In this final installment of tips and tricks to prevent and eliminate skipped and wonky stitches, we’ll literally get to the bottom of the issue and look at the bobbin and bobbin holder of your machine. Please review my previous posts, Part 1 and Part 2 for more solutions to eliminate skipped stitches.
I can’t tell you the number of times people have come to me for assistance with their machine; it’s not sewing right, the stitches are ugly; their dealer sold them a “lemon”, only to discover that the bobbin was inserted backwards. It’s ok, it happens. We’re all in a hurry; we don’t always get to sew everyday; you’re new to sewing, so it’s easy to forget how to properly set up the machine.
Your instruction manual is an invaluable resource of information as not all Janome machines load the bobbin in the same manner.
For all drop-in models, a quick, easy way to remember which way the bobbin goes into the holder is to think of the letter “P”. Hold your bobbin or place it down on the table so the thread coming off the bobbin forms the tail of the letter “P”.
Machines with front loading “Vertical Oscillating Hooks”, however, like the Janome HD 1000, and the New Home Janome Blue Couture, for example, load the bobbin in a separate bobbin case with the thread coming off the top of the bobbin clockwise. Again, please consult your instruction manual, and your fabulous Janome dealer for more information.
Take a look at the bobbin itself. Is it an authentic Janome “J” bobbin? Did it come with the machine, or from an authorized Janome dealer? If so, you can be sure it’s the real deal. Janome bobbins may look like others, but only real Janome bobbins have a special rubberized compound in them which reduces noise and stops excessive spinning and backlash when sewing and stopping at high speeds. Sure, other bobbins may appear to fit and work, but they won’t produce the same stitch quality as when using authentic Janome “J” bobbins. The cool thing is that virtually all Janome machines use the same bobbin, regardless of model or price point. Also cool is that Janome has packages of pre-wound bobbins in white and black, so you get a reusable bobbin whenever the bobbin is empty. You can never have too many!
Your machine instruction manual will also mention how to clean the bobbin area, and I believe pretty-much every, or nearly every, Janome machine comes with a little lint brush for this purpose.
You can see in the photo below that my machine is obviously due for a cleaning, though the new Janome Continental M7P has a built-in reminder to clean the bobbin area every 5 hours. With my crazy schedule, I need all the help I can get – lol!
Getting to the bobbin area is SUPER fast and easy, so I had to record a quick video to share.
Sorry, I don’t mean to show off, but, you’ve got to admit, that’s pretty slick! lol!
However you access the bobbin area of your machine, there’s no hard and fast rule as to how often you should clean in there. It depends on the time spent, and frequency you sew, but also with what you sew. Flannels, fleece, 100% cotton thread, for example, will all produce more lint than a synthetic fabric, or leather sewn with polyester thread, so you would need to clean more frequently. The more you keep the bobbin area clean, the better. You can’t over-clean! It’s surprising how a bit of lint trapped in the bobbin holder can throw-off otherwise beautiful stitching which was perfect a second ago. Our first inclination is to blame the machine, but a little undercover work often solves the mystery.
I’d love to share a video of the extreme; what can happen inside your machine without regular servicing by an authorized Janome service technician. I think skipped stitches were likely the least of this owner’s issues, lol!
This video is courtesy of Mike Damour, from Gem Sewing, our Janome dealer in New Liskeard, Ontario. In addition to being the owner/ dealer, Mike is also an authorized service technician, so he comes to the rescue when all the other tips and tricks I’ve shared do not resolve stitching woes. If you ran over a pin, broke a needle and it jammed in the machine, for example, you’re best to take your machine back to your dealer to have it inspected. The timing could be off, or the bobbin holder could be damaged, which will also result in skipped or wonky stitches, so truly leave that diagnosis and those steps to correct to the professionals.
There you have it. Have I missed anything? What are YOUR tips and tricks for solving the dreaded Skipped Stitch? We love hearing your feedback!
Now, go clean your bobbin area, lol! Happy Sewing!