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Topic: Help! Sewing machine works fine for a few stitches, then makes a huge knot!  (Read 2003 times)
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SnowLeopard
« on: January 22, 2011 02:47:13 PM »

Please help - you are the only thing keeping me from picking up my sewing machine and kicking it in it's stupid head!!! My machine will go through a few stitches just fine, but then gets a bunch of thread bound up in a giant knot underneath the fabric and I have to cut it out of the machine.

I've been using a Singer Golden Touch & Sew 750 intermittently for a few years. Seems like it will work fine for a while, I'll put it away, then when I start to use it again it has tension issues & breaks needles. I take it for repair, then works great until the next time.

So true to form, I take it out of storage and try using it, needs adjustment. Brought it to repair, the guy said the timing was off due to a slipped belt. He repaired it, even showed me a fabric sample where he worked it through the paces and different stitches (and I know it was authentic because the thread was still attached to my machine). I take it home and for the life of me I cannot get it to work correctly now!

I have the manual and have gone through it again and again trying to figure out what I could be doing wrong. As far as I can tell, I am threading the machine correctly, that I'm winding and placing the bobbin correctly and all of the settings are correct.

So I'll start stitching, it will make about an inch of normal-looking stitches, then disaster!
I've tried different stitch settings and tensions, same result. The examples below are set to straight center stitch, tension of 6, stitch length of 8.

It's hard to get a good photo of what's going on, but these are a close-up of the giant knot of thread underneath the fabric and several threads going down into the bobbin area, trapping the fabric to the machine.




Here's the top of the stitch - looks normal, right?


But here's the bottom of the stitch (after I've cut it from the machine).


I would go out right now and buy a new machine, but I'm not convinced it's not some mistake I'm making. Any advice???


Ugh - why did I get rid of my Pre-WWI Singer (which was an absolute workhorse!)? Who needs zig-zag anyway?!?
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011 03:42:44 PM by SnowLeopard » THIS ROCKS   Logged
determinedimprovisation
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011 03:16:39 PM »

Hmmm, maybe check and make sure the presser foot is all the way down and that nothing is causing it to stick?  I've had several duh! moments when I realized this was the problem after spending quite some time fiddling with everything else.

Is it a drop-in bobbin or the other kind that you put in a little thingamajig and click into the machine?  The industrial I used to use would sometimes get some gunk in the slits/grooves of the thingamajig and make the worst bobbin barf.  Running a pin through the slits/grooves would usually solve the problem.
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SnowLeopard
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011 03:35:44 PM »

The presser feet were down and functioning normally. The bobbin is a drop-in. The bobbin only fits one-way, and the machine has a self-winding feature, so I know it's not something put in the wrong way. I cleaned all the lint & threads out myself and the repair guy got what I couldn't, so I don't think it's anything that's sticking in there.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2011 03:43:30 PM by SnowLeopard » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011 03:56:31 PM »

I have this problem sometimes. I can often avoid it by pulling lightly on the thread ends through the first few stitches until the thread is secure. That's not to say there's nothing wrong with your machine, there could be. Just an idea to try.
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011 04:11:46 PM »

A couple of things that you might try.
I read somewhere (probably somewhere here on this marvellous site of supergods) that if the "mess" is occurring on the under side of the fabric that the problem is in fact related to the top thread. (and vice versa: if the "mess" is on the top of the fabric it is most likely bobbin related).  So have a really good check of your top threading of the machine and your tension (I know you have said you tried this, but it can't hurt right?)

For the longest time I had problems with my old machine as I was starting to stitch without holding on to the "lead threads" (I don't know what they are called, the ones trailling out behind the needle. ) I hold them in my right hand as I start stictching, giving them a bit of tension.  Once I have stitched a few stitches I let go.

Good luck in your pursuit of success, I am feeling your pain.
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TBickimer
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011 06:51:23 PM »

My machine was doing this do a while back.. and duh.. (to me) the simplest fix ever was... I was using the wrong size bobbin for my machine. As soon as I got the right size this stopped. So, as silly as it sounds, are you using the right size bobbin (there are different sizes).

Good Luck! I too have felt this pain!
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2011 07:13:51 PM »

It sounds like your machine is cursed!
Something similar happens to me when I don't thread the machine right, or if the thread pops out of the little tension guide thingy.
I think its time to break-up with your machine.  Undecided
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2011 07:51:48 PM »

Basically the tension still could be the problem, when you raise the presser foot the 2 discs that holds upper thread opens up. When you drop the presser foot the 2 discs close and the upper thread might not be properly seated between the 2 disc. When you have your presser foot up, put your material underneath. You should gently pull the tails of the upper and lower threads toward the back of the machine while you lower your presser foot. Keep holding the threads for a couple of stitches before letting go and this should ensure that the upper thread is properly seated in the tension disc.

Another thing could cause this is that you need to replace the sewing machine needle with a new one or one that is the proper size and kind for the fabric you are sewing. A lot of sewing machine repair people admit that if the sewer would just change to the appropriate needle they would not be bringing in their machines. Personally I prefer to spend a couple of dollars on a package of needles that is right for the fabric then the cost of bringing my machine into the shop. And if you are anything like I am, I buy them when notions are on sale for 1/2 price so I always have a spare needle ready.
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MissThing
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2011 08:31:03 AM »

i'm no sewing expert by far but i have an extremely old bernina sewing machine (that only does 6 stitches but it works like a trojan) and it does this quite often knotting on the bottom. with my machine i have found that the main culprit is the bobbin! and it useually happens after i change the bobbin rather than in the middle of a session.

i'm usually able to fix it by rewinding the bobbin thread again, and brushing/blowing out the bobbin chamber. and it often works fine straight after.did this proplem start happening after you changed the bobbin? then it might simply be the thread has wound too tight/loose.

i also have a slightly dented metal bobbin floating around my case and i ckeep looing which one it is so i can either throw it out/or fix it but every now and then it finds its way into the machine and causes problems.
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SnowLeopard
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2011 06:58:03 PM »

I figured it out!!!  Cheesy

Last night I went to bed, but was thinking of all of the variables that could cause the problem.

"Let's see, what are the things that changed after having the machine repaired? Let's see, I put it back in the cabinet, replaced the white tread with black thread of the same type, removed the bobbin with white thread and placed in a new bobbin and wound black thread on it, and oh yea, I removed the bobbin-holder to get that one rogue thread that was bothering me... Son of a #*$&!!!"

When I got home today, removed the bobbin-holder, carefully followed the instructions for replacing it, tested it, and now it works fine!

So to everyone that said "bobbin", you were on the right track! Thanks everyone for help (and listening to me rant Smiley)
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