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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Issues with advancing fabric at very small stitch lengths ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Issues with advancing fabric at very small stitch lengths
Singer 57825c - Is it possible feed dogs are worn down?
jynclr
jynclr  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/5/12 10:55 PM

I've been playing around with my sewing machine this evening. (I think I have perfected the 4 step button hole!) but!

I have noticed several issues. When the stitch width is greater than the minimum and when the stitch length is less than 1, I have noticed that the fabric will tend to "get stuck" and cease advancing. I'll have to gently pull the fabric back to advance it until it can advance on its own.

I am looking at the feed dogs and I am wondering if the teeth are worn down. Here are three angles of pictures I took of the feed dogs. The best picture is the first one. You can view a larger image to get a really good view of the feed dogs.

Feed Dog Shot 1
Feed Dog Shot 2
Feed Dog Shot 3

So, the best picture I could find for this model feed dog is pretty much all the same at all online sewing parts shops so I simply picked one to link to. You can't really see the teeth of the feed dogs from the side to tell how sharp they are.

Singer Feed Dog - product shot

Here is the wikipedia entry for "feed dogs" - so these model feed dogs aren't necessarily my model, but I am linking to this because I am interested in the teeth of the feed dog.

Wikipedia - Feed Dogs

See, when I look at my feed dogs, the teeth seem flat on top - as if they're worn down. Remember, I did not buy this machine new. I bought it in 2001 as a used machine. I have not had the feed dogs changed out. When I look at pictures of various models of feed dogs, the teeth look sharper than mine.

I am wondering if my feed dogs are simply worn down. If so, would I be able to change the feed dogs out myself? It looks to be held on with two screws and I think I can change that out.

What do you guys think of the condition of my feed dogs? I can take more pictures if you'd like. If they should be changed, do you think it is something I can do myself? (Consider me rather mechanically minded.)

Thank you for your time and help.
-- Edited on 1/5/12 11:01 PM --

------
Evelyn: Pfaff Creative Performance
Helen V: Babylock Companion BL1550

Jennifer Hill
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Jennifer Hill
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Date: 1/5/12 10:59 PM

What foot are you using? Sounds like you are trying satin stitch, and for that, you need a foot with a groove cut in its underside to allow the dense "bump" of stitches to pass.

Jennifer in Calgary

jynclr
jynclr  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/5/12 11:10 PM

Jennifer,

I am using the "special purpose" foot that came with the machine and is indicated to use in the user manual. Here is a link: Singer 57825 Manual. On page 48, it suggests to use the special purpose foot, J. I was using that foot when experimenting with Satin Stitching. Here are pictures of the foot:

Special Purpose Foot J - Top view
Special Purpose Foot J - Bottom View - you can see there is a wide groove underneath the foot to allow for the bump of the satin stitching.

This is why I am wondering if it is the feed dogs not having enough friction to advance the fabric.
-- Edited on 1/5/12 11:11 PM --

------
Evelyn: Pfaff Creative Performance
Helen V: Babylock Companion BL1550

Jennifer Hill
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In reply to jynclr


Date: 1/6/12 0:02 AM

If everything feeds properly with other stitches, I doubt it's a feed dog problem. You should be able to see if the stitches are getting hung up on the foot, if that is causing the problem. Try setting the stitch length a bit longer so the bump will be less dense.

Jennifer in Calgary

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to jynclr


Date: 1/6/12 0:20 AM

I'm with Jennifer on this.

If you are not happy with the density of your buttonhole sides when you back down, you can build your buttonhole. Make a pass with lesser density (and in some cases, lesser width), then make another pass with more density, but not as much as is troubling you now.

You can also build your buttonhole over a length of thread. The corded buttonholes are described on this Bernina flyer that has some good information on it.
Buttonholes

Where they show stitching over a cord, I've often stitched over 4 (usually) strands of the same thread that the project is being sewn with.

And here is where I learn so much in answering questions on PR. Now I'm wondering why, when I stitch buttonholes on woven fabrics that easily fray, I haven't tried something else. I'm going to try using fusible thread in a corded buttonhole along with my other strands of color matched thread.

Thanks for the question.

P.S. When you look at the Bernina flyer, don't be intimidated by all the feet. You can do corded buttonholes and other things just fine with what you have. Just takes a little practice. Best wishes.

