learning to sew
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joseph peterson
(sparky) - F

Locale: Southern California
learning to sew on 07/22/2010 11:11:21 MDT Print View

I am waiting on an invite to join a sewing forum, but in the meantime....

I am attempting to teach myself how to sew using scraps of ripstop. I have figured out what all the dials do, and there are four of them. Presser foot tension, top tension, stitch length, and stitch type.

It seems no matter what I do, the same thing keeps happening. Huge knots of thread are developing undernieth. It appears that the top thread is not completing its turn around the bobbin, and it is creating a log jam. This is in turn pulling (pushing?) fabric through the hole in the plate into the bobbin area below.

No matter what I do to settings this keeps happening.

I am using whatever needle came with it and cotton thread, but I would think I could at least throw down some stitches.

Any advice you can give me here would be much appreciated. I am fairly sure I have the machine threaded correctly, but not 100%.

Would this be bobbin tension, or perhaps caused by the needle? Maybe it isn't threaded right. Getting frustrated!

Edited by sparky on 07/22/2010 11:12:14 MDT.

Jennifer W
(tothetrail) - MLife

Locale: So. Cal.
Re: learning to sew on 07/22/2010 11:21:36 MDT Print View

Many problems come from old sewing machine needles. That would be the first thing to replace. Try a size 12.

Polyester v-46 thread may be better.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: learning to sew on 07/22/2010 11:24:51 MDT Print View

What kind of machine is it?

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: learning to sew on 07/22/2010 11:31:55 MDT Print View

As Jennifer said, very often it's an old needle problem. It's important to always have a sharp needle.

Is the tension on the threads balanced? If either the thread from the spool above or the bobbin below are tensioned too much one way, the thread can get stuck.

I also find that the inserting the bobbin into my old machine in the wrong orientation often causes the thread to snag.

Is the material you are trying to sew too tough or tacky perhaps? I find that the thread snags when sewing belt loops or thick seams. The needle gets stuck and the thread follows by getting snagged.

joseph peterson
(sparky) - F

Locale: Southern California
learning to sew on 07/22/2010 12:57:12 MDT Print View

The machine is a Husqvarna Viking Lena. If anyone can upload a picture of this machine properly threaded I would be forever grateful.

From the top everything appears normal. Where the problem is occuring is undernieth the plate that is under the pressure foot. I take that plate off and there is always a large ball of thread that I have to cut out. The fabric is also forced through the small opening in the plate that leads below into the bobbin area.

When I open it all up, I can see that the top thread is supposed to be winding around the bobbin to grab it to bring it up to the stich, but it is getting stuck halfway through the cycle. Instead of winding around the bobbin, it gets stuck creating a logjam. After only 5 or 6 cycles I have a huge bundle of thread I am pulling out of there.

James D Buch
(rocketman) - F

Locale: Midwest
Search "Troubleshooting Sewing Machines" on 07/22/2010 12:59:03 MDT Print View

The internet search is your friend.

http://sewandserge.com/tshoot.asp

http://sewing.about.com/od/sewingmachineindex/a/mtroubleshot.htm

http://www.whatthecraft.com/arts/sewmachinetrouble.html

Thread tension stuff

http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/4302/understanding-thread-tension

http://reviews.ebay.com/WHY-IS-THREAD-BUNCHING-UNDERNEATH-MY-FABRIC_W0QQugidZ10000000002158648

Do you have a user manual for your machine. It is often of more help than a user manual for a car.

What is your sewing machine make and model? There are sewing groups for specific machines, for example. There is one (not very active) on Yahoo for sewing outdoor gear.

You can buy a user manual for your machine here:
http://www.sewingworld.co.uk/Husqvarna_Viking_Instruction_Books_and_Manuals_1.html

Edited by rocketman on 07/22/2010 13:04:20 MDT.

joseph peterson
(sparky) - F

Locale: Southern California
learning to sew on 07/22/2010 14:09:36 MDT Print View

OK I downloaded the manual. I had it thread wrong....

I just repaired an old stuff sack, about to make a new one :)

Mark Emerson
(Quack) - F
sewing on 07/22/2010 15:40:03 MDT Print View

Glad you figured it out. I had the exact same problem when i started out (Necchi BU Nova) and it was me being dumb and not putting the top thread under the foot when starting...

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: learning to sew on 07/22/2010 17:30:17 MDT Print View

Hi Joseph

> OK I downloaded the manual. I had it thread wrong....
> I just repaired an old stuff sack, about to make a new one :)

One caution: your problems are only just starting! :-)
This addiction is ... compelling.

Cheers

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: learning to sew on 07/22/2010 20:14:41 MDT Print View

Hey Joe,

Another solution: get married to someone who is a sewing machine expert.

Works for me plus she has nice long legs.

Good luck!

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: learning to sew on 07/22/2010 20:18:44 MDT Print View

>Works for me plus she has nice long legs.

Got a picture? ; )

joseph peterson
(sparky) - F

Locale: Southern California
learning to sew on 07/23/2010 11:05:51 MDT Print View

>Another solution: get married to someone who is a sewing machine expert.

I suggested that at first, and it didn't go over to well. "We" decided I will be doing all the work....

Yes I am addicted all ready. I got lots of plans and ideas

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: learning to sew on 07/26/2010 12:42:10 MDT Print View

You might also consider hiring a sewing machine expert to come to your house. I did that and the man was very helpful. He made sure everything was working properly and then showed me how the thread was supposed to go, told me what tension my machine should be set at, told me never to unscrew certain screws, showed me where to oil it, showed me how to tell if the needle is no good, showed me how to tell which thread is good, showed me how to thread the bobbin. It was very helpful.