Wednesday, 24 May 2017

How to Adjust the Tension on a Sewing Machine

How to Adjust the Tension on a Sewing Machine

Having proper tension on your sewing machine is crucial because it ensures your stitching will be consistent and look the same on both sides. But, as important as correct tension is, even well-versed sewers avoid the tension dials on their sewing machines. Adjusting the tension on a sewing machine can seem like a daunting task, however, once you grasp a few basic concepts, there’s actually nothing very mysterious about setting and adjusting thread tensions on your sewing machine, whatever its make or model.

Part 1

Understanding Your Machine

1. Find the thread guides. 

The thread guides are the metal devices that help regulate tension. They are various loops that you run the thread through before looping it into your needle. They keep the thread from getting tangled and distribute the tension evenly from the spool to your fabric.

2. Find the tension discs and regulator. 

The tension discs and tension regulator together are called the tension assembly. The tension discs squeeze the thread as it passes between them, while the tension regulator controls the amount of pressure on the discs. The tension regulator is elementary: when adjusted to a higher number (turned clockwise), the discs move closer together, increasing the pressure. Turned to a lower number (counterclockwise), the discs move apart, decreasing pressure.
On older machines, there are only two tension discs, controlled by a screw or knob. On newer models, there are three discs controlled by a dial or keypad on the front of the machine.
Unless you have a newer machine that makes automatic upper-tension adjustments, using a thicker thread without resetting the dial will increase the pressure and cause the upper thread flow to decrease.

3. Find the bobbin. 

The flat bobbin case spring exerts pressure on the thread as it comes out of the bobbin case. You can either have a loading drop in bobbin (you won’t have a bobbin case), or bottom loading with a bobbin case in a compartment below the needle. The amount of pressure on the bobbin is regulated by a small screw at the rear of the spring.
Both the spring and screw are easy to locate when the machine has a separate bobbin case. When the machine has a drop-in bobbin with a built-in bobbin case, locating the tension screw can be more challenging but a little bit of searching will prove it’s there.
In either case, to increase the resistance, use a small screwdriver to turn the screw clockwise (to a higher number) or counterclockwise (to a lower number). Turn the screw in small increments and never more than a quarter-turn between tests.

4. Understand tension. 

Tension is what keeps your bottom and top stitches in equal tension with one another. In other words, it is what keeps your front and back stitches looking the same. Both the top and bottom tension must work together in order to create consistent stitching. If your top and bottom stitches aren’t even, it may be due to your tension not being right on the top or bottom.
Most domestic sewing machines are of the "lockstitch" variety. That means an upper thread and a lower thread "lock" together. When they don’t “lock” together properly, you could have an issue with the tension.

Part 2

Ensuring Tension is Your Problem

1. Sew a test seam. 

Using a small swatch of fabric, run a couple of seams down the middle of the square. Observe the top and bottom surface of the seams, using a magnifying glass if need be.
Remember you want your stitches to look even on both sides of your fabric. If the thread is so tight it’s causing the fabric to bunch around it or if the stitching is loose and falling apart, you might have an issue with the tension.
If your stitches look perfect and your sewing machine is sewing wonderfully, don’t touch your tension knobs!

2. Identify your problem. 

You’ve sewn a test seam or two and you’ve inspected the seams. A perfect stitch will have threads locked midway between the two layers of cloth, with no loops on the top or bottom of the seam and no puckers in the cloth.
An easy way to think of the thread balance is tug of war. You have your top thread and your bobbin thread pulling on each side. If they’re both pulling equally, the seam will be even and consistent. If one side is pulling too much, the thread from the other side will be visible.
If the bobbin thread shows on the top side of the seam and the top thread is straight, the upper tension is too tight. If top thread shows on the underside of the seam and the lower thread is straight, the upper tension is too loose.

