Question about Elna Sewing Machines

Open Question

How to unstick a stuck flywheel, AND how to stop straight stitch from gathering (all tension settings have been checked, and it should NOT be gathering)

Hi, I have an Elna SU that is not working properly since I changed the selector from straight stitch to a zigzag stitch. Now the straight stitch is gathering. And the flywheel is stuck so I cannot fill a bobbin...not sure if the gathering problem and the flywheel problem are connected or not, but thought I'd mention it! Thanks so much for any insight you can offer.

Posted by on


6 Suggested Answers

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

Hi there,
Save hours of searching online or wasting money on unnecessary repairs by talking to a 6YA Expert who can help you resolve this issue over the phone in a minute or two.

Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.

Here's a link to this great service

Good luck!

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 57 Answers

SOURCE: How do I change the stiches?

You can do all of these stitches by using different combinations of your stitch selector, stitch width and stitch feed knobs, for instance, on the panel I can see on your machine:

Stitches 1, 2 & 3 are straight stitches, centered, left and right. Really basic stuff, not different stitches at all. 4,5,6,7 & 8 are zig-zag stitches of different widths. 9 is the widest zig-zag (no. 8) on a finer stitch length, etc...

I think you should try and get an instruction manual for your machine. After a lengthy search of my usual manual sources, I've determined that that this may not be so easy. I think you should contact White on their 800 number and let them try and help you... 1-800-331-3164.

If you found this helpful, please vote generously as I receive nothing other than acknowledgement for my time.

Posted on Mar 08, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Elna SU missing stiches and breaking thread

it sounds like the needle hook timing is out. You need to get the needle in the lowest position and measure the gap from the needle to the hook point on the bobbin shuttle. It should be 1/4". You will need to remove the foot and foot plate to be able to see. I use a 1/4" drill bit as a gauge. If you need to adjust it, you will need to remove the free arm cover to the right of the foot and loosen the 2 allen head screws that hold the drive gear. Adjust the gap, tighten the screws and retry. Usually if the needle catches the thread to early, it will make a bad stitch and the upper thread will break. If it catches to late, it will make thread loops and the machine will skip stitches. Good luck, these are a good machine and worth fixing. Phil

Posted on Nov 13, 2008

  • 11 Answers

SOURCE: PFAFF 362 Sewing Machine: The shift

Remove the top cover (grasp and lift straight up), spray with "Tri-Flow, liberally inside. Pay attention to the right 1/2 and behind the front dials.

In Front, each dial has a small square opening on the side, use the tube included with the "Tri-flow" to squirt lube inside them. DO NOT use WD-40.

Run the machine daily for 5-10 minutes (set the dial "C" [top front that goes up to 8] to 0 also set the dial on top of the case to 0. Move the Zig-Zag lever (upper right) from 0 to 4 and back again. Respray with Tri-flow. After a couple of days, if it is still stuck place a hair-dryer or light nearby to warm it up to skin temp.

Between the temp and the oil, it should begin working.

Break a Leg!

Posted on Jan 08, 2010

  • 1238 Answers

SOURCE: I am experiencing tension issues.

Good day!

please try this simple tips:

Good day!

A sewing machine operator can often help themselves when their machine does not operate properly.
Here are some simple instructions, which if properly used can save time and mechanics service calls.
This could be trouble;================Do this;
1.Top tension to tight================loosen tension 1 turn
2.Machine improperly threaded=========check threading
3.Thread twisted on guide post========"
4.Thread twisted out of tension======="
5.Take up spring bent or broken=======Check action of spring
6.Thread jumped off pull off finger===Check threading
7.Needle bent or burred===============new needle
8.Bad cone of thread==================try another cone
1.Bobbin tensionspring to tight=======Loosen tension slightly
2.Bobbin threaded wrong===============check threading
3.Bobbin wound to tight or uneven=====try new bobbin
4.lint or thread on bobbin case=======clean inside case
5.Lint or thread inside hook==========clean inside hook
6.Bobbin case nicked bent or burred===check/change case
1.Needle bent or burred===============change
2.Needle set in crooked===============Check
3.Thread jumped off take up spring====check threading
4.Thread jumped off pull off finger===check threading
1.Forming loops on top of cloth=======Tighten bobbin tension
======================================or loosen top tension.
2.forming loops on bottom of cloth====Tighten top tension
3.Bobbin placed in case incorrectly===remove and replace
4.Bobbin thread slipped from under====check threading of
tension===============================bobbin case
5.Lint or thread in top tension=======clean between tension discs

Thank you and good luck.

