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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Getting frustrated this morning :( ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Getting frustrated this morning :(
Thread issues
HOWsMom
HOWsMom
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Date: 9/1/12 9:46 AM

My daughter (8 years old) and I are attempting to make a top for her.

The material is a Freecycle give-away. Some kind of slight stretch, not too light.

We're using a straight stretch stitch.

The machine is a Kenmore 385.81530.

Issues we're having today :

- top thread is breaking frequently, is also doing some weird kind of thing above the needle where it's kind of bunching up along the thread before it breaks, so only part of it is being used to stitch.

- bobbin thread is bunching up in major knots on the bottom side of the fabric.

PattiAnnJ
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In reply to HOWsMom <<
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Date: 9/1/12 10:02 AM

I can only suggest that you remove the top and bobbin thread.

Clean out the bobbin area and feed dogs. Run a old needle through the rows between the teeth of the feed dogs to remove lint that may not be readily seen.

Re-thread, making sure the presser foot is always up when doing this. When threading with the foot down, the tension is not open to accept the thread for proper tension when sewing.

Be sure the thread is not catching on the spool or spool pin.

Re-install the bobbin into the bobbin case, making sure the thread is feeding in the correct direction from the bobbin spool and through the tension gage on the side of the bobbin case.

Stitch a straight stitch on a folded scrap of the knit-like fabric to see if the issue continues. Then test other optional stitches.

Best wishes for a successful and fun project.




-- Edited on 9/2/12 11:16 AM --

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Elcue
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Date: 9/1/12 10:06 AM

Forgive if I tell you something you already know.

Check that it is properly threaded. (if only you had a manual, right?)

Bobbin could be in the wrong direction.

Bobbin tension ....

Always turn the handwheel toward you when positioning the needle.

Your thread could be the problem, try another one.

Try replacing the needle.

Michelle T

Michelle T
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Date: 9/1/12 10:29 AM

My Kenmore from the 80's does not like having different thread in the needle and bobbin ie: cotton in the needle and poly in the bobbin. The needle thread would start to shred.

The previous tips are all great too.

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HOWsMom
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Date: 9/1/12 10:33 AM

I took out the thread and bobbin, brushed out the lint from everywhere I could see (I live with a cat and 2 dogs, hair gets everywhere).

I replaced the needle.

I rethreaded everything (thankfully this machine has markings for threading, so I'm reasonably sure I'm doing it correctly).

Did a few test rows and adjusted the thread tension slightly.

And we finished her centre back seam without any problems.

Now for a kid break and a snack, and then we'll go back to it.

Elcue
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In reply to HOWsMom <<


Date: 9/1/12 11:07 AM

I agree about the thread being the same in thread and bobbin. I also think the most common reason to get thread bunching under the fabric is absent mindedly turning the hand wheel away from you. It was so difficult for me when I started sewing to remember that.

The other situation I had it happen was with topstitching jeans. So much screaming!

marec
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Date: 9/1/12 11:11 AM

HOWsMom, welcome to PR and I am glad you solved your technical problem...please let us know how the top comes out. Oh, and I see you are using a stretch stitch. You can also experiment with a very narrow ZZ and longer stitch for stretchy fabrics.

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solosmocker
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Date: 9/1/12 6:40 PM

Quote:
top thread is breaking frequently, is also doing some weird kind of thing above the needle


My understanding it that ABOVE the needle your thread is breaking and bunching up along the thread itself. This is not a tension issue. Your thread is poor quality. By loosening the tension you have put less stress on it and helped it along. But you need to try a newer different thread. How old is the thread and what are you using? Give it a yank. If it breaks without much resistance that is additional proof that the thread may have dry rot. There is nothing more aggravating than to have this happen and I sympathize.

Once a year I go through my entire thread stash and give every spool the yank test, You'd be amazed how much thread can age and how it can be influenced by climate conditions. Some even keep their thread in the freezer, seriously. I don't but I do make sure I test it once a year.

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crankyoldlady
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Date: 9/1/12 7:28 PM

You don't mention the color so this may not be helpful. Black thread (no matter the brand) can be a problem in many machines.

HOWsMom
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Date: 9/2/12 7:59 AM

It would never have occurred to me that the thread could be too old.

The particular spool I'm using is not likely to be more than a year or two, but I know that some of the stuff I have laying around is easily 10 years old or more.

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