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Do you sew? HELP

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I am attempting to, but my sewing machine hates me. And not a little hate, but HATES me...
I just got it, it was my grandmothers and its a 1979 Kenmore... not my first choice but it was free. And since I have never used one I figured it would be good to learn on. But its about to go in the middle of the nearest river.
The problems:
The foot is weird. Its like the needle isnt sitting in the middle. Its like the vibrations from the machine knock it loose and then the foot moves a millimeter and the needle snaps in half. I have tried taking it off and putting it back on but it didnt help. The needle is still sitting right on the edge of the foot. I have the needle threaded right, but it is like it wont pick up the bobbin thread. We had it working yesterday, about long enough to sew one seam, and then the needle snapped thanks to that stupid foot. And then I get the new needle put in, curse a few time, get the needle re threaded and then it wont pick up the thread again. I am really out of ideas with the darn thing and just want to sell it and go buy a new one.
Any help from anyone would be completely awesome...
post #2 of 21
When you put the foot on, did you tighten the screw enough? The other thing is that you might go to a repair shop and get it worked on, and it won't cost nearly as much as getting a new one.
post #3 of 21
I also think taking it to a repair shop and getting it cleaned and adjusted will solve all of your problems! And certainly for much less than getting a new machine!
post #4 of 21
The feet are called presser feet-their should be more than one????
Do you have a manual wheel on the upper right of the machine??? Does it turn easy or hard???

The reason this may be happening is that many pins have probably been sewn over and knocked it out of align, a telltale sign is the wheel (for lack of better terminology) is hard to turn.

Most likely this needs to be taken into a sewing machine shop for a cleaning (about $100 though).
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
I tightened the screws and they didnt appear to be loose. My grandmother said that it was sewing fine. But she hadnt used it in a few months because she bought a newer one.

I dont know if we even have a sewing machine repair shop anymore...
But I'll try

Oh and by buy a new one, I dont mean go to walmart or somewhere and get a brand new one. I found a model on craigslist for $100 they said it was only a year or 2 old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
The feet are called presser feet-their should be more than one????
Do you have a manual wheel on the upper right of the machine??? Does it turn easy or hard???

The reason this may be happening is that many pins have probably been sewn over and knocked it out of align, a telltale sign is the wheel (for lack of better terminology) is hard to turn.

Most likely this needs to be taken into a sewing machine shop for a cleaning (about $100 though).
the wheel seems to be turning fine. It had an issue turning earlier but that was because the thread committed suicide and got all knotted up.

yea there are a few more feet in accessories box. Think I should just try to change it and put a different one on?
post #6 of 21
For the cost of repairs (or less), you can get a brand-new machine -- nothing fancy, but certainly adequate for basics. I have an $89 Brother machine, and it's plenty for me... I'm not willing to undertake anything so intense as to require, like, a buttonhole-maker!

Before somebody stomps on me, let me acknowledge that Brother is apparently not considered a good brand... but I haven't managed to destroy it yet!
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
For the cost of repairs (or less), you can get a brand-new machine -- nothing fancy, but certainly adequate for basics. I have an $89 Brother machine, and it's plenty for me... I'm not willing to undertake anything so intense as to require, like, a buttonhole-maker!

Before somebody stomps on me, let me acknowledge that Brother is apparently not considered a good brand... but I haven't managed to destroy it yet!
LOL yea thats why I figured this one would be good for me to learn on and to get the hang of it. But it is a fancy one, it has cams and button hole stuff and monogram stuff and all that... but I cant even make the darn thing sew a seam!!
post #8 of 21
I recommend the cleaning and adjusting, too. There are two repair shops near me. Sears could probably recommend one.
Does you machine have a tension adjustment? If the tension is not set for the combo of fabric and the foot, this could cause the bunching thread problem.
Can you pick up the bobbin thread now? I just turn the wheel so that the needle makes one pass at the bobbin and the thread comes up.
post #9 of 21
I'm certainly not one to advise on sewing machines, but have you checked to make sure you put the needle in correctly? I broke several when I first tried to sew and every time I replaced them, they would hit the side of the thingie. I was putting the needle in backwards! Now...I don't mean upside down.... I just kept loosening and rotating the needle and finally turned it the right way. And it actually worked!!
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by taterbug View Post
I'm certainly not one to advise on sewing machines, but have you checked to make sure you put the needle in correctly? I broke several when I first tried to sew and every time I replaced them, they would hit the side of the thingie. I was putting the needle in backwards! Now...I don't mean upside down.... I just kept loosening and rotating the needle and finally turned it the right way. And it actually worked!!
hehe these actually only go in one way so that helps!

I guess I'll start calling around tomorrow to see if I can find a repair shop. If it cost more than $60 I might just order a brother one or something offline and start sewing on it, and then upgrade later...
post #11 of 21
I'm not familiar with that machine so will try to give you general ideas. If the needle is not the right size for the machine, it will not seat right and will break off as you are describing. Believe it or not, not all needles are equal. That would also cause problems with catching the bobbin thread.

