Badly formed stitches- what am I missing?

oreadJune 21, 2008

I was given a sewing machine last week, a basic singer, and I've been trying to teach myself how to use it, but I can't seem to turn out anything except badly formed straight stitches. The thread will run straight along the top without going down through the material, and on the bottom it will be all loose. I've rethreaded it countless times, changed the needle size, adjusted the tension, sewed countless test seams, and nothing works. The cloth is 100% cotton, printed with a pattern. I'm not sure exactly what it is because it was just something I had lying around, but it doesn't stretch at all. The needles that came with the machine are brand new, so it isn't an old needle, either. However, they didn't give me anything smaller than 11/80.

Please help if you can, guys. I'm about to start banging my head against the wall.

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Sounds like the tensions are off!! Have you tried adjusting the bobbin tension?? Have you cleaned it out of all the lint,and oiled it?? Do you have the same thread on the bobbin as you have going thru the needle,and last of all are you sure it's threaded correctly.

You don't say whether or not you were given a manual with it,if so read it from cover to cover,then read it again and do exactly as it says for threading etc.HTH

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 8:17PM
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I agree with Kathi. You mentioned that the machine is a Singer - in years past, they were famous for having to be threaded just the right way. If you even threaded the needle the wrong way, they would have your problem. Also, you could be putting the bobbin in upside down. Turn it over and see if that helps.

If all else fails, find an older sewer to try the machine for you. Someone who has used several machines over the years. Usually they can find the problem.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 2:45AM
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Are you positive you have the correct needle for your machine?

You need to find out your model number & a Singer dealer in your area for the best advice & appropriate products.

If you have no manual - & again the model # is vital for this(it's usually found printed on the machine somewhere) - you can find manuals online.....

Here is a link that might be useful: Sew USA

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 12:06PM
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Are you putting the presser foot down before you sew? The presser foot feeds the fabric and engages the tension, so it won't work right if it's up.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 1:15PM
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I'm with monicatz my first thought was the bobbin was feeding off from the wrong direction.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 5:20PM
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I've tried all of that. I turned the bobbin around several times, read the manual over and over again, tried different combinations of thread, made sure to use brand new singer needles of the correct gauge and type, etc., etc. I had a friend over to look, and she couldn't figure out out either. I've rethreaded it and rethreaded it, changed stitch lengths and type of fabric, brushed it out and oiled it- all to no avail. This is a brand new machine. There's no reason it shouldn't work, and I'm extremely disappointed about it.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 6:14PM
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Well if it's a brand new machine,i would take it back!! You're not supposed to have that many problems with a new machine,you're supposed to be able to just sit down and sew,after reading the manual that is.

Is it one of those singers that they sell hither and yon saying they were over purchased for some school or something and so they are selling them at an extreme discount?? I sure hope not!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 5:37PM
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Sorry you are having so much trouble with that NEW machine. If you can take it back, like Kathi said, do so. Then find an old reliable 1960 or older Singer. If you want just a straight stitch, buy a 201, the best straight stitch made. If you want a zig zag, the Singer 401A, 403 are nice machines too. I have these 3 machines and love them! Of course this is just my opinion. Good Luck! Philanna

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 5:51PM
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I agree with Philanna--especially with her advice to look for an older machine. Key things to watch for are all-steel parts--no plastic gears!


    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 6:21PM
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You never mentioned the Model know it is a Singer.

May have missed something you said the needles were new, did not see mentioned that the machine is new.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 10:50PM
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Sorry for the second post, the fabric that you are using has it been prewashed?

If it has could it need a little spray starch?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 11:10PM
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