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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: chopstix
Date: 03-31-2006, 09:42 AM (1 of 11)
HI. I'm totally new here. And I'm totally new to sewing too. I hope someone can help me....!

Am on my third day using a new Janome machine. The needle keeps jamming under the presser foot, inside the bobbin mechanism. I've ruined about 10 needles already. I've had to keep re-opening the mechanism under the foot, disassembling and assembling the bobbin case, and the two metal thingies inside, just to free the needle, which usually is bent already. From time to time it would become okay. And then it gets jammed again!

What am I doing wrong???

Thank you so much in advance.

Am really desparate.
User: chopstix
Member since: 03-31-2006
Total posts: 3
From: paroper
Date: 03-31-2006, 10:07 AM (2 of 11)
It sounds like there is either a stray thread some place or your bobbin is in backwards. As your machine is trying to make a stitch, it is catching that thread and binding the needle. My guess is that the thread problem is in the bobbin area. However, the easy way is just to start over.

1. Unthread your machine and rethread with the presser foot up.

2. Remove your feed dog plate and your bobbin case. Brush and clean everywhere. You may find a stray thread caught some place.

3. Check the manual and make sure that the bobbin is going the right direction in its case and that the thread is correctly seated in the bobbin tension.

4 Make sure that there are no stray threads on the bobbin itself from threading...sometimes there is a tiny thread left where it broke off in threading and the needle can be catching on that.

5. Did you bring your bobbin thread to the top to start sewing? If not, hold the top thread (coming from the needle to the back left with your left hand), and turn the hand wheel until the bobbin thread is caught. Then pull the thread in your left hand to lift the bobbin thread. Run a ruler or pair of scissors, anything flat under the presser foot to drag the threads to the back left. Most all machines require this. On a very rare occasion you'll find a machine that does not.

Hopefully this will solve your problems. I know how frusterating this can be!!!

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: Sancin
Date: 03-31-2006, 04:41 PM (3 of 11)
Probably is the bobbin, but make sure your needle is correctly installed and installed in all the way.
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~* " I try to take one day at a time - but sometimes several days attack me at once."
User: Sancin
Member since: 02-13-2005
Total posts: 895
From: esrun3
Date: 03-31-2006, 09:57 PM (4 of 11)
just what I was thinking Nancy!
User: esrun3
Member since: 12-02-2004
Total posts: 2345
From: chopstix
Date: 03-31-2006, 10:48 PM (5 of 11)
Thank you folks for the replies! I'm so glad to have found this site. Knowing there is a group of helpful sewing enthusiasts out there already gives me comfort.

Whenever I reassemble the bobbin mechanism & the 2 metal thingies, I make sure there are no spare threads inside. My bobbin thread is on top. The bobbin case is inserted correctly. But the needle still jams immediately. I would rethread and reassemble for 4 or 5 times. Then I get lucky (for no apparent reason) and the machine goes smoothly for like 2 hours. Then it jams again and the whole travail starts all over again.

1) I've noticed also that if I step ever so hesitantly on the footpedal, sometimes the needle immediately jams. (Why?) (Shouldn't I press ever so lightly on the footpedal -- because I'm so scared it will jam again...!)

2) Is there a correct direction for the bobbin thread? The lady at the sewing machine store showed me how to do it and I seem to remember that there's no particular bobbin thread direction. Both direction seemed ok.

3) My machine is Janome but I'm using Singer needles. I was told this should not be a problem. Is this true?

4) Can frequent jamming ruin my brand new sewing machine? Being a beginner at sewing, I'm literally learning by trial and error.

5) This is probably far-fetched but could it be possible that there's a factory defect in the mechanism that's causing all the jamming?

Thanks very much in advance!
User: chopstix
Member since: 03-31-2006
Total posts: 3
From: paroper
Date: 04-01-2006, 04:34 AM (6 of 11)
You bobbin does have a correct direction. There was a time when it might not have mattered, but most machines any more are pretty sensitive. The thread has to present to the hook from the right direction and in most machines, the direction that it feeds to the tension plate (on the case) makes a lot of difference.

