FAQ: How To Sew Thick Pleats On A Singer Sewing Machine?

Sewing Thick Fabrics or many layers of fabric with your home sewing machine : 15 tricks

Home sewing machines are typically designed for medium-weight fabrics with a maximum of three layers, and they begin to develop all of the frustrating (inevitable) problems that they are prone to a little too soon. However, there are some simple tricks you can use to overcome these hiccups.

Choose projects carefully

Choose simple dresses with few pattern pieces, darts, or small pieces like collars and welt pockets to reduce the amount of sewing.

Check this about your sewing machine

If the layers of fabric are too tight for your machine to handle, place them under the machine’s pressure foot before sewing; you can adjust the tension in the machine by raising the presser foot lever to the highest position or using tricks of the trade.

Use some steam on the fabric

Allow the steam to permeate the fabric by hovering the iron a few inches away from it, then allow it to warm up as the fabric warms up under the steam’s heat.

Use a Hammer /rubber mallet or a tailor’s clapper

A few whacks from a small hammer can get stubbornly thick areas of fabric to behave. Tailor’s clapper is a tool made of wood with rounded edges that you use to press down thick seams after applying steam to make them seam magically flat.

No Pins! Instead use clips

If the fabric is too thick to pin together, use a clothespin to hold it in place and remember to remove it as you sew.

Choose Proper interfacing

For thick fabrics, silk organza or cotton batiste are good choices for sew-in interfacing; cut the interfacing on the same grain as the outer fabrics to avoid clogging the machine.

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Use a heavy duty needle and suitable thread

Sewing through heavy-weight fabrics may require a heavy-duty needle starting at No. 90/14 (or a jeans needle, which is usually No. 16 or even the largest size universal needle), as well as a thicker thread like jeans thread or strong polyester thread.

Use a longer stitch length or change stitch

Sew denim and canvas with a stitch length of 3 (adjust from 2.6), and even thicker fabrics (faux leather, cork, and leather) with a stitch length of 3.5. If this doesn’t work, try a small zig zag stitch.

Clip and trim 

When seams cross, i.e. you have to sew more than one seam together, remember to trim the seam allowances diagonally. After sewing a regular seam, trim one of the seam allowances to 1/4 inch.

Use the hand wheel

When you reach thick layers, you can turn the hand wheel to move the machine; the needle is not taxed, and you are in control; needle movements have no bearing on the cost of purchasing plastic sheeting for your home or car.

Hand sew

Thick fabrics can be hemmed with a loose catch stitch – this will give it a small stretch and you can sew it easily as well – if your machine refuses to work, you can hand stitch with a thick hand sewing needle and heavy-duty (jeans) thread.

Use clever sewing techniques

Hemming thick fabrics can be difficult, and you may not want the bulky look of turned hems. Instead, use a bias strip of a similar medium weight fabric, about 2-3 inches wide, and hand sew the binding to the back for an almost invisible hem finish.

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Change your sewing machine

You’ll need more than a simple plastic sewing machine to sew thick fabrics and layers; you’ll need a sewing machine with a front loading, metal hook, and bobbin case, or you can buy an industrial sewing machine, which is designed to sew through multiple layers without breaking a needle or its inner parts.

What tension should I use for thick fabric?

On medium to medium-heavy fabrics like linen and twill weaves like drill and denim, a 4 or 5 will usually suffice to lift the lower thread up to the middle of the layers of fabric; on medium to medium-heavy fabrics like linen and twill weaves like drill and denim, a 4 or 5 will usually suffice.

Why won’t my sewing machine go through thick fabric?

If your machine is still having trouble sewing thicker fabrics, try using a wedge to lift the presser foot and start the seam. Wedges are usually made of rubber or plastic and can be purchased from haberdashery stores.

Can you sew through cardboard?

Can you sew through cardboard? Most machines can sew through cardboard, which has similar applications to sewing papers. However, due to the varying thickness of cardboard, sewing through it should be done with caution.

What tension should I use on my sewing machine?

So we’ll just talk about the top thread tension because that’s where you’d usually make the adjustments: the dial settings range from 0 to 9, with 4.5 being the ‘default’ setting for normal straight-stitch sewing and most fabrics.

How do you know what tension to use on a sewing machine?

Remember that higher numbers on the dial indicate higher (tighter) tension, and lower numbers indicate lower (looser) tension when adjusting the upper thread tension on your machine. Try changing the tension dial up or down one unit.

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Can you use thick thread in sewing machine?

Most threads will work as long as they fit through the sewing machine’s throat plate; avoid threads and yarns that are too nubby and coarse, such as bouclu00e9 yarns, and don’t use grosgrain ribbons because they are too stiff.

Can I sew upholstery with a regular sewing machine?

You can’t use a heavy duty thread and an industrial grade needle on a regular household sewing machine when sewing upholstery, so make sure you use the correct machine for your sewing needs. Otherwise, your project will look inconsistent.

Can you sew with the presser foot up?

Before sewing, make sure your presser foot is in the DOWN position; sewing with it in the UP position will tangle your thread and cause your bobbin to jam.

What does a walking presser foot look like?

To begin with, the Walking Foot differs from other sewing machine feet in that it is large and bulky, and it has an arm that attaches to the needle bar, which instructs the sewing machine to pull the top and bottom fabrics through the sewing machine at the same time.

How do you push a needle through thick fabric?

Use a standard awl to pre-punch holes in the fabric for your needle to slide through in really thick assemblies; the sharper point on the awl will puncture the fabric much easier than your needle, saving you a lot of time and effort, and helping you create uniform and evenly spaced stitches.

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