Bottom stitch keeps getting tangled up after needle change
The needle broke when I was shortening jeans. I replaced the needle, seemingly without any problems. Now, when I sew, the stitch looks fine on the top, but when I turn over the fabric, it's a tangled mess on the bottom. I've redone top and bottom thread 3 times and don't see anything wrong with it. Please help!
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Re: bottom stitch keeps getting tangled up after needle...
Sounds like the needle has hit the hook.Open the bobbin area door, remove the bobbin and bobbin case. The swing the two lugs that hold the hook retaining ring to the side so you can remove the hook. CAREFULLY inspect the sharp tip of the hook. It will be sharp and 'chisel' shaped. ANY marks, scratches or burrs on the hook must be removed carefully with 180 or 400 grit 'wet and dry' abrasive. It must be as smooth as a 'babies bum' !! If you are not confident, take it to someone to do it for you. The hook is expensive, so don't mess it up!
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a lot of machines struggle with denim because it is such a heavy and dense textile. Many domestic machines won't stitch it at all due to this. Things you can try however:
Denim needle, this has a deeper groove at the back and is a heavy gauge needle, or use size 110 if you don't have denim needle.
Bash the side seams with a hammer in the area you will be stitching, to soften up the fibres.
Use a seam jumper, this is a piece of plastic to put in back of the presser foot as you approach a cross seam to help keep the presser foot pressure even across the fabric. Sometimes called a "thingy-a-jean" or similar.
Don't bother trying to use the heavy gauge yellow jean thread unless you put it through the bobbin and sew with the right side down. But even then, many machines can't handle having this heavy thread underneath and the regular 50 cotton on top, my Janome 1600 won't do it.
put your machine on slowest speed if you have a variable setting and turn the flywheel to assist it through the heavy side seams.
Personally, I never bother with the twice turned hem on denim if shortening, I just overlock the raw edge, turn up 1 cm and stitch around in a matching blue thread so it is seen as little as possible.
You may need to increase the foot pressure to cope with the heavy denim material. Look carefully at the material as the machine tries to stitch ... if the foot is not keeping the material firmly on the stitch plate, it might be riding up on the needle (denim tends to be rather 'grippy') which will prevent the thread loop being formed correctly below the stitch-plate and therefore not getting picked-up by the CB hook. Changing to a bigger diameter needle might actually make the situation worse in this case ... go back to an 80 and try again.
As a general rule, domestic machines don't like buttonhole twist, that heavy yellow thread you see on the RTW jeans. Sometimes you can put it through the bobbin but use a regular weight thread on top but this means sewing upside down as you'll want the yellow on top. And lots of machines dont like different weight thread top and bottom so it just makes for awful stitching anyway.
Best solution to top stitch jeans is use a regular weight thread, large size jeans needle but thread up two spools of thread on the top with both threads going through the same needle eye. It still may not solve the problem though.
To your machine, firstly change the needle as it may be bent. Then unthread the machine and manually turn the flywheel through a stitch cycle and listen carefully, if you still hear a noise as the needle touches the rotary hook, you've knocked the timing out. Service man visit time.
Probably if you check the manual, it will say 50 weight thread, and you'll need to stick with that in the future.
Those big industrial sewing machines that they top sew jeans on are very different to a domestic SM, many make a chain stitch or fell the jeans seams and are very heavy duty.
I turned up my husband's jeans using a size 100 needle. You can get easy thread needles that have a small gap in one side that you slide the thread through. There is a good way to turn up jeans and keep the original hem without having to cut them. Have a look at this site http://www.daciaray.com/?p=38
Sounds as though you may have a burr or rough spot on the hook where the bobbin inserts. Run your finger along the edge of the hook to see if there are any rough spots.I'm sure you're going to find at least one from the time you broke the needle.Once you locate it, remove it with an emery stick or small sharpening stone. Polish it so that it is smooth. Should work okay. sewman7
Sometimes when I need to use heavy thread for top stitching to reinforce a seam that has come undone, I will use the heavy thread on the top and regular thread on the bottom. I haven't tried it the other way around for hemming but I would think it would work. I do not currently have a Bernina.