PSA: Sometimes it’s not what it seems with your seams

So today I sat down at my industrial to sew a couple of hems.  Yes, overkill but I like to exercise my machines a little sometimes. 😉  Immediately after sitting down, I noticed tension and stitch length problems.

Strangely, this photo doesn’t really show that there are 2 hems here.   Stitch lines 2 and 4 are the problem hems.  The bottom one is the most obvious, you can see loops and the stitch length kept changing.

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What?  This machine is completely serviced! Not only that but it worked just fine on the last project it did – an ankle weight for Ryan to work his leg with.

I gave it a quick look over and made a point of checking the tensions – top and bottom but the stitch length problems were the key.

Folks, this isn’t a tension problem.  It’s a presser foot pressure problem.   I tightened the presser foot screw many turns and got the stitches I have in lines 1 and 3.   I didn’t even touch the tensions, only looked at them.  All of these seeming tension problems are a symptom of the feed dogs not being able to feed the fabric properly.

So why did the last project work just fine?  It was a heavier canvas type fabric and velcro.  There was far more bulk to give the feed dogs enough traction to feed.

It just goes to show – it’s worth taking a step back and evaluating the whole picture.  Sometimes tension isn’t tension.  That’s especially true if it goes hand in hand with a feeding issue.

*And yes, I did pull those extra little threads out that were left over from the original hem. 😉

Pssst! I'd love to hear what you think about this!