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Fabric pulling to the left? Please help

Fabric pulling to the left? Please help

Old 03-16-2020, 11:28 PM
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Default Fabric pulling to the left? Please help

Hello!


I've been reading the forums and seeing some posts written on this subject, but none of them fully capture the issue I am having.


I'm trying to sew a straight line on two pieces of 8 inch squares. I am new to sewing so when I saw that my stitch lines drift to the side instead of staying straight I immediately jumped on YouTube to see what I could to fix this.


First thing that is said is not to watch the needle and instead look at your fabric well before it feeds under the foot. To aid in this I can use masking take, post it notes, or a rubber band to have an extended line for my guide. I have been successful in using this technique and before the fabric pulls to far left I can guide the fabric very well.


The second thing I learned was to invest in an extension bed or find a way to have the fabric lay flat instead of half off the edge so weight of fabric doesn't pull to the left. I was lucky and my current machine came with an extension bed and I've been using it for my sewing. The squares fit perfectly on it.


The other tip I learned was to help guide the fabric out the back of the machine with my left hand to keep any fabric from bunch and shifting. The fabric doesn't bunch because it's a small square and I'm not pulling on the fabric. I don't know how to accurately describe what I am doing to know if I am doing it correctly enough or if this would have a huge impact on the fabric drifting. All I basically do it's let the fabric freely move through my thumb and index finger. I'm not doing any direction controlling from back there.


Here's the problem I am having.. after doing all that my stitches are still noticeably slanted instead of straight. I can visibly see the fabric drift to the left even on the slowest possible speed. I even started to improvise and push the fabric on the left side towards the foot and that has not helped keep the fabric from drifting.


Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong? Is it my machine? I want to be sewing perfect squares. Please help me.
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Old 03-17-2020, 12:16 AM
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It would help to know what sewing machine you are using. Is it possible that your fabric is not covering the feed dog on the right side? This can happen when trying to sew a quarter inch seam with the needle in the center needle position with some of the modern machines that are capable of extra wide stitches. It also happens trying to sew a quarter inch seam with some vintage machines that are left homing when sewing a straight stitch.

Rob
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Old 03-17-2020, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by rryder View Post
It would help to know what sewing machine you are using. Is it possible that your fabric is not covering the feed dog on the right side? This can happen when trying to sew a quarter inch seam with the needle in the center needle position with some of the modern machines that are capable of extra wide stitches. It also happens trying to sew a quarter inch seam with some vintage machines that are left homing when sewing a straight stitch.

Rob
​​​​​​
I'm sewing on a Brother HC1850. I was using a Singer 7463 and had the same problem using that one too. I gave myself a larger seam allowance, half inch, and have the needle as far right as it will go because it would drift so far that it would eventually uncover the right side of the feed dog.

I know both these machines are capable of wide stitches. Is there something I can do to prevent this? Would a walking foot aid in this situation?
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Old 03-17-2020, 03:10 AM
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I was having that same problem of my stitches going crooked at the end . I solved my problem by holding the fabric until its under the pressure foot and slowed my sewing down at the same time. It helped me a lot.
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Old 03-17-2020, 03:58 AM
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Unless you are holding the fabric as you sew, you will get drift. You might benefit from a seam guide attached to the machine bed to run your fabric edges against. You can make a little ledge to run the fabric along with several layers of masking or painters tape stuck down at the 1/4 inch mark.
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Old 03-17-2020, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
Unless you are holding the fabric as you sew, you will get drift. You might benefit from a seam guide attached to the machine bed to run your fabric edges against. You can make a little ledge to run the fabric along with several layers of masking or painters tape stuck down at the 1/4 inch mark.
I am holding my fabric in the front, but not in the back. My hand is in the back of the machine to help guide the fabric, but that's it. I'm steering from the front keeping the fabric edge aligned with masking tape that I am using as an extended guide. Should I be holding it in the back as well?

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Old 03-17-2020, 04:52 AM
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Hold it on the left side as it goes through. There are tons of sewing videos on YouTube. Watch a few of them and observe how they move the fabric with their hands.

As for slanted stitches, it sounds most likely to be a tension balancing problem. Work with both the top and bottom tension tighter and see if that doesn't help straighten your stitches.
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Old 03-17-2020, 05:27 AM
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I only need a fingertip pressure on the front of my fabric to keep it straight. Sounds like your machine may be out of alignment.
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Old 03-17-2020, 05:48 AM
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Well folks.....after having sewn on a Viking SE and now my new Bernina 570 both of which have 9mm feed dogs and really struggling to get that nice 1/4 inch seam and to sew triangles together even with a straight stitch plate, or moving the needle to the right. and using the dual feed or walking foot.....I am so, so, so glad I still have my ancient Viking D1 ;and also picked up the Bernina red machine (both have the old 5mm feed dogs. Today I am pulling out my old D1 and if it is working will use that to finish the piecing of my current quilting project.....I still have the cabinet insert for that one....if my D1 has ceased to function, I will use the Bernina Red Machine although I do not have an insert as yet for that one...I am tired of the gyrations I have to go through to get a decent 1/4 inch seam...with the 5 mm machines....just got to pick up the fabric and go....easy, peasy.
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:23 AM
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On tip I learned in a class how to have straight seams at the end of a seam is to put your left index finger on the left side of the foot as you reach the end of the seam. Works every time. Classes with excellent quilt makers are so worth the time so take as many as you can. I have learned so many tips and solutions to my sewing problems in classes. If your machine has zig zag function the stitches will always be at a slant. Over 5 mm machine is not easy to get a 1/4 seam without a lot of fussiness.
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