Sunday, November 8, 2009

My Machine and I: We are both too tense!!

I have deduced that I have tension issue, rather than a bobbin issue. The thread picks up just fine now, but when I make a stitch or two it just completely jams up! I am using the same thread and fabric as before, so i'm not so sure why this is happening... I think I am going to email this really awesome crazy sewing lady that owns a shop down the street and see if I can come in with my machine and she will show me how to adjust the tension properly. There is only so much the manual can show you, ya know?

All I want to do is sew my skirt!! Maybe after I finish all of my homework on this freak 75 degree fall day I can watch some videos on how to adjust the tension and see if I can make any sense of things...


  1. Welcome to the sewing blogosphere! I found you through your post on Sew Retro. I too started sewing in my twenties.

    I struggled with my machine frequently I frist started, thinking that I had major tension issues. In fact, I was interpreting the bobbin case thread diagram totally backwards! Quite the "Doh!" moment.

    When I started sewing I was very tense and obsessed with perfection in my sewing. I would stitch a seam and then be frustrated by every little lump and wobble in the stitching, to the point of ripping it all out or quitting in disgust. Then I started enjoying an adult beverage while sewing, which loosened me up significantly. (That's when I started having issues with my bobbin thread. Coincidence? I think not.)

    I'm proud to say that I no longer drink and sew, and my sewing skills have come a long way since my first skirt. I'm so glad I documented progress on my blog. If you want to feel super-talented, you can see my hideous first skirt here:

  2. Goodness! Maybe I can help. What kind of machine do you have? How old is it? Usually when I am having problems of the stitch-making sort, 99% of the time the machine is NOT threaded correctly! I would rethread it, making sure the thread goes everywhere it is meant to! Re-thread your bobbin case as well, on some machines the bobbin must be inserted properly. Read your manual, it will tell you how to insert the bobbin, buy usually the bobbin thread goes up like a six. Then make sure all the loops are caught in the bobbin case. When you set your tension, make sure you do it with your presser foot DOWN. I would put your presser foot down, put the tension setting back into the neutral position, then try to make a stitch with muslin. I really hope this helps you. :) We seamstresses stick together.

  3. I love your first skirt it came out adorable.

    I once had a similar problem with a brand new singer machine, no matter what I did it got all tangled up, I would re adjust all the dials, re thread the machine but still no luck.

    After cursing the machine for ages I gave in and bought a new brother machine, a year down the line I realized I was just threading the machine wrong.

    Check your manual really well to make sure everything is threaded right this causes jams super easily.

    good luck hun and happy sewing.

    xo Darla

  4. Thanks for all of the wonderful tips everyone! It's really great to see such encouragement. Somehow, I got my machine working properly last night. I re-threaded everything (for about the tenth time) and it decided it was time to get back to business! We then made our first "real" skirt together. I learned a lot about how my machine works by trying to figure out what the problem was. I'm glad I didn't run to a shop right away, I feel like my machine and I have bonded over this! hehe