Discovering Marie

My Tote Bag Project….update

Posted on: 2013/09/09

I am slowly making progress or not! Ripped stitches tonite to open the side pockets. Surprisingly went quicker than I thought. Both pockets corrected in under 30 mins. Then I sewed the lining to the bottom. Great no issues. Then I began sewing the handle interfacing and lining to front. Issues begin: run out of bobbin thread, bobbin thread does not want to wind onto the bobbin and stitches become very weird ( ripping stitches are in my near future)then have to re-thread machine. At this point I called it a nite.

When the bobbin thread starts running low there should be some type of warning system. This way one would be prepared **just my personal opinion**

Why is it that for 2 days now thread does not want to wind on to the bobbin? However when I flipped the bobbin over and tried to wind that way..there was no issue.

How would I know when it is time to replace a needle? Weird stitches—are they a sign?

So what I thought was a simple tote bag has become a challenge. A challenge I am up for…to the extent that I am planning on making this again!

If you can assist me with my bobbin issues it would be greatly appreciated!

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6 Responses to "My Tote Bag Project….update"

Hey Marie: Here’s my opinion only. . . .

Bobbin: #1: silly question but is the machine threaded correctly for winding the bobbin? What I mean is is the spool of thread facing the right way (for most machines there is a right way and a wrong way). I would check the manual just to make sure everything is in place, and as a rule of thumb — when things are going wrong, just stop and re-thread the machine rather than fussing with it. This is a life/time saver. 90% of the time this fixes things — seriously. I’ve talked to many a sewing machine repair main. Their biggest issue — operator error, and it happens to the best of us. Same goes for any sewing issues after your wound the bobbin. Completely unthread the machine including taking the bobbin out of the case, and re-insert (double check the manual for correction positions of things, too). You manual is your best friend.

#2: You can’t ever use a wonky bobbin, so if the bobbin wind properly and doesn’t look pretty and neat, neither will your stitches. It becomes a tension issue and can lead to uneven stitches, puckering and/or a big ol’ rats nets in your bobbin case. No fun for anyone.

I guess what I’m saying is that issues in sewing are compounded — if one little thing is off, it goofs up everything else, which can make sewing maddening and frustrating! We don’t want that! Just stop. Take a deep breath. Re-thread the machine.

Needle: I always change my needle when I start a new project (depending on the length of the project). I might use the same needle for of three small projects, but I do keep a health supply of needles on hand and change mine frequently. Over time, the needle points become rounded and does not cut through the fabric as nicely. In fact, if you have an old needle, you will actually hear the needle punching through the fabric (I use this as an indicator as well), which is not good. Sounds like a thump thump or punching sound, which means it is not piercing through the weave as it’s meant to do, there is a resistance as it pushes (instead of pierces) the fabric which creates a tension issue (notice a pattern — tension issues are best to be avoided at ALL costs!).

Replace the Bobbin Indicator: Can be found on fancy machines under the bells and whistles category. I have an Elna and it alerts me at least twice before my bobbin thread runs out. If I go to far on either the bobbin thread or the spool of thread, the machine doesn’t sew properly (becomes a tension issue — yes, I went there). I usually end up saving the remaining bobbin thread and the remaining spool thread for hand sewing projects.

Okay — here’s where I’m going to get opinionated: You are sewing a lot, it should be mostly enjoyable, so if your machine is giving you fits, it may be time for a) A machine tune up (how long has it been — I get mine done annually) or B) Given your desire for more bells and whistles, durability and ease of use, it may be time for an upgrade (don’t tell your honey I said that!). In my experience, the more experienced I became in sewing, the more I realized that there was a direct correlation between my the enjoyment of and success of my sewing AND the quality of the the machine I was using. But I have weird relationships with machines — like some people are with cars — I started with singers (was like driving a tractor IMHO), moved to the Brothers (Not so much tractor as compact car quality) and are now with an Elna (my Cadillac–solid, smooth and smart–it tells me what to do, and I love that!). With each upgrade, I never looked back. Again, my two cents.

Thank you for your reply. Yes the machines is threaded properly. I do not believe the bobbin to be “wonky”. Just not understanding why the thread will not want to wind onto the bobbin. The bobbin spins however the spool of thread stays still.
My machine is only 14 months old. I have only really been using it frequently since July. I do love my machine it just had me confused. I do appreciate all your words of wisdom.

Silly me….never thought it was just the bobbin itself. Totally going to dispose of it and try a new one!

lol! Let us know what happens!

Useful information. Lucky me I found your site unintentionally, and I’m surprised why this accident didn’t took
place earlier! I bookmarked it.

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