Posted on Jun 08, 2011

SOURCE: why straight stitch will not work but zigzag and herringbone stitches work on my machine.

it sounds like the machine needs to be checked at a sewing
machine shop to see what's wrong with the cam's or gear
that makes the stitches

Posted on Aug 01, 2012

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

Kenmore 19050/19550, I can not figure the proper sequence of numbers to se up for a gathering stitch

All you need to do is set the machine to a straight stitch with the longest stitch length possible. One more thing that is helpful is to loosen the upper tension so you can pull the bobbin thread to gather.

May 13, 2017 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Straight stitching is pulling and gathering how can I fix this

there is a few things I know of that can cause this !

one is if supply thread tension is too great , this can be caused by spring tension knob misadjusted or broken

thread not routed properly

needle is bent ,

last but not least using some candle wax to lube base plate it sure helps to keep thigns from sticking

Oct 04, 2016 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Can you gather

You can always gather on a sewing machine, no matter its age or model.

Usually, I like to set the upper tension looser so the upper thread shows on the bottom of the fabric. Set the straight stitch length to very long. Stitch two lines of stitching about 1/4" apart on the fabric.

how to gather fabric

How to Gather basic sewing tutorial

How to Gather Fabric Sewing Machine


Apr 29, 2016 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

What to set the machine on for gathering

Set the stitch length to the maximum, ie 4 or higher depending on your machine. The other important thing is to loosen the upper tension as far as it will go, ie 0 or whatever. Sew with a straight stitch and sew two parallel lines of stitching about 1/2" to 1" apart.

There are other ways of gathering, but this is usually the first one taught.

Dec 24, 2015 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

My stitch is set on 4 for length and tension is on the red lines touching. Yet it is gathering instead of straight stitch. Why?

Your tension is most likely too tight. Loosen the upper tension and retest.

Re-thread from the beginning. Make sure the presser foot is RAISED before threading the upper thread. This insures the tension disks are released and the thread will seat properly.

The ideal tension is when the upper thread and the bobbin thread meet in the middle of the fabric, but there should not be any puckering. Tension disks can eventually come out of adjustment so the red lines on your stitch tension may no longer be accurate. The tension will also need to change depending on the needle, thread, and fabric of the current project. Upper tension is not static. It needs to be changed to fit the project and a sewist should become comfortable with adjusting the tension for successful sewing.


Nov 19, 2015 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Stitching wants to gather. Tried making stitches shorter and longer still gathers

Sounds like machine is not threaded correctly or need upper tension adjusted. These adjustments can be shown to you by a repair tech.
May have something stuck in Bobbin case tensioner?

San Diego, CA

Apr 19, 2014 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

How to do gathered stitches on j3-20 series

Gathering stitches is same on most makes and models, you just set up for a straight stitch but turn stitch length up to 4 and loosen off the top tension by one number, ie turn it down a little. Then sew two straight stitch seams where you want to gather, one at 10mm from raw edge and one at 20mm from raw edge, leaving long thread tails on both. Then draw up the bobbin (underside) thread to gather the fabric.

Jan 04, 2012 | Janome Sewing Machines

1 Answer

My Melody machine is gathering the fabric when stitching a straight stitch. I put a new needle in size 11 changed the type of thread and the stitch length is on 3 pressure on the foot is on 38, Please...

Your thread tension is too high. Also, since you are sewing light-weight fabric, you may want to add some tissue paper to the fabric sandwich to help give it more body and limit the gathering effect.

Understanding Thread Tension Threads

Feb 01, 2018 | Baby Lock Sewing Machines

1 Answer

I'm having trouble gathering matter how I adjust the stitch length it seems to be too tight and I break the threads when I try to gather. Help!

So you are sewing two rows of straight stitch at 10mm and 20mm from fabric edge with a stitch length of 4? Are you using good quality thread? I like Molynecke, Guttermann or Sylko Supreme.

Try loosening the top and bottom tension too, and use a gathering foot if you have one.

A quick solution is to zig-zag over a length of pearl cotton or similar heavy weight string/thread, this works well for large volumes of gathers such as around a bed valance frill.

For large volume gathering like cushions and bed frills, I use a pleater/ruffler attachment, however, this has only 3 settings so isn't a variable gathering effect.

Apr 04, 2011 | Necchi 3537 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

I have purchased a gathering foot. What do I have to have my machine on (stitch length etc.) to get good results? Thanks. Kath

You need to use a straight stitch set to about 6mm. You may also have to loosen the tension discs to mid range.

Dec 08, 2010 | Janome Memory Craft 4900QC Mechanical...

Not finding what you are looking for?
Sewing Machines Logo

Related Topics:

32 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Elna Sewing Machines Experts

Tally Girl
Tally Girl

Level 3 Expert

1133 Answers

Douglas Plant
Douglas Plant

Level 2 Expert

194 Answers

Donald DCruz
Donald DCruz

Level 3 Expert

17130 Answers

Are you an Elna Sewing Machine Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides