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Help with seams that pucker

bettina | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I’m making a jacket with an embroidered cotton velvet and am having trouble getting the seams to lie flat and not bunch up as I sew  – I guess due to the varying thickness of the fabric.  I’ve changed feet, I’ve tried Sulky, I’ve tried a zig-zag stitch.  And the seams still bunch and will not lie flat.  Any suggestions?  Thanks so much.


  1. dreaming | | #1

    I haven't sewn velvet for some years, but have purchased more, and LOVE it! You could baste it with silk thread, so as not to mark the fabric's nap. And, I did purchase a "rolling foot", which helps keep layers even, which was my biggest problem. Also, try gently holding in front and back of needle, and sewing slowly. Also, check the pressure, and tension. Play on some fabric scraps (of the same fabric). I have been procrastinating on velvet sewing, but must get back to this so sexy, luxurious, and even warm and cozy fabric. One of my winter favourites.

  2. suesew | | #2

    I have had some success with double pinning the seams. I put one row of pins really close to the raw edge and another row just outdise of the stitching line and then sew inbetween the two rows of pins.

  3. SewNancy | | #3

    Lighten your pressure and lengthen the stitch and see if that helps. Also, I like to hand baste with silk thread and double baste any tricky areas.

  4. User avater
    Becky-book | | #4

    One more tip... the nap of the velvet is part of the problem.  As you sew, stop every few inches (with the needle in the cloth) and lift the presser foot to relieve any 'skwirmyness' the velvet has developed.

    Hope this helps,


  5. SewNancy | | #5

    I didn't explain what double basting, it is basting in one direction and then doing it again and filling in th open spaces on the side you are sewing on. The other way to baste velvet is to tailor baste, though I think that double basting is more stable. Also, if you have a walking foot I would use that too.

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