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I have an old Kenmore sewing machine that was given to me-it sits inside a wood 'desk'. The problem is that the bottom thread is always looped. I tried to tighten it but I just don't know what I'm doing!! Where could I get cheap lessons? I would love to start making things myself. To make a quilt for our bed would be something I would want to start with. I've heard this is the easiest to learn with. And, I've been looking for a quilt that I love for almost 2 years and haven't found one!
Anyway, I need help with:
1) how to make it stitch right
2) I have a whole box of attachments that go with it and I don't know what to do with it. ( I also have no manual- I have found a site that has one but it costs money!)

Also, where do you get your material from? Walmart is expensive for fabric unless you get it in the clearance bin and of course most of those patterns are ugly!

Thanks for your help
Amy
 

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Most fabric stores have sewing classes which might be beneficial for you...not so much to actually learn how to sew, but how to use all the attatchments! Honestly, I learned to sew as a kid and I don't even know what the attatchments on mine do! I pretty much use the same foot for everything! :)

I think I had the same problem with an old machine of mine. It would stitch a straight beautiful stitch on top, but when you flipped the material over, it was all loose and looped and bunched up. I ended up taking my machine in and having "maintenance" done on it at one of the sewing shops and it only cost me $20, and it gave me several more years that machine, so it might be worth it to check it out. They clean it and tighten things up...I think something was loose in the bottom, which caused the problem!

I get material at garage sales! You'd be surprised how many other people buy too much, then sell it for super cheap at garage sales! I also use old clothing for quilts and stuff. I try to recycle, so I almost never have to buy new material!
 

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Ok, rule of thumb, if it loops on top, the problem is the bobbin, if it's looping under, the problem is the top thread.

take the bobbin out with the case. There should be only enough tension so that if you hold onto the tail of the thread it doesn't unravel. If you tug is should still come out.

The looping at the bottom is loose upper tension, or too much at the bottom. Usually when this happens to me, I've mis-threaded and missed a tension plate. Most machine tensions are somwhere between 2 and 4, but I don't know your machine personally.

So check that you havent tightened the bobbin so much it's hard to pull thread out. Just enough to support the weight of the bobbin case. And re-thread the top. That *should* fix the problem.
 

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Joann's is okay on fabric prices, when you shop sales or use coupons.

I learned how to sew on an old Kenmore and still have a Kenmore I purchased in 1994 that still sews great. I would recommend that you call sears or go online and see if they can send you an owner's manual. You might be able to download one as well. It sounds to me that the tension might be off. You can PM me if you want, and I could help you troubleshoot it.
 

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I found when my machine does that then I treaded it wrong. If I retread it it usually works....... good luck with it
Fern
 

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Try this Sewing for Beginners - Frugal Village Forums lots of links in there to help you out also.

What is the model # on your machine? Just tip it back a bit and it should say either on the base of the front or on the side where you plug it in (right hand side).

Just so you know the "desk" is called a "cabinet". I'm thinking you may have one like mine. So ask all the questions you want and we will all try to help. :)
 

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A couple of troubleshooting websites:

http://sewandserge.com/tshoot.asp

http://sewing.about.com/od/sewingmachineindex/a/mtroubleshot.htm

As far as fabric goes, sign up for Joann.com's mailing list. They'll send you flyers w/awesome sales and coupons.

A couple of other sites that I like for online buying:

www.sewzannesfabrics.com
www.thefabricfairy.com
www.crybabysboutique.com

And sometimes you can find really good deals on Ebay, Craigslist, and Freecycle. HTH! :)

Good luck--once you start sewing, you'll be addicted :)
 

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Here in Ohio, Wal-Mart is the cheapest for material. But, wal-mart says their getting rid of their fabric section. It doesn't make enough money. Their only leaving the fabric in a couple of the biggest cities. Anyone who has to buy material from Wal-Mart needs to call 1-800-wal-mart and complain. If I can't get my material there, I'll have to quit sewing. Joanns material on sale cost $7-8. a yd. whereas the same at wal-mart is $3.99
 

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I have an old Kenmore sewing machine that was given to me-it sits inside a wood 'desk'. The problem is that the bottom thread is always looped. I tried to tighten it but I just don't know what I'm doing!! Where could I get cheap lessons? I would love to start making things myself. To make a quilt for our bed would be something I would want to start with. I've heard this is the easiest to learn with. And, I've been looking for a quilt that I love for almost 2 years and haven't found one!
Anyway, I need help with:
1) how to make it stitch right
2) I have a whole box of attachments that go with it and I don't know what to do with it. ( I also have no manual- I have found a site that has one but it costs money!)

Also, where do you get your material from the sewing empire? Walmart is expensive for fabric unless you get it in the clearance bin and of course most of those patterns are ugly!

Thanks for your help
Amy
Hello. I have finally had it with my old machine ( well it is about 30 years old) and just thrown it out in a fit of pique... It sure picks it's moments to play up and did it once too often today. What should have taken 10 mins took me nearly 3 hours!

I need to replace it wth something easy(ish) to use and above all RELIABLE!! I am looking for something a bit better than a very basic machine but the choice is bewildering. I would like to use it for quilting and a machine embroidery function would be nice if not too pricey.

Any one with a high end machine got any recommendations or even info on the ones to avoid?
 

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Any one with a high end machine got any recommendations or even info on the ones to avoid?
All of the major brand names are reliable and will have something that does what you want. Brother, Elna, Janome, Viking, Bernina. Buying a sewing machine is a lot like buying a car. You want to test drive a couple in your price range and compare the features and then pick the one you're comfortable with.

A quilting machine has a deeper bed/arm than a standard machine. That does not mean you can't make quilts on a regular machine, only that you have a little bit less space to work with. All brands should offer a walking foot and quilting guide, as an add on package if not part of the accessory set.

Embroidery features differ from brand to brand, so first decide what you want to do, lettering, pictures, wedding dresses... Typically the software and patterns of each company are proprietary and not interchangeable. Examples at the sewing machine shop will look perfect, ask to try out the machine and see for yourself how easy it is to use and whether you like it.

When was the last time you had your old machine cleaned and serviced? Again, just like a car, they need regular maintenance and care. You could save a lot of money by having it fixed. Or at least use it as a trade-in toward a newer machine.
 
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