Here’s a short and sweet little tip for this month:
If you are the proud owner of a “mature” machine, there’s a little gremlin lurking in there that seems to trip up a lot of folks. It is……The needle’s in backwards!
I see this fairly often and almost without exception, the customer vigorously denies the fact. Even experienced users miss this. Your machine will sew very badly if the needle is, in fact, in backwards! Newer machines have a metal guide for the needle with a “D” shaped hole in it, so the needle can’t physically be put in backwards, but the older machines lack this feature.
OK…..so what should it look like? If your machine is a top-loader or a front-loader, the long groove in the needle should be facing you, and the flat surface of the needle shank should be on the backside.
If your machine is a side-loader, the groove in the needle should be on the left, with the flat on the backside to the right. You thread the needle from the left side to the right on those machines. There are exceptions (of course) on the side loaders. Some of the really elderly Singers have the hook reversed. If you’re in doubt, remember that the back of the needle (with the flat) should always face the hook. You always thread the needle from the grooved side to the back side. Seems pretty simple, but we see this a lot on the older machines, thus the “tip.” I hope this is helpful; it just might save you a visit to the shop! And we’ll never tell!