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The stitches on bottom side are loopy. Do I change the tension by moving spool to higher or lower number on dial?

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Have you run a length of stitching with different color threads for the upper thread and the lower? Since the upper tension appears to be too loose, turn the tension knob to the right by 1/2 a number. This is a lower number (on my machine); so you'd go from 5 to 4.5. (It works just like most plumbing; turn right to tighten and left to loosen.) Then run another run of test stitching.

You may also need to check the lower tension but only as a last resort. There is a set screw that adjusts this; turn to the left to loosen and right to tighten (1/8 of a turn at a time). On one of the machines I have used, the bobbin case is easy to remove. For that machine, the test is to put the bobbin in the bobbin case and check what happens when you dangle the bobbin case by holding the thread. The thread should move when pulled but shouldn't pull more thread out of the bobbin when the bobbin case is dangling.

My sewing machine manual explains this adequately. However, I found better pictures in a volume called the Singer Sewing Book. Similar pictures are available here: http://www.ca.uky.edu/HES/fcs/FACTSHTS/CT-MMB-213.pdf . This is from an Extension Service site.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells

Posted on Mar 22, 2011

  • Cindy Wells Mar 22, 2011

    Whoops, I turn the dial to the right and the value at the dot increases so I go from 4 to 4.5. (I'd quickly looked over at my machine and forgot to check where the dot was relative to the digits.)

    Also rethread your machine to make sure the top thread is being properly held at the various pressure points.

    I hope this helps. I do apologize for my initial error.

    Cindy Wells

  • Cindy Wells Mar 22, 2011

    For a vertical tension knob, imagine turning your head and hand to your right so that the right/left directions hold. (The numbers are increasing as the knob is turned downwards.)

    Cindy Wells
    (My household has several machines, two completely mechanical, one computerized with mechanical tensions and one completely computerized. I usually hit the manual for each machine and we keep the manuals in the cases.)

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Are you stretching the material you're hand embordering with a hoop?

The dog feed needs to be totally down and if your machine has an adjustment the tension on the foot should be lessened too. (not all machines allow for that adjustment).

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I haven't sewn in years. A sewing machine has a tension control on top and on the bobbin. If the intersection of the top and bottom threads is not in the middle of the sewn material, you have to adjust your tension.
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