Tips and Tricks: (1) save your needle threader; (2) avoid thread looping on underside of fabric

New Years Resolution for 2022:
keep your machine out of the shop
so you can sew more!
When I consider the most common reasons why a machine is brought to our shop, it is typically because of user error. Two specific situations stick out in mind: broken needle threaders and poor stitch quality. These are by far the most common issues we see plaguing sewists on a regular basis. Fortunately, there are actions you can take to help avoid these problems.

(1) How to save your needle threader

A needle threader’s function is to thread the eye of the needle. The centerpiece of the needle threading apparatus is a tiny wire hook. When you pull down your machine’s needle threader lever, that tiny wire hook comes from behind the needle and goes through the back of the needle’s eye. Then the wire hook just sits there, waiting for you to give it the thread so it can pull the thread through the eye of the needle.

Why does your needle threader not work? Most likely because the tiny wire hook is bent. The wire hook is extremely small, and therefore it can be bent easily. One of the main culprits for bent wire hooks is when sewists use a needle size below size 80. Larger needles have larger eyes and vice versa. Needles that are size 75 and under have eyes that are too small for the tiny wire hook to fit through properly. When you try to thread a size 75 needle with your machine’s needle threader, the tiny wire hook crashes into the needle and becomes bent and useless.

New Year’s Resolution for 2022: never never never use your machine’s needle threader to thread needles that are below size 80.

(2) How to avoid looping on underside of fabric

A sewing machine’s main function is to tie a knot with two strings of thread, over and over again. Usually we sew on two or more layers of fabric, and the knot sits between the two layers. However, a common issue people experience is thread looping on the underside of the fabric. This is caused by improper tension on the upper thread, most commonly due to a failure to thread the machine with the presser foot in the raised position. On your sewing machine, when the presser foot is in the raised position, the tension disks separate, allowing the thread to slide in between. When the presser foot is in the lowered position, the tension disks press together, and the thread cannot slide in between. Instead, the thread sits on top of the tension disks, and you will have no tension as you sew.

Think about tying your shoes. As you complete the various steps required to a tie a knot, your fingers keep constant pressure on the shoelaces, in order to keep the laces taut. Juxtapose this with children, who don’t have the strength to keep the laces taut as they complete the shoe-tying steps. Even though they technically tie a knot, the knot will not be tight, and their shoes will inevitably come untied.Threading your machine with the presser foot in the lowered position instead of the raised position is like a child who cannot keep his shoelaces taut as he ties his shoes. The knot will be lose. The center will not hold. The bobbin case thread will overpower the top thread, causing loops on the underside of the fabric, and you will be sad.

New Year’s Resolution for 2022: always always always thread your machine with the presser foot in the raised position.

We hope this email has been informative and helps you better understand your machine. If you ever have any issues with your machine, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Give us a call or stop by the shop so we can help fix your problem and get you back to sewing.

Call us at (925)937-7575 for more information.
Our regular hours are 9AM-5PM Tuesday-Saturday
New Year’s Eve we will be open from 9AM-1PM
New Year’s Day we will be closed
And don’t forget to share with your friends!
Sewing Machine Shop
1661 Botelho Drive, Suite 180
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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