3. Inspect your machine. 

There are multiple problems that could be causing issues with your sewing machine that aren’t the tension. Make sure to check these possible causes before adjusting your tension knobs:

  • Incorrectly threaded machine: Is all of the thread running through the thread guides? Is thread unwinding freely from the spool or is it catching? Is the bobbin inserted correctly?
  • Dirty machine: Thread ends can get lodged between tension discs, around the bobbin case, and under the throat pale. This can cause an increase in resistance and restrict the thread flow. Check all of these areas to ensure they’re clear.
  • Damaged machine parts: Bent needles and bobbins and rough or damaged surfaces on the needle eyes, thread guides, tension discs, take-up lever, throat plate, presser foot, bobbin case, or in the bobbin area can all cause problems. Give your machine a general inspection and remember that even the tiniest damage can distort tension.

4.Pay attention to your needles, threads, and fabrics. 

Different thread sizes on the top and in the bobbin can throw off your basic tension settings. A needle that is too large or too small can also unbalance your stitches. If you’re getting puckers on a lightweight fabric, trying shortening the stitch length to 1.75mm. All of these small details can wreak havoc on your project so make sure you’re detail-oriented when setting up your machine for a project.
Polyester thread is a true all-purpose thread, and it’s a good choice for most sewing projects. Wool thread, on the other hand, is very thick and if you were to use it, you'd have to adjust your tension.
Common heavy duty fabrics include canvas and burlap while cotton and polyester are common fabrics with a standard weight. If you’re switching between heavy fabrics and something of a lighter weight, you’d have to adjust your tension to keep the stitches even.
Needles come in various sizes for different purposes. There are thicker needles designed for denim that won’t break when they’re being used and thin needles that won’t damage thin, delicate fabrics. When buying needles, you can consult someone in the store to help you find the best option for your fabric.

Part 3

Adjusting the Tension

1. Find your tension regulating dial. 

It will be in a different place on every machine so if you’re not sure which knob it is, you can check your sewing machine manual. If you don’t have a manual, it is the knob with numbers on it that doesn’t change your type or stitches or length.

2. Adjust your top tension if it’s too loose.

 To increase your top tension if it’s too loose, turn your knob so that the numbers are increasing. Try ½ to 1 number lower, then test the stitches on a piece of scrap fabric. Continue until it looks even on both sides and you can no longer see the bottom thread on the top.
If you are unable to get it completely even, proceed to adjust the bobbin tension.

3. Adjust your top tension if it’s too tight. 

To decrease your top tension if it is too tight, turn your knob so the numbers are decreasing. Try ½ to 1 number lower, then test the stitches on a piece of scrap fabric. Continue until it looks even on both sides and you can no longer see the bottom thread on the top.
If you are unable to get it completely even, proceed to adjust the bobbin tension.

4. Adjust your bobbin tension. 

You should always try to adjust your top tension first because you shouldn’t need to adjust your bobbin tension unless you are using a heavier or lighter thread than usual. If you’ve done that and still need to adjust the lower thread, locate your bobbin in either the top loading drop in bobbin (you won’t have a bobbin case) or bottom loading with a bobbin case.
With a bottom loading bobbin, an easy way to test the tension is to take the thread hanging from your bobbin case in your hand. If it doesn’t unwind at all, your tension is too tight and needs to be loosened. If the thread unwinds with no effort, your tension is too loose and you’ll need to tighten it. You want to hold the thread and have it drop just a few inches. When that happens, your tension is perfect.
Use a tiny screwdriver and turn the screw on the side of the bobbin case by ¼ turn. Turn it right to increase the tension and left to decrease it. Test the tension again. Repeat until the thread only drops a few inches.
Similarly, with a top loading bobbin, you use a screwdriver and turn the screw by ¼ turn, testing your tension between each adjustment with a test seam on scrap fabric. The good old righty tighty lefty loosey applies in this situation as well.

5. Test your tension until it’s right. 

Keep sewing test patches until your tension is right and you’ve got even stitches on both sides. Once you’re happy with the tension, finish setting yourself up, and start your project!


