Question about Singer Featherweight II 117

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Singer 221-1 stitching is good on bottom but not on top

My bottom stitch is okay but top stitch puckers. I have tried adjusting the tension on top but stitch in still the same. Peggy

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  • merryann108 May 11, 2010

    puckers as in too tight or loose??

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Pucker is caused by too loose or, to tight adjustment of: the thread tensioners both the bobbin tensioner and, the needle tensioner need to be adjusted: to adjust the needle tensioner turn the side knob clockwise is tighter counterclockwise loosens; the bobbin tensioner is a tiny screw on the bobbin holder adjust both tensioners until your stich loops' both top and, bottom are tight but, the machine does not break the thread

Posted on Apr 29, 2009

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How to adjust the bobbin tension.


According to the manual, you should not need to adjust the bobbin tension (and I located other sites which stated the bobbin tension cannot be adjusted on this machine). Apparently, all the tension adjustment is accomplished through the upper thread::
"EN Thread Tension Upper thread tension Basic thread tension setting: "4". (1) To increase the tension, turn the dial to the next number up. To reduce the tension, turn the dial to the next number down. A. Normal thread tension for straight stitch sewing. B. Thread tension too loose for straight stitch sewing. Turn dial to higher number. C. Thread tension too tight for straight stitch sewing. Turn dial to lower number. D. Normal thread tension for zig zag and decorative sewing. Correct thread tension is when a small amount of the upper thread appears on the bottom side of fabric. Lower thread tension The bobbin tension has been set correctly at the factory, so you do not need to adjust it. Please note: - Proper tension setting is important for strong seams. - There is no single tension setting appropriate for all stitch functions, thread or fabric. - A balanced tension (identical stitches both top and bottom) is usually only desirable for straight stitch construction sewing. - 90% of all sewing will be between "3" and "5". - For zig zag and decorative sewing stitch functions, thread tension should generally be less than for straight stitch sewing. - For all decorative sewing you will always obtain a nicer stitch and less fabric puckering when the upper thread appears on the bottom side of your fabric. 1 A B C 22 D"

Doing further research, I found this statement on a machine review site:
"After reading reviews online from where I've bought my drop-in bobbin machines, I think many of the negative reviews are due to the bobbin thread coming up without laying across the bobbin. It can cause the stitches to look very sloppy and no amount of tension adjusting can fix the stitches."

There are several machine review sites wherein 4423 owners stated their disappointment in the 4423's performance. Some said the machine failed almost immediately and others said the machines developed problems when sewing heavy fabric.

Apr 26, 2015 | Singer 4423 Sewing Machine

1 Answer

Loose bottom stitches on Singer 1507


top tension must be adjusted to fix loose stitches of bottom stitches
adust the top tension one letter or number higher and sew on a scrap
piece of fabric till stitches look correct,, here is a free manual
http://www.singerco.com/uploads/download/36952a1312a6d8436174ef874f3662471a946b64.pdf

Jan 06, 2013 | Singer 1507

1 Answer

My top stitch is okay, however the stitiching on the bottom is wiggly, more like a zigzag stitch then a striaght stitch. Why?


try changing the needle--flat side to the back of machine
try adjusting the tension one number up--if it doesn't help put the tension back where it is
check to make sure the bobbin is in correctly
also check to make sure the bobbin is wound correctly
it's also possible that the machine is out of time which means a sewing machine repair shop would have to refix the timing of the machine, because they have the tools for the job

Jan 31, 2012 | Singer 7426 Mechanical Sewing Machine

2 Answers

I have a Singer


Which stitch are you using?

To check thread tension for straight stitches, use different colors of thread in your top thread and bobbin. If the top thread shows on the bottom of the fabric, turn the dial counter-clockwise (towards a lower number). If the bottom thread shows on the top, turn the dial clockwise. Do not adjust the tension too much (for example, go from 2 to 2.5 if increasing the tension) at a time; test another set of stitches. Alternatively, you can adjust the bobbin tension in the reverse directions. However, it's very easy to damage the set screw in the bobbin case so do this as a last resort. Since this is a vertical bobbin case, put the bobbin in and hold onto the thread. If the thread moves when you dangle the bobbin case, tighten the screw. Loosen the screw if the thread doesn't pull out of the bobbin when you hold the unit.

