21 Jun 2016

Getting Physical With Your Sewing Machine

Sewing is great fun, but it is very involved and time consuming. If you don’t know what you are doing, it is as good as playing pin the tail on the donkey.

Understanding the functions of the external components of your sewing machine is as important as a sewing task. This is as technical as you are going to get as far as sewing machines are concerned.

It is extremely vital that you are able to troubleshoot your sewing machine in order to carry out an effective sewing task. Point blank, if you can’t thread or re-thread your sewing machine you WILL NOT be able to sew.

What do you do when things go wrong? Do you give up on your project or do you troubleshoot and continue?

I have seen a lot of people give up on sewing because they deemed it too difficult, or because the sewing machine had too many issues.

Let us use the analogy of a car; the main point of a car is to get you from point A to B, lets agree on that, or not. At some point, you will have to take driving lessons; apart from being able to safely and legally drive your car on the road, the lessons also teach you a fair bit about your or any car. Once you understand the mechanics of your car, you will be equipped with basic troubleshooting skills should your car breakdown; no petrol, no oil, no water etc.

Let’s get back to the sewing machine, if you don’t know the basic functions or mechanics of a (your) sewing machine, how will you progress in your sewing journey? Sewing becomes tedious and exhausting and will gradually begin to lose its appeal.

Sometimes, the problems are really easy and can be fixed in a matter of seconds or minutes.

I have put down a very short list you might find handy.

I hope these tips help you along on your sewing journey. Don’t give up on sewing, there is just so much you can do with a sewing machine once you know how.

Please feel free to leave a comment. I will be very happy if you did so. If not, hope you found the article useful in some way.

 

TROUBLE SHOOTING YOUR MACHINE

THREAD TENSION

The tension of the thread will affect the quality of your stitches. Test sample on scrap of a fabric before you start to sew.

The right amount of tension is very important when sewing, your seams can pucker as a result of using the wrong tension.

 

LOOPS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE FABRIC

·         Upper tension might be too tight. Lower the tension number

 

LOOPS ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE FABRIC

·         Upper tension might be too loose. Increase the tension number

 

BOBBIN NOT WOUND CORRECTLY

·         Ensure that the threader guide has been used and the thread has been inserted correctly through the bobbin

·         Ensure you are using the correct bobbin for your machine

LOWER THREAD CONSTANTLY BREAKING

·         Lower thread could be tangled; check bobbin holder

·         The bobbin could be threaded improperly in the shuttle hook.
Rethread the bobbin in the shuttle hook.

 

THREAD GETS TANGLED

·         When a machine stops working due to tangled thread, do not turn the hand wheel by force as the lower thread may not be picked up correctly and stitches may not be formed properly.

·         Remove the needle plate and cut the tangled threads with scissors.

 

NEEDLE KEEPS BREAKING

·         Check the needle is correctly inserted with the flat side facing the back and pushed up into the machine as far as possible.

·         Check if the needle is damaged or bent, if so replace it with a new one.

·         Check the fabric you are using is the right weight

·         Check that no thread is tangled

·         Check the fabric is not pulled excessively when sewing. Let the feed dogs move the fabric.

·         Do not pull the fabric.

·         Check the combination of needle size, thread size and fabric is correct. Be sure to use the correct needle and thread size for the fabric you are sewing. For instance, when sewing jersey or stretchy fabric, use the needle made for that kind of fabric.

Leave a Reply