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CT’er needs Basic sewing help

MER02 | Posted in General Discussion on

Hello everybody,
I am new here, but I’ve been at CT for years. I am a very novice sewer. I decided to make a duvet cover for my bedroom. I thought I could tackle it because it is just a really really large pillowcase. No problem right? Anyway, I made the duvet without problems so I was really thrilled. Instead of having buttons to close up the open end, I decided to use velcro. I found some that is self-basting and intended for sewing. I have 12 little pieces of velcro to sew on- six hooks, six loops. The first five were moderate successes- a little messier and looser than I would have liked, but a fine enough job. The fourth one has been a miserable failure. I have sewn it and ripped it out at least fifteen -maybe twenty times. Each time, the thread had gotten caught on the bottom and looped around into a huge mess. Sometimes, I didn’t notice until I finished and flipped it over. Other times I couldn’t even contine sewing, it stopped dead in its tracks.

I know my problem is with the thread or bobbin tension. I have played around with both nobs and have yet to find a solution. This is the ONE problem that I have ever had with sewing. I just dont understand why this keeps happening. I dont understand why I could do the first five pieces but then have nothing but failures on the sixth one. What I am doing wrong? I dont sew often, but I would lOVE to solve this problem so that I could enjoy sewing.

The fabric is an average weight 100% cotton bedsheet fabric. I am using a high quality polyester thread.

Thanks a million!


  1. Lword | | #1

    Mer, five out of six is good! What might be going on is whatever portion of your bobbin thread is remaining is really wound around whacky so it gives too much slack sometimes. Have you tried to stock (wind or install) a new bobbin and see how it behaves? Sometimes they don't like to be almost running out or erratically wound. Wind the leftover from the almost empty bobbin onto something convenient to reuse for mending like a small piece of cardboard with slashes at the top and bottom edges.

    Also, are you sure your tension hasn't changed (ghosts, cats)? It happens. Finally, would fabric glue work for a while? That might come in handy if it shrinks after washing or cleaning. Good luck!

    1. MER02 | | #2

      Re-winding and putting on a new bobbin is the one thing that I haven't tried. I will try again tonight. I keep checking the tension wheel every five minutes, so I doubt it is that.

      Thanks so much for the idea. I was about to lose my wits. :) Plus, I had homemade pizza tonight for dinner so that helped my mood.

  2. Elisabeth | | #3

    Sometimes the top thread will jump out of it's threading path when a machine jams and then of course the machine will continue to jam in big loops. If you haven't already done so try rethreading it in the proper path.

    1. MER02 | | #4

      Adele over in CT suggested that. Now that I've had dinner, I will try again. :)

      I like challenges. I like challenges. I like challenges. I like challenges.

    2. MER02 | | #5

      Elisabeth and Lword,

      Thank you so much! You two are so helpful. I tried both your suggestions, along with those of the CT sewers, and the machine is sewing beautifully now! :) I am so very very thrilled. My beautiful duvet is on the bed now, ready and waiting for tired me. :)

      Thank you so much for your help!

      1. Lword | | #6

        Good work Mer! Success stories are so nice :)

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