I am trying to make draperies, using average weight woven drapery fabric (not overly heavy or thick). My machine has been working perfectly for everything else, but now won't sew this correctly...the tension is a mess! I think it's because I'm using upholstery weight thread. I've used a different upholstery thread in the past and never had a problem, but that seems to be key when I'm trying to figure this particular problem out. I've changed needles, rethreaded, adjusted the tension, and only an extreme tension readjustment (settings of 9 and 1) got me even close to solving the problem and I'm not thrilled with how that looks. Any ideas?
Switch back to regular thread. Upholstery thread is used for seams that will get lots of stress (as in upholstery; although I use regular thread in upholstery and have no problems). For draperies, regular thread is fine.
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Not sure if I can help, but it may have to do with the heavy thread as well as the fabric and needle combination. If the fabric is thick or tightly woven, be sure to use a brand new sharp needle. (If the fabric is tightly woven (like Batik), a thicker thread may present a problem.) In your case, if using a heavier thread, perhaps a top-stitch needle would be beneficial since it has a bigger scarf to protect the thread. With the heavier thread in the top, the top tension will need to loosened. BUT, if you loaded the heavier thread in the bobbin, the bobbin tension will need to be adjusted to accommodate the thread thickness. However, remember that if you adjust the bobbin tension for this project, you will most likely need to readjust it for the next project using different materials.
FWIW, if the machine still works fine with regular fabric and thread, then you'll know that the issues revolve around the current project.
Are you trying to sew a zig-zag stitch with a straight stitch foot so the needle is striking the foot? Or is it an issue of the material being very thick?
I just googled this machine and it looks pretty lightweight so perhaps you are expecting it to sew fairly heavy materials such as jean seams and it is struggling to do this.
Also keep in mind that you should select a needle appropriate for the sewing job, so 60 or 70 for chiffon and lightweights, 90 for medium weights, 110 for heavy weight and use ball point needles for stretch fabrics.
Hi. You use different size needles for different fabrics and fabric weights. Size 16 needles are used for heavy fabric, like canvas, duck, or blue jeans. Size 14 needles are still on the heavy/thick fabric size. Size 10 needles are for very light-weight fabrics and size 12 needles are for medium-weight fabrics. Also, you need to pay attention to the type of fabric--if sewing on knits, you need ballpoint needles. If sewing on woven fabrics, you need sharps or universals. Universals are supposed to be for knits, too....but ballpoint needles are SO much better!
Use the right size and type of needle for your fabric, don't sew over any pins (they can bend or even break the needle), and make sure you don't pull or push the fabric while you're sewing on it. Let the feed dogs do the work of moving the fabric--you just gently guide it.
Hope this helps!