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Needle not picking up bobbin thread

SWoerner's picture

I have been sewing for too many years to admit. My sewing maching is probably over 20years old, but has always been faithful. My problem is----I am altering the sleeves and shoulders of my sons T-shirts. Everytime, I start to sew, the needle goes down, but does not pick up the bobbin thread. I have sewed other items, so I know its not my machine. I have adjusted the tension, changed needles, changed thread, switched to stretch all to to success. Am I going batty or did I forget someting. I know with all the new technology that I have not kept up on could be the problem, but I seriously need assistance. I really can't afford another machine and am at a loss as to what to do next.

Teaf5's picture

three possibilities (post #35016, reply #1 of 7)

Three things I can think of are:

1.  The bobbin may be in backwards.

2.  The bobbin thread & top thread need to be pulled to the back before starting the stitching (engaging the bobbin thread)

3.  You need a ballpoint rather than universal needle to sew on t-shirt knits.  (Test this by trying to sew on a piece of woven fabric or on paper.)

Other things that have happened to me include:  the needle is in the machine backwards, is too big, too small, or defective (a whole packet, one time!)

Good luck and don't give up!

Tootsiebelle's picture

Needle not picking up bobbin thread (post #35016, reply #2 of 7)

Has your problem been solved, and if so, what was the solution?

Lisas365's picture

I had this problem recently (post #35016, reply #3 of 7)

I had this problem recently when sewing a knit. I had the right needle but apparently I needed a new one. I switched needles and my stitches were fine. May seem too simple a fix (and it may be) but it worked for me!

HelgaPataki's picture

crooked or bent needles (post #35016, reply #4 of 7)

might not pick up the bobbin thread like the problem your experiencing.  has the problem been solved?

spicegirl1's picture

Needle not picking up bobbin thread (post #35016, reply #5 of 7)

When the needle does not pick up the bobbin thread it is usually because the needle has been improperly installed.  Make sure the front of the needle is facing toward the location of the bobbin and is all the way up into the needle shaft/holder.

cookymom's picture

Needle not picking up the bobbin thread (post #35016, reply #6 of 7)

When I use my old Kenmore, I turn the wheel to pick up the bobbin thread and pull both threads to the back of the machine.  When I can't pull the thread up, it means I have missed putting the bobbin case correctly.  A new ball point needle is a small price to make the machine sew better.  It took me a long time to understand how important this was to good sewing.

Let us know how you ended up.

margret1578's picture

Check the casing that holds (post #35016, reply #7 of 7)

Check the casing that holds the bobbin , there is a piece of metal that comes to a point. Take a magnifying glass and check to make sure the point is not chipped, cracked or broken.  This would cause no thread pick up!  It happened to me!

Just to let you know, just because the machine is older does NOT mean it is not useful!  I've been sewing since Iwas 7 years old! I am now, 59!  I prefer old machines with metal gears only!

Hope this helo you!