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My sewing machine only sews zigzag stitches never a straight stitch. Why?

I did put the stitch selector on the straight stitch. Still only sews zigzag.

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  • Sewing Machines Master
  • 10,698 Answers

We need to know the make & model machine.

If it is an older mechanical Kenmore, more than likely it is seizing due to old oil turning to glue inside the machine. Unfortunately, these old machines were made too well as the manufacturers never anticipated the machines would be around for 50 years. However, as mechanical machines they do need regular cleaning and oiling with a good quality oil, ie liquid Tri-Flow Synthetic Lube or "good quality" sewing machine oil.

Either the stitch width regulator is broken or stuck or the mechanism that drives the needle bar is stuck. With plenty of time, patience, elbow-grease & Tri-Flow, your sewing machine will probably be sewing like new.

I've used the following method to free up some great old mechanical machines and they operate like new again:

http://www.fixya.com/support/t25934410-wheel_right_side_controls_needle_up_down

Also, be sure to change the needle frequently, ie every 8-16 hours of use. Most sewing issues can be resolved with a new needle.

Posted on May 07, 2017

Testimonial: ""This is a Sears Kenmore - Model # 1255180 and Serial # 61004124 Thank you for any help you can offer. Very much appreciated."

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1 Answer

How to fix decorative stitches for sewing machine.


Make & Model??? Sounds like the stitch selector mechanism is stuck. If it's a mechanical machine, you can try oiling the mechanics of the stitch selector with Tri-Flow Synthetic Oil and then heat with hand-held hair dryer.

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CAn a brother lock 9290 sewing machine do just a straight stitch?


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What's the model? Do you have the stitch selector set on straight stitch, or on a stitch with a width component, like a blind hem stitch?
Some machines consider straight stitch to be a zigzag stitch of width=0, while others have separate settings for a straight stitch and a zigzag (or other) stitch.

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Babylock denim pro


I'm not sure what you've actually got, since your question mentions two different machines. Straight stitch is typically the default setting (the thing that comes up automatically) on computerized or electronic machines. On other machines, there may be an indicator for straight stitch (often stitch 0 or 1 if numbered), or it may be a zigzag stitch of width 0, length whatever.

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Can this machine do zigzags?


The Sew Dlite 11401 shown on Amazon here, http://www.amazon.com/DLite-Supreme-Portable-Sewing-Machine/dp/B0006BDG8Q , does not do zigzags. It only does straight stitches. There are similar models that have a stitch width lever. Those do zigzag stitches and straight stitch when in the zero width mode.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells

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1 Answer

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
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Aug 01, 2012 | Sewing Machines

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I have a globe 877 sewing machine but no manual and i can't figure out how to stop it zigzagging


The knob with dot and F & R should be set to the dot.
Thw slider should be at the white dot not the red dot. Red dot does forward only.
The rotary knob with WWW O === is the stitch selector.
This is the setting for straight and zigzag stitching

Stitch length control any number from 0.5 to 4
Stitch width control any number from 0 to 4
Special stitch modifier; Red dot
Buttonhole control; RED dot

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I don't have a manual for a Husqvarna 6440 and don't know how to switch from zigzag to straight stitch. Everything else seems to be sewing beautifully and it was on straight stitch when I first tried it. I...


You have 3 knobs/dials on the machine, the top left dials the stitch, the top right sets the length and the bottom right set your width. set it 0 for straight.

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Before you put the cam in did you make sure the machine was set on straight stitch and then select zig zag?

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1 Answer

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:

http://www.jo-ann.com/joann/product/images/52659.jsp?CATID=cat3122&PRODID=prd11333

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.

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