Sunday, August 29, 2010

Decorative Bobbin-play on your sewing machine

Bobbin play on a sewing machine. It is just that playing. It takes a certain amount of trial and error to get it just right. But when you learn the basics and then have a finished project.. it's all very worth it. With Bobbin play, you can use yarns and cords and silk ribbons that will not fit through the eye of a sewing machine needle! A whole new world of possibility opens up.


  1. Purchase a second bobbin case for your machine. If you have a drop-in bobbin check out your manual or your sewing machine dealer for specifics. The reason for the second bobbin case is that you will be adjusting the tension on the bobbin case looser to accommodate the heavier thread that you will be winding on the bobbin.
  2. Select only open stitches. The daisy in the above picture is done with the star stitch at its widest width and longer length.  The beige stitch is the feather stitch, once again reprogrammed to stitch wider and longer than is standard on the machine.
  3. Adjust the stitch to it's widest possibly stitch width and to a longer stitch length. (Use your stitch width and stitch length buttons.)
  4. Select your yarn/silk ribbon wisely. Nothing can hang off the cord/yarn. It must be smooth, nubby yarns will not work. Use up to a 4mm wide silk ribbon only. 
  5. Wind your bobbin using your bobbin winder on your machine. You can use your forefinger and your thumb as a tension through which your yarn/silk ribbon will pass. 
  6. Loosen the tension on the bobbin case (see your manual or your dealer) until the material in the bobbin flows loosely but does not spin off like running water. It should flow off like a smoothie. Put the bobbincase, your hands and the screwdriver in a clear plastic bag. This way when you loosen the screw to much and it falls out, you have it right there and not on the floor.
  7. Thread coordinating thread through your needle. Sewing thread only.
  8. Stabilize your fabric on the wrong side of the fabric.
  9. Sew with the fabric right side down. Yes, that's the mystery part, you can't tell until you are finished what it looks like. I like surprises! 
  10. Sew slowly. This isn't a race. Practice first. Take your time. Enjoy the end result