For zig-zag decorative stitches lower the tension until the puckering stops. Usually the top thread will show on the bottom of the fabric.

If the tension is not changing when you turn the dial, make sure that the presser foot is down. The sewing machine may need repair. The tension mechanism depends on a spring and that can break. See the Singer site for a parts breakdown and contact your Singer dealer for the parts.

If the top and bottom fabric are not moving at the same rate, you can get a different type of puckering. You may want to get an even feed foot if there are several layers of fabric.

The manual for the 3116 is available from Singer: http://www.singerco.com/uploads/download/438_3116.pdf .

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells

Dec 08, 2011 | Singer 3116 Simple

1 Answer

The bottom stitch is very loose. I've tried tightening and loosening the screw and the problem remains...HELP!


The bottom stitch is affected by the TOP thread tension :) First go back and make sure your bobbin tension is correct since you adjusted it. It should drop slightly when held suspended by danging it by the thread. If it reels out to the floor it is too loose. If it doesn't drop at all it is too tight.

Now that you have that adjusted look at your top tension. If it is loopy on the bottom side of the stitch the TOP tension is too loose. Increase the top tension.

Now take some scrap material and set machine to a wide zig zag, medium length stitch and sew a bit. Compare the top and the bottom sides of the stitch. They should look identical. Remember the TOP side effects the bottom and the BOTTOM tension effects the top side. Adjust accordingly until they look identical with no loose threads or loops and no puckering (puckering means it's too tight).

May 03, 2011 | Brother LX3125 Sewing Machine

1 Answer

I have a 1970's? singer and the top stitch is ok but the bottom stitch is very loose then binds up I have tried putting another bobbin in but nothing seems to work. Thank you


Check the threading and tension on the top thread. It is the one that affects the stitch on the bottom. It may be hung up somewhere if it's not threaded correctly or the tension might be too tight. Also double check the size of your needle and make sure it is correct for the type of fabric. Most likely it is the tension. Double check the tension by sewing a wide zig zag stitch and examining the top and under side to see if they look identical and not puckered or too loose.

Mar 28, 2011 | Singer Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Have a CG 500......the stitches pucker.. I have adjusted .the tension..but the only way to prevent this is to put the tension on 0............then this does not make good stitch.HELP


Try rethreading the top thread thru the tensioner. Make sure the presser foot is in the up position during threading, and as you go thru the tensioner you may need to pull the thread back and forth lightly to help it settle in the tension discs.

Also check the type of bobbin being used. Drop in bobbin machines need bobbins with rounded sides (class 66).

Feb 18, 2011 | Singer CG550 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

I have recently bought Singer Quantum 9940 and I am not happy with the stitch. For zigzag stitch, I can see too much of the upper thread on the bottom side. This happens unequally: more on the right hand...


1. Make sure your needle is correct for the fabric. Go buy some good needles in several sizes. You'll need a 90 for jeans, rounded points for fine fabrics... get a few sizes. Your manual should provided you with clues to the right needle for the fabrics. (BTW... there really is no such thing as a Universal Needle... toss it.)

2. Re-read your manual and carefully follow the instructions on threading the bobbin and the upper thread...

3. Check your tension on the upper thread... it is too loose for the application. The tension on the bottom thread is handled by a spring on your bobbin case or race. If you do not have that threaded properly you'll have problems. Same with the direction the bobbin turns... have in it backwards... problems.

Barring all these things... It might be time for a qualified Singer repair person to look at it. Sadly Singer has seriously lowered it's standards in the last 20 years.

Feb 05, 2011 | Singer Quantum 9940 Computerized Sewing...

1 Answer

Can't adjust the tension on old singer!


increase top thread tension slowly till u get similar stitches on both sides

Nov 03, 2009 | Singer Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Zig zag stitch


If your stitches do not look good on the top side you have a problem with the bottom thread. make sure you have the correct bottom tension: Is the thread under the bobbin tension plate and when you hold the bobbin and case lightly in your hand the tension should be set in a way that there is little resistance , yet still some, when you pull the thread. After you set your bobbin tension, you may have to adjust your top tension to balance. Also make sure the thread comes off of your bobbin the way your manual tells you, clock or counter clock wise.
Make sure your bobbin (plastic) is not sooooo old, buy a new one.

Jan 14, 2009 | Necchi 6011

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