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Thread: Featherweight skipping stitches

  1. #1
    deema's Avatar
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    I'm piecing on my featherweight right now, and suddenly it's skipping stitches. It ONLY happens right after a seam. Skips 5-6 stitches, then sews just fine until I hit another seam. It didn't start skipping until I started piecing rows together, but it did fine piecing blocks into rows. The seams aren't any thicker piecing the rows than they were with the blocks.

    Here's what I have done to fix it:

    Completely re-threaded, top thread and bobbin, wound a new bobbin as well. Yes, I am threading the needle right to left.

    Cleaned and oiled everything, taking out the needle plate. Yes, the "finger" on the bobbin casing is in the right spot in the slot of the needle plate.

    Replaced the needle, and yes, it's put in correctly with the flat side to the left. It's a 90/14, if that makes a difference?

    I have increased and decreased the presser foot pressure.

    My tension appears to be perfect, you know, when it's not skipping.

    Any other ideas?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Super Member Scrap Happy's Avatar
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    deema, I got a FW in January and it took some time for me to get through every little quirk that I was doing. Here is a link that might help. Scroll down the page a little bit to find skipping stitches. Iím using a 70/10 needle and itís working fine. Have you changed thread? Hope this helps and I'm curious to hear what others have to tell you.

    http://singerfeatherweight221.blogsp...herweight.html

  3. #3
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    MY FW hates bottomline bobbin thread...lots of skipped stitches..try another kind of thread

  4. #4
    deema's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Happy
    deema, I got a FW in January and it took some time for me to get through every little quirk that I was doing. Here is a link that might help. Scroll down the page a little bit to find skipping stitches. Iím using a 70/10 needle and itís working fine. Have you changed thread? Hope this helps and I'm curious to hear what others have to tell you.

    http://singerfeatherweight221.blogsp...herweight.html
    Thank you for the link. I may try a bigger needle and see if that helps. Smaller number means bigger needle, right? So an 80/12 would be bigger than the 90/14...?

    I didn't change the thread between piecing blocks and piecing the rows. I started a new spool when I started piecing this top and it's still pretty full. This is the first time piecing a top with my FW (I've only had her for a few weeks), so it could be that she's just temperamental about thread. I might try a different kind, (Using Connecting Threads thread), but like I said, there were no problems at all until today and I've been using the same spool for the whole thing thus far.

    When I changed out the bobbin, it was nearly empty, so I thought it might have been sort of a bobbin tension kind of issue from it being so low, but the newly wound full bobbin didn't help it any...

  5. #5
    deema's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaR
    MY FW hates bottomline bobbin thread...lots of skipped stitches..try another kind of thread
    I don't really think it's a thread issue (I'm using connecting threads thread, by the way)...The reason I tend to think it isn't the thread is because I've been piecing with it for a week or two on this top and haven't had a single missed stitch or issue at all.

    The ONLY place it's skipping is immediately after a seam. It has no trouble getting over the seam, but as soon as it's over it, it skips a bunch and sews fine until *just* after the next seam. I'm thinking it's more of a mechanical issue...it's like...

    Ok, we're going good (2layers)...oh, here comes a seam...(4layers), still ok...WHAT!? Back to two layers!? skip skip skip skip...ok, I get it...sew just fine (2layers)...seam (4layers) is ok...WHAT?!

    Like the machine can't handle the transition BACK to just two layers of fabric from the thicker seam. Once the back end of the presser foot is over the seam, it sews fine. Am I making sense? lol

  6. #6
    Super Member leaha's Avatar
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    oh thanks ever so for the link!!!

  7. #7
    Super Member Scrap Happy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deema
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Happy
    deema, I got a FW in January and it took some time for me to get through every little quirk that I was doing. Here is a link that might help. Scroll down the page a little bit to find skipping stitches. Iím using a 70/10 needle and itís working fine. Have you changed thread? Hope this helps and I'm curious to hear what others have to tell you.

    http://singerfeatherweight221.blogsp...herweight.html
    Thank you for the link. I may try a bigger needle and see if that helps. Smaller number means bigger needle, right? So an 80/12 would be bigger than the 90/14...?

    I didn't change the thread between piecing blocks and piecing the rows. I started a new spool when I started piecing this top and it's still pretty full. This is the first time piecing a top with my FW (I've only had her for a few weeks), so it could be that she's just temperamental about thread. I might try a different kind, (Using Connecting Threads thread), but like I said, there were no problems at all until today and I've been using the same spool for the whole thing thus far.

    When I changed out the bobbin, it was nearly empty, so I thought it might have been sort of a bobbin tension kind of issue from it being so low, but the newly wound full bobbin didn't help it any...
    Yes I believe so. I use a universal needle because I always sew with 100% cotton so I'm not very knowledgeable about needles at all. I googled sewing machine needles and found this, hope it helps. http://sewing.about.com/od/sewingmac...Sizes.--94.htm

    You might be on to something about the thread. I've read other people saying that FW's are picky about thread. When you place the thread on the spool pin make sure that the bar code is on the bottom. FW's are fussy about this.

