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Sewing Machine Needle Not Catching Thread

It can be very frustrating if your machine is not sewing properly. This guide is about sewing machine needle not catching thread.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 5 found this helpful
August 21, 2016

My mini sewing machine's needle is not picking up the bobbin thread. Why?

Answer Was this helpful? 5
August 27, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

Make sure the needle is all the way in and that it's tight. Something of note: Schmetz and Klasse needles are different in length. Klasse needles are longer and cannot be used in my Singer. Klasse double needles broke in my Janome.

Good luck

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By 4 found this helpful
October 22, 2010

Does anyone know anything about sewing machines? The bobbin thread isn't being picked up by the needle. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but it was working fine. It is possible, not sure, but the needle doesn't seem to be going down as far as it should. I am mighty confused. Please help.

By shivvers from Ireland

Answer Was this helpful? 4
October 26, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try changing the needle for a new one. I don't know why but this usually works for me.

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By 5 found this helpful
January 11, 2016

Why is stitching not appearing on my portable mini sewing machine? It's not taking thread from lower bobbin also. Please help me.

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January 21, 20171 found this helpful

My mini sewing machine does not picking thread from the bobin,,,please help me

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By 2 found this helpful
June 8, 2016

My mini sewing machine doesn't pick up thread from the bobbin and my fabric doesn't get stitched. Please help.

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July 3, 20160 found this helpful

My needle will no go all the way down this is a singer

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By 1 found this helpful
February 3, 2017

I don't know what else to do because I've followed all of the fixing procedures. I'm frustrated coz my new mini sewing machine is refusing to catch thread from the lower bobbin. Please what else can I do? I just bought the machine.

Answer Was this helpful? 1
February 3, 20170 found this helpful

If you just bought the machine, and cannot figure out from the manual, website, or phone call to the company, take it back to the store and get a refund or replacement. Don't wait too long!

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By 0 found this helpful
February 22, 2017

I bought a 2nd hand Sewland kids sewing machine at the op shop. It didn't come with a bobbin case. Should it have one? I can't seem to pick up the bobbin thread without one.

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February 23, 20171 found this helpful

http://s861.pho  ?sort=3&o=15

From the manual (good images) it certainly appears a bobbin case is necessary. Perhaps contact the company to purchase one?

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By 1 found this helpful
November 12, 2015

So the sewing machine that I'm using is a Good Housekeeper made in Japan. It is a deluxe precision bill is what it says on the side and I think the model number is 1091TW. I've been researching and haven't found one just like this one on the Internet anywhere. So if anyone is familiar with this model, any pointers would be great. My problem is with stitching. I've tried different types of fabric the bobbin thread won't come through the fabric for it will make a stitch at all. I'll change the needle, I removed lint, and oiled it up. I just can't get it to make a stitch. Any help would be most appreciated.

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Anonymous
April 3, 20160 found this helpful

No offense, but that makes no sense. If a machine has been unplugged, there isn't a way for it to shock you. I've worked on many machines (not just sewing machines, but many power tools as well) and

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By 1 found this helpful
September 1, 2015

My machine keeps missing stitches. The top misses the bobbin, and then I'm left with really not excellent looking stitches. Also, my machine won't do a twin needle stitch properly. I'm concerned. Help? Thanks guys!

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September 3, 20150 found this helpful

A yahoo group wefixit has lots of good answers to problems with sewing machines.

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By 1 found this helpful
November 16, 2010

My machine suddenly stopped sewing. It is not picking up bobbin thread. There are no loops under the material. I have re-threaded it 3 times and have cleaned the bobbin area and rechecked the bobbin. I have also changed needle and thread. No luck.

By Coral from Nudgee, QLD.

Answer Was this helpful? 1
November 17, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try this. Turn your bobbincase on it's side. There should be a small screw. This will adjust the tension. When you put your bobbin in the bobbin case hang onto the thread and your bobbincase should slowly go downward (like a yo-yo). If it does not move you tightened the screw too much. Hope this helps.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 30, 2016

I have kindly been given a Singer 447 machine. I set it up and it was working fine for a while, but now it won't pick up the bottom thread. I have re-threaded and check the bobbin. With the plate off I can see that the bottom bobbin does not seem to be moving. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix this? Thanks.

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July 16, 20161 found this helpful

Thank you! Thank you! I have been wracking my brain for hours trying to figure out why my needle wasn't pulling up the bobbing thread. I even undid the plate screws and took a look. I was so frustrated. Then I saw your post. I immediately went to the machine, held the needle thread, lowered the needle and voila...there is the bobbin thread. I can't thank you enough for this post.

