Question about Sewing Machines
I ordered a new manual for my machine from Singer.com but I am in the middle of making a quilt now and I really needhelp with the tension. The top stitch looks normal but the bottom is loose. Can u please help?
Posted by Anonymous on
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
Welcome to FixYa!
Loose bottom stitches come from the top, not the bottom. Seems weird, but that's the way sewing machines work.
The dial tension should be set at the mid range and make absolutely sure that you have the machine threaded correctly. Both things will cause a sloppy bottom stitch.
If you find my solution helpful, I'd appreciate a FixYa rating....
Posted on Feb 01, 2009
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
Please TRY the solution BEFORE giving your considered rating.
Specific detail on bobbin case adjustment (with picture) near halfway down reply, the remainder will help you achieve a balance of top and bottom tensions.
Ensure that all is clean and free of lint and jams, this is the most likely cause....now for tension troubleshooting .......
This solution is for tension problems...if you cannot form any sort of stitch, the issue is quite different, so please let me know if you need a different problem solved.....
It is quite long, but just work through each section in order.
The "knotting up" can reveal a lot. If you have loose threads on one side or the other, the tension on the opposite side will be the culprit.
QUICK SUMMARY FIRST:
Ensure sharp new needle,
Thread guides and Bobbin are Clean & Clear of lint
Set Top Tesion to 4 ....then....
Balance Bobbin to suit.
TOP THREAD TENSION:
If the looping threads are on the underside as you sew, it is the top tension. Top tension ought to be between 4 & 6 (this variation to allow for the different weights of fabric in your projects).
IS YOUR NEEDLE SHARP ?
If you are using a needle that has seen quite a deal of work, or you suspect it may be blunt, change it for a new one !
TOP TENSION & GUIDES:
Make sure that when you thread the machine the presser foot is up so the thread goes between the discs and not to one side, top tension between 4 and 6, and that you have threaded through all the guides, including the last one, usually on the needle arm, just above the needle clamp.
It may be there is lint trapped between the discs, this will keep them slightly apart and reduce the actual tension, sometimes dramatically.
If tensions appear correct, and the thread is definitely in the channel between the discs, but still too loose and looping, try raising presser foot and remove your thread.
Now, with a 2" (50mm) wide strip piece of fabric 8 - 10" (20 - 25cm) moistened with methylated or denatured spirit, gently insert the fabric strip and clean between the discs with a see saw / to and fro action.
In the worst cases, gentle use of a needle to pick & remove the jam may be necessary, but be very gentle and make sure the tension is set at Zero and the presser foot is raised, (to disengage tension plates).... do not gouge or score the plates, they need a polished surface to work correctly.
Far less common, but if the loose threads are on the top, it is bobbin tension that is loose, it too may have lint in the spring and be giving a "false" tension.
I would not recommend fiddling with bobbin tension without good reason, it may end up with missing small screws and spring pieces, however, you can take the needle plate off to clean
the hook race area (where bobbin case sits)
...this is just good housekeeping, my wife does this every time she replaces the bobbin....
just take it out and clean the bobbin case and the fixed metal hook race with a small brush to remove lint. If there is a significant amount of lint, use a vacuum and small brush to get the worst.
Then wipe all this area with a cloth or cotton bud (Q tip) moistened (not soaked) with methylated spirit, especially if there appears to be fine dirty deposits....oil and lint combine to conspire against you.
If it seems likely that you ......really ....do .....actually .....need .....to adjust the bobbin case, first check there is no lint trapped in the metal spring where the thread is tensioned.
Drop-in Bobbin case will look similar to this image with the tension screw in the middle of the metalwork....
...the other screw at one end is holding it all together, so beware....it is not a tragedy to undo the whole lot and clean it, but very gingerly and lay the bits out in sequence and orientation, or you risk tearing your hair out !
....this is a bobbin case from a front loading machine and works in a very similar fashion to the top loader with drop in bobbin, again, if you dismantle it, take care so you can put it all
GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT:
When you are certain there's no trapped lint in top tension or bobbin, set the top tension to 4 and the bobbin tension to a point where you just begin to feel resistance.
Try using good quality thread of contrasting colours so you can more easily spot the changes.
Set your zigzag to one width less than maximum (eg. 5 of 6 ...or... 4 of 5 etc) and sew a sample for a few inches and check the result.... adjust the bobbin tension screw very little at
a time, perhaps 1/16 of a turn.
