Tag Archives: 221

Fragile Tension – Tension does not have to equal stress (Updated with a video)

Possibly the most common reason a machine ends up on my bench is for tension.  Usually bird’s nests.  The thing is easily 80% of the time, there’s nothing really wrong with the machine that a repair person needs to look at it.  Sometimes it’s basic maintenance, sometimes it’s because someone told you at some point “DON’T YOU TOUCH THAT! EVER!”

I’m sure that the people who’ve said that meant well, but today I’m going to show you how to manage that dial properly and what to do when it’s not proper. Continue reading Fragile Tension – Tension does not have to equal stress (Updated with a video)

Review: Clover Wonder Clips

This past week, I had more time than I think I’ve ever had to sew. I’ve been babying my lower back this week, because the last time I thought it was “good enough” (last Friday), I set my recovery back a week, at least.    So with time at the computer limited, and no lifting sewing machines, I decided it was time to finish a number of UFOs.   This seemed a good opportunity to put the wonder clips through their paces.

Most of my UFOs are not quilting projects.

  • I’ve had 2 pair of jeans sitting on my desk for a couple of months that need hemming.  They’re not even marked.
  • Then there are the “thundershirts” for all of our furry creatures.
  • The one quilted project is another featherweight case liner for yet another featherweight (there are 3 in total in the house)

So on to the performance of the Wonder clips. Continue reading Review: Clover Wonder Clips

Ouch! Watch those hinges!

Ronnie - 1950 Featherweight 221
Ronnie – 1950 Featherweight 221

On Monday I was packing up my things to go to our Sewing Circle.  I was in a hurry, and when I grabbed the case of the featherweight I found last month, I managed to rip a 1.5″ long gash in my left hand.

Now, I’m naturally clumsy, but this only happened because Continue reading Ouch! Watch those hinges!

Spring has sprung

Well, not really.  Not here in Central Alberta anyway.  We got about 10-12″ of the white sh…. stuff over the last weekend.

Ever had your bobbin case just fall out while you were sewing?  You’re just sewing along, and the darn thing just gets up and leaves? Or maybe you’ve found it not snapped in when you’re positive that you installed it right.

No,.. chances are that you don’t need a new bobbin case. Continue reading Spring has sprung

Tear it down – bobbin case maintenance

What do you do when you’re sewing along and your machine’s tension goes crazy for no reason?

There are the obvious things to do: re-thread the machine, in case the thread “popped” out of one of the guides, or came unseated from the upper tensioner, clean out all of the fluff and lint from the machine, especially in the thread path ( don’t forget the bobbin case area) … sometimes you might even get desperate and clean out the upper tensioner.

If you don’t know how to do that, it’s really straight forward, and can save you a trip to the sewing machine repair shop.

But what do you do if you’ve done all of that and the tension’s still goofy?  Especially if your top tension seems way too tight.  Say you have it turned the upper tensioner all the way loose, and your thread is still laying on the top of your fabric… Continue reading Tear it down – bobbin case maintenance

Second Floor – Hardware, Children’s wear, Ladies’ lingerie… A Universal Desk

Lately I’ve been experimenting with Free Motion Quilting (FMQ).

Yes, I see that surprised look on your faces!  I do, in fact, sew sometimes!  When I’m not buried elbow deep in the innards of a sewing machine, sometimes I even use them.  🙂

My latest “thing” is FMQ.  It’s really fun, but if your sewing surface isn’t set up correctly, it can be a real pain in the neck, shoulders, wrists, arms, back, and head.   With a lot of damage already in my back and wrists from computer work, (and dirtbikes, and old car wrecks, and skiing,… well you get the picture.)  I had to think this one through pretty carefully.

I wanted a new desk, but had to do it on a budget.  I’m willing to contribute some sweat equity, so I figured I’d give it a go at building something.

Continue reading Second Floor – Hardware, Children’s wear, Ladies’ lingerie… A Universal Desk

Running out of Time

Timing series part 5:  Examples

Note: The 401A and 201 timing directions have been updated.  My apologies for the previous mistake.  I’m not really sure what I was thinking when I put those directions in, they were just plain wrong.  They should be correct now.

Note:  Never run the machine with the pedal If you suspect that the timing is off, while checking or after adjusting the timing until you’ve determined that the setting was correct.  Running it at speed if the timing is off can cause massive damage to the hook, bobbin case and also smash the needle which can lead to shards flying around.

Note: The process I show for adjusting timing doesn’t necessarily work for newer machines that are set up a little differently, but the process of checking it still applies.   And if your machine is on warranty, please just take it in and have it fixed.  Some dealers / manufacturers will void your warranty if you try to change anything.

In order to demonstrate setting the timing on a machine, I’m going to show a series of photos.  The first is the location of the timing lines on the machine, if applicable.  The next is the location of the screws / nuts / bolts you need to loosen to time it.  As needed, I will provide further explanation.  For the technical explanation, please refer back to this post: Making Time

Continue reading Running out of Time

Making Time

Timing series part 4: Why it’s fairly difficult to throw timing off, and how to adjust timing.

Note:  Never run the machine with the pedal if you suspect that the timing is off, while checking or after adjusting the timing until you’ve determined that the setting was correct.  Running it at speed if the timing is off can cause massive damage to the hook, bobbin case and also smash the needle which can lead to shards flying around.

Note: The process I show for adjusting timing doesn’t necessarily work for newer machines that are set up a little differently, but the process of checking it still applies.   And if your machine is on warranty, please just take it in and have it fixed.  Some dealers / manufacturers will void your warranty if you try to change anything.

First, why it’s very hard to throw timing off.

Continue reading Making Time

What a Pile of …. rebuilding your carbon pile button foot pedal. A complete tear down.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t detest the button-style or bake-lite foot pedals.  I just don’t trust them.

Last night, I was sewing my very first applique.  The tedium of the cutting and pressing finished, I thought I’d sit down to do some of the stitching.  This is slow speed sewing, especially because I’ve never done it before, and satin stitches on my first machine would spark many colorful arguments between myself and the machine.

I made it about half way around the perimeter. Then, speaking of sparks…

I heard them.  It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard in a sewing room. bzzzzzzt, pop pop…. a weird sound like rushing water, a hum that got louder, and then crackling noises coming from below my sewing table.

This was accompanied by some warm toes

Continue reading What a Pile of …. rebuilding your carbon pile button foot pedal. A complete tear down.

Singer Sewing Machines – And they’re OFF!! Updated with Pics!

Do you have a Singer sewing machine with the Featherweight style Bakelite Foot Pedal? Sometimes it’s also referred to as a Button Pedal.  I’ve seen them on Model 15 machines, Featherweights (Model 221/222), Model 99 machines, Model 128 machines, 400 Series machines, and I’m sure there are others.  They’re the most common pedal I have in my sewing room.

Singer Bakelite foot
Singer Bakelite foot

 

One of the most common complaints I see about this pedal is that you press and press and press and the machine does nothing,.. then suddenly it takes off like the winning horse at the races!

Another problem the older ones suffer from is “running on their own”.

What I don’t see a lot of is how to fix either problem.  Lots of people suggest throwing that foot out and replacing it with a new one, or a “more modern one”.

Waste not want not, right? Continue reading Singer Sewing Machines – And they’re OFF!! Updated with Pics!