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Topic: What's going on with my sewing machine?!?  (Read 1752 times)
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catpants
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2006 12:08:00 PM »

gah!  i found the manual online, and the knob to adjust the feed dogs.... does not exist on my machine.  very strange.  i'll look around near the bobbin for something that'll adjust them.

also, i *think* this next problem is caused by the feed dogs not moving the fabric forward: the bobbin thread gets really bunched up into a big tube-like knot underneath the fabric.  is that because the fabric isn't moving or is there some other underlying cause?

i just want to finish my projects! argh.

but thank you everyone who replied with advice Smiley  i'm pretty sure whatever is going on is not some huge problem with the machine -- i had it completely inspected/tuned up only about two months ago -- but rather just my inexperience with sewing machines, particularly older ones.
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thimble
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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2006 04:01:13 PM »

hmm, are you certain that the problem is with the feed dog teeth? do they move when you're sewing? (do a test without thread or fabric to see how they're getting along.) i have never had to change the feed dog teeth on a machine in over 25 years, more likely it is the pressure of the foot. let it down on some fabric, make sure the feed dog teeth are "up" and give the fabric a gentle tug to see how secure it is. if it slips too easily look for a knob, dial or button to adjust the pressure foot.
these things seem simple but can make a difference too:
use a new needle every project, make sure it is the right size.
use the same upper thread and in the bobbin.
make sure the bobbin is set in right (thread winds clockwise usually).
make sure the upper thread is in properly, missing even one small latch can throw it all off.
make sure there are no random bits of thread or fluff stuck in the upper threader (the tension plates that get tight when you lower the foot), that can affect the tension as well.
dismantle what you can and brush or blow out the dust, oil your machine regularly.

good luck!
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catpants
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2006 04:32:34 PM »

THANK YOU everyone!  i finally have it sort of figured out.  now everything (the bobbin tension and feed dogs) work just fine, but the feed dogs won't move the fabric along if there are more than two layers of fabric underneath (like when sewing the corner of something).  ideas?  Huh

ugh.  i do not do well with machinery!
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cookiedough
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2006 08:26:14 PM »

What model singer do you have? I had a number of problems with my Singer Touch and Sew after inheriting it from my mom. It made my last quilt job a HUGE pain. It sounds like we had a lot of similar problems. May I ask how you fixed the tension issue (the looping)?

I had a number of tension and feed issues due to tired, rubber gears that were losing their teeth. At first they corrected themselves, but the problem continuously worsened. If you think this might be the problem, you could open up your machine and look for long, skinny pieces of black rubber that have broken loose. The bottom of my machine is very easy to take off: I just use a quarter to unscrew a large screw in the center of the plastic plate covering the bottom of my machine. While your in there, just take a look at the gears, etc to make sure nothing looks wonky or dirty.

Hope this might help. Then again, you might have a completely different machine.
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catpants
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2006 09:30:25 PM »

cookiedough -- i fixed the tension by messing with the little screw on the outside of where the bobbin goes.

mine isn't a touch and sew -- i think it's older than that -- but i think it's probably the same issue: parts being worn out. Sad
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cookiedough
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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2006 10:16:06 AM »

Are the feed dogs not moving, or just not gripping? You can buy new dogs if its a gripping issue. Also, I would suggest to anyone who is experiencing sewing machine trouble to check out this FAQ http://www.sewingandvac.com/faqs/
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