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  1. #1
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    New (to me) Singer 457

    Adopted a Singer 457 circa 1968 (that makes it as old as me ) last night. I quickly realized, as I started to fool around with it, that I know NOTHING about sewing and/or machines!
    My wife was mortified that she remembered as much of Home Ec in high school as she did. With her help, I actually threaded the machine (I never knew there was a 2nd line underneath) and sewed two t-shirts together (lmao) as practice. Much progress was made!
    Now, can any of you DIY masters direct or provide me with instructions on different stitches, needle sizes, etc that are used for making gear? I think my stitch options might be limited to the 2 on the machine, but I'm sure they will work.
    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member gunn parker's Avatar
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    Hi
    The thread underneath is the bobbin thread, both have tension settings.
    The top is normally set by a dial on the front of the machine and the bottom is set by a screw on the side of the bobbin case, (in a lot of cases, but depends on your machine)
    Your stitch length and width in the case of zig zag is set by a dial on the front of the case.
    Some times the needle can be set to the left or right or centre. make it in the centre, and set the stitch to straight and the length to say 2mm, (depends on machine).
    As for needle size that depends on the material you are sewing.
    You may be better off taking the machine to a shop for a tune up to make sure the timing is right and while there ask about the needles and sew (so) on
    gunn
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  3. #3
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    find a local shop that gives sewing lessons. This is a hand's on skill and really is best learned by doing. It wouldn't take long for a dealer to teach you the basics of the machine and the basics of thread and needle size. IMO it would be well worth the investment. They could make sure the machine is working properly as well. You have a work horse there. Just make it clear that you don't want to invest in a new machine just yet. If they try to sell you a newer machine then they are more interested in selling machines than in teaching the skill and craft.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    Do you have the manual? Here's a link if you need one still... gstepclassical showed me this one.

    http://www.sewusa.com/Sewing_Machine...ng_Machine.htm


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    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    Those old machines are built like a tank. Should give you many years of service. Congrats on the new toy.
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    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    I was introduced to sewing, years ago, thru a VCR series called "Sewing with Nancy." It really was good and actually a sewing/fabric store lent it to me 'cause they were so happy to have a guy be interested. There really is a lot to bobbin tension and technique, maybe it's like skiing or golf; a little instruction at the beginning goes a long way. It just might keep you from throwing the machine out the window in frustration. I think I have the same machine you do...maybe a Singer 357 tho. can't remember. Made in England?

  9. #9
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daibutsu View Post
    I was introduced to sewing, years ago, thru a VCR series called "Sewing with Nancy." It really was good and actually a sewing/fabric store lent it to me 'cause they were so happy to have a guy be interested. There really is a lot to bobbin tension and technique, maybe it's like skiing or golf; a little instruction at the beginning goes a long way. It just might keep you from throwing the machine out the window in frustration. I think I have the same machine you do...maybe a Singer 357 tho. can't remember. Made in England?
    LMAO...I can barely plug the thing in, let alone tell you where it was made!
    Seriously, I thought it said USA, but could be wrong.

    Went and p/u some ripstop remenant (1 yd green), needles (11, 12, 14 sizes) and guterman poly thread last night. I have played around with stitch length/width using an old tshirt that I ripped into pieces and sewed back together (using cotton thread) It seemed to work well.
    This weekend I will sting up a new bobbin with poly thread and attemp a stuff sack...LET THE PARTY COMMENCE!

    Questions:
    1. Does upper/lower tensions need adjusted based material or thread changes (cotton to ripstop, cotton to poly thread)? If not, life will be much easier. My guess, I'll figure that out as soon as I start.
    2. What needle sizes for what materials? (I hope 11-14 )
    3. Someone here mentioned a "seam tape" that replaced pinning and after you stitched thru it, ripped away in 2 pieces. Any ideas or brand names?
    4. Does the cut edge of ripstop or silnylon need to be treated to stop fraying? How does one stop the fraying?

    Thanks for the help! Stocking up on beer now...
    Last edited by animalcontrol; 07-24-2008 at 12:53.
    "Every day is a new day to a better future"
    "Of all the things that matter, that really and truly matter, working more efficiently and getting more done is not among them." ~ Mike Dooley
    "What if I told you that you couldn't have anymore of anything... No more friends, no more money, no more anything, until you first got happy with what you have?"~ Mike Dooley
    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." ~ Socrates

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