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Sews only zigzag stitches, not a straight stitch why does this happen?

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  • Sewing Machines Master
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Please provide the make and model machine.

Posted on May 21, 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

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


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.

May 05, 2017 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

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


YES. ALL SEWING MACHINES DO STRAIGHT STITCH. EVEN IF YOU WOULD SET THE STITCH SELECTOR TO A ZIGZAG YOU COULD STILL SEW STRAIGHT STITCH BY SETTING THE WIDTH TO ZERO. OTHERWISE YOU COULD JUST USE THE STRAIGHT STITCH CHOICE.

Mar 22, 2015 | Brother Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Stitch width knob


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.

Feb 11, 2014 | Elna Sewing Machines

1 Answer

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

Aug 25, 2013 | Sew D'Lite 11401 Mechanical Sewing Machine

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
machine shop to see what's wrong with the cam's or gear
that makes the stitches

Aug 01, 2012 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Kenmore 2142 sewing machine won't zigzag.


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

Nov 05, 2009 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

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