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Stitch Length - Parts of a Sewing Machine

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Adjustments for stitch length on a Singer Fashion Mate

Stitch Length Adjustment on Singer Fashion Mate

Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com

The Purpose of the Stitch Length Adjustment:


  • The stitch length adjustment adjusts the length of the stitches your sewing machine makes. The adjustment takes place at the feed dog not the machine needle.

  • Shortening the stitch length shortens the amount of fabric that is fed under the presser foot before the needle comes down.

  • Lengthening the stitch length lengthens the amount of fabric that is fed under the presser foot before the needle comes down.

Create a Lockstitch using Stitch Length:


  • A lock stitch is a way to end a seam without backstitching. You create a lockstitch by having the machine sew in the same spot without the fabric feeding under the presser foot.

  • Shorten the stitch length to zero to have the machine stitch in one spot.

  • Allow the machine to sew three to four stitches in one spot.

  • Set the stitch length to normal sewing and continue sewing your seam.

  • Reset the machine stitch length to zero to end the seam in the same way.

Using Stitch Length to Solve Puckered Seams:


  • Before the advent of so many new fabrics, ten to twelve stitches per inch was the rule of thumb for sewing almost everything. That is a good starting point but never hesitate to try various stitch length adjustments on a scrap of fabric when puckers are a problem. Many times lengthening the stitch will eliminate a puckered seam.

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