I was given a sewing machine, and there's a problem. When I am sewing the bobbin gets all tangled up, I will get one or two good stitches then nothing. When I turn the material over there is a ton of thread from the bobbin. Has anyone else had this problem? How did you correct it? I checked the tension and tried different bobbin casings from my other sewing machine, but it continues to happen. Just wanted to know if there is something I can do and save the repair fee. Thanks!
Mary from Panama City Beach, FL
Possibly your bobbin is in the machine backwards or upside down. The thread needs to come off the bobbin in a certain way (or direction) specific to each machine. If it will fit, try flipping the bobbin over or around. Another thing might be the thread tension. Good luck! My sewing machine finally wore out after 30+ years. I think I could have used it even if I were asleep. I love my new machine, but I have to constantly stop and check my owners manual because everything about it is so different! (04/25/2006)
By Grandma Margie
If the bobbin is in correctly and through the slit in the side of the bobbin casing, make sure the top is threaded correctly. The part the goes up and down, I don't know the name, but it is right above the needle and if the thread is not through this part you will get a mess on the underside. (04/25/2006)
If that doesn't work, try replacing your needle with a name brand, like Singer. I don't know why it makes a difference, but it really does! (04/25/2006)
Either the bobbin is not threaded correctly or your tension needs adjusting. (04/25/2006)
I agree with the previous post about the tension and inserting the bobbin to flow in the right direction. Your machine may also be in real need of a tune up. Most major fabric stores have a company that comes in periodically, takes your machine and services it for a reasonable fee. This should be done every now and then as it will extend the life of your machine. They will oil it, make any necessary adjustments, etc. Be sure to tell them about the problem you are having. Good luck. (04/25/2006)
My machine did the same thing. I was ready to just trash it and get another one, but the saleslady told me to try this before getting rid of it. She said to oil the machine; and I might need to also change the belt. I told her that it hadn't been oiled in years because I hardly ever use it. She said in that case I need to oil it really well. It seems that the less you use a sewing machine the more you need to oil it; like every time you use it. I decided to try it. I didn't need to change the belt; and a couple of dollars for a can of oil and it works like a charm. And I didn't have to spend a couple hundred dollars for a new one. Good luck.
When you have a rat's nest of thread in your bobbin, it is almost always the upper tension that should be adjusted. Go to this site: www.sewalot.com/tension_adjustments. The name of the site is: How to tension your sewing machine correctly by Alex Askaroff. I found this by searching on dogpile for sewing adjust bobbin tension. I have been sewing for over 50 years and thanks to these instructions I can adjust any stitch by myself, unless a part is actually broken.
Editor's Note: Here is the link to the site:
There could also be thread or lint caught in the place on the bobbin where the thread hooks, take the bobbin to a reputable dealer and they will take it apart and put it back together usually without charging you for it. DO NOT ATTEMPT this yourself! those little screws are very dear! (voice of experience!) let us know if any of these suggestions help. (04/25/2006)
I hope this helps you, as I have 4 sewing machines and 3 sergers of all ages that I have never taken to a shop. Yo may also contact me for further assistance by taking my posted name, and adding to it family clothing at hot mail period com, you know how to put it all together. (04/25/2006)
I have found that sometimes the thread itself is the problem. At times, if I use the same thread on the top and in the bobbin, I have problems so I have learned to use thread from different spools. Also, try different needles that may make a difference. (04/26/2006)
Are you absolutely sure the machine is threaded properly on top? Also, I had a problem once bad enough to bring it in for repair and they told me the problem was that I was using the wrong size bobbin. I had used these bobbins many times, but they turned out to be just slightly shorter than the ones I was supposed to be using and that time it caused a problem. (04/27/2006)
I had the same problem with my machine. It uses a plastic bobbin. I found that there was a small chip out of the plastic and every time the bobbin went around, it caught the thread and made a mess. I got a new bobbin and now it works perfectly. (04/30/2006)
I recently took a week course in sewing machine repair. All advice above is valid, except oiling: old oil will turn to varnish, and must be removed with alcohol before adding new oil. Otherwise, machine parts stick and will not run smoothly. (Also, for this reason, too little oil is better than too much.) This is what most repair people will do when you bring your machine in for service.
If threading is correct and your tension is properly adjusted (refer to your manual) and you have a new needle (change every 4 hours, you will be amazed at the difference!), then check the hook for scratches. If you have ever hit the hook with a needle, it will be scarred and will catch the thread every time the upper thread passes around the bobbin case. The hook is the sharp point on the shuttle that holds the bobbin case. If it is scratched, polish it smooth with VERY fine sand paper, or a green stick (flexible abrasive available at most auto supply shops.) The stitch cover plate may be scratched too; same remedy works here, although to get into the tiny feed dog slots, you need abrasive dental floss.
Good luck fixing it yourself! If you find that you need to take it to an expert, don't worry! It's not wasted money. You will be able to sew more things and save! Have them show you what they did, so you can fix it yourself next time.
Make sure your needle is not in backwards.
The rounded side should be on the outside. (06/01/2006)
Make sure both top and bottom threads are pulled toward back of machine and under foot before sewing. If the bobbin thread isn't visible to side of material, and if it gets underneath as you start to sew it will tangle it will make a birds nest. Helps if you hold both threads very lightly to side as you make first few stitches, then let go. Good luck. (06/21/2006)
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