Do you have the machine set on a patterned stitch? Perhaps it's stuck on a button hole stitch so it tries to sew off center.

Make sure you have the bobbin thread coming off the bobbin in the right direction. If it is upside down or reversed, the thread will break.

Check the thread tension and adjust it up or down. For the stitches that you actually sewed, did the tension look right on both the top and bottom of the fabric?

I hope you have the instruction manual. I've been sewing for years and every machine has its own set of quirks. I always have to read the manual from cover to cover before I work on a new machine.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
thanks to everyone! I'm going to keep working on it and hopefully call a repair shop or two!

I have Gary (my boyfriend) working on it right now hopefully he will get it figured out. I'm starting to think it just hates me if it works for him and his mom and my grandmother but not me...

Whats funny is I've gotten more responses on here than on my craft site! LOL!

Thanks guys!
post #13 of 21
I don't know anything about a Kenmore. Mine is an early 1960s Singer.

Basically all you should have to do is:

1. thread the machine
2. add a bobbin with thread in it
3. put the cloth under the presser foot
4. lower the presser foot
5. turn the machine on (for me it's either using a foot peddal or a knee press)
6. hold the fabric in front of and behind the presser foot and guide it...don't push or pull it... let the machine do the work. All you need to do is just guide it so it goes through straight.

Of course there is a matter of the thread tension and it needing to be adjusted based on the thickness of the thread you are using.

Also it's important to use a sharp needle. Just because it has a point on it doesn't mean it's still good

Sometimes the presser foot gets very worn and needs to be replaced.

If your needle is hitting the presser foot that means the presser foot isn't aligned properly. It's either not put in correctly, or the post that is holding it might be bent. It's also possible that the needle isn't positioned right IE: put in at a slight slant.

Also it wouldn't be a bad idea to take it in and get it cleaned and oiled.

So far as sewing machines go, you won't get any better machines than an older one. The newer ones aren't made to last. If you go and buy a $100.00 sewing machine, chances are you'll be doing it again next year if you use it a lot.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
YAY he fixed it... dont know what he did but it is at least sewing right now. I will probably still look into getting it oiled and cleaned!

Thanks again to everyones help! I know which forum to come to for sewing help now!

I'll be sure to post pictures of my purse when I get it finished! (I've been trying to sew it for 3 days now!!) Thanks again guys!
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
For the cost of repairs (or less), you can get a brand-new machine -- nothing fancy, but certainly adequate for basics. I have an $89 Brother machine, and it's plenty for me... I'm not willing to undertake anything so intense as to require, like, a buttonhole-maker!

Before somebody stomps on me, let me acknowledge that Brother is apparently not considered a good brand... but I haven't managed to destroy it yet!
i just got one of these! it says on the box, 'basic sewing & mending' - which is all i do!
post #16 of 21
If I lived closer to you, I have a spare machine I'd be glad to give you.

But I bought a second, cheap machine at a local pawn shop for about $25. Nothing wrong with it. In fact, it was fairly new.

No, I can't sew. But my wife was using it to sew the upholstery for my hot rod!
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_jordi View Post
YAY he fixed it... dont know what he did but it is at least sewing right now. I will probably still look into getting it oiled and cleaned!

Thanks again to everyones help! I know which forum to come to for sewing help now!

I'll be sure to post pictures of my purse when I get it finished! (I've been trying to sew it for 3 days now!!) Thanks again guys!
LOL, that's awesome! Probably an alignment thingy! My Kenmore that I got more than 10 years ago is just fiiiiiine with me!
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
LOL soooo never let your boyfriend sew without supervision! He forgot to put the bottom in the purse! But thats okay! It looks horribly actually! So I dont know that I will post it! I'll try again and post that one... maybe it will turn out better!
post #19 of 21
congrats that its fixed i would suggest maybe looking online for a manual for it in case you have any more problems
post #20 of 21
A manual would help, as well has a good 'tune-up' ... also find out if the presser foot you've had on there came with it, or she bought aftermarket. If it's aftermarket, then see if she remembers if it's made for THAT brand. I had the exact same problem on my Singer (piece of ^&%&**&&&^***). Took it in to my local shop, and they said the presser foot was not a Singer foot... well, yeesh. It's worked find every since.

Of course, now i have a new Janome . Just purchased a week ago... Lots more options on that then the old piece of ****. The singer is going to my sister, who''ll probably break it just as she has apparently broken the old Featherweight... I'm taking that one... I know a lady who used to repair them... my sister isn't exactly the most mechanically able... So, next time i visit, I'll be taking it down there to her... along with all the trappings I've purchased for it... she's lucky, she's getting a walking foot for quilting for free... I'll have to show her how to use it... although, she'll probably forget and say it's also broken... twit.

So, a tune up, proper presser foot, etc... you should be okay from there.

Amanda
post #21 of 21
I'm glad your boyfriend was able to get the machine working for you. Hopefully it will work fine from now on.

I'm another owner of a Brother. I've heard they don't have a great reputation but you wouldn't know it with my machine. I bought a Brother XL-3022 from Walmart almost 15 years ago. It's been running like a champ ever since.
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