Sliding Buttonhole Foot

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My fabric seems to slide around on the throat plate when I sew?

It's almost like there's not enough pressure on the presser foot, but adjusting that doesn't solve the problem. The result is that I have a hard time getting straight stitches, for example, topstitching is always a little 'off'. Would love to hear of any possible solutions to this one! I'm using a Husqvarna Lily machine.

Since you did not mention which fabric you are using, I'll try to help with a few examples: If you are using a silky fabric, try using an even-feed presser foot. This foot pulls the top fabric through in time with the feed dog enabling your fabric to feed evenly. I use this on all silky fabrics.

If you are using a stretch knit, spandex, lycra, or any two-way or four-way stretch fabric, you might try putting a layer of tissue paper on the bottom of the fabric and the top. If you are sewing any type of spandex, you will have to raise the throat plate somewhat in order to prevent the feed dog from snagging the fabric.

Have you checked the height of the throat plate on your machine? Sometimes they get out of whack and will rise up a little causing pressure on the presser foot to slack off. Also, if you have been forcing the fabric through the machine (pushing it through faster than the feed dog is pulling) you may have worn them out to the point that they are no longer pulling with the proper tension. In this case, you should take your machine in for servicing.

In topstitching, loosen the tension on your thread as you cannot adjust tension in the bobbin on some machines. Also, enlarge the stitches...using 8 stitches instead of 10 or 12 will provide a better topstitch. Also, use a heaver thread for the topstitching. I use buttonhole thread or topstitch thread. I've also used two spools of thread in one needle for topstitching. It gives an interesting design when the two spools are different colors.

Be sure your bobbin thread is not catching on any spurs inside the machine. This will cause your topstitching to become uneven.

Perhaps the best thing is to first have your machine serviced. I take mine in at least once a year for their "yearly physical" and perform routine maintenance on them after every garment constructed. The routine maintenance is as simple as cleaning the lint that accumulates and oiling and greasing any moving parts recommended by the owner's manual. I have several machines as well as Sergers and have had excellent luck and performance with all of them. One of them is over 40 years old (I got it when I was only 16) and it works the best of all of them. Even sews through eight layers of heavy denim without complaining.

I hope this helps and happy sewing! This is a craft I have enjoyed for over 40 years. I'm currently designing and constructing costumes (used to work with Paramount but now on my own) and love the creative end of this craft. My most current project is designing a cape/coat using materials purchased from Goodwill and other second hand stores. Yes, some of the clothing there makes for the best fabric!


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