Author Topic: Serger Problems  (Read 4248 times)

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Offline Emily

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Serger Problems
« on: November 06, 2010, 09:21:32 PM »
not sure if this is the right place for this.
I've already been through the directions, troubleshooting, ect.  the machine is supposed to be brand new. It was given to me by my mom, and was in the box but manual was missing. I found a download, and went through it but didn't find my answers. Hoping someone can help.
My problem is with the tensions (I think). I'm trying to serge some lightweight very stretchy accross the grain knit. I've heard the serger should be able to handle such fabric. Plus I had owned one of these years ago, and it worked great. I can't seem to figure it out though. Everytime I attempt to serge a seam when I turn the fabric right side you can see the stitches. It is very obvious, so I can't make ready to wear right now with these settings. I will need to resew on my regular machine. Also after sewing a seam I must completely rethread the machine EVERY time I stop the foot pedal. As you can imagine i'm pretty annoyed right now!

The machine is a singer 14sh654 and is the "finishing touch" one. Maybe someone has one of these and can give me some advice?

Thanks,
Emily

Offline sdBev

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Re: Serger Problems
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2010, 09:38:59 PM »
I don't have that particular machine,  hopefully someone will answer that does, but I have had those particular problems.  Like the sewing machine, the thread for the needles must be fully inserted into the tension disks.  I''m assuming that since you found a download you also found the correct thread path.  When threading the serger, I lift the pressor foot until I'm ready to actually thread the needle.  That makes sure the tension disks were open and my thread fully inserted between them. 

From there it's usually a matter of tightening the tension at the dials.  I do find that my left needle is set at a higher number than my right needle by about 1 number. 

I've had the experience that changing to a heavier needle solved my problem.  I was sewing on corduroy at that time with a size 12 universal.  I changed to a 14 universal and all was fine.

One other weird time, my serger has a setting for using 2 threads or 3/4 threads.  My little lever had been bumped to 2 threads.  Switching back to 3/4 threads solved my problem.

I love my serger, but they are very particular.  Every setting must be accurate for the stitch being attempted.  i.e if I forget to switch back from rolled settings after finishing a rolled hem, my next stitching will not be right.  My machine takes 3 changes for a rolled hem (4 if I'm using 2 threads).  When changing back all the changes have to be reset. 

Good luck, you can solve this.

Offline msdesigner1

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Re: Serger Problems
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2010, 11:10:24 PM »
I had a similar problem lately. I tried everything but nothing worked until I replaced the needles with actually Kenmore serger needles (rather than generic ones). It sews perfectly.

Other than trying that, I would suggest playing around with the tension dials but the breaking thread makes me think of my situation.

Good luck.. I KNOW how frustrating it is when the machine misbehave!

Offline annenet

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Re: Serger Problems
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2010, 12:56:32 PM »
I find needles make all of the difference. Look at the manual and find what you need.
Too many ideas, not enough time.

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Offline ejvc

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Re: Serger Problems
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2010, 12:58:48 PM »
Why do you have to rethread?

Elizabeth
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Offline Karen Roth

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Re: Serger Problems
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2010, 02:31:54 PM »
The right needles, needles inserted correctly (facing correct direction and inserted firmly all the way up), proper settings as Bev noted (tension as well as other ssettings), and threading in the correct sequence are all critical in getting the stitch right.  A large part of the time when a customer would bring their serger in with a problem it was operator error involving one of these things.  Even thread can make a difference - can't say how many times all I did was pull off their bad thread, rethread with maxilock, perfect.

