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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Top Piece ends up longer than the lower piece ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Top Piece ends up longer than the lower piece
Monica Ann
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Monica Ann  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/14/12 4:02 PM

When I sew, I often have the issue of the top piece getting longer and longer than the lower piece as I sew. This ends up curling and sometimes creating a "kink". Any tips anyone can share with me?

Vireya
Vireya
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Date: 10/14/12 4:17 PM

What are you sewing? And what sort of machine?

This is a common issue when sewing thick fabrics, or quilting. In both cases, a walking foot can help feed the top layer at the same rate. Some machines have a built-in dual feed which means you don't need a special walking foot.

If you are having this problem with even very light fabrics, it could be an issue with your machine, or it might be that you are gripping the top layer as you sew. Do you use pins to keep the layers in place, or are you sewing without pins?

I think when I sew long seams, I probably automatically adjust how I feed the fabric through to ensure both layers stay even - but that comes from having used the same machine for 30 years and being totally familiar with how it handles different fabrics and different numbers of layers, etc.

Nancy K
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In reply to Monica Ann <<
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Date: 10/14/12 4:31 PM

Try lightening the pressure on your presser foot if you have adjustable pressure. The way you hold the fabric can help and directional sewing can also help. This is sewing with the grain. I agree that a walking foot can help but a lot of extra length should not be happening regardless. A small amount is common because the feed dogs cause the bottom fabric to feed faster than the top layer. Try holding your fabric as you are feeding it with the right hand fingers on top thumb on bottom, holding the fabric taut with the fabric rolling upwards as you sew. The left is guiding the fabric. At no time should you be pulling your fabric, you'll break a needle.

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cocosloft
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Date: 10/15/12 8:45 AM

Agree with suggestions above - particularly as to walking foot! Also - you should avoid sewing long seams against the grain. To picture this...a skirt is wider at the hem, narrower at the waist. Sew the side seam from the hem to the waist. This helps to maintain the integrity of the grain of the fabric and gives you more control. If you sew in the other direction, you will push the fabric grain 'open' as you stitch and will end up with a longer piece on top. And possibly the entire seam line will be longer than it should be - it will droop down! Hope this makes sense!

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Coco

BMoyer
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Date: 10/15/12 9:07 AM

here is another link that I read over this morning that may help too.

http://sewing.patternreview.com/SewingDiscussions/topic/72868

Margaret islander has a tip also where you hold the fabric in your left hand and sort of twist back on it as you sew, sort of hard to describe but really simple when you see it.
Betty

Monica Ann
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Date: 10/15/12 9:08 PM

I just read the original post and it makes sense, so I will try that.

Thanks.

Monica Ann
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Date: 10/15/12 9:10 PM

I've learned the hard way, not to pull the fabric. I think I'll use a walking foot, as it was on a project with many layers. I have one and just forgot to use it. I normally sew apparel and do not notice it as much as when I sew home decor projects which have interfacing and more interfacing. Thanks.

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