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help for a newbie!

luckyluke | Posted in General Sewing Info on

hi everyone! thanks for the advice. i purchased a lovely sturdy singer 328k from ebay. it works quite well.

i’ve started on a burda pattern for men’s pants and it is going ok. Except when I have to topstich. I am not sure if i am going too fast or feeding the fabric too much or too little but it is not a very straight or clean stitch.

is this something that just comes with experience? should i just slow down and do it carefully? are those nice straight stitches on purchased clothing because of sergers or do i need to lay off teh coffee :))?

hope you sewing experts can help



  1. MegVT | | #1

    Sewing machines don't care much for coffee, LOL! 

    Seriously, though, i find that topstitching is better done at a slower speed.  And if you can get your hands on a copy of the current THREADS magazine, there is an article which outlines the way to get best results for topstitching.  The cover of the magazine has a model wearing a blue trenchcoat, which is topstitched in white thread. 

    Happy sewing to you!


    1. luckyluke | | #2

      thanks meg, i will look for that issue of threads. i've also thought about getting a seam guide/gauge accessory for my machine. it might help me make a consistent stitch line.


      1. TERISEW | | #3

        That gauge accessory will probably get in your way. Just look at the presser foot and see where an edge of it lines up with what ever is the seam line you are topstitching. Use that edge as the focal point of the actual topstitching process. Don't look at the topstitching itself. As you expand your sewing adventure, that foot will be a handy guide in all your projects.

        Going slower does help too.

        1. TashaGirl | | #4

          The recent Threads article mentioned previously gives a lot of good hints.  Also, if your machine has the ability to change the needle position, that can help you line up with where you want to stitch while you line up the an edge of your presser foot with another line of stitching or a seam line, etc. 

          I have also found that different presser feet help -- a quarter inch foot or straight stitch foot (mine is 1/8" wide on the right) or an edge stiching foot are all good at helping you line up.

          Practice helps too :)  Have fun!

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