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Topic: Let's see your sewing machine!!  (Read 202370 times)
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paroper
« Reply #130 on: October 10, 2006 06:12:21 PM »

Looks like a Featherweight.
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katera
« Reply #131 on: October 15, 2006 08:52:49 PM »

here's my not-so-lean green machine.  vintage sears kenmore, i'm sure it will outlive me.  Smiley  my baby easily weighs 50+ lbs.  it says the model # is 5186, i'm guessing it's from sometime in the late 60's, based on how long my mom has had it. 



i've always had problems figuring out the tension on my machine, so if anyone has some advice on that front it would really be appreciated.  i know which one is the the tension knob - it just seems to behave strangely.  maybe it needs a tuneup?
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need a tshirt or clothes to recon?  click here to see items i am wanting to do personal swaps with!
http://s105.photobucket.com/albums/m237/katerawhit/swap/
paroper
« Reply #132 on: October 15, 2006 09:02:28 PM »

That white dial near the threading "crack" should be the top tension dial.  On most machines, the higher the tension the tighter it is.  Most of these dials are located on the actual tension disks so that they are external.  You have a little hook and a spring you pull the thread over the spring and wrap your thread around the hook.  The spring holds it in the tension disk.

That is a wonderful machine...never let it go!!!
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katera
« Reply #133 on: October 15, 2006 09:51:26 PM »

thank you very much, i do love my green monster.  heh.  it used to be my mom's (i know she had it before my parents were married in 1970), then she inherited a fancier/lighter/newer machine and gave this one to me.  i definitely got the best of that deal, in my opinion!

with the tension, it just never seems that turning it down makes it less tense.  i think maybe i need to adjust the bottom needle tension - any ideas on how to do that?  everything i've ever read says "don't touch it", but i sew a wide variety of fabrics and i really think it would help.  just in the last month i've done both silk for pillows and multi-layer denim for a quilt - and i'm about to tackle faux fur for halloween.  the machine has never given me trouble with heavy fabrics - but i've broken needles because of bad tension. 
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need a tshirt or clothes to recon?  click here to see items i am wanting to do personal swaps with!
http://s105.photobucket.com/albums/m237/katerawhit/swap/
paroper
« Reply #134 on: October 15, 2006 10:06:16 PM »

Did your mom happen to pass some old nasty store brand cotton thread on to you with the machine?  If she did, this is what you do.  Thead the top and the bobbin in the bad thread.  On a piece of fabrtic, pref. a cotton, sew across the cross grain of the fabric just a little seam about 4-5 inches long.  Take the fabric at both ends of the seam and snap the fabric.  If the thread breaks the same top and bottom, the tension is right.  If it breaks a lot on the top or bottom or a lot more on the top or bottom, the tension is too tight on that part.  The thread should be balanced and even.  It should meet in the center of each stitch.

Now, about adjusting that bobbin tension.  This is not something to do very often.  Before you do this, clean your machine very well, take the throat plate off and clean in there and oil every where the manual says because that could be your only problem.  HOWEVER, the longer you sew on a machine without adjusting, the more likely it will need adjustment because the machines often tighten a little as you go.  When you take out your bobbin case and put your bobbin the case, there is a little flat piece of metal that you slide the end of your bobbin thread under.  This is your tension for your bobbin.  At one end of the spring you should find an adjustment screw.  Some people will tell you to turn 1/4 turn..I don't go that fast, turn just a couple of cm at a time and test it.  A little can be a lot.  Before you begin, make a note of where the screw started.  It is the same as most screws...lefty loosy...righty tighty. 
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katera
« Reply #135 on: October 15, 2006 10:17:26 PM »

thank you so much, that is exactly the advice i needed.  the manual is long, long gone for this machine, so i have thought of taking it in for a professional cleaning/tune-up.  i've had the machine for 7-8 years and never had it to a repair shop, and there's no telling when the last time was that my mom had it in.  so, is the professional cleaning worth the cost?  or would a good dose of canned air and sewing machine oil be about the same?
THIS ROCKS   Logged

need a tshirt or clothes to recon?  click here to see items i am wanting to do personal swaps with!
http://s105.photobucket.com/albums/m237/katerawhit/swap/
paroper
« Reply #136 on: October 16, 2006 12:56:44 AM »

A professional will take part of the machine apart and clean it in a way that you cannot.  THey will oil parts that are only oiled when the machine is apart.  When I go to see my tech he'll be cleaning and adjusting machine and have parts all over the place.  He offered to show me mine while he had it broken down but I really didn't want to see it...thought it would make me a little sick to see a $7000 investment in pieces.

Do not take it to Sears though.  That is how my lovely machine met its death.  They managed to break the take up lever.  Ask around and take it to a shop where they specialize in SEWING machines.  It is worth it.  Someone you know has a shop where they take their beloved machine. 
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dirtybunny
« Reply #137 on: October 16, 2006 09:59:09 PM »

Here are my babies... When I was 10 my Auntie gave me her sewing machine as a Christmas gift. I was sooo pi$$ed that I didn't get something cool. When I looked at it sitting under the tree I thought I was being punished (though at that point I had been sewing for 2 years). It took all of a day and I was sewing away, though not all things were nice!

Well "the beast from the East" aka my baby is older than me and can still chug. He has dutifly assisted me through many a faze, made countless custom orders and wardrobes. The beast has even been checked in as "baggage" on flights! Not to mention seen me through fashion design school. As he got older for a good job done I have rewarded him with a sticker and it was only recently that I had to retire him as my baby was chomping anything non denim weight.

My newer darling is a Kenmore named Eloise. She has attitude, is "pretty" and does a million stitches that I haven't entirely figured out. She also travels but hasn't achieved sticker status yet!


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Kitty Vane
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« Reply #138 on: October 16, 2006 11:59:24 PM »

As he got older for a good job done I have rewarded him with a sticker and it was only recently that I had to retire him as my baby was chomping anything non denim weight.

My newer darling is a Kenmore named Eloise. She has attitude, is "pretty" and does a million stitches that I haven't entirely figured out. She also travels but hasn't achieved sticker status yet!

I love the idea of rewarding your machine(s) with stickers! Cheesy

I just praise and pat mine on the top when it's done a good job. And yes, I know it's just a machine but I swear the praise makes it work nicer!
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susies1955
« Reply #139 on: October 17, 2006 03:33:22 AM »

I have a Brother XR-31, Janome 6500 that I got in April of 05, and a Janome 300E that I got for Christmas of 05.
Photos are in the last album....and the last three photos.
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/susies1955
Hubby just got a new Harley so I still need to get even. LOL,
Susie in northern NY

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northern NY
sewing/quilting since October 2003
knitting October 2005
Brother XR-31
Janome 6500 since April 2005
Janome 300e since Christmas 2005
Bond Machine Knitting 2006
Cake Decorating 2007
http://susies1955.myphotoalbum.com/
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