The feed dog moves up, then back as it pulls the fabric through the machine.

Effective understanding and use of feed dog speeds the sewing and enables professional results. 

The presser foot and feed dog work together to feed fabric through the machine as the seams are sewn.
However, the two work differently making several procedures, such as sewing to match and easing in fullness
easier to do.
The feed dog moves up, then back as it pulls the fabric through the machine.

The presser foot lifts slightly, then lowers, allowing the feed dog to pull the fabric back as the fabric is sewn together.

The presser foot lifts slightly up, then down as the
feed dog moves the fabric back through the machine.

Because the presser foot does NOT move back, if one does not have full control of the sewing the top ply of fabric will move slower through the machine than the bottom ply of fabric. 


Sewing notch-to-notch solves this problem.

Snip the center of notches
printed on home sewing patterns
so as to be able to align the
two  plies of a seam as the plies
are sewn together.

To prevent the lower ply being sewn faster than the top ply, snip the center of notches that are printed on home sewing patterns. This makes it easier to align the two plies of a seam as it is sewn. 

 

There are times when allowing the bottom ply to sew faster than the top ply speeds sewing.

Allow the feed dog to ease in the sleeve cap’s fullness
as the sleeve cap is sewn into the armhole.

 

Easing Fullness 

Allowing the feed dog to ease in a sleeve cap’s fullness speeds sewing. Pin the notches, then pin in the ease. Sew the cap into the armhole before the side seams are sewn. Then sew the side seams. Finally sew the armhole closed where it is still open at the underarm.
In this diagram
the bottom ply is
shown slightly extended
to the right to
illustrate how the
bottom ply is laid
slightly behind the top
ply before the
seam is sewn.

 

 

Sewing to Match


Holding the bottom ply slightly behind the top ply, enables perfect matching.  

In the diagram on the left the bottom ply is shown slightly extended to the right to illustrate how the bottom ply is laid slightly behind the top ply before the seam is sewn.When sewing to match lay the plies edge-to-edge with the bottom ply laid slightly behind the top ply.

Used in the industry, first test with sample fabric, just how much to hold the bottom ply as the fabric moves through the machine.

Three important considerations:

1. The garment must be cut to match.
2. The two plies of fabric must be cut on the same angle to the grain line.
3. The fabric cannot be basted or pinned.

The amount of the bottom ply that is held back varies with different fabrics, but is usually no more than 1/16 of an inch, making the fabric look as if it is about to be miss-matched as it approaches the needle.

As the fabric moves under the needle, the feed dog will pull the bottom ply in, causing the fabric to match perfectly. 


Your comments are most welcome – Laurel
 
 
Look for the article about seam allowance modification that I wrote for Threads Magazine in their 199 issue on the newsstands in late August (2018). 
 

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Laurel@CFashionEdu.com
215 884 7065

© Laurel Hoffmann, 2018.

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