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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Ever want to throw your machine out the window? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Ever want to throw your machine out the window?
Problem with a VERY old machine...
tophatdance
tophatdance
Beginner
MN USA
Member since 9/7/13
Posts: 3
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Date: 9/7/13 1:53 PM

Hey guys - I'm new to the board (hi!) and I'm not entirely sure if my posting here will help. But I'm desperate. I've scoured Google like a crazy person for answers, and this is pretty much a last ditch hope here.

I have an Elgin S1112 machine. It was gifted to me over 15 years ago, and I've NEVER used it. After stopping at the Viking store, the employee informed me that Elgin is (obviously) no longer in production, which explains why I can't seem to find any information on it.

Point here - every time I try to use it, the needle thread breaks. When I take the fabric I'm stitching out, there's a whole mess of thread on the bottom, all broken as well. I thought maybe I hadn't pushed the little foot down all the way (as I tend to forget to do when engrossed in a project) which causes a similar effect on my Mom's Viking, but that wasn't the case.

Anyone have experience with these machines that might know what's going on? Or how I can fix it? D:

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UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 7/19/13
Posts: 302
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In reply to tophatdance <<
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Date: 9/7/13 1:59 PM

HI

It sounds to me as if you've threaded the top wrongly. The thread coming off the top and going down to the needle. Incorrect threading from spool to needle will also cause the bobbin (lower thread) to tangle.

Nothing to do with the pressure foot - but if that's not down when you start sewing, it won't help.

How to thread a sewing machine needle, is pretty much the same on all sewing machines, so your Elgin is not the problem per se. Also, if it hasn't been used for 15 years, it could probably do with some routine maintenance?

HTH

Rainspa

Rainspa  Friend of PR
Intermediate
CA USA
Member since 1/1/07
Posts: 168
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Date: 9/7/13 2:05 PM

You might post this on the machines forum. It sounds like you are an experienced sewer, so a cleaning, tune up & lubrication have already been done, new needle, right size bobbin, and thread following the proper path, and foot up while threading through the tensioner are all ok.
In that case upper thread tension might be your issue.
Just a guess.
YMMV

------
I'm going to Costume College!

tophatdance
tophatdance
Beginner
MN USA
Member since 9/7/13
Posts: 3
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Date: 9/7/13 2:20 PM

Well, I tried fixing the threading on the top, and that change has helped with the needle thread breaking (so far), but the bottom still gets all tangled and messy. I'm sending pictures of the machine to my mom so she can hopefully trouble shoot too - but so far, at least one thing seems to be fixed!

Terri A
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Terri A  Friend of PR
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USA
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In reply to tophatdance <<
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Date: 9/7/13 2:32 PM

This post will likely get moved to the machine forum but here is a link to a page with a pdf manual to your machine.
Scroll down the list for Elgin.
Don't give up on your sweet little machine and....what they said above...

Manual

Also, these tend to have more powerful motors than usual, and can sew through multiple layers with ease.
-- Edited on 9/7/13 2:50 PM --

Ubik
Ubik  Friend of PR
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NC USA
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Date: 9/7/13 3:45 PM

I've had these same problems with an old machine. There is a free Craftsy video that is reasonably short to watch and goes into great detail about tension issues. She addresses different types of vintage machines as well. I was able to fix my tension problems with this video and nothing else had worked for me, including the manual. It's titled 'Sewing Machine 911' by Claudia Miller and it doesn't appear to be on Craftsy anymore. Maybe I'm searching incorrectly for it, but I don't know how to give you a link. It still shows up in my list of classes I'm registered for but not in the list of classes that are available. Its well worth the search though, in my opinion.
Anyway, I did end up taking it to a mechanic for a tune up and he replaced a belt. It's much better now, but I'll be glad when I've finished saving for a Janome Magnolia and this can just be my sturdy back up guy.

tourist
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Date: 9/7/13 4:00 PM

Definitely check all the threading and make sure the needle is threaded the right way. I always have to remind myself that my Featherweight threads right to left instead of front to back like my other machines. And get the bobbin in the right way, of course.

I have one modern machine that sits in my basement. My old $5 thrift shop special is my favourite. There are many of us here dedicated to vintage machines - don't give up!

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

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In reply to tourist <<


Date: 9/7/13 4:03 PM

Quote: tourist
Definitely check all the threading and make sure the needle is threaded the right way. I always have to remind myself that my Featherweight threads right to left instead of front to back like my other machines. And get the bobbin in the right way, of course.



I have one modern machine that sits in my basement. My old $5 thrift shop special is my favourite. There are many of us here dedicated to vintage machines - don't give up!

The buttonholes on my old Singer (now dead) were way better than the buttonholes on my brand new Janome.

Just sayin.........about vintage machines...........
tophatdance
tophatdance
Beginner
MN USA
Member since 9/7/13
Posts: 3
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Date: 9/7/13 8:46 PM

Okay, so here's an update!

After adjusting the tension and PROPERLY threading the needle (oops), I managed to get about half of my project done before things went straight crazy on me again.

This time, the SLACK thread is being pulled INTO the stitches! And no stitches are actually being made because the thread isn't feeding and actually doing it's darn job.

I fiddled with the tension again to no avail, and can't figure out why the Sewing Gods hate me today I ended up finishing my project by hand instead. (ouch ouch ouch!)

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
Intermediate
BC CANADA
Member since 7/23/07
Posts: 6100
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Date: 9/7/13 9:13 PM

Have you pulled off the needle plate and checked for gunk?

Believe me, I feel your pain. I have had issues with my old machine - it has become very fussy about which needles it likes.

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

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