  • As you begin sewing a seam, remember to pull the thread tails to the back of the machine and away from the needle area or "bird nesting" can occur. This is another common and frustrating occurrence for new machine operators.
  • When you’re testing the tension with a seam, choose different colour threads for the top and bobbin thread. Make sure the thread contrasts with your fabric. This will make everything much easier to see and will make your adjustments more accurate. Just remember to change to the right colour thread before you’re ready to sew.
  • It’s a good idea to start a tension log for your sewing machine. Just keep a notepad with the numbers written down for which tensions work with certain fabrics, threads, and needles. Note the brand, type, and size. This will make the adjusting process much simpler in the future.
  • Always remember to try your top tension first. In 90% of tension issues, it’s just the top tension that needs to be adjusted.

courtesy: WikiHow


Follow us on:

Monday, 22 May 2017

Start your own Tailoring Business with AED 8,999

Be your own boss - start your very own tailoring business with a little help from us :D

Offer includes:


1. Hoseki HSK-8900 High-speed lockstitch sewing machine (Complete Set)

The lockstitch uses two threads, an upper and a lower, the needle having the eye on the base. This stitch is named so because of the upper and lower threads, “lock” together in the hole in the fabric through which they pass. Unlike chain stitch, lockstitch does not unravel easily and is usually used on higher quality garments.

Overlock, also known as "serging" or "serger stitch", can be formed with one to four threads, one or two needles, and one or two loopers. Overlock sewing machines are usually equipped with knives that trim or create the edge immediately in front of the stitch formation. Household and industrial overlock machines are commonly used for garment seams in knit or stretchy fabrics, for garment seams where the fabric is light enough that the seam does not need to be pressed open, and for protecting edges against raveling. Five thread overlock machine is used to hem the raw edges of the fabric, this ensures the prevention of losing threads from the edges. 

3. Hoseki HSK-781 Direct-drive straight button-hole machine (auto-trimmer) (Complete Set)

Buttonholes are holes in the fabric which allow buttons to pass through, securing one piece of the fabric to another. The raw edges of a buttonhole are usually finished with stitching. This may be done either by hand or by a sewing machine. Some forms of buttons, such as a frog, use a loop of cloth or rope instead of a buttonhole. Buttonholes can also refer to flowers worn in the lapel buttonhole of a coat or jacket, which are referred to simply as "buttonholes" or boutonnières.
 Button stitching machine is a special type of machine which is used in garments industries to attach button so it is called button attaching machine. This type of machine works for stitching shirt buttons in a cycle and so these are also called simple auto machine.

 A gravity feed iron is a staple in most design studios, couture houses and tailor shops. Unlike a standard home iron, it has a large water reservoir that is suspended from a hook above the ironing board. This allows you to press for a long time between refills. A hose feeds the water to the iron, and to activate the steam, you must press a button on the iron's handle. You need to change the beads periodically, just as with any water filter. Gravity feed irons are great for fusing interfacing; you don't have to apply much pressure with an iron that weighs 4 pounds! They generate steam in any position, not just on a flat surface. 

Don't miss this unique opportunity, avail this package offer today!


Follow us on:

Monday, 15 May 2017

Cheat Sheet for All 37 Parts of a Jacket

Do You Know All the Parts of a Jacket?

courtesy: craftsy

Navigating the lingo on any garment can be confusing, but that is especially true for the parts and pieces of a jacket. Read on to learn what each piece is called so you can talk the talk when needed.

Note that there is no one style of jacket and there is a lot of variation from style to style. Your jacket might not have all of these bits and bobs, and there might be elements of flair that your jacket has that the diagrams are missing, but all the key elements (and a wee bit of flair) are included.



Most jackets have a mini vent in the sleeve seam at the hem. This is just like a vent on the back of a jacket, where one side of the sleeve overlaps the other, creating a small opening. It's often decorated with anywhere from one to four decorative buttons.


This is the seam along the back of the sleeve where the upper sleeve and the undersleeve are joined.


The point of the sleeve just to the other side of the shoulder seam is the head or the cap. This is one of the key fitting points on any jacket. If you're working with a tailor, you'll probably discuss the sleeve head or cap at great length to ensure correct fit.


The corner on the lower portion of the collar (the lapel) is the notch, and this style of collar is referred to as a "notched collar."


All collars have a front and a back, as well as an upper and an under. This part of the collar is on the top of the jacket. On top of the collar is the front upper collar.


