Sewing machine help please!

(13 Posts)
BrianButterfield Wed 13-Feb-13 20:02:48

I am appealing for help from the experienced sewing machine users of MN [

I have a 1970s Singer - I inherited it and it was in immaculate condition when I got it. I had used a sewing machine a few times but am entirely self-taught and very much an amateur. Anyway, I got the Singer up and running and successfully made a few things with it, then didn't use it for a while.

Recently I wanted to hem some curtains and have just had a nightmare with the needle thread continually breaking or bunching. I have tried everything I can think of or have found online - changed the tension /other settings, hanged the needle (to a proper Singer one that came with it, new from the packet), used a better thread, rethreaded the bobbin, cleaned out the bobbin case of lint, checked for nicks/snags...and still I can't sew more than a couple of inches at a time sad I wouldn't mind so much if I hadn't used it before and know that it works well!

what else can I try?

cate16 Wed 13-Feb-13 22:36:16

Do you check the tension by pulling the threads through by hand? If so do you do this with the foot up?
If so, you need to check tension with the foot down. The tension changes with the foot up/down. So if it 'feels' ok with foot up- when you actually sew it may be too tight.

BrianButterfield Thu 14-Feb-13 10:50:44

Thanks, I did know that but I only realised today blush however when I decreased the tension I got big loopy stitches but the thread still breaks! Driving me potty now - any other ideas?

dikkertjedap Thu 14-Feb-13 16:33:37

I wonder if the machine is threaded properly. I would check the top threading, you may by accident have the thread wrong somewhere, this would also mess up the tension.

Also, are you using the right size needle for the fabric you are using?

wifeofdoom Thu 14-Feb-13 16:42:22

Is it just doing it on the thick curtain fabric or on two layers of thin cotton too? Check thread diagram - I use my 70s singer a lot and still often find I have misthreaded it. When I have had this problem in the past then in the end I changed the bobbin tension - but that is not for the fainthearted and make sure you have moved all the way through the top tension first. Also make sure your tension disks haven't come lose or got stuck so the tension isn't changing... It is so frustrating isn't it! Good luck...

BrianButterfield Thu 14-Feb-13 17:38:37

Right, checked the threading and it was slightly wrong but getting it right didn't help. Definitely the right needle, and trying it out on scrap cotton not thick fabric. Tension seems to be working fine. Argh!

I had a similar problem - thread broke, also lots and lots of loops on wrong side of the fabric.

Turned out the bobbin I was using didn't fit the machine properly (I was using a metal bobbin that had a curved top and bottom), so it didn't 'click' into the bobbin casing fully.

Once I switched to a metal one with a flat top and bottom, or a plastic one, it was fine.

dikkertjedap Thu 14-Feb-13 23:23:00

Oh, yes, it can indeed be the type of bobbin. I have had that with my machine as well.

pengymum Fri 15-Feb-13 12:47:38

Check the bobbin case and mechanism for dust and/or thread. I would blow and brush the the area to clean. Could also try oiling, if haven't used for a while. Also check your needle is straight - might be slightly bent. If tension is ok and correctly threaded, these are what has sometimes have been wrong for me. Good luck.

pengymum Fri 15-Feb-13 12:49:13

Oh just thought of something else - is there a long rail of thread on bobbin? Sometimes that has happened and causes problems.

orangeandlemons Fri 15-Feb-13 12:51:56

Ime experience as a seasoned textile teacher, most sewing problems are spool related. Have you got the spool in the right way , ie clockwise? However so,entices machines do need servicing and sorting to get them going again.

<sits back feeling faint at the prospect of 50 y11's completing coursework next term and the prospect of 1million jammed spools>

orangeandlemons Fri 15-Feb-13 12:52:56

So,entices?????

sometimes

BrianButterfield Sat 16-Feb-13 21:51:43

Hi, thanks for all the suggestions - I got a new bobbin and that solved the problem! I have to say all the other posts have been useful too, as it's made me more 'aware' of the different parts of the machine and what to look out for, so it's very much appreciated. I have a couple of books but they all assume a certain amount of knowledge or skip over the part you most want to know, so this has been a lifeline!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now