needles. Microtex works better on most of the fabrics I like to sew, and the sharper point does produce nicer topstitching. For some reason, the Microtex needles seem to last longer, too.
PVA said... (2/9/05 10:36 PM) Reply
Thank you, Janie, I didn't know this. I keep top stitch needles on hand so I will definitely try this little test. Thanks again!
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