What The Heck Is Stitch Tension?!


I’m SD, we are learning how to tailor
but hang on! Everything seems really kind of straightforward it makes sense.
You understand that your sewing machine is asking you three questions. What kind
of stitch do you want to make, how long do you want it to be, and how wide do you
want it to be. But there’s one setting there’s one setting that trips everybody
up and it seems really confusing and complicated but the only reason why it
seems that way is because you might be like me and you just you have it
backwards. This is my thread tension right here and
the numbers go from zero to nine. Nine is really tense and tight and zero is loose. And your numbers might be completely different for my numbers but here’s a really easy way to figure out what’s what. Kind of move the knob or the dial around a little bit and just see how it feels. If it starts to get harder to turn or you feel more resistance that means your stitch is getting more tense. Yeah,
pretty easy huh? “Okay that, that makes sense SD but I
still I don’t really get it like what what do I set it at?” Okay well here’s
where I got confused and you might get confused too. And let’s use two examples
that you might run across. Let’s say you pick up a nice new flannel shirt or some
awesome looking denim jeans and you want to tailor them to look better on you. Your normal thought process is probably going to be like mine. It was to set my
stitch tension as high as it could go. Because it was a thicker material so I
wanted to make sure that my stitch was really strong and tight. Ah ah see that’s
where it’s tricky that’s not how it works at all. If you set your tension too
high and your material is too thick what ends up happening is your stitch pulls
really hard on everything and then your fabric ends up looking all wavy when
you’re done. So if you’re sewing something and you’re done you’re looking
at it like “what’s up with all these ripples man!” that might be why, check that! Well let’s say you got something that’s a bit more loose like a jersey or a pair
of curtains? I was dating a girl one time and she had me uh, she had me hem her
curtains for her. Shut up! Well your logic again is probably going to be to set
your stitch tension a little bit too low. Because you’re thinking that you don’t
want to have a tight stitch. You don’t want those stitches you know pulling
down on your garment too much. Nuh uh see? That’s why it’s tricky! It’s the
complete opposite! You want to set your tension higher because if it’s too low
it’s gonna look like those stitches are barely doing anything! It’s gonna look
like they’re just kind of just in there not really doing much. Let me
give you an example. I did that to a t-shirt one time. I had the stitch
tension way too low. I decided to reach over my head to get something on its
shelf. And I happened to look down at my shirt at the side seam and I’m like “uh what?” Because the seam is kind of doing that everything was pulling apart because my
tension wasn’t high enough. And just my luck of course there’s some woman
standing right next to me admiring my hack job that I did on my
t-shirt! Yeah it was awkward. So basically it works like this the thinner the
material the higher the number. And the thicker the material the lower the
number. If I’m doing a t-shirt or a dress shirt I’m usually gonna settle around 6
or 7 on my machine and I will not touch it again! Now that’s not true until I
decide to go back and do pants at which point I’ll loosen it up a little bit
I’ll go down to like two or three. Boom done you mastered it no go have at it on
those baggy clothes SD out, see ya!