If you are new to your Singer 401 you might have noticed these cute knobs (somewhat intimidating) with various letters. Likewise, that mysterious red lever with numbers 1 through 5. What are these numbers for? In my Singer 401 reviews post, I lightly mentioned these parts and their basic purpose.
Now, it is time to make sure that you are setting up your machine for a proper straight stitch:
- Do you have to straight stitch: A narrow hem on a delicate fabric? Is it a straight or curved seam?
When working on generic sewing projects on stable fabrics that require either straight stitch on long or straight seams, you can always use your standard general purpose presser foot and the general purpose throat plate. Your machine comes with these standard accessories. This is the standard presser foot and throat plate that you can use both for straight stitch and zig zag stitch:
- Do you have to deal with:
- Delicate or sheer fabrics?
- Topstitching or edge stitching?
- Quilting projects with narrow edges?
- Small curves, scalloped edges, or very narrow hems?
- Projects that require absolute control and precision with your straight stitches?
- Are you using the right accessories, the right presser foot and the right throat plate?
Look at both pictures to make sure you have what you need.
- Do you know what these selectors knobs are for? What are these letters for? With so many stitch combinations, how do you tell your Singer 401 to use only straight stitches?
- Let’s talk about setting up your machine to produce straight stitches. The Singer 401 has these knobs that have letters “A” through “J” on the left side and letters “K” through “S” on the right side.
- To get a straight stitch you need to rotate the outer beige knob to the letter “A” and the off white knob must be rotated to the letter “K” .
- The AK combination will be a default setting you want to maintain when working with straight stitches.
- The letter “B” is used in conjunction with the letter “O” or “L” for zig zag stitches. And the other letters in the left side are used in combination with other letters on the right side to produce many fun combinations of decorative stitches.
In another set of posts I will show a sampler of the various zig zag stitches that the Singer 401 has.
- Do you know how to align the position of the needles to align your stitches correctly?
Let me introduce you to your friend the “Bight Control Lever”. It is this cute red lever with a notch in the middle and which has numbers “1” through “5”. When you are working with straight stitches, this red lever is used to align your needle:
Your default setting for straight stitches should always be “AK” and red lever at 3 (central position). Important note: Before manipulating the red lever, make sure you don’t have your needle on the fabric.
If you move the lever to the number one, you will get a straight stitch that will appear at the far left. If you move the lever to number “2” the needle and therefore the stitch will be moved slightly towards the right. If you move the lever to “3”, the stitch is at the central position. If you move it to the number “4” and “5”, your stitches will appear to the far right.
So this post ends here and I hope you are not intimidated by your Singer 401 knobs and levers. On my next post, I will talk about how many zig zag stitches your machine will offer you and its various applications.