Thirsting for Knowledge Thursdays – 3/15/12

More family birthdays this week – my sister Louise is tomorrow, and my sister-in-law Anna is Sunday. And Saturday is St. Patrick’s Day; corned beef and cabbage, yum!

I believe I’ve covered this topic before, but I think it’s one that needs to be repeated. When you are having problems with your sewing machine – it is skipping stitches; it is making bird’s nests under the fabric; it jammed; that list goes on and on – the very first thing to do is to cut the thread at the spool, grab it where it comes through the needle, and pull it from the machine. Second – take out the bobbin.

Check the bobbin case to be sure it is properly seated. Are there any threads caught in it? Do you see any fuzz or fabric there? Re-thread your machine, starting with the top thread. Hold that thread until you hear and feel the thread “snap” into the tension discs. Insert the bobbin, and remember to put the bobbin cover back on.

If your machine isn’t sewing like a charm at this point, stop again. You will have to repeat the process above, but also check your needle. Is it bent? Are there burrs on it? Is it older than you are? Perhaps it’s time to replace your needle. How can you be sure that needle is properly inserted? First, be sure the flat part of the needle is to the back (Janome machines). Second, place your fingernail under the needle and push up as far as the needle will go. Then tighten the screw, and you will know the needle is in the correct position.

When you begin to sew, be sure your needle comes down in the fabric, rather than behind it. Your machine is designed to make stitches on fabric, and it can knot when sewing on “air.”

Happy sewing!

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