The under collar is the part of the collar that is unseen when worn; it's under the upper collar. Often the undercollar is cut slightly smaller than the upper collar, so the seam on the collar rolls to the underside and is less visible.


The bit of fabric between the lining and the under collar is the back facing. It attaches to the front facing to finish the opening of the jacket.


The point where the collar rolls from the upper to the underside is called the collar roll.


The back of the lining has a pleat to allow your body to move inside the jacket without tearing the lining. The pleat is located at the top of the lining where it joins the back facing.


The seam where the lapel and the upper collar join, at the notch, is called the gorge.


The back portion of the lining is seen inside the jacket from the front. This is attached to the remaining pieces of the lining inside the jacket.


The lower portion of the collar is called the lapel. This part of the jacket varies in width based on style and trends.


The coat is buttoned on the front and “breaks” at that point, allowing the collar to roll open.


The portion of the front from the shoulder or yoke to the hem, closest to the collar and front opening, is the jacket front. Sometimes there is a dart in this piece for shaping.


The section between the jacket front and the side seam is the jacket side front.


Most jackets have a pocket of some sort around this point of the body, and many have a flap on the pocket, either on top of the pocket that is hiding underneath or just under a pocket opening.


To close up the jacket, buttons are at the centre front. Jackets like this typically have one to four buttons, depending on the styling. Double-breasted jackets have twice as many for the overlap.


The center line of the jacket, down the front of the garment, is the jacket center front.


The point where the side front and the side back pieces join is the side seam. This seam goes from under the arm to the hem.


The portion of the sleeve that faces out on the front of the jacket is the sleeve front.


In conjunction with the pocket flap, there will likely be a welt pocket, either hiding under the flap, or just above the flap.


The jacket front and the jacket side front are joined at the side front seam, which is often a curved seam for fitting.


Some jackets have a simple welt pocket at the chest. This is where a pocket square would be placed if using one.


Not all jackets will have a yoke, but if there is one, it spans from the back over the shoulder to the front of the jacket. The part of the yoke that's on the front side of the shoulder is the yoke front.



Most jackets have a sleeve made up of more than one single piece. The top portion is the upper sleeve.


The lower part of the multi-pieced sleeve is the undersleeve.


The curved opening that goes around the arm (from over the shoulder to under the armpit) is the armscye. For your reference, it is pronounced arm-sigh.


The shoulder, along with the armscye and sleeve head, is another major point of fitting in any jacket. It is the seam that runs from the sleeve to the neck.


The top portion of the back side of the collar is the back upper collar.


If your jacket has a yoke, the portion on the back of the jacket is the yoke back.


Most coats have a seam that runs from the neckline to the hem down the middle of the coat. This is the center back seam.


The seam where the jacket back and jacket side back are joined is the side back seam. This seam is often curved for quality fitting, much like the side front seam.


The jacket side back is the section of fabric that connects the jacket back to the jacket side front.


The section of fabric between the side back seam and the center back seam is the jacket back.


Most coats have a back vent to allow for movement when wearing the jacket. Often the vent is placed at the bottom of the center back seam. Sometimes it's a pair of pleats on either side of the center back, sewn into the side back seams.


The bottom of the jacket, all the way around the entire jacket, is the hem.


The bottom of the sleeve, around your wrist area, is the sleeve hem.


Follow us on:

Monday, 8 May 2017

10 Common Crochet Mistakes to Avoid!

Whether you're a beginner crocheter or an expert one, there are plenty of lessons to be learned along the way in your crochet journey. Some mistakes might be small, like skipping a stitch. Others might be downright destructive, like ending up with a shrunken wool sweater because you machine washed it.
We hope after reading our list of mistakes you can avoid making them without having to learn the hard way.


If you don't like the crochet hook you're using, you can certainly find an alternative! If you're a beginner, try out a couple of different hooks — plastic, aluminium, bamboo. You may find aluminium too slippery, while bamboo works perfectly. Your hook should be comfortable to hold and leave you free of hand or wrist pain. (There are plenty of crochet hooks to choose from right here on


This is one for all our beginner crocheters. You'll see two different numbers on each crochet hook: One number represents the hook size in millimetres, while the other is often attached to a letter.

