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puckering seams

lesleypf | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi, I’m hoping someone knows the answer to this one. I’m sewing a polyester lining for a skirt and the seams keep puckering. I am using a new needle, same thread in machine and bobbin and a longer stitch length but it still puckers! The polyester is very fine but I’m using 100% polyester thread and a fine needle. I’m sure there is a simple technique – could it be the tension of the machine?


  1. mygaley | | #1

    Just a few thoughts:

    Try "taut" sewing, where you hold the fabric firmly front and back while still allowing the feed dog to advance the fabric.

    Sew with tissue under your seam.  I save my old patterns (the ones I bought and never sewed) and cut them while still folded to make 2-3" wide strips.

    If it is the tension, go to http://www.sewalot.com.  I had both of my machines messed up and Alex taught me what 50 years of sewing had not.

    1. lesleypf | | #3

      Thank you for the suggestions. Using tissue certainly does help and I always use it behind button holes on fine fabric. Also thank you for the link to sewalot website - what a mine of information!


  2. woodruff | | #2

    There are a few more tricks you can try:

    A fine, "sharp" needle, not universal or ballpoint.

    A slight zigzag stitch plus "taut" sewing.

    Coats and Clarks fine machine emroidery thread. Sometimes an even finer than usual thread is helpful.

    Probably most importantly, for finely-woven fabrics, shorten the stitch. Lengthening is what you do for thick fabrics like coatings and fleece.

    According to Sandra Betzina, woven polys often pucker much less if you cut them on the crossgrain, and they behave even better when cut on the true bias.

    1. lesleypf | | #4

      Many thanks for the tips. The shorter stitch was much better and loosening the tension also helped. but by far the best result was sewing across the grain. Unfortunately, I don't have enough fabric left to start again so I may have to go and get some more!

      1. Kiley | | #5

        You might want to adjust your foot pressure if your machine has this adjustment.

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