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.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
"Little problems with the sewing machine can be very irritating and time consuming. They can happen to even the most experienced seamstress.
The next time you have machine troubles, check this list to see if you can determined the cause of the difficulty and correct it. It may save you a service call and save you time as well. If you can't correct the trouble, it is wise to seek professional help." - College of Agriculture and Home Economics New Mexico State University
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Here are questions related to Repairing a Sewing Machine.
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.
By Mary A.07/24/2013
Try a new needle...be sure it is not in backwards. Hope this helps.
I'm a novice sewer so purchased a Lil Sew & Sew machine and the moment it arrived I noticed that the needle clamp screw/thread hole was sitting strangely! Pretty much every time I've used the machine since then, the thread breaks! Some fabrics are a little better than others, but as I've done lots of troubleshooting (changed needles, change thread, checked tension, checked threading, etc.). I feel that it must be down to the fact that the actual shaft where the needle goes in is twisted. So the flat back is slightly to the left and the tiny hole for the screw to fit in to hold the needle in place, is slightly to the right. Basically it's not sitting dead centre! Thus making the threading situation somewhat difficult too.
Today I decided to open up the part of the machine that allows the shaft to move up and down in hopes that there would be a simple screw that loosens it so I could turn it into the correct position. Problem solved? Nope! I don't want to get too courageous and start unscrewing everything, but the one screw that I did loosen that seemed to be directly on the shaft didn't seem to do anything. Can anyone help or do I have to deal with just having a defective machine and my thread constantly breaking. Perhaps my instincts aren't correct and I have no idea what I'm talking about... in which case, any tips would be really helpful. Many thanks.
By Ella CP
By Robyn 10/07/2013
Here is the instructional video on the Little Sew and Sew Sewing Machine. I hope that it will be helpful in resolving your questions. I am thinking of getting one. I will watch how this turns out for you to see if it is going to be worth the money or not.
I have a white sewing machine, model W1750 D'lite sewing machine that my aunt purchased and gave to me. It sews fine both straight and zigzag. The problem is that it won't stop stitching when you hit the stop button or release the foot pedal.
So I was using my mom's sewing machine and the circle thing on the right side was being funky so I turned it and stuff and this little metal hook-like piece fell out. Now the machine doesn't sew. What did I do?
I have a question about my Brother sewing machine. The whole mechanism that goes from the top of my machine down to holding the needle has shifted. The needle will not go down into the machine. It is to the left of the hole. Please help.
By Patty V. from Camden, NY
My Dressmaker s-3000AB machine seems to be stuck on zigzag stitch. I've turned the knobs to the correct settings, but still no straight stitch.
By Gwen from Columbus, GA
I have a Simplicity sewing machine, made in the 1980s. It works fine sometimes, but often it goes crazy. I hold the pedal about halfway down, and the speed changes drastically (super fast to super slow to fast to slow, to a dead stop, then starting again). I have oiled the machine, and when the needle is disengaged (as if winding a bobbin), it runs perfectly smoothly. Any idea what could cause this problem? Thanks!
By Frugal Sunnie 06/06/2014
When was the last time you had your vintage sewing machine serviced by a sewing machine repair technician? It sounds like a wiring short or a failing gear - something you can't identify and repair yourself.
You need to take this machine to a professional - negotiate the price ahead of time and be sure he/she understands you want to be consulted before making any expensive repairs to the machine. You may find the cost of keeping the vintage machine running smoothly is close to the cost of simply replacing it with a comparable modern machine (which will come with a warranty!).
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but vintage machines from the 80s were loaded with parts made of silicone and plastics which wear out and are hard to find newly milled. I do mainly Singer repairs here in the UK and if the repair is going to cost close to the cost of a new machine I try very hard to convince the owner to buy a new machine - a lot of parts used in vintage repair come from salvage machines and who knows how many sewing hours are already on that part and under what conditions were the parts used - running a machine abusively, under dusty-linty conditions, or without regular quality servicing will mean that part is even less reliable.
Often it's better to replace a vintage machine than to try to repair it as the parts will continue to fail in a cascade - meaning more time in the shop and far less time sewing. The only vintage machines worth fixing are the ones with all metal parts except the rubber or leather drive belts (bobbin and motor or hand turn) - bobbin rings and leather belts for those machines are still being made new and are highly reliable+the metal parts are practically indestructable=ing a machine that will go on sewing forever if kept oiled.
I have a Bernina Patchwork Edition 140. While sewing, a small spring fell out onto the dress along with the little hook part of the spring. It continues to sew just fine (if I hadn't noticed the spring, I'd never know). What could it have been from and should I still use the machine or just take it in for service?
By Brenda G.
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.
By ali monro09/06/2014
how do i reinstall the bobbin thing?
I have a MontgomeryWard sewing machine model 1917 and I've been trying to use the bobbin winder. The best directions I've found were from an ehow article. I followed the instructions to the best of my abilities. I get everything right except for disengaging the needle.
The winder spool spins sporadically and not consistently enough to wind a bobbin. The directions say to turn the small disc in the middle of the hand winding wheel but mine doesn't turn. It's very stiff and doesn't seem to be screwed down to anything. I can't for the life of me figure out what I'm doing wrong here. The machine was second (possibly third fourth and fifth) hand from a friend so I have no manual for it.
By Frugal Sunnie 05/05/2014
That machine is vintage (very!) and finding a manual for it may be very difficult. Because it's been through so many users, too, it's highly likely it hasn't been serviced in years, uh-oh!
It sounds as though the bobbin winder gear is going. I'm not familiar with that particular model (I repair the occasional vintage Singer) but most sewing centres have a well qualified repair tech who's seen it all including your model.
I think there is a rubber ring in there, too, and it's probably dried/cracked. A vintage model repair tech will completely service your machine including checking everything to be sure any potential problems are addressed.
I broke a needle off in my machine and had to take the needle holder loose. The thread guide came off with a little screw and a small piece of metal. How do I put it back together?
By Vickie from Baton Rouge
By Frugal Sunnie 05/05/2014
The correct placement varies with machine models - the best thing to do is check your sewing machine user manual (if you don't have it anymore a quick search online should bring up the manufacturer website where you can usually find a free download of your model manual).
Or (and this really is the best idea) take the machine and the loose parts to a sewing centre or repair tech's shop. Re-inserting the parts is a quick fix for a repair tech and shouldn't cost you very much at all.
If it's been a while since your machine was serviced, consider leaving it for a good going over. Be sure to check the servicing costs first, and to leave written instruction that any repairs needed should be checked with you first - you may find the repair more pricey than replacing the machine with a current, comparative model with a warranty.
My needle is off-center on my Singer 2277 Tradition machine. How can I adjust?
By Pam M.
By redhatterb 04/26/2014
Have you looked in the instruction book? I am in my 70s and have had two Singers during these years. Both of them were made so that the needle could be set to sew off center, which is handy for certain purposes. If your machine is made to do things like that, you could accidentally have adjusted the needle to do that. You should be able to find directions for that in the book that came with the machine.
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
By Frugal Sunnie 04/07/2014
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:
http://www.supsew.com/KnowledgeBase ... uctions%20Manual%20Toyota%20EC-1.pdf
I have a Memory Craft 7500 by Janome. It is very dependable, no any problems in the past, until last night. I plugged the machine up and placed it in a sewing cabinet. I was winding the bobbin on top. It made about 5 turns, and only wound about 3 ft of thread. I readjusted the bobbin and thread once more and tried again. The bobbin wouldn't turn. I was using the foot pedal, but when I stepped on it, nothing. I tried several different things in hopes of getting my machine to work, again nothing. I opened the foot pedal and looked to see if anything was loose. Everything looked OK, no broken wires or connections. The computer display on my machine never blacked out and seemed to be in working order.
I took the machine in to be serviced and the tech called and said he couldn't get the foot control to work either and he was having the same issue as me. He thinks it's the computer display even though it lights up. He could replace it, but considering age of my machine, he may have trouble locating one. Or it could be the motor burnt out, which to replace would be over $200 or more. I felt like the issue was with the foot pedal, but I'm not a certified tech, only self taught and I know my sewing machines pretty well. I love my machine, but I don't want to spend money on needless repairs only to have to turn around and buy a new machine anyway. I can purchase a new one for about $700 with the features I want. What do you think the problem is? Thank you.
By Frugal Sunnie 03/17/2014
I think the problem is you love your baby and don't want to say goodbye even though the factory trained tech is pretty clear your machine has sewn her last reliable stitch.
Second opinions are usually a good idea, so here's mine - in this case I think it's time to retire your machine and become excited about the new one:) You're going to either have a new machine (under warranty, woohoo!) or you're going to have your machine fixed (and fixed, and fixed...) and you'll end up with little more than a money pit.
I wish there were an easier way to say it, but as a self-trained vintage machine (Singers mostly) repair tech I know how hard it will become to find quality parts for your machine - your tech will resort to using more and more unreliable salvage parts that neither of you can possibly know the conditions the part machine laboured under - and it's simply not worth it.
My Janome sewing machine will only do a straight stitch, the zig zag will not work.
