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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Singer 401A Problem ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Singer 401A Problem
Issues Sewing Knits
Mishmoore84
Mishmoore84
Beginner
AR USA
Member since 2/4/13
Posts: 4
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Date: 2/5/13 1:57 PM

Ok, so I'm pretty new to sewing, I'm extremely new to vintage sewing machines. I had a inexpensive brother I had purchased from Walmart that I had been working with for a few years and last year I purchased my Singer 401A. I love it. I've hemmed jeans, repaired horse blankets with it, which is usually the type of sewing that I do. I just tried to play around sewing on an old knit skirt today and it was a nightmare. I was using a 15x1 universal ball point needle (new not vintage) and just some poly thread. First the back of my work there were huge loops so I thought maybe my tension or bobbin tension was off. I adjusted that, which fixed it, but then after sewing a few inches of material the top thread would become "looped" under the material and under the needle plate through the hole there. It looked as if the top thread was looping down under the bobbin thread, looping back up and repeating making a huge knot. I took a piece of medium weight cotton and ran it through no problem, would go back to the knit and it would happen again. I rethreaded, and changed bobbins, I dusted the bobbin holder. I have no idea how to fix it. I was just using the zig zag foot and needle plate in case that helps.

karen149
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karen149  Friend of PR
Intermediate
CA USA
Member since 3/4/05
Posts: 2975
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In reply to Mishmoore84 <<


Date: 2/5/13 2:08 PM

Hello and welcome! I just happened to be reading up on this very subject right before your post! I found reference to a knit foot for slant shank machines I think I will order to try out. I have a 401A also and have recently started sewing on it again and may make it my main machine for awhile. Here's the link to the foot for sale:

Knit Sewing Foot for Singer Slant Shank

It's worth a try!

Mishmoore84
Mishmoore84
Beginner
AR USA
Member since 2/4/13
Posts: 4
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In reply to karen149 <<


Date: 2/5/13 2:12 PM

LOL! It wouldn't be this one would it?http://www.gonesewing.com/servlet/Detail?no=2352#
Sounds like we were both doing the same thing!

Mishmoore84
Mishmoore84
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AR USA
Member since 2/4/13
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In reply to karen149 <<


Date: 2/5/13 2:12 PM

Have you ever had that knotting up issue though?

karen149
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karen149  Friend of PR
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CA USA
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Date: 2/5/13 2:29 PM

I just pulled out a cheapo polyester stretch and tried a seam. I used a narrow zig-zag, lightened up on the pressure and it turned out fine. I'm not crazy about the results on the right side, though. I can see the thread.

I might be more inclined to use my serger for knit seams.

tlmck3
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tlmck3
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IL USA
Member since 7/11/05
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 2/5/13 7:48 PM

Personally, I've never had much luck with ball point needles. I prefer to use the Schmetz "stretch" or universal needles.

My main machine is a 1964, low shank Singer--not a 401.

------
I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine... Most of the pleasure is in getting that last little piece perfect...Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just keep showing up and doing the work.

Chuck Close, painter, printmaker, photographer

Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage

St. Augustine

Mishmoore84
Mishmoore84
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AR USA
Member since 2/4/13
Posts: 4
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In reply to tlmck3 <<


Date: 2/5/13 8:45 PM

Thank you, after doing some research I found that stretch needles are what people are recommending for sewing knits on the 401, or the 301. So, I will make sure and have those for the next time.

NonieA1
NonieA1  Friend of PR
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FL USA
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Date: 2/6/13 5:26 AM

Enjoy your 401A-I love mine and use it frequently-especially when I attend classes. One of the last to be made in America. Welcome to PR-I love all the sewers and their wonderful help.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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OH USA
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 2/6/13 6:21 PM

No matter the brand, model or age of the SM, use stretch type needles to avoid skipped stitches.

I don't buy the BP type any more...just the stretch type.

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

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