Topstitching is a way to add a finished, decorative touch to any projects made on sewing machines. When carefully done, this simple trim can turn plainer garments sewn on Juki sewing machines like the Juki TL2010Q into something much more attractive. Getting the best result with various types of topstitching simply requires paying attention to a few important details.
Fabric Concerns when Topstitching
Since topstitching appears on the visible side of fabric and is usually sewn through only one layer, fabrics with some weight to them tend to perform better with this technique. Consider this ahead of time when planning a project. Another option is to use a stabilizer underneath finer fabrics to make sewing on Juki sewing machines easier and to protect the fabric.
Choosing the Right Thread
The purpose of topstitching is to create a decorative effect that can be seen on the visible side of the project. Keep this in mind when choosing thread. For greatest visibility, use colors that contrast from the main fabric, especially when using finer threads. With muted or same colors, choose a heavier thread weight that will create texture. Select a thread made of fibers strong enough to withstand the intended use of the item; polyester thread is popular for this purpose and used with many fabrics. It is more resistant to wear than cotton and other finer fibers.
Choosing the Right Type of Needle
For neat and precise topstitching and to reduce the possibility of pulled fibers on the visible side of the project, always start with a fresh needle. Topstitching needles have longer eyeholes which allow them to be used with thicker threads; however, it is possible to perform this technique with most multi-purpose needles. For best results, it is also important to consider the fabric and thread being sewn when choosing the right needle. A universal, sharp-pointed denim or other needle type may also be appropriate.
Get the Tension Right
Thread tension occasionally can become an issue when using sewing machines for topstitching, as it frequently involves using different threads than those used to sew the rest of the project, perhaps only through a single layer of fabric. To avoid tension problems, practice on a sample swatch to test the tension before working on the actual project. If there are any looped threads or the bottom thread is pulled through to the top, adjust machine tension to alleviate that. Great topstitching requires even tension to avoid stitches that look too tight or too loose, ruining the appearance of the design.
Experiment with Stitches, Presser Feet and Uses
Machines like the Juki TL2010Q offer settings for a number of different options that can be used for topstitching. Different presser feet also create different topstitching effects. Try different settings and presser feet on a sample swatch of material to find the most attractive settings to use on different projects and to get a feel for how the fabric will respond. Consider sewing machine topstitching in place of standard edgestitching along hems, cuffs, necklines, and pockets, as well as decorative stitching set further from the seams.
As with most other sewing techniques, topstitching does require some practice. Once perfected, this decorative method will surely enhance the look of any garment sewn on the Juki TL2010Q or other Juki sewing machines. Topstitching provides yet another way to create beautiful, unique and useful items!