For example, an H-8 hook is 5 millimetres. Often one side of the hook has the letter and number (like H-8), while the other side has the millimetres (5mm). Don't confuse the millimetres with the number attached to the letter! If you grabbed your 8mm hook instead of your H-8 hook, your gauge would be way off.


If you worked with one fibre and don't like it, that's OK! There are hundreds of fibre combinations out there. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Even if you don't like wool, for example, you might really love a blend of wool and alpaca.

Experiment with different weights, too. Some crocheters prefer bulky yarns while others go for lace weights. You won't know until you try.


Most of us look at talented designers and think, "I could never do that." But guess what? You totally can! We all have to start somewhere. Before you know it, you could be selling your patterns, too.


Did we mention that you should swatch? The swatch tells you what your gauge is, which lets you know if you'll have enough yarn for the project and if the finished item will be the size the designer intended.

Gauge can tell you about fiber itself, too. Does it drape? Is it stiff? Will it stretch? A swatch can answer all of this for you before you commit to using it for a project.


Don't just reach for any skein for your new project — plan your fibre choice ahead of time. Read over your pattern and think carefully about the yarn you want to use. Research the yarn online to see what other crocheters have made with it. If you want to use it for a sweater but can't find anyone else who's made a garment with the yarn, you might think twice.


It's not always your fault if a project doesn't turn out the way it's supposed to. There are a few precautions you can take to make sure you're using a high-quality pattern before you even start your foundation chain.


We've all been there. If you haven't been there, take heed: Check the yarn label to find out if your yarn is machine washable. If it's not, hand wash it. Otherwise, you could be left with a shrunken, felted lump that looks nothing at all like your project! If you're not sure where to look, get more info on deciphering yarn labels.


The best projects are the challenging ones, aren't they? It feels so good to finish something that you thought you couldn't do. Even if a pattern looks too complicated for you, give it a try! You can always enlist help from other crocheters, or just put the pattern aside until you feel more comfortable with the techniques.


Hold onto your fibre friends. Fiber friends are there to support you, whether they're online or local. They're especially valuable when it's time to find a new home for some of the yarn in your stash!

Don't forget to leave a comment and let us know a crochet lesson you've learned the hard way!

Courtesy: craftsy


Follow us on:

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Culottes tutorial for summertime

Culottes, one of the most trendy styles of the 50's and 60's, are back!  Culottes are flared pants or shorts that can often look like a skirt or a dress when you're wearing them.  I have been trying to help you build a warm weather wardrobe that is both easy and practical  –and that is easy to make.  Here is another free pattern to add to your collection of projects for the summer.

“Culotte” is a French word that means the lower part of a garment or knee breeches.  They have been fashionable since Henry III made them popular at court in France in the latter part of the 1500's and were worn mostly by the upper class.  Later, in the time leading up to the French revolution in the 18th century, the lower classes who wouldn't have worn culottes became known as “sans-culottes” or literally “without short pants” — a term these partisans and revolutionaries embraced as they manned the street barricades.

There are two things I really like about this culottes tutorial and pattern –there is an option of adding front pockets to the pants without adding bulk to the tummy and you can easily transform them into long pants by adding length at the hem.

My choice of fabric is Jacquard Knit.  This pattern is for knits only and comes in sizes 6 to 22.  The finished garment measurements are printed on the pattern.


Pattern sizes:

Finished Garment Measurements

There is a typo on the second column it should say lower waist. 

Pattern Pieces:

  • 2 Backs
  • 2 Fronts
  • 2 Pockets Front
  • 2 Pockets Back
  • 1 Waistband (not included in the pattern).  Please follow instructions on how to cut your waistband.


  • These pants look like an A-line skirt or amazing super-elongating silhouette palazzo pants.
  • A flattering feature in this pattern is the pockets in the front but they are OPTIONAL.
  • A soft waistband that does not add bulk to the tummy area.
  • For the girls that do not like to wear pants in summer, this is the perfect style to feel very comfortable and still look like you are wearing a skirt.
  • 5/8″ seam allowance in all pattern pieces.

