5 tips for a smooth start to sewing

5 tips for a smooth start to sewing

How can I prevent the fabric from being pulled into the bobbin case area when I start sewing?

Especially when sewing fine, thin or knitted fabrics, the material can be pulled into the bobbin case area when you start sewing.

Below, we show you how to prevent this.


Is the upper thread threaded correctly?

The upper thread must be positioned in the thread guide on the top rear of the machine and lie correctly in the tension discs and in the thread take-up lever. This moves up and down on the front of the machine. It is best to hold the thread lightly in both hands so that you can feel whether the thread is threaded correctly at each point.

Especially after a thread break, it is easy to forget to raise the presser foot when rethreading. However, with the presser foot down, it is easy for the upper thread to be positioned incorrectly in the tension discs. The upper thread then has no tension and is pulled inside the machine the first time the needle moves down, where it gets caught.

Cover the stitch hole

The edge of the material must be placed on the marking behind the stitch hole. 

If the material does not cover the stitch hole or only partially covers it, the material will be pulled into the machine with the first downward movement of the needle; or, as some people say, "the machine eats the material".

Especially when sewing thin fabrics, it is better to start about 0.5-1 cm in from the edge and then sew 3-4 reverse stitches to the edge of the material. This also has the advantage of securing the start of the seam at the same time.
 

Use a straight stitch plate

When working with thin or elastic materials and when sewing elastic together, it helps to use the Straight- and CutWork stitch plate and a straight stitch foot (such as the Jeans foot No. 8).

The hole in the stitch plate and in the foot are narrow, which prevents the material from being pulled under.

Further information about BERNINA stitch plates is available here.

Use the height compensating tool

There is a very useful tool that is included with every BERNINA for ensuring that the fabric is fed in properly right from the start: the so-called "height compensating tool". This is a small plastic plate in different heights.

Placing the height compensating tool in front of the fabric edge helps the feed dog to feed the fabric in properly. This is not only helpful with thick fabrics, but also with thin fabrics.

Choose the right needle and thread for the fabric

Basically, the thicker the fabric, the thicker the needle should be. When sewing a thin fabric, it is best to use a size 70 needle.  We also recommend that you use high-quality thread for the best sewing results. 

Not sure which needle to use for your project? BERNINA needle search helps you to find the right needle for your project. 

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