Articles, Blog

Why do sewing machines DO THIS?! (Skit)

October 17, 2019

[funny music] [throat clearing] uh, bobbin… Bobbin! Can we get some thread up
here please? [music continues] [sewing machine whirrs] Huh? Wha- [gasps] [Whispering] Why!? So I’m actually having to fake this birdsnest on the back of this fabric, but this used to happen to me all the time on my older machine [laughs] I know! You have all been lied to… by a YouTuber :O If you watched all the way up to this
point, then comment “Annika you are so cancelled”.


  • Reply Kate October 14, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    For anyone searching for solutions, here's what I generally do! (Sorry for the super long comment, but I've found it easier to read larger comments when they're spaced out like this and not just a block of text)

    When you're starting a seam, hold your thread tails out of the way (I hold them towards the back of my machine, if that makes sense?)

    Play with tension, stitch length, stitch width (if applicable)

    Dust the inside of your machine! I use an old eyeshadow brush, but some people use a vacuum with teeny tiny attachments. Canned air isn't recommended because it just pushes the dust further into the machine.

    OIl your machine! Some machines don't need to be oiled, but some do. Check your manual before oiling, please.

    Change your needle! And/or try different sizes/types of needles!

    Thread a new bobbin. Sometimes a bobbin might look okay, but its just off enough that your machine revolts.

    Make sure the bobbin thread and the top thread are compatible or 'match' (not colour, that's up to you). I just make sure to match the fibres and that works for me!

    Try another kind of thread! Sometimes a fabric just wants a cotton thread instead of a polyester, or a polyester instead of a cotton. Also, using a higher quality thread is always a plus. I like Gutermann, as its within my budget but also a good enough quality for me to spend time sewing with it. I've also heard good things about Mettler and Aurifil, but I haven't tried them myself.

    If none of these work, I take a break for as long as my project will allow. Come back and try again in a bit (or the next day, or later this week, etc.) Maybe this is a chance to work on hand sewing.

  • Reply Crimson Hikari October 14, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    I don't think I've been able to use my sewing machine without this happening! EVER.

  • Reply Margo Ritter October 14, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    Gasp Annika! You are so cancelled. Off with you, you phoney.
    Okay honestly though when I was younger (I was like. 10.) and tried to use sewing machines that would happen a lot. Eventually I got better about it but I still couldn't remember how to thread the top half of the machine without help so I switched to hand sewing lol.

  • Reply Siera Cooper October 14, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    Making people laugh is valuable and real ❤ doing what you love is valuable and real ❤ doing whatever you can without giving up when every day is a constant battle is very valuable and very real ❤
    I love your sketches!

  • Reply sailormars336 October 14, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    I've never seen a thumbnail so relatable

  • Reply Nanilu Martin October 14, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    Annika your so cancel. Nooooootttt

  • Reply Nina VP October 14, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    Annika…. you are so… cute. It's a 40 second video, I'm not sure who didn't watch til the end.

  • Reply Beth Ann October 15, 2019 at 12:06 am

    Annika, you are so cancelled.

  • Reply Rachel Cyders October 15, 2019 at 12:18 am

    Hahaha awe I guessed you were dressed as a needle, I was so close!

  • Reply Edith Creevey October 15, 2019 at 12:31 am

    Annika you are so cancelled!

  • Reply Madison M October 15, 2019 at 12:32 am

    Hahaha this is so good. Very my experience when sewing on my own. You are so not cancelled

  • Reply Cham Eleon October 15, 2019 at 1:16 am

    Happened to me all the time 😅 the only solution that worked for me is buying another (more quality) brand of thread

  • Reply Angela G. October 15, 2019 at 1:18 am

    Annika… you are SO cancelled! 🐍

  • Reply Mandy G October 15, 2019 at 1:22 am

    In addition to Kate's fabulous recommendations I have a few extra tips:-

    Never use supermarket cheapo thread! I won't even hand stitch with those!

    If using metallic thread – use only in the top and put a silky light thread in the bobbin. Experiment first on old bit of fabric

    Also the more expensive Titanium coated needles last a long time especially when free machining as they do not get burrs/grooves worn in the needle eye. I use a size 90 needle for all my free machining especially when using metallic thread.

    Use the correct needle size for the weight of your thread. Smaller size needle for Lighter threads ie 70 ok for light threads and 90 for heavier weight thread. A denim needle for denim and a leather one for leather obviously. For knits/jersey you will need a ball point needle so that it doesn't snag the fine fabric.

    I don't know about playing with the tension but I have found that the recommended settings are usually the best. Read your Manual.

    I find modern machines ie machines with top loading bobbins are less forgiving than the older type machines where bobbins go in a case underneath. Try to use the bobbins made by the manufacturer of your machine not cheap generic ones which rattle and move about noisily. I prefer metal bobbins but they don't seem to be made anymore.

    Regarding oil. ..newer machine models don't need as much oiling maybe once a year if you sew quite a bit but make sure you clean your machine often. Check before every use. A little make up brush is good but use a new one.

    After oiling your machine sew foe a bit on a scrap bit of fabric. You djnt want oil on you good fabric.

    Change your needle every 8 hours of use or for each new project.

    Use good quality needles.

    Sometimes you get birds nests when you try to sew flimsy fabric so use a vilene iron backing or a bit of heavier fabric like calico ( called Muslin in America) if you want to sew decorative stitches on thin fabric.

    Regarding free machining. …do lower the feed dogs. I know my friend doesn't on her expensive Brother but I always do. The feed dogs/teeth are what grip the fabric and you don't want that when free machining.

    For free machining get an extra bobbin race (for top loaders) another metal bobbin case for underneath loaders. ..Sorry can't remember the proper term…
    Then you can loose the screw a bit for more successful free machining and quilting. I marked mine with a blob of nail varnish. Janome have a special looser tension bobbin race for their machines that you can buy. It's 40 % looser. Its marked with a blue arrow. Red for normal tension comes with the machine.

    I would also recommend not buying cheap sewing machines. Anything under £350 won't have a powerful enough motor if you are sewing regularly.
    It also seems that there is no longer much between the makes as they are all made in Japan and China not Britain or Switzerland. But then so are most makes of car so I guess that's progress?

    Industrials are not expensive and come set into a table (flat bed) but don't have all the decorative stitches. The old models with metal parts seem to last forever but you need to understand tension etc or have a good mechanic! And quite a bit of room. I learnt to sew age 7 ( what was my mother thinking? Those things are fast! ) on one that had been used in a tent factory and we altered jeans no problem. Quite a shock to have to change needles on my household make.

    Hope that you found this helpful and that I didn't sound like a know it all! Just sew and have fun!

  • Reply mia .k October 15, 2019 at 1:30 am

    You're amazing

  • Reply Kari B. October 15, 2019 at 1:36 am

    This happened to me when I attempted to make a circle skirt, and it was 100% because I forgot to put the foot down 🙁

  • Reply Ashley Kraze October 15, 2019 at 1:38 am

    This hurts my feelings

  • Reply firewordsparkler October 15, 2019 at 1:50 am

    Annika, you are so cancelled. Also, I love these little sketches

  • Reply Taylor Hlady October 15, 2019 at 1:51 am

    Everything about this was amazing 😂

  • Reply VonOddly October 15, 2019 at 1:58 am

    Annika as the bobbin.. too cute!

  • Reply Courtney October 15, 2019 at 2:01 am

    I love your videos and lil sketches! You are truly amazing! I know it's being in a lot of constant pain and depression (I have chronic pain and depression too) and the fact you still try so hard to even make these makes my day/week/month better and makes me feel like doing things, so thank you so much you are wonderful and awesome and amazing! And I love you 💕

  • Reply Kimberlee Haggard October 15, 2019 at 2:02 am

    Sooo cancelled 😉

  • Reply Wendy has Stormy eyes October 15, 2019 at 2:16 am

    Annika you are so cancelled.🥰

  • Reply Allison Andrew October 15, 2019 at 2:19 am

    Annika, you are so cancelled….

    😀 (not!)

  • Reply MechØbscura October 15, 2019 at 2:19 am


  • Reply Lisa Jonté October 15, 2019 at 2:25 am

    Annika, you are so cancelled. (No, not really.)

  • Reply Kelly October 15, 2019 at 2:34 am

    annika, you are so canceled lol. seriously so relatable though!!

  • Reply reece October 15, 2019 at 2:43 am

    im glad its not just me and my 40 year old sewing machine that have this problem

  • Reply TalontheShade October 15, 2019 at 2:43 am

    More like bobbins are cancelled. You're only guilty of stealing my heart Annika lol

  • Reply greenboing1111111119 October 15, 2019 at 2:43 am

    I couldn't cancel you, even if you say so. Your stuff makes me smile 🙂

  • Reply Mandy October 15, 2019 at 2:57 am

    This was beautiful and I think this is my new favorite 😂😂😂😂😂 Love it!!!!

  • Reply Alexa Heal October 15, 2019 at 3:04 am

    A) i would never cancel you
    B) you are perfect

  • Reply Molly Sund October 15, 2019 at 3:07 am

    Annika you are soo not cancelled! 😉

  • Reply Roz Harris October 15, 2019 at 3:16 am

    Annika, you are so cancelled! /I hate it when this happens.

