Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

loopy on wrong side of top stitching

fabricholic | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I just top stitched some jeans on the hem and the inside looks loopy and messy. The top stitching looks great. I used jeans top stitching thread, jeans needle and used jeans top stitching thread in the bobbin, also. Before when I didn’t use jeans thread in the bobbin, I thought it was that. I have a Viking Designer SE, so I know it’s not the machine. Any suggestions or does anyone know why this happened?


  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    The topstitching thread is much thicker than your regular thread.  The bobbin tension is set for regular thread.  It did not pull evenly and smoothly through the bobbin tension.  Did you need to use the heavier thread on the bottom as well as on the top?  With regular thread in the bobbin, you would not have had that problem.  If you need to use the heavier thread, you need to adjust the bobbin tension a little looser, and test sew on scraps until you are happy with it.  Just remember to set your tension back when you go back to regular sewing.  I purchased a second bobbin casing for my machine just to use with heavier and decorative heavier threads so I do not have to mess with my regular thread tension in the bobbin.  I just use the 2nd bobbin for messing with.  Cathy

    1. fabricholic | | #2

      So I should have stayed with regular thread in the bobbin. I might try it, again with the regular weight thread in the bobbin. I don't want to mess with the tension. How much did your bobbin casing cost, if you don't mind answering that question? That would be a good idea. Thank you so much.

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #6

        I do not remember how much it was exactly as it was a long time ago.  However, it was probably under $40.  You would just check with your dealer.  They ususally have extras, or would order you one.  Mary is correct tho.  You shouldn't tamper with the bobbin tension much unless you are familiar with fooling with them, as they are a pain to set.  I have a scratch on my bobbin casings to reset the screws to the proper spot.  And a tiny tiny dab of nail polish on the screw to show which side of the screw to line up.   Cathy

        1. fabricholic | | #7

          Thanks. Good hints.

  2. MaryinColorado | | #3

    Please do not adjust the tensions on your regular bobbin case.  Either bypass the bobbin tension completely and see if that is too loose, or buy a seperate bobbin case.  I like that the extra one is white for my Designer I so it doesnt get confused with the regular one.  It was a great investment as I love to also use heavy threads for bobbinwork and DigiBobbe as the instructional video on http://www.bonniemccaffery.com shows.  I put the case inside a baggie while adjusting so I don't risk losing the tiny screw too. 

    You could also hem the jeans using a coverstitch on the serger, the loopers tension can be easily adjusted for the heavier thread.  Mary

    1. fabricholic | | #4

      Mary, do you remember how much the extra bobbin case was? I was just going to use my coverstitch on the serger, because I want to hem a t-shirt. I don't have any navy thread, so I was going to order some. That's a good idea to hem jeans on it. I guess I would have to buy some more spools of jeans thread. Thank you.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #5

        I replied via email as it was a long answer. Mary

      2. MaryinColorado | | #8

        Did you get the new floor in yet?  It sure will be a beautiful room!  Are sugarplums dancing in your head?  I bet you are having some interesting dreams just imagining yourself in there sewing away! 

        1. fabricholic | | #9

          I don't know who is getting a new floor, but it's not me, although I need some new carpet, because I got paint on my shoe when I was painting the hallway and ran in the sewing room to answer the phone and what a mess I made.

          1. MaryinColorado | | #10

            Oooooooooops!  for both of us!  I'm sorry to hear about the paint mess, it sounds like something I would do.  I think it was Sewslow who I meant to send that to.  Mary

  3. Pattiann42 | | #11

    This works for me:

    Before stitching - be sure you thread the machine with the presser foot up so the thread properly seats into the tension guides (discs).

    The tension for the top thread may need to be a touch looser.

    Test the stitching on scraps of like fabric.

    Avoid tinkering with the bobbin tension - those little screws are very sensitive.


    Edited 10/21/2008 4:14 pm ET by spicegirl1

    1. fabricholic | | #14

      I could loosen the top thread, but I wouldn't touch bobbin. It looked good on the top, but inside was a big mess of loops. Thanks.

  4. KharminJ | | #12

    Good suggestions about having a second bobbin case for different threads or tensions ~

    Another possible source of the problem - simply having misthreaded the machine.

    I get that "bird's nest" on the bottom every once in a while, too, and usually find that I've somehow gotten the threading wrong! - Just pull the top thread out (back to the spool) and start over.

    Happy jeans, and I hope it's that simple to fix!


    1. fabricholic | | #15

      No, it wasn't the bird's nest. It was loops.

    2. Pattiann42 | | #17

      "Sewing experts" are telling us to snip the thread at the spool, lift the presser foot, remove the thread from the needle, then pull the thread from the "needle" end of the thread tail.

      Their theory is, when pulling the thread back toward the spool, you are adding lint and dust to the tension discs.

      Edited 10/21/2008 4:14 pm ET by spicegirl1

      1. MaryinColorado | | #21

        too true and it can break the tensions

        have you seen the "Jean a ma jig"?  It helps the presser foot go over the thick seams/hems and is a useful tool that may help solve your problem

        Edited 10/22/2008 5:32 am by MaryinColorado

        1. Pattiann42 | | #22

          I'm not the one with the problem............I have used a jean-a-ma-jig or a hump jumper for several years..........a must have when you live in a family of guys who wear jeans.



          Edited 10/22/2008 11:25 am ET by spicegirl1

  5. Ritzy | | #13

    Did you use the correct size needle?

    1. fabricholic | | #16

      I used a denim needle and jeans thread.

  6. Pattiann42 | | #18

    I have gotten "loops" when the thread had not seated in the tension discs - always thread the machine with the presser foot up.  I also do a test stitching on a scrap that I keep next to the sewing machine.

    Loops can also happen if the fabric is so thick that the presser foot cannot drop low enough to engage the tension disks.

    Here is an article from Threads Magazine that may be of help - http://www.taunton.com/threads/pages/t00221.asp

    Edited 10/21/2008 4:13 pm ET by spicegirl1

    1. fabricholic | | #19

      Thanks, I'll read it.

    2. KharminJ | | #20

      Thanks for this:

      "Loops can also happen if the fabric is so thick that the presser foot cannot drop low enough to engage the tension disks."

      I didn't know that!

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All