Thursday, May 26, 2011

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Mamafitz, Nicole, Wendy, Patsijean, Faye, Katherine, Mary, Carla, Debbie, Shannon and Elaina for talking back to my confession last Friday! I admitted that I can never remember how to orient my fabric to take advantage of the feed dogs.

While most people gave good advice on this one, I was relieved to learn that I’m not totally alone. Two other commenters also have trouble remembering which piece should go against the feed dogs…

So, here’s what I got out of the comments (please correct me if I’ve misinterpreted anything!):

Basically, the feed dogs move the layer of fabric that they are touching just a bit faster than the top layer. So, in general, if you put the longer layer on the bottom, the feed dogs will help make it even out with the shorter layer.

Here are the times when people use them:

In general, put the longer piece of fabric against the feed dogs (5 votes)

Put the weaker grainline against the feed dogs (1 vote)

When attaching a waist band to a skirt or pair of pants, put the main garment piece on the bottom and the waist band on top (1 vote)

Put the back shoulder seam against the feed dogs (1 vote)

(I never realized that back shoulders are supposed to be longer than front shoulders; I always just thought that I didn’t cut them precisely enough!)

Good for princess seams and sleeve caps – the more sharply curved piece is the longer piece (1 vote)

Now, the feed dog feedback wasn’t 100% positive. ;)

Nicole, for example, always puts the minky fabric on top, away from the feed dogs, or else they stretch it out of shape.

Mamafitz and Debbie sometimes like to keep the more sharply curved piece (like the sleeve cap) on top, so that they can see exactly what is going on as they sew and take steps to correct any minor glitches before they become major problems.

Shannon doesn’t feel like the feed dog effect is such a big deal on the sewing machine – she only really pays attention to it on her serger, which moves much more quickly and thus is more difficult to make those small easing adjustments by hand.

Katherine sometimes feels like she has to fight the effect of the feed dogs – especially on long, straight seams – and she does this by either holding the fabric taut or by using her machine’s walking foot.

And Carla prefers the method of sewing princess seams that is explained by Kenneth King in this article.

And Elaina is so pregnant that right now she just doesn’t care. Oh, I’m sorry, Elaina! :(

Thanks again to everyone who left a comment! With all your help, I actually think I’ll be able to remember this now! :)

Photo credit: Sherry at pattern ~ scissors ~ cloth


Julia said...

Some good tips to learn. Thanks for sharing.