  • Reply Aisha Rane October 15, 2019 at 3:33 am

    Annika, you are so cancelled

  • Reply Lala Gamma October 15, 2019 at 3:42 am

    LOL 😅😂😆🤣🤪 🥴😁 I love it!!! Anyone who's ever use a sewing machine can so relate to this!! LOL 😅TFS ❣️🍂🧡🍄💛🍁

  • Reply jordi latu October 15, 2019 at 3:57 am

    Omg it's so annoying when this happens! But this video is so good 😂

  • Reply sarah denton October 15, 2019 at 4:09 am

    Annika you're so cancelled. It was funny though Ive had it happen a lot of times

  • Reply meamela October 15, 2019 at 4:18 am

    My machine never does this. It´s from 1981, and maybe that´s why. All other machines I have sewed on does this, but not mine. Instead it has lots of other problems, but I am so glad I don't have to deal with this specific problem.

  • Reply Bethany Thatcher October 15, 2019 at 4:19 am

    A stitch is formed by the top thread being pulled down around the bobbin and the take up lever pulling up the slack. If you have no tension on the upper thread, it won't pull up the slack so more and more thread gets pulled down into the bobbin area.
    It's the upper thread. Most likely your thread didn't get in between the tension disc or the thread isn't in the take up lever when you threaded your machine.
    Put up your presser foot when you thread so the tension discs are open and make sure you get the thread in the take up lever.

  • Reply BetaMaxx October 15, 2019 at 4:36 am

    I know the title didn’t say there was gonna be a solution but ngl I expected a solution. played myself.

  • Reply sk8ty October 15, 2019 at 4:46 am

    Love the thumbnail!

  • Reply Katie Brooker October 15, 2019 at 5:03 am


  • Reply Mia October 15, 2019 at 5:03 am

    annika you've been cancelled….

  • Reply Novrita Sianturi October 15, 2019 at 5:26 am

    the struggles are real

  • Reply chrysie foster October 15, 2019 at 5:38 am


  • Reply Natalie Gough October 15, 2019 at 6:38 am

    Annika,,ur SO cancelled

  • Reply Zaolan October 15, 2019 at 7:40 am

    I somehow missed the last part and was trying to figure out what the hell happened to make everyone comment that Annika is cancelled. 😂 rip in piece me

  • Reply Lindsay Reddick October 15, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Annika you’re so canceled?
    Mine always does that when I forget to clean the bobbin case out

  • Reply Remade.Lizzie - Upcycled DIYs October 15, 2019 at 7:58 am

    ugghh i really want to know! make a real video about "shit sewing machines do"

  • Reply M W October 15, 2019 at 8:02 am

    These little vids just make me so happy 💗💗

  • Reply Plien October 15, 2019 at 8:04 am

    My mom always said that it is the quality of Thread I was using. Also, now I have used different machines, some machines just do that more or are more sensitive to it. But it's a big frustration

  • Reply firegodessreiko October 15, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Omg, you are SEW cancelled!!!

  • Reply chelsiemalfoy October 15, 2019 at 8:12 am

    I call it bobbin vomit 'cause it's like my machine spewed all of its thread out at once.

  • Reply Kyle Taylor October 15, 2019 at 8:32 am

    Annika you've been canceled

  • Reply Mirjan Bouma October 15, 2019 at 9:56 am

    Annika you are so cancelled!


    You acting like the bobbin was hilarious!

  • Reply carolin October 15, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Omg this! I had a bobbin that always managed to mess up the thread tension somehow. The top of the seam always looked nice, but the other side looked like scribbles. None of the other bobbins ever did that, and the machine maintenance lady couldn't find anything wrong with my sewing machine. The weirdo bobbin is now a keyring charm, and I bought a bunch of replacements. Maybe the thing just had other plans for life lol

  • Reply galex03 October 15, 2019 at 10:16 am

    I’m going to imagine this everytime now 😂

  • Reply Lolzgurl October 15, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Annika you are so cancelled

    Im just kidding
    I just wanted to show you i watched the whole thing

  • Reply Mildly Cornfield October 15, 2019 at 11:26 am


  • Reply RachaelAmber 22 October 15, 2019 at 11:40 am

    I thought I was actually going to get an answer here 🤦‍♂️

  • Reply Fabienne Simonse October 15, 2019 at 11:42 am

    OMG how could you do this, you’re so cancelled.

    Jk 💜
    Pls teach me how to not have that happen it’s destroying my patience and my garments

  • Reply SoCraftastic October 15, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    This would happen to me all the time!! It's the worst!! (Other than when the machine just stops working… which is why I haven't sewn in awhile… gotta get a new one.) Also, Annika, you are so cancelled!

