Thursday, May 17, 2012


I spend most Wednesdays with a friend and we work on projects side by side.  I had a play with the sewing machine, to see what the different stitches looked like.  It turned out to be more trouble than I had expected.  I remembered to take all the cogs that have the different stitches on them.  Good start.

I diligently worked on cog A and tried the various stitches.  I had some trouble with the tension.  So my friend suggested that I vary the fabric I was using - I was using cotton with a light iron-on interfacing. Then I tried the cotton doubled over.  Still some ridging with the zig-zag type stitches but a little better.
Then she suggested I try changing the pressure.  She is much more experienced with sewing machines than I am, that would never have occurred to me. (I only recently discovered that it has its own foot and pressure knob for free motion sewing. I have been using generic free motion feet and dropping the feed dogs myself, not through the specific application that the machine has. It works both ways, a very versatile machine.  Husqvarna 2000SL)
Things improved but the stitches were still rather uneven.  I think this was due to how I was handling the fabric, I am very used to free motion sewing where I move the fabric and don't rely on the feed dogs.  So I tried not handling the fabric much at all and it seemed to improve.

However ... I didn't take the manual for the machine and when it came time to change the cog I couldn't remember how to do it.  Extremely frustrating!  I was a bit worried that the plastic might be getting brittle and that I might break it if I was forceful. 

Fortunately my friend was calm and collected and together we managed to work out how to do it.  So I have tried cogs A, B and C.  There are still some tension problems, causing ridges.  These might be ok with some of the work I do as I like texture but I want the option of not having texture.  When she tried her machine, a much newer Janome, there was no tension problem and it all sat beautifully flat.  This was a good indication that all was not well with my machine.
So I will have to keep trying.  

Even if I do get all the tension issues sorted out, then I want to experiment with different threads, maybe using the bobbin for thicker threads.
I also have to take into account how I am going to get the design onto the fabric, will I trace it onto the interfacing and then have the design reversed, so that the bottom of the sewing is what shows?  I will have to constantly check the underneath of what I am doing.  So the tension (well-chosen word!) needs to be right.

Anyway, I am getting some idea of what I might be able to do with the machine, trying to use my recent drawings as the inspiration. 

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