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I have an older Singer Sewing Machine that's worked fine for what seems like forever. I'm pretty limited on it (I know how to change the thread, put in a bobbin, change stitch size, and sew) but recently the stitches have been really strange. It almost stretches one length of thread on top and loops the thread over it instead of doing uniform stitches. Is it just a setting I have it on, or a mechanical problem?
 

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In all probability, it is an adjustment that needs to be done. In the following, I am assuming that your Singer has two adjustments and describe how to do both. If your machine only has one adjustmant, it will be the top that needs adjusting.

You will find that there are probably two settings that can be adjusted. One for the top thread and one for the shuttle thread.

Both settings rely on adding a little 'pinch' resistance to the thread being pulled from their respective spools.

The top one is where the thread passes through what looks like a pair of washers. Probably located on the flat end plate near to the shoe raising/lowering lever. There is a nut that compresses a spring and squashes the washers together thus adding resistance to the thread. It is probably this one that is too loose or too tight.

The bottom thread is slightly different but will rely on a small screw compressing something that will add the friction.

First of all, and before you try adjusting anything, check that you have threaded the thread from the bobbin to the eye of the needle correctly.

Secondly, take the shuttle out from underneath, remove the thread and refill the shuttle bobbing again. (That makes sure it is properly filled). Replace. Turn the wheel by hand and draw up the bottom thread through the feed plate.

Without putting any material under the shoe, drop the shoe into the sewing position making sure that you do not pinch top or bottom threads under the shoe. (When the shoe is in the raised position, the pressure on the thread is removed. that is why you should do the test with the shoe lowered.)

Now take the top thread out of the eye of the needle. Very gently pull on the top thread. You will have to have a 'feel' for how easy it is to pull it through. If it is quite stiff, the top thread pressure will need slackening off a small amount.

Now try pulling the bottom thread. If stiff then the bottom will need adjusting.

The adjustment is quite critical top & bottom pressures should be balanced together to get the optimum stitch. The ideal normal stitch should crossover in the centre between the two pieces on material being stitched. If the crossover is under the two pieces being sewn, the bottom pressure is too tight (Or the top pressure is too slack) or vice versa if the crossover is on the top.

If both pressures are too tight, the threads will pucker the material between stitches.It is also likely that you will suffer breaking threads quite regularly. If too slack, you will get bunches of thread.

Use a small piece of test materal to do the adjustments....It may take some time to get it just right, but once you get a 'feel' for what is happening it will become easier next time....But remember, both top & bottom threads can be 'balanced' and still be too tight or too loose.

Cheers :wave:
 
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