Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Machine Woes

My sewing machine has been acting up off and on for months.  I can usually finesse it into cooperating long enough to get a project done but, lately, it hasn't been going so well.  The tension on this thing is all kinds of bad.  Not just bad but inconsistent between stitches.  It will take one or two stitches that are ok, two that are adequate, one that is really bad, maybe leave a loop on the bobbin side, and then stitch a few more good ones...  Sometimes, it makes a thunk noise.  I assume that's bad.

Sometimes, it will be just fine.  I'll have no problems but, gradually, the issue is becoming more and more pronounced.  Now, I have to sew with the tension up at some crazy setting for the upper thread not to pull through to the underside of my project.

Yes, my bobbin is in right and my machine is threaded correctly.  I've checked and rechecked that.  I've made sure I'm using the correct bobbins for my machine.  I've cleaned the machine (and removed a bent pin from the under the bobbin case *blush*).  A new bobbin case didn't fix the problem.  It seems to be okay on zigzag stitches, but maybe that's just because I don't know what I'm looking for?

So, I suppose the next step is taking it to the shop, but I'll confess, she's a cheap machine.  I own a very cheap machine.  In fact, servicing the machine will probably cost as much as buying a new one.

I have a backup but it has issues too.  This is probably related to the fact that it's an even cheaper model.  I'm seeing a trend here, are you?  I think what this means is that I need to save up for a sturdier machine.  Considering how much I sew, it's probably time to make the investment.  What model do you have or would you recommend?


  1. Tension issues are the worst! When I started to have some tension problems I brought my machine in to get serviced and they said it just needed to be oiled in the top part. All the sewing manuals tell you not to mess with the top portion, but if you are going to replace your machine anyways you could try taking apart the top part of the machine yourself and oil all the frictions points

  2. I agree, tension issues can drive you looney! Depending on the features you like on a machine. I know my friend has a Juki that she really loves and has been a workhorse for her. She mainly quilts, though, and this machine ONLY does straight stitch. No zigzag, no decorative stuff. I have had decent luck with my Pfaff machine, although I think I overpaid a bit for it. I have had it for nearly 9 years and I have had relatively few issues with it. There are a few things about it that bug me and I wish were different. I wish it had a flat bed instead of a curved one. I do a fair bit of quilting and a flat bed would be helpful. It also has several decorative stitches, and honestly, I rarely use them. They just look kind of wimpy. One thing I do like about it is the IDT feature. This is like a built in walking foot. No need for an extra foot, it pulls down behind the presser foot and snaps into place. I use it most of the time.

    I also second what Angela said. It certainly can't hurt to give your machine a good cleaning and oiling.

  3. I have a newer computerized singer that had a very similiar sounding problem. When it was new it was fine, but over time I started having to keep the tension at zero, and it still wasn't right. I took it in for service and they charged me $50 and it isn't any better. Therefore, I am commiserating and also in the market for a new machine. Until I find what I want, I'm using a 1950's singer 201 that works better than my new one ever did. Good luck on the search, I'm very curious to see what you decide!