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Not sure what you mean by "tacking" stitch. Are the stitches exceedingly long like a basting stitch? That would need a stitch length adjustment so stitches are closer together.
Or, do you mean the tension is loose between stitches? You can try tightening the top tension to see if that helps. (Be sure to ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot when threading the top thread so the thread will seat completely in the tension disk or you may end up with lots of top thread showing under the fabric.) If the bobbin thread is too loose, you may need to adjust its tension.
the stitch length is set by the amount the foot pulls the material through
adjusting the needle thread tension is the main adjustment to ensure that both threads meet at the center of the materials being sewn
sergers the most frustrating machines. Every time you change fabrics you go through a tension adjusting phase.
First make sure you have threaded the machine in the proper order. upper looper, lower looper, then needles from right to left. Always thread any machine while the presser foot lever is in the UP position.
If you ever break a thread... you MUST pull all threads and rethread using the proper order.
Ok that's out of the way. Pull all your threads and get out several pieces of the same fabric scrap. Thread each pathway with a different color. This will help you determine which thread is giving you fits. Sew a test strip. Which thread is loose? tighten/loosen that tension. Keep doing this until you have a well balance seam. Then clip the colored threads starting with the upper looper thread, tie off to your proper color for your seam pull the thread through and up through the throat plate. proceed in this manner with lower looper, right needle, left needle. Sew a test seam.
Firstly check that you haven't got the thread ****** set for rolled hem, this is sometimes little lever on the sewing plate just in front of the foot. The stitch forms over this ****** for normal overlocking but it is retracted out of the way for rolled hemming. So if you've left it retracted, this will muck up the normal stitch.
Now for a four thread stitch, set all the tension dials to 5, after checking that all the threads are flowing freely from the spools to the tension dials and not catching anywhere. Ensure aerial is fully raised too. Stitch length on 2.5 and differential on 0. Test serge on a medium weight fabric and check the stitching.
Now adjust the cutting blade to fill out the stitch if you are getting looping off the edge. ie if it is looping off the edge move blade to the right a little bit so there is more fabric inside the seam.
And reverse if stitching is pulling up the fabric inside the stitching into a ridge, move blade left a little.
Test stitch again. Now if tension is still out, just adjust the looper tensions in very small increments to tighten up the stitches, only ever 1/2 a number movement on the dial each time and test to see what effect this has. Do top looper if it appears looser on top, lower looper if that one appears to be loose.
If the machine's tension dials have been calibrated correctly, then 5 on all should give you a half way decent stitch and you should be able to just finesse with the blade and minor adjustments on the top and bottom loopers. If you just can't get to this point at all, finger test the tension on the thread below each tension dial by pulling gently and see if they all feel like they are under the same tension, if one is way out then this dial may be faulting. Turn it to zero and see if you can clean it by "flossing" with a piece of clean waste cotton, then turn back to 5, rethread and try again. Sometimes they get a bit of thread or dust in there.
Bunching of thread is 99% a top tension problem.
sure you thread the top thread correctly. Thread the machine with the
presser lever up. Test the tension by lowering the presser lever
threading the eye of the needle, by pulling the
thread with your left hand and adjusting the tension with your right
hand while slowly pulling downwards. There should be no resistance when
the tension dial is on zero, and you should be able to feel more
resistance when you increase the tension. Ideal tension is between 3 and
5. When your top tension is correct, your machine should operate
correctly. If you feel no resistance with the presser foot down and the
tension dial on 5, check the tension disks for fluff or broken thread.
When you lift the presser foot, the tension disks should open and you
would be able to remove any cotton or fluff. Good Luck
Load your sewing machine with one color on top, threaded through the needle. Load the second color thread into the bobbin and thread.
Fold the scrap fabric in half, and sew a straight stitch at least 2 inches long. Look closely at the seam. If you see loops of the bottom color thread on top of the fabric, proceed to Step 3. If you see loops of the top color thread on the bottom of the fabric, proceed to step 4.
Loosen the top tension. Since the top tension is so tight, it is pulling the bottom thread up through the fabric. Loosen the top tension by turning the numbered knob on the front of the sewing machine counterclockwise by one number.
Tighten the top tension. Since the top tension is too loose, the bottom thread is pulling the top thread down through the fabric. Tighten the top tension by turning the numbered knob on the front of the sewing machine clockwise by one number.
Sew a straight stitch 3 inches in length. Check the stitching. It is perfect if the threads meet in the middle, and you can only see the top thread on top and the bottom thread on bottom. If it still needs adjusting, go back to step 2 to repeat the needed steps.
Using two different colored threads makes it easier for you to see which thread is being pulled.
Always use proper precautions when working with electrical machines.
