“Making Changes”

The variety of machines; sewing, quilting, sewing/embroidery, serging, has something for everyone.  All of the Husqvarna Viking, Pfaff and Brother machines have “normal” or default settings for each stitch and technique on the machine.  These default settings (another name for the settings created at the factory) make some assumptions about what you are sewing and what settings would make the stitch look and perform the best.  Once you move up the line from the entry model machines, the stitch length, width and tension start to be set automatically by the machine.  In the case of Husqvarna Viking machines, the Sewing Advisor gives very specific parameters for stitch settings and even recommends the use of particular stitches so customers don’t have to worry about a thing.  All of these automatic settings make sewing fast and easy but can also cause some customers to be hesitant to change those settings:  sometimes ever!

The settings you can change on your machine are settings the manufacturers expect you to change.  Making changes in stitch length or width, upper tension, presser foot pressure, the feed teeth, needle position, etc. can all help your project look its best.  Some customers are afraid if they make a significant change to their machine, they will not be able to return it to the way it used to be:  the way it came from the factory.  Here are some guidelines to help you feel confident about making changes to your machine.

There are two types of changes you can make in the settings of your machine:  default and temporary.  Default changes change the settings until you change them back again, even though you turn off your machine.  They change the machine to a new set of default or factory settings.  On mechanical machines, default settings include any change you need to make by turning a knob or dial, such as a tension knob, dropping the feed teeth or a presser foot pressure knob.   On these machines, the changes you are making are mechanical and the machine cannot change them back again without your help.  On computerized machines, default changes are usually done on screen with an icon.  On these machines, once you change something like the stitch width safety or drop the feed teeth, these will remain changed even if the machine is turned off.  For instance, you will need to disengage the stitch width safety by touching the icon or it will stay engaged.  You will get a warning message every time the machine is turned on or when you try to change from a straight stitch to another type of stitch, but the default setting of the machine has been changed, by you, until you change it back again.

Top of the line machines make it clear which settings are default and which are temporary. Your machine may or may not be as clear, but you will have choices on each machine.

Temporary settings usually last only until you change the stitch.  Computerized machines, even if you change the tension or the presser foot pressure, as soon as you change the stitch or turn off the machine, will reset to the factory default settings.  Mechanical machines, if you need to turn a knob or dial, you will still need to return that knob or dial back to where you had it, even if it’s a temporary setting change.  (Even changes such as stitch length or width, if you turned a knob or dial to change it, need to be reset manually.)  That is one of the reasons computerized machines have become so popular:  they do a lot for you automatically.  If you own a computerized machine, the fear of messing up your machine is eliminated.  As soon as you turn the machine off and back on again, all is back to the original, fresh from the box settings.  This ability to “sense” when its settings have been changed makes it really important to have your machine up to date with its free updates from the website.  If you own a computerized machine purchased in the last five years that has a USB port, you can probably update your machine.  Updating your machine takes it back to its original factory settings as well as fixes bugs and glitches that showed up after the machine was in use with the worldwide customer base.  I hope this helps you make confident changes to your machine!  Happy Sewing!

P.S  I promised you a picture of the finished hooded pullover vest I made last week for my sister-in-law.  The lined hood was a big hit!

A close up of the hood on the finished garment.
The finished garment!