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Topic: Sewing Machine / Serger Q&A  (Read 155493 times)
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angeltreats
« Reply #710 on: September 02, 2008 11:04:05 AM »

Do you have a manual?  Are you sure you've threaded it in the right order?  If you haven't, it won't sew properly at all.  You need to thread the loopers first.  On mine, it is lower looper then upper looper (but on others it might be the other way round), and then thread the needle.  So you might want to fiddle around to see if you've got it threaded properly.

Apart from that, I guess every serger is different but if I had my tension set to 3 it would be very loose.  Mine (a Janome) needs to be around 5 and depending on the fabric and width etc one of my loopers sometimes needs to be at 7. 

What I would do if I were you is try rethreading with lower looper first.  If that doesn't work, then try upper looper first.  And thread it with a different colour thread for each bit, so then if it doesn't go right you can post a photo here and we can figure out what's causing the problem.
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stylinmommy
« Reply #711 on: September 02, 2008 11:34:03 AM »

Thanks so much for your reply.  I do have a manual and used it to thread the machine.  (I had dh helping me and I believe the threading is correct, but who knows.)  I will try the higher setting for the tension.  Hopefully, that is the problem.  If I cannot figure it out, I will post a picture and ask for more help.  Thanks!
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stylinmommy
« Reply #712 on: September 03, 2008 09:58:44 AM »

Need more help, please!  I have read my manual from cover to cover and still cannot figure out what the problem is.

I double checked the threading and I think it is correct.  The loopers were threaded first. 

The stitch width I used was 3, which was recommended by my manual. 

This is what my stitching looks like at the tension level of 3 (which is the setting recommended by the manual):




And this is what it looks like at the tension level of 5:




And here is my threaded machine, incase someone sees something obviously wrong:





Any suggestions??? 








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pinsNneedles
« Reply #713 on: September 03, 2008 10:07:39 AM »

Hi stylinmommy,

I use a sewing machine rather than a serger, but one thing that always makes my stitches wonky is using an old needle.  Just a pop a brand new needle in and, without changing anything else, ba-boom suddenly the stitching is perfect.  Might be worth a try if you haven't already?   Huh
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Juliee
« Reply #714 on: September 03, 2008 10:19:44 AM »

stylinmommy,

I don't own a serger, but I just had a similar problem with my sewing machine. The tension looked all funky and loose like that. I did routine oiling and *poof* magically better. Maybe just a routine oiling will help? I dunno, but I hope you get it fixed soon! Good luck!
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piratelibrarian
« Reply #715 on: September 04, 2008 06:41:24 AM »

Need more help, please!  I have read my manual from cover to cover and still cannot figure out what the problem is.

I double checked the threading and I think it is correct.  The loopers were threaded first. 

The stitch width I used was 3, which was recommended by my manual. 


It looks like it's your needle thread tension which needs to be tightened.  I don't have the same machine as you but I find when I'm working with woven fabrics (as opposed to knits) I need to up the needle thread tension and keep the looper tensions around 3 (depending on the weight/thickness of the fabric.)  In my manual there's a little troubleshooting guide which illustrates which threads should be tightened for correct stitch lengths and stuff - does your have that?

Also, your machine appears to have a differential feed function, which you may or may not want to be using depending on your project, but I usually turn the differential feed off on my serger if I'm serging woven fabrics.

Hope that helps!
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stylinmommy
« Reply #716 on: September 04, 2008 09:37:02 AM »

Thanks for your replies.  I am such a novice with the serger that I may overlook something which is very obvious to the experienced serger so I really appreciate all of your suggestions!

I actually oiled the machine as I was going through the manual.  The stiching above was done after I had already oiled it.  Thanks for the suggestion though - it was a good one!

I didn't replace the needles when I got the machine because the previous owner never sewed with the machine.  She never even threaded the machine.  But I did find extra needles, so I will try that next and see if it makes a difference.  Thanks!

I didn't realize that the tensions would be different on a woven fabric.  I'll tighten the needle tensions and see if that makes a difference.  I'll also try a knit fabric to see how the stitching looks on that.  I'm not sure what the differential feed function is for but I did see a dial for it.  I'll see if there is a setting to turn it off and try that.  Thanks.

If these don't work then I will try the previous suggestion of threading with different colored threads and stitching.  Maybe one of you can then tell me exactly which thread is the problem.

I'll post again after I have had time to play with the machine some more.

Thanks again!
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piratelibrarian
« Reply #717 on: September 04, 2008 11:01:16 AM »


I didn't realize that the tensions would be different on a woven fabric.  I'll tighten the needle tensions and see if that makes a difference.  I'll also try a knit fabric to see how the stitching looks on that.  I'm not sure what the differential feed function is for but I did see a dial for it.  I'll see if there is a setting to turn it off and try that.  Thanks.

The differential feed governs how the fabric goes through the feed dogs on the machine.  On some machines one could use it to gather/shir and stitch in just one step and sometimes it plays silly buggers with the way your stitching comes out but has less to do with it than getting the correct tension for the weight of fabric you're using.

Quote
If these don't work then I will try the previous suggestion of threading with different colored threads and stitching.  Maybe one of you can then tell me exactly which thread is the problem.

I'll post again after I have had time to play with the machine some more.

Thanks again!

My manual illustrates exactly that - which thread is which in the stitch and what it might look like if the tension is too high, too low or just right.  If you like, shoot me a pm and I can scan the troubleshooting part of my manual for you.  They're not the same machines, but the basics are the same and it's saved me a lot of heartache....though there is something to be said for troubleshooting yourself and rethreading so much you could do it in your sleep Wink

Don't get discouraged, though.  Everyone I've spoken with goes through a love/hate battle with their serger as they get to know it.  At some point things will click and you'll have it doing all of those things you've been wanting it to Smiley
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stylinmommy
« Reply #718 on: September 07, 2008 12:05:16 PM »

Yaay!!!  I got it to work. 

Not sure exactly what it was though.  I re-threaded it completely and switched out the needles.   And it worked!  Thanks to all of you!

Now I have another dumb question...

I can't figure out how to do a hem or form a casing for the elastic for the waistband of a pair of shorts.  My manual does not cover this.  All of the programs and applications are for joining edges or a rolled hem.  I disengaged the upper blade but the fabric still gets all bunched up and stuck.  Do I need to use the rolled hem feature?  I thought the rolled hem was the real thin hem where the edge is rolled under just a bit.

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angeltreats
« Reply #719 on: September 07, 2008 01:10:49 PM »

If I was doing a waistband casing, I would use a normal sewing machine, not a serger.
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