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Kenmore sewing machine not stitching properly. Thread knotting up under bobbin plate.

Model 38516530000. I am using heavy interfacing and quilted fabric. I have tried cleaning out lint, changed needles several times, rethreaded the bobbin and needle threads, and thinner fabrics see to work fine. Please advise on where I can go from here.

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3 Answers from these members:
Manage My Life
I'm sorry to hear that you are having some difficulties with your Insert Name of Appliance Here. I did some research for you at and found an expert answer to a similar question that may help until your expert can respond to your specific question. The link is attached below. I hope this link provided assist you.
by Manage My Life
January 8th, 2012
Answered in 5 minutes
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Sam A
Thank you for your question on the knotting up of the thread.

At fist I would say it is a thread tension problem, but when you said it will sew okay with thinner fabric I discounted that scenario.

There are a number of things that can cause this problem and I will give you some suggestions to check.

First is your sewing thread matching the weight and thickness for both top and bottom? (Example). 50 weight needle thread vs 30 weight bobbin thread? It should max the weight and thickness as close as possible for both top and bottom threads.

Is the needle eye large enough for the type of thread you are using? 9, 11, 14?

Is the tension on the bobbin thread feeding correctly and is the bobbin case installed into the bobbin case with the thread coming from the left side as it goes into the bobbin case tension spring?

Because you are sewing a thicker material with the interfacing and the quilted fabric are your thread tails long enough so they do not get pulled into the bobbin case when you start to sew?

Please make sure the thread at the thread spool on top the machine is facing the correct way so the thread spool storage cut in the spool is not catching the thread.

If you machine has been cleaned of all lint then I would suggest looking for needle strikes on the plastic bobbin case.

Please let me know if you found the problem and if not we can continue to troubleshoot this issue.

Happy Sewing.

Sam A.
by Sam A Earned 29,003 community points in Kenmore
January 10th, 2012
0 votes
Manage My Life
OK, I actually went on youtube (I'm an impatient person, I guess) and here's what I found out. it IS a tension issue, PLUS the actual length of the stitch. Silly me I was trying to stitch a straight stitch on a 1.5 setting with a HUGE needle through several thicknesses of really thick fabric. There just wasn't enough room to make a good stitch with such a large needle, so close together. I solved the original problem by holding the fabric REEEAAALLY tight as it was sewing, turning the stitch size to a 3 and kind of forcing the fabric to advance. I used the thick needle. BTW, the bobbin was created from the spool thread, so it was the same weight. Also I rethreaded that needle and bobbin so many times ('cause is was messing up so many times) I know I had the ends pulled out far enough and if the needle thread was twisted around the needle (I've done that before too) the needle would have snapped in two. After I changed to the red needle (and was working on a smaller area to sew ie, straps to gusset) I changed to a basting stitch and what do you know it ran across it like a rock skipping a pond. I reduced to a three length and stitched again a couple of times, and when I put in the lining I plan to run across it a few more times, for good reinforcement, still using the longer stitch.

I'd like to show you a picture of what I'm sewing but I'm on a pub acc computer right now and all my stuff is at home. it's a Butterick bag with a single strap, lined, two outside pockets on one side, side by side and an inner pocket on the lining. I tend to load my bags heavy, so the straps on this will have to be sewn on really well. I also stuff the pockets, and so I've used the heavy pellon and rather heavy (I'm not sure, but it may be upholstery fabric) fabric for the lining. It zips across the top (that will be another REALLY fun part of construction, but I think I'm up to it! If not, maybe I'll get back on here and ask for more advice. Thanks so much for your help.
by Manage My Life
January 11th, 2012
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