By Frugal Sunnie 03/10/2014
Depending on the age and model of your machine (under warranty, or an older machine), it sounds as though the gear used to change from straight stitch to zig-zag is failing. If you have knobs-dials-buttons, the trouble could be there, too. This is a fix for a qualified repair tech if the following doesn't solve your problem:
Are you absolutely certain you have everything set on the machine for zig-zag sewing? All the knobs-dials-buttons switched to the correct setting?
Is the stitch width set for z-z?
Are you using the open toe presser foot?
If none of that helps, it really is time for the machine to be seen by a pro.
I have a Toyota 2800 and when I press the foot pedal nothing happens unless I give the handwheel a help and then it only sews a few stitches very slowly and stops again. I have bought a new foot pedal and this makes no difference. I have checked the bobbin area for lint and thread, none visible and everything is set for sewing (not darning or bobbin winding). Please help. I have another costume to make for my daughter for school.
By Karen B
By Frugal Sunnie 03/10/2014
It sounds as though you have a loose wire where the foot pedal lead inserts to the machine - this is a job for a qualified repair tech, and so I hope you have a spare machine!
I wish I had better news but I do some vintage machine repair (Singers mostly) and this is always what the problem is when the sewer reports this problem.
I have a Toyota 2800 and when I press the foot pedal nothing happens unless I give the handwheel a help and then it only sews a few stitches very slowly and stops again. I have bought a new foot pedal and this makes no difference. I have checked the bobbin area for lint and thread, none visible and everything is set for sewing (not darning or bobbin winding). Please help. I have another costume to make for my daughter for school.
By Karen B
I have a Janome 1550 and it has all been working fine. I just filled my bobbin up. Then I threaded it all through. I pulled the bobbin thread up. When I went to press my foot on the pedal, it makes the noise that it's working, but the needle isn't working or going up and down. I can see it work manually by winding the circle on the side of the machine, but the electric foot will not. Help please. Thanks so much.
By Frugal Sunnie 03/10/2014
After you wound the bobbin did you snap the winding spool pin back to sewing mode? :) A lot of us do forget that :)
Try using your manual for a refresher with the step-by-step instructions to reseat the bobbin, and thread the upper path and then pull up the bobbin thread, then commence to sew. If that doesn't help, it's time for a visit to the repair tech.
I have a Singer Touch and Sew 600e. Why won't the pressure plate hook and stay in place?
By Joyce from AR
By Frugal Sunnie 03/10/2014
Sounds as though the spring catch is worn. It's not something you can repair at home no matter how easy it may look to do - your best fix is going to come from a qualified Singer repair tech who has been factory trained on this model machine.
The Touch and Sew is a fiddly machine and a factory trained tech is the only person who should muck about with it. Sorry I couldn't give you better news. I do vintage repairs here in Scotland and that is one machine I send down to the factory trained techs in the bigger cities. Just too easy to gum those up, tbh.
Good luck, I hope your machine is home and sewing for you again soon!
I can't use my sewing machine as I have lost the pedal to it. Also the bobbin box it is old. The make is New Home. Where could I buy these?
By R Barbara 03/05/2014
You don't mention how old the machine is, that may affect your ability to easily find a replacement. If you have a sewing machine repair shop nearby, they may be able to order you a new one. If that is not possible you might try searching the various on-line sites that sell replacement parts for New Home machines. Good luck.
I have a Janome Memory Craft 4000. When winding a bobbin the bobbin spindle is moved to the right to disengage the clutch, but the flywheel/spindle is still turning.
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.
By Frugal Sunnie 02/24/2014
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 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.
By Frugal Sunnie 02/24/2014
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.
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.
By Frugal Sunnie 02/24/2014
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 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.
By Frugal Sunnie 02/24/2014
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 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.
By Frugal Sunnie 02/16/2014
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.
I have a Brother XL 5600. The entire needle clamp assembly and thread guide fell right off my machine and I have no idea how to put it back together. The thread guide also fell off the needle assembly. Please help!
By A Reynolds
By Frugal Sunnie 02/16/2014
This is NOT a fix you can do at home - take your machine to a qualified Brother repair tech. Look in the telephone directory or online for adverts stating the repair team is factory trained or Brother warranty service approved.
I do repairs on Singers and a few other brands of machines here in the UK but I avoid the Brother brand even though it's not a computerised machine - it's just too different from what I'm used to and it's best to have a genuine Brother tech work on it.
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. How do I go about getting it out?
By Kelly M.
By Frugal Sunnie 02/03/2014
I'm afraid there is no safe way for you to use the machine until that spool pin is fetched out of the machine, and there is no safe way for you to remove it at home - you need to take your machine to a qualified sewing machine repair tech, the retrieval will cost you around £20GBP or $30+USD. Splash out for a servicing which will jump the price to mid-high double digits but is well worth it to keep your machine running well, and to inspect for any damage the dropping pin may have caused.
If the machine is under warranty you need to use the Sears authorised repair service techs - either telephone your local Sears, use the 'Net to find their local-to-you service centre, or carefully check all adverts for wording indicating the tech is an authorised service provider or you will void your warranty.
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. When I switched it back over to a regular straight stitch, I noticed the machine was moving the material up and back twice to make a double stitch.
I switched it to a zig zag stitch to see what would happen and it is also making a double stitch with the zig zags as well. I have no idea how to get it back to just making a simple single stitch and just had it looked at recently so I'm hoping not to have to take it in again.
By Monique P.
By Frugal Sunnie 02/03/2014
How long ago did you have it looked at? It's entirely possible the tech who worked on your machine made a mistake - something that is VERY easy to do on a 'vintage' (older than 10-20 years) machine.
It's also, sadly, entirely possible that yet another part has failed on your vintage machine (assuming the reason you recently had it looked at was a failed part). I love vintage machines and have repaired many, but have given up on them as once one part fails another isn't far behind, and sourcing newly milled parts is very difficult. Unfortunately newly milled sewing machine parts for vintage machines are few and far between - manufacturers prefer you buy new machines altogether and so stop making many of the parts needed to maintain vintage machines.
Even more unfortunately, this lack of newly milled parts means repair techs have to use 'salvage' parts often with unknown histories - was the machine the part was salvaged from gently or roughly used, how many sewing hours are on that part already before installation to another machine, and the all important question - how much plastic or silicone is the part comprised of?
Sad but true. The only 'vintage' machines I work on now are desperation cases ("I can't afford a new sewing machine!"), non-electrics, or all metal electric machines. Electric vintage machines usually have so much plastic and silicone the parts begin to fail after about 25 years of even the most caring owner, and there is no way those machines are ever reliable again for any length of time once parts begin to fail.
It's heartbreaking if you are an active sewer, but if your machine is vintage and beginning to have repeat part failures, it's time for a modern comparable machine - one with a warranty.
My Janome sewing machine keeps getting globs of thread in the bobbin area and then makes lots of noise. Can you tell me what is causing this?
By Jan C.
By Frugal Sunnie 02/03/2014
Assuming you've made sure you're using the correct size and types needles and threads for your fabric, ask yourself the following:
Is your model a top drop-in bobbin system? If yes, then check for (If no, scroll down past the drop-in solutions):
*Correct class (there are several different classes of bobbins and your machine takes a specific one, they are not interchangeable) and material type (does your user guide specify plastic OR metal? Again, this is not interchangeable).
*Correct seating into case - on a top drop-in system the bobbin has to seat into the case area winding in a specific direction. Check your user guide, the solution to your problem really can be that simple:)
*Take a penlight and shine it into the bobbin case area to see if there is a piece of thread floating around in there. Your user guide will walk you through step-by-steps on fishing it out safely.
*if none of the above helps resolve your top drop-in bobbin issue, it's likely the screw-adjusted bobbin tension is off and this is not something to try at home (please say you have not turned any screws down there!). You need to have the machine looked at by a qualified Janome serivice tech.
If your machine is a side or front load bobbin system, either the screw-adjusted tension in the slide-in case has been altered (oops. Factory set and should never be toyed with at home unless you are a factory trained tech), or you are not seating the case correctly. To be honest, seating the thing correctly is so difficult I try to steer my sewing students off these type.
And to make it all even more 'fun', if your machine is an older one, you may be seating it correctly but the lever catch has worn and needs to be replaced. Yes, that little lever on your bobbin case has a corresponding 'catch' on the machine and it does wear out. The fix is a qualified repair tech job, it's truly not something you can do at home.
My Kenmore 385 won't do anything when I press the pedal down, but the light does come on when I turn on the switch for it. I can turn the hand wheel and the needle goes up and down. Engaging or disengaging the clutch with the hand wheel doesn't change anything, either. It was working fine the last time I used it a few weeks ago, but this time it doesn't. Does anyone know what might fix this?
By Frugal Sunnie 02/03/2014
The problem could be a wire inside the machine or the pedal (or a gear, but it sounds more like a wire) has failed, or the wattage-voltage on foot pedal is not matching the machine - have you recently replaced the foot pedal, or has it been dropped or had a lot pressure on it whilst not in use?
To check wattage-voltage, roll the foot pedal over to see the rating sticker and compare it to the one on the machine (usually by the connector point for the foot pedal).
To be honest, the only safe fix for this is to take it to a qualified repair tech. Either contact Sears or check adverts for a 'Kenmore authorised repairs' tech or centre.