    Iím wondering if you adjust the tension a tad if it might help.
    The 1st two weekends after I got my FW I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I was doing wrong! That old song ďGetting to Know YouĒ from the King & I kept going through my head.

    Have you changed anything else recently? If so that could be the culprit. I know this sounds obvious but it wasnít for me at first Ė I was so confused.

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    I don't have a FW yet. But I wanted to share a thought that I had. Do you need to speed up or slow down after a seam?
    I wouldn't think you would need to if sewing at a slow steady pace, but you never know.

    I'll be watching this thread to see what everyone shares. I have a FW on the "Wish List" when the budget allows and I find a good deal.

    Pam M

  9. #9
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    FWs needs the Singer needle. There is a difference in the needle eye and length. I buy Singer needles to use just for my vintage Singers. Other brand will work but for perfect stitches try the Singer needles.

  10. #10
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    For skipped stitches, check to make sure that you're not using a "universal" needle. Universals were intended to bridge the gap between sewing on wovens vs. sewing on knits, so that the home sewer didn't have to try to keep two different types of points on hand. But, they don't sew wovens as well as sharps and they don't sew knits as well as ball points.

    For skipped stitches using a "normal" (sharp) needle, (as long as the thread isn't shredding, too) I would first suspect that the needle or the eye is too large. Try an 80/12 or a 70/10.

    If the thread is shredding as well as skipping, go to a large eye in the same size or go up a size or two until you find the one that holds the thread correctly in the groove along the needle.

    With the right combination of needle and tensions, a FW will sew with any kind of thread - they were made to use even size 100 silks up to very heavy threads. :)

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    By the time your get this I hope your machine is stitching good again. If it's not, it sounds like the pressor foot height is not where it should be. I believe I read that the skipped stitches begin right after the pressor foot goes "up and over" the seam. Would it be that the pressor foot needs to be lowered just a tad to hold the fabric down so the stitches can be formed. It may be just a tad to high as it comes over the

  12. #12
    deema's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    FWs needs the Singer needle. There is a difference in the needle eye and length. I buy Singer needles to use just for my vintage Singers. Other brand will work but for perfect stitches try the Singer needles.
    I'm using singer needles...

  13. #13
    Super Member Scrap Happy's Avatar
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    There is a lot of good info here. I've book marked this and am eager to learn from what other FW owners have to share.

  14. #14
    Kas
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    With thread, the bigger the # the thinner the thread. With needles, the bigger the # the bigger the needle. But my mom hasn't given me her Featherweight yet, so I can't help you with the thread/skipped stitches issue.

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    an 80/10 is smaller than a 90/14 needle. You really shouldn't need more than 80 for piecing.

  16. #16
    deema's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thepolyparrot
    For skipped stitches, check to make sure that you're not using a "universal" needle. Universals were intended to bridge the gap between sewing on wovens vs. sewing on knits, so that the home sewer didn't have to try to keep two different types of points on hand. But, they don't sew wovens as well as sharps and they don't sew knits as well as ball points.

    For skipped stitches using a "normal" (sharp) needle, (as long as the thread isn't shredding, too) I would first suspect that the needle or the eye is too large. Try an 80/12 or a 70/10.

    If the thread is shredding as well as skipping, go to a large eye in the same size or go up a size or two until you find the one that holds the thread correctly in the groove along the needle.

    With the right combination of needle and tensions, a FW will sew with any kind of thread - they were made to use even size 100 silks up to very heavy threads. :)
    I'm using a sharp needle, 90/14. The thread isn't shredding at all.

    I honestly don't think it's a needle issue either, because this only happens in one spot, same spot every time (just after the seam), but everywhere else, there isn't a single missed stitch or issue of any kind...

  17. #17
    deema's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbielinks
    By the time your get this I hope your machine is stitching good again. If it's not, it sounds like the pressor foot height is not where it should be. I believe I read that the skipped stitches begin right after the pressor foot goes "up and over" the seam. Would it be that the pressor foot needs to be lowered just a tad to hold the fabric down so the stitches can be formed. It may be just a tad to high as it comes over the
    You are absolutely right - the presser foot isn't coming down from the seam...right after, the tail end of the foot is still on the seam, holding the front end up, but the machine is sewing beyond the seam at that point. The foot isn't meeting the fabric until the back of the foot is past the seam. I've adjusted the height, but maybe I need to go lower. Thanks!

  18. #18
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    I use Schmetz sharp or microtex 80/12 needles in all my vintage machines when I'm piecing quilt blocks and I don't have any skipped stitches or other problems. I haven't had good experiences with the Singer needles that are sold now.
    When I quilt with my full size Singers I use a 90/14 or
    100/16 top stitching needle. The smaller the number, the smaller the needle. Thread is the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deema
    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    FWs needs the Singer needle. There is a difference in the needle eye and length. I buy Singer needles to use just for my vintage Singers. Other brand will work but for perfect stitches try the Singer needles.
    I'm using singer needles...
    I don't think there is any difference in eye or length. if you have a 15x 1 in any brand, they are the same. Yahoo group for 221.s usually prefers needles different than Singer brand.
    Berninas have their own system for some machines. many machines do not like the cotton covered poly thread. tend
    to think it may be the pressure knob. try turning it a little each way & see what happens.

