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Thread: New Featherweight Won't Sew, Need Help Please!

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb New Featherweight Won't Sew, Need Help Please!

    Hello, I have attached many photos so you can see how things look. This machine is new to me and my first Featherweight. It will not sew at all. The threads get tangled as soon as I start to sew. The picture in the book that shows the bobbin area looks like the part that hold the bobbin casing is in a different position when the needle is fully raised. Any thoughts on what to do. I really feel like the problem is in the lower thread area. I cleaned and oiled. Do I have the right bobbin case? Do I have the right bobbin? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. I think I will name her Trixie since she is being tricky. Amy
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  2. #2
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Since this machine is new to you, I would shop for a manual. There is probably a previous post here of where you can locate one online.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  3. #3
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    You have the right bobbin, these machines take an odd size bobbin and I don't think any other (at least common) would even slighly fit this machine. The question might be bobbin case, I have to look it up, but early Featherweights differ somewhat from the later ones regarding a few aspects, but generally they all are of the same build.

    Clean and oil best you can, particularly the bobbin area. There are several user manuals as well as service manuals available on the web. Unscrew needle plate, take of face plate, etc. cleand and oil every where.

    Check that the needle is in the corret way, (flat side to the left and it threads from right to left).

    Check top tension mechanism, when threaded the two disks should grip the thread firmly when presser bar lever is dow, when up it should release. It should gradually increase tension from 0 (very loose) to 9 (very tight). Test sew with two layers of light cotton (shirt / quilting weight) and sew-it-all type thread. Assume tension is correct some where between 4 and 5 and take it from there.

    This lady's blog is very good and she seem to know the Featherweight well. You have a very nice machine there :- )

  4. #4
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    A couple of things I'm thinking:
    1) You have a replacement bobbin case, it looks like, not an original Singer case. Sometimes those cause problems and don't work well. It's sort of luck of the draw. Do you have another FW that has a vintage bobbin case so you can see if that's the problem? ETA: Now that I read your post again, I see it's your first FW. Do you have a friend with a FW?
    2) Have you removed the bobbin-case base to be sure there's no thread caught back there? I thought I had cleared a thread jam once and the machine was still giving me problems. Turned out there was a 1/2" piece of thread stuck in the hook assembly.
    3) Make sure you put in the bobbin so it spins counterclockwise when you pull on the thread.
    Good luck!
    ila

  5. #5
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    Oh, one more thing: Are you holding the ends of the thread when you start sewing? If not, Featherweights love to eat the thread. I either sew onto and off a piece of scrap fabric, or hold the tails.
    ila

  6. #6
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    Be sure the needle had the flat side facing left. That gets even experienced FW sewers once in a while. Bobbin case looks like mine. Be sure the little "flipper" is pointing up in the bobbin area. That has tripped up a few folks too.
    Follow the threading route in the manual. If you need a manual, go to ISMACS.com and you can get a free download.

  7. #7
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Thread goes right to left through the needle. Stop and start with the take up lever all the way to the top.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  8. #8
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    Since others have addressed the bobbin issue, I suspect it's your needle placement or threading route. Check both of those. And DEFINITELY hold your tails when beginning to sew. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Super Member duckydo's Avatar
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    If it is threaded wrong it won't sew. Make sure you are threading the needle from the right to the left. The flat side of the needle faces the left. Hope that is all that it needs. Good luck. If nothing else take it to a shop. There is a web site where you can look at maintenance on a FW

  10. #10
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    Check to see if your needle is in right. The flat side goes to the left. I found I make this mistake on mine.

  11. #11
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    April 1930's is the definitive resource for all this Featherweight. When ever I have a problem or question I either email or call them. This is a company that 'gets' customer service, and they do not charge for shipping when I order parts or such. Like Missouri Star, the whole family is involved. www.april1930.com

    Just remembered they have the DVD and print manual on the care and maintenance of your Featherweight. I have taken 2 M&R classes with them, so far I've done all the work, not had to take it to a repair shop. Once you get the hang of it, you'll actually enjoy giving it TLC Libber

  12. #12
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    Pic of bobbin does not look right to me. April's site has pics of all the different parts and pieces of a FW.

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    Hello, you have shared some awesome information. I decided to begin at the beginning. I have taken her apart and am cleaning and oiling everything as shown in the manual. The upper tension wasn't working right so I have taken that apart and will reassemble later today. My needle was in right but I was threading it backwards. Thanks for mentioning that. I'll give you an update when she is back together. I am confident with your suggestions she will be running in no time flat.

  14. #14
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    It doesn't look like the correct bobbin to me.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  15. #15
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    Because I am left-handed and dyslexic, I drew a tiny diagram of how to thread the needle and pasted it to my FW. Now I don 't thread it wrong.

  16. #16
    Super Member Cari-in-Oly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolynjo View Post
    Because I am left-handed and dyslexic, I drew a tiny diagram of how to thread the needle and pasted it to my FW. Now I don 't thread it wrong.
    Since I use so many different machines, I wrote a list of which machines put the needle in which way, flat to the left or flat to the right. I know how they thread from that. You always thread towards the flat. Once I wrote them down, I haven't forgotten any of them and if I do I can look at my list.

    Cari

  17. #17
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    I LOVE my featherweight, but I have to watch that the needle and bobbin are in correctly and I thread it in the right direction (it is backwards from most of my other machines ). Also, I know some people have had trouble with a "new" bobbin (you know, the ones made in another country). It's best to use actual Singer bobbins made for the FW and not a copycat. Once those are all double checked, mine sews away like a dream. It really is NOT a problem machine and will sew just about everything. I even do FMQ on mine! Everytime I've ever had a problem, I check the threading against the manual and make sure the bobbin is not in backwards. It is usually one of those 2. You will love it once you get the bugs worked out on your machine.

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    Thank you for all of your help. She is off to the shop for some repairs. The upper tension isn't working at all. I can't wait to get her running.

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    Tammi will talk you through the tension assembly. The video is on a 201, but it's the same parts involved. Check behind the face plate, if the presser bar lever links to a part that pushes on the back side of the top tension mechanism. It should when it's up position. There is a tiny metal bit in there that gets pushed in and presses the tension plates appart. Don't loose it if you poke it out and clean in there.

  20. #20
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by libber View Post
    Pic of bobbin does not look right to me. April's site has pics of all the different parts and pieces of a FW.
    I agree. Does that bobbin have a rounded top? FW bobbins are flat. Also, make sure the bobbin case clicks into place.

  21. #21
    Super Member Sunflowerzz's Avatar
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    Sorry you are having FW troubles...I have had the same with both machines I bought and my FW girls can be very fussy, but when I have done everything right and they are happy they sew FANTASTIC!!!!

    Hang in there and that was a good idea keeping a thread picture front and center because they do thread differently. When I get in a hurry I always thread wrong and they sure let me know about it!
    Creativity needs focus and application...
    http://sewvintageuniqueboutique.blogspot.com/

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    She is back from service and cleanng and sews like a charm! Thank you for all of your help.

  23. #23
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Glad to know. Don't forget to hold the thread tails when you first start sewing!!
    Alyce

  24. #24
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    Did your repair guy say what was wrong?
    ila

  25. #25
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    These machine has to be greased as well as oiled, have you done this. And have you taken the throat plate off, if so you have to get the bobbin place just so or you will not be able to sew at all. I know this from experience. Yes and the needle is thread from the side. I have 3 of these machines. Hope this helps.

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