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SewVac Doctor Answers Your Sewing Machine Questions

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Email SewVac Doctor with your question at SewVacDoctor@sewingandvac.com

new - less than a week old.


Serger Difficulty

4-Thread 
Motor Hums and Needles Don't Move 
Time the Machine Myself? 
Replacing a Looper 
Singer Four Thread Serger 
Left Needle Will NOT Stitch 
Looper Keeps Breaking! 
Why Can I Not Use Both Needles? 
Juki 654DE 
Upper Blade Position is Off?! 
Not Looping 
Clicking Noise- 
Necchi Serger Dilemma 
Problems with Material 
Seam Pulls Open 
My Serger Won't Cut Anymore : ( 




Question4-Thread 
I have a singer four thread serger - probably fifteen years old at least. It was totally unthreaded and I threaded it by following the diagram on the case but it does not chain. Can you tell me what I have done wrong?
Thank you, Pete

10/2/2006
AnswerDear Pete,

You have threaded it incorrectly. Re-thread the machine very carefully. If after several attempts, it still does not do what you want it to, it may be out of time.

Thank you,
SewVac Doctor

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QuestionMotor Hums and Needles Don't Move 
Hi,
I recently bought a Singer Serger # 14CG754 online. This is my first experience with a serger though I have had a good amount of experience with a regular sewing machine. When I set up the machine today and pressed down on the foot controller the motor hummed but none of the machinery including the needles appeared to move. If I turn the hand wheel everything moves fine and the machine will stitch the cloth and chain the thread. I have checked the threading, and the settings on the machine and everything appears to be in order. I have read the instruction manual several times and it says nothing about changing or removing anything for the machine to start sewing. My father says it sounds as if a connection is not being made somewhere. Would you have any ideas on what the problem could be? Thanks so much.
7/25/2006
AnswerIf the motor is humming and not turning, the motor is frozen. If the motor is turning and nothing else is turning, either the belt is broken or loose. Remove the covers and check to see if the belt is broken or loose. Report back to me and let me know what you find. It is more than likely a very simple adjustment that I can help you with.

Thank you,
SewVac Doctor


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QuestionTime the Machine Myself? 
Hi,

Thank you for such a wonderful web page. I'm having trouble with my serger. I have a three thread Singer Ultralock 14u32. It served me well for quite a few years and then I broke the lower looper. I took it in to have it replaced. Since then I have had it in for service at least twice. The work order says they have had to adjust the timing each time. What happens with the machine is the lower looper starts wearing on and eventually breaking the thread on the needle, or the needle will break. You can see where the needle has hit the lower looper. I think the looper may get on the wrong side of the needle. It is now in this condition. I decided to open it up and try to figure out what to do, because it costs me $50 each time I have to take it in. There was some looseness to the lower looper shaft which allowed it to shift, so I tightened that up. I have tried repositioning the lower looper moving it tiny amounts at a time, but can't get it right. I would like to keep this machine, but only if I can learn to do these adjustments myself.

Thanks for any help you can offer,
Dawn
4/4/2006
AnswerDear Dawn,

Unfortunately, it is entirely too difficult for me to describe the adjustments through an e-mail. If you would like me to walk you through it by phone, please call my tech help line 732-335-8902 and I will be able to help you.

In my opinion, if your machine continuously goes out of time, your mechanic is not adjusting it properly to begin with.

Thank you,
SewVac Doctor


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QuestionReplacing a Looper 
I recently ordered a lower looper needle from you for my brother 920D overlock machine. Replacing the part was easy however adjusting it is not.
The threads will not lock properly. Are there instructions or a diagram available for the installation and adjustment of the lower looper needle for this machine? If not do you have any suggestions?

Corey

4/4/2006
AnswerDear Corey,

I can walk you through the adjustments if you call my tech help line 732-335-8902. Have a thin philips head screwdriver as well as a flathead screwdriver handy when you call.

Thank you,
SewVac Doctor

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QuestionSinger Four Thread Serger 
I have a singer four thread serger - probably fifteen years old at least. It was totally unthreaded and I threaded it by following the diagram on the case but it does not chain. Can you tell me what I have done wrong?
Thank you, Anne
3/8/2006
AnswerDear Anne,

You have threaded it incorrectly. Re-thread the machine very carefully. If after several attempts, it still does not do what you want it to, it may be out of time.

