Are you getting to know the temperment of your machine? Hope it is going well for you. Budster
How nice of you to ask!
I sewed my very first ever in my whole life project last weekend! I made a "knitting needle roll up." Oh my gosh--I can't believe I actually did it. All my life, I have wanted to sew. But it always seemed so intimidating and difficult.
Of course, actually following a pattern is a different matter. I'm still nervous about that. I'm thinking of starting with a simple half apron (but in a cute retro style).
My 7 year old son, who is learning with me, made 2 drawstring bags, and a fleece soft toy. He loves it, but is a bit frustrated with controlling the speed.
I'm finally getting the hang of the foot control. It used to whiz super fast as soon as I pushed it. But I'm getting better with practice. But it would be nice if I could get a new control--one that my son can use more easily. Do you know if that is possible?
I think the machine still has a few problems though. The needle position doesn't work well, and the "fine" stitch length just jams the thread into a big wad. Those 2 problems make it impossible to do a buttonhole.
The zig zag stitching is very, very loose. The stitches sort of float above the fabric. I have tried the tension on every setting, but that doesn't change it (that just changes how bunched up the fabric gets). So we are just strait stitching, but would love to do some fancy edges.
I tried several times to use the hemmer foot, but was unable to feed the fabric into the little roller thingy. It seemed almost impossible to get it in there, and keep it in there. Does it actually work? What about the bias foot?
A friend who sews came over today to view the machine. She could not believe how heavy it is when she tried to move it! She said, "Wow--it's all made of metal!"
Oh--and I oiled it using the original oil bottle that came with the machine.
Here is my son, hard at work! (Sorry it's so big--I forgot to resize it.)
Did you get a book with the machine? That should help you with some of your questions. As a last resort, take your hemming foot, and your bias foot with you to your favorite repair place.....maybe where you had the tune up done...ask for demo on how they work and you can see it actually being done (yes the machine is heavy but it is a worker!) There are many books on sewing you can check out at your local library that will show good pictures on how each attachment work.......ask for help and you can even say I'd like something with good pictures.....you may not get your machine in the pictures but they will give you an IDEA on what you might be doing wrong with your machine. It might be worth your while to list the things you are having difficulty with and take the machine into a repair place....the needle positioning lever on my machine is also not easy to move but it has been that way since day one. As for your footpedal, ask if there is a generic one with a speed control switch that will fit your machine.....lots of repair places have machines they strip for parts and you might luck in....you have to remember the connecters must fit into the machine and not all of them are the same. That's a very nice picture by the way, I love the look of concentration your son has. Your stitch length on fine it might be set too high .... have you tried moving it down a little bit each time and see if that helps?
Thank you for all those tips! (I do have the manual, btw, though I still can't get that hemmer to work. As you suggest, I probably need a real person to show me.)
We have a local sewing repair shop in my small town. Alas, the owner is not very nice, and the last time I walked in there, he made my son cry by grouchily telling him not to touch the vacuum cleaners. So I'll need to find someplace else. (I've moved out of the state where I had the original tune up.)
My last tune up (in 1999, before I stuck the machine in storage) was about 80 bucks! I'm wondering, if it costs that much to get it checked out again, if I should bother. Since the machine is functional now for simple straight stitching. Hmmmmmmm. Then again, if it is really possible to get this machine in great working condition, of course it is worth the money. I guess my hesitation is that I have read that these machines can be permanently "tempermental," in which case, if the overall design is poor, it might not be worth it to keep dumping in the cash.
I do hope it will be a keeper, as I am one of those types who is "stuck in the past." That is, I live in an old house, with a restored vintage kitchen, vintage appliances, etc. etc. So this machine fits right in to my life. And I sure do love the look of the lady on the attachment box, with her bouffant hair, and giant hair bow to keep her locks away from the machine!
Do you have a sewing relative? If so inquire if they have a sewing repair place they favor - in my area I have two places which are super. When you visit take your machine along in the car...that might be a solution. I would not return to the place you mentioned if the fellow was that testy. I would however ask him over the phone if he has a replacement foot pedal with speed control that would fit your machine. What can a question hurt? My machine was in the shop only once or twice since I received it new in (dare I admit it - the late 60's). The last technician told me it would outlast me. Plan a fun afternoon with your sewing friend who might be able to help you with the attachments you ask about. My tune up was around $70.00 IF I remember correctly. You know if you really aren't happy - look into trading it in for another machine.....you should at least get some dollar value for it. Myself, I'd stick with it and keep trying to get it up and running to perfection. Mine has sewn miles and I've done everything on it...canvas, tarp, sacking...all the way to fine silk. My dream is to display my machines someday in a sewing room of my own...I'm hopeless at parting with my old machine when I get a new one. I now have my original Singer 222, the T&S I received as a grad gift and the Elna SU - DH bought me 30+ years ago and he considers "your NEW machine". I also have a Singer treadle and an Pfaff serger. Last count 5 machines. There are people here with many many more than me....but can I part with even one....no! You are fortunate to have the book and all the parts...be sure to keep EVERYTHING. So many sewers mislay their manuals and it is difficult to get them at times. No for me, keep your machine and even if it just does straight stitch for now, you should be able to get the thing up and running. Ask anyone you can who sews if they can help. It is hard sometimes to assist on line and some of us (me being one) are visual learners. Have you searched this forums old postings? There are a few on T&S machines. Take some time to have a read through....even contact people and ask for suggestions or aid...Susan is a wonderful person, as is her mom Joansews ....Susan is LoganHogan or is it HoganLogan I always mix it up. Anyway...your machine looks so clean and wonderfully taken care of.....not like some banged up ones I've seen from the same time. Good luck.
I agree with Cheryl's (Budster) post about your machine. My first thought was "I don't see a scratch on it!". I have a 600 that I would walk through fire for. I say have a sewing friend take a look and if they can't get your straight stitch to work take it in for a tune up. That machine will be a workhorse. I bought a dinged up one recently for $6.00 at a thrift store in case I need it for parts for my machine. My mother actually supported she and I after she and my dad divorced in 1974 on a T&S Her's is a 700 series. That dress made my wedding dress and countless other things for me. She finally killed it in the late 90's, I would say she had to have sewn hundreds of thousands of hours on that machine in 30 years. She's bought all of them she can find at thrift stores and on ebay.
Well, I've been using the old gal all day today to make a huge pile of "generic soft toy blobs" for an arts and crafts project form my son's upcoming birthday. The great news is that I have been able to use the zig zag for this. I'm working with fleece today, and the zig zag is fine with it (though it doesn't work so well with a thin fabric).
But the bad news is the the bobbin is malfunctioning about 30% of the time. One of my bobbins (not sure if it is original, or a new one i got) simply will not wind. The thread just spins around and around but never "catches." Then, 2 others will sometimes wind, but sometimes get a snargled. Or they seem to have wound, but when I start sewing, the needle jams, and the bobbin gets crooked (back side lifts up toward the needle) and very, very stuck. And then, after trying to rewind it yet again, it suddenly works. this had been going on all day, but it wasn't happening at all over the past week and a half.
Bayareafancy, make sure you thread your bobbin thread thru the little hole in the bobbin.. for years I did not do that and wondered why my bobbin thread would break.. well someone mentioned to me to do that.. and ever since I have not had any trouble with my bobbins.. duh.. guess it does pay to read directions.. I enjoyed seeing you little boy... so cute.. and so focused on what he was doing.. thread on his sleeve and all.. LOL I sewed for years and years on a $50.00 sewing machine, Singer I think and it is metal too and it made me a lot of money.. I also raised children after my divorce on working a 40 hour a week job, also working weekends .. and sewing.. sewing always brought me pleasure and paid for the sewing machine over and over and over. I made time out dolls and now I make potaot bags, baby blankets, I have made a first comunion dress out of a wedding dress. I have made bathrobes, curtains, .etc. I could go on and on.. but you will find that you will love to sew.. Keep up the good work
Bayareafrancy - make sure your bobbins have no nicks or anything on them.....and that they are the correct ones for the machine - that is my first thought. Then I read what huggybear said....my bobbins have no holes, and are a clear drop in kind you wind in the machine (thus my suggestion to check they are the correct ones). Huggybear I love the fabrics you show.......especially the first photo and the goose outfits what a great selection of fabrics. The communion dress is lovely, and what a lovely idea using a wedding dress as the starting point. I couldn't help but suggest you add some lovely red tassles to the last goose picture in the appropriate places......whoo hoo you go girl!
Read the directions? LOL!
I'm not sure what you mean by "little hole" unless you mean when sewing from a previously wound bobbin. That part usually works fine. Usually... It is the winding, and then using the newly would that is the big problem.
But I just noticed in the directions that I was neglecting to wrap the extra thread around the presser foot screw. I was just letting it get "sucked in" to the bobbin. So maybe that was the "snargling agent" so to speak?
