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.


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. 😉

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