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Topic: Sewing Machine / Serger Q&A  (Read 165387 times)
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« Reply #610 on: April 27, 2008 02:52:48 PM »

Oh don't stress this is a simple fix! Your tension is off. Every time you sew you should run a test piece of as many layers as you are going to sew through your machine to test your tension. The thread can either loop on the bottom like in your photo or on top if the tension is off. Ideally the two loops of thread from the bobbin and the spool should meet in between your layers of fabric. Check your machines manual on how to adjust the tension. Usually it is a dial on the top of the machine and you just adjust it. I hope that helps you!
« Reply #611 on: April 27, 2008 03:01:17 PM »

Okay, I'm a NEWBIE sewer and it's not the machine, it is me, because this is the second machine I've screwed up like this and CAN'T figure out how to fix it.

Can someone please help??

What is wrong?

From what I read on this site http://www.treadleon.net/sewingmachineshop/tensionadjustment/tensionadjustment.html
 it's either you've threaded up wrong or the TOP tension needs adjusting.   The site is amed at Treadle machines but basicly tension problems are the same on any machine. I would start by re threading first usualy my thread misses the tension discs.

sorry randy didn't see you already answerd took me to long to find the link.  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: April 27, 2008 03:03:39 PM by goldy » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #612 on: April 27, 2008 04:37:06 PM »

Do you have thread on your bobbin?
« Reply #613 on: April 28, 2008 12:45:13 AM »

Do you have thread on your bobbin?

That's what I wondered - it looks like there is no thread on the underside at all, which might mean it isn't catching the bobbin thread.  I would start by completely re-threading it, using the manual.  It's amazing how many problems are caused by not having your machine threaded properly.

« Reply #614 on: April 28, 2008 01:02:49 AM »

my machine did something similar and that was because i hadn't threaded the overside thread properly. So I second the advice of re-threading.

Here is one stitch, here is another, and here is a third
- now go start a shop
« Reply #615 on: April 29, 2008 10:21:40 PM »

**Thank you all VERY much.** It was driving me insane, because my first machine did it too... hence the reason I have this one!! Which, by the way, does not have a manual Sad

My DH (yep, that's right, my Hubby) looked at it and fixed it in about 2 minutes!!!!! I guess it had something to do with the tension because he rethreaded it, adjusted the tension knob, and away it went. All of which I had already tried myself, but apparently the machine likes men better!!

My first machine is still a huge problem.  It started out much the same as this, but escalated and got so bad that it literally caused my machine to stop. I can hear the motor going, but the thread gets sucked under into the bobbin area. Not something I have the time or inclination to deal with right now.

Enough rambling from me, thank you all again for your help, it's most greatly appreciated!
« Reply #616 on: April 30, 2008 06:31:28 AM »

There's basic differences in men & women (generalizing here folks) that affects the way we look at things. Men tend to focus on individual parts whereas women look at the whole thing. This is great if you are herding 30 kindergardeners on a zoo trip, but harder when dealing with a machine because we tend to look for the final outcome instead of looking at each individual part with scrutiny.

My father is a master mechanic and taught me a lot about all kinds of machines, including my sewing machine. It takes practice to learn how to look at each part by iteslf, it doesn't come naturally to me.

That said, I'd sic hubby on the old machine & see what he can do with it. See if he can explain any of the technicalities to you (he may not be able to- don't freak if he can't). Once you understand what each part does, it's much easier to troubleshoot Smiley Stroke his ego some, good sewing machine repair people are a dying breed!
« Reply #617 on: May 02, 2008 03:45:19 PM »

I have a funny sewing machine problem I'm hoping someone might be able to shed some light on.  (Penlowe?  Grin)

I dragged my old Bernina out of the loft tonight, I haven't used it in a while but it was serviced maybe a year ago and not used much since.  I oiled it up and threaded it and sewed a few lines on a scrap of cotton just to test it out and let the oil run through it, and noticed that the stitches were not looking very nice.  It looks like the top tension is too tight - but no matter where I set the tension it actually looks the same to varying degrees of badness.  If I loosen it, the bottom of the stitches look looser but the top still looks tight.

Also, the bottom stitches are not straight.  Instead of looking like ----------- they are coming out slanted, kind of / / / /  (except much less exaggerated - it's only slight). 

I'm sure I remember this machine producing lovely even straight stitches.  I have oiled it, changed the needle, made absolutely sure it's threaded correctly, made sure the top and bobbin threads matched, made sure the needle is in the right way round, and fiddled with the tension.  Is there anything else I might be missing?  (Probably something really obvious but I'm tired and have had two glasses of wine!)

I think I am spoilt now from using my Viking for a while and seeing the beautiful (and idiot proof) stitches it makes.

« Reply #618 on: May 02, 2008 04:12:46 PM »

The same one posted in the "show us your machine" thread? It's a nice vintage machine. I'd guess mid- to late 60's. That said, sometimes machines just need to warm up a bit, litterally get the gears moving.
::puts on science hat::
Metal expands and contracts with temperature change (you remember this from high school science, right?). A machine with interlocking or meshing parts, when left to sit where it is exposed to temperature extremes can shift out of alignment strictly by getting really hot & really cold alternately. [I told you guys my dad was a gear head Smiley every auto repair came with a lecture on the origins of the internal combustion engine] Left to these extremes for extended periods of time, like years, this can make a noticable difference in running quality. Left for extreme periods of time, like decades, can result in "seizure", which is as bad as it sounds. Seized machines are repairable, usually, but it's expensive and difficult. Very worthwhile when you are restoring a 1945 Harley Davidson, not so much on an 1985 Singer.
::removes science hat::
So, if you want to save a machine (any kind of machine) for future use, whether for yourself or some else, storage in a 'climate controled area' is best.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2008 04:46:37 PM by Penlowe » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #619 on: May 03, 2008 01:07:57 AM »

Thanks for your reply  Cheesy  Hehe, I like your science hat!  It is the same machine, yes.

It was never stored anywhere hot or cold for a long time, although it sat in my friend's mum's house for probably a decade without having been used before I inherited it.  It still worked fine when I got it but I had it serviced before I ever used it.  I think the repair guy replaced one of the gears - there is a plastic gear in there now that I'm sure wouldn't have been used in 1961 when it was bought!  (I still have the guarantee filled in.)  I stuck it in the loft for a few months out of the way only very recently and I suppose it's quite cold up there, would just that short time have made a difference?

I think today I'll give it a really good cleaning and if that doesn't help I might phone the repair shop and see what they think.

ETA: It looks as if the top tension has completely gone.  Tightening/loosening it makes no difference at all really.  At its tightest, I can still pull the thread through really easily.  I called the repair guy and he's coming out on the 14th.  He had me take the tension control apart and look for trapped threads, and then put it back together, and it didn't make any difference, so I guess I'll stop worrying about it for now and go back to the Viking.  It's very weird though.

Bah!  My boyfriend is the Great Fixer of All Things, but unfortunately sewing machines are the exception.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2008 06:18:25 AM by angeltreats » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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