You may find you are playing with this balance for some little while and if you are putting the needleplate on and off each time begin to think it cannot be correct to do this.....BUT....it is,
and eventually, you do get a "feel" for the correct tension and then it happens quite quickly.....as a user you won't be doing it very often unless there is lint built up (or are there small hands at work around the house !?!?!)
If you live near the ocean as we do, salt air can play havoc with metalwork inside and out, so to help minimise this, keep a few small packets of dessicant (silica gel) in your machine
case....no case ? then make some sort of cover !
Same applies in any damp or humid environment, keep your machine dry and dust free.
Budget for a proper full service every couple of years (more often if heavily used) and if you don't use your machine for a few years, be aware that old oil will dry out and combining with
dust and form a "clag" like glue (another reason for some sort of cover, even a teatowel !)
FINALLY, A WORD ON THREAD:
If it is worth spending the time, energy and money on making something that you would like to give lasting enjoyment......use quality thread, .......it may seem to cost a little more at the
time, but the results, ease of use and added longevity will be worth the extra, and as a bonus, your tension troubles may be fewer and further between, because there is a more consistent diameter with good thread, and less compensating to be done by your tension plates and less thread breaks
Posted on Sep 02, 2009
SOURCE: I have a 1409 Singer
Please apply the below recommendation to solve the problem of your machine that loop up
When customers bring their sewing machine in for repair at my shop, a frequent complaint I hear is the thread bunches under the fabric. This usually then leads to a jam of some sorts and the customer fiddling with the tensions and oiling everything in sight. The finished result is a machine that is jammed, tensions out of whack and a slippery machine.
Thread bunching can be a symptom of a few ills your sewing machine may have. Some ills are easily rectified and some others I would recommend you take the machine to your nearest sewing repair shop.
Usually, thread bunching under the fabric is a symptom of something wrong above the fabric. There is an inverse relationship between fabric and thread (top of fabric is bottom thread, bottom of fabric is top thread). Most people think thread bunching on the bottom is the bobbin/bottom thread. This is incorrect. We must look for problems starting at the needle and upwards.
Follow the checklist and instruction below to repair the thread bunching issue. If by the end of the steps the problem is not fixed you should bring it to a sewing repair shop.
THREAD MACHINE - This first and easiest thing to do is to re-thread the entire machine. Pay special attention to the take-up lever and the tension assembly.
Always have the presser foot in the UP position when threading the machine. This opens the tension disc to allow the thread to nestle inside the assembly.
Make sure the thread passes through the take up lever
Make sure you inserted the thread in every thread guide
NEEDLE - I always recommend a sharp needle. You may not notice any slight bends, burrs or dullness in the needle which would throw off the timing and the stitch quality.
SPOOL CAP - If you have a horizontal spool pin a spool cap is very important. Its also very important the spool cap covers the end of the spool of thread but make sure its not too big or it will throw off the thread tension.
TOP TENSION DIAL - The setting should be between 3 and 5 on most machines.
Make sure thread is in-between the tension discs. On some machines you can visually see the discs. On newer machines it is hidden.
The best way to know if you threaded the tension assembly correctly is to put the presser foot in the DOWN position. Now take the thread from the right of the tension assembly and pull. Is there tension on the thread or does it pull out very easily? If it pulls out easily you threaded it incorrectly. Try it again -- see step one.
FEED DOGS - Be sure the feed dogs are moving and feeding the fabric evenly. Turn the hand-wheel towards you a few times. Can you see the feed dogs moving up and down? Feed dogs are located on the needle plate.
If the feed dogs are not moving
Some machines have a lever to engage and disengage the feed dogs; make sure they are engaged.
If they still are not moving then you may a broken gear.
Now you can test your sewing machine. Set the machine to the widest zig-zag and the longest stitch length. Put a test cloth (one fold in the fabric) under the presser foot and give a go for about 20 or 30 stitches. Did it jam? Is there bunching? I hope not!
Now check the stitch quality. Look at the stitches on the test cloth. Is the thread knot visible on either side of the fabric? The knot should be invisible. This means the knot is nestled between the layers of the fabric and you cannot see it. This is a good indicator of a good stitch.
If you can see the knot, then your tensions are out of balance and they need to be adjusted. All sewing machines have a top tension and a bottom tension. Both tensions must be in balance to have a good stitch quality. It takes quite a bit of experience to balance tensions correctly. I do not recommend doing it yourself.
If you have any questions please feel free to leave me a comment.
Good luck and thanks for using fixya.
Posted on Jan 14, 2011
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