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By firestarter On 06/02/03  

i am learning how to sew and cant figure out how to get good thread tension on my machine for the life of me.

i always do a sample on practice fabric that is scraps of my actual project. but in practicing, i can never get the seam to look right.

any suggestions ??

By nicegirl512 On 06/02/03  

Is the bobbin thread looping up and creating a horrible nest of threads on the underside? Is the thread breaking because the tension is too high? If these are not the problems you're having, tension might not be the issue (can you give more description of what doesn't look right?).

There are three ways to try to fix tension problems
1. Rethread the machine. I don't know what you have, but on mine (a New Home), when you're bringing the thread from the thread spool to the left side of the machine and you go down and then up (can't think how else to describe this), when you go down you have to listen to hear the thread "click" into the tension wheel. You may not be catching the thread. Also, make sure your bobbin thread is going the proper direction when you put it in the casing.
2. Adjust the tension setting. Only in a very unusual case should it be outside the "normal" range. So unusual that I don't know what it would be.
3. When all else fails, adjust the bobbin tension. This is a little screw on the bobbin casing (look in your manual), you adjust it a quarter turn at a time. After cursing and crying over my sewing machine and its unbearable tension problems for six years someone suggested that I adjust the bobbin tension. Miracle! I haven't had any trouble since.

Also, make sure you're using the right kind of needle. Ballpoint for stretch, denim for heavy fabrics, universal for most things.

By firestarter On 06/02/03  

it's not that the bobbin is creating a horrible nest or that the thread is breaking. instead, when the stitches go through the fabric, instead of being the normal diagonal stitch the stitches create a cross pattern. it just looks very wrong.

despite my ineptitude at the moment, I HAVE gotten this machine to stitch properly. it is a great machine, it just doesnt like me very much right now.

what could it be?? i will try to adjust the bobbin tension and see if that works...

By trainspotgirl On 06/02/03  

are you sure your machine is on the right stitch setting?? I know I've confused myself tons of times with the buttonhole stitch and the zigzag stitch...I always think the zigzag should come first in settings and it doesn'

By parisinflames On 06/02/03  

what do i do if the bobbin thread does create a nest thingy?

By nicegirl512 On 06/03/03  

Firestarter: Hmm, I have no idea what could be causing that. Is it making this cross pattern when you're trying to make a straight seam, or is it when you're zigzagging? I would double check the stitch setting, but I'm afraid you're beyond my small measure of expertise with that one.

Parisinflames: When the bobbin creates a horrible nest it's time to rethread the machine. Totally counterintuitive, but this is actually a problem with the tension on the top thread, rather than the bobbin thread. Make sure you hear the click when you thread through the tension wheel. If you've rethreaded the machine and the bobbin and know you have tension (you can test this by putting the foot down and pulling on the thread coming through the needle. If it's difficult to pull, you have tension), and this problem persists, then you can try adjusting your bobbin tension.

By firestarter On 06/03/03  

it makes the crosses when i am doing both zig zag and tight-knit stitches.

i cant figure out what i am doing wrong...grrrr!

By DeborahM On 06/03/03  

If your sure your you've selected the right stitch pattern look at the leangth,put it to 1 then work your way up to the higher number.Maybe you have a width and leangth dials.Check this too.

As for the rats nest.If it's only at the end of a seam:Lift kneedle out of fabric,lift foot,turn hand crank either 1/4 forward and/or backwards,pull off-make sure to pull out about 2" of thread so you don't 'pre-tangle' for the next seam.Always hold threads taut when starting a seam.

By firestarter On 06/08/03  

ok, i tried sewing again tonight and here's what happens always, consistently -- the thread breaks as i am sewing. i am sewing on a stretchy-type material and i am using a regular needle. i think i will go to the fabric store this week and get a needle just for the stretchy material. maybe that'll fix it... (crosses fingers)


By MojoMama On 06/08/03  

could be that your thread is old. . .sounds dopey, but it can really make a difference! I hope you & your machine get along better! (funny, I always say the same thing about my machine not liking me when I have a sewing disaster!)

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