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Author Topic: sewing machine questions  (Read 1361 times)
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sunsetflyers
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« on: November 02, 2009, 10:16 AM »

1. what does walking foot do and how is it helpful with kites ?

2. what does needle down mean and how is it helpful ?

3. what is best bobbin assembly ..drop in or what ?

 getting into making kites and have a few ? thanks for any help
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RonG
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2009, 10:25 AM »

1.  There are different types of "walking foot" implementations.  Many are add-ons, some are built in (like the Pfaff integrated dual-feed mechanism).  The general idea though is that the fabric is moved along not just by the feed dogs below, but by some kind of pulling mechanism on top.  This is of particular advantage in kite building because you're working with a lot of slippery fabrics (nylon, iccy, dacron, etc).  A top and bottom feed helps insure a more even feed and stitch length.

I love the dual feed on my Pfaffs, but the fact is that a lot of folks (including some of the best kite builders out there) do just fine without a walking foot or any other kind of top feed mechanism.  A well-adjusted, quality machine and an attentive kitemaker are more important.  There are plenty of situations where I have to disengage the top feed on my machine, so it's not a panacea.

2.  "Needle-down" refers to the option to have the machine always stop with the needle in the down position, i.e. needle in the fabric.  This can be helpful when you have to stop and disengage the presser foot (to turn the fabric, for instance), since the needle will keep the fabric from slipping around and messing up the current stitch.  Again, a nice-to-have, but it's something you can control manually once you get a feel for your machine.

3.  I'm not an expert on this one.  I know there are some very good machines out there of both types.  Every machine I've worked with has been a front-load, so I'll let people with more knowledge of subject field this one.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2009, 10:35 AM by RonG » Logged
MtnFlyer
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2009, 10:37 AM »

What Ron said. Can't get a more clear explanation than that.

For your other questions, "needle down" means the ability to stop a stitch with the needle down through the fabric, at the bottom of its stroke. This allows you to simply pause, or lift the foot and pivot the material, without having to worry about shifting the material from the position of the last stitch.

I don't know what the "best" bobbin assembly is. I've heard of folks not liking the performance of the drop-in type. My experience has been with the vertical bobbin assembly on the Pfaffs. It works well and can be accessed if necessary (not sure what that might be though) from the front without removing the fabric. Slightly off-question, and there are tricks to get around this, but a low-bobbin indicator is invaluable IMO.
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RonG
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2009, 10:55 AM »

Slightly off-question, and there are tricks to get around this, but a low-bobbin indicator is invaluable IMO.

When I got my current Pfaff, I was stoked that it had a low-bobbin indicator, but in practice I find that I never really use it.  I don't know about your model, but on mine when the light comes on the bobbin is *really* low.  Whenever I'm in a situation where running out of thread sucks (like the whole length of a leading edge tunnel), I always manually check the bobbin first and replace it if there's any doubt whatsoever.  Thread is cheap, and I don't mind wasting some if it means not having to stitch rip and start over.
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MtnFlyer
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2009, 12:04 PM »

I agree with you, Ron. Critical areas always warrant a manual check. I like the light for general sewing, applique, etc., though, as I always (from testing) have right around 9 feet of thread left on the bobbin. Depending on the type stitch, I know pretty well how far it will go.
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Bob
sunsetflyers
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2009, 12:27 PM »

great info thanks anserers are great one more ? is how do you stop and finish it off so it doesnt come undone or how do you knot the end
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Steve & Sherri
kiten00b
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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2009, 01:23 PM »

back tack, trim thread ends
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MtnFlyer
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« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2009, 02:29 PM »

You can back tack, bar tack or, if the thread ends will be rolled into a hem or otherwise "caught", do nothing at all. I use all three methods depending on application.
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Bob
sunsetflyers
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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2009, 02:50 PM »

i thought that is how its done if  rembered by watching my mom sewing along time ago
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Steve & Sherri
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