14

Are you absolutely sure the upper thread is threaded correctly, especially through the tension control knob? (I would go ahead and re-thread the machine, since it's cheap to do.) Other things to make sure of (most of which you've already done, but just for completeness' sake): The presser foot is fully down (on many machines, the tension isn't engaged ...


10

Most entry-level sewing machines should do fine for sewing apparel, and can even handle a few thicknesses of denim (reviews are good for this sort of info). I would recommend going for a well-known brand rather than e.g. a vintage secondhand machine. That way if you have any issues, it will be easier to get support at a local sewing shop, from the ...


9

Based on your planned usage of the machine, it likely won't be an issue for you. The common usages of a zigzag stitch are to allow give in a seam for stretchy fabrics (which you can handle with the stretch stitch setting), to create buttonholes (not a case you described doing), and to secure edges against fraying (which you may encounter, but can compensate ...


9

It sounds like she already has a basic "starter kit" for sewing. So, instead of getting her a comprehensive kit, I would try to focus on one or two high-quality items that would save her time, or make her work easier in some way. Here are a few suggestions. An adjustable-size dress form. Make sure you get an adjustable one, because presumably her ...


8

Basic requirements For a basic sewing machine that does hems and maybe some simple garment sewing... I'd look for: Basic stitches - running stitch, zig zag, blind hem stitch Adjustable tension - to accommodate lighter fabrics Adjustable stitch length Reverse (almost all modern machines have it, it's just handy) Choices If you want to sew buttons you ...


8

To understand when to use backstitching, you need to understand the purpose of it in the first place. It's not just "a thing that is done," it is a technique to "lock" the stitches in place on a seam. To illustrate this for yourself, get some scrap fabric and stitch two pieces of it together along a straight edge. Backstitch at one end, and just stitch off ...


7

That's a tension dial, for adjusting how taut the upper thread is held while sewing; the adjustments run from 1 (least tension) to 5 (greatest tension), and allow you to adjust the pull of the upper thread against the thread coming from the bobbin. You've already observed this, by noting the loops migrating to the top (too high) or bottom (too low). ...


7

The equipment you listed is exactly what I would have suggested as a genral starter pack. Sewing machine is a no-brainer. The "pizza cutter" is called a "rotary cutter" and is favored by most people. The mat is a requirement to use the rotary cutter. Anything that could be useful to her after that depends on what she makes, but a few ...


7

This is akin to the advice, "Don't run with scissors". As rebusB points out, it isn't a necessity for the machine to work. It's because undesirable things could potentially happen, which can be easily avoided. The undesirable things aren't limited to accidental damage when moving the machine. The machine could be bumped or experience mechanical ...


6

One fix to attempt before taking the machine into the shop is replacing the needle. A slightly bent needle can appear to be sewing correctly, but once you start going at speed it almost inevitably creates one of those nasty tangles.


6

Any time I've had that problem, the bobbin was inserted in the holder the wrong way. What seemed like the right way was the wrong way.


5

You should be able to download the manual for this machine on Singer’s website. I can’t see the model number, it looks like it may be model 457, if so, it’s there. Upon looking at the manual for the 457, it only gives maintenance instructions not repair. This is not unusual. See the two lines lower on the shaft? To answer your “spec” query, instead of a ...


5

It is most likely either an overlock stitch or a serger stitch. These are used to finish edges to prevent fraying and give a professional appearance to a sewn item. The overlock stitch is a combination of a straight stitch and a zigzag. It sews backwards and forwards in a straight line, but between every set of straight stitches, it sews a zigzag. If ...


5

You are describing the technique used for "free motion quilting." On some sewing machines, you can lower the feed dogs instead of covering them. Your machine may come with a "darning foot" or a "free motion quilting" foot which should be used when doing this type of stitching to hold the fabric down while the needle is in the fabric, then lifts when the ...


5

Another thing you might check is for knotted threads jamming the bobbin area. This happened to me after having consistent birdnesting on my piece, after checking the tension and upon removing the bobbin to check it and noticing the gigantic mess.


5

Singer foot pedals sometimes have a speed adjustment. Mine does, I own a CG 550. Look underneath the pedal and if there is a little hole, you should be able to take an electronics grade small flat head screwdriver or one for glasses and torque the gauge to speed up or slow down. Singer machines typically come at middle speed. As this is a beginner machine,...


