Repairing a Singer Sewing Machine

Some problems that you may experience with your sewing machine can be repaired or adjusted at home, others will need to be looked at by a repair person. This is a guide about repairing a Singer sewing machine.
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May 4, 2016 Flag
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I have a Kenmore 8 sewing machine. The needle will move up and down with the handwheel on the right, but not with the pedal. When I press down the pedal the wheel moves, but the needle does not. I checked the bobbin threading position and also took apart the bobbin area and there was no tangled thread that I could see. The machine zooms like it's working, but the needle is still. Any ideas?
Thanks so much!

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October 1, 20160 found this helpful

Did you ever find the problem because mines does the same thing this is my 2nd sewing machine by singer stopping when it wants to stop.

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October 12, 20160 found this helpful

Hold the outer wheel with one hand and with the other try to turn the small inner wheel clockwise. If the inner wheel moves that will tighten the two to turn together. If the inner wheel is tight already then the problem is elsewhere.

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November 4, 2016 Flag
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I have a Singer heavy duty sewing machine. The thread got stuck inside the bobbin box and now it's very hard to move the needle up and down. How can I fix this?

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November 5, 20160 found this helpful

I had this happen once and it was a bobbin that was just a bit too big. I had to take apart the assemblage from underneath and dig it out. I now use just plastic. If that doesn't help, you may have to take it in but these days, a used one is cheaper than repairs.

Hope that helps.

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March 12, 2016 Flag
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I got a Singer sewing machine model 7011. It stitches on the top, but gathers on the bottom of the fabric. We changed the bobbin, but nothing changed. What would be the next step? We got it at a garage sale about 10yrs ago.

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March 14, 20161 found this helpful

If you want to keep this machine, invest in a 'professional' to go over it for you. Sometimes a needle breaks and all pieces don't get removed, to wrong type of thread used, bobbin aged, esp if using metal bobbin. Keeping machine clean is very important, and oiled regularly WHERE it is required. Hope you have the manual for it, OR you can google MANUAL for said machine and model. They are online, some free. I recently updated from my 30 year old machine. Had one from the 1960 prior to that. And yes, they moved to the basement for non-intricate sewing. They can still do tarps, heavy jackets, jean zippers, etc. Taking care of machines is what keeps them going.

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March 15, 20160 found this helpful

When thread is bunching underneath the fabric it is usually a problem of tension balance. The upper thread doesn't go down enough. Reduce the tension on the needle thread by putting the tension knob on an average tension level.

There is also a little screw on the bobbin holder that adjust the tension on the bobbin thread you can tighten it with a screw driver. As Grandma J. said dusting, cleaning all parts

of the machine where the threads go through is very important specially the tension disks in your case (these are the disks the tension knob is pressing on) and of course make sure you are using the same kind of thread for the bobbin and to feed the needle.

They can be different in colours but they must be the same type of thread, cotton or polyester and good quality threads made for sewing machine and not thread for hand sewing which are wax coated to make them stronger.

If they are different in type it will be very difficult to balance the tension as for example cotton thread and polyester thread do not have the same elasticity.

Balancing the tension is the tricky part of sewing with a sewing machine even with the most modern machines. Once you have succeeded don't forget that the first thing you should sew is a proper cover made to the shape of your machine that will protect it from dust.

Hope this helps !

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July 23, 2016 Flag
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I have a Featherweight sewing machine, circa 1950, Mod#221-1. I don't use it much and then only for hemming slacks, shorts, fixing my flags, etc. It has always worked great. The last time I set it up for use was about 2 weeks ago. I was half way finished with my job when I noticed it was stitching perfectly on top, but the bottom stitching was all bunching up. So I pulled all of the stitching out and was going to start over, but needed more thread on the bobbin. I was just starting the process of filling the bobbin when it just quit functioning. The motor will run fine, but it just won't sew. The belt is looking good and motor is good. I tried to turn the wheel on the right, but can't. However, the sewing arm will slightly move up/down when I try to move the wheel, but it just won't move any further. It is as if something is either broken or has become disconnected, so that it won't function. I would like to try to fix this with some help before I turn it loose on some of the local repair persons. None have very good references and all try to overcharge and have no customer service. I'll take any help you can give me.

BTW: I'm new to sewing and have only used this machine which does nothing but straight stitch. Additionally, this has a lot of sentimental value since it was my grandma's and my mother's before she gave it to me.
Thanks.

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August 15, 20161 found this helpful

The Singer Featherweight is an excellent machine! Yours may need grease in some of it's internal gears and oil in all it's other thirsty places. Here is a great blog post about cleaning and lubricating your Featherweight: http://jillybejoyful.blogspot.com/2 ... pa-date-with-your-featherweight.html

I am also including a link to Dave McCallum's site where you can purchase a very informative DVD and book about restoring, cleaning, and maintaining your Featherweight. http://featherweight221.com/

I truly hope you get your lovely machine back in working order. There's really nothing new that can compare to the vintage sewing machines. I am now the proud "parent" of a Minnesota Model D treadle machine (1912), a Singer 66 Redeye that I am going to convert to a hand crank machine (1911), a Japanese clone of the Singer 15 (circa 1950), and a Kenmore 158 (late 60's early 70's). They each have their own quirks, but each of them sew much better than my modern Singer Curvy (which I am considering selling.)

