March 19, 2011

Nervous (Sewing) Tension

I discovered something exciting the other day. It is exciting from a sewing standpoint--those of you who are groaning may leave--which is a rarity for me, since I have been at it forever and figured there was precious little I hadn't already figured out one way or another. How wrong I was.

Are you like me? In other words, no matter what you do, is the tension on your sewing machine not quite as perfect as you would like? Do you lie awake at night wondering how this problem can be remedied? Do years pass without success?

Well, no longer! Stop me if you've heard this one: The secret is the bobbin case tension. To test your bobbin case tension, hold the case up by the thread, which you have fed correctly through the case's mysterious alleyways and springs. If the thread drops approximately 1 1/2 inches, your tension is correct. If it doesn't, or, as in my case, doesn't move at all, your tension stinks. Loosen the teensy screw that is on the side of the bobbin case by turning it counter-clockwise just a little. Keep going until the thread drops easily. Now sew something, and be at peace.

Truth be told, I cranked my bobbin case screw all the way around until the thread fell to the ground, and my machine sewed perfectly after that. I don't have the patience to mess around with rulers. I can't condone this behavior, however.

I find it astounding that I never came across this little test before. I'll tell you one thing: I have to wonder what else my grandmother took with her to the grave, and whether or not she ever loved me.

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