When I started sewing my pyjama bottoms, I got a problem with doing the zig-zag stitch on the leg lengths.
After a search on the internet I found this problem is called “tunnelling”. Basically, this is where the fabric is pulled together by the tension in the stitch. I suppose it is because my fabric is rather light. The “flimsy-fabric” alarm hadn’t been ringing though at the start of the project, as it isn’t what I usually expect with a woven cotton fabric. However, it happened and I didn’t like the look of it. At the back of my mind was the fantastic silk / cotton blend fabric upstairs, waiting for the day when I am experienced enough or brave enough to sew it.
My internet search also gave several suggestions for a fix:
1. Use a different stitch
All the suggestions here, aren’t possible on my ancient Singer. Is it time to face facts and get another machine?
2. Hang the stitch off the edge of the fabric
This sounds possible, but a bit fiddly.
3. Sew with tissue paper
I tried this and found that it was largely successful, until I pulled the tissue off the fabric and this pulled the thread enough for the “tunnel” to reappear. However, after I examined the lengths that had been done with this technique, there did seem to be some improvement.
4. Use a different technique
French seams may be the answer. I’ll definitely do this next time I use the fabric.
5. Don’t worry!
Yes, even though it may annoy me, perhaps I should just relax and live with it! After all, this is only visible on the inside.
There is a lesson for me in this – it’s all good learning. I really should check how a new fabric behaves on a scrap piece first, before I attempt the project.