  • Reply Le-An Gabrielle Delos Santos October 15, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Hope there's a sad reax in youtube 😢

  • Reply leonardnimoyrox October 15, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    All the time!

  • Reply noybw333 October 15, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    Annika you are SO canceled

  • Reply NicoleAgent October 15, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    I refuse to cancel you Annika you're perfect.

  • Reply C. Skeleton October 15, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Annika you are so canceled.

    This was cute though, I love it. I've had stuff like this happen when i hand sew (I don't have my sewing machine yet) and it is super annoying.

  • Reply AChickNamedSteve Smith October 15, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Annika omg you are So cancelled!!!! My machine does this all the time and I actually wanted to know why!!! I demand a real answer!!!!

  • Reply LLMyoutube October 15, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    We'd never cancel you! (Annika you're so canceled!) And thank you for the walk through on the bobbin issue in the comments!

  • Reply sazanamisama October 15, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    Annika you are so cancelled

  • Reply Leah Ashtyn October 15, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    I clicked on this video hoping to actually find out why machines do this and how to fix it. If the goal of this video was to disappoint people then I guess it worked?

  • Reply Sophie inspired October 15, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    OH MY GOD i thought you would have a solution +(((

  • Reply Veron1caam Are October 15, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Annika help I’m scared of failing clothing tech 😖😖

  • Reply Amanda Sizemore October 15, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    RIP every project I try to sew 😭 Generally when it starts to do this I just wind a new bobbin, and put the offender in The Shame Box (aka the bottom of my sewing kit)

  • Reply Mulan 121 October 15, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Yup, pretty much the reason why I gave up on sewing machines and only hand sew now. I was sick of wasting so much thread and having to seam rip before finally finding the right tension (if I even did). Also, I looked for videos that would explain why this was happening and I thought it might just be me…

  • Reply Airiel Hawkins October 15, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    Annika, you are so canceled. lol But I love it! Your skits are so amusing. I love watching them.

  • Reply superhpfan00 October 15, 2019 at 10:18 pm


  • Reply Monica R October 15, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    annika, you're SO cancelled.

  • Reply Djuna Skye October 15, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    You're sew cancelled

  • Reply DistressNoise October 15, 2019 at 11:51 pm

    Annika, you are sooooo cancelled 😉

  • Reply Grace October 16, 2019 at 12:02 am

    Annika, you are SO cancelled!*


  • Reply Penguin and Pear Dressmaking October 16, 2019 at 12:10 am

    Your thumbnail is perfection!

  • Reply ThisPresentDarkness October 16, 2019 at 12:20 am

    Annika! You are SEW cancelled. (Haha get it)

  • Reply J Valencia October 16, 2019 at 12:28 am

    This looks like a job for the Super Sewist!

  • Reply Taylor Sigler October 16, 2019 at 1:10 am

    Annika you are so cancelled! Lol

  • Reply Raychill October 16, 2019 at 2:27 am

    annika, you are so cancelled

  • Reply Danielle TDG October 16, 2019 at 2:50 am

    Annika, you are so [not] cancelled! Love your videos, keep them up as you can a d take care of yourself. ❤

  • Reply KRO 222 October 16, 2019 at 4:46 am

    Sew cancelled! 🤭
    Also the bobbin on her phone is basically my everyday mood at work.

  • Reply Deaf ComicBook Bear October 16, 2019 at 5:26 am

    I did this few times, you need to clean bobbin /presser foot. Adjust tensions to make it right. Don’t cry as I did this many time since high school. If it keeps screwing you up, it’s time to get new sewing machine.

  • Reply Bella P October 16, 2019 at 11:25 am

    This made my day!!!!

  • Reply Kristan Ludlow October 16, 2019 at 11:47 am

    Haha Haha. You're so cancelled. No, not really. I love your work! I was kind of going for some suggestions on this exact problem, but i appreciated the laugh.

  • Reply Cheska Evangelista October 16, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    annika you are so cancelled

  • Reply lolathetomboy October 16, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Basically everytime I try to do a zigzag stitch.

  • Reply Frederique Menard October 16, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    This is painfully relatable

  • Reply Sew Ginger October 16, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    annika you are so cancelled omg

  • Reply SAAHI October 16, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    The worst part is when your spool decides to be a jerk as well and snaps, or when your machine is picky with fabrics-

  • Reply Camilla Aston October 16, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    Annika, you are SO cancelled.

  • Reply Andrea Sutinen October 16, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    that was really cute!! i loved the bobbin costume lol

  • Reply dontpaytheboatman October 16, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Wow, cancelled my bobin never does that. (JK it feels like thats all it does some days)

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