There must be a lot of hungry sewing machines out there as I have received the same question twice in the last couple of months so figured it would be a good idea to share my tips on how to keep your munching machines under control.
When sewing doll clothes you are often sewing tiny seams with small bits of fabric and if you are not careful, your machine will gobble up your fabric as you begin to sew. To avoid this happening there are a number of things you need to do. Firstly, it is really important to ensure that you have a good needle because if it is blunt or bent, it will not go through the fabric easily and tend to want to push it down into the needle plate.
Next, you must hold tightly to the needle and bobbin threads as you begin to sew. Doing this not only helps to keep the fabric on top of the needle plate, it also prevents the threads from tangling and nobody wants that. If you are still having difficulty, try moving the beginning of the fabric past the needle a little further toward the back of the machine before lowering the presser foot.
Another trick is to use a piece of tissue paper, or even normal writing paper, under the beginning of the fabric, drop the presser foot, hold the threads and start sewing. When you’re finished sewing, simply tear away the paper. This method also helps to stop your sewing machine munching the end of the fabric when you do your reverse stitches if you go too close or past the end. The photos below show this technique when attaching elastic to the beginning of the leg in my underpants pattern.
Another tip that Katy, one of my wonderful customers, told me about was to start on one piece of double fabric and then feed the fabric you are sewing with into the machine immediately afterwards, like train carriages. I can certainly see how this would work, but as Katy said it can be fiddly.
I hope these tips help to keep your munching machine under control and ultimately makes sewing your doll clothes easier. Thanks Katy for your tip and happy sewing to you all.
By Rosie Saw