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Topic: What is wrong with my machine?  (Read 966 times)
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« on: May 04, 2007 11:46:14 PM »

So, I'm trying to stitch a top that I'm making. I'm using stretchy-knit fabric. So, I keep getting really tangled loose bottom thread, like when you don't have the bobbin threaded right. Here is what I did to try to fix it:

1) I re-threaded the bobbin (like, 10 times) and even though I've done it about 498479374 times, I even opened my manual and followed the instructions exactly.

2) I thought I might need a bigger needle, so I changed the needle (twice). 

3) I upped the top thread tension to 4, then 5.

I'm still getting that loopy tangled bottom thread. WHAT is going on??? I've tried everything EXCEPT tightening the tension on the bobbin. I don't really want to do that unless I'm positive that is the problem. I'm so frustrated, someone please help me!

I feel like it can't be an issue with the fabric, because I already sewed the top part of the shirt, and it involved three layers of fabric (the fabric I'm using is on the thick side), where as the part I'm on now is only two layers!
« Last Edit: May 04, 2007 11:49:41 PM by Kpuppy » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2007 09:17:18 AM »

Tangles on the bottom mean that it is a problem with the top thread....tangles on the TOP mean it is the bobbin.  So you are right not to mess with the bobbin tension.

When you changed the needles did you actually re-thread the machine, or just pull the thread out of the needle.  It could be somewhere in your threading....sometimes mine jumps out of the tension disks, and even though it LOOKS like it is threaded correctly, it isn't. 

Hope that helps!


« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2007 11:31:05 AM »

Actually, after trying absolutely everything, I did finally loosen and then re-tighten the tension on the bobbin, and once it was re-tightened, it  was fine! So, if you say the looseness on the bottom is from the top tension, I don't know WHAT was going on

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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2007 04:17:52 PM »

If that were happening to me I would assume it was the tension, I also get it wrong and it takes me forever and a day to get it right. I would play with the tension. Normal fabric is about a 4 or 5 but you said your's was strechy.. so maybe it needs a different number.

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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2007 04:36:23 PM »

That used to happen to me on my mom's sewing machine, until she pointed out that the bobbin was in upside down. 

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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2007 09:56:55 AM »

the one thing that jumped out to me is you said you are using a stretchy knit. What kind of needle to you have in it? There are specific needles that will work on knit fabrics. When I learned this it was like wow what an amazing difference in the stitches. I felt like I could sew anything now! Also check out the size of your needles too and make sure the size corespondes with the fabrics. Light wieght fabrics us a 11 or 14 and heavier fabrics a 14 or even a 16 but rarely would you need a 16. But you can buy denim needles too that work for tents and canvas. Hope this helps a bit too

« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2007 10:02:37 AM »

I'm at work right now, but I did look up in the manual for my machine what size needle to use, and I changed to that size needle. I think that my problem was tension related, because I eventually got it working by playing with the top and bottom thread tension a bunch.

« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2007 06:52:31 PM »

Just want to say that this thread helped me out ALOT. Almost every time I changed my thread I would have problems with the bottom tension being too loose. I had someone show me how to properly insert my bobbin (I wasn't holding it down and making sure there was tension when I pulled the thread). But my bottom thread was still bunching! Now I know that rethreading will save your life! Thank you!
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2007 01:37:55 PM »

Hm, glad you fixed it with the tension!
My first thought was also the needles . . . specifically, if you're machine sewing knit fabric, you should use a *ball-point needle.* It makes waaay more of a difference than you would think. I used to think, Psssssht! whatever . . . a needle is a needle, right? But NO indeed.

Instead of a sharp needle which tries to poke right through the fibers and can bounce off of a stretchy knit fabric, a ball-point needle slides right between the fibers, creating much neater stitches.

*Fun Fact!* Smiley

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