I truly hope the above listed sites can offer you the assistance you need in order get your lovely little lady up and running again. I hope she brings you many more years of happiness, especially since she belonged to your grandmother and your mother. Family heirlooms such as that should be treasured members of the family as well as functional ones.

God bless,

Lacey

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August 15, 20160 found this helpful

I also forgot to mention in my previous post, that you may want to check the carbon brushes in your motor. There is an access port under the machine. There are instructional videos on YouTube that show how to check/replace carbon brushes in motors.

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November 6, 2016 Flag
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I have a Singer 257 sewing machine. The needle side zig zag looks good. The bobbin side is a straight line--no zig zag. Is this out of time or what? Something simple or not?

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November 1, 2016 Flag
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I need to remove the back cover of my Singer 3827 so that I can replace the spool holder and pin. I've tried unscrewing the obvious parts on the back cover, but couldn't seem to get the cover off. Is there a trick to this?

Any help appreciated!
Thanks

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August 15, 2016 Flag
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I have a Singer sewing machine and having completed making a bag using the 'denim' Singer sewing machine needle, I found I was unable to take the needle out. It appears to have solidly embedded itself. I tried WD40 and pliers, but no luck. I don't want to break the machine. Before I take it to the Singer shop do you have any hints?

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August 16, 20160 found this helpful

Can you move the needle at all, Patricia? Even by hand? (I'm wanting to ascertain if the component which houses the needle can be lifted or lowered at all.) In the interest of saving time, feel free to get back to me at wordswork@telus.net.

Best,

Rose Anne

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October 15, 2015 Flag
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I'm new here and hoping for some help or guidance. I have just bought a Singer 99k. I think it's a Simanco 33663. I've given the machine a good cleaning and oil, I'm happy with how it's cleaned up, all seems well apart from something that should be happening with the bobbin thread.

When I attempt to sew, the top thread does just what it should in respect that it goes around the bobbin case and pulls up the bobbin thread. So far so good. :o)
But then when I attempt a few stitches all I get is the top cotton in place, (these stitches pop out because they are not anchored.) There's no sign of the bobbin thread :o( I've read some trouble shooting threads and used a new needle and adjusted the bobbin tension.

I don't know much about these machines yet and was wondering if it's a timing issue, but given that the top thread collects bobbin thread everytime, I thought maybe timing is OK? I've looked underneath the machine and can see where the metal part catches the top thread and takes it round to the bobbin, but I can't work out which bit might involve connecting the bobbin thread! I thought a vintage machine would be easy to maintain on my own!

Any advice would be very much appriciated.
Many thanks in advance :o)

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October 16, 20150 found this helpful

You can take the machine to a repair tech - it's the bobbin gear (or the rubber 'belt') and needs to be changed and the repair tech will have access to the part - probably has a tub full of them:) This applies to 99Ks that are hand crank or electrified - the workings are the same on both types. I do a lot of refurb and repair on these here in Scotland for my Sewing 101 students.

There is a free download available online for servicing the hand-cranks (99K) and treadles (usually the 66K) if you're feeling adventurous, and spare parts can be purchased once you know the name of the part you need. The first link is for the service manual - be prepared it takes some time to download all of the sections but it's well worth the time! The Tools For Self Reliance charity group refurbishes non-electric vintage machines and then donates the machines to be used by sewing business entrepreneurs - you will be able to download without having to pay, join, or pledge a machine donation but if you are interested, all the info you need is there as well. The manual at the link below is aimed at Singer vintage non-electrics and you will find it fascinating and easy to follow:

http://www.tfsr.org/publications/te ... l_information/sewing_machine_manual/

This link takes you to a parts supplier - he carries an amazing selection of spares for vintage Singers and is very reasonably priced:

http://www.tandtrepair.com/

Word of warning - these vintage treasures are addictive!

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Anonymous Flag
October 23, 20150 found this helpful

BRAVO!! ... for your wonderful answer! I'm also addicted to old machines - and just ran into this very thing on a 99K. WHAT a good little lump of pig iron, though .... All cleaned, serviced, oiled and adjusted, it's so quiet that you can't hear the little thing running and it sews extraordinarily well. I'm on to a 221 Featherweight - and then a TOTAL refurb of a Singer 66 treadle machine. Good thing I have a Free-Westinghouse to SEW on whilst I work over these Singers!! Hahaha!!!

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April 6, 2016 Flag
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I just bought a Singer 301a. The needle is centre correctly, but my attached presser foot is not. It is shifted to the left so the needle is very close to the right hand side of the foot. This is the case for all the feet. How do I adjust the presser foot bar so they are centred correctly. Otherwise, I see broken needles in my future.

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April 7, 20160 found this helpful

If your machine is a new purchase, I would return it to the store to fix the problem or replace the machine.

Just now, my husband received the fourth new printer from the company trying to replace the original machine we purchased. Since the problem keeps repeating, we demanded a different new printer to avoid the same problem.

What a pain!!!

