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Hi everyone! I’ve been plugging in search terms for forums, discussion boards, blogs etc…to find help and I finally (thankfully) came across this site!

I’m a newbie to sewing and have a couple projects under my belt. Nothing too substantial yet.

Today, I was working on a camera bag and had a complete memory lapse as to which side (needle vs. bobbin) is the “top”. Unfortunately, I was concentrating so hard on following the pattern that my mental block didn’t really surface until I was just about finished w/my project and was working on the final stitches.

After thinking and researching, I reaffirmed my initial thought in that the topstitch is on the needle side…right?

For some reason, my machine (Brother CE5500PRW) seems like it’s sewing the topstitch on the underside of the fabric. Tension is set at 4. I’ve rethreaded both the needle and bobbin several times and I end up w/a sloppy mess that doesn’t look at all like the type of stitch I selected on the top and the bottom looks like what the topstitch should be.

Make sense?

I have pictures if that helps, but can’t seem to figure out how to post on here. :-(

Thank you in advance for any advice you may have!



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  • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

    Mar 25, 2012, 07.38 AMby katexxxxxx

    Sounds like your tension is incorrect for the combination of layers and fabrics. Experiment on the same combination and fabric made up in scraps and alter the tension until you get the correct look on both sides.

  • Img_2374_-_copy_-_copy_large

    Apr 19, 2012, 06.04 PMby Linda74Sews

    I agree with katexxxx. You probably need to adjust your tension.Go to your sewing machine manual . They usually show pictures of bad tension with instructions of whether to dial up or down the tension number. Match up what your stitch looks like to those in the manual and adjust accordingly.

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