Unfortunately sometimes your sewing machine requires troubleshooting and repair for a variety of problems, such as jamming. This is a guide about repairing a sewing machine.
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?
By guest (Guest Post) Flag
April 5, 2007
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.
By guest (Guest Post) Flag
April 7, 2007
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.
By guest (Guest Post) Flag
May 8, 2007
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.
July 11, 2011
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!
By guest (Guest Post) Flag
December 9, 2008
I have a sewing machine downstairs, It's by Elna. The bobbin won't come out of the case, it's stuck. What do I do? the thread is not tangled either, also behind the bobbin case or what's around it, what is that, it fell out and I can't get it back in. I need a lot of help! PLEASE.
By Tnmauney 1
My machine keeps stitching 2 stitches forward and 2 back. It is almost like back stitching. It does it in every stitch setting. It will not stitch just a basic straight stitch. I originally had it in the straight stitch setting then switched to a different stitch and when I went back it started doing this. Help!
December 12, 2015
Your machine is a 'mechanical' machine - it may be something inside has worn or snapped. It's not a very old model machine, I think Elna began making these in the very late 90s or early 2000s, and while in most minds that doesn't actually make it a 'vintage' machine, and while Elna are is one of the best sewing machine manufacturers today, parts do wear with time and sewing hours, and it sounds as though that's what is causing your problem now.
I could be wrong, though, about it being a worn part...Do you have the instruction manual? I tried to find a free download - no joy - so without the manual about all I can suggest is for you to check ALL your settings to be sure you've not accidentally left one setting unchanged back to forward straight sewing. Next would be to be sure there is no obvious lint or thread fluff clogging the bobbin or tension discs (doubt that the problem but it can't hurt to check:). If that doesn't get your machine back to straight, forward stitching, it's time for a visit to the repair tech. Be sure you use one adverting he/she is experienced with Elna machines, and it would be best if the tech can prove he/she is 'factory trained/authorised' for best results.
I do repair refurb on Singers for my Sewing 101 students here in Scotland where I live - I don't have any experience at all on an Elna and sewing machines DO vary between makers.
My single needle machine stop working; it jammed. The motor hums, but it seems to be locked.
December 10, 2015
Rose Anne has given you some great suggestions for getting your machine back to sewing - about the only thing I can add is to check to be sure you've not accidentally left it in bobbin winding mode.
My problem is a new Singer simple sewing machine that binds up in the presser foot when I'm sewing. I have oiled the machine using WD40 because we can't find sewing machine oil around here, but I'm still having the problem. Can anyone help! Thanks.
Denise Warner from McRae, GA
November 2, 2011
Don't use WD40. If you can't find sewing machine oil get household machine oil. It is thin and will work. However, anyone who uses a computer can get anything they want on line. Go to Joann's fabrics on line and order some sewing machine oil.
By ssaff1311 1
My mom's Dalmatian got mange from a kennel while on vacation. He always gets very itchy in the month of October every year with allergies, but this year was prolonged and was so bad he was scratching the skin off his face even while taking Benadryl.
After many trips to the vet, receiving steroid injections, antibiotics, and more steroid pills he has finally been diagnosed with mange. He is being treated for it now, but the 48 hours that we were told he would find relief are up and he is still miserable and scratching like crazy. I'm afraid its going to kill him with depression. The poor thing has his party almost all day everyday.
I am looking for some kind of home remedy that will help with the worst areas being on his face (eyes and mouth are the worst). I see many things on this site, but don't know which one would be best with it being on his face. This has been a 2 month on going problem and we need help fast and don't seem to getting it from the vet!
December 4, 2015
If your Vet took that long to diagnose mange (it takes a small skin scraping examined under a microscope- about 5 minutes) you need a new Vet. There are 2 common types of mange. Demodex and sarcoptic. Demodex is harder to get rid of and can recur. They are both caused by mites. Mange is not seasonal so it doesn't occur one month out of the year. Please, find a new Vet.
By grandma 1
I just purchased a Brother sewing machine and it will not keep the presser foot in the upright position. Any suggestions? It has been working great and I changed the presser foot today and now it won't stay up. It will let me sew, but is a pain to move the material around when the foot won't stay up. Thank you.
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
January 21, 2011
@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.
My machine would not sew, so I opened it up dusted and oiled it, now it only moves at a snail pace. Help?
