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are you working a pattern or is it a straight stitch like garter or stockinette?
I would make a stitch gauge sample with the smaller needles to see how many stitches per inch.
Figure out how many stitches you will need to match the width of the current piece.
Take that number and subtract the number of stitches you currently have with the size 13 needles. (new stitch count - original stitch count = difference)
Divide the original number of stitches by the difference.
that is how many stitches I would do between increases
Let me use an example:
Say your original work had 75 stitches
From the gauge sample you know you need 100 stitches to make the same width
Now divide 75 by 25=3
Ffter every third stitch, I would put in an increase
that way the increases should work evenly across your piece.
This will be more challenging if you are working a pattern but the goal is to work the increases in as evenly as possible with as little impact as possible on the pattern being knitted. That might mean doing 2 increases every 6 stitches because it fits the pattern better.
Have you installed the stitch selector pattern module for the patterns you want, seated it properly as outlined on page 52 of the instruction book following all 7 steps? (Page 54 identifies the knobs and lever's that need to be moved to successfully install the pattern module)
If that is done correctly, then selecting a stitch is done with the stitch selector lever being moved under the letter corresponding to the stitch you are trying to select. (Shown beginning page 55) You also need to move the stitch length knob as indicated.
You will need to be sure you are following the instructions very carefully as there are a number of settings that need to be made to ensure you get the stitch you are trying to achieve.
Although you have selected a zigzag have you also set the stitch width and length manually as required? Some stitch types have restrictions on the width you can set so it's important to know which these are.If you don't have the instruction book it is available as a free download from Janome. Go to www.janome.com, click on the Machines tab then choose 'retired' and scroll down until you find the 6125QC - the link to the user guide is in the top right corner of the specifications tab.
Are you maybe stuck between two different stitch patterns? Check your manual for troubleshooting. If, you don't have your manual go to brother-usa.com and download one for free. They also have a frequently asked questions there. 1-800-276-8437 is their customer service help number.
It does not matter what pattern you select, if you have the stitch width dial on 0 or set on straight stitch then that is all it will do, to do patterns you need a close stitch length about 2 or if it is not numbered get the stitches close to suit yourself and the stitch width on the widest number.
Are you certain that the pattern selector is set for straight stitch and not buttonhole?
Turn the handwheel so that the needle is up and the take-up lever is in it's highest position. Then turn the pattern selector knob through all of the patterns back and forth a few times. Finally, select straight stitch and see if the length works. If not, need to take it to a repair person to determine the course of action.
If it was sewing correctly BEFORE the needle break...why did the needle break in the first place?...and what fixes did you make?
If it sewed properly...what changed?
Cut your upper thread close to the spool...make sure the presser foot is raised and pull the cut off thread section through/out of the machine from the needle area (sewing direction...do not pull the thread backwards!)
Clean out the bobbin area...remove any traces of lint or pieces of thread...look for any broken off needle pieces... brush the bobbin area out....then add a drop of sewing machine oil (but only if your manual says to oil that area).
Remove the needle plate to expose the feed dogs...brush/clean out that area too and add a drop of sewing machine oil...then secure the needle plate back on.
Replace the needle...do it again...yup...some needles arrive bad from the factory. Make sure the needle is inserted and positioned properly. Then thread the machine WITH the presser foot in raised position. (The thread needs to get seated into the upper tensions.)
..with the.presser foot down...thread the new needle.
Oh...and use the correct needle for the thread. (a universal 80/12 is standard).
Thread can cause issues too. Try a different bobbin, or maybe a different spool of thread to see if that makes a difference.
I do not have a buttonhole foot, but I can tell you how I do it with the zigzag foot on the Singer 132Q machine.
1. Mark the spacing and size for the buttonholes with chalk or marking paper. This consists of a straight line with a perpendicular line at the top and bottom that lets you know how big to make the hole. There is probably a pattern piece to let you know what the spacing should be, and you can get the size of the hole for the top and bottom line by laying the button you are going to use on top of the line you draw with the pattern.
2. Make sure the bobbin has plenty of thread.
3. Put the zigzag foot on the machine.
4. Set the stitch size to 1 or maybe a little less. You want a tight stitch to hold the hole together.
5. Start at the top of the buttonhole with the perpendicular line barely visible in the zigzag foot. Think of it as placing the "T" made by the mark in the "T" made by the opening in the zigzag foot.
6. Set the needle pattern to #1 of the buttonhole pattern (2nd from the top). Make sure it is toward the top of the number to insure you get a wide zigzag stitch. If you are getting a narrow stitch, you may have to fiddle with it, but it will work. Stitch 4-6 times making sure the stitch is wide, and end on the left side of the stitch.
7. Change the needle pattern to #2 of the buttonhole pattern and zigzag stitch down to the bottom mark. Do not pull the fabric or you will stretch the stitch. Make sure your last stitch is on the left hand side.
8. Change the needle pattern to #3 of the buttonhole pattern (same as #1), and zigzag stitch 4-6 times ending on the right side this time. Make sure the stitches are wide.
9. Change the needle pattern to #4 of the buttonhole pattern and straight stitch back to the top mark. Be prepared to hand roll the needle the last few stitches to make sure you do not pass the top stitches you have made.
10. Change the needle pattern to #5 of the buttonhole pattern and zigzag stitch back to the bottom mark. Hand roll the last few stitches and end on the left side.
11. Raise the foot and remove the fabric. You are now ready proceed to the next buttonhole or cut the buttonhole open with a small pair of scissors or a seam ripper. Make sure you do not cut any of your stitches.
Make sure you practice on some scrap fabric of the same thickness (2 layers of fabric plus pellon) to make sure you have the size right before you sew the buttonholes on the garment.