Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sewing Multiple Layers of Heavy Fabric

Many people think their sewing machine can't handle sewing several layers of heavy or thick fabrics because they have broken machine needles while trying it.  Hemming bluejeans is a common problem.  Most sewing machines should be able to handle the job with this simple technique.
First of all, you don't want your machine presser foot to look like this.  The steep angle causes broken needles.  It should be kept level.  So how do you do that?
 Take a piece of fabric and fold it to about the thickness of what you are trying to sew.  You could even sew a few stitches through the layers to keep the folds.  This piece is a bit of my Teddy bear fabric.
Place the folded fabric under the foot, behind the piece you are attempting to sew, and it will level the foot.  Start sewing, and keep it there until the foot is all the way onto to piece.  Just be careful not to catch it with your backstitch!
When you get close to the end of your seam, before the foot starts dipping down, insert the folded fabric in front of the foot.  Finish sewing your seam.  Now wasn't that easy?!
 This is my sewing work from today.  Eight Teddys parts are sewn as much as I can before pressing seams open.  That is a project for tomorrow, after work.

I also finished the pink Teddy fabric, plus paw fabric for two or three bears.  Warp threads started breaking, so I glued up the end of the weaving after repairing the broken warps.  I will cut the completed fabric off the loom tomorrow, and full it.  I only have one more bear fabric to weave, plus two or three paw fabrics.  I need to decide what yarn color and pattern I will be using.  I'll think about it tomorrow. 


  1. And that looks like a pfine Pfaff machine you've got there! Wow, eight Teddy Bear parts. I'm impressed.

  2. I don't sew much, but I immediately knew I have done this with rug hemming. I will be giving this tip a try! Thanks!
    Beautiful work with the Teddy's, too!

  3. I love my Pfaff machines!
    Mike, I completely forgot about rug hems! Thanks for reminding me. This technique is perfect for them. Needles don't usually break from going through the fabric, although jeans hems can sometimes cause a problem. It's is usually caused by the needle hitting the foot.

  4. Well, it's about time--I had to switch to google chrome to be able to respond to comments!