5

I've heard similar things about bicycle derailleurs, and hand-tools like secateurs (pruning shears), both of which have springs inside them. There's an "old wives tale" that the spring will loose its springiness if stored under tension for a long time, so a spring should be stored in a "relaxed" or untensioned state. That means letting ...


4

I am looking for a machine which would help me do basic stitches and hems on clothing and other thin materials. Stay away from too much stitch variety. When looking for the basics in a machine, too many stitches mean more complicated electronics, which means more things can go wrong with the machine. The absolute basics of a machine: straight stitch zig ...


4

It isn't the machine selection that matters so much as the software available for a particular machine and the ability of that software to digitize a photographic image into the the correct form. My sister has a couple machines with which I've assisted in the software on multiple instances. One in particular was the conversion of a photograph of a fluffy ...


4

Are you using the correct needle point and size for the fabric? Ball points for knits Straight points for woven fabric Sometimes the needle just needs to be changed. The other problem could be the thread holder, are you using a spool or cone? How is it attached or docked to your machine or the table? If it is a spool that is loaded sideways, the ...


4

Brand, Model, Functionality and Missing Parts Singer is first choice, White second, and other brands should be purchased only if complete (check for bobbins, presence of operating manual, and condition of moving parts). Singers are more numerous and, therefore, parts for them are more readily available ... if not from dealers, then from other old machines. ...


4

You need to change your perspective to solve this problem. Short of breaking your sewing machine, I don't see how to cover or deactivate the feeding dog so it won't interfere. Usually, you can remove a cover or compartment right under the bobbin case to expose the "sleeve arm" or "free arm". Then you align your fabric in a way that the seam lies on top ...


4

After much searching, reading and watching videos I figured it out. I took the machine apart to adjust the "needle timing" (key words to search for). Sadly there is no video or instructions for this model specifically, so I'll summarize here: Remove the back cover Remove the bobbin assembly, and the cover over the spinning hook mechanism Note the gear on ...


4

The bobbin case rocking back and forth is normal! In order to form a stitch, the top thread has to cross under the bobbin thread and back up. It does that by looping all the way around the bobbin case - you're seeing the wiggle room to allow that, called the escapement. It is hard to say what the problem might be from your question, but has the machine been ...


4

You can back stitch a zigzag, but usually it’s not your stress stitch. Also, you probably don’t want to back stitch when making gathers or basting. Back stitching helps secure your stitch and is very useful. Good habit to start with but i have found many times that it’s unnecessary. Like darts! Have fun!


4

Bobbin pad? Or spool pad? I use spool pads to protect the surface of my antique sewing machine (1940's Singer Featherweight). Different shaped spools can sometimes rub on the surface around the spool area. I didn't use pads when I had a modern machine. Sometimes your thread might come on a different sized spool or a different size of hole in the middle, ...


4

Worked in a sail loft for a Summer. Never heard anything about the machines "needing" to be left that way, as in "it will not work when coming back to it". It is just a natural and easy thing to do to protect the needle and machine. Not sure if it is a tradition, other than being something you pick up when first learning to use the ...


4

"Feed-off-the-arm sewing machines – A feed off the arm sewing machine’s design is unusual in that its arm bridges a u-shaped bed. Such machines are ideal for seaming the inseams of pants and jeans as well as the sides, sleeves, and shoulders of shirts." https://www.abcsewingmachine.com/blogs/features/62525253-the-different-types-of-industrial-...


3

Reve gave me the tip that led to the solution. As part of each stitch, the upper thread has to be pulled around and under the bobbin case; the loop is then pulled tight against the underside of the cloth. But, in the process of chewing on the broken needle, the bottom of the bobbin case was scored and abraded, and the thread wouldn't smoothly slide under it. ...


3

If fabrics are very delicate leaving long tails and tying the threads may be preferable to backstitching. I also rarely backstitch if I am piecing quilt blocks or doing aplique work, but instead make sure that all stitches get sewn through or rows will be crossed with other stithcingto hold in place. Never back stitch if you do not want to show extra bulk ...


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