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
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…
Note: I talk mainly about long arm quilting in this post and how humidity affects it because it’s so much more quickly noticed with the speed of the machines but this post is relevant to anyone with a crafting space that uses thread and other fibers that can change for the worse with humidity changes.
Living on the prairies in Central Alberta, we seem to get a lot of weather extremes. Normally, this doesn’t affect the inside of the house or my studio much – thankfully now that the roof thing has been taken care of! – but there’s one particular situation that I do have to manage – humidity. With plummeting temperatures and the liberal use of a forced air furnace, the air becomes extremely dry down here. I ignored it for the first winter that I had Lucey – not really recognizing it as a problem.
Last year – around this time – I started having major problems with thread breakage on Lucey. No amount of pleading or bargaining or whining helped. Continue reading Bring me some water – the importance of humidity in a quilting studio
So today I sat down at my industrial to sew a couple of hems. Yes, overkill but I like to exercise my machines a little sometimes. 😉 Immediately after sitting down, I noticed tension and stitch length problems.
Strangely, this photo doesn’t really show that there are 2 hems here. Stitch lines 2 and 4 are the problem hems. The bottom one is the most obvious, you can see loops and the stitch length kept changing. Continue reading PSA: Sometimes it’s not what it seems with your seams
In the last post, we talked about ways that thread nests can be solved from a user point of view. Today, I’m getting into the slightly more technical ways that the nests happen and how to deal with them, or when to take it in for service.
Category 2: Possibly user fixable or take it in – Depending on skill and comfort level
Continue reading Out of the nest – Ditching the Thread nests part 2
One of the most common issues that people bring machines to me for is tension.
The thing about it is that – in most cases – the tension issues are really not something that I need to address as a technician . Don’t get me wrong, there are some legitimate issues – mis-assembled tensioners or severely clogged up tensioners – to name a couple. Continue reading Fly little nestling – Ditching the Thread nests part 1
I received an email from Roger about a month or so ago that asked for clarification about one of the posts I made last year. The post in question is Common Thread – Evaluating the Real cost of thread
Did I mention that I love hearing from readers? Even if it’s questioning what I’ve written, I enjoy the conversation. 🙂 Feel free to comment below or drop me a line. I always answer, even if it’s not right away because I’m perpetually behind on email.
The question Roger asked made me realize that I might have been guilty of a little thread “geek speak”. He emailed me to ask what I meant by “cross wound” or “stack wound” thread. The two other questions I also inferred from that question were “what’s the difference and what does it mean to me?” 🙂
Continue reading Standing at a Crossroads – Thread: Cross Wound vs Stack Wound
Update 06-30-2016: The latest batch of Singer Lube I received from the supplier is no longer suitable for use in Singer motors. As such, I’m recommending the use of Petroleum jelly.
People far smarter than me are recommending it and White Sewing machine motors of the same time period used it.
Over the last few months, I’ve been hearing that Singer Lube / Lubricant / Motor Lube (S2129) is getting really hard to find, especially here in Canada. This has been my experience as a consumer as well. Walmart used to carry it, but no longer. I believe that it may have been at Fabricland at one point. Also, no longer. With the loss of the Singer store in Edmonton, there were no longer any options I was aware of in my area. Continue reading Greased Lightning – Singer motor lube in Canada
You may have noticed in the previous post about tension that we didn’t even test sew the machine.
Yet. We will test sew it, but not just yet. You see what I’m trying to do is get the machine to a point where it’s in the ballpark first, then the rest is just small tweaks. The goal is to help you rule out the big problems, the ones that require repair, or in drastic situations, possibly a trip to the sewing machine spa.
Consider this statement:
Tension too tight on the top can also be tension too loose on the bottom.
Top Tension too tight does not automatically mean bottom tension is too loose.
Tension too loose on the top can also be tension too tight on the bottom.
Top Tension too loose does not automatically mean bottom tension is too tight. Continue reading Bobbin’ Along – bobbin tension
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)