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Thread: ???????????sewing machine not stitching????????????

  1. #1
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    ???????????sewing machine not stitching????????????

    Sewing machine not stitching

    Does it need a new needle? That is usually the quickest easiest cheapest fix. Change the needle... some times we hit pins or sometimes people pull the material through the machine and the needle bends. Sometimes needles get dull? When was the last time it was changed?
    Make sure the needle is in all the way Know how your needle needs to go into your machine, look at the last loop the thread needs to go through on the needle shaft. That will tell you which way the needle needs to be threaded and that side is where the grove of the needle goes. If you put your needle in backwards your thread will break... ask me how I know this...
    Try this first. Take apart the throat plate then try putting it all back together as seen in your owner's manual sometimes that helps a 301 or a Featherweight - maybe your 319, 221, 401, what ever has to go a certain way - so make it go the way the manual shows
    Make sure the plate hole lines up with the needle - nothing crooked...
    Is it a Slant-O-Matic - they have a spring loaded bobbin holder - Is it in right - check the manual - be sure it is in tight.
    (While you are in the bobbin area, clean out the lint and oil the machine - some times that can be the cause of your skipped stitches)
    here is one I found and it is well said http://sewing-machine-troubleshootin...-Stitches.html

    If it is a Singer 15 or a knock off made in Japan - a Japanese 15 clone - here is a video by Muv http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2tii...re=uploademail

    Look at your upper thread. Is it catching on the little notch on the spool? Turn it over and see if that helps...

    completely unthread and rethread the machine
    Is the thread in the tension in correct position between the disks?
    check to see if the bobbin thread is correctly threaded through the bobbin holder
    is the bobbin worn out? warped? the correct bobbin for the machine?
    Some times the wrong thread can be a problem. Or the wrong needle for the thread.

    Is the needle is the wrong length? size matters - a few of the vintage machines take a different from normal length needle and the machine won't work.
    Check the owner's manual and double check your needle size
    Check to see if you have the correct needle diameter for the fabric you are using. Smaller needle number for light weight fabric
    Larger needle number for heavy weight fabric.
    Does the needle size match your thread size?
    If the needle is put in backwards it won't work - the owner's manual should show how it goes
    Make sure the needle is threaded in the correct direction. - it usually goes through the groove side first
    The curve side of the needle goes toward the bobbin so the shuttle can pass and grab the thread
    Is the tension is too tight? too loose? (See your manual for that)

    If that doesn't work open up the throat plate and take off the feed dogs. It is easier to watch the thread and needle closely.
    Does the needle, thread and shuttle engage? If so it is not timing. If it engages but does not complete the cycle it may be a burr. Burrs happen. You can smooth up the burr with some emery cloth.
    You can feel a burr with your fingers. You can see a burr. You can take a piece of thread and 'floss' through there until it hangs up on the burr

    I had a machine buggered up and the thread kept breaking - the tension was full of lint and dried oil

    Do you have "help" When you aren't looking do kids/GKs mess with the machine?

    Muv & Fav have made a very good set of videos on cleaning up sewing machine, etc. Warning - you will NEED a cup of tea while you watch.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bidpJ...feature=relmfu

    Here is a very simplistic and rather generic cartoon of how some machines work: http://www.swiss-miss.com/2009/09/ho...ine-works.html

    If the hook misses the needle's eye it could be timing.
    I bought a machine that the needle hit the foot and broke every time. It plagued me for months trying to figure it out. Finally I swapped the needle bar for one from a donor machine. So it WAS a bent needle shaft. Judging by the lint in that machine someone sewed on really heavy material. It can bend your needle shaft. Just because the people selling a vintage machine say it can, doesn't mean your machine was intended to sew on that heavy stuff all the time. It may be they pulled that heavy fabric or that the fabric was so heavy it pulled when it got enough weight on there.