By Pat A
March 23, 2015
I teach sewing here in Scotland, and do some repair-refurb on vintage machines. Your problem sounds as though it could be in the foot control - a fraying wire, 'gummy' connection or loose wire. But it could also be in the machine where the connection is made between foot control and machine. Only a trained tech will be able to quickly and relatively inexpensively determine the problem and solve it.
This really isn't a home sewer DIY. You could spend a lot of money replacing the foot control only to continue having the same problem. The best thing to do is take your machine (and foot control) to a qualified repair tech. Be sure to get an up-front estimate, and ask what a total servicing would cost, too. You'll be amazed at how well your machine sews after a proper servicing, and a good tech will give you a heads up regarding developing failures.
Word of warning - vintage sewing machine parts can be difficult to source no matter what country your machine is sewing in. Many of us techs use salvage parts we find on jumble and car boot (flea markets in the US) sales. The trouble is these parts wear out quickly, and as we can never be sure of the conditions these parts laboured under with the original machine owner, we can't vouch for the longevity of the part.
Some parts are universal (but not many) and are 'new-milled', making them a lot more reliable and a lot more expensive. Hard to find, too - a good repair tech will know where to find them, and will tell you if the replaced part is new or salvage - if he/she doesn't say, be sure to ask!
I can look at a machine and on the spot be able to advise my students if the machine is worth fixing or should be replaced by a comparable new model machine that comes with the bonus of being under warranty.
The only vintage machines worth keeping forever are the old treadle and hand crank models as those parts last centuries - I have several:)
If the machine is a 'modern vintage' (meaning it was built in the last half of the 20th century or early part of the 21st) and runs on electricity) your gran sewed your christening-graduation-wedding dress on, you may be willing to keep 'er running no matter the cost, but for the most part, after a certain point it's best to make that a display piece and buy a modern machine for reliability.
I recently bought a sewing machine from a yard sale (Sears Kenmore model 1500). It also says model 158.15000 so I am not sure which is right. I press the pedal down, the motor runs like a normal motor, but the needle doesn't move up and down. My stepmom helped me thread it and all first so I am confident that part is right. But she doesn't know why the needle won't move.
I swear I saw the needle move when I bought it; I remember being excited that it did work. But don't assume that is true if there is an easy fix. Can anyone talk me though some trouble shooting steps? Or have any idea what the problem might be? I've never used a sewing machine before so even basic things would help.
January 26, 2015
I have always had Kenmore machines. Have you tried moving the bobbin spindle (where you wind the bobbin) to the left? All of the machines had (4 all Kenmore) the needle will not move if the bobbin spindle is in the winding position.
Sound like a silly thing to miss, but I've been sewing for 30 years and just today spent 15 minutes thinking my embroidery machine was broken before I remembered. They are good machines my first one is still running great, I only replaced it to get one with more functions, so I gave my basic one to a friend. My others was a serger (destroyed in a flood) and the embroidery, both work great and are each over 15 years old. Hope off and sewing.
With the bobbin case out, my machine runs. With the bobbin case in, something hits it and knocks it out and knocks the timing out.
By Donald D
November 17, 2014
Sometimes it is just something simple. Once, when cleaning out the bobbin area, I put it back together just a little bit wrong. When I took it back apart and reassembled it, the bobbin stayed in.
I have a Brother LS-1217. I have been experiencing some difficulty sewing so I started trouble shooting and messing with the bobbin tension and such, when I found 2 springs on the left side of the bobbin winder. The larger one is attached and the smaller one is attached at the top but not at the bottom. Could this be why I'm having trouble. If so where does this little spring attach to at the bottom?
By Kara S.
March 7, 2015
Hello - I had the same problem, just had it fixed - I've attached photos as its hard to explain where the springs go...
My machine was sewing fine (missing some threads, but I think that is another story!), then it makes a noise and jams a little and the needle stops going up and down. So I take out the fabric, re-thread the machine and bobbin and try again, but the needle isn't going up and down. It isn't a jam, as you can sew manually using the reel on the end of the machine. I am able to sew using the foot if I take out the bobbin and case. So it's like it is somehow getting jammed on bobbin only when being used using the electric foot. The machine is an older Brother. Unsure of model. Please see photo.
July 24, 2013
Try a new needle...be sure it is not in backwards. Hope this helps.
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.
November 16, 2015
I have a very similar problem with my Frister Rossmann 904, and I am in Scotland, so if Frugal Sunnie could pass on some tips that would be great! I've just stumbled on this site in search of an answer. I got the machine second hand, so don't know its history. I find this quite a problem as I can't back stitch at the end of line of stitching, as I don't have three hands: one to guide the fabric, one to flick the wheel into action, and one to twist and hold up the back stitch toggle.
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
May 18, 2011
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 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.
November 16, 2010
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 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.
April 9, 2010
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.
By Ted 1
I have a Kenmore sewing machine, model 385.19150090. I turned it on and the machine light flashed and went out. I replaced two fuses because one fuse was blown. What else in there?
September 4, 2015
If the above help does not do it then I suggest the yahoo group wefixit.
I have an old, just new to me, White, model K209, sewing machine. I have plugged it in and it just constantly runs fast. The peddle is not pushed in, just wondering if I am missing something obvious? The needle is going up and down. I just don't want to burn the motor out while trying to figure this out. Thanks for any help.
January 28, 2015
Many of the old sewing machines had a two part wiring system. The cord that plugs into the wall leads to a powerblock that has 2 outlets, then the outgoing cord goes to the foot pedal that controls the amount of electricity that goes to the machine. This may be transparent to the user, because in the case of the knee controller, it's underneath a cover where it can't be seen.
The machine motor plugs into the outlet connected to the foot pedal wires and the other outlet is direct current for the light. If the machine is wired directly to the wall, there won't be any speed control. It will run full throttle. So if you have a controller block and plug the motor into the light outlet instead of the motor outlet, you will only get one speed without control. Then if you plugged the light into the motor outlet, the light would be controlled by the pedal.
You can't run a motor directly from the wall outlet. There has to be some sort of controller between the motor and the wall. Either a foot pedal, knee control, or even something like you use on a model train.
The first answer was correct. If you can't clearly see what the issue is, you should take it immediately to the nearest sewing machine repair shop. You can get a severe shock and or burns by plugging it into direct current. They will know what to do at the repair shop. The old machines are all wired very similarly. If the gear is there and you're just doing it wrong, they can set you straight very quickly and for little to no cost. Good luck and I hope this helps clear it up a little.
When sewing on my Singer Touch n Sew, I hear a clicking sound every time the needle sews. What is causing this?
By Carol B.
My Kenmore sewing machine model 158.16800 freezes. I will help it along with the hand wheel, and it goes for a little bit, then freezes again in the down position. You can hear it humming when it's stuck. It is stitching fine when it does move. I don't have a manual so, any help is grateful. Thank you.
By Toni H.
February 24, 2014
First of all, it sounds as though the belt is worn, or there is a clump of lint/fluff caught up in there somewhere - but your problem could be a worn gear, too.
Best to take it to Sears to have it gone over by a qualified, factory trained repair tech. For under $100USD they will get your machine running smoothly and do a complete servicing with a heads-up to you should there be a looming part fail too.
And they'll be able to hook you up with a new manual as well, either as a free PDF download you can then print at home, or as a hard copy (usually spiral bound, win-win!) at a reasonable price.
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.
July 16, 2012
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
The fabric will not move, but I can pull it.
By Debbie K.
July 9, 2012
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.
I have a Designer 1 embroidery sewing machine. I replaced the belt on the motor and now when the sewing machine starts to get warm then a little while later it shuts off. Can anybody give me any ideas?
July 10, 2015
Sounds like you have the tension on belt to tight.
I have a Nelco Ultra Buttonhole that is frozen. This machine belonged to my mother. She was a seamstress and used this machine for years. I don't know how or what happened to the machine but nothing will move. The motor runs fine when disengaged.
By Jerry from Belfair, WA
April 16, 2015
You need to take this machine to a qualified repair tech - don't take it apart any farther than you already have and be sure you get all the parts to the tech or he/she will have to charge you to replace the missing parts.
I do vintage machine repair here in Scotland for my Sewing 101 students. I can't see anything wrong with your mum's machine from the photo you've posted - because the problem is inside, under the head cover.
More than likely the silicone on one of the gears has dried and cracked but without getting the cover off and being able to see the machine up close and in person I can't be sure.
Please. Save this gracious elder stateswoman of sewing and get her to a trained repair tech who has the skills, tools, and access to parts needed to keep your machine sewing.
I inherited a Singer 427 sewing machine from my mother-in-law. In the case was the old motor belt which had been removed. I purchased a new one and I can't remove to plastic knob in the centre of the hand wheel. I've managed to get the screw out, but it just won't budge. Any suggestions?
March 6, 2015
Hopefully by now you've taken this to a repair tech. Yes, the handwheel is supposed to be removed but it takes specialised knowledge to safely do so and restore the machine to working order.
The problem is that there is a little gear (and it sounds frozen) inside the middle knob that has to go back on the machine in the right position (and it's really hard to figure out if you're not trained!) or else the machine won't work. And the potentially frozen gear might be frozen because the bobbin gear further into the machine is 'dead'.
So a repair tech is the only person who should be taking apart a sewing machine. But good on you for having taken photos - did you take 'before' photos too? Having done so means you might be able to put the machine back together well enough to prevent 'basket case' charges - the extra money a repair tech charges to put back together a machine an untrained owner has taken apart to try a little DIY on.
I have an old Homemark sewing machine and it has been working excellently. I went to make a bow for my daughter this morning and the needle won't move up and down. I did some sleuthing on the internet and saw it might be the belt, but it's not I checked. It also isn't the winding bobbin lever in the wrong position. My motor is working just fine and the belt moves when I push my foot peddle, but my needle won't move. I also tried to put the needle down in the bobbin and it moves when I turn the wheel. It just won't move when I push the foot pedal. What happened? Is this going to be a large, costly repair or can I DIY? Desperately need it to finish up my homemade Christmas presents :(
April 25, 2015
Mine has just done this, it was the rotary arm inside needed oiling.
I have Singer 413; the needle is hitting the plate. What do I do? How can I stop the needle hitting the plate?
December 6, 2014
You must special order the needles, which are a tiny bit shorter. The 319W uses a 206x13 needle, not what we think of as "standard" sized needles. If the site allows you to email me, I can send you the needles and bobbins from my mom's old 319W.
I have a Viking, Emerald 116. The sewing needle broke. I replaced it, since then it won't stitch even the lightest garments. I have the bobbin correct for machine and spool both the same thread, twitted the tension over and over again, yet it will not give me a stitch. It does not need fixing. I cannot find my booklet for the machine. Help!
December 4, 2014
Yes, actually, your machine DOES need repair. Something has caused the needle to break and that needs to be seen to, and too, a tiny piece of the needle may have sheared off to become lodged in the area of the machine you can't reach safely with home tools.
Any sewing centre adverting repairs for Viking machines will be able to sort your problem, and that's where you need to take your machine - this is not something you can deal with at home. I'm sorry to be so blunt but I've had to rebuild soooo many of my sewing students vintage machines after they tried to fix a problem like yours - their home fixes have knocked out timing, destroyed bobbin casings, and one girl killed her machine using a magnet to try and fish out needle bits.
The needle broke on several of the machines because gears had worn, and the machine wouldn't stitch on others because minute pieces of needle bits or lint and fluff were jamming gears - both types of problems require specialty knowledge and tools to resolve.
If your sewing machine is beyond repair, it may be time to buy a new one. This Brother sewing machine is easy to use and jam resistant.
Why won't the stitch length dial/knob from my "Nelco Sierra 234F" sewing machine move?
November 1, 2014
We have the exact same model and problem. I (husband) fixed it by gently moving the nob with a plumber's wrench protecting it with a rubber thingy to open jars - not elegant but it works! Now my wife will need a plumber's wrench in her sewing kit :-)
By Emma C. 1
I have inherited my grandma's sewing machine so it hasn't been used in a few years. I don't know much about them (hence incorrect terminology), but I have set it up ready to use and everything seems to operate normally except the most crucial part the needle won't move. I can turn the knob easily by hand and it moves when I push the pedal, but nothing happens to the needle. Please help!
By Emma from London, UK
April 7, 2014
I do repairs on vintage Singers (both electric and non) and it sounds as though the belt has snapped on your machine. The best thing to do with any machine that hasn't been used for a few years is find a qualified repair tech (most sewing centres either have an in-house tech, or someone they carry the machines to on a schedule) and have the machine serviced (around £40). The tech will inspect the machine, make any repairs needed (which will cause the price to rise of course), note any potential problems, and return the machine to you in ready-to-sew condition.
You can download a free copy of your machine manual here:
I just got a vintage Universal sewing machine. I cleaned it very good. It looks great and was sewing great until I removed the inside of the flywheel to clean it. I tried to remove the outside of the flywheel and couldn't. I didn't realize that that would throw it out of line. Please tell me how to fix this problem.
February 24, 2014
This isn't a repair you can do at home without investing in a service manual (which runs into the high triple digits money wise depending on the model) so the best thing is to take it to a sewing machine repair tech. The cost should be under $100USD/£80GBPs depending on how much needs to be done to put the machine right. The cost will usually include a general servicing too.
I have a Kenmore 24 stitch sewing machine that my grandma gave me. When I push the button for the backstitch to work it won't. I opened the bottom and tried unscrewing where the lever meets the 2 inch flat bar. The lever will move to the left, but the bar will not more. Is the spring supposed to move the bar away from the spinning mechanism?
By Jessie S.
February 24, 2014
Please take this machine to the nearest Sears service centre - it looks as though the silicone on at least one of the gears is failing, the belt may be worn, and the spring on a Kenmore has a specific direction it is to go. I'm not familiar enough with Kenmore machines to advise, I do vintage Singers (in the UK) and the 'innards' look just different enough to make me advise you to take your Kenmore to a qualified factory trained tech.
I have a Singer sewing machine. The knob on the side that you loosen in order to wind thread on the bobbin won't turn. I've tried and tried. Even my husband can't turn the knob. What could be the problem?
By Maria G.
February 24, 2014
Without seeing the actual machine, I can't say definitely, but it sounds as though there is a clump of lint/fluff or a small bit of broken thread in the discs.
Try taking a bit of unwaxed dental floss to the area of the knob where you wind the thread through. Give it a good 'flossing action' and see if your floss comes out of the machine with a bit of grey fluff or a small bit of thread. If it does, keep at it until the floss comes back clean - no smudges, no fluff.
If that doesn't solve your problem you may have a broken or worn bobbin gear and this is a repair for a repair tech. Look for sewing centres adverting 'Singer authorised' repairs to be sure the tech knows Singers and can do the work reliably and relatively inexpensively.
I have been using a Singer 418 since I found it last year. It is my first and it took me a while to learn to use it, but I finally got there - until I started a project with a stretchy fabric (yesterday). In the last 24 hours I learned lots about needles, puckering, thread breaking, feeding mechanism, presser feet, tension, cleaning, using the right stitches, etc. In the process I solved a few problems, but now I got stuck with one I can't solve on my own: the rotary hook stopped moving.
I opened the base and I can't see any broken gears or belts (see photo).
When I turn the hand wheel, the needle goes up and down normally, the feed dogs move normally, but the hook system stays still. I can move it by hand and it moves smoothly, but it would seem that the part that is supposed to engage the gears in this area is somehow not engaging, and I can't figure out what it is.
I purchased a user manual, but it doesn't cover this. The manual has a picture of the machine with the word 'Stylist' engraved on the front. My machine only has 418 on the front, it doesn't say Stylis (see photo). The bobbin case holder is different from the manual and I could not remove the bobbin case to get to the hook (last photo).
Can you help me with this? I'm not sure which of the screws around the bobbin case holder is the tension screw, but I know I must not 'screw' that! Thank you!
By Laura L.
February 16, 2014
More than likely the silicone gears have worn just enough that the rotary hook will no longer engage. That's going to be a fix for the Singer qualified repair tech - check adverts until you find the ones that say 'Singer factory trained' or 'Singer warranty service approved repairs' - no, your vintage machine is no longer under warranty but all warranty approved service techs will have been exposed to vintage AND modern machines:) The repair will cost you around $50USD (around £30 here in the UK because there are so many salvage parts machines floating about) but splash out and have your vintage machine checked over and serviced - the total for repair and service will bring it in around $90USD (£60-£75 UK).
About your user guide...click this link and go through the free downloads until you find the one that looks EXACTLY like yours:
http://www.singerco.com/accessories/instruction-manuals/search **If you get to the search page instead of the 418 page, key in only the numbers and a page with several models will come up - click till you find your machine:)
The '418 Stylist' was sold in Singer Sewing Centres around the world; the '418' was marketed through Sears - NOT branded as a Kenmore btw, but as a Singer 418). Because yours doesn't say Stylist, it is one of several 418 models (there were variations, a new one every year) and the above link will help you find your correct manual.
The spool pin on my Kenmore 24-stitch (I think it might be a 385, though I'm not sure) fell into the machine. I can't use the machine without thread, and I can't use the thread without the spool pin.
I have an old New Home sewing machine (Model 654). I recently turned the pattern selector guide to make an overlock stitch which worked fine.