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Why is the bobbin thread on my sewing machine suddenly making a mess under the fabric as I sew?

My sewing machine is a Singer 301A – an older model mechanical machine (no computer). The underside of my sewing is now getting a horrible mess of thread as I sew. Is something needing an adjustment or should I take my machine in for service?

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6 Responses to “Why is the bobbin thread on my sewing machine suddenly making a mess under the fabric as I sew?”

  1. aussie sheila says:

    2 reasons I can think of cause this problem.

    1. the top thread has slipped out of the tension disc – put it back in.

    2. you threaded the top of the machine with the presser foot DOWN instead of UP – remove top thread completely from machine and rethread with presser foot UP.

  2. Chirp says:

    In addition to previous suggestions, make sure you’re holding onto both thread tails for the first few stitches. I would also remove the bobbin, check for any thread pieces or lint in the bobbin area, then re-insert the bobbin, making sure the thread clicks into the tension area.
    Good luck!

  3. kay says:

    And adding to the previous two good answers, some 301As are extremely touchy about lint and lack of lubrication. So while you’ve got the thread off for rethreading the machine, take a minute or two and give the machine a basic cleaning, including vacuuming or brushing out the feed dog and bobbin case area, then lubricate (sewing machine oil only, not 3 in 1 type oils, as they gum up the machine). If you don’t have a manual, it’s here, free: http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/manuals/singer-slant-shank-301-sewing-machine-manual.pdf

    And don’t forget, needles need replacing every 2 to 10 hours of actual sewing time.

    Sewing machine misthreading diagnostics: http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/22521551

  4. DR + Mrs Bears face says:

    Some machines don’t like it if the top thread is different to the bottom thread. I found this out when using white and used a ready wound bobbin with a new reel of a different brand on the top.

  5. pattiann42 says:

    Before taking the machine in for service (service fees begin at around $ 60), raise the presser foot and pull out about 6″ of thread at the needle.

    Test the stitching.

    When the presser foot is up the tension control opens. This allows the top thread to properly enter the control.

    Threading the machine with the foot down results in no control of the top thread – it is so loose that the bobbin thread pulls it under and to the back of the fabric.

    When sewing, use the tension setting recommend by the manufacturer.

    Refer to the manual for the machine for routine maintenace.

  6. tony says:

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