Dear Jan,
When sewing on lightweight fabric, I have trouble with the seam puckering. What can I do? -Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,
Lightweight fabric can sometimes create difficulties. Try some of the following suggestions.
1. Change to a size 9 fine needle.
2. Shorten the stitch length to between 1.5 to 2.0 (normal is 2.2).
3. Use a straight stitch foot. This foot has a flat bottom and a single needle hole in the center of the foot. This will help support the fabric around the needle to prevent puckering.
4. To further support the fabric, try a straight stitch needle plate.
5. It may also be necessary to loosen the upper thread tension.

Before the invention of the straight stitch foot and straight stitch needle plate, sewists placed tissue paper on the bottom and top of the seam. After the seam was sewn, the tissue paper was gently removed. Today, water soluble stabilizer can be used instead of the tissue paper.