Thank you,
SewVac Doctor

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QuestionLeft Needle Will NOT Stitch 
Dear Sew and Vac Doc:
A friend of mine inherited a Babylock 5180 Serger. I currently have a Simplicity Frontier and offered to help her learn to thread and use the machine. However, the Feed Dogs on the Babylock do not seam to be pulling the fabric. I can get a 3 thread chain stitch just fine, put the fabric will not feed and the left needle will not stitch. Any ideas what else we should try?

Thanks
Dixie
2/16/2006
AnswerDear Dixie,

It could be the knives or dirt underneath the needle plate.

Thank You,
SewVac Doctor

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QuestionLooper Keeps Breaking! 
My upper looper keeps breaking on my Singer Serger ultra lock model #14sh654. it has broken twice in less than 2 weeks.

Any ideaís on what happening with it. Itís only a year old.

Thanks for your help

Debo

2/16/2006
AnswerDear Debo,

Something on your machine needs to be adjusted. Unfortunately, I would need to see the machine to be able to tell you what exactly needs to be adjusted.

Thank You,
SewVac Doctor

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QuestionWhy Can I Not Use Both Needles? 
I was given my sister's serger. It does not have an accesory kit with it. I can only serge 1/8 to 1/4 in wide. I cannot use 2 needles. I have the rolled hem plate on it I think. What can you tell me about this. This is the only one I have ever used.
Thank you, Connie
AnswerDear Connie,

The reason that you cannot use 2 needles is because you have the rolled hem plate on the machine.

Thank You,
SewVac Doctor

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QuestionJuki 654DE 
My Juki serger is pretty new so Iím surprised that Iím having this problem with the looper tensions. The loopers, especially the upper looper, needs to be set at 8 or so in order to get anything resembling a balanced stitch. Any ideas as to why this would be happening? This isnít normal, right?



Thanks.

AnswerCheck your threading. It sounds as if you may be threading it incorrectly. Also check the discs to make sure that there is no thread stuck in there.

Thank You,
SewVac Doctor

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QuestionUpper Blade Position is Off?! 
Hello,

I have a Singer Serger that I've been using off and on for about 8 months. Out of nowhere, the upper blade position is off. It's over too far to the left and hits the top of the stationary blade which of course makes it not cut. I tried to do some adjustments on the blade spring (hex screw) arm but it won't go over any further. What's causing this and how do I fix it? I don't understand why this happened. I haven't been sewing heavy or thick material and it worked fine the last time I used it. I really don't want to take it in for repairs because a service call plus the cheapest part = how much I paid for the serger at Wal Mart. If I can't fix this myself, I'll have to get a new serger. Suggestions?


Angy

AnswerDear Angy,

The upper blade doesn't need to be adjusted, it is the lower blade that needs adjusting. The lower blade needs to be flush with the needle plate. Hopefully, you didn't cause the upper blade adjustment to knock out of whack with your adjustment, because that is not as easy to adjust.

Thank You,
SewVac Doctor


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QuestionNot Looping 
Dear Sew Vac Doctor:
I have an older model (about 15-20 years old) Toyota Serger. I haven't had any problems with it up until now. All of a sudden it doesn't want to loop at all. The threads are not even connecting after I put fabric through it. I've put new needles in and re-thread it a couple of times and that didn't do the trick. There isn't anything in the manual that came with it about what to do if it isn't looping at all, just how to correct it if the loops are loose or lopsided.

Any ideas what might be the problem? I am not able to purchase a new one at this time.
Thanks,
Geri
AnswerDear Geri,

Did something happen while sewing that led up to this problem? Since I would be diagnosing the problem through e-mail, I need a starting point to be able to help you. If the machine was in front of me, I would be able to to determine this myself. Let me know.

Thank You,
SewVac Doctor

RE:
Dear Dr,
Other than switching tread colors and having a doosy of a time treading because the tread broke in process, I can't think of anything that would have contributed to this. Prior to this, I had been working on heavy items. I was serging the edge of some throw rugs.

Geri

RE:
Dear Geri,

I apologize, however, in order for me to be able to help you, you would have to ship the machine to me and I could repair it for you. $29.95 + the cost of parts (if necessary) + shipping. Otherwise, I suggest that you take your machine to a local mechanic and have him repair your machine. Let me know.

Thank You,
SewVac Doctor

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QuestionClicking Noise- 
greetings,
I have a huskylock 535D serger. when I run it with 2 needles, the inner needle clicks against the under looper. The needle also won't insert as far as the outer needle. Do I need shorter needles? I'm not sure what needle size I've got in it though. Otherwise the machine runs quite well.
Thanks for your time, I love your service.

