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    sewing machine help

    I am very new to sewing. I'm enjoying it very much. I've also taken several quilt classes. I was in the process of making a rag quilt for a friend for Christmas and my sewing machine started doing weird things. It's an old JCPenney model from like 30 years ago. Yes, I know I need a new one and I'm giving it some serious thought.

    Anyway, it was sewing fine and then all of sudden it seemed like the tension was off. Adjusting it didn't work. The bobbin was getting low. I filled a new one and started using it and it seemed okay. Now I'm starting to put together my squares. The first 4 or 5 rows were fine. On the next one when I flipped it over to look at the back I can see my stitches in the seam. Almost like the stitches are a little loose. I tried giving it a full bobbin, that didn't work this time. I tried playing with the tension; that didn't seem to help either. Any ideas of what I can adjust to correct this? I'm really a newbie when it comes to sewing and I don't have any clue of how to fix this. I still have 3 rows to assemble, then all the rows have to be sewn together. Not to mention snipping the edges and washing it. Hopefully all by Friday!!!

    Thanks.

    Pam

    #2
    Re: sewing machine help

    Is your thread the same weight on top as in the bobbin? Sometimes tension can be off with different weights. New needle maybe. Is it still loose if you shorten the stitch length?

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      #3
      Re: sewing machine help

      Definitely try a new needle.
      Lori

      http://sewtimeforme.blogspot.com/

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        #4
        Re: sewing machine help

        I'm off to try a new needle right now!!!!

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          #5
          Re: sewing machine help

          You might have fuzz and lint in the bobbin area. Take the bobbin out and clean the area with a small brush.
          "I'm putting together a list of 100 reasons why I am NOT relentless!" - Sue Heck, The Middle

          Leonard: For God's sake, Sheldon, do I have to hold up a sarcasm sign every time I open my mouth?
          Sheldon (intrigued): You have a sarcasm sign?

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            #6
            Re: sewing machine help

            Lol, before I even read the post about the fuzz in the bobbin area I did this!! I also took out the metal plate on the bottom and cleaned under it as well. I also changed the needle. It looked like all this fixed the problem and then the next set of squares I sewed it was loose again. It it possible that it's a speed issue? It almost seems like it happens when I sew slow. When I sew faster it doesn't happen. Or at least it appears right now that that is what it may be.

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              #7
              Re: sewing machine help

              Take some UNWAXED dental floss and run it between the upper tension disks a few times. There might be a tiny thread stuck in there that is causing this. Another thought, when was the last time your machine was serviced - cleaned and oiled by a professional? It is recommended to have this done on a yearly basis and a machine that old does need regular oiling.
              K is for Karen 😊​..................
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                #8
                Re: sewing machine help

                Originally posted by Ule913 View Post
                Lol, before I even read the post about the fuzz in the bobbin area I did this!! I also took out the metal plate on the bottom and cleaned under it as well. I also changed the needle. It looked like all this fixed the problem and then the next set of squares I sewed it was loose again. It it possible that it's a speed issue? It almost seems like it happens when I sew slow. When I sew faster it doesn't happen. Or at least it appears right now that that is what it may be.
                Sounds like my car. I go slow and it knocks, I go faster and it goes away lol

                I hope you can get it done in time and share a picture!
                🌺 Lorie

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                  #9
                  Re: sewing machine help

                  I was also thinking it probably needs to be serviced and cleaned.

                  I wouldn't think about getting a new machine - a lot of us sew with antique machines, hand-me-downs, or just plain old machines. And they sew a great stitch when you take care of them.

                  Welcome to the forum!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: sewing machine help

                    Cleaning, oiling and threading with the presser foot up are basic. If the problem persists, it may need to go in for professional service. Ask for an estimate as sometimes old machine parts are not readily available or, the line is longer than you want to wait for the repair. A second machine for back-up can save project time.

                    Best wishes for many successful projects.

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                      #11
                      Re: sewing machine help

                      In 1966 I bought a new WHITE sewing machine. It was pretty good and I sewed many of those 60's shifts and granny dresses and 70's bell bottoms. Then in 1975 I was making a black velvel witches costume for my DD with a Holly hobby pinafore. I couldn't get the collar right. I couldn't get the tension to work. I was constantly hollering at that machine and I was so miserable. I finally took the dress to my neighbors and she had a new Husqvarna and everything went so smoothly and I really was having an enjoyable sewing session on her machine. That night I went and bought my first Husqvarna Viking and used it until 2007 when I purchased a new one. THe old one is atgrand daughters house (10 yr old) and both are workhorses.
                      If you truly want to sew, tension issues can be so frustrating. Maybe you are more mechanical than I am but if not...start looking for a machine with auto tension settings.
                      Walk in peace with the Lord by your side.
                      Terry

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                        #12
                        Re: sewing machine help

                        Is your machine a drop in bobbin or a bobbin with a case? In both instances it is necessary to make sure you are running the thread in the bobbin in the right direction and also making sure it catches in the niche in the bobbin. Also, make sure you are using a bobbin for that machine. There are so many profiles of bobbins. For years I used the wrong bobbins in my machine and could never understand why it would nest when I would start to sew and could never figure out why some of the bobbins would not fit right onto the bobbin winder.
                        I read you changed the needle. What size needle are you using? Are you using a ball point needle or a woven needle. Sometimes these old machines will sew no matter what kind of needle you have in them but give signs that it can be improved upon. Not sure what kind of thread you are using, but it probably will not matter with your older machine. Try a woven (red banded) needle or universal needle size 90/14.
                        Blogging ahead.....research in quilting and sewing with a dab of cooking/recipes too.

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                          #13
                          Re: sewing machine help

                          Yes, what everyone above said re: cleanings, bobbins, needles, etc.

                          When my Riccar gets a bit sluggish (I can hear a difference), I give it a good cleaning according to the owner's manual.

                          If you don't have such a manual, look online by searching for your machine's make/model # owner's manual. I would try cleaning it yourself and see how that works, but definitely also worth getting it cleaned by a qualified professional.

                          My favorite tip from this forum in 2016: use pipe cleaner to clean in the bobbin area! This works much better than the small brush that came with my machine.

                          Best wishes and happy quilting.
                          Blessings, DramaMama


                          "May your bobbin always be full!"

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                            #14
                            Re: sewing machine help

                            Hang on to youyr Vintage machine!!! There are facebook groups for vintage machine enthusiasts that have lots of help/info. Just search vintage machines and at least two will pop up.

                            I, too, would suggest a good professional tune up.
                            Donna

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                              #15
                              Re: sewing machine help

                              I agree with all that's been said. Especially, not to get rid of your old machine. I have recently resurrected my mom's 1956 301A that I learned to sew on. It had been sitting in the my spare bedroom for years. She always complained about that machine so I just never did anything with it. I was going to give it away at one point! I'm glad I didn't do that. It's a great little machine to piece on. It gave me the vintage machine bug and I now own the 301, a 503 and Featherweight. I alternate all my piecing projects between these three just to keep everything in good working order. You may want to get a new machine especially if you do any clothing construction or home dec. I have a Bernina (20 years old now but my "new" machine lol). There's nothing like it for clothing construction but I do all my piecing on the vintage machines. It also gives you a back up machine for when your main machine goes in for servicing.
                              Patrice S

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