April-backing-plate
April-backing-plate
How to adjust your tension
How to adjust your tension
  1. Generally speaking, leave the tension dial alone! It will have been set in the factory for general sewing and today’s machines are very forgiving. The tension dial is used to alter the needle (top thread) tension. However, stitch problems are rarely caused by the tension.

  2. The average/correct tension is usually highlighted in some way on the dial with different colours, shading or boxes around the numbers. For general sewing, keep the tension set within these.

  3. If you do have stitch problems, rethread the machine and the bobbin. Most issues are caused by incorrect threading, or even the thread having jumped out from between the tension discs.

  4. If the fabric is puckering as you sew, check the stitch length is suitable for the fabric; too long a stitch on fine fabrics will cause it to pucker. Use a small stitch length of 2.2 on fine fabrics, 2.5 on most wovens, and 2.8 – 3 on thick fleece or several layers.

  5. Check the needle. A blunt one causes stitch problems such as skipped stitches or uneven stitching.

fb-big twitter-big email-big pin-big

More Helpful Tips...

Shape Up Your Sleeves

Shape Up Your Sleeves

Give extra shape to frocks and tops with this handy sleeve enhancement. You can easily add interest to the head of the sleeve, and how it travels over the top of the arm, simply by using tucks, gathers, pleats and darts. Each of these will require a sligh

Improve Your Rolled Hems

Improve Your Rolled Hems

Guarantee flowing hemlines that hang like a dream. Keen dressmaker Sarah Greeff has colourful memories of her first attempts at making a rolled hem. “I was first asked to make rolled hems for a colleague at Fenwick of Bond Street, a lovely Thai lady who h

Perfect Your Piping

Perfect Your Piping

Add a luxury touch to collars, sleeves and hemlines. A little well-placed piping shows that you have added love to your garment. It’s that extra effort you put into defining a beautiful seam that makes an item special. To hand-make piping, buy cord in the

Know Your Overlocking

Know Your Overlocking

Get to grips with the best overlocking finishes for everyday stitching. The overlocker has a different feel to a regular sewing machine. The trick is to let the feed dog guide the fabric. Use your right hand to support the edge of the material, taking car

Master French Seams

Master French Seams

Get to grips with a clever seam favourite for a continental finish! French seams are common in clothes for children, where the skin is extra sensitive, as the inside is completely smooth. They also create a beautiful effect on structured garments, as they

Fix a Frayed Pocket

Fix a Frayed Pocket

A quick fashion fix with Amanda Bowden's classic miracle mend. The dread of torn stitching can be traumatic. Pockets are a common site of injury for catching on things, to say nothing of natural wear and tear as hands go in and out, and even the continued