Skip to main content

Machine tension

Browsing on the net this week I found this article on machine tension on the Threads website with something completely new to me:

"Be sure your presser foot is down when you make the tension adjustment." 

This is an eyeopener to me. I tried it and it really seems to work better than with the presser foot up. I never thought of this making a difference and sure have never heard about this. Did you know?

For more information on the subject see the original article.


  1. Absolutely no clue! I will now always do it with the presser foot down. But, it does make sense.

  2. Yep, it does make sense, but I never read that information before...
    Thanks for the tip.

  3. They don't always tell you the important part do they!

    Love your Chanel jacket.

  4. I love that article. Thanks for bring it to our attention. I had no idea! Threads also has another article here that's explains thread tension.

  5. I know the presser foot has to be down to bring the tension discs together... but never put two and two together. Wow! Thanks:-)

  6. We learn something new about sewing all the time. Thanks for posting that.

  7. I thought it was bad for the tension discs to adjust it with the foot down. shows what I know.

  8. Thanks for the link to the article, Sigrid. It's interesting because I've always adjusted the tension as I sew, that is with the foot down. I don't remember anyone telling me to do it this way. It's just something I've always done. Natural instinct or maybe I'm too lazy to lift the presser foot to adjust the tension. :)

  9. Thanks, Sigrid, I will definitely try this tip. I didn't know about it, but I do remember an "opposite" - never thread your machine with the presser foot down, because it presses the tension disks together. So, thread with foot up, then adjust with foot down - my new mantra!

  10. wow, I've been sewing for 30 years and no one has ever told me that! Thanks so much.

  11. My Viking dealer specifically told me to make any changes to tension, stitch, stitch length/width when the presser foot was UP. The changes wouldn't "take" if it was down.

    She was completely, utterly, 110% WRONG.

    I haven't noticed any difference in effectiveness of changing things with the presser foot up or down.

    I love your jacket and your trim! I am going to make my own trim on my next Chanel-style jacket.

  12. I saw this same tip in a PR thread about 6 months ago. In my 30+ years of sewing, I never thought of this, nor was it ever mentioned to me. Surely, there is ALWAYS something new to learn about sewing!

  13. Thanks for the tip. I had never heard of it.

    I love your trim. The black weaving throughout is very pretty.


Post a Comment

It's always nice to have feedback on what I'm posting about. All comments, also positive criticism, are always highly appreciated.
Leuk als je een berichtje schrijft, altijd leuk om te lezen, ook opbouwende kritiek!

Popular posts from this blog

How to sew a sleeveless top with facings

How lovely to read the nice comments on my jacket. Grumpy without coffee commented that the original artist for the cartoon (which apparently was for books) was Sarah Andersen. Thank you for mentioning it. Beckster asked about the way I closed the center back seam of the lining. I did it by machine. She also said “Although I have not tried it, I have been told that the lining can be made by using the pattern minus the seam allowance and facings.” Well, certainly not without seam allowances, it should be without hem and without the facings. Important is that you have about 5 cm hem in the jacket for this to work. And I would always make a center back pleat. It gives you space to move without the lining pulling on the fabric. Next time I make a jacket I will try to make photos of the process of bagging the lining (Patsijean said she would have liked to see them and probably more would be interested). Might take a while though, see the end of this post.-----------------------------I mad…

Hilarious description

This week I bought the January Burda issue and browsing through it this top, and especially its description had my attention. Written by someone who has no understanding of modern, functional fabrics and never goes to the gym. Don’t know whether it’s the same in the English issue of the magazine, but in Dutch it says “Sport shirts often have the disadvantage to be close fitted.  This restricts your movement. Our suggestion: make this shirt with a full draped back.“I didn’t care to check their description of sports shirts they published before, but thought this one was hilarious.Off to trace a pattern from this magazine (not this one).

Lining a vest

In this post I'll describe how to line a vest. This description is based on the technique that is described in a Burda sewing book I have (in Dutch).

For your information: here you can find this description in a PDF-file.

First the result of the vest, I had no buttons to go with it, will add these later.

The back of the lining is cut 3-4 centimeters from the fold of the fabric. This gives moving space and prevents your outer fabric from pulling.

Sew the center back seam partially: 5 centimeters on the top, and a few centimetres in the waist and on the bottom.

Sew outside of vest as normal, but do not sew the side seams.

Sew lining, without sewing side seams.

Pin and seam vest and lining at front, armholes and back hem. Stitch to the exact seamline of the sideseam, not over it (see next picture)

Make sure you mark the side seam, to be sure that you do not stitch too far.

Clip all round seams, grade seams if your fabric is thick.

Turn the vest by putting your hand through the side s…