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Thread: Singer 15-91 ugly bottom stitching

  1. #1
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    Singer 15-91 ugly bottom stitching

    First, let me qualify: I have no experience sewing, save for sewing a patch on a uniform or an emergency repair... That being said, I purchased a Singer 15-91 because I read that it is a good machine for sewing marine canvas. Which I have, in need of repair. Sunbrella is the brand of canvas to be specific. At any rate, after about 4 hours or reading, experimenting, and cursing, I was able to successfully make it stitch without a) breaking needles, or b) jamming up into a tangled mess. However, I am still getting ugly bunches of overlapping thread on the bottom on the material. Topside looks great. Details: I am using a #14 singer needle with Gore Tenera V92 thread. I guessed at the bobbin tension, and the top tension is pretty much in the middle. (Tenera is very slippery, as it is basically PTFE, or teflon.) I'll be sewing through about 2-3 layers of sunbrella canvas. Any ideas?
    The full size image is here:http://www.pbase.com/mchad/image/144031062/original - it's too big to display here.

  2. #2
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    Sometimes it could be that it's threaded incorrectly or the needle is in the wrong way. I hope it's a simple solution that solves the problem.
    ~~Cathy~~

  3. #3
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    When this happened on my Featherweight the bobbin case/shuttle was in wrong. I have a 15-91 and love it. I haven't taken the bobbin case out before, it is quite similar to the featherweight so hopefully that will help you Do you have the instruction book for your machine? Hopefully you have it, look at pages 30 - 31. It tells you how to clean the Stitch forming mechanism.

    Here is a website of the manuals - just find yours

    http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_...e-manuals.html
    Last edited by quiltingcandy; 06-13-2012 at 07:29 PM.

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    I too have a 15~91. Make sure there is no fuzz or threads in the bobbin case. I just blow it clean or use a make up brush when i change bobbin threads. Also rethread it again from the start. It may look right buta little off. It is sewing fine for a bit so looks like may just be dirt or thread off. Make sure the needle is threaded right. Mine is right to left and the bobbin thread is in correctly. I love mine. Its about all i use anymore!!!

  5. #5
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    A 14 is a pretty lightweight needle for heavy sewing like you're doing...try a jeans needle, or a 16 or 18...
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  6. #6
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    I agree with Charlee...the eye on a 14 is probably too small for the thread to pass thru easily & I'm thinking it's not really heavy enough for the fabric either.

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    I'm impressed with the number of good suggestions, so quickly. I do have the manual, so *I think* I have it threaded correctly, but I will confirm. I'll also check the mechanism and clean the case as suggested, and report back. I do have a 16 needle which I will try as well. Thanks all.

  8. #8
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Do not pay attention to the number on the tension. It would be easier to see than to explain how to adjust the tension. Here is a link I started a long time ago - I didn't check to see if they are all still there: http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...s-t170748.html anyway it is a bunch of links. It could be that you have the threading wrong around the tension. The thread comes across the top of the machine, goes through the tension, through the tension spring, over the bar, then up through the take up lever. If you do the spring after the bar and then go from the spring straight up to the take up lever it might do weird stuff.

    The Sunbrella should be light enough to be sewn by a Singer 15 if the project isn't too huge. If it is a large piece you may have to 'help' the fabric through the machine. When I made a 30 X 50 foot awning, I used some ramps and I folded the material a lot. I was using a Consew walking foot sewing machine. I wonder if you got the tail end of the thread caught in there? You can go up to about a size 18 needle - any bigger and your machine can't handle it very well. The needle won't fit the hole/bobbin/shuttle quite right and an over sized needle on that machine could damage the bobbin case or the shuttle or the throat plate and could make burrs. Trying to pull too much heavy fabric through could bend the needle shaft or the needle. The other thing I can think of that could make stitches like that could be a burr on the hook or somewhere. You have to feel around and then polish out the burr.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
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  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Can you shoot a picture of your machine threaded up - shoot the nose end with the tension?
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    If you do the spring after the bar and then go from the spring straight up to the take up lever it might do weird stuff.
    That is exactly how I had it threaded. I though that is how the instructions said to... I must have been reading it wrong! I don't have time to try it now, as I have to go to work, but I will later tonight and check back.

    Here is a photo, and here is the full size, where you can clearly see the route around the tensioner... http://www.pbase.com/mchad/image/144038814/original.jpg

    The only thing that is not clear is that the thread goes through the needle from right to left after the last hook at the top of the needle "holder?"

    Thanks again

    Last edited by mikec; 06-14-2012 at 03:33 AM.

  11. #11
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    One thing that people forget about is that when the presser foot is UP, the thread will slip in between the tension discs easily. But, when the presser foot is DOWN, the tension discs are locked and the thread won't go between the discs or sew correctly. Always thread your machine with the presser foot UP, then, when you lower the foot to sew, the discs snug the thread and the sewing will come out correctly....well, if everything else is done correctly.... like threading the needle from the correct direction, putting the bobbin in right, etc.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    It could be that you have the threading wrong around the tension. The thread comes across the top of the machine, goes through the tension, through the tension spring, over the bar, then up through the take up lever. If you do the spring after the bar and then go from the spring straight up to the take up lever it might do weird stuff.
    Miriam, I'm confused. Looking at the manual where it describes the threading route, it clearly says to come around the tensioner (2), over the hook (3) then under the spring (4) and up to the take up lever (5). If I understood your post, you say to go through the spring before the hook on the tensioner, then from the hook, straight up to the take up lever? Is that correct? See the instruction illustration below.




    Now I'm confused...

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    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    Me too confused!!! I have never gone thru the bar last. It feels awkward. My stitches have looked good on my 15-91.

  14. #14
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanamoms View Post
    Me too confused!!! I have never gone thru the bar last. It feels awkward. My stitches have looked good on my 15-91.
    I guess you could try it both ways and see what works best for that machine. The needle threads from the left to the right. The needle goes in flat side toward the machine. It can be very frustrating getting it tweaked. Right now, I have a Singer 15 that pukes out bobbin cases & bobbins no matter if I have the take up lever all the way up, the bobbin 'clicked' into the groove or a new bobbin. Turn the wheel and pop - there it goes... rolls right out. I think some babies just puke. This machine looks like it has had VERY little use. I should try a different bobbin case AND bobbin and see what it does. Anyway it happens...
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

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    Mike, I think you're asking for trouble trying to go through three layers of Sunbrella with a #14 needle and V92 thread. I think I'd start with #69 thread and a 16 or 18 needle. Also, what type of needle point is it? Obviously you don't want to be using a ballpoint.
    - Rain

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    I sent mike a pm on what I found when I got my 15, yes very confusing, I read and read about threading some site say the needle threads left to right , then I find it has to do with where the needle bar thread guide faces,,, on the left side it threads left to right on the front it threads front to rear, which make sense,, lining the thread with the long groove in the needle, that diagram above look like front to rear to me ??

    even more confusion I ran my # ( ah 695457 ) found it's a 15 - 96 from 1954 ?? there's no model tag , today ran it again it comes up a 1948 15 - 91 ?? this has a potted motor ( don't have a clue what it's 15 - something singer ) I also have a 201, these potted motor machines are very low power ,, they do not do well on heavy fabric's, Both of these have one steel gear and one fiber gear ,,, silver is steel, red is a fiber

    The bobbin case, I had the same problem with this 15, I finally took the bobbin case apart is was clean but sticky, the latch was not sliding all the way in and only locking half way..
    Last edited by xxxxxxxxxx; 06-14-2012 at 01:34 PM.

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    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    I disagree John!! Both my 15-91 and my 201-2 will power through everything I've thrown at them, and I've run some pretty heavy duty thing under those presser feet!
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  18. #18
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    If you are using a very heavy thread you will need to make a bit of adjustment to the bobbin case and the upper tension. You may want to consider buying a bobbin case to just use for that thread & needle size.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

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    "these potted motor machines are very low power ,, they do not do well on heavy fabric's, Both of these have one steel gear and one fiber gear ,,, silver is steel, red is a fiber"

    I'm not sure where you're getting this part about them not doing well--the potted motor machines are plenty strong, and the 15-91's are my go-to machine for sewing through heavier stuff. The fiber gear has nothing to do with the machine's performance.

    Bottom line is if you have a 15-91 that runs properly with lightweight fabric, there's no reason it won't do as well with heavier fabric unless you're using the wrong type/size of needle or needle point, you're using the wrong thread, you've got it misthreaded, or something on your particular machine is not set up correctly.
    - Rain

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    I'm like Tim the tool man ,,, Horse POWER ...

  21. #21
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    "I'm like Tim the tool man ,,, Horse POWER ..."

    It's a sewing machine, not a tractor pull. If it's raw horsepower you're after, you'll need to go industrial.

    I think you may be missing my central point, which is that horsepower doesn't mean anything if you can't get it to the rear wheels. The 15-91 has plenty of punch, which any number of people who use that machine can tell you, but that doesn't mean anything if you are not able to figure out how to get it to the rear wheels.
    - Rain

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  22. #22
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
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    Do you have the needle in the correct position? Check your manual.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by notsureif View Post
    I sent mike a pm on what I found when I got my 15, yes very confusing, I read and read about threading some site say the needle threads left to right , then I find it has to do with where the needle bar thread guide faces,,, on the left side it threads left to right on the front it threads front to rear, which make sense,, lining the thread with the long groove in the needle, that diagram above look like front to rear to me ??

    even more confusion I ran my # ( ah 695457 ) found it's a 15 - 96 from 1954 ?? there's no model tag , today ran it again it comes up a 1948 15 - 91 ?? this has a potted motor ( don't have a clue what it's 15 - something singer ) I also have a 201, these potted motor machines are very low power ,, they do not do well on heavy fabric's, Both of these have one steel gear and one fiber gear ,,, silver is steel, red is a fiber

    The bobbin case, I had the same problem with this 15, I finally took the bobbin case apart is was clean but sticky, the latch was not sliding all the way in and only locking half way..
    I strongly disagree! My 201-2 is a strong sewer...& sooooo quiet & smooth! A year or so ago, a lady posted pictures on patternreview.com of a piece of leather that she sewed to a wooden yardstick on a 201-2. She did say "Don't try this at home, kids!" but she wanted to show just how heavy duty a 201-2 is.

    I certainly wouldn't abuse mine like that but it hems jeans like it's sewing thru silk....

  24. #24
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat M. View Post
    Do you have the needle in the correct position? Check your manual.
    A 15-91 only has one position...it's a straight stitch only machine.
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  25. #25
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlee View Post
    A 15-91 only has one position...it's a straight stitch only machine.
    I think she means is the needle put in there correct direction - flat side toward the shaft or machine.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

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