Sewing Machines

Making straight, uniform stitches with sewing machines is easy once you get the hang of it. Yet did you know that you can and sometimes should adjust the length of your stitches? When working with Janome sewing machines like the Janome HD3000, some projects may call for a shorter or longer stitch length. It will be helpful to learn why you need to adjust the stitch length and how it should be done.

Why Adjust Stitch Length?

Sewing machines are typically set to a standard stitch length when they come out of the box. This standard length, which is 0.0944882 inches, is useful for most purposes to create a uniform, sturdy seam when using many types of fabric. This standard length provides roughly 11 stitches per sewn inch. If you lengthen or shorten the length, you will end up with fewer or more stitches per inch.

Based on this, you can lengthen stitches when you want to sew a looser, more temporary stitch like a basting stitch. Conversely, you would shorten them when your seam needs to be stronger and sewn with more stitches per inch.

How Adjusting Stitch Length Works

When you adjust the length of the stitches that a Janome HD3000 produces, it does not affect the needle itself. This adjustment is made to the feed dogs, which are responsible for pushing the fabric forward underneath the presser foot and needle. A shorter adjustment pushes less fabric under the needle before the next stitch is made, while a longer one pushes more fabric under the needle.

When Should You Adjust Stitch Length?

The decision to lengthen or shorten stitch length should be made according to the type of fabric you are using or if your project requires special seam treatment. Some patterns will specify that stitches should be lengthened or shortened to produce the best results.

Tighter and shorter stitches are better when sewing delicate fabrics that can easily fray or for sewing around curves in order to maintain an element of flexibility. Longer and looser stitches are preferable when sewing bulkier fabrics and also for machine basting that will eventually be removed after a permanent seam is sewn.

Longer stitches look nice as topstitching and some Janome sewing machines may require a longer length to perform certain decorative stitches. Most machines come with a stitch reference that offers suggestions on different lengths for a variety of purposes.

How Is Stitch Length Adjusted?

Most machines come pre-adjusted to the default setting of a standard 0.0944882 inch length stitch. This can be easily changed by using the stitch setting control. Manual sewing machines have a stitch length dial that can be adjusted, while computerized models like the Janome HD3000 can be quickly and easily adjusted using built-in electronic settings.

In either case, it is a quick change to make and one that allows you to create tighter or looser stitches as required for your project.

Chances are that unless you are working with particularly fine or bulky fabrics, you will not need to change the stitch length on sewing machines like the Janome HD3000. If you want to do a basting stitch or need a stronger or looser seam to handle non-standard types of fabric or to increase the flexibility of your seam, adjusting your stitches can be helpful.

Get the most from any Janome sewing machines by learning when adjusting your stitches is necessary and then take advantage of this useful feature!

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