Betcha you're threading with the presser foot down. It needs to be up so the top thread actually enters the upper tension (you can put the foot down to thread the needle!). That causes loops of the upper thread along the underside of the fabric.
Compounding this, I bet you're not starting the seam correctly, hanging on to the tails of the upper and bobbin thread. That produces wads'o'thread on the underside, typically at the start of the seam.
So, let's start from scratch -- unthread the machine, top and bottom, and dig out your manual.
Thread the top, using the manual to go very step by step. **Make sure the presser foot is in the "up" position** and "floss" the upper thread into the tension disks. Thread the needle and leave about a 3" tail.
If you've messed with the upper tension, set it back to "4" -- that's the normal tension setting for most fabrics, most seam types.
Load the bobbin into the bobbin case, and pull the thread into the bobbin tension. Leave a couple inches of "tail".
Fetch up the bobbin thread by holding the tail of the top thread and using the handwheel to lower the needle into the bobbin case, and then back up again. You should see the bobbin thread pop up when you pull on the top thread's tail. (Be sure you're turning the handwheel the correct way -- the correct way is the one that would cause fabric to feed from front to back (watch the feed dogs!). )
Each and every time you start to sew a seam, do it this way:
1) Place the fabric under the needle, presser foot up.
2) Using the handwheel (remember to turn it the right way!), lower the needle into the start of the seam.
3) Drop the presser foot.
4) Use the handwheel (right way, please!) to make a couple of stitches while you hold the ends of the bobbin and top thread firmly behind the presser foot.
5) Drop the thread ends and sew.
For your first seams, practice starting them about an inch in from the edge of the fabric. Until you learn to control the fabric well, sometimes the fabric tends to get sucked down into the bobbin case are when you start to sew on the edge.
If this doesn't help, you probably need a hands-on teacher. If you know anyone who sews, they can probably spot the problem immediately. Otherwise, start calling around to sewing machine dealers, and asking about taking a "guide class" with a machine you bought elsewhere. Normally dealers provide a "how to do the basics" class for free with machine purchase from them. Many will also let you take a guide class for a small fee, or you can book a half hour or hour's worth of time with a private teacher.
50 years of sewing
· 1 decade ago