What advice would you give someone starting this project? I remembered from my machine embroidery that shredded top thread usually means to look for a burr on the throat plate. I did break a needle while sewing some buttons on my last project. At close inspection I did find 3 burrs on the throat plate. I managed to file them flat with an emoryboard and all seems well now. So if anyone else is having a top thread shredding problem you might want to look for a burr especially if you've broken a needle recently.