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April 8, 20160 found this helpful

Here's a link to the user guide for your vintage slant needle machine:

http://www.singerco.com/uploads/dow ... 8d6b837d82e1e8bef36ad0d14d6145d0.pdf

And here's a link to the most reliable online parts and repair tech EVER - he is in American Samoa and what he doesn't know about vintage Singers isn't worth worrying about:

tandtrepair.com

Now - what I suspect (I'm a self-taught successful vintage Singer repair tech here in Scotland) is your machine is currently wearing the wrong class feet - probably 66 or 15.

But your machine is a slant needle machine which means your machine needs the specialised slant feet.

Being off by as little as 1mm will cause the problems you describe, and there is that little difference between class 66, 15, and slant needle machine feet. They may all look the same but they are not. Contact a reliable local repair tech - he/she should be able to trade you your class 66 or 15 feet for the slant feet you need - it may cost you a few (insert your local currency name here) but will get your gorgeous vintage slant Singer back to sewing.

Congratulations on the find of a slant, by the way. Lovely machines that make an outstanding stitch. Go to tandrepair.com and have a good long browse about the slants. He also sells parts, manuals (domestic and service), and posts a great lot of very helpful information and links regarding caring for and maintaining these lovely ladies of Singer sewing.

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November 28, 2015 Flag
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I have a Singer 600E, I've threaded the bobbin and all that good stuff. But when I push my pedal down my needle won't move, the motor runs, but nothing happens. Is it my pedal?

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November 29, 20150 found this helpful

First of all, download this free copy of the user manual from the Singer website:

http://www.singerco.com/uploads/download/1310_600revised.pdf

Be sure you've followed ALL the instructions for winding the bobbin and restoring the settings for sewing mode. Be especially sure you're using the correct bobbin for your machine - the Singer 600E Touch'n'Sew will work with the wrong bobbin - for a while - and then it will quit working.

If that doesn't help it's most likely the bobbin gear (not a home fix!) and time to take your vintage Touch'n'Sew to a repair tech - look for one adverting he/she is factory trained and or authorised as the Touch'n'Sew, built from 1964 and forward, is a rather complicated machine to work on and requires specialised knowledge specific to the machine.

The bobbin gear on your model is especially touchy - it's magnetised and isn't at all easy to fix without that specialised knowledge, and faithful use of ONLY the designated bobbin for the machine.

Best luck, I hope you're back sewing again soon!

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November 29, 20150 found this helpful

It most likely is a problem with the bobbin casing. There is probably a piece of thread stuck in it somewhere and if you don't remove every little piece, it will not go. Sometimes, you can find the piece and pull it out, but sometimes, you just have to take it in.

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February 24, 2016 Flag
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I bought an old Singer 6110 from a yardsale. It plugs in, and the light turns on, but when I press the foot pedal, it doesn't run. The cords and foot pedal seem to be in good shape. I need a little help.

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February 26, 20160 found this helpful

You need to take this sewing machine to a qualified repair tech - there are so many reasons why it won't sew there isn't room here to list them all:) Buying a sewing machine at a yard sale, flea market, second hand shop, free classified ad paper, etc, is fun - but should only be undertaken by someone with the understanding the machine should be taken straightaway for a check over by a qualified repair tech. A sewer can find amazing bargains but part of the bargain should be the understanding a professional (or self-taught tooled up) tech should be the next person(s) to handle the machine.

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March 2, 20160 found this helpful

What about my quest to become a self taught tech by searching for tips and information on the Internet? So far I'm not having much luck. Gotta start somewhere :-/

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October 24, 2015 Flag
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So I was sewing and the thread got bunched up, the bobbin case or basket had moved. I don't know what to do, I'm super new to sewing and I'm not sure what I'm doing.


It looks like the basket has tuned just a bit and the whole machine is stuck. I tried to remove the basket, but it won't budge and I don't want to forced anything.

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October 28, 20150 found this helpful

More than likely there is a very small bit of thread caught under or at the side of the case - take a strong torch (flashlight) and shine the light into the area - you're looking for a VERY tiny bit of 'fluff' waving at you. If you can see that, use a pair of tweezers to pluck the bit out.

If you don't find that bit of waving fluff, you need to take your machine to a repair tech - he/she will have the tools and knowledge to safely remove the bobbin case, clean and/or make any repairs/adjustments, and as a bonus may be willing to carefully explain what happened and how to prevent it happening again.

I teach Sewing 101 to complete sewing newcomers here in Scotland but lived in the US and taught there as well. I also do repair and refurbishment on student machines. Please, please, please believe me - if you cannot find the piece of fluff causing your problem, you MUST take your machine to a professional. Do not try anything more than the torch and tweezer fix I have suggested unless you're looking to kill your machine or incur higher repair costs when you do take it to a professional. Please:)

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October 31, 20150 found this helpful

I agree with Frugal Sunnie. It is likely a piece of thread stuck in there. I don't suppose you have a friend who is an experienced sewer who could look at your machine for you? I guess not, or you would have asked her instead of asking for hints online!! If you did, I would have her check it out if you didn't find the thread yourself, before you take it in to get fixed.

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