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Thread: Question for those who use older machines w/o a reverse or tacker

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Question for those who use older machines w/o a reverse or tacker

    I love to use my treadles and older machines ... but, I hate the fact that most of them do not have reverse or a thread tacking feature.

    I've tried several ways to tack my threads so they don't come undone, but none are really easy to use.

    How do you tack your stitches on machines w/o reverse and stitch tackers?

    Joe

  2. #2
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    I think I told you before that I start with a TINY stitch and lengthen it as I sew....but I know of some that stop, turn the fabric, stitch, stop, turn, and proceed with their seam...
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    my grandma used to turn the material around and sew back, turn and sew back
    you can just hold the fabric so it doesn't advance and run it with small stitches close to the end
    or leave a long tail and tie a knot - we know that won't happen
    I used to make tents on an old machine - the old tent makers would lift the material back into the machine and sew some more - pain in the butt if you are sewing on tent ties.

    How do you change the stitch length on those old machines?
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  4. #4
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    They differ Miriam...but a lot of them have a little knob that you turn...
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    SO. That is what the little knob does. AH HA! I betcha I didn't clean that.........
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  6. #6
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Charlee,
    I do remember that. I'd just forgotten who told it to me.

    I've tried:
    Stitching forward a bit, then lifting the needle and presser foot, moving the material back a bit, lowering the foot and stitching over the beginning again.

    Stitching forward then lifting the foot and turning the material around and stitching back to the beginning then turning it around again.

    Starting in from the beginning, then turning the material and stitching to the beginning then turning it again and retracing my stitches.

    The problem is these methods work for smaller things, but are a royal pain in the xxx for larger things.

    And my Singer treadles use the old round nob stitch length adjuster and that is a pain to crank it three or four turns to start then back three or four to sew.

    I'm looking for an easier quicker way I guess.

    Joe

  7. #7
    Super Member valleyquiltermo's Avatar
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    Good luck Joe these are the only 2 ways my Granny did it.
    http://www.skillpages.com/DonnaValleyquiltermo
    Sweet Dreams come from under Cozy Quilts made with love.
    Life is short, take time to enjoy it. Play with your kids and g-kids,
    and do what you can for others.

  8. #8
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I don't use treadles but all my other vintage machines have reverse I think. I don't ever use it though since I mainly do piecing and or quilting on them. But, pushing up the lever to reverse isn't hard to do.

    You should check out the White 77 Rotary. It has the ability to customize the stitch length of forward and reverse separately. Pretty cool.

  9. #9
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    My mom used the HOTHER and it's got the round disk with the slot in it and a lever. I used to watch her tack her threads by flipping the lever up then back down so fast you'd almost miss it if you weren't watching.

    My wife used her 538 which has a push button reverse/tacker again so fast you'd miss it if you weren't watching.

    So neither or my mentors have any advise to share.

    I think Charlee probably has the easiest idea. I'll just have to play with my stitch control nob till I get if figured out.

    Joe

  10. #10
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Joe, my daddy used to say that if you want to know the easiest way to do something to tell a lazy person to do it and then stand back and watch.

    I'm lazy.
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  11. #11
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    OK, I found my stitch nob adjustment chart I made with my #1 66 treadle.
    I started with the control nob all the way in and stitched a length. Then in the middle of the stitch I measured the number of stitches.
    All the way in gave me 7 1/2 SPI.

    AT 7 turns out, just before the point the feed dogs quit feeding I got 49 SPI.

    I keep my nobs marked with a Sharpie for reference. And due to wear and slack they do vary. But I figure if I started at 6 turns out (28 SPI) then backed it up to 3 out (12 SPI) that might work.
    What do you think Charlee?

    Joe

  12. #12
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    My knob doesn't have any numbers on it
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  13. #13
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    I have a Singer 66 that was converted from a treadle.. It only goes forward.. What I have been doing is lifting the foot, and moving the piece slightly back, and let it go forward.. I love the machine despite this little problem..

  14. #14
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barri1 View Post
    I have a Singer 66 that was converted from a treadle.. It only goes forward.. What I have been doing is lifting the foot, and moving the piece slightly back, and let it go forward.. I love the machine despite this little problem..
    It gets interesting when you do that with a tent...
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  15. #15
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    My knob doesn't have any numbers on it
    Neither does mine, I just mark the stitch adjustment nob with a Sharpie and count the 1/2 turns out.

    Joe
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    OK, I found my stitch nob adjustment chart I made with my #1 66 treadle.
    I started with the control nob all the way in and stitched a length. Then in the middle of the stitch I measured the number of stitches.
    All the way in gave me 7 1/2 SPI.

    AT 7 turns out, just before the point the feed dogs quit feeding I got 49 SPI.

    I keep my nobs marked with a Sharpie for reference. And due to wear and slack they do vary. But I figure if I started at 6 turns out (28 SPI) then backed it up to 3 out (12 SPI) that might work.
    What do you think Charlee?

    Joe
    That sounds about right!
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  17. #17
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    OH COOL something more to play with...... (rub hands together.......)
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  18. #18
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Here is my stitch length chart from my #1 66 Treadle, I just scanned it in.

    Joe
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    on my treadle I just hold the fabric so it doesn't advance and stitch 4/5 times in the same place...holds it good.
    Retired and living in NE Michigan

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    I do leave a long thread and tie a knot!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    I love to use my treadles and older machines ... but, I hate the fact that most of them do not have reverse or a thread tacking feature.

    I've tried several ways to tack my threads so they don't come undone, but none are really easy to use.

    How do you tack your stitches on machines w/o reverse and stitch tackers?

    Joe
    On my singer 15-91 and my singer 201 if you put the stitch lever at the very top part of the numbers it puts the needle in neutral and if you sew with it in that position it only makes stitches in the same place. If your machine doesn't have the back tack mechanism then i don't know if it has the neutral position or not. Both of my machines have the back tack option and therefore the neutral position

  22. #22
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    On my 66-4 the stitches are controlled by a nob. It takes 7.5 turns to go from full in and the widest stitch, to full out and neutral. When piecing the quilt cover I'm making it would be a royal pain to sit there and screw that nob in and out every time I put on another piece of fabric.

    Other than that it is a good idea.

    Joe

  23. #23
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Joe, I don't know why you're going back and forth when piecing? I don't and have been quilting for over 20 years and have never done that. It adds bulk to seams and generally is not needed. Just a smaller stitch length for piecing is needed and that's it.
    Last edited by Candace; 03-26-2012 at 02:33 PM.

  24. #24
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Back and forth? Who said I was going back and forth? So far I keep my stitches at about 12 to 15 or so and put the pieces together.

    The idea of going small then getting bigger is just out there for discussion.

    My wife says just sew the pieces together, then when I put in a seam or a hem or add a crosswise part it will nail them down.
    I'm not to that point yet. I just don't want the thing to come apart on me.

    Joe

  25. #25
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    "I've tried:
    Stitching forward a bit, then lifting the needle and presser foot, moving the material back a bit, lowering the foot and stitching over the beginning again.

    Stitching forward then lifting the foot and turning the material around and stitching back to the beginning then turning it around again.

    Starting in from the beginning, then turning the material and stitching to the beginning then turning it again and retracing my stitches."

    This is back and forth to me. Maybe I'm not understanding what you mean. But, yes, your wife is right.

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