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

Betakin
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Betakin
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In reply to jynclr


Date: 1/6/12 2:31 AM

I would usually suggest to decrease the foot pressure control but I did not see that your machine had this function but I did see that under item 21 under parts of your machine in your manual that you have a stitch density control. Have you tried adjusting the stitch density to see if your buttonholes stitch out better? If the stitch is too dense it can create a problem with the feed of the machine.

jynclr
jynclr  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/6/12 8:48 AM

Thank you for your suggestions. Sometimes the fabric doesn't advance with other stitches, it usually happens when I try something other than a straight stitch. Feeling the feed dogs I can't help but wonder if they're not worn down. I'm going to go and "feel up" up Singer feed dogs at stores this weekend and see how they look. :D

Betakin, I have not even considered the stitch density. Right now that lever is under the solid white dot. I'll play with that this weekend. And you are correct, there is no foot pressure on this machine.

I'll do some more practicing this weekend too along with checking out other feed dogs. I don't own any other sewing machines to compare so I can't tell. When I run my fingers over them they just seem too smooth. I dunno. I do know I definitely need some practice and getting to know my machine. I wanted to start doing some raw edge applique and with some playing around it got me to wondering.

Any other things to consider would be awesome and greatly appreciated!

------
Evelyn: Pfaff Creative Performance
Helen V: Babylock Companion BL1550

Marie367
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In reply to jynclr


Date: 1/6/12 9:14 PM

I am wondering what kind of fabric you are using. Is this problem only happening with a satin stitch or a buttonhole? Is it with all kinds of fabric or only with certain kinds? Are you in darning mode? Is your stitch length set to 0? You need a little length to the stitch or you will be sewing in the same spot. I agree with the others that if the feed dogs move the fabric on a straight stitch then it is probably not the feed dogs. Did you try it with a stabilizer? A piece of interfacing or even a thin piece of paper under the fabric? I am working on some applique and I put some interfacing behind the design. I have used thin paper too. I have never heard of feed dogs wearing down-I suppose that is a possibility I just have never hear of it. Just some things to try.

sew2006
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In reply to jynclr


Date: 1/6/12 10:57 PM

According to your instruction book you should be using foot #3 or L the buttonhole foot. It's also clear, has a little tab on the back for corded buttonholes and unlike to clear foot that has a deep groove underneath for satin stitching the buttonhole foot has 2 deep groves for the satin stitching. Most of these types of Singer machines don't like the lenght too much below 1.

If the left side is too tight and the right side is too loose the stitch balance is off. Little liver on top right of machine, the balance also effects all stretch stitches so move carefully and reset back to centre when finished.

If when sewing a straight stitch the fabric pulls to the left it's the feed timing. Very rarely is it the feed dogs themselves that are worn out. In order to get a good buttonhole on the Singer you have to use the buttonhole foot and interface your fabric. You should never pull the fabric throught the machine as it bends the needle and puts needle bar out of timing. Worse case a broken needle flying towards once's face.

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Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.

jynclr
jynclr  Friend of PR
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TX USA
Member since 12/20/11
Posts: 853
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In reply to sew2006


Date: 1/6/12 11:05 PM

Quote: sew2006
According to your instruction book you should be using foot #3 or L the buttonhole foot. It's also clear, has a little tab on the back for corded buttonholes and unlike to clear foot that has a deep groove underneath for satin stitching the buttonhole foot has 2 deep groves for the satin stitching. Most of these types of Singer machines don't like the lenght too much below 1.

If the left side is too tight and the right side is too loose the stitch balance is off. Little liver on top right of machine, the balance also effects all stretch stitches so move carefully and reset back to centre when finished.

If when sewing a straight stitch the fabric pulls to the left it's the feed timing. Very rarely is it the feed dogs themselves that are worn out. In order to get a good buttonhole on the Singer you have to use the buttonhole foot and interface your fabric. You should never pull the fabric throught the machine as it bends the needle and puts needle bar out of timing. Worse case a broken needle flying towards once's face.


Thank you for the post. :)

For the record, when I want to stitch a button hole, I am using the button hole foot, L. When I tried to do applique, I was using the special purpose foot J, as instructed in the manual.

I just realized that I didn't specify which foot I was using for which application, I apologize for the confusion.

This evening I am currently practicing these methods, both buttonhole (with the button hole presser foot) and satin stitching applique (with the special purpose presser foot.)

Taking my time I am getting considerably much better results.

Thank you for taking the time to explain stitch balance. I truly appreciate that. You have helped me to understand it so much better.
-- Edited on 1/6/12 11:11 PM --

------
Evelyn: Pfaff Creative Performance
Helen V: Babylock Companion BL1550

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