All that said ... many years ago I developed an appreciation for the power of fabric grain. Sometimes something simply cannot be sewn in one direction as it can in the other, or will look different (was trying decorative stitches on a twill weave when I learned this the hard way).   So as you noted you're sewing on the cross grain.  If you try it, without changing anything as we've noted, but along grain, or on another fabric, does it work properly?  If so it could be the fabric/grain contributing to the challenge vs. the machine.
Good luck!
Karen

Offline Gigi Louis

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Re: Serger Problems
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2010, 02:47:47 PM »
I believe this particular model uses Singer #2022 needles so you might want to make sure that is what you are using.
Gigi (who's going broke saving money sewing)

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Offline Emily

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Re: Serger Problems
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2010, 11:25:44 PM »
Hi, sorry ladies i've been bussy and haven't had a chance to work with it more. I am using 2022 singer brand needles. ejvc, I have to rethread because when I stop serging and attempt to start again it does not work. I get loose threads that come apart of I get no threads at all. Karen i'm not sure i'm following you on the grain issue. I am sewing the seams, so no grain issue that I know of. Needles are inserted correctly and are the correct needles. I will work on it more tonight, and then take photos of the problems. Maybe that will help decide what the issue is. I know it can be hard to help if you don't see the work, and are relying on someones interpretation of the "problem" :) Who knows I may be way of base as to what I "think" it is.

Offline BeeBee

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Re: Serger Problems
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2010, 12:12:19 AM »
Are you running your thread off the fabric so you have a tail of the chain left?  You should be able to pull the chain a bit - just put some tension on it - and continue to make more chain. 

Offline Karen Roth

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Re: Serger Problems
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2010, 11:25:47 PM »
Sorry I may have misread/misspoke, gotta watch out for my early a.m. while still decaffeinated posts!  I thought you were saying you were stitching across the very stretchy cross grain and I was just noting that sometimes stitches are just different going with vs. against grain.
Karen

Offline Emily

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Re: Serger Problems
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2010, 04:49:45 AM »
Hi Karen, not a problem. I ended up sewing the cardi wrap on my pfaff and with tissue paper it worked out well. I tried a new fabric, a simple cotton and i'm getting the same problems. The thread no longer comes undone, but it's not tight enough, you can see the threads from the right side seam. Still needing to rethread. Machine is new so it can't be "broken".

Offline ejvc

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Re: Serger Problems
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2010, 12:30:19 PM »
I am assuming you've adjusted the tension?  My little monkey likes to play with the thread tension levers....
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Offline justgail

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Re: Serger Problems
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2010, 06:41:22 PM »
when I got my serger many years ago, it came threaded with a different color for each needle and looper.  I was told that if the stitches don't look right, to revert to that, then you can see more clearly which tension is off.   If you can see the stitches when you turn the item right side out, it sounds like the left needle tension is too loose, maybe also the bottom looper. 

Also on my serger, the dealer had also adjusted it so I could use Schmetz needles, not the ones that were in the manual (they also made a note in the manual).   Perhaps something similar was done to your serger?
Gail
U.S. - eastern Iowa
Justgail

Offline Misha

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Re: Serger Problems
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2010, 10:14:12 AM »
If threads are showing in the seamline, you might try tightening your needle tensions. If using a 4 thread stitch it is probably the left needle that is needing the most tightening. I suggest to also check that the needle threads are deeply seated in the discs by first turning the tension to 0 then tightening to the setting that you desire and give a little pull on the thread to make sure it is well seated in the tension.

Offline Emily

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Re: Serger Problems
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2010, 11:25:08 PM »
I'm still working on this although i'm annoyed with it so haven't worked on it this week at all. I am properly putting the threads through the tension discs. When you say tighten the needle tension you are refering  to the tension levers on the top that have to do with the threads right? Not actually tightening something on the needle area? I know for embroidery work I have to change tension in the bobbin in my pfaffs so I just want to make sure I'm understanding what you are asking.

I tried sewing with 3 threads with 1 needle and then 4 threads with 2 needles and there is no change . The thread still shows, and the threads are loose, not as tight as i'd like them to be. I've played with the tensions but nothing is working. There is a black nob inside the machine where the threading is done. It moves like a dial, is not numbered. Did not find it in the manual but maybe I need to look harder. Have any idea what it is? I can get pictures up if need be, but it may take me a few days. I'm wondering if it has to do with some kind of tension thing?  I have a busy week but will try to play with it more and will try very very hard to get photos up.

Thanks to everyone trying to help me
Emily

 

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