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11  Re: Best place to buy a sewing machine?? in Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions by Sew-Classic on: March 19, 2009 05:33:21 AM
I recently went through a similar situation with a new camera purchase.  I stated by doing some research on line and had some idea about which models I might be interested in and what features I wanted.  Then I marched into my LOCAL camera store, got individualize, expert information and pre purchase guidance. I could have gotten the exact same camera for $20 less on-line, but it was WELL WORTH $20 to touch, feel and test the camera and to get the technical support as well. Not to mention that I walked right out the door with it that day.

I've been blogging all about the camera, and I couldn't be more pleased with my local purchase.
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12  Re: I think theres something wrong with the tension... but I'm not sure what. in Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions by Sew-Classic on: January 08, 2009 07:19:57 AM
ALL bobbin cases and bobbin holders have adjustment screws for the tension spring. Exactly what it will look like varies a bit by machine.

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13  Re: I think theres something wrong with the tension... but I'm not sure what. in Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions by Sew-Classic on: January 07, 2009 06:23:32 PM
What you are experiencing is rarely a major issue with the machine.  A simple, step by step approach will probably have you and your machine getting along fine in no time.

Thread nests on the underside of your fabric are almost always the direct result of improper threading or a problem in the thread path or upper tension.

Let's first look at what is actually happening in the stitch formation process to cause these wads of thread.  Ideally, the thread should form a neat coil (stitch) in the "center" of your fabric. When you get these thread wads on the underside, that is telling you that for some reason, the upper thread is NOT  pulling up the bobbin thread and forming that snug, balanced stitch.

Here is the recommended check list for solving this problem:

1)Unthread everything

2)Clean out the bobbin area, and feed dogs of all fuzz, thread and lint . Inspect your bobbin for burrs and defects and make certain that it is wound evenly.   Check your bobbin tension.

To check bobbin tension, dangle the bobbin case over your other hand, grasping the thread near the case. A little wiggle/ jerk on the thread should cause the thread to pull out of the case simply by the weight of the bobbin. The bobbin case should drop smoothly and without resistance about an inch and half before stopping. If the bobbin does not move, the tension is too tight. If the bobbin drops quickly and too far, the tension is too loose.

3)Put in a fresh needle that is correct for the thread and fabric you are sewing.

4)Get out your manual.

5) Set your upper tension to the default (usually 3 or 4) setting.

6)Carefully and meticulously re-thread the entire machine. When threading the upper portion, MAKE SURE THE PRESSER FOOT IS UP until you get to threading the needle. If the foot is down when you thread, the upper thread will not seat properly in the tension discs, and you will get those dreaded thread nests/wads. 

7))Be very careful to thread and install your bobbin correctly. 

8)When beginning your sewing, hold on the thread tails for the first couple of stitches.

These steps are part of what would be found via the link I prvided in my earlier post.
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14  Re: I feel a little silly asking this, but how do rotary machines work? in Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions by Sew-Classic on: January 06, 2009 04:22:39 PM

The knee lever will be metal.  If the controller is there, it will have a double wire coming out of it that leads back to the sewing machine motor as I mentioned in my earlier post (unless it have been cut or removed).

Do you see the three little "blades" at the base of the motor? That is were the cord would connect to the machine . 
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15  Re: Let's see your sewing machine!! in Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions by Sew-Classic on: December 22, 2008 12:16:18 PM
I was taking more photos of another machine today:

Click on the thumbnails to see a larger photo

The color is certainly unusual.
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16  Re: Let's see your sewing machine!! in Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions by Sew-Classic on: December 19, 2008 02:58:47 PM
I just got done cleaning this one up and I took some photos.  I am so NOT NOT NOT a phtographer, and I have been pulling out my hair and been a slave to the weather conditions in Northern Ohio trying to get decent photos - until recently.  I think I figured out the trick (atl least with my camera)

Anyhow, I did write about my picture taking issues on my blog in an article titled "Non-Photographer Taking Photos of Sewing Machines- The Challenge Conquered?"

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17  Re: Need an automatic buttonholer! in Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions by Sew-Classic on: December 15, 2008 10:33:14 AM
I love the automatic buttonhole attachments too!

A couple of things that you will need to know when buying one.

1.) The shank style of your machine
2.) The shank style of the buttonhole attachment
3.) Is it complete? Are all the required parts there.

I've gotten burned a few times buying these from eBay sellers that thought it was complete, and it turned out to be incomplete.  I even ended up with a couple of broken ones.

When buying them off of eBay, many sellers have no idea about what shank style the buttonhole will fit.  If you can get a could photo of the side of the buttonholer, you can sometimes tell by looking.

Here is a guide to help you determine the shank style of your machine.  It shows the most common types.

Here is a photo of a vintage buttonhole attachment at work:

To read more about it, and the machine I used it on click here.
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18  Re: Help me decide? in Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions by Sew-Classic on: December 13, 2008 07:14:29 PM
Your photos look fine to me.

I looked up the JA17  number, and it isn't on the list that I have available to me.  Really the exact factory in which it was made would be all that meaningful.  These machines were often more similar than different from one another anyhow. 

Here's a photo of a very similar machine that I converted to hand crank and donated to the women's mission in Hatti.  I liked it, and I expect the ladies will get many years of serviced from it.

FWIW, you could put that machine in a flat bed case or some sort of base to take it to school with you.  It's only held into the cabinet by two little set screws on the underside of the machine that lock onto hinge pins that go into the base of the machine at the back of the bed.

The machine on this page came to me in a cabinet that was not salvageable.  So, I put her into that base that you see in the photo.
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19  Re: Let's see your sewing machine!! in Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions by Sew-Classic on: December 12, 2008 05:10:13 AM
Some of the portable Singer 99's with the knee controller do not have the three prong terminal at the back of the machine.

Above is a photo of a 99 that I converted to handcrank.  It had the knee controller, and you can even still see the little hole in the base just under the hand wheel where the bent rod was inserted.  Every portable Singer 99 that I've ever ran across that had the knee controller had the exact same set up.

They often have a junction box that is located under the motor and is actually part of the motor mount.  The wires go from this junction box to a controller that is screwed into the case.  At the front of the case base, there is a hole, into which bent rod/knee lever is inserted that activates the controller. 

To change from this set-up to a foot control, one would need to open up the terminal box under the motor, disconnect the wires to the knee controller which is screwed into the base of the case and connect the two wires from a foot controller that could be place on the floor.

If it were a cabinet model with the bracket that holds the Singer button controller for use with the knee lever, then yes, no rewiring is necessary.  Just pop the button controller out of the bracket and use it on the floor. 
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20  Re: Kid's who Sew. machine in Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions by Sew-Classic on: November 27, 2008 05:31:54 AM
I've used some of the Simplicity sewingfor dummies patterns with beginners (both you and older). The directions are clear and they can be purchased on sale for $1 to $2.

Here is a hand bag that I made by just adding a zipper to one of the Simplicity Sewing For Dummies hand bag patterns- it was quick & easy. It was cute with just a snap too.

PJ pants, simple fleece hats & scarves, basic skirts, pillows, simple quits, like rag quilts, etc... are all great newbie projects.

I've found that the younger set usually prefer projects that can be finished quickly.
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