I love that double scallop stitching you did! So lovely! My scallop isn't working too well....
It took me some tries to get my stiches just right.. but I tried on scrap fabric.. and when I got it just where I wanted it.. I maked it down , so I could remember it....
The T&S bobbins most likely don't have the holes Huggy Bear is talking about. You have to wrap the thread around the screw at the presser foot and wind it at a steady speed and not wide open. If I wind mine too fast it will do like you described. My machine is older than yours, mine is the 600 called an auto reel before they started calling them T&S.
I do have the correct (replacement) bobbins (clear plastic), though the original ones might not be in perfect condition (though I don't think my mother ever really used the machine). I'll wind the extra thread around the screw, and work on my speed. What does "wide open" mean? Do you mean I need to close the plate, and not be a "bobbin voyeur?" Does the bobbin need privacy to wind properly?
Actually, I do keep the plate open so I can be sure it is winding correctly. Do I need to close it?
It is so neat to find you folks who have the same machine! I really appreciate your advice and encouragement. And I am finally able to sew a straight line, AND a "straight curve." Woo Hoo! I'm gearing up toward a real, honest to goodness PATTERN (which I've never tried before). Probably a smock type retro apron.
Francy - I can tell you on my machine I have to keep the throat plate open when winding bobbins, if I close it the little red button I push over to get the bobbins wound snaps back and it returns to normal machine stitch position. Keep it open........my advice. I think it is somewhere in the manual as well. Budster
Oh yes--silly me! Of course that's right!
Then still unsure what "wide open" means...
"Wide open" in this instance means running the machine at the highest speed (foot pedal fully depressed). It's best to wind the bobbin at a moderate speed.
Wide open means exactly what bostonpat says. However follow her advice when filling the bobbin, moderate speed works best.....you have control then. Don't overfill the bobbin, at least that is what I have found with my T&S. Those lines on the bobbin are there for a purpose. My mother once borrowed my machine and complained about the poor quality of it's performance. Then I saw all these bobbins filled way past the stop point and poorly wound. Hello....I just opened the bobbins and used the thread for basting and reused the bobbins ........ get invention these screw apart bobbins! Francy, you are doing so well making all these little projects...let us know when the actual PATTERN process begins. A neat retro apron is a very good start. Don't forget, perhaps your son would like to make a special pillowcase for his bed with some space ship, lego or whatever his interest fabric. So many neat fabrics out there you can get just to match his interests......not just teddy bears and rainbows anymore! I just added yet another couple meters to my stash...oh stash you are going to get into that word my dear - a pile of fabric that attracts you and you buy "just a little" - it keeps growing and growing. My fabrics are both sewing based...one with little little thimbles and squares, the other is a small patchwork. What I will do with it....I'm not sure, but I liked it so I bought it. I am still trying to find some fabric with small singer sewing machines on them - treadle like ......anyone ever see anything like that? Anyway Francy - keep going you are doing well!
LOL budster.. I just looked at the pic of the last goose outfit..and laughed to myself.. I used all of the geese in a July 4th Hometown parade, they had it set up as a streetcar and all the geese were sitting all around the outside of the streetcar and most in different holiday dress. not sure if the tassels would have gone over LOL
but sure would have been fun to see. can't you see all the city members shocked faces to see a striper goose on the float..LOL all the folks who had their geese in the parade were sitting inside the streetcar and we threw candy and stuff to the kids.. we had a great time and yeppers the bathing suit one did go over big..
BostonPat! You are my hero for explaining my Redneck Alabama expressions. LOL
Yes, Francy do like Pat and Cheryl, said, use a moderate speed and leave your throat plate open.
Years ago my hubby bought me a sewing machine for Christmas. Believe me, it has been a long time ago. Well, I have used it and used it. I was having problems with it and it needed a good cleaning. I took it in and had the guy clean and do what needed to be done to it. When I got it back it ran like a dream. In talking to the man he told me to always hang on to this machine because it was one of the better ones on the market. It has very little plastic in it as the new ones now do.
Enjoy the sewing time with your son. I have a 6 year old grandaughter that loves to sew. We bought her a Kenmore small sewing machine for Christmas. She has already made several cute things. I am always on the lookout for new small projects for her. I always sewed for our daughters and now my daughters (2) sew for theirs. They often ask Grandma to make something for their girls that I had made for them. I still have some of the sundress patterns that I made for them.. It is loads of fun.. Enjoy....