Extra fabric at the end of a seam?

When I go to sew a seam with two equal lengths of fabric, the top layer ends up having more at the end. Even when I pin the whole thing, the top fabric is pushed down and bunches up, creating an uneven seam. How do I fix this?


Basting, like the pins will not work either. The machine is pulling the bottom fabric and pushing the top fabric.

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yup. What's happening is the feed dogs are pulling the lower ply faster than the upper ones are moving. You want the usual fixes, the expensive fix, or the learn to handle fabric fix?

    The usual fix is to adjust the presser foot pressure carefully for the fabric at hand. Some machines don't have a presser foot pressure adjustment. This is a big help, but won't work on very long seams. Sometimes you need to stop with the needle down and raise the presser foot, readjust the layers, drop the presser foot and continue sewing. The other usual fix is to baste instead of pin.

    The expensive fix is to use what's called a walking foot attachment, or engage IDF on a Pfaff with the footie behind the presser foot, or to use one of the other systems that have been developed like pin feed or needlefeed machines.

    The cheap fix, but the one with the longest learning curve, is to learn to handle fabric as you're sewing better -- like the pros do. The two best places I know to pick this up (if you can't find someone who's sewn in a manufacturing setting) to teach you are either Margaret Islander's Industrial Shortcuts I video/DVD (the section starts about 12 minutes in) or Jeffrey Diduch's article in Threads magazine, issue 87, Feb/March 2000 ("Sewing without pins"). I'm not going to be able to give you much of a lesson here, but essentially, what you do is to make notches along the edges you're going to be sewing together (a snip into the seam allowance is better than those inaccurate triangles the home sewing patterns want you to cut). You're going to start with both plies under the needle, then drop the needle, drop the presser foot and sew. You're going to be controlling how fast the two plies feed under the presser foot by the position of your right hand... slightly pulling the underply back when it's feeding too fast, and keeping the plies apart so they don't "velcro" to each other as you are sewing. You'll use the notches as match points to keep things properly aligned.

    The Industrial Shortcuts video is expensive, so I'd suggest you ask your library to interlibrary loan it for you: http://www.worldcat.org/title/industrial-shortcuts...



    Smartflix also rents it: http://smartflix.com/store/video/2180/Islander-Sew...


    Then buy a couple of yards of cheap fabric (I'd suggest something like muslin to start with) and practice.

    Source(s): 50 years of sewing
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  • 10 years ago

    First baste the fabrics together. I have links to several videos on my website that will show you how to do this by hand or by machine.

    Source(s): Happy Sewing, Lily Abello Sewing Resource Guide http://www.sewingresourceguide.com
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