Sewing machine jams when I use thicker threads

dee_can1June 29, 2013


This is my second time trying to use a thicker thread for hemming jeans, and the thread jams instantly on the first stitch. I have a Kenmore; it's a pretty good machine. I'm self-taught, so wondering if I'm not doing something right.

I'd like to use the thicker thread because it matches the thread in my jeans. It's Gutermann thread, so I think a high quality thread. Any ideas, or should I just chalk (chock?) it up to my machine not being able to handle anything other than standard thread?

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Hmm, I found out what the problem was - it was the operator. I threaded the machine incorrectly. Both times, I guess. *blush* If I could have deleted my original post I would have. Thanks for reading. ; )

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 11:08AM
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Don't feel bad. I've heard/read that when there is a jamming, tension, or thread breaking problem, 90 percent of the time the cure is to rethread the machine. Yet it is nearly always the last thing I think of to try. Me, thread my own machine incorrectly? Well, it happens.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 4:59PM
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Yup like Donna says,it happens to all of us at one time or another!!

Hi Donna,how's life treating you?? Doing good here,busy in the gardens this time of year.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 6:21PM
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Thanks Donna and Kathi. There are times I don't sew for awhile, and I really have to remind myself how to set up the machine. Does the bobbin go this way or that way, etc. Hard to believe I threaded the machine incorrectly with the same type of thread twice in a row on separate occasions. : D

I'll keep that in mind about what you said about 90% of the time the cure is to rethread the machine, Donna. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 8:19AM
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Some home machines, especially with that thick thread do not do as well.

I have 2 suggestions.
First try using that heavy thread ONLY on the bobbin. Use a matching but regular weight thread on top...that way the heavy thread does not have to go thru the tension. This works on many home machines.


Try using regular thread on the top... On the bottom use regular thread, BUT wind on 2 strands of regular thread together. That also usually works well.. You get a heavier thread, it's just easier on the machine.

ALSO Jean hems are so heavy... and so harder to do on a regular home type machine. When you roll that fabric over on the side's so very thick. So Before trying to run that thru a machine, fold the hem in on the sides, lay it on a brick and "pop" it down flat with a hammer. Hammer it down from the "inside" It flattens it nicely and goes thru the machine so much easier

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 3:35PM
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Thank you for the tips onefineseamstres. : ) I have a 'jean-a-ma-jig/hump jumper' and that works really well for me, but I like your tip about hammering down the sides so I'll try that next time, too. Does this spread the material at that thick part out, though?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 7:15AM
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Hi: You need to use a bigger needle. And use the "thing-a-ma-jig" to get your needle up higher. Go slowly or move the machine by hand if the needle doesn't go through.

I also sometimes "skip" over the thickest part so there are no stitches there at all. No one will notice and it will be easier on your sewing machine.

Happy Day, Patti

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 1:38PM
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