Today, I’ll continue to share more tips and tricks to help eleviate the universal pet-peeve of the dreaded skipped stitch. Please click on this link to review Part 1.
Most of the time, a bit of tweaking with your tools and/or technique can easily rectify the issue of skipped, or wonky stitches. Keeping the presser foot level, for example, is essential to forming a good stitch.
Think, though, when you’ve tried to hem a pair of jeans; when you were stitching along fine until you attempted to climb that thick, bulky inseam. It seemed (no pun intended, lol!) like Mount Everest, didn’t it? As you approached that bulky seam, the presser foot started to slant upwards and was soon at a 45 degree angle, instead of being straight at 90 degrees to the needle. Not only is this a recipe for many skipped stitches, it’s also recipe for a broken needle. Here’s two little tricks you can do to claim victory over this once dreaded task. Well, three, if you count using one of our many heavy duty Janome machines, lol!
One of my favourite tools, which comes with many of our Janome machines, by the way, is the Button Shank Plate, which I’ve written about in previous posts. It’s such a handy tool, not only when sewing on buttons by machine, but for keeping the presser foot level when sewing over thick, bulky layers. Check out my post on Tips for Bag Making/ Heavy Duty Sewing for more useful tips.
The other little tip is to engage the little black button on the standard zig-zag “A” foot to keep the presser foot level. “What?”, you might ask. I love when sewists discover this little piece of brilliant engineering, especially when they’ve been sewing for many years and didn’t pay it any mind, or didn’t know it’s purpose. I had that same revelation soon after I started sewing back in high school and it’s truly an Aha moment.
My stiletto is pointing to the little black button (above) on the back of the standard zig-zag “A” foot. Push the button in and a little metal bar will slide across the back of the foot holder to lock the foot into position, which is 90 degrees to the needle. In the photo below, my stiletto is pointing to the bar across the back of the foot holder.
I recorded a quick video so you can see this in action. Keeping the presser foot level is essential to preventing skipped stitches.
Using the proper presser foot will also help prevent and eliminate skipped stitches. Janome’s AcuFeed Flex feet are like walking feet on steroids, and I use them for a variety of sewing applications. For example, I used the fabulous Janome AcuFeed Flex Professional Grade HP2 foot (below) to put in the zipper of my soft knit hoodie, so there was no bunching or stretching. This foot is available with some of our machines, like the amazing new Janome Continental M7P and the Janome MC 9450, but is also available in a separate blister pack for those machines with the special HP needle plate, like the Janome MC 9400, Janome MC 6700P and Janome MC 15000 Quiltmaker.
I used the AcuFeed Dual feed foot and twin foot holder (below), which comes standard with many Janome machines, to quilt vinyl for my iPad case. The Quilting Guide Bar comes with many of our machines, as well, or in a separate blister pack available from your Janome or Elna dealer. Look at those beautiful uniform stitches!
Please join me again soon for the third and final installment of Skipped Stitches Solutions. In the meanwhile, Happy Sewing!