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Evie | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi, everybody–Jan here. Happy New Year to all. I’m looking for instructions on how to do bobbinwork. So far I have bought an extra bobbin case for my Bernina because I understand that it is not wise to change the tension on your regular bobbin case. I have the general idea that I’m going to sew “upsidedown”. Once I have wound the fancy thread on to the bobbin by hand –then what? Do you put the thread through the slot to bring it up to the stitch plate? If somebody could refer me to a book or article that would be great. Perhaps Threads has had an article but I don’t have it in my collection.               Thanks, Jan 


  1. carolfresia | | #1

    Issue 97 has an article on bobbinwork. You do indeed load the bobbin as usual, but you might have to adjust the upper thread tension as well. Loosen the bobbin tension, and possibly tighten the upper tension to encourage the bobbin thread to stay on the surface of the fabric.

    Don't forget to use a stabilizer to support the fabric and prevent puckering.


    1. Evie | | #5

      Thanks ,Carol, Terry,,Judy, and Sandy. I'm ready to have a go at this. I finally found the Threads article. With all your hints and the article I should be able to have some fun sewing upsidedown.  I'll let you know what happens. The folks who write to "Gatherings" are so knowledgable . Great fun to read the letters.              Jan                    

  2. SewTruTerry | | #2

    Jan you might even be able to bypass your tension disc on your bobbin as well if it is a particularly heavy type of thread or a lighter weight of yarn.

    1. HeartFire | | #3

      with bobbin work, make sure that when you start sewing, hold onto the needle thread and take one stitch to bring the bobbin thread to the top, you may then have to "Pop" the bobbin thread through to the top (backside of fabric) - this depends on how tight a weave the fabric is, but it saves you from having a thread nest or other goof on the right side of the fabric.

      And, yes, you will have to play with the top tension to get the stitch to look right, and it can get frustrating because you run out of the bobbin thread very quickly, seems like you just get started when you have to wind a new bobbin, if you are going to be doing a lot, wind 2 or 3 bobbins at a time.


  3. FitnessNut | | #4

    I made an outfit about 10-12 years ago with lots of bobbinwork on it....before there was much information available on the technique. Not knowing any better, I wound the bobbins in the regular fashion. They worked just fine. I imagine that it would depend on what type of thread, yarn, etc., you were putting on the bobbin. I was using 1/8" ribbon. At the time, I was sewing on an Elna Carina and there is a hole in the bobbin area to bypass the tension. Worked like a charm. You may be able to do something similar on your bobbin case.

    Just my two cents' worth.


  4. JulieP25 | | #6

    Did you buy a regular bobbin case or the Black latch bobbin case? I have a Bernina too. Was told to use the black latch bobbin case and to loosen the tension slightly, testing until reached the desired look. Some of the utility and decorative stitches look almost hand done. You may need to widen and lengthen the stitches. Have fun. Jules

    1. Evie | | #7

      Hi Jules---I bought a "regular" bobbin case. When I told the sales person what model I had she gave me that one . I have model 140--maybe that makes a difference. Haven't tried it yet. I need to finish what I'm doing first. If I put it away I'll NEVER get it done! I have too many "UFO"s as it is. Know how it is? Thanks for the input.    Jan

      1. JulieP25 | | #8

        Hi Jan! I have a 160. They both ( the 140 & 160) can use the black latch bobbin. The opening on it is bigger and it's easier to just leave it set for bobbinwork. If you get a chance you can find it in the accessories in the Bernina web site .http://www.berninausa.com  I found it to be a lot of fun. I used redwork embroidery patterns but for lettering had to reverse, so I could sew on the wrong side of the material. Enjoy. Jules

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