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LissaWilson
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« on: February 04, 2008, 04:06:15 PM »

My machine is now sewing uneven stitches. The stitches are normal length, and then every so often there are stitches the size of a basting stitch or longer. I have changed out the thread and checked the tension. Does this mean my machine needs a tune-up?
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Marta Vincent
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2008, 04:12:44 PM »

You probably should take it in, and it may only need a thorough cleaning.  I sew all the time, and I have 3 machines - 2 that I use a lot - and I take them in 3 or 4 times a year whether they are acting up or not.  I compare it to oil changes on my car.  In the long run, it'll extend the life of the machine.  If you don't sew a lot, but sew fairly regularly, once a year might be enough.  But if you sew very little, things can get really gunked up from lack of use, and it's very important to get it tuned up.
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lindym
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2008, 04:18:38 PM »

Lissa, it sound like a stitch is dropping. Change out your needle if you haven't done so recently. Also check inside the bobbin casing area for caught threads. The other thing can be areas you are sewing that are a bit thicker and will allow a stitch to drop resulting in a "longer" stitch.
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Linda Myers
Mary Gutzke
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2008, 04:57:01 PM »

I've had that issue many times. I'll second the idea to check and replace your needle. I think in theory you're supposed to replace it with each sewing project so you always start with a sharp, straight needle.

Also try totally re-threading your machine, making sure that your threads "click" into place where they're supposed to. This has been recommended to me by a different dealers of different sewing machines and it does usually work for me. Don't know why it works but it does.  Smiley
« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 04:58:52 PM by Mary Gutzke » Logged

Mary Gutzke
BarbaraSmith
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2008, 05:31:30 PM »

I never touched your machine!  Grin Grin Grin

Ditto everyone else - change the needle, re-thread the machine, re-thread your bobbin, blow any dust/dirt/thread lint out of the machine.

CarolAnn gave some great tips on do-it-yourself machine maintenance before you take your machine in. One of them was to READ YOUR MANUAL and find the chapter on "Troubleshooting."  Grin I did that, and discovered that there is not much I CAN do myself, other than the above.  Grin

Lastly, if you're convinced it needs to be felt up by some little old man who magically fixes machines, I've been told that Creative Sewing on South Hill is THE PLACE to go. I keep meaning to take Old Miss Chugga-Chugga Bang-Bang there...  Grin  http://www.creativesewing.net/

Cheers,
Babs
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2008, 05:38:33 PM »

Lastly, if you're convinced it needs to be felt up by some little old man who magically fixes machines,

Thanks... I will never look at my sewing machine repairman the same way again...  Grin
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BarbaraSmith
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2008, 07:13:46 PM »

Hey, you never know.... He might like that!  Grin
B.
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Auntie B says: "I may look like Aunt Pitty-Pat, but I have the soul of Belle Watling," and "Since I can't be a good example, then I'm just gonna have to be a horrible warning."
Veronica Carey
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2008, 07:20:22 PM »

Not only change to a new needle, but make sure it is the right kind & size needle for your fabric.  Sorry I don't have my machine needle sizing info in front of me, but I always check to make sure I have the right one for a project (ball point needle for knits, etc) plus sizing for very fine, medium or heavy fabrics.  My old machine is much happier with me when I do this, and it has solved the skipped stitch problem for me a couple of times without need of a service call.
Good luck!
Veronica
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Elizabeth
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2008, 10:44:44 AM »

'Nother ditto for changing out the needle as a first resort, but if it's been awhile since the machine was serviced and changing the needle doesn't fix the dropped stitch problem, take it in for servicing as Marta suggests. 

Just got my Bernina back from the shop last week, after it went Screee Screee GRONK.  Just needed a good old cleaning out in places I couldn't reach.

Needles are cheap.  Buy lots and change 'em frequently.
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Regards,
Elizabeth
LissaWilson
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2008, 05:57:36 PM »

So...really upset Cry. I tried to clean my machine and changing the needle still didn't work so I took it in to the sewing place. The very nice lady messed with it for a little while and then told me that basically my machine is a piece of garbage, and the cost of servicing it is more than the machine is worth. She told me I have two choices, either sew fabrics with more density than the cheap muslin I was sewing or buy a new machine that is higher quality.

So, I don't know what to do now... Undecided
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The principal mark of civilization for a woman is invariably the crinoline. - C. Baudelaire (1859).

