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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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Sewing Machine Needle Not Catching Thread
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June 8, 2016 Flag
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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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    June 24, 20160 found this helpful

    Sir,Madam

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

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    October 22, 2010 Flag
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    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

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    October 26, 20100 found this helpful
    Best Answer

    You may also check to make sure your needle is turned properly. I had this problem not too long ago. I had replaced the needle and tightened it in not realizing I had not set it in the slot properly. I redid it and it has worked well ever since.

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    June 16, 2016 Flag
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    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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      March 30, 2016 Flag
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      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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        April 3, 20161 found this helpful

        To keep your machine working properly you must always pull out the thread of the bobbin by hand and place it with the upper thread under the foot and behind the foot before you start sewing. To catch the bobbin thread you move the hand wheel by hand to let the needle go down and up again while holding the needle thread and you catch the little loop that comes up with a needle. To solve your problem you could try to change the needle or check that it did not move in the needle holder because if the needle is too short or too long it can't catch the bobbin thread. You can also change the bobbin and if nothing's changed, turn the power off move the hand wheels slowly by hand and try to watch what's going on if the needle goes down enough and if the movements are synchronized. There is also a little screw on the bobbin holder that controls the tension on the bobbin thread, you can try to lower the tension by unscrewing a bit that little screw. Hope you will succeed repairing your machine !

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        April 28, 2016 Flag
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        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?

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          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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          January 11, 2016 Flag
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          Why is stitching not appearing on my portable mini sewing machine? It's not taking thread from lower bobbin also. Please help me.

          closeup of mini sewing machine
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            June 19, 20160 found this helpful

            My mini sewing matching stitching was not done in cloth what is the problem pls help me?

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            December 28, 2015 Flag
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            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?

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              January 3, 20160 found this helpful

              Bonnepm, thank-you for your update! The Stylist was (is when still operational:) such a great sewing machine, it was one of the few 'domestic' Singers that made as good a straight stitch as a zig-zag - many machines (not just Singers) do one or the other beautifully but not both - on a zig-zag machine the straight stitch is never really-really-really true straight. But the Stylist line could go from straight (true straight!) to z-z and right back to a true straight. Bliss, really, for home sewers. I loved my 513 so much I kept it going yonks past its use-by date! Finally, though, it became a very real money pit. When that bobbin gear goes everything seems to go.

              But wow-wow-wow, to be lent a '49 Featherweight is amazing! All metal gears, it's really hard to 'kill' a pre-60s Singer and a Featherweight to most of us vintage enthusiasts is the pinnacle of Singer sewing machine ingenuity. I don't blame you for wishing it could be yours, I wish I could find one myself:)

              Best wishes for a safe delivery of a beautiful healthy baby for your daughter!

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

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

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

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

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                October 16, 20150 found this helpful

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

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

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

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

                http://www.tandtrepair.com/

                Word of warning - these vintage treasures are addictive!

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                November 12, 2015 Flag
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                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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                  April 3, 20160 found this helpful

                  No offense, but that makes no sense. If a machine has been unplugged from the outlet, there is no way to receive a shock. I am an apprentice electrician, and our first lesson is "unplug the bugger". I only say this so that other people aren't scared of receiving a shock from an unplugged machine. Cheers

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                  January 18, 2016 Flag
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                  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. Singer Sewing Machine Not Picking Up Bobbin Thread

                  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!

                    Singer Sewing Machine Not Picking Up Bobbin Thread
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                    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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                    May 22, 2013 Flag
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                    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

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                    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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                    September 1, 2015 Flag
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                    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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                      March 20, 2015 Flag
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                      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

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                      October 15, 20150 found this helpful

                      hi Frugal Sunnie, I've been reading your posts and wondered if you might share a few tips on a vintage singer 99k.

                      I purchased one this week, I've been trying to find a suitable machine for freehand embroidery. I've cleaned the machine as per you tube tutoials, the machine was ready to go... or so i thought! but there's just something not right with the threads! when I try to sew the top thread goes down with the needle but comes back up without engaging with the bobbin thread. I have adjusted the tension on the bobbin to no avail, I'm pulling my hair out! I don't know hwat to do with it now.... any suggestions welcome, please! :o)

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