Wednesday, 16 June 2010


As a hand stitcher, I can just about handle a sewing machine, but the ins-and-outs still confuse me. Even after reading the manual. I have a recurring problem with my stitching, which is probably very easily solved, but it makes no sense to me why it is doing what it is doing. 
When I use my sewing machine on any stitch, it does the understitch on the top, and the nice top stitch ends up on the bottom of whatever I am sewing? Does that make sense? And how do I change it? 
I have literally used all and every setting, and it is starting to upset me. Any advice would be so welcome. 
I bought the Brother sewing machine recently on the advice of my friend Laurraine who has the same machine, and I love it, but I don't understand why it seems to be stitching upsidedown/wrong way around. I am sure I am over looking something very simple.

The stitch should look like this
- - - - - - {that is the top stitch} 
but I am getting
 _,_,_,_,_- [the bottom stitch] 
on the top....

Eep. Help!

edit; I just tried changing the bobbin around, and it is not making a difference. 
This is a new machine, and it has done this since I purchased it. 

Thank you all so much for your comments! After a bit of wrestling I discovered that this particular sewing machine has her own character and does NOT accept the usual threading :/ When I feed the thread to the top, it wishes the down thread to 'lie' over the bobbin [ I hope that makes sense ] but doing it this way, it stitches beautifully on the top and the bottom.... [ very very strange, but I am so not questioning it :) ] 

Thanks again! 


  1. That's really odd... & leaves me completely puzzled too! Can't you go back to the shop where you bought your machine? Maybe they can help...

    In any case, good luck!

  2. I bought my machine in the UK, so it will be very difficult :/
    Thanks so much for your comment, Katrien....

  3. This sometimes happens to me when I have put the thread round the wrong way on the spool when I am in a hurry.
    Not sure if that helps!

  4. Thanks Mushy. Another friend of mine suggested the same. I had never thought of this. I might have always done it the wrong way around. I will try to see if it makes a difference. Thanks so much for your comment.

  5. It happens to me when the tension on the bobin is too low. In my machine I have to then remove the bobin together with the metal case and screw it tighter (but not too tight!). I'm not sure whether you have similar case on your bobin. On this picture you can see the screw

  6. BTW what machine do you have? I want to buy a new one and I'm curious what other peoples have.

  7. I have the BROTHER ES-2020
    a simple little machine, which I love. I have a heavy duty husqvarna which need servicing, and thought by buying this wee machine my problems would be over *sighs* The bobbins in this machine are the plastic ones. I just can't get it to stitch properly, or find the trouble shooting solutions for it. I am sure it is something I am doing wrong.

  8. My bobbins are also plastic, but the case is metal one and there is the screw that has to be tighten.

  9. No, there is sadly not a case in there, that can be tightened :/ Thanks so much for your comments though....

  10. The bottom tension is too high and is getting pulled up so you need to reduce the tension on the thread dial. This is normally at around 5, try it at 4 or between 3 and 4. I can still get problems depending on the thread I use. I have found Guterman 100% poly for general sewing is what my machine likes best. Sometimes I can't get a cheaper thread to stitch right no matter what I do.

  11. Thank you Kerry for your comment! I have been trying it on the machine, but I can not find any way of reducing the tension on the bottom thread dial. I might just get my older machine down stairs and wrestle that one instead, at least it has more dials and buttons to press :)

  12. oh how frustrating...I hope you find a solution soon.

  13. Hi Anna, which sewing machine do you have? The type I mean, the brand is Brother of course. Could also be that some thread got stuck inside the bottom thread dial. You should also change the needle, if it isn´t sharp, the stitch won´t be good. But to me it sounds as if the tension is too high. And there must be a (hidden) screw to adjust that...

  14. Hello there, only use the bobbin that is supplied with the machine....believe it or now sewing machines can be funny about this - mine won't take metal ones... also make sure bobbin is put into the underneath compartment the way the manual suggests... some machines go clockwise some go anti-clockwise... Check the tension dial on top...if you use a dark colour on top and a cream in the bobbin the dark colour should only show on top of your sewing if the tension is right... IF THAT DOESN'T WORK, put it to one side and go outside, throw a blanket on the ground and go for a nap....


  15. Thank you so much for all the great comments! I have been wrestling the machine for a bit, and for some odd reason it is now finally working properly. It seems that it doesn't matter what way around I put the bobbin in, aslong as when I thread it out, the thread will 'lie' over the top. If that makes any sense. Then [ in that weird position ] it will stitch beautiful both on the top and the bottom. This sewing machine definitely has a character all of her own :)
    Thanks so much again!

    And Linda, you made me laugh. I did come 'this' close to go out and nap in the garden :) And give up altogether! I must email you! I am in TOTAL awe of your quilting skills! The photo is amazing x

  16. Anna, sometimes the bobbin may be wound too tight, try rewinding your bobbin and loosen the tension.....I think the brother machine is good at 3 or 4 for both top and bottom tension. Hope that could be a thread caught in there too.
    You could google the problem and it might come up with an answer....
    Margaret B

  17. hi sweet sewing girl.....i hope you find some answers for your machine frustrating!! sometimes my brother machine does that when the tension is lopsided.....and then, of course, the tension goes to my head and i end up with a headache over the whole matter....! hang in there, sweet pea! xox, :))

  18. I don't have an answer for you, I'm equally confused with my own sewing machine which has a manual with no words. Only pictures. Good luck though!


Thanks ever so much for sharing your thoughts!