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Thread: Complaint About Me

  1. #1
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    Why is it when I have everything lined up, a foot that has markings on it that I follow rather than the needle I still can't sew in a straight line? What is wrong with me? It's extremely annoying.

  2. #2
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Have you tried uncrossing your eyes???? (just kidding...)

    I have the same trouble, so don't feel like you are alone. It does seem to help when I slow down though.

  3. #3
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    JOin the party. Maybe better glasses? If you find the mark you want to sew on, I will put some blue painters tape down so it is straight, then another on top of it and maybe a third. It makes it thicker so you can pratically line the fabric up with the tape and feel the border. Might help you too.

  4. #4
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    put some painters tape down the front of the foot onto the arm of the machine and table (if necessry) to help you guide. This helps keep it straight going under the foot.

  5. #5
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    staring at the needle or even at a foot close to the needle tends to result in crooked lines.....try marking the base of the machine a couple of inches ahead of your needle and use that as your guide for the edge of your fabric and see if it helps...If us use that as your primary check, you can spot check periodically to see that the edge of the fabric hear the needle is where you want it to be.

    Think of driving down the road and focusing on a spot just ahead of your hood...you end up (usually) over compensating and the car moves back and forth a lot, even tho it may be small moves. If you focus on the road several yards ahead of the car, your turns are less jerky, the ride is smoother, and the path of the car is a straighter line.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktbb
    staring at the needle or even at a foot close to the needle tends to result in crooked lines.....try marking the base of the machine a couple of inches ahead of your needle and use that as your guide for the edge of your fabric and see if it helps...If us use that as your primary check, you can spot check periodically to see that the edge of the fabric hear the needle is where you want it to be.

    Think of driving down the road and focusing on a spot just ahead of your hood...you end up (usually) over compensating and the car moves back and forth a lot, even tho it may be small moves. If you focus on the road several yards ahead of the car, your turns are less jerky, the ride is smoother, and the path of the car is a straighter line.
    I love this advice! From now on, I'll be driving my Machine down painter's tape alley. Thank you for the vivid imagery.

  7. #7
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    one way that helped me start sewing straighter was to take a moment and draw the seam lines on my fabric with a pencil, it only takes a moment and makes a huge difference. i don't have to anymore, somehow just doing it for a couple projects helped me get the hang of keeping everything straight. i still always draw the lines for hand piecing but sew nice and straight with the machine now.

  8. #8
    Super Member Ripped on Scotch's Avatar
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    I have found that if I line myself up with the center of the needle and not the center of the machine I sew a much straighter line.

  9. #9
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktbb
    staring at the needle or even at a foot close to the needle tends to result in crooked lines.....try marking the base of the machine a couple of inches ahead of your needle and use that as your guide for the edge of your fabric and see if it helps...If us use that as your primary check, you can spot check periodically to see that the edge of the fabric hear the needle is where you want it to be.

    Think of driving down the road and focusing on a spot just ahead of your hood...you end up (usually) over compensating and the car moves back and forth a lot, even tho it may be small moves. If you focus on the road several yards ahead of the car, your turns are less jerky, the ride is smoother, and the path of the car is a straighter line.
    I'd like to expand on this and suggest placing a FULL small Post-it note (glued edge of notes) smack up against the right side of your presser foot with the majority of it extending in front of the foot. Then the front edge of the Post-it note becomes your eyeball site, and the raised edge of the note becomes your guide to keep the fabric aligned.

    Two issues, the sticky back on the Post-it Note does NOT adhere to most throat plates more than a minute -- I use a fat, thick rubber band around the free-arm portion of MY Bernina 1031 to hold it in place. Or a long piece of scotch tape. Both are easily repositioned for changing bobbins or sewing other seams.

    Also, if your feed dogs extend outside the width of your presser foot, this technique becomes more difficult. Try learning to sew with a changed needle position to create your 1/4" seam allowance.