I have a Singer 1507 and I took the bottom off to do some oiling and found a plug on the back right of the machine. There is an adjustment screw under it. What is it for?
By L. B.
By Frugal Sunnie 01/27/2014
It's either for adjusting the bobbin tension (do not try this at home!) or for the timing (another do not try this at home). It depends on where exactly this screw is located on your machine.
Either way, I strongly urge you, as a self-taught vintage Singer repair tech, to not touch that screw for any reason! Because you had to ask what it's for, you don't know what it is or does and if you start playing around with it you may cause yourself to need a visit to the factory trained repair tech for a repair. Which can cost into the three digits if you've done enough damage - so leave that screw alone!
On the bright side, your asking about this screw indicates a beyond-average interest in what makes your sewing machine function - you might consider splashing out on a service manual (ouchie-pricey, for some models the cost runs very close to £800 (over $1000 USD), and teaching yourself to do repairs and refurbs.
You can make some very nice money doing repairs and refurbs, especially on the newer 'vintage' machines (anything older than 10-15 years from the factory).
I have a Singer embroidery machine and it won't sew anymore. It will go a few stitches and then freeze up. When I manually turn the wheel it will turn easily for about half a turn and then it gets very hard to turn. I can turn it, but only with a lot of strength.
It feels like something is binding it up, but I don't know what. I took it apart and cleaned out all the loose threads and it didn't make a difference. It is still under warranty so I want to know if this is a simple fix or if I should contact Singer.
By Lisa P.
By Frugal Sunnie 01/27/2014
Have you tried a 'shock' reboot? To do one, you turn the machine on, set a programme and try to sew a little, then pull the power cord connection from the mains power point. Wait five full minutes then reconnect.
If that doesn't solve your issue then yes, it's defo time for a visit to the factory trained repair tech! Contact Singer for a certified sewing centre in your area to take the machine to for repair. Be sure to keep a copy of the emails or snail-mail letters to/from Singer to maintain your warranty.
Singer will either direct you to check your owner manual for a list of certified repair centres, or will send you the contact details of their preferred warranty service provider closest to you. It's important to go through Singer for this information in case the preferred/acceptable centres have changed since your manual was printed. If Singer directs you to your owner manual you can feel assured the centre is still on their approved provider list.
I own a Singer 6268 sewing machine with a self winding bobbin. I have all of the manuals and have tried winding the bobbin step-by-step with multiple threads and multiple bobbins. Each time the thread winds around the screw on the bottom of the bobbin, and not inside it.
Does it sound like it needs service or am I doing something incorrectly?
By Frugal Sunnie 01/23/2014
Are you absolutely sure you're using the correct class bobbin size and material (plastic or metal, some self winders only use plastic because the self-winding is magnetic, others use only metal because the system is balanced)?
Because of the way you've tried to sort the problem without success (which are all of the way listed in the manual troubleshooting pages), and if you're sure you're using the correct class and material bobbin, the machine sounds as though something in the self-winding system has failed.
You're best advised to make time for a visit to the Singer Sewing Centre or other centre adverting they do Singer factory approved repairs.
I just got this new Singers Esteem II sewing machine yesterday and the machine was working perfectly fine until I decided to change the thread for the needle. I have the machine correctly threaded and I had my fabric ready underneath the needle and I make the mistake of not pulling the needle and bobbin thread out enough to at least 6 inches.
I started to sew and all of a sudden I get my thread stuck in the bobbin case and then I pulled it out. Then I say OK it's out and I press down on the peddle and it makes this really loud ERRR sound and at this point I burst into tears because this was a $100 dollar machine.
I checked the machine to find any loose thread anywhere, but I don't! Is there anything I can do to get that thread out? I've been told that my machine is either jammed or locked.
By Destiny C.
By Frugal Sunnie 01/23/2014
It's still under warranty - take it back to the store, or to a factory approved Singer repair centre. Be sure to take the receipt, and if you go to a sewing centre, be sure to find out any charges they may make in expectation of you chasing down a warranty based refund for repairs.
To be honest it does sound as though something is jammed in there, it could be a very small piece of thread you can't see. The repair tech will have the tools and knowledge to find the jam and remove it.
I have a Singer from the early 90s. The foot pedal stopped working, so I bought a new used one on eBay. It works, but very slowly. Is it the machine or the foot pedal?
By Susan S.
By Frugal Sunnie 01/23/2014
It's probably a combination of the two.
1- There is very likely a loose wire in the machine where the foot pedal connects to the machine.
2- The wattage on the eBay replacement may be wildly different from what the machine is rated for - did you compare the replacement with the old one by turning it over and reading the wattage/voltage sticker? It has to match or you'll have the trouble you're describing even if you do or don't have a loose wire in the machine connector area.
If no sticker on the old foot pedal, you can usually find the info you need in the owner's guide and on the machine near the connector point.
How do I put the gadget back in that's behind the bobbin?
My Janome 9000 keeps stitching a few licks after my foot is off the pedal. The repair man says the pedal and wire test OK. He offers no solution, but suggests a new machine.
By Charllote S.
By Kat 01/06/2014
Has it always done this? I have an Elna which does the same thing, it is a lockstitch feature on my machine, stitching a few very small stitches at the beginning and end of a seam, instead of having to backstitch manually. Check your manual, it is something that can be turned on and off if I am not mistaken (haven't had the opportunity to sew in a while). That would explain why everything tested ok when you took it for repair. Maybe it was turned on by accident.
I bought a Kenmore beginner sewing machine at a garage sale, but it didn't come with a manual or power cord. I got the manual off the Sears website, and found a 6V power cord at home. When I depress the foot pedal, it makes noise, but nothing happens. If I turn the handwheel manually, it will sew and the stitching holds nicely. Why won't the machine work electrically? The bobbin winder won't engage, but will thread manually as well. The machine and bobbin are threaded properly. I have followed the manual meticulously. Please help! Thank you.
By Sandra G
My Singer sewing machine 774 runs slowly even on high speed. What can be the problem?
By P Jones
I have an old "Touch and Sew" which was working fine, but now when I try to replace the needle it will not stay straight up and down. It goes in straight, but when I tighten the screw, the last several turns push the needle to a slight angle so it no longer comes down straight.
By Jan M.
By MJ 12/23/2013
Just a guess, but my in "older" Brother machine I must put the flat part of the needle towards the back of the needle holder. Each machine may be different but that's what my machine book says how to place the needle.
I took my Singer 247 apart to replace some very worn gears and wouldn't you know, my kids came into my sewing room and bumped my sewing table where I had everything laid out so pristinely. Needless to say the parts are now all out of wack and I am not positive which way one little part goes. I was wondering if you knew where I could find a repair manual or a diagram of the inner workings so that I can get my machine reassembled.
By Tammy A.
Can the tension wire in a sewing machine get stretched or be out of place? Mine does not pick up the thread or spring back when threaded. I have a Brother VX-810 model.
By Frugal Sunnie 12/15/2013
Tension wire? I do a lot of Singer repairs and have never seen a 'tension wire'.
What I have seen (particularly on machines older than ten years) are worn or broken bobbin gears - it's a plastic or silicone (depends on the model) spiral gear with a very short metal ring and knob where it fits into the machine. The spiral wears down or breaks outright causing the problem you describe.
It's not an easy fix for the average home sewer or handyman - best to take your machine to a Brother factory trained repair tech, look for those words in the advert to find one in your local telephone directory or online.
I have a Toyota RS2000 sewing machine (bought 15 years ago). It won't feed material through. The needle just goes up and down and then jams. If I lift the foot - I can move the material trough manually and it will sew. I unscrewed everything and when I opened it a small spring fell out of the casing. Is this the problem or have I added to the problem? What do you think it would cost to get it fixed at a repairer? Thank you.
By Frugal Sunnie 12/15/2013
By opening the machine you have added to the problem, yes. Depending on where you live the cost has just jumped by about 30%.
I do some repair work (Singers mostly) and when someone brings me a 'basket case' I immediately tack on at least 25% because of the work involved in putting the machine back together. Parts could have been lost, re-locations of specialty screws is harder because I don't have before-I-took-it-apart pics to guide the replacing, etc. I have to spend extra time sourcing specialty info on your specific model - my 'generic' knowledge always needs a plumping in 'basket cases' (unless it's a model I've got extensive experience with or a service manual for), and that time costs money. If I had been the one to open it I would have known to take pics, would have prevented the spring falling out or would have been able to find where it came from right away. For example:)
I'm not familiar with Toyota machines but they do have a good reputation so if you are totally in love with your machine, it may be worth the high double digit cost to repair it. The repair tech should also give the machine a complete servicing - be sure to ask him/her if the estimate includes that before turning it over, and be sure to find out what caused your specific problem.
If you're not totally in love with your machine or the repair is at or higher than the cost of a new machine, consider an upgrade to a more modern machine or a modern comparative with the same features. This way you'll be under warranty for at least a year.
The bobbin suddenly stopped functioning. I removed the bobbin housing and am now having difficulty putting it back. Help!
By Frugal Sunnie 12/08/2013
Have you looked in the user manual for step-by-step guidance?
If you don't have the manual you can usually download one free on the manufacturer's website.
