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Topic: Adjusting my sewing machine settings?  (Read 1729 times)
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« on: July 21, 2013 06:47:40 PM »


I apologize if this post is in the wrong board. I've been having some issues with my sewing machine lately. I own a Singer that I picked up at a local thrift store a few years ago.

 I love it a lot, and for the most part it works fine, but my stitches have been seeming a bit odd lately. I've never taken a sewing class, I just taught myself using youtube, so I dont have a lot of knowledge about sewing machines. I figured there's something I need to adjust to fix my stitches, because every now and then I get a little loop in my stitches, like this:

Sometimes it looks like the bobbin stitches are either really tight, or kinda loose, while the top stitches look fine.
This time they looked pretty loose:

Here are all possible nobs that I could adjust
Stitch length:

Stitch Width and position:

and I have no idea what this is:

The display on this nob reads "Norm," "Max," and "Darn"

or what this is:

I was wondering if anyone knows what I should adjust in order to make my stitches look as nice and even as possible. Anything is appreciated. Thanks!

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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2013 07:50:52 AM »

The last picture is your tension control knob...if the bottom stitches are too loose, you need to tighten the top stitches by making the number "bigger", in your case, turn it to the right.....perfect tension is when the top and the bottom are even ... you might have to play around with it to get it just right...

There is also a tension adjustment on the bobbin case, but generally, you should not have to adjust that (it takes a small screwdriver...)...

Skipped stitches are sometimes caused by your needle...I like changing my needle after every large project...also, be sure that you are using the right size needle for your project...size 14 is a good standard for most fabrics...

I love older machines...they were built to last and you can sew the heck out of them!

Hope you get it adjusted so you can sew to your heart's content!

One more thing...I have had good luck finding manuals for old sewing machines on the internet!  Sometimes they are a few bucks but so worth it...I bet if you go the Singer site, you can find one for your model!
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013 07:52:29 AM by alwaysinmyroom » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013 01:32:09 PM »

Absolutely - get the manual!  I was able to go to my local sewing store when I could not find mine on the internet ( and this was awhile ago so the internet was not as friendly as now) and they got me a copy for about $4.  If you have not changed the needle for awhile, or are using the wrong needle for your fabric, that can cause problems with the thread as well.  Has your machine ever been in for cleaning/servicing/adjustment?  I took a seminar a couple of years ago for machine maintenance and trouble shooting that was very helpful; he was a Bernina service rep for a couple of decades before running his own maintenance company, and he taught us how to properly clean and maintain our machines at home to an extent.  You can see if there is a local store that will offer the same also (not just the servicing, but teaching how to do it).  I found that most of my thread problems would be corrected with a good cleaning, oiling, changing the needle, and a freshly wound bobbin, without having to adjust the tension knob too wildly

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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2013 07:39:53 AM »

Have you guys ever tried those teflon bobbin inserts?  I just started using them and I love them!!  They have really helped my older machine run more smoothly.


« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2013 01:22:58 AM »

Your machine looks similar to my mom's old Singer that I learned to sew on.  For the tension problem you showed, I agree with the first reply - turn the tension knob clockwise to fix that.  For reference, in your picture the tension was set at 0-1; normal is between 3 and 7.  I would turn it up 1 number at a time, until the stitches are locking inside the fabric.

When I get skipped stitches, it's usually because of a dull needle, or because I haven't dusted out the fluff from the bobbin area recently.  I've found that defluffing thoroughly and regularly is the best way to keep my machine working well.

Just in case you haven't found a manual, that dial on top (Norm/High/Darn) will adjust the foot pressure.  Norm will work for most things, but High can be helpful if you're sewing heavy fabric, and Darn will have low pressure - useful for darning, or working with fine and/or slippery fabrics.  I wouldn't change it most of the time, but the one time I've found it useful is when I was sewing light fabric and it was gathering/puckering.  Switching to low pressure (darn) fixed it.

Another tip if you're getting funny stitch tension issues is to snip off your top thread near the spool, pull out the snipped section through the needle (so that you're never pulling thread backwards through the tension knob), and then rethread it.  This often fixed my problems.  With new machines it's important to thread the machine with the presser foot up; I don't know if that's true of older ones, but it can't hurt. 

Good luck!
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