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Forum LockedHow to sew lightweight fabric without puckering?

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laukejas View Drop Down
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    Posted: 25 May 2016 at 11:07am
Hello everybody,

My first post here. I was told I could find a number of knowledgeable people regarding sail sewing here. I'd like to ask for some help and advice, if I may.

As the summer approaches, there is a need for a new sail for my little boat (the old one is shredded), and I find myself in a frustrating setback.
I am trying to make a sail from a lightweight 4.7 oz polyester fabric, since Dacron is not available in my country. I have the whole sail cut and panels joined with sticky tape, but my sewing machine won't cooperate. It's an old, Russian Podolsk 142 model.

The problem I'm having is seam puckering. My seams are 1/2 wide, and I want to do wide zig-zag stitches along each edge of the seam. I am using 12/80 needle and no.45 universal thread, both high quality. Here are some photos of what's happening, it's a medium width stitch (I'd prefer wider):

1 2 3 4 5 6

What I have tried already:

1. Lowering bobbin and top thread tensions - doesn't seem to be making any difference, even when the tension is so low that the thread "floats" above fabric;
2. Smaller needle - even with a 10/70, puckers are still there;
3. Lighter thread - makes no difference, and anyway, I want seams to be strong, so it doesn't make any sense to use weaker thread;
4. Lowering foot pressure - no difference, either;
5. Stretching the fabric as it is being fed through the foot - only makes matters worse;
6. Narrower zig-zag - helps a little, but the pucker is still there even with a straight stitch, and in a sail, straight stitch is not acceptable...
7. Zig-zag with an intermediate stitches - worst pucker of all.

If I break the stitches, and remove every bit of the thread, the pucker is sort-of gone, but not completely.

I have tried sewing other, thicker materials (like rags, socks, etc.), and the machine does not pucker them. Only my polyester fabric.

I am running out of ideas. I have been fighting this machine for a week now, 3-6 hours a day, with no positive results. What you see in these photos is the least pucker I could produce. I tried every combination of thread tensions, needles, threads, foot pressures, etc. I could think of.

Frown Thank you in advance. I really hope I won't have to buy a new sewing machine...


Edited by laukejas - 25 May 2016 at 11:08am
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wingless View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wingless Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2016 at 1:02pm
Welcome to the forum.
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