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Sewing machine experts.

(22 Posts)
glitabo Fri 12-Oct-12 16:54:46

I have problems with my sewing machine. I have not used it for 2 years. The top thread is bunching under the material after 3 stitches. I have tried twiddling all the tension wheels and now I have completely lost the plot. It is a Brother sewing machine about 38 years old.
Can any one help?

gracesmum Fri 12-Oct-12 17:10:27

Do they stock Brother machines at that well known store where you and I had tea a few weeks ago? If so, there is often a person there who is qualified to help/advise. Giive them a ring!

Grannyknot Fri 12-Oct-12 17:10:30

All I can say is if it was me I'd have chucked the whole lot of out the window by now. (no patience with stuff like that). It seems as if you need a new one? or at least that one needs a service ...

shysal Fri 12-Oct-12 17:13:13

If the top thread is bunching underneath it sounds like the top tension is far too loose - have you threaded your 'cotton' correctly? It is easy to forget after not using the machine for a while. There is usually a dial near or on the top to adjust tension. When you start a run of stitching it can help to hold the two ends firmly behind the work until you get going, as they can tangle underneath.
I hope you get sorted - machines are out to get us sometimes!

tanith Fri 12-Oct-12 17:19:40

When I get problems with the thread I usually set all the tension dials at medium and work from there with a testing stitch, threading it wrong will also cause problems as shysal says... I know its annoying but persevere I bet you can fix it..

jeni Fri 12-Oct-12 17:45:58

When I get problems with thread I switch to greatnan's jokes!

Grannylin Fri 12-Oct-12 18:01:37

I would treat myself to a new one...which is what I did a year ago! You can get a new Brother from Tesco online for £ 77 at the moment.Have to admit that it took me ages to thread it but that was only because it meant reliving a Needlework exam I had at school which involved drawing in red how to thread a sewing machine.Got 28 % grin

glitabo Fri 12-Oct-12 18:14:25

My mistake it is 28 years old not 38. Still a bit past it I think.

Maniac Fri 12-Oct-12 18:37:39

Have you got any sewers/quilters in your's often easier for an experienced sewer to see what's wrong than try to explain .I put my neighbour's machine right after she hadn't used for years.
Agree with shysal that incorrect threading or top tension are usual cause of problems.
We had a posting on buying new machines a while ago.Good basic ones are much cheaper now. e.g. Janome

merlotgran Fri 12-Oct-12 19:23:39

I've just asked DH, glitabo. He had to completely overhaul my old Jones machine which hadn't been used for forty years shock.

Have you checked that the shuttle isn't sticking and the foot isn't loose? A very gentle spray of WD40 on moving parts might help.

Nelliemoser Fri 12-Oct-12 19:50:47

Follow everyone elses advice, they all suggest what I would have tried. Failing that try Googling the problem. There is probably someone somewhere who has posted on this.

I have a sewing machine that is about 30yrs old and used infrequently but when you need it its worth the house room. I think that cost about £150 new.
I could be tempted by a new one.

My first machine was a hand powered Singer £10 from a secondhand shop on the Cowbridge Road in Cardiff in 1973.

Does anyone know of anywhere that would refurbish old sewing machines for use elsewhere in the world?

glitabo Fri 12-Oct-12 20:02:41

I think a new one is the answer, but thank you all for your advice.

glitabo Fri 12-Oct-12 20:11:34

Great news I hope. A friend has just emailed to say she will sort my machine out on Thursday. That sounds rather positive.

Maniac Sat 13-Oct-12 09:30:00

Nelliemoser Our N Somerset Quilters guild have sent sewing machines,needles,cotton and other accessories to women's cooperatives in third world countries. Ask your local Quilters guild.

Stansgran Sat 13-Oct-12 15:22:10

I would put some WD40 on a tissue and gently wipe round the shuttle area. John Lewis have a small light machine for under £50.

glitabo Sat 13-Oct-12 15:43:11

I will try the WD40.
Thank you
Do you know if those machines are any good? I only want it for small jobs such as cushion covers or doll's clothes. I think my dressmaking days are over.

FlicketyB Sat 13-Oct-12 15:43:33

I spent years fighting my sewing machine, thinking all the problems were my incompetence because I am the one incompetent in a family with four generations (including DD) of brilliant needlewomen.

Finally having bought some expensive curtaining material I decided to have the machine serviced and in good order before I made the curtains. Turned out it wasnt me at all. My machine was about 35 years old and in my particular model there was a unreplaceable plastic part that tended to crack with age - and it had and caused all my problems.

Two weeks and a new Janome sewing machine (DD recommendation) later I discovered my inner sewing woman. My Grandmother, mother, aunt and sister always used to point out my sewing errors and mistakes, DD encourages me I now have regular sewing days at home, mainly making curtains, repairs and small home furnishings and tomorrow I am off on a quilting and patchwork course.

annodomini Sat 13-Oct-12 15:58:18

stansgran, I got a John Lewis lightweight machine and it's fine for repairs and putting up hems, but it won't take heavy materials such as denim or curtain fabric. I think it might have been a mistake not getting a heavier quality machine, but then again, would I have used it?

glitabo Sat 13-Oct-12 16:03:49

FliketyB you have inspired me.

FlicketyB Sat 13-Oct-12 16:37:53

Glitabo, I am so pleased, I am really enjoying myself, but I must give credit to DD.she is one of those people who if she is sitting down is making something or another. Last year she seriously injured her right arm in a road accident and DH or I had to live with her for over two months as she recovered. When it was just me and her together we talked sewing, experimented and went off to auction sales and charity shops collecting materials. We work on projects together discussing what to do and most importantly, she knows I am cack handed and although it must drive her crazy at times is always encouraging.

glitabo Thu 18-Oct-12 15:21:23

Just thought i would give you an update. My friend popped round today and she fixed my sewing machine in less time than it took me to make her a cup of coffee. I had threaded it up incorrectly and the tension was way off beam because I had been fiddling with it.
I did feel rather silly. hmm
Thank you all for you help and suggestions in my time of total incompetence.

FlicketyB Fri 19-Oct-12 10:55:38

Glitabo, flowers cupcake know how you feel, been there, often