Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sewers, I NEED your help!

OMG!  I'm seriously gonna lose it.  All day I've been working on some Lulu Pouches, and as easy as they were two days ago I'm doing my damnedest at making them difficult.

It's not the pattern, it's me (haha).  I'm rushing through it, and putting wrong sides together (ugh), but that's not the main problem. My bottom thread is bushing up like a 70's Playboy model (tacky? if so...then you didn't just read that).

My bottom thread or I should say my top thread is creating huge issues on the bottom.  I've threaded and re-threaded the machine, slowed my sewing down, tightened and loosened the tension, but this is continuing to happen.  I've seriously seam ripped these pouches about 14 times today. 

Look at what I'm talking about, and these are pretty pictures, less bushy thread bunching than what has happened throughout the day.

What you are seeing here is the bottom fabric with the brown top thread bunching up underneath, the bottom thread is rust (to match the fabric). 

Do any of you know what's going on here, and how I can fix this?  I'm so frustrated, and sad.  :-(

Help!  Please. 


  1. Hi Cassandra,

    I just found and began following your blog not too long ago. I'm not usually a commenter, but I recently had similar issues with my machine and had a terrible time for a few weeks trying to determine the issue. I troubleshooted (troubleshot?) and tried several things. One cause could be an improperly wound bobbin. If the thread somehow escaped the tension control while the bobbin was winding, that could be the issue, and you could simply change the bobbin. My problem actually ended up being the tension in my bobbin, however. I discovered this after adjusting the tension in my top thread repeatedly to no avail. Depending on what kind of machine you have this could be a simple matter. If you have a machine with a bobbin case, there may be a tiny screw on the bobbin case itself that you can either tighten or loosen to adjust tension. If you've got a drop in bobbin (like I do), it's more trouble. I had to remove the entire foot plate on my machine and dig out the built in bobbin casing to adjust tension. I couldn't give instructions on how to do it exactly, but it fixed my issue right up.

    Hope this helps! Love reading about your thrifting and sewing in Texas (I'm originally from Houston but now in DC)!


  2. Hey Cassandra,
    Probably the first couple things I would check are-
    1. Double check to make sure the needle is facing the right way
    2. Double check to make sure the bobbin is in the case or dropped in facing the right way
    3. Run a paper towel or piece of scrap fabric between the tension discs on the machine and clean them out.
    4. Check that the tension discs are working by threading as usual without going through the needle, making sure your presser foot is down, and pulling on the thread. Is there tension on the thread? Does it correspond with where you have the tension set on the control dial?
    If the upper tension is working, then check the bobbin case tension as described above.
    BTW, what kind of machine do you sew on?

  3. Thank you both for responding. I'm gonna try all your suggestions. As of right now I don't think it's an incorrectly wound/dropped bobbin, since I'm working on multiple pouches (colors) and switching out the bobbin/thread frequently, and still having the same issue.

    The photo's above are an example of what I've been dealing with, but it's not consistent. Most of a line could look like that or it'll be a normal stitch then do the bunched up mess, then go back to normal. It's being very finicky.

    I'm stepping away from my machine for the night before I throw it off the balcony. I'll work on both your suggestions in the morning. Thank you!

    The machine I use is a Brother CS 6000T.

  4. Hi Cassandra,

    I have the same problem with my Pfaff occasionally. A lady who works at our local store told me a lot of times when you have problems with the bottom thread it's because of the top tension. She recommended folding a dollar bill in half and running it thru the tension plates on your machine a few times.... as AJA recommended above. Hope it works for you, it immediately ended my problems. Good luck!

    Jan Farrell