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February 17, 20140 found this helpful

I have Brother sewing machine Model VX-1120. It won't pick up the bobbin thread!

By Opal D.

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February 24, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

First of all, here's a link to a free download for your machine:

http://www.brot  _1120_EN_203.PDF

Now check page 12 to be sure you're seating the front load bobbin case into the machine correctly, and that you've snapped the bobbin winder back to the sewing mode (follow the illustration on page 11 and 12).

Next go to page 14 and be sure you're following all of those directions for pulling up the thread.

If none of the above solves your problem, check page 47 (Performance checklist) and if nothing there solves your problem (are your feed dogs set to 'no-feed? That will keep your bobbin thread from pulling up on some models), it's time to find a factory trained Brother repair tech!

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By 0 found this helpful
August 16, 2016

My New Home machine was working fine. Then it stopped picking up the bobbin thread. Why?

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August 18, 20160 found this helpful

I gave. OC-6500 and needed to wined some Bobbi. I hear the motor it dosent spin??

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May 22, 20130 found this helpful

The bobbin thread isn't coming up to the top, when I turn the wheel manually. I used a new spool of thread and rewound a new bobbin and it still isn't working. What should I do?

By Grace

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 27, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

Make sure your bobbin case is loaded correctly and the bobbin thread is following the correct path to permit top thread pick-up.

Is your machine a front/side load bobbin system, or the top drop-in type? It can make a difference in top thread pick-up especially if you are new to sewing or don't sew often. The front/side load bobbins are really hard to load correctly and can cause no end of difficulties for the beginner or infrequent sewer.

The age of the machine can make a difference too. On a modern machine (newer than ten years old) a lot of the timing mechanisms are magnetic and can be thrown off by using a metal bobbin spool instead of the recommended plastic. If the machine timing is off the needle may be descending into the bobbin pick-up area at the wrong time the bobbin presents bobbin thread for pick-up.

On a vintage machine (older than 25 years), gears can wear out. You can load that bobbin correctly all day but if the gears are worn or broken you won't be able to pick-up the bobbin thread.

Step One: try following the user guide instructions for your machine to load the bobbin into your machine. Pay especial attention to the thread path for the bobbin thread.

If that doesn't help you may have a broken or worn bobbin gear(s) somewhere in the works between where you wind the bobbin and where the bobbin is loaded OR the timing is off-a job for a qualified technician. Shouldn't cost more than $80USD for the repair+a check-up and tune-up of the machine. Be sure to get detailed information from the repair tech as to what happened and why so that you can avoid a repeat in the future.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 28, 2015

This is a borrowed machine, a Singer Stylist 418. I have a model similar to this but a few years newer. They operate basically the same. My problem is with the bobbin. The needle will not pick up the thread....nothing. The bobbin was almost empty, and the thread caught inside the bobbin area. It would not come out, I pulled it hard and it broke off. I rewound a new bobbin, and the needle, unlike my machine, went up and down during the winding process. Now, it will not pick up the thread. I changed the needle, adjusted the needle, re-threaded the machine several times, the bobbin is in correctly. I took out the bobbin housing and removed the little piece of thread left in the area. Any advice from someone?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 30, 20150 found this helpful

Thanks so much for your response. I agree, a tech/repairman is the way to go. I do feel honor bound to have it repaired as my friend was so generous to loan it to me. It was running great prior to this incident. I was trying to get a seat cushion done on a glider rocker for my daughter who is expecting a baby any time. I put out calls to other friends for a loaner, and ended up with a 1949 Singer Featherweight. You may know it, the little back machine in a cute black case. Apparently, it had not been used in 30-40 years. Well, I love American ingenuity! It was a little musty, but that little wiz came out of the carrier and purred like a kitten. The bulb shown brightly and I finished the cushion. I wish it were mine!! Thanks again!

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By 0 found this helpful
August 13, 2016

I have the Janome Sewist 521. My machine won't pick up the bobbin thread. I doubt it's the timing! The thread is not moving down at all :( The timing is spinning, but can't catch the thread because it is not moving an inch.
Please help!

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 2, 20170 found this helpful

Are you saying it is the needle that isn't moving down? Is your machine the type that you have to disengage the needle to fill the bobbin? If so, make sure it got re-engaged.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 8, 2016

My mini sewing machine V201 is working, but not stitching clothes because the bobbin thread is not working with the reel thread. So I want to know why the bobbin thread is not working and how to fix?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 11, 20170 found this helpful

Double check the bobbin. Make sure its not upside down and the thread is going from the wrong side.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 16, 2016

I was sewing fine with my machine and while doing so, my garment got caught. I removed it and tried to sew again, but somehow now it's not catching the bobbin tread. What can I do to fix this problem. I need help now please!

