Monday, April 25, 2011
Over the weekend I received an email from a sewer frustrated with her machine. She wrote that it would work okay for a bit, and then the thread would get all bunched and tangled underneath. I wanted to help her, but it's so hard to do that when you're not standing there to see what's actually happening.
But I didn't want to ignore her request, since I don't know how many times I've been helped by strangers answering my message board screams (usually about website issues).
So I gave her some basic things to do and sent off my response crossing my fingers and hoping that I would hear back that she was able to fix the problem. Yay, she was!
Then I started thinking about it, and the things I advised her to do are the same steps that I automatically follow every time my machine stops working the way I want it to (except for the last one since I refuse to buy cheap thread anymore).
So here they are, just in case someone else feels frustrated with her machine:
1. Check that your thread is properly run through the right channel(s) and then the needle. It's a simple thing, but it can come undone sometimes and cause problems.
2. Open the bottom part of the machine (down where your bobbin goes) and clean out all of the lint and thread pieces. This needs to be done pretty often to ensure smooth sewing. It is especially true if you don't have the drop-in style bobbin. If you are unsure how all the parts come out and go back together again, check your manual. It should show you how to do a proper cleaning.
3. Check to see if your bobbin tension might need adjusting. When I had a drop-in style bobbin, I never had to do this. But since I bought a machine with the little bobbin case that you have to take out and put back in yourself, I have had to use a tiny screwdriver (included with the machine) to fix the bobbin tension occasionally. Your manual should tell you about this if it ever needs to be done.
4. Lastly, what kind of thread are you using? My singer was so finicky that I ended up switching to Gutterman thread exclusively. The finer quality thread made a huge difference, and it isn't really all that more expensive.
These steps will solve 95% of your sewing machine problems (unless your machine is really broken).
Posted by Caroline at 8:00 PM