Get some balance

Hey, have you ever adjusted the balance on your sewing machine? Maybe I should ask, do you know WHERE the balance adjustment setting is on your machine? OK, do you even HAVE a balance adjustment on your machine? 🙂 I never had used mine, before today anyway. I was trying to emulate the heavier topstitching look that you get in RTW by using the triple stitch on my 1260 Bernina. I had jeans thread in the top, regular poly in the bobbin, and was running some samples with various stitch lengths. The stitch was a little wonky because the needle was not striking in exactly the same spot every time. Thank goodness I mentioned my problem to Mary at Sewing Machine Service, because she had the answer for me. The balance setting! Adjusting the balance setting allows you to make micro-adjustments to the stitch length, and that was all it took. Brilliant!

Take a look at these different samples. Here is my first attempt. I used the longest stitch length, and clicked my “negative balance” button twice. Bleah. Not good. 

Topstitching sample1











 The second sample was not much better. Ummm, maybe worse. I kept the stitch length the same, but changed my balance setting so it was only a single “minus” click away from normal. 

Topstitching sample 2











Still not right. Attempt number 3. This time I shortened the stitch length. Ahhh, getting better.

Topstitching sample3











And ladies and gentlement, here is the winning sample! A stitch length of 3.5 and a single “minus” click on the balance setting and I think it looks pretty darn good. Definitely looks much more like RTW jeans topstitching than a plain single stitch. Sheesh, that took some experimentation, but I LIKE it!











Now I guess I have to make a pair of jeans to use my new knowledge. 🙂

Happy sewing!


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