Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Hammock
    WB RidgeRunner
    Tarp
    8x10 DIY (speer)
    Insulation
    KAQ Lost River
    Suspension
    Straps
    Posts
    4,696
    Images
    108

    Stupid sewing question - bottom thread tangles

    Last night, I was making a feeble, and futile attempt to sew loops in some 1" poly strap.

    My goal was to set 4 parallel bar-tacks across the strap end, leaving a loop. The first zigzag or two, as I ran forward and reverse across the width of the strap went fine until I heard a snap or two, and discovered a tangled mess from the bottom thread.

    I figured my tension was too low, so I dialed up the tension, ripped out the old attempt and tried again... and again... until I gave up.

    I managed to get one or two successful bar-tacks in, but it wasn't worth the agravation...

    I've successfully sewn rolled hems, flat-felled seams, grossgrain tie-outs, 3 hammocks, 1 tarp, and a partridge in a pear tree... (don't ask me how I got the pear tree under the pressor foot!)

    Help! What am I doing wrong?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mrprez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Mobile, AL
    Hammock
    HH Explorer UL Zip
    Tarp
    DIY Gear Winter
    Insulation
    HH SS
    Suspension
    Whoopie Sling
    Posts
    1,724
    Did you remove the bobbin and clean out under there? Might be a broken piece of thread in there somewhere.

  3. #3
    Frawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Dayton, OH area
    Hammock
    DIY (various)
    Tarp
    DIY 5x10 pseudocat
    Insulation
    GI+
    Suspension
    UCR custom
    Posts
    1,709
    Images
    95
    I've had a similar experience. Wider zig-zags were more problematic than narrower ones. I think the problem comes from the added friction working against a double layer of strap.

    I would personally probably fiddle with the lower tension a bit, but that's generally ill advised if you're not comfortable about aligning the machine on your own, especially if it sews well otherwise.

    FWIW, I finally settled on a simple straight stitch, forward and backward, and that seems to hold well enough. I'd use a heavy duty machine if I had one. (still looking)
    - Frawg

    {generic tagline}

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Milton, PA
    Hammock
    Hennessey Explorer Ultralight
    Tarp
    Hennessey Hex
    Insulation
    HH Super Shelter
    Suspension
    ring buckle
    Posts
    7,824
    Images
    101
    I may be able to help here. When you are sewing very thick items like webbing the presser foot is relatively high. When the presser foot is raised it discontects the spool tension. You can crank the tension up as high as you want and it would not make a difference. Not sure what to suggest without knowing what you were doing. Don't sew three layers of webbing. Two layer would be plenty strong and probably won't be a problem
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  5. #5
    gargoyle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Middlebury, IN
    Hammock
    G-Bird II
    Tarp
    Ogee tarp
    Insulation
    AHE TQ DIY Down UQ
    Suspension
    whoop dutch!
    Posts
    6,221
    Images
    46
    I've recently had luck wih adjusting my stitches per inch, setting at the minimum. And the narrowest zig-zag you got or just straight stitch works, just go back and forth a bunch. Good luck. If it doesn't work, sewing machine makes a great boat anchor.

    Give it a good cleaning, as suggested, grab a beer, take a break, cuss at it.
    That always helps me. Threaten boat anchor (sewing machines are afraid of water).

    Needle may be bent, or timing is off, run some scrap fabric thru and see how its sewing. Try a new needle.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  6. #6
    Senior Member gstepclassical's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Apex, NC
    Hammock
    HH Exped Asym
    Tarp
    DIY Sil
    Insulation
    KickAss UQ
    Suspension
    Whoopie Slings
    Posts
    156
    Images
    24
    You could try the above to get one bar tack and then try a double X box. That should be plenty to hold a hammock. It has worked for me for two years now anyway.
    When it goes over their heads, it really doesn't matter how high it is.

  7. #7
    Senior Member E.A.Y.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Rescue, CA
    Hammock
    Warbonnet BlackBird
    Tarp
    MacCat Deluxe
    Insulation
    Down top & bottom
    Suspension
    Strap and buckle
    Posts
    941
    Images
    69
    Take the bobbin out (or bobbin and holder out if it is supposed to come out). Unplug the machine and get a little brush and get all the bits of fuzz and thread and stuff out from inside the machine.
    If you can get at the upper guts (around the needle) clean in there also.
    Put everything back together.

