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Sewing machine problem episode 2

(31 Posts)
Mishap Tue 05-Nov-13 19:08:04

I have worked out why my new sewing machine is causing problems and getting in a knot. The spool on the reel of thread that I am using sticks out above and below the thread and makes it impossible to put on the plastic cap that holds it on the top of the machine. Without that the thread jumps about and gets slack and causes it to twine around the arm that goes up and down - my old machine had a hole in the arm that goes up and down and you threaded the cotton through it - but the new one slots in and is not held in the hole.

I am sure this is as clear as mud! But, suffice to say, I will be buying the old-fashioned fat "reels" from now on.

Galen Tue 05-Nov-13 19:25:48

[comfused] but I am a bear of very little brain when it comes to matters domestic

Galen Tue 05-Nov-13 19:26:27

confused fat fingerblush

tiggypiro Tue 05-Nov-13 19:27:31

Mishap - I THINK I know what you mean ! If the reel of thread you are using is too large you could wind some onto a spool and then use it in place of the reel.

newist Tue 05-Nov-13 19:34:02

If you drape the cotton round the the bit that you sit the spool on, and put the cotton reel on your work table at the back of your machine so that the cotton comes upwards it should come off smoothly so as not to tangle. I hope I have explained this so it makes sense smile

MamaCaz Tue 03-Dec-13 15:01:26

Hi Mishap.

I know what you mean about the reel of thread jumping about because you can't put the plastic cap thingy on. When I first had my machine, I didn't even realize that you were meant to put that on (I did wonder what it was for though!), and at times the reel made a lot of noise as it jumped about. However, apart from the noise, mine didn't cause any other problems.

I hope you don't mind my asking, but have you double / triple / quadruple checked that you are threading the machine correctly? Aside from the jumpy reel, the problem sounds typical of a wrongly-threaded machine.
I'm sure you will have checked that already, but thought I'd better mention it just in case smile

TriciaF Wed 04-Dec-13 10:35:11

As someone suggested, rewind the thread onto a smaller spool so that the plastic cap will fit on.
I had a problem last night with mine - the whole bobbin socket fell out!
Luckily husband realised it was simply that I'd moved the clip that holds the parts in place.
I'm sure we never had these problems with our oldfashioned hand Singer.

Mamie Wed 04-Dec-13 11:57:32

Wretched things! About time someone invented something easier in my opinion. I have fought with mine all morning to make a skirt that I could have bought far more cheaply. The light is so low today that I can't see the fabric or the thread either...
Wanders off muttering and grumbling......

Mishap Wed 04-Dec-13 12:07:49

I'm beginning to get the measure of it now, but the need to buy smaller spools of cotton next time is clear - however, most reels are a similar size now.

I have checked and rechecked the threading and it is fine.

I am using the machine for quilting - most by hand, but just doing a little by machine - and it makes a sad clunking noise when it is dealing with extra thickness. Does this happen to anyone else? Am I killing off my machine?!

Aka Wed 04-Dec-13 12:30:46

I use mine so rarely that I can never remember what goes where, round or under what. I've experienced all sorts of clunks. It's a case of trial and error and working out why the stitch looks good on one side but a tangled mess on the other. My pet hate is when I'm just congratulating myself on at last getting it correct, only to find the spool has run our and my stitching just comes undone.
The last set of curtain I made were all hand sewn as I couldn't be arsed bothered to go through all that again.
Best of luck Mishap

Elegran Wed 04-Dec-13 12:56:58

mishap Sounds to me like a blunt needle, or one which has got a bit bent in its struggle to cope. Give it dishonourable retirement and use a new one.

tiggypiro Wed 04-Dec-13 16:42:28

If it really doesn't like going through the thick bits of your quilt just use the hand-wheel for a few stitches until you get past it. Could be blunt needle (the source of many problems) or it could be that your machine is under powered for thick fabric and you will be doing it no good by persuading it otherwise. It's a bit like a small car very overloaded going up a very steep hill !
Are you using a walking foot for your machine quilting ? They are expensive (depending on the make of machine) but worth it if you are going to be doing a lot of quilting.

HildaW Wed 04-Dec-13 17:20:37

Took my machine for a service as it was making nasty noises. Got a firm telling off for not emptying the bobbin every time.....there should not be a build-up of all those odds and ends.....the record according to the man was 32 different colours/threads! Also one is supposed to change a needle for every new project/garment.!!

