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Topic: Is it possible to use means other than the pedal to adjust any machine's speed?  (Read 358 times)
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Orrkid
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« on: March 14, 2009 09:17:32 AM »

Is there a way to hack a sewing machine's speed, or can I purchase a different pedal, or install a speed dial, or is there some other way for me to get my machine to go at a slow pace that's not completely impractical? I'm frustrated to the point of throwing in the towel when it comes to sewing on my machine, and I was hoping you guys might have some suggestions.

If you care for some back story for a better perspective, here it is:

When I was a kid, my mom had an old sewing machine that had an actual speed dial on it. If you set the speed low, then the needle would move up and down slowly, no matter how hard you jammed the pedal into the floor. And it had several settings, so you could do ridiculously slow to ridiculously fast, and anything in between. This was super ideal for a kid to learn to sew on, because it meant you could ease into it, and get faster as you went along.

I only made a couple of projects when I was a kid (a heart-shaped pillow with a lace border is the only one I remember) , but I have longed to learn to sew for the last couple years. Unfortunately, my mom's old sewing machine bit the dust, so she replaced it with a cheap basic one. She didn't sew much, so she gave it to me. Woohoo, lucky me!

Unfortunately, there is no speed adjustment on this new machine that I can tell. And the pedal seems to be hypersensitive - I can only seem to get the machine to have two speeds - impractically slow (it would take weeks to make something simple at that speed), and super fast. Maybe not super fast, but fast enough that as a beginner sewer, I have trouble even sewing a straight line with it, and you can forget curves altogether. It's pretty much useless, as far as my skill level is concerned. I might be able to work my way up to going that fast, but in the meantime, that's a lot of wasted fabric.

So, I've ended up in a self-defeating cycle. I would save up for a machine if I had enough sewing ability to justify buying a machine, but I certainly won't be getting any of said ability using the sewing machine I have. Like I said, I'm so frustrated I'm about to give up sewing forever, and that would be a crying shame, because there's so much I'd like to do with it. Cry
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2009 12:06:02 PM »

It moight be helpful if we knew what machine you have.

Assuming that it has a pedal type controller (like a gas pedal on a car), you can carefully place a small block of wood (or ?) between the pedal and the base to act as a stop and prevent the machine from going full speed.
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Jenny
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SpottedFrog
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009 07:36:50 AM »

My dad did that with a sewing machine! He cut a bunch of cardboard & taped it to the pedal so it couldn't be pushed all the way down. This was the machine the Boy Scouts were using to sew tent bags.

I sew barefoot or sock footed (brave thing with all those pins on the floor) always have, I like the control I feel with my bare toes. I actually learned to sew on two machines, my mom's 1940's Singer with the slow/ fast switch on the pedal and dad's treadle, yes the no-electricity-needed type. The treadle was glorious for beginners as you have total control over speed & there wasn't anything but straight stitch to get in the way of learning.

I say unthread the needle, put no fabric under the needle & pick up your pedal, push it gently with your hands to see if you can achieve the medium-slow speed you want. If you can get the speed that way, try the block method. If you can't..... I dunno, that gets into budgets & all sorts of complications. Undecided
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Cookn
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2009 03:00:22 AM »

Has the machine ever been serviced ? Most foot controls are pretty simple, a slide switch basically, some can get fancy, but I doubt yours is. If it's been unused for a bit it could have dust or lint in it and been transformed into an on/off switch, rather than a controller.

As mentioned, brand name and specifics on your machine would be very helpful in getting the help you desire. My machine has adjustable speed and a electronic foot control which does everything except hold the material and thread the machine, but I'm betting your machine doesn't.
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