Otherwise, the best thing to do is 1-post back in with the make and model of your machine, include a picture if you can showing the bobbin area of your machine and the bobbin casing you are trying to re-seat. Hopefully one of us can walk you through re-seating the case - depends on your make and model as to who can help you, my specialty is Singers of all ages but I'm useless with most other makers. Luckily ThriftyFun has a large and experienced sewing community and someone will probably be able to help if I can't:)
Or 2-take your machine to a qualified repair tech. Re-seating the case shouldn't cost you more than $10-25USD but consider splashing out for a servicing and tune-up (around $50USD). The tech will clean, oil, and check over the machine for any potential trouble spots.
I have a Sears Kenmore sewing machine, model 1515. To what does the spring in the lid connect?
I have a white 1510 Singer sewing machine. I'm having problems with the stop wheel it won't move and the hand wheel just spins. Also I'm having an issue with the bobbin being spit out of its spot and jamming the machine. I normally am good with sewing machines, but the old ones seem to hate me and I have a sewing project I'd like to finish soon. So please help!
By christina f
By Frugal Sunnie 11/26/2013
Here's a link to a free download of the user manual from Singer in case you have misplaced yours:
Your bobbin problem is probably being caused by a worn seating lever (the little lever you hold open whilst loading the bobbin case into the machine) but could also be a worn part inside the catch area; the hand wheel problem is probably lint and fluff build-up but could also be the belt. In either case the problems are best solved with a visit to a qualified (preferably factory trained) repair tech. Do an online search or look through the phone book. Look for advertisements stating 'qualified Singer sewing machine repairs'.
I teach sewing and do self-taught repairs for my students on some of their vintage machines, and my best advice to you is to take your machine to a qualified sewing machine repair tech for possible repairs and certainly for a complete servicing.
When I sew, the bobbin on my Elna 1000 jams, so the machine will not sew. I have checked that bobbin is correctly threaded and tensions are correct.
I have done a lot of sewing in the past week and all was fine.
By Margaret B
By Frugal Sunnie 12/02/2013
This machine uses a front load bobbin system. It's actually very difficult to properly seat the bobbin case back into the machine - follow the user manual instructions step-by-step, paying especially close attention to the direction of the thread path to be absolutely sure you're loading it correctly.
If you still have problems you should take the machine to a repair or service centre. Be sure to get the tech to explain to you what happened.
My sewing machine was running fine and then the needle jammed and when I tried to sew, the machine just started going very fast by itself. I can only stop it if I switch it off at the mains. I've undone the foot pedal and looked at it and it all looks OK. The wires are secure and the switch for the pressure of the pedal seems OK. Any answers, please?
By Barbara Keeling
By Frugal Sunnie 11/24/2013
The ONLY answer is that you must splash out the cash to have your machine repaired by a qualified repair tech.
There is an electrical connection inside your machine that has been compromised - disconnect it from the mains and keep it disconnected! Pack it carefully and get it to a repair tech.
Most sewing centres have factory trained techs who can safely effect the repairs. Or you can do an online search using the search term '(sewing machine maker name here) service and repair (your area name here)'. For example: Pfaff sewing machine service repair Devon
DO NOT try to fix this yourself as you are risking a very serious electrical shock even though the machine is unplugged - electrostatic build-up is happening in there and the shock can do you very, very serious physical harm. The average home sewer doesn't know how to safely discharge this build-up, so don't risk your safety!
How do I know this? I am a UK based (Scotland) home-sewing teacher, and a self-taught sewing machine repair tech. Your machine needs to be seen by a factory trained tech - not by someone like me who is self-taught and has no certification.
Please PLEASE do not try to use this now very dangerous machine until it has been repaired and re-certified by a trained, qualified tech.
I have a stuck cartridge and it won't pull out of my Singer 6268 sewing machine. I need some help.
By Frugal Sunnie 11/25/2013
First of all, here's a link to your machine user manual:
http://www.singerco.com/uploads/dow ... _6267-wholeas-of-6_23_05-special.pdf
Check page 28 for tips on the cartridge - have you tried 'shocking' the machine by disconnecting it from the power point whilst turned on? Doing so may cause your vintage machine to release the cartridge.
Don't plug the machine back in before trying to release the cartridge, and if the 'shock' doesn't release it, you need to take your machine to a qualified, factory trained Singer repair tech - look for those exact words in the advert posted online or in the telephone directory under sewing centres or sewing machine repair.
Your Singer is a beautifully made vintage 'computerised' sewing machine, made in Italy and very well engineered. However, it IS a vintage machine and it's very likely something has finally worn out. Time for a visit to the trained professional.
I have a Kenmore mini Ultra, and the foot is not raising so the fabric can move as I'm sewing. I've barely used the machine and it seems like a hardware problem, but I'm not sure what to do. Thanks!
By Frugal Sunnie 11/11/2013
Is it still under warranty? If yes it's worth it to take it to the Sears repair centre to have it fixed. It does sound like an internal part has broken through no fault of yours and so should be covered under the warranty.
I have a Singer sewing machine, model 3116. When the setting has been changed to wind the bobbin, the machine stays in sewing mode and will barely move the bobbin winder. Is there a fix?
By Frugal Sunnie 11/11/2013
Here's a link to a free download of your models user manual from the Singer (US) website:
Have a look at pages 17-19 to ensure you are following the directions carefully. Most important, is the presser foot completely raised, are the feed dogs fully up, and is the pin snapped completely to the right?
Have you used a light to check all of the external thread path areas for bits of lint and thread? Is there any thread caught or wound on the winding pin (not on the bobbin but rather on the pin/spool)?
If this doesn't help (and I honestly think it won't because it does sound as though you've followed the directions correctly) you need to take your machine to a Singer repair tech - I think there is thread and lint caught in several internal gears+possibly a broken gear/part.
I do some modern machine repair work (self-taught, lol, don't bring me a machine under warranty because whilst good, my work would void the warranty) and that is usually the problem. Depending on your location the work should cost you under $60USD/£40GBP.
I have a Lilly 545 Viking sewing machine. For some reason it with not allow me to make the stitch length longer, however I can make it smaller. Also, it's computerized, could it be a sensor?
By Christina G.
By Frugal Sunnie 11/04/2013
Once you make the length shorter will the programme permit you to go back to the previously longer length?
If no, the problem is in the software. See if you can wipe and reload the hard drive - check your manual for step-by-step instructions.
If your manual doesn't have a wipe/reload instruction, you definitely need to take the machine to a qualified Viking repair tech who can do this for you.
I replaced my foot pedal on my singer. The foot pedal will only work once in a while. If I pump the pedal, it will work for about two stitches. Can you help?
I have an old Montgomery Ward sewing machine. I have it set for zig zag stitches. It goes OK for a few stitches, but then it will put in 4 or 5 straight stitches.
My Brothes XL 3022 sewing machine stopped making stitches. It acted like it was jammed then it stopped making stitches.
By Vikki B.
By Frugal Sunnie 10/23/2013
Have you checked all of your settings and accessories (stitch including width and length settings, needles, threads, bobbin thread if using a specialty thread)?
Have you checked to be sure the needle is properly installed? Is the bobbin seated (and threaded) correctly? Is the upper thread properly threaded?
Here's a link to a free download of your manual from the Brother site, see page 44 for more trouble shooting tips:
http://www.brother-usa.com/VirData/ ... er/UsersManual/UM_XL_3010_EN_239.PDF
I have a Husqvarna Viking #1300 that I was fortunate enough to receive from my sister-in-law. It had been working flawlessly until I was making my daughter's costume. I'm new to sewing (three months) so I'm not sure if it's something I'm doing. I have, however, checked my upper threading, bobbin threading, presser foot tension and thread tension, I also cleaned out the lint from under the feed dogs.
Here's the problem: It will only sew when the needle is on the right. When sewing a zig zag it will pierce the fabric the entire z, but will only make a stitch on the right hand side.
By Frugal Sunnie 10/22/2013
Have you checked:
Stitch setting - are you in stretch mode instead of 'regular'?
Stitch width - do you have the machine set for the correct width?
Stitch length - do you have the machine set for the right length?
Do you have the user guide to check the troubleshooting pages? I think you can download free from the maker's website if not.
When I first bought my sewing machine, a Singer Simple, it didn't make the loud noises it's making now. It still works fine, the stitches are good, but that noise concerns me. I have put the Singer oil in, took off the front cover, and removed any thread that was wrapped up, but it's still noisy. Should I take it in for repair? Or does someone have any idea how to fix?
By danielle w
By Frugal Sunnie 10/22/2013
Because you've tried everything I would have suggested (I teach sewing and do repair work on older Singer models) I do think this is a job for a repair tech. Singers are not supposed to make a noise other than that lovely 'titchet-ee-titch' sound. Your sound doesn't sound as though it's lovely.
Is the machine under warranty? If yes, this is a job for a Singer qualified repair tech. Using one who is not will void your warranty.
I have a Simplicity Denim Expert machine and it just stopped sewing. The light comes on when you turn it on, but when you push the pedal it will not work. I have oiled everything I know to oil on it. Any suggestions?
By Frugal Sunnie 10/22/2013
Since the light comes on, your main problem isn't with the machine - it's with the foot pedal.
You can (extremely carefully) try to open the foot pedal and look for frayed, broken, burnt looking wires - if you're electrically minded you can probably fix the pedal yourself.
If not, take it to a repair tech OR order a replacement speed controller (proper name for the foot pedal) from the maker's website. To be honest the cost of repairing the speed controller is usually comparable to the cost of replacing it with a new one, so do have a look at your maker's website for prices.
Have a JMB 12 stitch domestic sewing machine, model number SSM1010. It was working fine then just stopped. It hasn't worked since. Can anyone help?
By Hayley from Portsmouth
The bobbin thread is catching and bunching up under the fabric. I can sew a few stitches (3-4) then my thread catches. When I pull the fabric up (quite forcibly) there is a ball of tangled thread underneath. What am I doing wrong?
I have a Singer sewing machine; the needle has frozen, and I can't get it to move.
By Frugal Sunnie 10/06/2013
There are so many reasons why your Singer machine needle won't move! First of all, have you looked in the instruction booklet?
Had you just wound a bobbin and perhaps forgot to reset the machine from bobbin winding back to sewing mode?
Did you thread the machine with the presser foot down?
When was the last time you cleaned the lint and fluff from the tension discs?
If none of the above sort your problem it may be time for a thorough servicing from a qualified repair tech - he/she will clean, oil, and check over your machine for any problems. Worth the money, should be done at least every couple of years.
I have a Kenmore sewing machine, model #385.81524. It goes forward, but not in reverse.
By Frugal Sunnie 10/07/2013
I'm a Singer person but can answer this one for you - either something is wrapped around the reverse mechanism inside the machine, or the gear is broken.
This is a job for a qualified Kenmore sewing machine repair tech - he/she will have the knowledge and tools to go straight in and sort the problem. Assuming the problem is not the gear (usually isn't but it could happen in which case your cost will go up a little), the repair and servicing (cleaning, oiling, check over for other problems) will cost you around $100.
I have a Singer 2623 machine. It starts out running OK (not really fast), but then slows down and almost stops. What could the problem be? And can I fix it myself? I have cleaned it. When it does slows down then starts going a little faster the light on machine kinda blinks? Thanks for your help!
By Dianne from Columbus, MS
By susan 10/07/2013
Do you have a plastic foot pedal? I had a similar problem, and my foot pedal had to be replaced. I found a site on the internet that sold them and received mine in a few days; it cost under $30, including shipping. The rubber thing inside it had a tear. Try googling it, to see if that could be your problem.
The wheel on my Kenmore will hardly move. Nor will the thread take-up lever. What is wrong? I've had no problems until now.
By Heidi from Pittsburgh, PA
By Frugal Sunnie 10/07/2013
Did you check the instruction booklet for the troubleshooting pages?
Did you thread the needle with the presser foot down?
Had you just wound a bobbin and forgot to reset to sewing mode?
When was the last time you had the machine serviced? Might be time for a servicing if the above questions don't help you sort the problem.
I have a Nova sewing machine, an old one. When I was using it suddenly the wheel which controls the motor suddenly got stuck up. What can I do? Please help me!
By Meenakshi from Chennai
By Frugal Sunnie 10/07/2013
The Necchi SuperNova was the premier sewing machine of its day. You have a 'frozen hand wheel' and there are several reasons for why it's frozen - could be anything from a broken belt or gear to something simple like accumulated thread and lint bits.
Best thing is to take it to a sewing machine repair tech. The following link is for the US site but you can scroll to the bottom of the page to find the 'contact us' link that you can use to ask the company who services their machines in your area. They may even be able to walk you through a few simple things to try before taking the machine to a repair tech, too - worth a try:)
Good luck, I hope you're back sewing soon. The machine you have is the machine I learned to sew on in 1962!
After sewing a few stitches on my Kenmore machine the thread will curl around the thread guide and come loose at the top of my machine at the point of the thread guide. I've had this machine for years and this is the first time I've experienced this problem. Do you have any idea what would cause this?
By Josephine from Arlington, TX
By Frugal Sunnie 09/29/2013
My first thought as a sewing teacher and self-taught repair tech is that there is a burr in the part the thread is tangling in - it may be an easy repair you can do at home if the part is attached on the outside of the head. Scroll down to the 3*'d paragraph.
You may need to have a qualified repair tech remove it, sand it, or change it out for a new one (he/she will have the speciality knowledge and tools). However, it could also be other issues - use the following to troubleshoot your problem:
Have you got into the habit of threading the machine with the presser foot down? (This bad habit develops over time for even the most conscientious sewer, we've all done it! But it is a really bad habit - threading with the foot down engages the tension discs and so when you start to sew the thread is still clamped in the tension discs, can't move, and will un-thread)
Are you using the correct needle size and thread for your project? (Consult the user guide, the manufacturer's website, or any number of sewing sites - all of these sources have a chart listing correct needle and thread for many types of fabrics)
How old is the thread you are using and is it a high quality thread? (Thread actually does have a 'shelf life' - old thread frays and the frays catch on machine parts; less expensive thread is cheap for a reason and will not perform as well in your machine)
How many sewing hours are on the needle you are using? (The more sewing hours on a needle the duller it becomes, also the eye can become very slightly burred which will cause the thread to catch which will then cause the thread to 'drag' and un-thread. Or break.)
***Speaking of burrs, have you checked the threading path for burrs? (Put your finger into a piece of organza or sheer stocking and run your finger along the thread path; feed a narrow strip of very sheer fabric or stocking along the parts of the thread path you can't feel with your fingers. Any burrs will cause snags which will lead to un-threading, tangling, and breaks - you can either try sanding down the burrs with a piece of fine sandpaper being careful to vacuum the dust before running the machine again, or you can take it to a trained sewing machine repair tech)
When was the last time you cleaned the lint and fluff from the tension discs? (Use dental floss between the discs just as you would for your teeth)
When was the last time you pulled the head cover and cleaned the lint and fluff out? (Be sure to photograph the screws in situ before removing; use a muffin tin to hold the screws while cleaning; brush or carefully vacuum the lint - don't use canned air as that will only drive the lint further into areas of the machine you can't reach at home)
How old is the machine? (Older machines are known as 'vintage', most vintage machines built after the late 60s use silicone or plastic gears which do wear out over a much shorter time than the metal ones. You can try all of the above and still have the problem if one or more of the gears have reached the end of their service life.)
Finally, when was the last time you took it to a qualified repair tech for a complete servicing? (Servicing includes a complete go-over of the machine to see if any parts are failed or about to fail, cleaning of all the parts you can't reach at home, and oiling. Professional servicing of a sewing machine, preferably by a factory trained repair tech, keeps your machine in reliable sewing condition. Yes it can cost as much as $100+ if your machine needs more than just a normal servicing but depending on the features/sentimental value of your machine it is money well spent. The longest a machine should go without a servicing is 2-3 years and that is only if you have been diligent about caring for your machine by using the right needles/threads/sewing habits, and cleaning lint and fluff you can reach at home after every other project. If you aren't diligent your machine should see the repair tech once a year.)
**About vintage electric machines: Many reasons you may be reluctant to splash out on a new machine - it was the machine you learned to sew on/it was your gran's, mum's/you sewed your wedding dress/baby's christening gown/all your children's clothing/your daughter's wedding dress on/the features and quality of stitches on it are amazing and replacing it would cost hundreds of dollars.
But vintage electric machines have a lot of plastic and silicone parts that do wear down and fail. So eventually you will have to take a decision - repair or replace.
If your repair tech can source newly milled parts, great! Have it repaired and enjoy many more hours of sewing!
But if he/she has to use salvaged parts, well, it's time to buy or start saving to buy because those salvaged parts could be off a machine that was abused by the previous owner - you never know how many sewing hours are on a salvaged part and you never know the conditions that poor thing laboured under.
So a salvaged part is unreliable - if your repair tech has to use salvaged parts to get your machine running again, be prepared for the inevitable - part failure resulting in yet another trip to the sewing machine doctor:(
This question is to find out if I can repair my sewing machine. I have a Singer model #6412 and the thread will not pick up from the bottom. There was a metal "v" looking piece under the bobbin case. Is that part of the case or is there something else that needs to be replaced?
By Deb L.
By Frugal Sunnie 09/29/2013
Hiya! I'm a sewing teacher and self-taught sewing machine repair tech:)
That metal V looking thing is part of the bobbin case mechanism - you should be able to see it when you lift the bobbin spool from the bobbin case. Try not to disturb it, it can be a finicky little fellow. Consult the user guide (link to a free download at the Singer site follows) if you have disturbed it for a step-by-step guide to replacing it into the machine:
http://www.singerco.com/uploads/dow ... e675e38ed11eefeaa7d7a62f19f53a03.pdf
In the user guide, see also page 18 for basic troubleshooting info relating to your problem.
If that doesn't help, let me ask you a few questions:
Had you just wound a bobbin? Is it possible you pulled the filled bobbin off the winder pin without snapping the pin back to sewing mode position?
Have you been using metal bobbins? (I believe your machine uses a magnetic float bobbin system, using metal bobbins will over time cause your bobbin case to not engage with the needle to form a stitch - you'll need to take the machine to a qualified repair tech for replacement and rebalancing)
Have you been the correct class plastic bobbins? (Your machine should always be used with a 15 class. Other classes may look exactly the same and may even work 'ok' but there are very subtle variations that can cause problems over time.)
My sewing machine won't sew anything. The needle still goes up and down, but it won't actually sew, like nothing happens. I have a project due tomorrow and this is my only machine. Someone please help me!
By Mackenzie from Seattle, WA
My Toyota industrial sewing machine has started to race and sew way too fast for me to control it. It starts off at a controlled speed for a few stitches then just takes off. I am afraid I am going to hurt myself.
By Lorraine from Nimbin, NSW, Australia
By Frugal Sunnie 09/23/2013
Is your industrial machine operated with a foot pedal? If yes, the trouble is in the electrics of the foot pedal. Making sure to match wattage/voltage, try using a different pedal to see if that solves your problem. If it does, buying a new pedal is going to solve your problem permanently - you can usually find a new foot control pedal at the manufacturer website or an authorised sales and repair centre.
If your machine is controlled by a switch on the machine or a knee bar, the problem is inside the machine and you need to take it to a qualified, authorised repair tech.
My sewing machine motor jammed and the needle isn't going up and down.
By Hazly from Malaysia
Everything is properly threaded and ready to go. I press the peddle and the needle will go down and place a single stitch. The needle will not go back up automatically nor with the hand wheel. The needle "will" function properly in reverse, however. I have taken apart as much as I could possibly without going too far, yet ca not figure what is holding it back.
By Mrs A. P.
My sewing machine, a Bernette 50 (gotten used), makes a loud squeaking noise when I sew, the faster I sew, the louder it gets. I oiled everywhere I'm supposed to, and a mechanic told me I could try taking it apart. It'll cost more than I can afford to get a tune-up. The problem is, I can't get the front off. I took out the screws, but I think I need to take off the stitch selection knobs. I'm afraid to just pull them off. Is that what I need to do?
By H. A.
By Frugal Sunnie 09/04/2013
Is there someone you can borrow a sewing machine from until you can afford to have a qualified repair tech work on your machine?
Seriously, taking apart a Bernina sewing machine is a very bad idea. Ask me how I know this.
I teach sewing, and am self-taught at sewing machine repair - Singer and Jones only because those repair manuals are free to download, and because Singer and Jones machines are very simple machines. The lovely Bernina is not a simple machine, however. Even now that I'm pretty good at repair and refurb I would never touch a Bernina, it's just too easy to kill a high-tech, high-class sewing machine.
I got started in repair work because I stupidly tried to fix a vintage electric machine and dang near 'killed' it. From start to finish it was a nightmare.
If your Bernina is your only machine it is not worth the heartache of taking it apart! Really, see if you can borrow a machine, or see if you can talk a trained and qualified repair tech into fixing your machine and letting you make payments on the work.
My machine is not pulling the cloth as it should while sewing. As a result the stitches are looping up. If I pull the cloth manually it does not stitch properly.
By Frugal Sunnie 08/26/2013
What kind of machine is it? If you have the manual you can check the troubleshooting pages usually found in the back of the manual for help. If you don't have the manual you can usually get a free download from the manufacturer website even if you are sewing on the very first machine they put out 100 years ago.
Ask yourself the following questions: Are the feed dogs accidentally set down? Is the upper tension set correctly? Are you using the right thread and needle for the fabric and project? Is the stitch setting correct for what you are trying to sew?
My vintage Kenmore sewing machine's pressure foot won't go up or down. The handle just moves freely without lifting the foot. How do I fix it?
By Frugal Sunnie 08/26/2013
Check to make sure the bobbin winding feature isn't set; check to see if the presser foot lever has been loosened, and finally, check to be sure the presser foot is actually connected to the lifter lever.
If none of that helps it is time to call Sears and schedule a visit with the Kenmore repair tech.
The thread take up lever is jammed with thread. How do I take the top cover off to expose this part?
By Frugal Sunnie 08/26/2013
First of all unplug the machine from the electrical current - check your user guide manual to see if there are recommendations about static electricity build-up to avoid a nasty shock!
Then look at the sides and top of the head (sitting at the machine, the part of the machine the needle and bobbin are on is called the head) for little holes. Look down into those holes to see what size screwdriver you need.
Take photos of those screws in place, and continue taking photos as you remove the screws so that you can replace them correctly once you've cleared the jam.
Place the screws into a saucer or muffin tin as you remove them so that they aren't lost.
After winding my bobbin the machine seems to be stuck there and I can hear a pin in the cover.
By B Attard
By Frugal Sunnie 08/26/2013
Oh ouch, sounds as though the oscillating or rotary hook is either caught or (gulp) broken. This really is a job for a qualified repair tech.
My Kenmore machine was working perfectly and then out of nowhere it starts sewing with extra thread hanging in little loops. Also, every now and then the upper thread breaks. What do I do?
By Frugal Sunnie 08/22/2013
Depending on how old the machine is, the problem could be anything from dirty (lint clogged usually) tension discs, incorrectly set upper tension, old thread, wrong thread and needle for the fabric you're trying to sew, burrs in the needle eye, or (gulp) a worn bobbin gear. (Heh. Ask me how I know about worn bobbin gears!)
Try changing your needle and thread first and making sure your upper tension is set for the fabric and thread you are using.
If that doesn't help, try wetting a long piece of thin-ish dental floss with non-mentholated rubbing alcohol and putting it through the thread path paying especial attention to the upper tension area - if your's is the knob type that you wind the thread around, wind the floss through then use a gentle back and forth motion.
Now pull the floss out of the machine/tension discs - if the floss is grimey and/or dragging a lot of linty stuff, there's your problem. Repeat the flossing with clean floss wetted with the rubbing alcohol until the floss comes through TWICE without any grime or lint.
If that doesn't solve your problem it's time to schedule a visit to the Kenmore repair tech; repair including parts and a servicing (cleaning and oiling) shouldn't cost more than $100USD and is well worth it - Kenmore machines are good machines, nearly all the parts for even the oldest models are still being milled, and the certified techs learn repair of all models old and new. Kenmore (sold through USA Sears stores) home appliances including sewing machines have an excellent reputation for top-notch customer service, too.
No, I don't work for Sears:) Actually I'm a Singer sewer-teacher-self-trained repair tech, but I have a lot respect for the Kenmore brand.
Good luck, I hope you're back behind the needle soon!
I have had this sewing machine for awhile. It works fine on a very high power, and works on all stitches and presser feet. My problem is when I try to sew slowly. I put the foot pedal down and it makes a noise as if it is stuck, and the light is on. This is when I use the wheel to get it going, and it only goes for a couple stitches, and stops in the same place. I think there is something caught in the side wheel because it stops in the same place every time, and the wheel feels like something is stuck in it. I have oiled this machine many times and cleaned the gunk off of it as much as I can. Is this worth taking in to get repaired? or can I do it myself?
By Poor threadbanger teenager
By Frugal Sunnie 08/12/2013
It sounds as though this is a good machine that has been giving you good service for some time, and all it really needs is a good servicing.
What you're describing kind of sounds as though there is a big wad of lint built up inside the machine, possibly in the tension discs - try wetting a strand of thin dental floss with isopropyl alcohol and 'flossing' the thread path. If the floss comes out of the machine discoloured and dragging lint out of the machine, there's your answer. Repeat the flossing until the floss comes out clean, and try to run the machine.
If the problem continues even after cleaning the tension discs, you probably do need to take it to a service tech - the problem may be even more lint built up elsewhere, and also the foot pedal probably needs to be checked. Your machine, although older, probably is worth a trip to the service tech:)
Tell him/her what your budget is - what is the most you can afford to spend to solve the problem - most techs are sewers themselves (or are married to one, it's how a lot of guys get into repairing sewing machines, lol!) and will do their best to get you sewing again for a very reasonable price.
Be sure that the tech understands you need to know if the work is going to cost more than you can afford so that he/she will call you to let you know if something more serious is wrong. Also, be sure to ask the tech to save any parts that need to be replaced for you, and be especially careful to make sure he/she understands you MUST know if the replacement part is newly milled or is a salvage part.
The reason you want the old part is for education - did it fail because of age or do you need to change something you are doing.
The reason you need to know if the replacement part is new or salvaged is to be prepared for sooner-rather-than-later failure of the replacement part if it has to be a salvage part. (It's very rare for a salvage part to give as good a service life as a newly milled part)
Even if the part is salvage it should last you at least six-12 months, long enough to save up for a new machine and do the research as to which make and model you want.
I used to do a lot of 'vintage' machine repair but salvage parts do fail and it was very disappointing for my sewing students - I don't do it anymore unless someone is seriously stone broke but needs that machine to sew for just a few more months.
Please update and let us know how this works out. It's horrible to be a sewer with a disabled machine and I'll be thinking about you!
How do I reset the timing on my sewing machine? It is hitting the plate and breaking the needle or sticking. Now I can't get it unstuck.
By Rhonda G. from Joplin, MO
By Frugal Sunnie 08/07/2013
Resetting the timing on a sewing machine is something better left to a trained repair tech. Every machine and model is different, and resetting the timing on a modern machine (mechanical or computerised) is harder than ever.
However, there is advice on the 'Net for some of the easier machines to home reset so try a search term using the make and model of your machine+the words 'reset timing'. For example: Singer Stylist 513 reset timing
I'm sewing on a 30+ year old Singer. It will only go in a straight line or very hardly noticeable small zigzags. When I open the side panel and look at the mechanism that moves the needle back and forth it doesn't move right even when I'm just changing the straight stitch position. It maybe moves 1 mm to either side, but that doesn't help me when I need to do a bigger zigzag or change my needle position. Any advice?
I had the same problem. I took my machine to the repairman. He put a drop of lubricant on the shaft that moves the zigzag and pushed the shaft from left to right several times to work the lubricant in. Hope this helps.
I'm a very new sewer and I was experimenting with my brand new sewing machine. Well my long needle got caught in the bobbin area and I cannot get it out. I've tried turning the bobbin wheel, turning the machine upside down, nothing works. Help!
By Marty Dick 11/09/2013
Great information in this answer. I can't improve on it. I just have a suggestion..... when I change my needle I place an index card or a piece of fabric over the area covering my feed dogs. That keeps it from slipping into the nether parts of the machine.
My thread plate screw fell into my Babylock Model # BL200A machine when I was trying to screw it back on. I saw it, but could not grab it. I tried to turn the machine over to make it drop out. At first I heard it moving, then I stopped hearing it move. How do I open the machine in order to find out where the lost screw is? We have tried taking a few screws out of the bottom, but have not been able to completely remove the bottom plate. Thanks for help.
By Frugal Sunnie 07/29/2013
Since you have a computerised sewing-embroidery machine I would be very careful about using a magnet anywhere near it.
When it comes to dropped screws or other items into the inner workings, the best thing is to take it to the dealer for removal of the cover and retrieval of the dropped item.
Pulling a sewing machine cover can be dangerous (built-up static electricity) and the tech at the dealer knows how to safely remove the cover. The tech also knows exactly which screws need to be removed to get the cover off.
Here's a link to the user guide for free download - always nice to have a copy on your computer in case you misplace your hard copy:
Why does my needle goes up and down very slowly? I have a Bernina Artista 180. Today I tried to sew and the needle would barely go up and down when I pushed the foot peddle. In fact, it would only go up and down once with each push on the foot pedal. I can I fix this?
By Marianne S
By Frugal Sunnie 07/23/2013
Nearly all of my sewing experience is with Singer machines but I do know that Bernina machines have a speed feature, could you have accidentally slowed down the stitching?
What does the user guide/owner's manual say?
Don't have the guide? Bernina has a great reputation for after-sales support. I'm sure you could go to their website and download a free copy of your user guide/owner manual. Print it out if you can so that you can have it handy when sewing.
I have an old New Home embroidery machine (one of the first ones) and it has no power. When I plug it in no light or any power at all. Does this machine have a fuse?
By Frugal Sunnie 07/15/2013
I don't think the actual machine has a fuse but it's possible the foot control does; more likely though, there is a broken wire either in the connection area of the machine, or in the foot control.
If you are completely comfortable doing small home electrical repair, you can open the sewing machine and have a look where the connection is made to see if the wires leading to the connection are broken (easy fix). If everything in there looks fine, open the foot control and inspect it for breaks or frays. Again, this is an easy fix.
If you are not comfortable doing small electrical repairs, take your machine to a sewing centre and have their repair tech do the troubleshooting and repair.
While the machine is in the shop the tech should also look the entire machine over, and do a servicing (cleaning of inner parts for lint, gunk, etc, and oiling). The repair and servicing should cost around $80USD - be sure to get a written estimate so there are no nasty surprises when you go to pick it up.
I have an American Home machine and need to work on it. I would like to have a manual so I can order a belt for the bobbin winder, and a full size belt. Also I'm not sure, but part of my tension assembly is missing, so I need to figure out how to fix that. It was handed down to me by my aunt Loma and I want it to work again.
By Dolly from Butte, MT
By Myra Powell W. 07/08/2013
I found a few websites for what you might be looking for. Manuals for your sewing machine. Good Luck! http://pages.sewing-machine-manuals.com/173/PictPage/1922643707.html
Found this manual for sale on Ebay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/American-Ho ... struction-Manual-On-CD-/261200447778
That Manual sounds like what you are looking for and its under $10.00. Hope it helps. Myra
The needle on my sewing machine won't go up and down. I read the the problems before, and mine differs in one way. The hand wheel moves without a problem.
By Bea J
By Frugal Sunnie 07/01/2013
Check to make sure the bobbin winder feature isn't engaged, that the feed dogs, tension, and threading paths are correct.
If that doesn't solve your problem, you have something worn or broken inside, usually the bobbin gear from what you are describing. It's best to take a machine with a mechanical or computer problem; be sure to get an estimate for the repairs and if the cost includes a clean-oil-servicing.
Also be sure the repair tech understands that you want a 'newly milled' part instead of a 'salvage' part, the newly milled part will last you far longer than a salvaged part.
I have a Brother overlock machine MA4-B661. The machine 20 yrs old. It used to work great. It has been in storage awhile. I just had it timed and threaded. The main (large, square) foot pedal gets pushed down, then it has to be forced back up (clutch engaged?) to stop sewing. I have been oiling the piece that goes in and out and has the belt attached. (Technical I am - not.) And have been working it in and out. The spring appears to have tension. Is that sufficient to get it working smoothly or is there something else I need to do?
Thanks for your help!
The pressure foot on my Brother sewing machine is stuck in the up position. How can I repair this?
By Debbie M
By Frugal Sunnie 06/24/2013
If the machine is a computerised one you can try 'shock reboot' by turning on the machine and pulling the plug from the electrical outlet while the machine is still turned on. Wait five minutes and plug it back in, the foot should revert to normal operation mode.
If it is a 'mechanical' electric non-computerised model, something may be jamming the take-up lever. You can try removing the head cover to see if there is a build up of lint. Be extremely careful doing this because even an unplugged machine can generate a severe electrical shock. Unplug the machine and wait for at least an hour before trying to open the head cover to avoid a very nasty electrical shock.
OR (recommended method) you can take it to a repair tech-he/she will know how to open the head cover safely and will have the parts to repair your machine if there is something broken in there. The repair job should also include a servicing (something that is best done annually for optimum sewing machine productivity), and including parts (if needed) will cost you between $80 and $100USD.
I'm not familiar with Brother machines but the Singers I am familiar with use a spring or a gear on the take-up depending on age and model. You could have a broken spring or gear and the best person for that job is a professional repair tech.
If your machine is what is considered a vintage machine (more than ten years old) be sure to ask the tech to use 'newly milled' replacement parts instead of salvage parts if possible.
A lot of techs who work on vintage machines have to use 'salvage' parts because newly milled ones are no longer available for many vintage machines. However, because a salvage part comes from unknown conditions they aren't always reliable-the tech will not know how many sewing hours are on that part, nor will he/she know the conditions the machine it came off worked under.
If the part comes from a machine that was abused (rarely if ever cleaned and oiled, permitted to work under linty, dusty or sandy conditions, run too fast through too thick a material, etc) the part will fail even quicker than a salvage part from a machine that was well taken care of.
But even a well-cared for machine salvage part, if it has a lot of sewing hours on it won't last long.
Be sure of what you are getting if you need to take the machine to a repair tech.
I own an old Brother VX950 and the foot pedal will and will not work. I opened it and the wires are well connected. There is a ceramic box inside that has a tunnel in the shape of a circle. Inside there are small black discs like a hundred of them, when I took them out to sand them (in case they were dirty) some broke. I still put everything back together, even the broken discs and when I tried the pedal, it will not work. I pushed the the pedal plugged and open, when I pushed the copper plate against the top of the black discs, sometimes it will work, other times it won't. What are those black discs? Where can I find a substitute, a compression spring that fits that tunnel made of an electricity conductor? Or where can I get those discs?
By C. L. from Orem, UT
By Frugal Sunnie 06/24/2013
Finding those plates is going to cost you more than simply contacting Brother at their website and buying a new foot pedal.
You can also try to find a similar model machine at a thrift store or garage sale and then use the foot pedal from that one.
But really you're going to be better served just replacing the foot pedal.
I have a Kenmore model 21 sewing machine. Setting stitch length doesn't work right and it does not go in reverse. After it sits for a while you can not push the reverse button in.
By Frugal Sunnie 06/08/2013
Something inside the machine is in trouble and this is a fix only a qualified repair tech can make.
Kenmore is a Sears sewing machine brand and their techs are 'factory trained' to properly repair all models of Kenmore sewing machines from a 50s era vintage model right up to the latest computerised model.
They might be a little more expensive than your local sewing machine repair tech but they have access to genuine Kenmore parts that will ensure your machine runs perfectly on return to you.
I'm not knocking your local tech, btw, just stating facts as I've learned them over the years. Your local tech doesn't have access to new milled replacement parts as easily and cheaply as the Kenmore techs especially on vintage machines.
I know this because I used to do a lot of vintage machine repair in conjunction with my home business of teaching total newbies how to sew:)
I can't get newly milled parts for a lot of the models I saw in the States and now here in the UK. But the techs who work in association with the specific manufacturers do have access to those newly milled parts, and the key words to a successful repair job 'newly milled'.
I used to buy vintage machines whenever I saw them because there was a wealth of salvageable parts on those machines if the machine isn't able to be fully restored to service. I learned to do that from other repair techs-they all do it if they don't associate with a manufacturer.
The trouble with salvage parts is that they wear out or break faster than a newly milled part because let's face it, a salvaged part has who knows how many sewing hours on it+who knows what kind of working conditions.
Sewing machine parts began to be milled in plastics back in the late 60s and plastic has a much shorter working life than metal. If the machine was abused (not oiled or serviced regularly, run too fast, forced through fabrics it wasn't intended to sew when engineered, and/or in dusty-linty conditions), that REALLY takes a toll on a salvaged part.
It can look great but because of the above, I don't find the salvaged parts satisfactory-sooner rather than later that plastic salvaged part IS going to fail and be a real disappointment to the sewer.
It's become too disappointing to my customers and I've given up sewing vintage machine repair unless it is a non-electric Singer-(non-electric) Singer parts are easy to salvage and restore to a new condition because the parts are all metal (usually steel).
I tried to change my bobbin to use a different coloured thread, but now it's stopped working. As soon as I try to sew the machine stops as the material gets all caught up. Please help!
By Frugal Sunnie 06/08/2013
Is the bobbin case replaced correctly into the machine?
Did you make sure to complete the switch back to the stitching mode if you wound the new bobbin on the machine?
Did you check the machine user manual for the troubleshooting pages and suggested fixes?
I rotated my sewing machine wheel in the wrong direction. It stopped functioning. What do I do?
By Frugal Sunnie 06/03/2013
Depending on the age, maker, and model, you may have just set the machine to wind a bobbin-an easy fix, follow the owner's manual directions for resetting for stitching.
But you might have thrown-out the timing instead, or broken the belt (if a vintage machine).
Checking the owner's manual troubleshooting pages will help you decide if you need to take the machine to a repair technician.
If you don't have the manual, run a search online using the maker name and model number of your machine-the maker may have a free download (most do), especially Singer machines.
If you can't find an online link, post back in the maker and model number and one of us will try to find a download link for you. If your machine is older and isn't a Singer or one of the other very well known names it can sometimes be next to impossible to find those manuals without having a tonne of vintage sites bookmarked-a lot of us are vintage sewing fools, lol, and have those sites on 'speed dial':)
The upper thread breaks frequently. Why?
By Farhat from Barcelona
By Frugal Sunnie 05/20/2013
Frogheaven is on the right track.
But if those tips don't help it may be that you have a broken or worn out bobbin gear and that's a job for a professional repairman. He or she will be able to remove the cover of your machine and tell just by looking what is wrong, and will have the part(s) needed to fix it quickly.
It shouldn't be very expensive even if you ask him/her to do a general maintenance and check-over of the machine.
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?
By Frugal Sunnie 04/30/2013
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!
I have a Singer sewing machine, model 6104. I can't sew. I have changed the needle, re-threaded a thousand times, changed thread, and turned the bobbin around. I think I fixed the timing. Now the needle picks up thread and goes around bobbin, but it does not sew. Please help. This is an old simple machine, but will cost me more to repair than a possible new machine.
By sarayaker from Miami, FL
By Frugal Sunnie 04/16/2013
Did the problem start after you think you fixed the timing? It's entirely possible that you reversed a part when putting the machine back together. Next time, take before pictures, that's always a help to me when I take apart a machine. If it makes you feel any better, reversing parts is easy to do even with before pics-ask me how I know this lol! And interestingly, I learned that on a Singer 6103, the previous model to yours.
At this point you're best off taking the machine to a professional, the repair and a 'tune-up should cost you less than $100USD. The professional will be able to look at the inside of the machine and fix the problem in a very short amount of time, plus he/she will be able check for any other problems and should have new-milled parts for your machine in his/her workshop.
In the meantime, have a look through your machine manual, there may be something in there that will help you. The link should take you to the pdf which is free to download from the Singer Company (be patient, the download takes a while):
The Singer 6104 (and the Singer 6103 which I love, it's the only vintage electric machine I'll fool with nowadays) is a really nice vintage machine, very reliable and hard to 'kill'. It makes an incredible straight and zig-zag stitch, just really nice look to the stitches. Usually a vintage zig-zag machine will not sew a perfectly straight line in straight stitch mode but the 6100 series machines were well known for being one of the very few machines that did manage both type of stitches.
The cost to having a professional fix and do the tune-up is well worth it, you have a really great machine that should still be able to give you years of sewing performance.
Please update when you find out what the problem was!
Can the cord on the foot control be changed on a Rose Viking sewing machine?
By Frugal Sunnie 04/08/2013
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:
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. When I don't put material there and turn by hand I can see that the feeder is moving up and down like it should and it is at the right height. It works okay if I pull it though myself, but it is just very slow and I don't want to have to pull it myself as that will probably cause more problems. Can anyone suggest anything? I can't afford to take it to get repaired. I am hoping it's just something simple and I'm not knowledgeable about sewing machines! Thanks.
By Rebecca K.03/10/2013
You may need new feed dogs. I have never had to replace mine, but I understand that if you do a lot of heavy sewing sometimes it wears out the little teeth, or you might need to adjust the tension on your presser foot lift, there is an adjustment on most machines to increase and decrease the pressure depending on the fabrics.
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
By Frugal Sunnie 02/25/2013
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?
I have a Singer Futura CE-200 and it jammed and since then it has been sewing in the wrong direction (fabric feeds towards me not away from me) if that makes sense. Any ideas how to fix this or where to go for help? I appreciate any help with this. Thanks in advance :)
By Catherine 02/12/2013
I am not able to give you an answer but If your sewing machine is feeding fabric in the wrong direction, isn't it the same problem as a machine stuck in reverse ? And in this case, there is a Thriftyfun guide about this problem. I hope it will help you.
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.
By Frugal Sunnie 02/04/2013
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.
By Mary LaCaze 12/31/2012
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.)
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
By Frugal Sunnie 12/10/2012
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:)
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
By Frugal Sunnie 11/26/2012
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.
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.
By Sherry M.05/30/2013
There is a pressure plate right below the knob that u twist to unlock to wind your bobbin, this is your problem. Yo can get more life out of your machine without spending money. That that small plate and slighly bend it so it won't sit on there flush and it will work. I spent $285 to get mine fixed.
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.
The first issue was with the knob on the end that you loosen up to wind a bobbin: normally this turns less than half a turn to loosen it which prevents the needle from moving up and down; then tightened for sew mode and movement of the needle; the first problem was that the needle didn't move when it should so my husband tightened it for me, but then the needle moved even in wind mode.
I got that fixed, and then I couldn't remember how to put together the bobbin casing that I took apart. The pic in my manual wasn't clear; I finally found one on the internet and put it all together, started sewing and my needle broke off; it hit something. I redid the assembly and now by bobbin thread won't catch. I'm not sure how to fix it now.
Any clear pics of order pieces go together in bobbin casing area? Or specific instructions on it? Thanks.
By Frugal Sunnie 10/15/2012
Here's a link for a US based sewing machine genius-he offers a lot of free information, and sells service manuals for vintage sewing machines like yours (I have a 513 made here in the UK and have learned a lot from TNT!):
Can't stress enough that when you are cleaning/repairing/refurbishing a vintage machine, especially a Singer, that before pics are a must (ask me how I learned that), and that those before pics are checked for clear 'readability' before taking the physical parts off the machine.
It sounds as though you may have inadvertently gummed up the timing on your 533, TNT should be able to steer you in the right direction though.
This site offers a little free information and a lot of 'for sale' info. I think if I still lived in the US I might consider trying something from him, though, because he seems to know his stuff from reading the free pages:
Finally, give this site a look, some of the links are 'dead' but others are still working and there is a ton of info on the whole site, which works from the US as well as the UK-found that out on a visit to my son last year:
Where can I find a 6v 4w bulb?
By Emma G.
The foot pedal connection to my Janome machine is smoking and over heating. I tried another foot pedal same thing. What could be wrong?
By Frugal Sunnie 10/08/2012
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.
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.
By Sandi 07/16/2012
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.
By Melody Bressler-Hay 07/09/2012
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.
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.
By Lilac 06/11/2012
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.
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.
By Frugal Sunnie 04/15/2012
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.
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.
By Joan 04/11/2012
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 husband and I have been refurbishing my great grandmother's Singer sewing machine. We used soap and water to clean the machine itself and the gold lettering came off. Does any one have ideas where to get stencils to redo them? If any one could give us some ideas it would be great. Thank you.
Have you tried calling around to local sewing machine repair company's and antique stores for advice? Since it's an antique machine it might diminish it's value by putting decals on it so I would double check first to be 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
By Frugal Sunnie 05/18/2011
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 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
By Monica 01/21/2011
@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.
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
By Grandma J 11/24/2010
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.
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.
By rain 11/16/2010
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 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
By Marjorie C. Woodworth 06/21/2010
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 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.
By marie 04/09/2010
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.
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!
By MoMo (Guest Post)05/08/2007
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.
By Marna (Guest Post)04/07/2007
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 Amber (Guest Post)04/05/2007
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 kat (Guest Post)12/09/2008
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.