Friday, March 14, 2014


This has happened to all of us.  We know there are a couple things we can do - but we refuse to believe that we COULD have threaded the machine wrong, put in the bobbin backwards, or possibly have a dull or bent needle in. Like, we know we just put a new one in! Right. 
The THRILLING THREADS ladies have come up with a no-fail method to walk you through the right steps to take in order to get that machine up and running again. I have to say that I still walk up to a student and ask, "did you re-thread it?" No. Did you take the bobbin out? No. When was the last time you changed the needle? I don't know. What size needle is in your machine? Don't know. What size thread are you using? Dunno, green thread, I guess. It's things like this that keep a lot of service people in business. Easy fixes for them - expensive for you. So, here are the four (4) steps to run through every time your machine stops sewing:

REMOVE AND RE-THREAD the TOP and BOBBIN thread delivery.  Believe it or not, the number (1) problem experienced with machines is that the machine is threaded WRONG.  Sometimes the thread does not get placed correctly in the tension disk or take-up lever, or while sewing, it can jump out.  Take the time to remove the thread (correctly: cut the top thread and remove the needle thread through the needle) and re thread the upper thread with the presser foot raised.  Then, pull the bobbin out and check to see if there are any little "bits" of thread or fuzz in the bobbin case.  Replace the bobbin, making sure to have the bobbin in correctly (and facing the right direction for the machine).  Try running the machine again to see if this was the problem.  
IF NOT, then . . .

TENSION:Check the thread reference or a Thread Journal for that particular thread.  If no reference, DROP the tension to number (1) and sew a few stitches.  Take time to look at the sample, front and back. If the machine is sewing, but the stitches are wonky, continue adjusting the tension up in small increments. Don’t keep moving tension UP THEN DOWN and UP AND DOWN.  Starting with (1) on the dial and moving tension up is the best way to adjust the correct tension.  

CHANGE NEEDLE: Size does matter!! Using the wrong size needle with a particular thread counts for a lot. If the needle is too small for the thread there will be shredding and breaking. If the stitch is still wonky, the needle is too large for the thread. How to test a needle for the right thread? Cut a length of thread about 12” long, take the needle out of the machine and thread it on the piece of thread. Tilt the thread so the needle slides from one end to the other.  If the needle does not slide easily from end to end, the needle is obviously too small. If the needle goes WAY TOO FAST, it is probably too large. Change the needle to a correct size.
AND . . .

CHANGE NEEDLE if it has been in for a long, long time . . . you know who you are – just want to get one more project out of that poor needle! DON’T!! Figure the cost of a needle – this is the cheapest fix on a sewing machine.  Using a needle that is either dull or bent (and the eye cannot perceive either all the time) can ruin the timing on your machine; not to mention a good project.

BALANCE THE THREADS: Make sure the size of the top thread (needle thread) is GREATER OR EQUAL to the size of the bobbin thread. Using a larger size thread in the bobbin than in the needle makes wonky stitches. Balance the two threads by using a larger size thread on the top than in the bobbin. If that doesn’t work, use the SAME THREAD in the bobbin as on the top. IF THIS STILL HAS NOT FIXED THE PROBLEM - - - change to a different thread! Don’t let thread be frustrating. Switch and see if that fixes the problem. (That’s why we have a thread stash!)