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Sewing Machine Help
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will sawyer
(wjsawyer) - F

Locale: Connecticut
Sewing Machine Help on 05/24/2011 16:27:59 MDT Print View

I just purchased a new, to me, sewing machine off of craigslist, and I'm having some issues with it. before anybody says 'I told you so' about buying a sewing machine without looking at it, it was very cheap, and had a very nice previous owner, so seemed like a reasonable bet.

It is a Singer Stylist 834, from maybe the late '70's. Everything appears to be in working order, but when I sew with it, I get a bunch of thread collecting under the fabric. I know it is the top thread, and I don't think it has to do with the thread tensioner. it seems that the top thread is getting caught somewhere around the bobbin.

Any help would be appreciated!


John West
(skyzo) - F

Locale: Borah Gear
machine on 05/24/2011 16:35:49 MDT Print View

Chances are, nothing is wrong with the machine. When I first set up my Singer for sewing silnylon, it was a mess. Huge loops of thread accumulating under the fabric. It's just a matter of tension. Make sure the tension on the top is set well, then adjust the bobbin tension to match. Only takes 10-15 minutes of messing with it to get a perfect stitch usually.

Mike D.
(mpd1690) - F
Bobbin on 05/24/2011 16:52:43 MDT Print View

Make sure you have the right bobbin in place. The wrong bobbin will cause thread to wrap.

Chris Peichel

Locale: Eureka
sewing machine help on 05/24/2011 18:11:05 MDT Print View

You might also want to check that the bobbin is loaded into the case with the thread pulling off in the proper direction. Reference the owners manual.

rotate the machine by hand and see if the thread is rotating around the bobbin or if it is hanging up.

Make sure the feed dogs, bobbin and case are clean. Lube the machine.

Are you capturing the thread when you start sewing( holding the thread )?

john parker
(orclwzrd) - F

Locale: Illinois
vintage singers group on yahoo on 05/24/2011 18:36:12 MDT Print View

there is a vintage singers group on yahoo groups that knows all about singer sewing machines. My wife a quilter and sewing machine collector(AAAAghhhh, giant treadles) recommended the group.


will sawyer
(wjsawyer) - F

Locale: Connecticut
Re: Sewing Machine Help on 05/25/2011 13:41:19 MDT Print View

Thanks for the quick replies. John, I'll definitely be checking out that yahoo group, sounds like a great resource. I am using a bobbin that came with the machine, so i think it should be OK (previous owner used it). I have been holding the thread when I do the first 'stitch' to bring up the bottom thread, but letting it go after that. Should I continue to pull on it while actually sewing?

It does look like the top thread is hanging up when it goes around the bobbin, so I'll try to see if I can fix that. I am not sure how to adjust the bobbin tension, so hopefully that isn't a problem.


Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Re: Sewing Machine Help on 05/25/2011 13:51:07 MDT Print View

Check for gobs of lint in the tensioner and bobbin areas. Are you using a new needle?

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: Re: Re: Sewing Machine Help on 05/25/2011 14:13:17 MDT Print View

"Check for gobs of lint in the tensioner and bobbin areas."

Exactly, also make sure the needle is facing the right way and is up all the way in its holder. See the section about cleaning the shuttle race:
Autonopedia cleaning sewing machine

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Re: Re: Sewing Machine Help on 05/26/2011 11:07:14 MDT Print View

Thread gobs under the fabric are usually the result of inadequare top thread tension.

This may have several causes, in order of probability: 1) failure to seat the thread completely in the tensioner (give it a good tug); 2) tension set too light (dial it up); 3) broken or improperly installed tensioner (take it in for repair).

will sawyer
(wjsawyer) - F

Locale: Connecticut
Re: Sewing Machine Help on 05/26/2011 11:23:02 MDT Print View

Thanks for all of the advice!
I had a feeling it was the tensioner also, and I figured out how to thread the tensioner properly, but in my excitement I missed one other part of threading the top, so it still didn't work. I just realized that, and it works!

Sadly just ran out of thread, so no more playing until I get some more.