Lori,
Sacramento, CA
AnswerDear Lori,

The needles are supposed to be staggered. The inside needle should be lower than the outside needle. As far as the upper needle clicking, that is fine. Clicking is ok, hitting is bad. Change the needles to be safe- your may be slightly bent.

Thank You,
SewVac Doctor

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QuestionNecchi Serger Dilemma 
Hi, i recently purchased a used necchi heavy duty serger. It was shipped to me threaded & with some stitching on it to demonstrated that it worked fine. However, i set it up & tried to use it as-is & it would not sew right. I changed the foot, changed the thread, fabric, tension, changed & broke needles. It the left needle is not grabbing the loopers, it will serge with the right needle working but the left just trails along. I used wooly nylon thread & the left needle grabbed a little bit of the thread (only 2-4 threads) & looked almost normal, but then the left needle broke. Looking under where the needles come doun they kind of hit this little bar sometimes. It was suggested to me that the timing may be off. could this have happened during shipping & can i fix it myself, i am somewhat mechanically inclined. One other thing i noticed is that the square part where the needles are inserted is angled to the right. This machine is almost identical to another serger that i own (White speedylock) & the square part faces directly forward. Is this part supposed to be angled to the right or would "straightening it out" get the needles into the correct alignment so that it will work? I looked through your FAQs but couldn't find this specific problem, any info would be greatly appreciated & I really value your informative sight, THANKS!!



Melissa
AnswerDear Melissa,

Unfortunately, it sounds like there are several problems with this machine. I would need to see it to be able to determine and correct every problem. Since your machine is new, I would suggest contacting the people that you purchased it from and having them handle it. It should be under some sort of warranty. Good luck!

Thank You,
SewVac Doctor



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QuestionProblems with Material 
I HAVE A SINGER SERGER MODEL 14U44B. I M HAVING PROBLEMS WITH THE MATERIAL WHEN YOU FEED IT INTO THE MACHINE IT SEEMS TO HANG UP AND NOT GETTING PAST THE PRESSURE FOOT. ONCE YOU GET IT PAST IT ,IT SEWS FINE. I BELIEVE IT TO BE THE REASON IT JUST BROKE THE LOWER LOOPER NEEDLE. I HAVE TO RAISE THE PRESSURE FOOT AND PULL IT PAST. BOTH KNIVES HAVE BEEN REPLACED.
AnswerDear C Hausner,

It sounds to me as if you have a burr on your needle plate and or the presser foot. I would inspect those areas for any defects before going any further. Good Luck!

Thank You,
SewVac Doctor


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QuestionSeam Pulls Open 
I have a Necchi PL 1036 Serger. The seam pulls open exposing the threads on the outside of the fabric. Is this a tension problem? Help. And thanks.
AnswerYes, this is a tension problem. Unfortunately, there is no way for me to tell you how to adjust the tension on your serger without seeing it. The only thing that I can tell you to do is just play with the tension after looking into your instruction manual.

Thank You,
SewVac Doctor


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QuestionMy Serger Won't Cut Anymore : ( 
Hi,
My Singer Serger - 14SH654- started cutting poorly, so I replaced both the blades (thank you to your fast afordable parts department!) but it still cuts poorly. More or less rips the fabric then curls the frayed ends under as the stitches pass over the material. Like scissors with a loose bolt. Like its out of adjustment?? I tried putting the original upper blade back in with a new lower, but it's the same. I've not had the machine a year yet, but do use it a lot. Could the spring be worn out already? Please help!! I'm in Alaska and really don't want to have to ship it off to a repair station.
Thank you!
Jolie
AnswerDear Jolie,

There is nothing wrong with your machine. The problem is that you have the knives in incorrectly. Make sure that the new bottom knife, after putting it in your machine, is at plate level- meaning- if you look at the knife carefully, you will see that it is not flat and that one edge is raised up a little bit. That raised up edge should be right at the plate level. Next, put the new knife in the top and make sure that when the top blade is in the lowest position, the last edge, the highest edge of the blade, is exactly 1mm below the bottom knife. When you look at the blades together when the blade is in the most down position, you should see no space at all.

Remember, the top knife is like a backwards L. Make sure that the last part of the L is just below the bottom knife. Hope this helps. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any other questions or concerns.

Thank You,
SewVac Doctor


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new - less than a week old.