    This little tip has saved me literally countless hours of pokey driving like a little old lady eyeballing right off the hood of her car! I now sew a perfectly straight seam with the pedal to the metal!

    Jan in VA

  10. #10
    Super Member franie's Avatar
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    I "wave" sometimes too! I usually fix it. Watch out for leaning left or right at the end of a seam.

  11. #11
    quiltluvr's Avatar
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    I've used the cheap shoe inserts from Walmart and masking tape. Cost $1.00. Works great for me.

    (OK, maybe I had to give up the glass or two of wine to help me out too??? :lol: )

  12. #12
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    These are all wonderful suggestions :D:D:D

  13. #13
    Super Member Quiltforme's Avatar
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    I cheat and use an attatchment to my sewing machine. It is from an older machine that screws to the throat of the machine. I now can say I sew a straight line.

  14. #14
    Super Member Rainbow's Avatar
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    Done by me to give me more confidence... worth a try.
    Quote Originally Posted by Holice
    put some painters tape down the front of the foot onto the arm of the machine and table (if necessry) to help you guide. This helps keep it straight going under the foot.

  15. #15
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    I have noticed that when I set the machine slower the seams are better.

  16. #16
    Super Member granny_59's Avatar
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    this probably sounds silly, but what really helped me a lot was the advice I saw on youtube from Holice Turnbow (Horice Burntoe.........???? dont remember the name)
    You cant sew a straight line unless sitting right in front of the machine!

    Getting up ironing and sitting down again I did often not take the time to sit straight in front of the machine.
    Also as already said: dont look at the needle, look where you go.
    Granny

  17. #17
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I think I am always the odd man out(or woman out), I watch the side of my presserfoot, and I also sit right in front of the machine. I use an office chair which may make it easier to sit in the correct position easily because it rolls.

  18. #18
    Super Member Kyiav10's Avatar
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    You can also use mole skin. It's thicker and the fabric can be lined up with it.

    Kyia

  19. #19
    Senior Member kclausing's Avatar
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    same problem here, I tend to zone out while sewing and suddenly I am not sewing so straight.

  20. #20
    Senior Member DeniseP's Avatar
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    I just blame it on my drunken sewing machine.....

  21. #21
    Senior Member SittingPretty's Avatar
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    I put a short stack of sticky notes on the line I want to sew on and butt the fabric up against it. Got that tip from Lynette Jennings How to Quilt book. Works really well.

  22. #22
    Super Member quilt addict's Avatar
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    I have a 1/4" foot that helps but still weave off at the beginning and end. These are all great ideas.

  23. #23
    Junior Member Mar_ie's Avatar
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    I find it hard when sewing along the diagonal line of a square to keep the sewing line straight to the end. I tend to end with a curve ! The end of the corner is delicate so ripping out sometimes takes fabric as well as thread..

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilt addict
    I have a 1/4" foot that helps but still weave off at the beginning and end. These are all great ideas.
    Sometimes the fabric is up to tight against the blade when we start, then as we finish, we tend to relax,and the fabric comes away from the blade. measure the seam allowance at the start and finish, and see if it is smaller at the start and bigger at the end. this is what was happening to me when i first started.

    there are alot of aids out there you can use to help keep the fabric straight. free ones,(like mole skin and post it notes) and ones you pay for..(ther is a magnetic guide,a screw in guide, a plactic one too) use what works for you.
    i also painted the front ot the blade tip white when i first started..so i could see it easier..(i used white out..lol)

    i watch the guide or the edge of the foot/fabric, never the needle.

  25. #25
    Super Member teacherbailey's Avatar
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    I use Dr Scholls moleskin....which is basically adhesive backed felt but with much better adhesive than the usual adhesive backed felt. Stack 2-3 pieces and stick them together then cut a straight piece about 1" x 3" and stick it exactly 1/4" away from your needle. Snuggle your pieces up against the edge of the moleskin and sew. Guarantees good seams every time!

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