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lindym
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2008, 07:12:20 PM »

First, do you want to borrow a machine so you can keep going? I could bring you one tomorrow morning. Secondly, was this the place Barb recommended up near you on Meridian? They are supposed to be real good, but then again, they do SELL machines  Wink

Linda

Edited: I could fiddle with it a bit if you like.....
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Linda Myers
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2008, 07:28:30 PM »

Thanks for the offer! I'm going to fiddle with it some more tonight and I'll PM to let you know how it goes. I think it will still work, although maybe only for denser materials like wool, so I'm probably going to need to start thinking about investing in a new machine in the next few weeks.
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The principal mark of civilization for a woman is invariably the crinoline. - C. Baudelaire (1859).

http://fairprospect.blogspot.com
Anna Worden Bauersmith
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2008, 05:22:48 AM »

Try a different shop.
Last year I was pointed to a place a couple hours away that did great work on my Bernina. I will eventually be taking him my in very, very poor shape tredle machine to get working (need to de-gunk and add some parts).


Anna
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Anna Worden Bauersmith
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Joanna Jones
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2008, 06:19:02 AM »

Anna, have you considered doing some or all of the cleaning and de-gunking yourself?  There are a number of sites I have found as I start to do the same to my Domestic I was just given.  Here is one that has lots of resources: http://www.treadleon.net/sewingmachineshop/index.html

I've got more if you want
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Elizabeth
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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2008, 06:36:24 AM »

Lissa, get an estimate from a Sew-n-Vac Repair sort of place, not one that sells new machines.  Even if yours is not salvagable, at a sew-n-vac repair place you stand a good chance of getting a refurbished used machine for cheap.   Personally, I prefer a lot of the older models of decent brands... Singers and New Homes from the 60s, for instance, hold up really well, as do older mechanical Berninas.

Are you using a delicate needle for the muslin?  Something in the 60 range?  A needle too large or small can lead to skipping, too.
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Regards,
Elizabeth
Anna Worden Bauersmith
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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2008, 07:20:05 AM »

Anna, have you considered doing some or all of the cleaning and de-gunking yourself?  There are a number of sites I have found as I start to do the same to my Domestic I was just given.  Here is one that has lots of resources: http://www.treadleon.net/sewingmachineshop/index.html

I've got more if you want

I have so much on my plate finding time and space to do the machine myself just isn't an option. This is one of those things I feel more comfortable just dropping off on some nice spring or summer day. (Just got an idea for a camping and antique shopping trip in conjuction with the maching being worked on.)

Anna
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Anna Worden Bauersmith
http://annaworden.wordpress.com/
Quilted Hood Pattern - Available on Etsy
Fanciful Utility: Victorian Sewing Cases and Needle-books
From Field to Fashion: The Straw Bonnet
Cassandra
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« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2008, 07:33:51 AM »

My 4 step simple cure:
1.  Set aside you sewing worries for 1 week
2   Grab for a bar of chocolate and head to town.
3.  Go antique shopping at 3 of your favorite antique shops.
4.  Go Janome! (My dream...a Janome sewing machine. I've never heard a single bad thing about one)
                         Wink
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Joanna Jones
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« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2008, 08:05:54 AM »

I have so much on my plate finding time and space to do the machine myself just isn't an option.
Anna

I understand, really!  I was lucky that mine is in fairly good condition with everything working OK... just trying to track down the special needles (found some) and a replacement front throat plate (haven't found that yet)
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BarbaraSmith
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« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2008, 09:35:39 AM »

Lissa, if I recall, your machine was a less expensive model that you got as a present, right? It's possible it's not the best, but it's also possible to "upgrade" to an older, better quality machine, for less than a big fancy brand new computerized thing. Ah the joys of Craigslist...  Wink

Do let us know if you got this reponse from Creative Sewing on South Hill. They are highly recommended to me by a woman who collects treadles and other older machines, and has all of them serviced there. It's possible the woman is actually giving you good advice, if you went there.  Wink

Linda can help you find an older machine that might work well for you. In fact, I happen to know that Linda is acquiring such a machine for free this weekend....  Wink Of course, we don't know whether THAT particular machine might be in good shape, or useful to you.

Lastly, if you're interested in a Treadle, I have a friend with two for sale, in good working order (also the woman who tipped me off to Creative Sewing). Linda has seen both and can advise you on them. One is $125 and one is $75 (Linda, did I get it right this time?). Oh, and they both come with their cabinets.

Cheers,
Barbara
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Auntie B says: "I may look like Aunt Pitty-Pat, but I have the soul of Belle Watling," and "Since I can't be a good example, then I'm just gonna have to be a horrible warning."
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« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2008, 11:03:05 AM »


Linda can help you find an older machine that might work well for you. In fact, I happen to know that Linda is acquiring such a machine for free this weekend....  Wink Of course, we don't know whether THAT particular machine might be in good shape, or useful to you.


Cheers,
Barbara

THAT particular machine is going to disappear (just don't tell HIM)   Roll Eyes Wink
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Linda Myers
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