When your sewing machine goes wrong.
I get asked on occassion, usually by dressmaking students in my classes why sewing machines 'play up'!
A common fault is the stitch becomes very loopy and gets all tangled up or conversely the stitch seems very tight and the thread snaps a lot. Both of these problems are down to the tension of either the top thread or the bobbin thread and the easiest and quickest way to more often than not solve the problen is to pull both threads right out of the machine and re-thread the machine properly.
If you're not 110% confident you know how the machine threads then consult its instruction manual (if you don't have one I can thread most if not all sewing machines and can probably show you how). In general once the machine is correctly threaded with both threads passing through the required tension mechanisms, then as long as the thread tension is set correctly, usually between 3 and 5, it will stitch correctly.
Another common problem is the build up of fluff in the mechanisms under the needle plate and around the bobbin holder. To sort this out remove the bobbin cover plate, take out the bobbin, remove the needle plate (it's usually held down with a screw or two) and if you can take out the bobbin carrier then using a thin, soft brush poke all the fluff out, a hoover helps or just give blow out the fluff yourself. (Again I can help with this if needed). Once the mechanism is clean, put the bobbin carrier back in, lining up the red arrows, put the needle plate back on and re-thread the machine, it should work OK.
Lastly a common cause of skipped stitches and thread snapping is using cheap thread, for the best results always use a good quality thread, I like Gutterman threads but there are others around.
Happy sewing, and please do get in touch if you want help with threading or cleaning the fluff out of your machine.
Caroline, Fashion Revived
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