Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sewing Over Thick/Bulky Seams

Sewing Over Thick Seams

In preparation for our week long focus on saving money on kids’ clothes, I wanted to share some tips and tools. Today  I am going to share a tool that has many names and I’ll be using a lot this week. I call it a seam bumper, the company that sells the tool I own calls it a Clearance Plate and Drtiz calls it a Jean-A-Ma-Jig. For all of it’s names this tool is something you will probably want in your sewing kit. The most awesome part about this tool is you don’t even have to buy it.
Here is why this tool is so important! Your sewing foot works best when it is level. Several things can happen when you are sewing over thick seams and the presser foot goes up and down at sharp angles. First up, the dreaded and feared broken needle. Next up are the skipped stitches. You may not think skipped stitches are a big deal but besides from being unsightly, it also comprises the stitch line and integrity of the garment. Lastly some machines won’t even attempt to make it over the seam forcing you to jam the fabric through.
Here’s how you use this awesome device! As you are stitching along your merry way, you come upon a bulky seam. Keeping sewing until the front of the foot touches the seam. Put the needle in the down position (into the fabric), lift up the presser foot and place the bumper underneath the foot and behind the needle (see the pictures below). This should level the foot. Carefully sew over the seam. If you own a plastic tool like me, be very careful not to sew into this device. Once you foot is coming off the seam the front of the foot will dip down, if the dip is significant enough use the bumper tool, placing it in front of the needle and underneath the foot. However be extremely careful again, it’s very easy to sew into the tool in this direction. By using this tool it allows even pressure to be placed on the fabric and feed dogs, giving you awesome stitches!

Ready to give this thing a try? There are a couple of options to obtaining one. First, buy one. I own this one and JoAnn sells this one. There are also several other types out there with different names with lots of vendors selling them.  Next, you can make one! Take some scrap fabric and fold it. It’s going to have to be pretty thick. My bumper has two widths, one side is ⅛” thick and the other is almost ¼” thick. The nice thing about using a fabric bumper is that if you accidentally sew over into it, you won’t damage your machine.

Here are two additional resources in helping you understand how this tool works:

If bulky seams are still giving you trouble, here are some other things that can help when sewing over them:
  • Decrease the pressure on foot by turning the dial
  • Use a new needle and one appropriate for the fabric
  • Slowly hand crank the wheel over the seams

If you have any other additional tips or questions please share!

Written by: Shawna

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog, very helpful. I use a tongue depressor or a popsicle stick. It is no big deal if I accidentally sew into it.

    John Thomas in NC