Re: How do you thread the machine, top and bottom,...
From the Simplicity Sew Precious Model SWSP2 manual:
Inserting a new bobbin:
Place wound bobbin into the bobbin case.
Pull about 6 inches of thread out from the bobbin.
NOTE: Be sure that the bobbin rotates COUNTER-CLOCKWISE when thread is pulled.
Pass the thread from the bobbin, under the bobbin case spring, and toward the back of the machine.
Slide bobbin cover back into position.
Turn the handwheel toward you to raise the take-up lever to its highest position.
Lower the presser foot.
Place a spool of thread and spool cap on the spool pin.
Place the thread into the first thread guide at the top of the machine.
Bring the thread down the right slot of the threading path, then around the tension dial. Push the thread tension release lever and pull the thread up so the thread is secure in the thread tension dial.
Bring the thread up the left slot of the threading path and through the take-up lever from right to left.
Bring the thread back down the left slot of the threading path and into the needle eye from front to back. (Clip the thread end with sharp scissors fro easier needle threading.)
Raising the bobbin thread
Make sure the presser foot lever is raised.
Hold the end of the needle thread with your left hand. Turn the hand wheel toward you with your right hand until the needle goes down once and comes back up, stopping when the needle is at its highest position.
Gently pull up on the needle thread. The bobbin thread, looped around the needle thread, will be drawn up through the needle hole.
Push the thread tension release lever and pull about six inches of both the upper and lower threads toward the back of the machine, placing them under the presser foot.
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Before you get a sewing machine for $25 at a garage sale, make sure it truly sews.
You will need to bring thread, scrap material, and a pair of scissors. (I bring a couple types of pre-wound bobbins and a needle.) First, does it have all the parts? Bobbin case, bobbin, cord, foot pedal? Are the cords frayed, or the plugs broken? Will the owner let you plug it in? Are you able to thread it and wind the bobbin? Does it make a stitch in the straight stitch AND zig zag modes? If any of these are no, walk away. Use that $25 to save towards a quality new machine, or wait for another garage sale.
I can definitely help you with the owners manual. Go to http://parts.singerco.com/IPinstManuals/457A_105_125_135_143A.pdf and you can download it direct from singer, no viruses, nothing. Just save it in Adobe format.
The bobbin thread problem is called a birds' nest and can be from a number of problems. First thing to do is to change your needle, especially if it was the one you bought the machine with. It may look perfectly straight to the naked eye. But it only needs to be a little bent to cause a problem. If this doesn't clear the problem up, make sure you're using a new bobbin, freshly wound. If the bobbin isn't wound properly or is an old bobbin that's slightly bent or not quite round, it'll cause problems, too. Finally, the machine may need a new bobbin casing. Do a google search for Singer sewing machine parts and search for a bobbin casing for a model 457. You'll remove the plate from the top of the machine CAREFULLY (the screws are small, so be careful not to lose them!). Take pictures if you need to with your cell phone so you can see what to do when you need to put the new casing in. Bobbin casings are usually $25-30. This is the last thing, and I would only do this if you see that thread is catching on something in the bobbin area when you're moving the wheel by hand.
I've tried to be clear on the last bit, but I realize it can be a little awkward. If you need any other help with that, please leave me a comment back. It goes straight to my email, so I'll see it quick and will get back to you right away. The manual doesn't help a lot with your bobbin problem, so I'll do whatever I can to help you through it and get you sewing. Good for you for finding a great garage sale find!
Go to www.singerco.com and under support you will see that you can download your manual for free. Save it to your computer, and enlarge the diagams for easy viewing. Then look under frequently asked questions and you will get some really good tips. Their site is a very good one. Good luck
Do you mean it wont pick up the bobbin thread? You need to get into the user's manual on removing the bobbin shuttle that the bobbin holder clips into (actually pretty easy, I clean ours yearly especially if fuzzy material like velour is sewn) and brush the fixed area out that the bobbin shuttle floats in then reassemble and test. Also remove the throat plate/needle plate and you'll find that fuzz/lint gets between the plat and the feed dogs keeping the dogs from coming up fully.
Also if thread breaks one thing to look for if you've had needles break is a burr around the oval opening in the plate where the needle goes into it. Small Swiss file takes care of the burr and no more burr to break/cut the threads.
On rare occasions you may find the actual bobbin carrier (the one that holds the bobbin and is clipped into the machine) gets worn and wont stay clipped into the shuttle that holds it. Replacing the bobbin carrier is needed then. A1 Sewing on the net carries parts for the #1, #1+ etc.