  20. #20
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deema
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbielinks
    By the time your get this I hope your machine is stitching good again. If it's not, it sounds like the pressor foot height is not where it should be. I believe I read that the skipped stitches begin right after the pressor foot goes "up and over" the seam. Would it be that the pressor foot needs to be lowered just a tad to hold the fabric down so the stitches can be formed. It may be just a tad to high as it comes over the
    You are absolutely right - the presser foot isn't coming down from the seam...right after, the tail end of the foot is still on the seam, holding the front end up, but the machine is sewing beyond the seam at that point. The foot isn't meeting the fabric until the back of the foot is past the seam. I've adjusted the height, but maybe I need to go lower. Thanks!
    Have you tried adjusting the pressure on the presser foot? It's that screw on top of the machine that is right over the foot. Turn it to the left, counterclockwise, to increase the pressure a bit and see if that helps.

  21. #21
    Member Anne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    FWs needs the Singer needle. There is a difference in the needle eye and length. I buy Singer needles to use just for my vintage Singers. Other brand will work but for perfect stitches try the Singer needles.
    That was my thought also. I had read this a long time ago, and so I tell everyone that is sewing on a Singer, use SINGER needles. I just bought a FW and my DIL just bought a 15-91. I ordered us both Singer needles and correct type Singer bobbins. Good luck

  22. #22
    kso
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    You need to try using a "hump jumper". When used before and after a seam, it keeps the presser foot level as it stitches over and completely crosses the hump caused by the seam you are stitching over.

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    Senior Member pgthom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deema
    Quote Originally Posted by LindaR
    MY FW hates bottomline bobbin thread...lots of skipped stitches..try another kind of thread
    I don't really think it's a thread issue (I'm using connecting threads thread, by the way)...The reason I tend to think it isn't the thread is because I've been piecing with it for a week or two on this top and haven't had a single missed stitch or issue at all.

    The ONLY place it's skipping is immediately after a seam. It has no trouble getting over the seam, but as soon as it's over it, it skips a bunch and sews fine until *just* after the next seam. I'm thinking it's more of a mechanical issue...it's like...

    Ok, we're going good (2layers)...oh, here comes a seam...(4layers), still ok...WHAT!? Back to two layers!? skip skip skip skip...ok, I get it...sew just fine (2layers)...seam (4layers) is ok...WHAT?!

    Like the machine can't handle the transition BACK to just two layers of fabric from the thicker seam. Once the back end of the presser foot is over the seam, it sews fine. Am I making sense? lol
    Do you have a "hump jumper"? It is a small plastic device, thicker on one end, thinner on the other, both with "toes" that you sew between. (Hard to describe) I use it when shortening/ hemming jeans, which prevents the problem you are encountering. My main machine is a Viking. I think they sell them in the shops.
    The problem arises when you go over the thicker seam area, and are descending, part of the foot is still up. The pressure is uneven, so a good stitch doesn't form. Hope this makes sense. PM me if you want me to send a pic of the hump jumper.

  24. #24
    Super Member Crossstitcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgthom
    Quote Originally Posted by deema
    Quote Originally Posted by LindaR
    MY FW hates bottomline bobbin thread...lots of skipped stitches..try another kind of thread
    I don't really think it's a thread issue (I'm using connecting threads thread, by the way)...The reason I tend to think it isn't the thread is because I've been piecing with it for a week or two on this top and haven't had a single missed stitch or issue at all.

    The ONLY place it's skipping is immediately after a seam. It has no trouble getting over the seam, but as soon as it's over it, it skips a bunch and sews fine until *just* after the next seam. I'm thinking it's more of a mechanical issue...it's like...

    Ok, we're going good (2layers)...oh, here comes a seam...(4layers), still ok...WHAT!? Back to two layers!? skip skip skip skip...ok, I get it...sew just fine (2layers)...seam (4layers) is ok...WHAT?!

    Like the machine can't handle the transition BACK to just two layers of fabric from the thicker seam. Once the back end of the presser foot is over the seam, it sews fine. Am I making sense? lol
    Do you have a "hump jumper"? It is a small plastic device, thicker on one end, thinner on the other, both with "toes" that you sew between. (Hard to describe) I use it when shortening/ hemming jeans, which prevents the problem you are encountering. My main machine is a Viking. I think they sell them in the shops.
    The problem arises when you go over the thicker seam area, and are descending, part of the foot is still up. The pressure is uneven, so a good stitch doesn't form. Hope this makes sense. PM me if you want me to send a pic of the hump jumper.
    I have never in all the years I have been sewing heard of or seen a Hump Jumper foot. Where do you buy them? Would you please post a picture? Thanks

    :shock:

  25. #25
    Senior Member abc123retired's Avatar
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    I had to use a hump jumper, otherwise known as a thinga-ma-jig all the time on my Viking Rose and that's a more modern machine than a FW. It's a pain to use every seam when joining so that's why I only embroider on the Rose.

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