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Sewing machine woes

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    Masha Richart

    So my machine has steadily been refusing to sew knits for about a year now. It is an old, all-mechanical metal machine, and when I acquired it, it sewed knits like a dream. I always use either a ballpoint or a stretch needle and a walking foot, and I experimented with different thicknesses of needles when things started to go south. Basically, first the machine stopped zigzagging on knits (though it would still twin-needle). Then it stopped twin needling. And then it finally stopped stretch-stitching this week. In all cases the bobbin thread doesn’t pick up the top thread so it just doesn’t sew.

    It is way overdue for a tune-up so I dropped it off at the only repair shop nearby today. I told the guy my problem and he told me there was nothing wrong with the machine since it still sews wovens just fine. He said “have you tried cotton?” I told him that the knits I sew are almost exclusively cotton and he looked at me like I was an utter idiot and said “Knits aren’t cotton, they are polyester.” *facepalm* So I showed him my daughter’s cotton knit store-bought tee shirt and told him that was what I was sewing on. He is going to tune it up but maintained that there was nothing wrong with it since it sews wovens.

    I am hoping that the tune-up will just naturally fix the problem but then this guy isn’t exactly inspiring any confidence. And if it doesn’t help, does anyone have any ideas?

    violetvata @violetvata

    My old machine did start doing that and it was due to the metal parts being worn down. Hoping that is not the problem with yours, but I’m thinking that a zig zag on woven would also not work, so you could show him how that is impaired and maybe he will see the problem? For me it was every stitch the required a left right/side to side movement, not just a forwards motion. Keep us posted!

    Sarvi @Sarvi

    Oh dear. Have you had a look online to see if there are any other places that offer sewing machine service? “Knits aren’t cotton” sets off red flags, methinks. I wonder if you could contact your machine’s manufacturer for a list of recommended repair shops.

    cybele727 @cybele727

    Sewing machine woes make be both happy and sad. Happy that I am not alone, sad that we have to be on that particular island.

    I bought a Janome Magnolia about 3 years ago. The first one I had to trade in for a replacement because its buttonholer ate a family reunion dress at the BUTTON HOLE STEP. (Steam pouring out of my ears).

    I have a new one but it is super sensitive and can’t sew through thickness. It hates the Family Reunion Dress. HATES those button holes. The last one I made, I sewed on the buttons and then used super strong industrial snaps (which look horrid if you look close enough).

    Also, the top and bottom stitches are never ever even. The other day, the bobbin thread was just straight with loops from the top thread all the way through. Ripped that out, tried again, with no changes to tension, etc, and it was uneven still, but better. And with tiny sleeve hems, you really do need your bobbin side to look just as good as your thread side.

    Finally, if I start too close to the edge and by that I mean any closer than 4/8 of an inch, the feed dogs won’t push the fabric and it will just do a big knot. My dealer claims that it is because I didn’t use interfacing when I showed her a sample. I was like, shall I bring in pieces that interfacing isn’t required LIKE SIDE SEAMS???

    I am unable to complete even one project without some weird stitching behavior happening. I’ve had it cleaned and tuned, too!

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