Monday, January 24, 2011

In which I rant in length about my disdain for bobbins

I adore sewing. I’m not just talking about the finished products; I’m talking about every aspect of it: The whir of the electrical motor, the clicking sound it makes when the presser foot is lowered, the sensation of pushing the pins into the fabric, the movement of the fabric under my fingers as it’s pulled and stitched. The whole thing is like a soothing symphony.


However, there is one thing about it that irritates me above all else: bobbins. You see I hate winding bobbins. I despise it. I think because they’re such a distraction when they run out. I could be right in the middle of a nice long stretch and the bobbin runs out and I have to stop and unthread the machine, and thread another bobbin and then put it in – it totally disrupts my rhythm. It’s like the orchestra stopping in the middle of Beethoven’s 5th because the lead violinist has to take a piss (see how I worked in that symphony analogy from paragraph one? That English degree is paying off now baby!).


I try to combat these interruptions by preparing ahead. If I’m working on a large project that I know will require more than one bobbin, I usually wind as many as I think I will need ahead of time, before I even begin sewing. This way when it runs out I simply have to replace it and don’t have to unthread, wind a bobbin, and rethread one.

This helps a little bit, but it’s still annoying. Speaking of annoying, doesn’t it always seem like it runs out when you have 3 inches left to sew? Every stinking time! You’re sewing along, you’re in the groove. As soon as you finish that seam you’re on your way to the next exciting step in your garment/project creation, and boom; bobbin thread runs out with an inch and a half left to go.

Or my favorite is when I’m working on something large and/or unwieldy, and I’ve just spent a good 3 minutes and performed several yoga moves that I didn’t even think were humanly possible, to maneuver it underneath the presser foot, I make 3 stitches and BAM – out of bobbin thread.

And don’t even get me started on how much thread you waste by having all these little leftover bobbins with varying lengths of thread on them.

I hate you. I hate you all.


You’re thinking, “What’s your point here woman? Why are you rambling on about this?” and the truth is that for some reason I think you’ll care. And also to point out to any would be inventors out there that this bobbin issue is one that you need to be working on. We as a species can fly to the moon and program a plastic bass on a plaque to sing “Take Me to the River” but nobody can figure out how to rig a sewing machine so that I don’t have to deal with bobbins?

People are out there inventing pajama jeans and shake weights but nobody can figure out how to improve the bobbin situation? It’s a tragedy is what it is. Why can’t the bobbin thread pull from a full spool like the top thread? I’d readily purchase two spools of thread of the same color to never have to wind a bobbin again.

You’re probably thinking, “well if you have such a clear idea of how this should work, why don’t you invent something?” That’s not my forte people. I bitch and then wait for other people to solve the problem, or to at least commiserate with me. That’s how this works so let’s get on it people.

9 comments:

Gwen , the vintage seamstress said...

I know what you mean! I especially hate when I have been sewing something that was hard to keep straight and I thought it was finally done and the last twelve inches weren't sewn at all because I didn't notice the bobbin had ran out... wah wah wah...

PumpkinGirl said...

I remember when I first heard the phrase "self-threading needle" and just about wet my pants with excitement. Now "self fixing and winding bobbin that doesn't get snagged up" would make me completely loose my mind.

Haleyuns said...

Oh my goodness you made me laugh out loud while my hubby was sleeping! I hate bobbins too!! I hardly ever sew anything because I end up wanting to throw my sewing machine out a tall window just because of the bobbins. Thanks for understanding!

Gingham Skies said...

Amen sistah! Thnks for the laugh, the number of times I have cursed the damn bobbin for leaving me hanging. And here I thought I was the only one who often sews long stretches with an empty bobbin: so annoying!

Marilyn said...

Oh I hate bobbins...why don't they sell pre-threaded bobbins? I would gladly pay a little more. And does somebody have some why to keep them neatly? I have a little plastic box but the threads are hanging out all over:)

Diana Collins said...

I goota say...... don't unthread . Just take the spool off and put down on your table and use a second spool to wind your bobbin. For BIG projects wind a few of the colors you need so as not to interrupt your flow. When I worked on industrial machines there is a bobbin winder on the side sort of that winds from a second spool while you are stitching . and sounds like your bobbin winder tension might be too weak. lightly touch the place the threads cross to add tension to get a tightly wound bobbin.

Diana Collins said...
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Diana Collins said...
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Diana Collins said...

my brain was not working ...lol but I meant to type "gotta" and they do sell pre wound bobbins. I found some on amazon and I am sure lots of sewing sites sell them. and you can get a tighter wind by laying a loose finger on the thread as it is winding providing more tension.