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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Help! My machine is too smart for its own good ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Help! My machine is too smart for its own good
Elastic thread tension issues
meleliza
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meleliza  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/1/13 2:25 PM

I have a Brother PR 420. It never liked elastic thread and I used to keep my old and very low quality Singer on hand just for using with elastic thread. Then, I discovered the trick of loosening the tension in the bobbin casing. I bought a second bobbin casing so I wouldn't permanently mess up my machine and it worked! I made two garment using this method and then got rid of the old machine that barely worked anyway.

And don't you know, when I'm sitting down to do the shirring on my most recent dress, I can't get the elastic thread to work. I loosened the bobbin tension even more, no luck. The stupid smart machine just over corrects the tension no matter what I do, rendering the elastic thread useless. Ugh!

------
Melanie

beauturbo
beauturbo
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 10/1/13 3:06 PM

If you want almost no tension on the elastic thread, don't even put it in the tension slot of the bobbin case. Just lay it in there avoiding all that instead. I don't think that machine is smart enough or has any way to change the top tension all by it's self at all without you doing something to just make that happen with your hands on it at all. Also would be impossible for it to change it's own bobbin case tension screw around all by it's self. So you are giving it "way more mystery credit", for maybe some "supposed computer function", that no way can it ever do.

But since it worked fine for you last time, for what ever you wanted, and however you were doing that then, and since it does not now the same instead, your conditions and what you are doing, has to be just different instead.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 10/1/13 3:23 PM

I agree that unless this is the ultimate smart machine, you got a bargain as such a machine would cost thousands.

I don't think there is a machine that has a sensor for bobbin tension.

Hand wind the elastic "thread" onto the bobbin. It does have to have some tension, so I do not think bypassing this on the bobbin case for this model will work well. Do not use the auto cutter.

Although I have had success with this technique, I checked a few youtube videos and one thing that was not mentioned, except for one demonstration, was to wind the elastic thread in the opposite direction in which it will feed from the bobbin spool. This could be something easily done differently each time the bobbin is hand wound.

Best wishes for many successful projects.




-- Edited on 10/1/13 3:42 PM --

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

meleliza
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meleliza  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/1/13 6:40 PM

Well, there is in fact some system that adjusts tension in the Bother machine which makes the elastic thread tricky to use. In case anyone else is having this problem, I found this very helpful post and video about making it work on a Brother: http://grosgrainfabulous.blogspot.com/2010/08/shirring-with-your-brother.html.

Made by Rae also has a helpful shirring post here: http://www.made-by-rae.com/2013/08/tutorial-shirring-with-elastic-thread/#comment-568310 thwt includes links to several tutes.

------
Melanie

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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In reply to meleliza <<


Date: 10/1/13 11:59 PM

OMG. I wanted to shout out "raise the needle bar" so you can easily remove and replace the bobbin case. It's in the manual!

As for the placement of the bobbin into the bobbin case that is the configuration for any top loading bobbin. Lay the bobbin down and the thread tail and bobbin spool should look like the letter P.

I use this tutorial from Threadbanger.
-- Edited on 10/2/13 0:06 AM --

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

bestgrammy
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bestgrammy
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In reply to PattiAnnJ <<


Date: 10/2/13 3:45 AM

In the Threadbanger tutorial is sure looked as though she put the bobbin in the opposite way...like the letter q instead of p. It's difficult to see until at the 1:36 point in the video but it's a quick glimpse. Maybe I am seeing it wrong...it's pretty quick and she doesn't comment on the direction.

-- Edited on 10/2/13 4:08 AM --

SewLibra
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SewLibra  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/2/13 1:37 PM

In the video they used a Janome and the bobbin area looked way different than the Brother's. The Brother has a groove to put the thread through, and a cutter at the end of the process. I bought some elastic thread recently and haven't had a chance to try shirring yet. My Brother Innovis-80 is quite similar to the PC -420. I will track this post to see how it turns out before I attempt shirring!

------
SewLibra
Brother SB4138, Bernina 1008, Brother 1034D, Janome Harmony 9102D

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 10/2/13 3:02 PM

That is what I was going to point out, but the system at PR went bonkers for a spell. So I ran an errand and then mowed the lawn.

I used the method shown on Threadbanger and my SM uses the "p" configuration, so that is what I used. It's been a while, but I believe I also loosened the bobbin tension.

As always, test before tackling the intended project.

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

meleliza
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meleliza  Friend of PR
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In reply to SewLibra <<


Date: 10/2/13 5:06 PM

When I followed the grosgrain fabulous tip and tightened the bobbin tension much tighter than I would have thought, it worked really well. Before, I had tried loosening the tension. I also reversed the direction of the bobbin thread, as she indicated.

I have also found it helpful to restart the machine any time I mess with tension, whether shirring or gathering or whatever. I find it doesn't "recover" from a tension adjustment very well. My hubby is an IT exec, and he always tells me to restart a device that's behaving badly. And the sewing machine is really just another computer at this point.

In the end, I got a few good rows out of it, which was all I needed for this dress. And after all that fuss, I reset everything, turned it off and let it rest overnight.

------
Melanie

bestgrammy
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bestgrammy
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In reply to SewLibra <<


Date: 10/3/13 4:50 AM

That opaque grayish colored Brother quick set bobbin "system" is basically a cover over the bobbin holder...not referring to the clear small cover over just the bobbin...referring to the larger gray area.

It's designed to slide off easily...very handy to do when needing to clean around and under the bobbin holder...or even replace the bobbin holder. Very nice to not have to fiddle with screws. How to pop up the upper left corner then slide off the cover is in the manual.

Under that cover the bobbin holder looks like any other typical drop-in bobbin holder.

Link here: Removing Brother quick set cover

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