Sunday, January 30, 2011

Singer 127 - tension


I don't know if this might help or interest anyone out there, but I'm putting together a series of Getting to Know my Antique/Vintage Singer Sewing Machine (Singer 127). Today I learnt about Tension.

I would like to ask any sewing machine experts to please point out anything I'm doing wrong. I'm a self taught sewer and am learning about the machine by working my way through the manual.



Because the first thing to do when you bring a new toy into the house is play with it, I decided to dive right in and see how this baby works.

Please note: all my sewing machine parts moved freely, there are no nasty grinding sounds, and everything seems to be in working order. It things wern't in such a happy state, I wouldn't have dived right in and started sewing. Sometimes these machines get all rusty or the oil used by previous owners has gucked up the works and needs cleaning out. More on oil and antique sewing machines another day.

Also, before I go any further, I would like to ask any sewing machine experts to please point out anything I'm doing wrong. I'm a self taught sewer and am learning about the machine by working my way through the manual.


Now, back to the good stuff.

How exciting. Beautiful Sphinx has pride of place in my front room right next to the big window. I can look up from my sewing and admire the chickens scratching for worms outside.

Careful to obey the list of don'ts on pg 5, I am ready to take her for a test drive.


Something's obviously gone wrong. It must be tension.

According to the manual I can adjust the tension of the top thread by using this little nob here.

Apparently it's extremely naughty to adjust the top tension when the pressure foot is in the upright position. I have no idea why that is.

And I can adjust the tension of the bottom thread by turning this little screw in the hidden shuttle.


It is recommended that once you have the shuttle tension adjusted just so, that you don't touch it again. I think that if you were changing your thread size like from jeans thread to regular sewing thread, maybe you might need to adjust this.


In the end, it wasn't the tension that was the problem. Not really. Well, sort of. The tensions were both set so tightly that the thread couldn't get inside. I backed the tension right off at the top and a bit on the shuttle, rethread the machine, and things magically started working perfectly. I'll be sewing on this in no time.







3 comments:

Josiane said...

Yay for a quick and easy resolution of the tension problem!
I was wondering if you had given this lovely sewing machine a name... Beautiful Sphinx fits her well!

Cattrix said...

I just got a 127-3 Sphinx treadle machine and it runs wonderfully, I only had to clean. oil and repair the belt. The only problem is I think the tension spring, the little wire thing that comes from the tension device is bent or mis shapen as it's not in the right position to catch the thread as it goes up and through the thread uptake lever.
Do you have another picture maybe that shows the way the wire is bent better? I can't see the tension wire in the scanned manual instructions I have.
My machine runs so well and I have not yet sewn a single seam with it yet. lol, it's so frustrating.

raven said...

Hi Cattrix,

I have a few more close up photos on this post: http://itissunnyatebertshome.blogspot.ca/2012/05/singer-127-disassembling-upper-thread.html

I've noticed that the way the spring bends varies a lot on different machines.

Congratulations on your new machine. Let me know if I can be of more help.