    I sent my Singer 401 out of timing by putting a Necchi foot on it - the Necchi foot was a high shank foot and the 401 a slant shank foot - When I dropped the foot down the needle bar sipped and it went out of timing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE2um...eature=related
    utube video on timing - there are more just search sewing machine timing - utube


    Cathy wrote some timing instructions recently on the vintage sewing machine shop
    it can be hard to find so I copied her words here: This is post #31859 and #31861

    "Most sewing machine problems are due to the carbon based unit in the chair in front of the machine"

    The needlebar movement is usually measured at the bushing just where the bar enters and exits the head. The best way is with a gauge until experience allows you to eyeball it.
    Many Singers (ie 401, 500 and others of that era) and sometimes other brands have two timing marks (score lines) on the needlebar. On these you lower the needlebar to it’s lowest point (DBC) the upper timing mark will just be at the bottom of the bushing. Then raise the needlebar until the lower timing mark is in the position that the upper mark was at before moving. This movement was .093”.

    You said that the machine is stitching with its new needle. Leave it, after all this is your goal. The .093” measurement is an old industry standard. The factory and techs in the field learn that you sometimes have to fudge this due to casting and machining variances.
    Use the .093” as a starting point.

    The Japanese 15 machines with the bobbincasse/ hook facing the left usually have the timing pin set. If this has been changed it is very evident. The pin will have been punched or drilled out and the hole threaded for the set screw and usually another hole will be drilled and tapped for the second set screw.. So unless there is a set screw or two at the timing point, I doubt that the timing has changed. It probably has always been just barely off of the standard .093”.
    Hope I helped.
    Cathy

    I was referring to the Japanese class 15 machines that Joe is in working on. The Singer 301 is a completely different animal. The timing and hook clearance on the 301 is adjusted by loosening two set screws and moving the hook. The 301 does get out of adjustment.

    Candace,

    Timing by definition is most anything that affects the stitching. Things like the timing of the hook to the needle, the distance of the hook to the needle, the needlebar height, the movement of the fabric by the feeddogs in relationship to the movement of the needle.
    I think possibly at times we all are talking about different things. I was talking to Joe about needle to hook timing (which in the case of some machines is not adjustable) and needlebar height (which is usually adjustable).

    I have certainly had to time machines. If you servey old time sewing machine repairmen they will tell you that
    hook timing is very seldom off. All of the other things I listed should be considered first. And also always consider that a bad/ bent/ dull needle is to blame.

    Cathy


    Before you dig into timing your machine, look up Cathy on the Vintage Sewing Machine Shop and see what she can tell you specific for your machine.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  2. #2
    Super Member kitsykeel's Avatar
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    Wow Miriam,

    You are a wealth of knowledge. I have bookmarked this thread for future reference. Thanks for sharing all you know about our beloved machines.

    Kitsy
    Kitsy

  3. #3
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Thanks Miriam. I am sending this info to my DD who is having problems with skipped stitches while sewing on her Singer 15.
    Sweet Caroline

  4. #4
    Super Member Psychomomquilter's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    wow! where was this info last week, amd everything mentioned, I did check, I didn't have my needle up far enough. the thread wasn't going through the top where it was supposed to go, and missing stitches.how cool, I am going to keep this when then next time it happens to me., I know what to do I got so frustrated, I had to stop. so back into the sewing room today and fix the problem.... thanks for the info!
    Last edited by Psychomomquilter; 03-12-2012 at 03:32 AM. Reason: mis spelled words
    The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want..... for anything

  5. #5
    Senior Member Whigrose's Avatar
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    Miriam,
    Thanks for putting together this great resource.

    best,
    d
    My best is the least I can do.
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  6. #6
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    Excellent! Would be super to print out and laminate and keep under machine for quick reference, thank you for sharing.

  7. #7
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Ok - I'm just bumping this up - maybe give it another go round.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  8. #8
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    This would be a good sticky. Lots of info here.

    Joe

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Joe there is a LOT of info on this whole board that would make good sticky info.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  10. #10
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Ain't that the truth!!! If it was organized better it would be a god send.

    Joe

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