Fabric Stops Feeding While Sewing?

I have a 1976 Sears Kenmore sewing machine. It has always worked great! I have recently been having a problem with the fabric feeding. I will be sewing for a considerable amount of time and all of a sudden it will stop feeding the fabric as I am sewing. There are no signs of other problems. The sewing machine is clean and free of lint. The feed dog is up, so that is not the issue either.


If the machine sits for awhile it usually will work as normal. Could it be the belt overheating or something like that? Or would it be wearing out? The machine itself does not seem hot however.

By Brenda

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December 3, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

You really need to take it to a repairman. You can find a certified Kenmore service tech on their service and parts pages at or you can look for a sewing centre close to you (that would be my preference, their techs can fix anything from a vintage treadle to a modern computerised model and they usually cost a lot less than the Sears techs).

Until I read the part of your post that the feed dogs are up, I was hoping it was the old 'feed dogs dropping mid-seam' problem common to vintage machines, the part controlling the feed dogs wears out, and the dogs drop in the middle of a stitching session. It's fairly easy to fix if you are at all mechanical.


However, yours are still up, so what is most likely is that the feed dog gear has worn-out. Since this is a fiddly gear to replace (doing it wrong throws out the machine timing which in turn causes an even more expensive repair), it's best to have a trained tech do the work and source the part for you.

Good luck, I hope you are not needing your machine to finish Christmas gifts! Please update and let us know what it turned out to be!

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August 15, 20190 found this helpful

I'm restoring an old Kenmore, and had a problem with the material feeding. I checked the feed dogs, and they were working properly, so I checked the presser foot tension and it was loose. I adjusted the presser foot spring tension on the top left of the machine and now it works perfectly.

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December 3, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had, until had 6 months ago a 1970 Singer. Never had the problem you are having, but try taking your machine screwdriver and lifting and removing the plate. Check for trapped lint and possibly try an emery board to sharpen the teeth.


I used to turn mine over also. I was always amazed at what was trapped on the underside. At times a little machine oil or 3 in one oil would solve all types of problems (wish I had my old Singer back).

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