The tension settings on your machine control how taut the thread is.  You’ll most often adjust the tension of the top thread depending on the type of fabric or thread you are using.

Adjusting Tension
  • A properly threaded sewing machine with the correct tension settings should set you on your way to happy sewing.  But it’s not always easy to determine which tension settings to use.  Your sewing machine probably has a dial with numbers, but sometimes unmarked.  The general rule is “lefty losey, righty tighty”.  You’ll adjust your top tension most often, depending on your fabric and thread.  Always use a scrap of fabric to test out your tension before you sew any seams.
    The following diagrams show you what your stitches should and shouldn’t look like.

  • Adjust your upper thread tension slowly and inspect your test fabric for signs of improvement or decline in how the stitches are coming together.
  • The idea is to have nice, balanced stitches.
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