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Topic: My sewing machine is teaching me humility.  (Read 7016 times)
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abinka
« on: November 23, 2004 11:31:23 AM »

My bf's grandma gave me her Singer sewing machine and I was extremely happy that I would finally learn machine sewing, as I've been doing everything by hand for years now. I gave it a whirl today, followed all the directions, but for some reason when I sew the front looks great and the back is a giant tangled mess of thread. I thought there was something wrong with the bobbin so I took it out and tried to sew without it, and still a mess. I've also tried to adjust the tension. Does anyone have ANY idea what I might be doing wrong? I'm sitting here with a pile of fabric and a broken heart  Cry
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melidomi
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2004 11:41:34 AM »

First of all, you can't sew without a bobbin on a sewing machine.
I've had similar problems when my bobbin was incorrectly threaded, so check that. Make sure that after you wind the bobbin, there's no little piece of thread sticking out of a hole on top of the bobbin or anything like that that might be getting caught.

I'd say just take all the thread off the machine, make sure there aren't any little bits of thread anywhere. and then rethread the machine.  Make sure it's all done correctly.

 Also, try test sewing with a different colored top and bobbin thread so you can see which one is getting all bunched up.  Which ever one is is too loose for the
other.  So if it's the top thread, try increasing the tension, if it's the bottom thread, try decreasing the tension.
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Lindsayanne
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2004 12:06:40 PM »


What type of material are you trying to sew? And are you being careful not to push or pull the fabric through but letting the sewing machine take it at it's own pace?

It sounds like a tension problem, but I've also had this happen when something was threaded incorrectly (your thread is through the needle and the wire loop just above the needle, right?) or when I was trying to pull a heavy weight fabric through.

I would advise rethreading it completely with a different thread (you never know) and trying to sew on a different type of material and seeing if you have the same problem.

Also, my bobbin is supposed to turn counter-clockwise in the case- although it seems "wrong" to put it in that way. I put it in wrong once and had thread bunching- could this be the culprit?
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2004 01:36:06 PM »

My sewing machine is a mystery to me, as well.  All those knobs and threads.  I am going to take lessons in January, and in the mean time I am leaving gifts of incense and flowers for the machine in an effort to appease it.

Edit:  the idea of using a different color of thread in the bobbin is a great idea--it really helped me see how the stitches come together.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2004 01:38:18 PM by Shawnkyr » THIS ROCKS   Logged

abinka
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2004 03:26:50 PM »


What type of material are you trying to sew? And are you being careful not to push or pull the fabric through but letting the sewing machine take it at it's own pace?

I would advise rethreading it completely with a different thread (you never know) and trying to sew on a different type of material and seeing if you have the same problem.

Also, my bobbin is supposed to turn counter-clockwise in the case- although it seems "wrong" to put it in that way. I put it in wrong once and had thread bunching- could this be the culprit?

Thanks ladies, I will definitely check all of these things. I'm sewing just some normal print fabric, cotton I guess. I might have been pulling or pushing a little, because I kept feeling like the machine was stalling on me (because it was, trying to get through the vast loops of crap in the back...sigh). The machine was still threaded from my bf's grandma's use god-knows-how-long-ago, including the bobbin. I tried to futz with it, but next time I sit down with the machine (probably shortly after the holiday when I come back home) I'll rethread everything and give it another shot. Also by then (my birthday is December 1 and hopefully I'll be getting a digicam!) I will be able to show you the mess I made, if I have the misfortune of doing it again.
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qazicat
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2004 03:57:08 PM »

Try re threading the machine again.  Some times you may have missed putting the thread between the tension plates.  Use the same thread you are using in your bobbin.  Using different types of theads in your bobbin will also cause this problem.

Pull the bobbin out and dust where the bobbin sits.  Sometimes dust will inhibit the bobbin mechanism from working properly.  Strange but true.

Some times just changing the type of needle will even make a difference.

Always check on a scrap of fabric that you are using to make sure the machine is sewing correctly before you start sewing on your project.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2004 12:43:23 PM by qazicat » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Eibhinn
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2004 01:15:54 PM »

I had the same problem and the nice Singer store lady explained it to me.

When your presser foot is down the tension discs in your machine are engaged, ie. pressed together.
If you thread your machine with the foot down it doesn't thread through the tension part properly and so you have no tension at all on your non-bobbin thread. This leads to annoying giant loopy thread maddness on the underside that you (and I) experienced.

When threading, make sure the foot is up, and then just before you thread the needle put the foot down and pull gently on the thread. You should feel tension, telling you the machine is threaded properly.

Lovely Singer lady was quite annoyed that they don't put this vital point in the manual. I felt dumb for not knowing how to thread my machine properly until she told me that they get at least six machines in for repair each week for just this problem. And it is a tiny little store in the middle of nowhere. So we're in good company.
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abinka
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2004 03:54:04 PM »

Wow! So by "up" do you mean depressed? Should I depress the pedal when threading or the opposite?
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AquaNetRocker
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2004 01:28:34 AM »

 I think what Eibhinn is talking about is not the pedal.. but the little foot piece that the needle passes through, the piece that you lift up to put fabric in the right spot and then put down to hold it in place... does that make sense?

 I've had this problem before, however I always thought the problem was with my stitch selector.. I'm going to have to investigate Smiley

 Good Luck
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abinka
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2004 03:36:33 AM »

Oh, that foot (hehe)... yeah I think it was up, but I'm going to try it all again when I rethread the machine this week. I'll post again if it continues...so frustrating.
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