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Is my machine working correctly?

mary777 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hi, I am an absolute beginner and am using a Singer Inspiration 4220. I am using it for the 1st time. When I do a straight stitch, the side of the fabric that is facing me looks fine. But the other side shows one thread looping around the other thread that forms a straight line; this is not right, is it?. Shouldn’t both sides look the same?

I increased the tension and I still see the loops on one side. Is the machine defective?

I am trying to make a hem and have to have the right side of the fabric facing me (hence I can’t see where the hem is or where I am supposed to sew). I have to do it this way so the stitches will look nice on the right side of the fabric. Not having the hem facing me can’t be correct.  I should be facing the wrong side of the fabric when sewing the hem (e.g. the folded hem should be facing up/facing me).

Thanks for any insight.



  1. Crazy K | | #1

    You didn't mention if this is a new machine......or new to you.  If it is brand new, I would venture a guess that it is threaded improperly at some point.  I have a wonderful machine that does superb stitches but if I fail to get the thread into one of the guides I have the goofiest looking stitches (underside) on the planet!!!!!


  2. suesew | | #2

    It may be that you do not have the bobbin threaded properly. You usually need to pull the thread into the slit and under the little tension flat thingy. Do you have a manual with some photos or drawings? Also make sure that you have a new needle and have it threaded properly.

  3. tmorris1 | | #3

    Mary;Did you get the model with the Automatic Threading Function?? If so, then you could not have the machine threaded incorrectly. It sounds like you have your thread tension quite a bit too loose, or your bobbin thread is far too tight. Determining this is quite easy, grab a scrap piece of fabric (preferably of a contrasting color to your thread)and make a small mark on one side of it so that you can tell which is top and bottom. Stitch a straight line, and look at the stitching. If the bottom looks very taught, and the loop looks like it has been pulled through the fabric, then the bobbin is too tight. If you insert a pin under one of the top thread stitches, and can easily pull a loop to the top side, then the thread tension is too tight.You say that you have adjusted the tension to tighten it. Being that you are admittedly new to the machine, you may have turned the dial the wrong way. Check your manual and make sure that you are in fact tightening it. At this point, run a short line on your scrap, check it, and adjust the tension a little bit. Keep doing this a little at a time until the stitches look good.If the bobbin is too tight, you will need to look at the way it has been wound first. If there is not enough tension on the thread while winding a bobbin, it will become loose and easily knotted. If the winding is fine, then you will need to check your manual again to make sure that you have inserted the bobbin with the thread facing the correct position. It makes a difference whether the thread is coming towards you from the bobbin or away from you.This may sound obvious, but you need to have the same thread in the top and bobbin (you can mix colors, but not weights, or fiber content)Once you have determined that all of these things have been checked, you can feel confident in asking to have the machine checked, repaired, or replaced.Okay, now for the advice...Did you get your machine from a dealer? Most dealers offer training on the specific machine that you have purchased for free. If the machine was a gift, it is not rude to ask where it was purchased in order to take advantage of this information. If you have a dealer near you, many of them will train you on your machine for a small fee ($20.00 or so.) It is worth doing just to find out all of the nifty things that your machine can do which you never knew about.Lastly, with 20 different stitches on your new machine, you most likely have a "Blind Hem" stitch. This is a very nice, quick hem finish that looks more professional. Once again, check your manual which will have the instructions on how to do this.Hope this info will help,T.

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