Sewing Problem

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Bruiser

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I'm having a problem with my Singer machine. It is about 10 years old but hasn't been used much, just for my rocketry. Here's what's going on.

I like to sew loops in elastic for my shock cords. I'm no seamstress but I've been doing okay with it until now. I am trying to sew the loops in 1/2 Estes Pro Cord for my Ventris and the thread from the upper spool keeps going down into the bobbin area. After just a few zig-zags it just quite working. I made sure the thread is routed correctly and I took apart the bobbin area, wiped it out and put a few drops of oil in. Still having the same problem. Any ideas?

TIA,
-Bob
 

crossfire

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For doing strap for Gary I have the upper tension wheel on 6. I use an old Sears machine for strap. Hope this helps. MIKI
 

Zeus-cat

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My wife suggest looking at the manual in the troubleshooting area. Look online if you don't have a hard copy.
 

tfish

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Are you keeping tension on both threads, as you're getting started?

Tony
 

TSMILLER

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Check that you don’t have a dull needle. The smallest barb or dulling on the needle causes all kinds of problems.
Secondly watch your tension. Heavier fabrics/materials require more tension.
 

boatgeek

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I agree that this sounds like an upper thread tension problem. Can you post a picture of what you’re seeing?

If you have a sewing machine store nearby, they will often help with troubleshooting issues like this for free.
 

FredA

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I see your problem from here: "sew loops in elastic"
Get rid of that stuff!
 

crossfire

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Yes get rid of the underware strap.
 

Super

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A simple fix to many problems is accomplished by checking your thread and assuring it does not have tiny knots, clumps or flaws in the top bobbin thread. it it does, they will get caught in the eye of the needle and cause jams of the needle, tractor shoe, and thread to be forced into the lower bobbin due to a tension buildup. Nomex often comes with such knots. I don't know the fix other than buy new thread, get needles with larger eyes, or begin to enjoy threading the lower bobbin.
 

Bruiser

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I did look at the manual and that is what led me to try cleaning the bobbin area and to check the path of the upper thread.

I was thinking on this when I was trying to go to sleep last night and I wondered if a dull needle would cause it. I think I am going to try a new needle and some new thread. Got to go to Walmart this weekend anyway so I'll pick them up.

I'll also check the tension when I give it a try Tuesday. If it's still not working I'll get some pics.

Thanks for all the help,
-Bob
 

base890

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I’m trying to interpret the problem but making some assumptions...

If the bobbin isn’t picking up the thread your needle could be slightly rotated- there’s often a recessed area on the needle that has to face right.

If not, the timing may be off- particularly a problem if you sewed through lots of heavy material or your needle is dull. The manual will have details about this and there’s a lot of you tube videos that will help you restore the timing.
 

Angie

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Are you using a good thread? Cheap thread will cause issues with your machine. Also, is your machine a vertical bobbin or a horizonal bobbin?
And all the other solutions suggested are good to check out also.
 

Bruiser

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I have finally got back on this. I changed the needle and the thread out and tried a test on regular cloth. It worked great for about an inch then the same thing happened.

In this photo you can see the extra thread from the upper spool going down into the bobbin area and coming back up.
Sewing upper.jpg



In this picture you can see the thread from the upper spool going down into the bobbin area and coming back up. The thread going off to the left is the bobbin thread. The thread that is going down is part of the loop from the top spool that is getting pulled down and eventually gets stuck in the bobbin area. The arrow id pointing to the other part of the loop.
Sewing Lower.jpg



I guess I need to start looking for a sewing machine shop. I don't know if it would be worth repairing. It's a very basic (i.e. cheap) model.

Maybe I should get out a regular needle if I want to launch this rocket at the December launch...

-Bob
 

boatgeek

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Any non-big-box store that sells sewing machines (fabric store, sewing & vacuum store, etc.) will be able to help you troubleshoot. Looking at the first picture and assuming that the side we see is the bottom side, the top tension is too low or the bobbin tension is too high. You can see how the top thread is pulled through the fabric by the bottom thread. The meeting point should be in the two layers of fabric. I would troubleshoot as follows:

1. Tighten top tension until the threads meet in the middle of the fabric. If the thread catching problem goes away, you're golden. If the problem goes away but the zigzag stitch bunches up the fabric, go to 2.
2. Loosen top and bottom tension until the fabric doesn't bunch up. If the thread catching problem comes back or was never fixed by 1, you'll need some adjustments.

Don't worry about it being a cheap machine. The staff at any decent store will help you out, though it's possible they'll roll their eyes a little bit.
 

crossfire

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Did you adjust upper tension? The thread you using looks pretty thick. Miki still thinks it's the tenison. After sewing chutes for 26 years it's hard for me to doubt her. You could buy from Top Flight or Teddy
 

TSMILLER

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Check you bobbin tension. Grasping the thread with the bobbin in the carrier, the bobbin and carrier should not fall. A quick drop,
(think yo-yo) they should drop a few inches before the tension over comes the gravity.
It may take a few times of adjusting the upper and lower to get everything synced correctly.
 
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