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June 18, 20160 found this helpful

I've had this happen numerous times through years of sewing, Tomeegurl. The most efficient solution, I finally found, was to remove everything: all fabric which might be caught in sewing machine teeth or bobbin, all threads, the needle (in case the jammed fabric displaced it) the bobbin holder ... everything. Make sure no scraps of fabric remain anywhere (really). Run the machine without sewing threads just to make sure all the gears are operating smoothly then re-thread from top to bottom. Replace the needle. These steps should do the trick.

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March 20, 20150 found this helpful

My machine is new, but when I go to sew, the bobbin thread doesn't come up and the needle thread is hooking all over the bobbin. Why?

By Atinus from Kusunti, Nepal

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 23, 20150 found this helpful

Marty is spot-on - check your user guide and if that doesn't solve the problem take the machine back to the seller.

Try the following if you can't return the machine for some reason:

Be sure you're loading the bobbin case correctly with the thread coming out anti-clockwise (counter-clockwise), and that you have the upper thread path correctly threaded. New machines have the tension discs inside so you can't see if you're getting that upper thread through the discs correctly but careful following of the diagrammed path (usually on the machine and always in the user guide) usually ensures correct threading.

Be sure the feed dogs are in the correct position, and ALWAYS be sure to wind-load-thread upper path with the presser foot in the UP position. You'd be surprised at how many 'problems' are solved this way:) And you'd be glad to know how many of us 'experienced' sewers forget sometimes to lift the presser foot - I teach sewing and sometimes forget!

Good luck, I hope your issue is resolved soon and you enjoy many happy sewing hours!

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By 0 found this helpful
April 28, 2016

I have a Shark Intel Euro Pro X and I can't get the bobbin thread to come up. The neddle hits the bottom of the bobbin case. I have the right needle in and it is threaded right. This happened before and they tuned it. How do I do that?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 30, 20160 found this helpful

Sadly, you can't fix this at home - the timing is off and getting a sewing machine of any make/model properly retimed is a job best left to the qualified repair tech.

I do repair and refurb here in Scotland for my Sewing 101 students - many bring in a vintage sewing machine they've got from a gran or a jumble sale and those machines haven't seen a servicing in decades - checking the timing is part of the servicing I do on these machines. If/when a student brings the machine I've already done a retiming on and tells me the timing is off again, it's time for me to talk with the student regarding good habits that keep a sewing machine in good timing. Your repair tech needs to work with you to discover why your machine needs frequent retiming - something as simple as turning the hand wheel the wrong direction (most machine hand wheels should be turned towards you and NEVER away) to using the wrong type bobbin (metal where plastic is required).

Re the bobbin - a lot of modern machines now use a magnetic timing system and using metal bobbins (even if they fit fine and you manage one or two sewing sessions with it in) interferes with the magnetics.

Talk to your repair tech and find out what you're doing to throw off the machine timing:)

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By 0 found this helpful
January 18, 2016

Around Thanksgiving I bought a gorgeous Singer 66 treadle machine that I found on Craigslist. I had decided that I wanted to take up sewing. Apart from some very simple hand-sewing repairs I am a complete novice/newbie. I needed a machine. Since I moved from the Netherlands to the USA in May I don't really have anyone that I can ask for an old/unused one, plus I really like the older machines that don't need electricity.

She was totally rusted and dirty, the threadle band was rotten and everything was jammed, but all the original parts are present as far as we can tell and I found the user manual online. My husband and I restored her back to working order, made every part move again, did some major de-rusting and I got myself all excited about finally being able to make my own (almost equally vintage) clothes.

When trying to start to sew, we ran into a problem. The bobbin thread is not picking up. After going through what seemed to be the entire internet to no avail, I let the machine sit for a couple of weeks in the hopes a miracle would happen. Then this weekend I decided to give my search on the web another try. I found a very useful tutorial on how to adjust the timing on my machine, which I did. This is a major step forward, because now the hook finally grabs the upper thread! Running the machine without the bobbin and bobbin case in works very smoothly now!

But when I put the bobbin case and the bobbin (metal Singer-brand type 66 bobbins, 99% sure those are the right type of bobbins for this threadle machine) and try to run the machine, the upper thread gets caught on the top side of the bobbin area. I added two pictures, one with the bobbin case but no bobbin and one with the bobbin case and a (wound and right way around inserted) bobbin, to try to illustrate what happens. Also I believe the bobbin thread is not being picked up by the upper thread when coming back up, but because the machine keeps jamming before that can even happen I am not really sure about that. I just stop turning the wheel and turn it backwards to unstick the machine before I break any needles or actually important (and probably expensive) parts.