    Rethread the bobbin (just in case)

    Put a new needle on the machine, rethread the top thread.

    Get a piece of denim or something and get your straight and zigzag stitches working nicely.

    If you can't get the denim to sew nicely, then your machine probably needs adjustment at the shop.

    Bar tacks and wide zigzags are more challenging than straight stitches.
    Denim is easier to sew than webbing and is a good weight for testing out stitches.

    When your machine behaves nicely with denim, then it is time to try the webbing again.

    Some machines will whine and complain and fuss about sewing thick things like webbing - cleaning and a new needle improve your chances of getting it to work.

    Cheap thread (like no-name variety store polyester thread) is going to give more problems than brands like Mettler or Guterman or Coats. Guterman is my favorite polyester thread.

    Mac is right about the presser foot - you will get tangles on the bottom if the presser foot is disengaged - I've done it more than once by forgetting to put the foot down (like during free-hand no-presser-foot machine embroidery)
    Depending on your machine, you may be able to adjust the force with which your foot presses on the fabric.
    -Liz -
    Nor Cal hang #7 at Boggs Mountain April 1-3 2016. Put it on your calendar!!
    http://twosorefeet.blogspot.com/ https://www.youtube.com/user/UnstructuredExit/

  8. #8
    Senior Member stevebo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Moreland Georgia
    Hammock
    WBRR
    Tarp
    diy sil argon camo
    Insulation
    lynx
    Suspension
    whoopie slings
    Posts
    1,705
    Heres what happens to me, every thing will be going great, sewing like a pro, and then all hell will break loose, tangles, bottom thread messed up--like your problem. What usually happens is i keep messing with it,and get more and more aggrevated until I finally give up and take a break. I do my best sewing when I take my time and do it in small doses. I would take long break, rewind the bobbin, put a new needle in , oil the machine, and rethread it using the owners manual (just in case you are not threading it correctly) and practice on a scrap before you mess up your project. Its almost as if the machine knows when your frustrated and tired, and thats when it chooses to turn on you! I guess you could say I have a love hate relationship with my sewing machine! Good luck!
    FYI: If you want to know what type a certain bear is, sneak up behind it and kick it. Then,
    run like crazy and climb up a tree. If the bear climbs the tree and eats you, it's a black
    bear. If the bear just pushes the tree over and eats you, it's a grizzly bear : )


    Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either, just leave me alone.
    --unknown

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    England UK
    Hammock
    Tom Claytor Jungle Hammock
    Tarp
    DIY Purple Tarp
    Insulation
    DIY Pertex/Goose d
    Suspension
    Whoopies
    Posts
    172
    Are you using the correct size needle for thicker material?
    I think you should be using atleast 14.

  10. #10
    Senior Member stevebo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Moreland Georgia
    Hammock
    WBRR
    Tarp
    diy sil argon camo
    Insulation
    lynx
    Suspension
    whoopie slings
    Posts
    1,705
    One more thing, when sewing heavy materials like webbing etc, my machine is not happy about it, so I kind of help it along, slowing sewing using the pedal, while helping the machine along with my hand. (I have the same problem with velcro) you also might be using the wrong needle for webbing
    FYI: If you want to know what type a certain bear is, sneak up behind it and kick it. Then,
    run like crazy and climb up a tree. If the bear climbs the tree and eats you, it's a black
    bear. If the bear just pushes the tree over and eats you, it's a grizzly bear : )


    Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either, just leave me alone.
    --unknown

Similar Threads

  1. Maybe a stupid question But....
    By Tn guy in forum Under Quilts
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 08-19-2014, 01:15
  2. I know, probably a stupid question.
    By TZ75man in forum General Hammock Talk
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 04-29-2013, 19:52
  3. Stupid Question but...
    By CB200T in forum General Hammock Talk
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-24-2012, 20:30
  4. Sewing Machine/Thread Injector Question
    By laneef in forum Do-It-Yourself (DIY)
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-28-2012, 18:05

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •