Some of the most common sewing machine issues I hear are:
- “The bobbin thread is bunching up around the bobbin”,
- “I have loops under the fabric”,
- “It looks great on the top but the bottom looks awful!”,
- “No matter how high I turn the tension on my bobbin, I still get a mess on the bottom side of the fabric!”,
- “I keep lowering the upper tension but I still get loops underneath!”
- “It’s the tension”
- or something similar.
Something like this: Continue reading The loosest thread – Those pesky thread nests
A year or so ago, I started knitting again – after more than 30 years of not knitting.
As is typical for me, I started to get interested in the whole process – not “just” the fabric making part of it but making the yarn, etc. I’ve always loved the look of a spinning wheel but couldn’t justify the space or cost requirement because I didn’t spin.
I found plans to build a basic (and little!) quill spinning wheel – called a Dodec (for “dodecagon” or twelve-sided wheel) – online and did that but I didn’t know if it was me or the wheel needing to be set up better when I was having trouble – but I got a small taste… and it was noisy. Some of you who know me in person – know how little I like “noise”. Continue reading Workhorse – spinning with a Canadian connection
Back in April and May of 2012, I wrote the two posts that would become the most popular posts on this site. These are the posts on how to adjust the Singer button controllers. I’ve yet to find another brand’s pedals with so much adjustment which is why I advocate keeping them.
Today, I’m going to add a little tidbit of information. Previously, we took care of a pedal that had been badly adjusted and was creating too much heat or was maybe not as responsive as you wanted – or a little too responsive and likely making noise.
What I didn’t cover at the time was how to adjust the pedal to get full speed. Continue reading Highway Star – Full speed from a Singer button controller
When I started posting about sewing machines, the intention was to cover what I was doing along with some of the maintenance we should all be doing and some of the basic repairs that nearly everyone could do.
Eventually, I started to get requests for certain posts and videos which is extremely flattering. It told me that people were enjoying – and learning from – what I was doing. Some of the requests have been excellent suggestions and often form the basis of the posts you’ve seen on this site. Continue reading Scope and Archaic Arcane
A “controversial” post today folks.
Motor Lube for Singer motors.
This one causes a lot of sometimes heated discussion on forums. Many people have done tests and lots of opinions have been stated. Today, I’m going to state my opinion, back it up with my reasoning and testing and then you can decide what you want to do with your own machines.
A couple years back, I mentioned that I could still get Singer Lube that was still suitable for use in Singer motors. In February of this year, that changed. I spent some time posting about it on Facebook.
Because I still get requests for Singer Lube, I thought I’d discuss what happened to make the Singer Lube no longer suitable for motors and what I recommend to replace it. Continue reading A search for things that you can’t see – Singer motor lube replacement
Electric Motor theory – why and how we lubricate
There have been a lot of discussions about sewing machine motor lubricants over the years and I thought I’d take a step further back and discuss why we do this, how we do this and why some of the information “out there” is sort of F.U.D. (<- Wikipedia Link)
First off: Why do we lube or oil a motor? (I’m a why person, have you noticed this yet?? I’m quite sure I drive some people nuts with my “whys?”… )
Continue reading Motorin’ – Electric motor theory
Another edition of Reader Mail:
I get this question probably a couple of times a year, so today I’m presenting a post with a video companion! Jocelyn and I spoke via email but I asked her if it would be OK to use her email for reader mail. I’m guessing she didn’t expect me to get to it almost 2 years later! (I really do get that behind on the site stuff!)
Jocelyn emailed me some time ago to ask:
Hi, I inherited my mom’s Singer 411G. (Lucky ME!). Both spool pins are broken and I am having a devil of a time trying to find replacements.
Any insight/direction/suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.
Continue reading Replacing Singer 411G spool pins
It seems like summer always brings lots of household projects. This year, it’s a leaking woodstove flashing (fixed – and the painting of the ceiling to go with it – not fixed), window frames needing to be painted (again – pending) and then the vehicles landed on my radar. They haven’t seen a good detailing in well,.. ever in the case of the truck and the car probably hasn’t seen a comprehensive detailing since 2008.
Yeah, I’m not proud of that. When the August long weekend hit, we started cleaning and cleaning and… uh oh. Rust. We went from prepping and painting a few spots to some fairly major repair and painting. This is what we (former) business analysts call “scope creep”.
Great. Spraying base and clear. I’ve done this before. Last time (2007), it was a 1999 CBR 600. I’ll post that “throwback” post one day soon. Yeah, I haven’t sprayed automotive paint in 9 years – I did do some major bodywork on a truck
since then but I rolled that paint instead of doing it with a paint gun.
Speaking of rusty things – I am as well and my body sure has a lot more to say about it this time around.
I also swore that time that I’d never spray clear again. Awesome. 😉
Since I’m going to be shooting clear anyway, I thought I’d try to do the touch-ups, and wet sand the sags in the paint on the “Wee One” and give her a final coat of clear too. If it doesn’t work – well, she was going to be repainted anyway.
Continue reading Finish what you started – cars and sewing machines
simply re-threading your machine when you have problems with it.
A quick note today folks! I’m inside waiting for the anti-inflammatories to kick in before I go back outside to do some bodywork on the truck so I thought I’d jot down a little note for you.
The traditional advice when you start to have tension problems with a machine seems to be “Re-thread it. Everything, the bobbin case and the top”.
Most of the time that usually means that people yank the thread out from the back – or some will cut it and remove from the front – then they re-thread and…. it doesn’t fix it. Sometimes it will but often it doesn’t.
Why? Continue reading Quick Note: Why I don’t recommend…
For years I’ve told people not to trust the handles, joints or latches on vintage sewing machine cases. The glue is old and brittle. The nails and fasteners may be weak or loose. Often the case has been compromised by moisture. The damage to person and property can be significant. A case and machine landing on the floor or table WILL do damage. A case and machine landing on YOU is likely to result in an emergency room visit and possibly a plaster accessory for the next 6 to 8 weeks.
This holds true of a featherweight as well. It’s easy to think “eh, it’s 11lbs.” True, the machine is 11lbs – plus the weight of the accessories, the pedal and the case. Typically, this tops 20lbs. Continue reading Did she call me a bag lady?