I am desperately getting all the costumes for our little panto done....I have to have one of the special reading lights shining over my shoulder AND I still have trouble threading needles. Lots of 'F' words flying around I'm afraid especially when the bobbin runs out AND I had not noticed!

Lilygran Wed 04-Dec-13 19:41:38

One of the first things I bought after we set up our first home was a secondhand prewar Singer. It had been adapted to take an electric motor. It could stitch forwards and backwards. I made lots of clothes, curtains, loose covers - even made duvet covers because they were hard to get hold of in the 1960s. I had it serviced once in ten years and it never went wrong. Then I got ambitious and traded it in for a more complicated newer model which would do a lot of stitches. Since then I have had four machines and none of them has been satisfactory. The tension goes wrong, the thread tangles, the needles break. And I don't use the fancy stitches. I wish I had stuck with my old Singer.

Deedaa Wed 01-Jan-14 21:32:29

I've never got used to the nice new Japanese machine that I treated myself to 15 years ago. Doesn't seem half as easy as my old Singer. I don't use it often so I always have to look up the threading instructions. Recently I was having terrible trouble with the thread tying itself in knots, and the more I fiddled about with the tension the worse it got. Eventually I got DH to have a look at it and he decided it was the thread I was using. Apparently I have been practicing false economy by buying cheap reels of thread and will have to be Sylko or nothing.

petra Thu 13-Feb-14 12:51:56

Needle threading.
I was shown this tip many years ago. Put a piece of paper behind the needle.
It really does work.

Elegran Thu 13-Feb-14 12:59:16

Or buy one of those little bent wire thingies that you push through the hole, put the thread through, and pull it back again. My machine came with one among the tools and it works a treat (combined with the piece of paper when I am feeling particularly blurry-eyed).

Stansgran Thu 13-Feb-14 13:49:00

My machine comes with a white bit on the foot just where the eye is. I've started using needles for metallic thread which have a big eye for just about everything. I also keep magnifying glasses 2.50next to the machine ( also a pair in the kitchen and a pair on the desk!) worth their weight in gold.

FlicketyB Thu 13-Feb-14 17:25:27

Mishap, as you are obviously an experienced needlewoman please do not take my suggestion amiss. Lots of colleges, craft centres etc etc run one day courses on 'Getting to know your sewing machine'. They are meant to be for people who have never used a machine before but the tutors are very knowledgeable. I haven't done one but am thinking of doing one after having a lot of help with a new machine from a tutor on an 'Introduction to quilting' course I did.

storynanny Thu 13-Feb-14 17:47:21

The plastic cap on my machine is reversible to fit different sizes of reels, could yours be the same? Maybe you could google it, there are lotsof dressmaking clips on youtube

Galen Thu 13-Feb-14 18:07:04

I've treated myself to the JLP one. Got it last year but haven't used it yet! Going to try and make some draught excluders.
They can't be difficult, can they?

Stansgran Thu 13-Feb-14 18:11:20

I bought one for DD over a year ago. She was delighted but it's still in its box.

Nelliemoser Thu 13-Feb-14 18:49:04

I have just spent a lot of time asking around and looking online for sewing machine repairers near to me.
There were online sites advertising places which closed two years ago. Another in nearby town which suggested I emailed all the details then next day replied to say they didn't actually have any operatives there at present.
Flipping time wasters!

Somehow I just happened to come across the name of a man in our village who repairs them at home. These people are not easy to find, I think he needs to advertise a bit better.

I can pick up my machine tomorrow he has charged £40 for a good overhaul and some parts. If it works much better, it will be money well spent. I do not do lots of sewing but I am sure like others I would not like to be without it.

whenim64 Thu 13-Feb-14 19:24:57

Get sewing, Galen. smile I've just spent an enjoyable afternoon making lined curtains at the kitchen table whilst listening to the radio. There's such satisfaction from finishing the job, and knowing you've got a little bit of skill to make them look shop bought for a fraction of the price. I'm leaving my sewing machine out for another couple of days, so I can make a jersey skirt - the material has been hanging around for months.

Nelliemoser Thu 13-Feb-14 19:39:07

My best sewing machine job was making many meters of bunting for DDs wedding. I bought about 6x25mtr rolls of bias binding as DD kept sending me the material for the flags.

They were in lots of pretty pastel floral colours for a village fete theme. We had them diagonally across and around the walls of the village hall.

I eventually organised a sort of production line with the sewing machine and could run them off at quite a rate. They are still in the loft!

Anyone want to buy large quantities of wedding bunting?