Step Two: Cut the fabric

Use a rotary cutter or very sharp scissors and as many pins or weights as you can so your fabric does not move while cutting.  Pay special attention to the grain on the fabric indicated in your pattern.

Step Three: Sew the pocket.

We will start by stabilising the seam and the opening of the pocket by adding fusible interfacing or stay tape.  This step is a must because this area will stretch and become baggy if you do not use fusible interfacing.

Place the front pocket piece right side down on the front side of the pants.  Prints are going to be facing each other.  Sew the front pocket side to the front pants using a 5/8″ seam.

Turn the pant piece print side down and pin the seam allowance to the pocket.

Iron and stay stitch the seam allowance to 1/8″ from the seam. Trim the seam allowance, turn the pocket and iron.

Turn the pocket to the inside of the pants as it is going to hang and make 2 rows of stitches for decoration and for reinforcing the edge of the pocket.  You can use your twin needle here as well.

Do the same to the other pocket. Trim the seam allowance, turn the pocket and iron.

Change your needle to a twin needle and stay stitch on the right side.  The use of a twin needle is optional.  To have the same effect without the twin needle just make 2 rows of stitches.

Turn the front side with the pocket you have been working on the print side down, place the back side of pocket on top of the front side of the pocket.  Sew around the pocket at 5/8″.

Zigzag the edges or use the serger.  Please note that many knits do not need the edges to be finished because they do not ravel.  If they do, serge them.

Step Four: Assemble the culottes

Sew the 2 fronts together but stop 2 inches from the end.

Sew the back pieces the same way, stopping 2 inches from the end.

Sew the sides of the culottes and finish the seam either with a zigzag or a serger.

Sew the inseam and zigzag the edges or use your serger.

Step Five: check fitting and add the waistband

The pants at the waist should be close to your hips but not tights,  there should be no gaps between the waistline and your hipbones.  Adjust the pants according to your body, then measure the waist Culottes tutorial

 cut a band 1 to 1.5 inches smaller than the measurement.

Fold the band in half.  Sew the ends at 5/8″.

Fold the band lengthwise in half.

Mark the middle top and bottom by making a small notch with your scissors.

Pin the seam to the band to the seam of the back of the culottes and the centre mark you did before to the front seam of the pants.
Pull the bands to distribute the stretch of the waistband evenly.

Using a small zigzag, stitch sew the waistband to the culottes.  If you have a serger you can finish the seam with it.

Finish the edge with your serger or using a zigzag stitch.  And there you have it.  Done.

Whether you decide to make the culottes or the palazzo pants you are sure to have an outfit for many occasions.  Team them up with a tank top or pretty blouse and you can go anywhere.

credit: So Sew Easy

Follow us on:

Saturday, 29 April 2017

From Leftover Fabric to a Quilted Cover for your Sewing Machine!

Quilted Sewing Machine Cover – Tutorial
credit: sewdelicious

Do you have fabric leftover from all your other DIY projects? Don't throw them out! Simply follow the steps below and create your very own Sewing Machine cover to keep it secure till your next project! 

You need:
– one charm pack or 24 x 5″ squares
– one metre (yard) of coordinating fabric for side panels and lining
– 1.5 metres (59″) bias binding
– one metre (yard) cotton quilt batting

This diagram is the exact layout (including the colours of my charm squares!) that I used. You need to cut 4 side panel pieces (2 for the exterior, 2 for lining) and cut a piece of lining the same size as the charm square panel.

How to make a Quilted Sewing Machine Cover:

1. Sew the charms together according to the diagram above, back with a piece of batting the same size, and quilt as desired. I quilted diagonally through the squares.

2. Back the side panels with batting and quilt as desired.

3. Sew the side panels at the seam across the middle of the charm panel, with right sides together. When you lay it out, it will look like the diagram above.

4. Pin the side panel to the charm square panel. You will have the shape of the cover. Stitch up the sides.

5. Sew the lining pieces the same way.

6. Place the lining inside the exterior piece, wrong sides together.

7. Pin bias binding in place around raw edge, and stitch in place.



Follow us on: