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Forum > Sewing Machines > Can you alter your sewing machine? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Can you alter your sewing machine?
a255605
a255605
Member since 12/10/11
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Date: 4/10/13 10:14 PM

I have an older sewing machine that I basically like except that it doesn't have an adjustable presser foot. If there any way you could change it so that your sewing machine would have an adjustable presser foot or would you just inevitably have to buy another whole sewing machine to get one with that feature? I've looked at the new machines but could not find one that does the stitch I use the most and was affordable for me.

clr56
clr56
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Ohio USA
Member since 9/12/07
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Date: 4/11/13 10:27 AM

I have not heard of anyone getting their sewing machine modified for presser foot pressure adjustment. Most vintage machines have it, so maybe a vintage that has the cams would be a good choice for a lower price and stitch variety. Few lower end machines come with that feature now. Off hand I know the Janome hd3000 does, Singer heavy duty, and Juki hzl35.

Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Vermont USA
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In reply to a255605 <<


Date: 4/11/13 10:31 AM

What machine do you have? What do you sew? What is the need for an adjustable pressure? Do you mean adjustable pressure on the foot? I would love to know what stitch you use the most and so on so we could give better answers for you!

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"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

a255605
a255605
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Date: 4/11/13 2:02 PM

I have a Euro Pro machine that was sold as a "Deluxe Denim" machine. I don't recall the model number offhand but I've had it since like 1995.

I only use common straight stitch and the double overlock stitch. The machine came with several feet and accessories but I have no idea how to use the other feet.

I usually sew home-made clothing from "crinkle cotton" (gauze), ordinary cotton (broadcloth? like used for quilts) or cotton jersey but have also used sweatshirt fleece, nylon tricot (for slips) and lately tried rayon jersey knit as well. I like to do the overedge on the gauze especially because it's really prone to fraying but is such a lightweight fabric that my machine tends to pull it into the feed dog and chew it up when I'm sewing and i just thought that might be less likely to happen if I could adjust the pressure of the presser foot.

I had my machine for years and always used only the feet it came with and had never had a sewing machine before and so I never questioned the accessories that came with it but I've often had trouble when sewing with the double overlock foot and when I looked closely at it recently I saw there is a notch where the thread runs over in the center while sewing and now I wonder if that might have always been the real problem. Since I'd never had a sewing machine before or seen a double overlock foot it did not occur to me that I might have gotten one with a flaw, that maybe that notch wasn't supposed to be there. It is like a notch/burr in the metal and perhaps it is catching the thread while I'm trying to sew. If you can post photos here then perhaps I could try to post a close-up of it.
-- Edited on 4/11/13 2:10 PM --

a255605
a255605
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Date: 4/11/13 2:08 PM

Now that I think of it, a couple times over the years when I was sewing I got distracted and forgot to switch the settings back to double overlock from straight stitch after switching the feet and have accidentally had the needle strike the overlock foot and break off because I didn't realize I'd not changed the setting back before I started sewing again. I wonder if I might have nicked the double overlock foot with the needle and not even realized I'd caused damage? It just didn't occur to me until recent;y when i saw that nick when then wondered if it was even supposed to be there and if maybe my machine was messing up because of that? I've often have trouble sewing the double ovelock stitch. Somehow the thread gets all caught up in the double overlock foot during sewing sometimes and then the machine will start sewing a wad of thread on that one part of the fabric and not move forward. Up until now I kinda thought it must be some feed dog issue but maybe not...

justgail

justgail
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In reply to a255605 <<


Date: 4/11/13 5:41 PM

I can't help you on the modifying for presser foot pressure, but I can tell you that a bit of paper taped to to the feed dog plate works great as an inexpensive stand-in for a straight stitch plate. It might even be cheaper because if you forget to swap it out to zig-zag, no machine damage happens.



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Date: 4/11/13 6:36 PM

I have had burrs on machine parts that I have managed to sand off successfully. I have a little tool that I think was probably originally for sharpening fish hooks that works really well. Other times I have just grabbed a fine emery board. Weird how these things can sit right in front of us for ages and we don't notice, them, isn't it?

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beauturbo
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In reply to a255605 <<


Date: 4/11/13 6:53 PM

I think when your light weight gauze gets pulled down your stitch plate hole while trying to do a fake overlock stitch over the edge of it, it actually just has zero to do with your pressure foot amount of pressure there at all. Just more sewing technique instead.

If you got needle dings and holes and scratches on your pressure foot feet though, that are catching thread and fabric, then if you don't want to toss them and buy new ones, you could just take some fine grit sandpaper or even a nail file and just smooth all those scratchy and rough needle hits and burs off of them.

Things that might tend to help the gauze not get pulled down the stitch plate hole like that while doing that might be:

Don't use a big needle, use a sharp size 12 one or even smaller instead. Don't even use a fake overlock looking stitch for that, use a pretty wide open zig zag instead. Or maybe a triple zig zag. Don't try to even oversew the raw edge of the fabric, just sew only on the fabric and cut off the extra next to it afterwards instead. Or sew two rows of straight stitch maybe 1/4 inch apart then trim next to last row of straight stitch, then try to over sew it with some stitch with a width to it, like just a wide open zig zag even. The less amount of stitches in it, and the more widely spaced and not close together they are, the better. Or use one of those fake overlocking feet with a wire going across it, but even if you hit the wire with a needle, then that does sort of wreck them too, and pretty quick.

Or just use some other kind of seam finish, like a french seam, or even straight stitch, and them fold, iron and press the seam allowances in, and then hand catch stitch your seam finish there instead. Or break down and get an overlocker, just because they are really much better than fake overlocking stitches on any sewing machine. On a overlocker, the gauze fabric does not get sucked down the stitch plate hole at all, but that is also because there is a big metal pin sitting under the gauze right there then, and when the stitches go over the gauze, the metal stitch finger on the overlock is really supporting it right then, and sewing machines just are not like that.

LuceLu
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Date: 4/11/13 8:18 PM

Keep an eye out for a used overlocker. They are the tool for the job. The gauze is a light fabric. You use a thinner thread in overlockers and the overlock stitch will then be less bulky. Brother sells one that is inexpensive via Amazon.

a255605
a255605
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Date: 4/12/13 10:42 AM

Thank you everyone for further replies and good suggestions :)

beauturbo" what are the fake overlocking feet you mentioned? I don't think I have seen anything like you describe.

I would like to get a serger but I could not afford even a used one and would not know how to use it. Also the cost of buying three spools of every color thread I use would be expensive so it it is just cheaper for me to overedge to keep the fabric from fraying and seams coming apart.

-- Edited on 4/12/13 10:42 AM --

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