I have been using my great-grandmother's sewing machine for years, and it is just now giving me a problem. When I begin sewing by pushing the foot pedal, it will sometimes start and it will sometimes not. If it does, I have to have the pedal to the floor to keep it going, so I can only sew very fast. If I let it slow down, the machine gets stuck. When it is stuck, turning the hand wheel toward me while pushing the foot pedal gets it going again. When I turn the hand wheel or when it does stop on me, it is always stiff or stuck in the same spot in its rotation. Every time I push the pedal, the motor does run, but I can't always get the needle to move.
I have tried everything from cleaning it, disassembling what I can to check for problems, oiling it, and more. Am I most likely looking at a problem with the foot pedal, the motor, an internal belt or gear, or a timing issue?
By Jessica B.
Have someone check the brushes in the motor. I have found this to be a common problem in the older machines. If the brushes are ok the next thing I would look at is the foot pedal. It may need to be replaced.
When I turn my machine on it just starts to sew and will not stop until I turn it off. Can this be fixed by me or do I need to take it to a repair man? I have been sewing for 60 years, and this has never happened before.
Unplug your machine. Take the foot press and see if anything is stuck in there that would prevent the spring from releasing all the way. It sounds like you have a stuck pedal.
I have just acquired a sewing machine the make is a JMB, it's all threaded up etc., but the needle won't go all the way down and it just freezes and makes a buzzing sound. The tension is on 3, but I have tried it on other numbers and still nothing. Has anyone got any tips I should try? x
Hi Jennifer! Is your model an overlocker or a standard sewing machine? I'm not familiar with the JMB machines at all as I sew vintage and antique Singers exclusively. So I'm going to ask if you have the owner guide (user manual)-that should have a troubleshooting section that might help.
I will say if this were happening on one of my Singers I would clean the bobbin case and area, the tension disc areas, and then I'd try a rethread-I have had the same problem you describe happen on the Singers when I've threaded the machine wrong-lol, usually either passing the thread BEHIND the tension discs instead of between them, or when I've been in too big a hurry and forgot to raise the presser foot when threading the machine.
If you still have trouble, it could be something inside the machine and the best person to have a look is a qualified sewing machine repair technician. If you live in the US or the UK, a good repairman is as close as your local sewing centre-the staff there can recommend someone. The cost varies from country to country, US around $50, UK around £35-£60. You'll get your machine back in working order and it will have been serviced (clean, oil if needed, other potential problems found, repaired if you agree to the work being done). Well worth the money if you love or need your sewing machine!
If you don't have the owner guide, try a Google search using the manufacturer name and the machine model number in the search term. I tried to find a free download for you but since I don't know anything about JMB machines my search wasn't productive.
My Singer Esteem sewing machine has a jam in it. I can't lower the needle enough to catch the bobbin thread. Before I take it to a repair shop, does anyone know what the problem could be. I have taken all of the components out of the bobbin casing to make sure there was no thread mass jammed in there, but it looks clean and thread free. When I press on the foot peddle, nothing happens and I can't turn the dial on the right side of the machine to lower the needle. I just can't figure out what's wrong.
I'm not familiar with the Esteem model but have serviced several older, more vintage machines, and caught thread is usually what causes the problems you are describing. The are several causes of what you are describing, but it sounds as though there is thread fluff or even thread bits caught somewhere inside the head of the machine, probably between the tension discs or in the threading path.
If you are handy, and own a good quality digital camera so you can take step-by-step photos as you take the cover off and remove any screws, etc, you might be able to see the thread bits and remove them with tweezers. Then you can use the photos to help you reassemble the machine.
Without a service manual, though, you really are best advised to have a certified technician open the head and have a look-the problem could be a broken part and only a tech will be able to tell for sure.
Why does my sewing machine keep snapping the needle thread? It is good quality thread, the machine is threaded correctly, and the tension is correct. (I think, though I find this difficult to believe.) Also, for no apparent reason, the needle function will suddenly seize up and foot pedal won't move it. I have to turn it manually. Any ideas please?
By ACW from SomewhereinMI, MI
My 30+year old Singer was doing that-turned out to be a broken gear inside the machine.
I tried everything else first: changed needles, to a brand new spool of thread and bobbin thread, adjusted tension (including the bobbin tension), a few other things I can't recall now. Nothing worked so I Googled, LOL, and found out the reason thread breaks and the machine won't progress might be a broken bobbin gear.
Had my machine out to the elderly man who used to work in the Singer factory where my lovely old machine was built (I live in Scotland). I had the machine back in a week and it's run beautifully since.
My sewing machine keeps jamming, down in the bobbin area. It won't sew even an inch. I look and see extra thread jammed down there by the bobbin, and have to yank it all out and start over, but it keeps jamming. How can I fix this?
I want to say thank you so much for all the veterans' comments posted to the thread. I'm a newbie and I've learned so much. Apparently my issue was my bobbin itself, I had the taller one in my machine and that's why it kept jamming. Thanks again for all your help!
I had the same problem last week with my Kenmore machine. It's fairly new and I haven't had any problems except what you're talking about. I was working on my prom dress last week and I couldn't sew more than a few inches. I was about ready to take the whole machine apart after a few hours (I love taking things apart anyway, but only three days before prom...), then I watched my needle (without thread) very closely and noticed that it was knocking on some of the interior metal. I finally realized that I was using a needle that was way too weak for the fabric density and it was being bent just a lil' too much. As soon as I got a thicker needle, I never had another problem with it. I went through three brand new needles before I figured this out. So you may just need a thicker needle. Hope this helps.
Sometimes machines need tune-ups, just like a car. But try this first: Take the bobbin out and try pulling on the thread. Does it come off the bobbin easily or seem really tight?
If it seems really tight, on the side of your bobbin, there should be a little tiny screw for which you have a screwdriver somewhere. In teeny tiny increments (like 1/8th of a turn at a time) loosen the screw, put it back in the machine, thread, and sew and see what happens. You may need to do it a couple of times, but only do litle, little, little turns.
If this does nothing, chances are the whole bobbin assembly is out of alignment and the machine needs to be serviced. I have my Bernina "tuned up" every two years.
1. Check for fuzz and use the brush to remove it
2. Make sure the thread take up lever (hook that goes up and down) is threaded. Mine did the same thing and somehow the thread got loose while sewing.
3. Oil the machine as per manual
4. New needle if the others don't help
Hope those help.
I cannot lower the pressure foot on my sewing machine. On closer inspection it looks like the fine tension belt has been broken and one end of it has wrapped itself around the lever used to raise and lower the pressure foot. Is this something I need to take to be repaired or can I do this myself?
By Peggy from Lincolnshire, UK
Rule of thumb: if you are asking the question, this is something you need to take in to be repaired. Instruction books come with sewing machines telling about things like this and also the whole schematic (design) should be online with the company you got it from. Allows you to order parts to fix it. Even though mine is 25 years old, Sears still has my model in their computer. I located all the things and printed it off.
The foot pedal connection to my Janome machine is smoking and over heating. I tried another foot pedal same thing. What could be wrong?
It could be that the voltage on the two smoking foot pedals is not the right number for the machine, check that first by looking at the information panel on the machine (usually a little plate affixed on machine near the wiring lead) and the foot pedal (usually found on the underside of the foot pedal). Make sure the numbers match for safe, smoke-free sewing.
If that isn't the problem, then something in the machine wiring has gone wrong and you need a professional to have a look.
My Singer Esteem sewing machine has a jam in it. I can't lower the needle enough to catch the bobbin thread. Before I take it to a repair shop, does anyone know what the problem could be? I have taken all of the components out of the bobbin casing to make sure there was no thread mass jammed in there, but it looks clean and thread free. I just can't figure out what's wrong.
By Carol M.
If it isn't a thread jam, I would guess you would have to take it to the repair shop. I might be funny in this respect, but I would take it to the Singer dealer, providing you bought it from a Singer dealer. The Singer dealer where I won't touch a Singer that you buy in other stores. His excuse is they just aren't Singers. When he said that I felt like kicking him in the rear. lol
My sewing machine was a gift and has no manual. I just got it back from the shop after having full maintenance done and the needle is jammed. I removed the bobbin and the threads from the needle and it still won't move. I don't want to take it back to the shop, so I hope its something simple.
Thank you for your comments. My sewing machine is a Nelco Ultra, and the bobbin chamber had shifted and jammed it self in place, but its all fixed now!
I have an old Good Housekeeper sewing machine that needs some repair. Where are some locations in my area? It was given to me.
By Claudia from Tampa, FL
In the yellow pages look under the heading vacuum and sewing machine repair businesses. I take both my sewing machine and vacuum cleaner in for repair to the same place in New York State. See if you have a business in Tampa, FL which is known as Sew-Vac.
I have a vintage Kenmore sewing machine model 1431 in awesome condition. The sewing foot does not move up and down. I opened the top and the belts are in fine and move. I can't even move the hand wheel. it's like frozen. Please advise.
I love vintage machines but have given up on the electrical models because so often they have plastic or silicone parts that wear out and then are hard to find newly milled for replacement. However, here are some great links with tonnes of help for a dead-head machine (the nickname for a frozen handwheel in vintage sewing machine-speak:) I hope one of these links leads to a resolution for you, please update to let us know how it worked out!
http://repairsewingmachines.blogspo ... -dead-head-stuck-sewing-machine.html
http://www.managemylife.com/mmh/que ... 289499-kenmore-sewing-machine-frozen
http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en& ... 22a2b48f491&biw=1024&bih=654
I have a old Viking Husqvarna 6000 series. It doesn't stitch going forward, it goes the other way, like backwards.
This has happened to me with a couple of vintage sewing machines, both Vikings. Since I wasn't going to invest in them further by spending money for repair, I had nothing to lose. So, after carefully opening the back and looking inside the first one, I saw a hard plastic cam stack with old slightly hardened greasy lubricant on it. After figuring out which area might be causing the machine to be stuck in sewing one direction, I heated it slightly with a hair dryer, and changed sewing directions a few times (with the machine unplugged, just turning by hand to make it stitch, and pushing the button to make it change directions) and before long, it 'let go' and started sewing in the appropriate direction. After replacing the machine's back, I plugged it in and sewed with it for quite some time, in both directions, changing often to keep it moving.
In the years since, I've found that if one doesn't use such a machine often, leaving it stored away, it'll do it again, but this kept both of my old machines running just fine and didn't cost me anything. I seem to remember buying some white lithium grease someplace once, also, to put on the cams. It was a mess to use and you have to use only a very small amount, but if nothing else works, might help.
If you are brave and want to try it, it helps to look around on the web to fine pictures of how to open the back of your particular model. It's usually very easy, though possibly not obvious at first. There's also a yahoo group devoted to fixing sewing machines on your own called "wefixit", where members are quite nice about answering questions on how to solve common sewing machine problems. Much can be learned from the posts there, it's saved several of my sewing machines over time and so far, have never had to take any of my machines in to be repaired. (That's not because I am against it, it's just that it's expensive to do and if I can do it myself, it is the only way to keep SEWING.)
The fabric will not move, but I can pull it.
By Debbie K.
Have you checked to make sure you have not accidentally switched off the feed dogs? My machine has a switch that you turn to lower the feed dogs for free motion sewing. Check your manual or on-line manual to find yours if you are not familiar with the switch/dial/button.
Also, I have had feed dogs get clogged with fabric lint to the point they did not grab well. Brush them with a toothbrush or machine brush and vacuum to get all the stray lint out.
Good luck. If it is not one of these simple things, you could check with Brother service on-line for other ideas. They answered a query I had on my Brother serger in less than 48 hours and helped me fix the problem I was having.
Where can I find a 6v 4w bulb?
By Emma G.
I am not sure, but I think that my needle is jammed and when I press the pedal it just goes errrr. It won't move and the retractor thingy won't make it come up.
I have had this happen. If you have to break the needle an easy way is to also grasp it with a pliers, look away, and break it. If the screw that holds the needle in won't budge, then you will have no choice.
Sometimes, so much dirt and thread will bunch up to keep it from working. The other idea is to take the plate out, like kerly87 suggested, and untangle whatever is keeping it from running. Also, the timing belt might be off just a bit and something is not firing when it should be.
I wish you luck. PBP
My machine was not moving so I opened it to check the problem. After putting it back in place, the needle goes very deep into the machine and it cannot move. What went wrong? I do not know which part is supposed to go where.
By Kate A
Put your machine into a sturdy box or bag-put any loose parts in a zip baggie or snap-lid margarine tub.
Go through the phone book and find the phone number of the nearest (or best rated in reviews) sewing centre.
Telephone the sewing centre and ask for the service tech. Tell him/her what you've done. Make arrangements to bring your machine for restoration.
Bring your purse-this is going to cost you around $50-100USD depending on how much work it takes the tech to open the machine, put the parts back on in the right places, and possibly replace parts that to you looked ok but to a trained tech are clearly worn or broken.
Depending on the make and age of your machine, parts may be either expensive or hard to find. Computerised sewing machine parts can be expensive, vintage parts are hard to find and not always reliable-some vintage parts are no longer milled and the 'new' part the tech puts on your machine may actually be 'salvage'. There is no way of knowing how many sewing hours are on a salvage part so you may have the same problem happening again (ask me how I learnt this little gem of vintage sewing machine knowledge).
If you have a computerised machine, you shouldn't try to do self-repair or refurbishment, ever. These machines really are best left to a factory trained tech.
Vintage machines are wonderful, and much easier to work on but the first two rules of vintage sewing machine repair are to have a good quality digital camera and a deep dish muffin tin in the work area BEFORE you start taking apart your vintage (non-computerised) sewing machine.
Camera? Photograph every step of the parts removal process-how the inside of the machine looked before you pulled the part, how it looked halfway through the removal, how it looked after the removal.
Muffin tin? Drop the parts into the tin including screws with the part they go to, and be sure to photograph the screws and parts as you remove them-photograph the screws and part as you remove them and where you removed them from.
Why? So when you go to put the machine back together you have a crisp, clear set of pictures to use as reference. Yes, it is time consuming but well worth the trouble.
There are tonnes of Internet sources of free info on cleaning, servicing, and refurbishing vintage sewing machines, this is the one to use to get yourself started:
Good luck, please update your post re what happened next:)
My Singer sewing machine was sewing just fine, when out of the blue, it seized or froze and it won't sew a bit now. What happened? I've done all the "checks" for needles, proper threading, cleaning, etc. Now what?
By Monica from Cortez, CO
@deebomb-I do think something may have broken on the inside. Since I know next to nothing about this issue; I have to trust someone who does to get it in working order again. I did hear an odd rattling, clink before it stopped working correctly.
I am trying to use my mums Toyota sewing machine to fix my trousers, but when I push the pedal the needle does not move. However, when I turn the handle thingy at the end of the machine the needle moves. I don't know what to do about it because the rest of the machine seems to be working fine, this is a fairly old model. I need to fix the sewing machine as soon a possible so I can wear my trousers again as they are the only pair I have! Please help ASAP.
By Molly H
Good advice from Redhatter. Also, have you checked:
*the trouble shooting section of the user guide manual?
*that you set the machine back to sewing mode after filling the bobbin?
*to be sure the foot pedal cord is fully plugged into the machine and the power point?
*that you have threaded the machine correctly-including a properly filled and set bobbin, have the tension set properly, and the foot lever has been lowered?
*that the feed dogs are in an up position at the needle plate?
My sewing machine was totally jammed. I took it apart and gave it a clean and oiled it, but it's not feeding through properly and going slowly.
Can the cord on the foot control be changed on a Rose Viking sewing machine?
Any foot control cord on any brand sewing machine can be changed-just be sure to use the same wattage and amperage on the new cord. The information should be printed on both cords for matching, look near the plug end, or near where the cord enters the foot control pedal.
On a very few pedals, the information you'll need will be printed on the pedal itself-turn it over and have a look. The Viking Rose is a fairly new model machine having been in production only since the mid-to-late nineties so the info should be printed on the cord.
The only thing is, your problem may not be in the cord but in the pedal. If the reason you need to replace the cord is obvious damage to the cord, great, but if you are having a different problem and are guessing it's the cord, you may want to inspect the inside of the pedal closely for corrosion, bent or broken wires inside the pedal, etc. The cost to replace the cord is minimal, the cost to replace the entire foot pedal a little less minimal.
You can source parts at the following link (if this is the wrong model, look to the left nav bar to find your archived model), use the locator navigation to find the correct country if you are not in the US; use the toll free number to speak to a living breathing person as to how to order a replacement foot pedal:
I need help with a Sears Kenmore 156-18031. I am unable to remove the mechanism that attaches the feet. As I try to remove the thumb screw, it becomes tighter. If I turn the other way, it it becomes tighter, too. I want to remove it so I can use a different set of feet on it because I do not have the specialized snap on feet for that mechanism. Please help.
Hello Suem 1009,
Thanks for the feedback. I thought about mentioning that I had used a hefty screwdriver to loosen that thumbscrew but chose to be brief. The screw wouldn't budge, turned either "lefty loosey" OR, "righty tighty" This was a very proprietary system for attaching feet on that Kenmore sewing machine. The shaft upon which the feet were attached had 2 holes in it. One to which the foot was attached, and another holding a stout pin. I finally was able to knock that pin out, allowing me to remove the mechanism and change the foot. However, the hole and thumbscrew are specific to that shaft . If I should lose that screw, other screws made for foot attaching will not work in it's place. Again thanks for trying to help me with your "lefty loosey, righty tighty" advice.
I have a 20U industrial sewing machine and it has seized up. The motor turns over. There is no thread on the fly wheel. It is clean in the bobbin area. I took off the top and side and can not see any problem there. Any ideas?
Have you Googled for the manufacturer's website? You can usually download the operator manual free on the site and use it to troubleshoot your problem.
Other than that, you're going to be safest consulting a repair professional with industrial machine experience. Those machines are very different from domestic machines, with different parts and mechanisms for forming the particular type stitch your industrial was designed to form.
For example, I could probably fix your domestic oscillating or rotary hook machine, but the shuttle type mechanisms used on most industrial machines are completely beyond me-I am not qualified to say more than 'find a pro with factory training specific to your machine' when it comes to anything computerised, or industrial.
Good luck, I hope you'll update when you've got the problem sorted!
The upper thread breaks frequently. Why?
By Farhat from Barcelona
Hi there. I have discovered if your top thread keeps breaking, your machine may not be threaded right or it could also do that if you are using cheap thread. If you feel your machine is threaded right, I would try a better quality thread and see if that helps. Hope this helps.
I took it apart for cleaning and oiling and after putting it back together I've had a series of problems and I don't know what's wrong! I think I put parts of it together wrong.