Friday, April 19, 2013

Border woes

overall view of wallhanging

Adding the three borders to my wall hanging didn't go well.
The seams of the first border puckered.  I should've taken the time to find out why, but I continued to sew them on instead. I was hoping to literally iron them out, I guess. ;-))

Anyway, prior to this project all I had done with the Singer 127K was a couple of test runs after I had oiled it. In other words, this was its first real project.

I had to tinker a bit with the stitch length when I started the paper foundation piecing, but the tension was fine. And remained fine most of the time.
But this is what I couldn't figure out: occasionally the tension setting changed apparently, particularly when I hadn't used the machine for a couple of hours. And then I would have to find the correct setting again first and continue to sew.

Now, I'm a beginner when it comes to hand crank machines. I'm not sure how they're supposed to behave. My first sewing machine was an electric Singer 191B. I still have it, by the way.
As I recall I hardly ever had to adjust the tension on it. It would sew anything.

Anyway, after trying every setting of the upper tension I resorted to adjusting the screw on the shuttle by turning it 1/8" anticlockwise. As a result of that the seams of the last border strips were fine.

Of course I still need to unpick all the borders, and start over. Hopefully the tension won't give me any more problems this time around. However, if the tension problems keep reoccurring I obviously haven't solved the problem. I feel I need a professional to have a look at it.
But first I'm going to start over with the borders, and see how it'll play out.

Time to show and tell, so here's some more pictures I took. Come to think of it,  maybe it wasn't just the tension issues. After I added the first border I removed the paper foundation. Some parts of the houses stretched a bit. I chalked it down to how the pieces were cut. I hadn't paid any attention to the grain. After all, the paper foundation acts as a stabiliser. Maybe I should've left it in.

detail puckerd borders
detail puckered borders
detail puckered borders


  1. Hello
    Sorry to read you had border troubles. The hanging looks pretty good so far. Tension on my 28k could be iffy until I realised I didn't have the bobbin threaded just so. Check that it is fully under the spring. Hope you get things fixed up to your satisfaction.


    1. Hello Gavin,

      Yes, that was the first thing I checked, but no such luck.
      I think loosening the tension screw on the shuttle did the trick. I was reluctant to do that, but I had tried each and every setting of the upper thread tension. So I tried it as a last resort, and it looks like it worked.
      I definitely should have taken the time to get the tension right when the puckering occurred.

      I'm still very insecure when it comes to tinkering with a sewing machine. I guess that's why I'm always going on about having a professional take a look at it, ;-)).

      But I've redone the first border, and the two sides of the next with no problems. I'm so happy, because I love using the 127K. My Mum was born in 1919, and the 127K was manufactured in 1917. My Mum passed away in 2011, which makes this machine extra special.