I can't find any pictures/videos of this model machine that can show me how the thread is supposed to run, so I have no reference point whatsoever in determining what goes wrong, hence me asking my question here. I'm using brand new Singer-brand needles and have tried re-threading the machine multiple times.

My gratitude will be never-ending for the person who can tell me what I'm doing wrong and how I can fix it, to help me to finally get to sewing!

*Edit* I found a picture of what it's supposed to look like (as well as a bunch of other very useful manuals) on this website that was mentioned with somebody else's question: http://www.tfsr.org/publications/technical_information/sewing_machine_manual/

Judging from that picture I guess what the machine is doing is exactly what it should be doing, still (probably even more so) leaving me baffled by why it jams. The thread does not go all the way over the bobbin case most of the time, thus sliding back to where it came from and then getting stuck on (probably) the hook. Please help!

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 19, 20160 found this helpful

I'm stumped, and I use that TFSR manual (and have posted the link to it here several times:) to refurb these here in Scotland.

It MIGHT be a miniscule rust 'burr' on the underside of the upper case area, OR it could be a very slight dent/bend in the casing or bobbin (and yes, those 66 class bobbins are the ones you want) but without seeing it in person I can't really say for sure. There are a couple of other things that could be causing your issue but again, without seeing it in person I'm not safe to give an opinion.

If you haven't downloaded the refurbishment guide provided on the TFSR site, I strongly recommend going back to the site and downloading. The last time I checked, it's broken into several parts and each is a separate download so it takes a while to get it all - but it is SO worth the effort!

The manual has exploded views of all the inner workings - you may see something there that explains why your machine isn't working properly. Go through the entire manual - you WILL find the answer there:)

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By 0 found this helpful
July 31, 2015

I have a second hand Singer 478. The needle stem doesn't go down far enough, so it does not pick up the bobbin thread.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 8, 20150 found this helpful

Maybe the sewing machine has incorrect size needle for its make/model. Do an online search first as to what size needle the machine uses or seek an expert's advice for their opinion as to why your machine's needle won't pick up bobbin thread if you cannot locate an answer from searching the web.

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March 9, 20140 found this helpful

I've borrowed a sewing machine for a small project and although I've tried and retried, the bobbin thread is just not catching in the needle. The bobbin doesn't even move! I've no idea what to try next. Any ideas?

By Laura B

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 17, 20140 found this helpful

Have you snapped the bobbin winding spool back to sewing mode (or however it's done to restore the machine to sewing mode)?

Are you following the step-by-step instructions in the user manual to properly seat the bobbin?

Are you following the proper thread path?

Have you reinstated the bobbin area cover?

If you've tried all of that, and can't find any help on the troubleshooting pages of the user manual, it's time to telephone the person you borrowed the machine from and plead for help/forgiveness.

**If this is an older machine you may not have caused the problem - instead you simply may be the unluckily timed user when an aging part failed. Offer to go parts in the cost of having the machine repaired and insist on knowing what happened - again, this may have been a part waiting to fail, something that happens regularly on older machines. Offering to help with the repair cost is good manners considering the machine owner was willing to lend it to you, even if it does turn out you didn't cause the breakdown.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 23, 2015

The needle is threaded and whenever I turn the needle the thread in the needle looks like it's getting pulled by the bobbin case, maybe? The thread in the bobbin doesn't get picked up.

By Danielle F.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 24, 20150 found this helpful

If you've:

*checked your user guide to be sure you're inserting the bobbin case correctly

*Made sure you've returned the machine to sewing mode after winding the bobbin

*made sure the presser foot is in the UP position BEFORE inserting the bobbin case and BEFORE threading the upper path

*made sure the stitch width-length-type-feed dogs are set correctly

*made a visual inspection to the bobbin area inside the machine for lint, thread fluff (**Do. Not. Clean. With. Canned. Air. Ever.**)

And everything is the way it should be, the next step is to take this machine to a qualified repair tech - it sounds as though your bobbin gear has failed.

You don't mention the age or model of machine but I'm assuming it's a vintage machine (older than 10 years out of factory) and what you're describing is almost always what happens when the bobbin gear fails. If I'm wrong that it's a vintage machine, your warranty should cover the cost of the repair/part replacement.

When you contact the repair tech to get an estimate on the parts replacement, be sure to ask two things - the additional cost of giving your machine a complete servicing (cleaning, oiling, and check over for developing problems AND if he/she will be sure to tell you if the replacement part is salvage (unreliable because no tech can know for sure how many sewing hours are on that part and what conditions that part sewed under before you!) or newly-milled (preferable because this would be a new part).

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