The Fabric Maverick investigates "The Case of the Naughty Thread"
June 23, 2010
You may have guessed from my subject title that I have a secret ambition of being a mystery writer! We all have some hidden ambition which is probably unrealistic, but we still dream of doing it someday!
Jenni, our budding sewer, came to me with a very common problem yesterday. She was trying to sew but the threads were not locking together to create a stitch. In other words, the thread was a snarly mess. Her immediate reponse was that the tension was wrong and she needed to fix it. In reality this is the last thing you should do. I have heard this from many customers also. Let us line up the usual suspects:
1. Is your machine threaded properly?
2. How old is your thread? Thread does have a shelf life. I go through massive amounts of neutral colors so I generally do not have this problem.
3. When is the last time you changed your machine sewing needle? I would hate to tell you about me and needles. This is a "Do as I say not as I do".
4. Is your bobbin case clear of lint? This also includes the feed dog area. Lint will collect over a period of time and must be cleaned out.
5. Is the bobbin case locked into the correct position?
6. Are you tired and working on a deadline to finish a project? Quit sewing when you are tired. I have found that when I am tired, this is when my sewing machine decides to mess up on the thread. A deadline ensures that there is a seam ripper in my future. Take a break, you will be surprised that your machine suddenly is working again. My friend, Leslie, says that her serger frequently acts this way. Who said machines do not have a personality?
These are some of the reasons that your thread is not locking to make a stitch. In Jenni's case, we rethreaded the machine and we discovered that the bobbin case was not locked into the correct position. Voila! Her tension problem was corrected and she is once again stitching happily along!
I am sure that you have additional thoughts on this subject. If you can name some other suspects, I would love to hear from you!
Now, my case is solved and you can see why I am not a mystery writer! If you do enjoy a good mystery, Earlene Fowler's latest mystery is out-"State Fair". I am going to give my sewing machine a rest and read the latest Benni Harper novel.
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