Please, please, please help me with my machine! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-01-2009, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a 30 year old singer machine. It was working great until I changed threads. Since then I am having problems sewing a stitch. I have adjusted the tension so many times, and ripped out miles of stitches and just don't know what else to try. I even went back to the original thread that was working great and now I'm having the same problem with that thread.

Initially, it seemed as if one of the tension levels was wrong. It wouldn't sew a straight stitch (it skipped most if not all, maybe there would be one or two every inch or so and the bobbin thread was pulled on top.)

When I tried a zig zag stitch it would zag but not zig and the bobbin thread was being pulled to the top. So I would have a sort of wobbly line with a few zig zags thrown in for good measure and the bobbing thread was pulled to the top. After adjusting tension a zillion times I am still stuck. If trying to straight stitch it skips most stitches. Not sure about the zig zag as I gave up on that.

What am I doing wrong and when I change threads how do I make adjustments to accomodate the change in thread? I have wasted days on this and I really need to get some sewing done I am making a present for a friends birthday in two weeks.

It is still not doing a zig zag but it is sort of doing a straight stitch with tension on 0 but it skips stitches. However, when I set it at .5 the tension is too tight and draws up the bobbin thread. This is so weird as the last time this worked correctly (before I switched threads) I had the tension set at 9 and it worked great. Now at 9 it's waaaaayyyy too tight.

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#2 of 6 Old 08-01-2009, 11:47 PM
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Check to see if there is any lint or thread stuck in the tension discs. Using the owners manual, take the bobbin assembly apart and clean out all the lint and thread pieces. Open up the cover to the needle take up bar and delint and clean that area. Oil with sewing machine oil every place that the owners manual says to. And put in a new needle. Rethread according to the manual, both the needle and the bobbin, using the same, new thread in both. If none of that works, you might have to take it to a repair man. It could be out of time, something is broken, etc.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#3 of 6 Old 08-06-2009, 03:56 PM
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Maybe a different needle? Bigger?

Amy at Stone Fence Farm
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#4 of 6 Old 08-21-2009, 07:11 PM
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I don't have a serger but I used to have a similar problem with my sewing machine. The only way I could sew was to keep the tension on 0, otherwise the top thread would rip the bottom one through the fabric. In my particular case, I was using the wrong size spool-stopper and didn't quite have it threaded right, and the thread would get hung up on the edge of the spool as it came out. It's also happened once when I put the bobbin in the wrong way. Probably doesn't apply to a serger, but if you've got the manual (I'm assuming you haven't used it much, though I'm frequently wrong) read over the proper way to thread very carefully and re thread your machine a few times (after you clean and oil it. I found out the hard way that not doing those things is a recipe for disaster).
I pulled mine straight out of the box and used it straight away. Turns out that little dealy-gig at the back of the machine was there for a reason, not just to annoy me cause I had never seen one on a sewing machine. Once I read my manual and figured out what it was, a lot of my sewing problems went away.

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#5 of 6 Old 08-29-2009, 08:11 PM
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did you ever get this fixed ?? If not, try removing all thread, put in a new needle and start over with threading everything. Use scraps of muslin or a similar weight woven fabric to test until you get the tension right. Start with the dial at 0 and get tighter until it's perfect.

The tension should work best for midweight fabric at middle settings, like between 5 and 7. If that isn't working, either there's something stuck in the disks or maybe the screw that holds the dial in has gotten loose.

If it starts out ok and then gets loopy part way into your sewing it could be that you are using a polyester thread (like Guterman) and it's twisting into loops that slip out of the tension disks as you sew. That doesn't have a good fix other than winding the thread onto a heavier spool and paying better attention.

good luck!

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#6 of 6 Old 08-30-2009, 12:11 AM
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also, I found that some bobbins cause this to happen. even though they "techinically" are supposed to work for my machine, they would still cause problems with the tension.
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