Thursday, July 17, 2008

I can't figure it out

See this little gadget here, called a bobbin?

I ask you, how can such a little thing cause so many problems? And how can it be so stubborn? I can plainly see that it has no brain, no heart,...and no mercy.

But I'm beginning backwards.

Yesterday afternoon, I was working on a sewing project. A very good project, it was. A baby quilt. I hope to post pictures of it when I'm finished.

I have a tendency to become bored with one project after several hours, so at about 3:00 I put the quilt away, and fished through my "Current Projects" box to find something else to work on. (I really should enlarge that box - everything in my sewing area is a "Current Project!")

"...Ah, yes - that fabric someone gave me years ago that I've been saving. I finally know what I want to do with it. I'd better find some matching fabric for trim...

"...Oh wow - what is this doing in there? I remember when I started ripping the seams apart. I thought I had mended it by now...

"...Oh. That's right. I need to finish that blouse, so I can wear it before the summer's over."

So I began work on the blouse. I ripped four seams out, and sewed three seams back together correctly.

The fourth seam is where I ran into trouble. The bobbin decided to eat my fabric. The needle would not go down, and the thread became knots.

No problem. This machine and I - we go way back (all of a year or two!). If there's a problem, I can fix it. I talk to the machine, and the machine purrs back to me. I can take it apart and put it back together.

...Which is what I proceeded to do.

Well, not at first. First, I re-threaded the bobbin and the needle. Several times. That wasn't the problem.

So I checked tension. I checked stitch selection. I tried different fabric. I tried a new needle. I tried threading the bobbin backwards. I tried many things.

No good.

THAT is when I proceeded to take the machine apart.

Does this look like a battleground to you? It should. (This is after I put the machine partly back together.) At this point, I had spent many minutes working with the machine, and was getting worried. I had to start supper at 4:00! I wanted to get some sewing done before that time.

Nothing appeared obviously wrong inside the bobbin workings, so I - oh, what's that? You're asking what the above photo is? Well, I'm getting to that.

I saw a bit of fuzz and lint scattered in the gears, so I thought this would be a good time for spring cleaning. (Well, okay, summer cleaning.)

The above photo is that "little bit of fuzz and lint." It just kept coming and coming out of those bottomless nooks and crannies!

I thought I had found the problem for sure. No wonder the thread wasn't going through the bobbin smoothly. It couldn't fit! That lint clogged the whole thing up.

I confidently put everything back together and threaded everything. Then I tried to sew a seam. No go. I couldn't sew more than half an inch. The thread knotted, and the needle refused to move.

So now I'm asking for ideas. What else can I check? And does anyone know what I can use to bribe sewing machines? They don't really have a use for chocolate, or I might use that. I think my machine might settle for a once-a-month cleaning. :)


Alethea Jordan said...

Is the fabric old? Or perhaps the machine doesn't like that particular kind of thread. Sometimes, our machines won't take a certain kind of thread, or the fabric might be old. One other suggestion would be to clean it, like you said. Sometimes nothing works better than a "spring" cleaning.

Ashley said...

Do you have a Janome machine?