Quick Tip Tuesday: A common thread tension problem

One of the common problems that I see with new sewist’s stitching is thread tension. But adjusting the tension dials is usually not the answer! Often the problem is that the tension disk has been bypassed during the threading process. Oh, the thread was sort of “placed” into the tension area, but it did not truly engage into the tension disk.

Serger threading example by Sew Maris

My answer? Pretend like you are flossing, and hold the thread between both of your hands when threading the machine. Be sure that you have some resistance on the thread, and that you “snap” it between the tension disks. Push back a little and you will feel the tension disks “grab” the thread. And don’t be a wimp! It is really pretty hard to break your sewing machine. On the other hand, don’t benchpress 250 against your machine 🙂

This tip applies to the tension disks in your sewing machine, your serger, and the tension spring used for winding a bobbin. Snug that thread in there, sistahs!

Happy sewing!







12 Responses to Quick Tip Tuesday: A common thread tension problem

  1. I HATED my serger for this longest reason because the stitches always looked loose and ugly…even though I checked and re-checked the tension. THIS was the culprit! I finally pulled my threads down through the tension discs, and voila. Perfect stitches. I’ve loved my machine ever since. 🙂

    • Yay! 🙂 You really cannot be tentative with a sewing machine, right? Show it who’s boss!

      Congrats on your course (which I am going to buy soon!) and your pattern Lauren. I am about to make up Soleil for my DGD!

  2. This is a great tip for those with auto-tension machines. My Viking had some issues with this. I could usually get it to work, but it would pop out again It turned out to be an issue that they fixed with an updated part.

    My Brother serger also needs to have the little tension buttons pressed periodically or the thread will work its way out–especially with wooly nylon.

  3. Oh my gosh! Thank you, thank you for this tip! When I checked my serger after reading this 2 of my threads weren’t even touching the discs! Life saver! Thank you so much! 🙂

  4. I’m new to using a serger, I could not get the tension right no matter how many combinations I tried. Then I read your tip about how to make sure the thread is in the tension dial correctly and Voila!!! the tension is perfect!!! Thank you so much for this advice!

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