I would tell you to change your needles to Schmentz. Any major store should have them. I understand that Singer is trying to blend their needles into the "common" market but there was a time when all Singer needles were a special length. You may have actually picked up a pack of those and that could very well be your problem. Also make sure that the flat of your needle goes to the correct direction. In most machines that is to the back but please post your machine model on the site. Hopefully somone here will have that machine and be able to tell you where the flat part of the needle goes. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. There are a few machine out there where the needle is turned to the right or left, it is determined by the direction that your bobbin insertion faces.

Yes. It is most likely that your machine needs a little TLC from a technician. Not every new machine comes perfectly adjusted. It is a vey good idea that if you purchase your machine at a machine dealer you insist that they adjust it before you take it home. However, depending upon where it is purchased, you don't always have that luxury.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: LeapFrog Libby
Date: 04-01-2006, 02:05 PM (7 of 11)
I have a Janome Memory Craft 4000, purchased in 1993 or 1994.. I have been there -done that with Singer Needles... STOP NOW... Take all the singer needles and trash them.. I almost ruined my machine with them..
also, Note this.. My bobbin cover has a picture on it of the correct way to insert the bobbin and which way the thread should go.. Does yours have this?? Or your manual maybe has a similar picture... Since you have had this problem for a while now, you may need to have the machine looked at.. But, Never put another Singer needle in your machine.. My Dealer told me that when I bought it, and she still says that today...I am lucky --I have a Singer to use the needles in.. They do fine with my 221. Featherweight Portable.. But they do not fit a Janome..
Sew With Love
User: LeapFrog Libby
Member since: 05-01-2002
Total posts: 2022
From: plrlegal
Date: 04-01-2006, 11:08 PM (8 of 11)
I have 3 Singer machines, actually 4 counting the 65+ year old treadle, and I use only Singer needles in those machines but for my Pfaff and Mini Kenmore, I use Schmetz needles. I was told that the Singer needles are just a fraction of an inch longer than the Schmetz, other needles and that is why they do not work well in machines other than Singers. That info could possibly have been wrong but since then, I've made sure that I keep my Singer needles separate from the Schmetz that I use in my other machines.

User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: bluebirdie
Date: 04-02-2006, 06:54 PM (9 of 11)
Hi! Is your sewing machine working ok now? Looks like you've tried almost everything. Must be scary on a brand new machine :-(
When I started sewing using a 20 yr old brother machine (great machine btw), I broke a needle the way you did. It turned out the tension on both needle/bobbin were too tight. It wasn't visible because they're evenly over-tightened. After the tension got both loosened, all went well.

This may be too simple a solution and already tried. But just thought I'd share.
Good luck!
- Robin
User: bluebirdie
Member since: 03-12-2006
Total posts: 139
From: chopstix
Date: 04-03-2006, 09:34 AM (10 of 11)
Hi All!

I'm so glad this site is so full of helpful and responsive people! I'm doing much better now.

I realized after checking the manual that my top thread tension was too high. (I used the factory presetting. Never touched this before but now adjusted it.) I don't know how to adjust bobbin thread tension though...

Also, (paroper, you hit the needle right on the head!) a major problem was that I wasn't inserting the needle in the correct position. (The shopgirl didn't tell me about this!) The instruction guide that I finally read (out of desperation) required the flat of the needle going to the back away from me. I'm using a Janome 415. In the past two days, my needle only jammed once. (Quite an improvement!) Although I broke 2 Singer needles (once after running over zipper teeth and another time running over two overlapped piping cords.)

I gotta find me some Schmetz! Not sure if I can find them here in Bangkok though but will try! English is not widely spoken here...!

Also, I will check my bobbin direction per advice of paroper.

Thanks a lot!!!

User: chopstix
Member since: 03-31-2006
Total posts: 3
From: paroper
Date: 04-03-2006, 09:43 AM (11 of 11)
Wow! Thailand! How cool! My cousin worked in the American Embassy there many decades ago. He and his family really enjoyed your country.

There is another brand that is being sold along with the Schmentz. It is rather new. I've heard that it is a harder needle (each brand is a little different.) If you can't find the Schmentz, you might look for something called Klasse. Sometimes brands that are rather new in the US have been in other countries for decades.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
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