Sew, What's Up

Sew What’s Up Presents

The Sew What’s New Archive

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: MaryW
Date: 11-29-2006, 08:52 AM (1 of 9)
I was just sent this message. If you can help, please respond here. thanks everyone.

I am having problems with my sewing machine and can't seem to figure
out the problem (which may be me). I am new at sewing (again) and
learning as I go. This is my problem, when I am sewing my thread is
wanting to bunch up on the underneath of whatever I am working on. The
top line of sewing is fine, but underneath is a mess. I have tried
adjusting everything I can think of on the machine and nothing really
seems to help, I have everything set according to what my manual
suggests. Any ideas?? Thanks for your help.
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: cowqueenie
Date: 11-29-2006, 12:54 PM (2 of 9)
That used to happen to me on my old machine and I think it is the tension you need to adjust. Make it tighter I think. I just turned the little knob and it worked. I later found out it was the tension knob!! Try that! IT worked for me. :)
"A trip to the fabric store is my therapy"
User: cowqueenie
Member since: 10-30-2006
Total posts: 125
From: DorothyL
Date: 11-29-2006, 01:20 PM (3 of 9)
It5 does sound like the tension. Are you sure the thread is between the tension disks. Try rethreading -- from the beginning -- and be sure the presser foot is up when you do it.
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: lendube
Date: 11-29-2006, 01:27 PM (4 of 9)
I agree that the tension needs help. Also, make sure the bobbin case and everything down there is clean.

Took a class once. The teacher said, "If anything goes wrong ~ rethread your machine. Each and every time."

For some reason that stuck in my brain and it's the first thing I do everytime and sometimes it's just what the machine needed.

User: lendube
Member since: 08-06-2006
Total posts: 1548
From: karen v
Date: 11-29-2006, 02:37 PM (5 of 9)
Rethreading the machine is the first thing I teach my students when they have any problems with the machine.

Don't forget to re-thread the bobbin case!! It makes a difference which way the thread feeds off the bobbin into the case. Make sure yours is going the correct direction for your machine. Also, a sloppily wound bobbin could give you problems--make sure your bobbin is wound evenly. HTH
all art is lies that help us see the truth
User: karen v
Member since: 03-12-2006
Total posts: 31
From: SheliaHC
Date: 11-29-2006, 03:09 PM (6 of 9)
I had similar problems when I got my machine and it turned out to be how the bobbin was wound. I rewound the bobbin and it worked right. I had tried everything from rethreading to adjusting the tension. I think I was trying to wind my bobbin to fast. I slowed it down and made sure it wound evenly and the problem went away.

User: SheliaHC
Member since: 12-28-2005
Total posts: 95
From: paroper
Date: 11-29-2006, 05:22 PM (7 of 9)
If it is just happening at the first of the stitching, you may also have a problem with the thread ends sliding back into the machine. Some people hold the end of the threads or you can use the hand wheel to put the needle into the fabric when you first begin to sew. This can help.

Another thing that can cause the problem is if there are any stray ends in the hook path when you start to make a stitch. Quite often the ends are remains of where you wouned the bobbin and there is just a litle tail on the side or inside the bobbin. Basically, this is "sort of" the same problem as I listed above, but can be another source of the problem, along with threads not in the tension disks or the bobbin being in backwards as already listed.

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: Tom Land
Date: 12-01-2006, 12:27 AM (8 of 9)
As everyone has said it is almost surely a threading problem. As Dorothy said make sure the presser foot is up when threading to make sure the thread gets down between the discs properly. Tension dial should be somewhere around 4 - 4 1/2.
Have fun or don't do it, Tom
User: Tom Land
Member since: 09-21-2005
Total posts: 514
From: Mom of Six
Date: 12-01-2006, 06:13 AM (9 of 9)
In my old machine the tension bar would come unthreaded & that would cause a big mess of knots. also old thread can cause knots. So rethreading & sometimes changing thread will help.
Happiness is having time to sew!!
User: Mom of Six
Member since: 11-03-2001
Total posts: 1115
Sew, What's Up
Search the “Sew What’s New” Archive:
Visit Sew What’s Up for the latest sewing and quilting tips and discussions.
This page was originally located on Sew What’s New ( at