Serger may have a threading diagram inside the front looper cover which should show the various thread eyelets that you need to pull the threads through and they may be numbered one to 4 also to indicate order of threading. The diagram is usually colour coded to match the tension dial colours and serger usually has colour dots on the different thread eyes to help you follow the thread path for each thread.
This video is great and hopefully will help you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zszJYQe2aws&feature=related, it has lay in tensions while yours has dials so just pull the thread around the dial right to left and then across to the next thread eye and this should pull the thread into tension. Dials are usually all set to 5 for normal stitch formation.
On my serger you thread up in the following order: top looper (second from right dial), bottom looper (right hand dial), then right needle, left needle; this video shows all threading going from right to left however, so if you have a numbered diagram inside your thread cover, then certainly use that order. But always loopers before needles.
Raise the thread aerial first before you start, put the cones onto the thread spools and if you have any cone holders (little plastic triangles) put them on the spools first to steady the cones. Now for each thread, take the thread tail from the cone, up through the aerial thread guide, then follow the coloured dots and take this down the front of the serger putting it into each coloured thread guide, through looper then up under the raised pressure foot. Repeat for next looper, then the needles.
Pull all 4 threads out under the foot to the left, lower foot, then chain off a little to start and test sew on fabric, adjusting the tensions if you need to.
Other adjustments are stitch length (usually a knob on right beside the flywheel numbered 1-4, blade position, a dial either left or right of the blade, press on the blade to release the tension on it before you try and move it. And differential feed, this is also a knob numbered 0.5 to 2 usually. If you can't see this on the right by flywheel then open up fabric plate (left cover) and look in there for these two adjustments.
I would suggest you start with tensions on 5, and stitch length of 2-3, and test sew on scraps of the fabric you wish to overlock. You can then either move the blade to cut wider or narrower to suit and adjust the two looper tensions if you need to close up the thread on the cut edge. There is no black and white settings as each fabric will behave a little differently, generally you adjust the looper tensions a bit until the stitch is encasing the cut edge and you have a seam width that suits the weight of the fabric.
Differential feed leave on zero unless you find you need it when a loose weave fabric goes wavy, then turn it down to close up the feeding. Sergers have two feed dogs, one before and after the foot and turning differential knob changes the ratio of feed between the two so either stretches the fabric, or pushes it together as it goes through the stitching sequence. So by turning differential feed up to 1.5 or 2 you are stretching the fabric and you can do a narrow rolled hem edge that is all fluted (lettuce edging).
I hope this helps you out a bit, if you are completely new to this machine and have never used a serger then I always suggest taking a class from a local dealer, it is really worth the money and time as they are quite different to sewing machines but once mastered, really change the dynamics of sewing and techniques are much more like commerical production with flat construction etc.
You may be able to still get that manual, check with your dealer. If not you can call Viking at: 1-800-474-6437 if it's out of print for a photo copy of the original owners manual.
To make a buttonhole do the following:
1. Turn the selector dial to the top position, That is the first step of the buttonhole.
2. Turn the stitch length dial (the bottom dial) to the picture of the buttonhole, it's between the 0 and the 1 on the dial.
3 Put on the "C" foot and put the tension dial, (the small dial just above and to the right of the needle) on 4.
4. On a test fabric, sew about an inch or so and stop. Turn the selector dial down one click and sew the bar tack of the buttonhole. Just do a few passes, don't build up alot of stitches here.
5. Turn the dial down another click to the 3rd step, the right side of the buttonhole and sew until you reach the place where you started the left column of the buttonhole and stop.
6. Turn the dial UPWARD one click to the bar tack position again and do another bar tack like you did at the top of the buttonhole. Don't build up alot of stitches here, about three passes does the trick.
7 Remove the fabric from the machine and when you cut the threads, leave a tail about 2 inches or so of the thread. From the back side of the buttonhole, pull gently on the thread and a loop from the front thread will appear on the backside. Pull the front thread to the rear and tie off the threads and then cut them close to the knot you tied and the buttonhole will not come apart.
What needs to be adjusted? First of all make sure you have it threaded correctly. There are a lot more holes and threading points than an household sewing machine. If it is the tension that needs adjustment you will see the tension dial just above the needle slightly to the left. It's the grey knob. Turn it clockwise to tighten the tension. Turn it counter clockwise to loosen it. Thread with two different colors of thread, one color in the bobbin, another color for the spool. Sew a line of stitching...if you see the top spool thread pulling to the underside then you will need to tighten the tension. If the bobbin thread is pulling to the top side then you will need to loosen the tension. If you want to adjust the stitch length then turn the dial that has numbers on it. #2 is pretty small stitches, I use #3 for most sewing and #4 and 5 for topstitching or basting. Good Luck! Hopes this helps.
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.