Sewing Machine Stuck in Reverse?

May 14, 2012

Sewing MachineMy sewing machine is stuck in reverse. All I did was change the stitch width and type and now I can't get it to go forward. Any suggestions?


By Kris


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May 21, 20120 found this helpful
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I'm assuming you've already reset the stitch and width settings back to the settings before the malfunction began-that would be step one.

You don't say if your Necchi is a computerised machine, or mechanical. If it's computerised, try 'rebooting' by turning the machine on and then pulling the plug from the mains (outlet in US).

If the two suggestions above don't help, I'd say you probably have a broken gear. Best thing to do is take it to a professional who is familiar with your model.

Don't feel too badly if it is a broken gear-the age, use-hours, and model of machine are what make the difference if you have been conscientious about good maintenance and handling of your machine. Necchi sewing machines are tough little sewers, but can be a bit fussy.


If yours is an older machine but has plastic parts to the gears, time has taken its toll.

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February 4, 2019

I received my Butterick EB6100 sewing machine yesterday and set it all up. Then I tried a test run, it only runs in reverse. How do I reset it? Could it be the stitch settings?


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February 8, 20190 found this helpful
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This seems to be the machine you are having problems with.

I am really surprised your machine did not have set up instructions as well as information on troubleshooting problems but they should have some they will send you by mail or by email.


They will help you by email, telephone or even replacement.

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July 31, 20200 found this helpful
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I had the same problem with mine when I first had it. Mine was the reverse button was stuck. I pressed it a couple of times and it fixed the problem

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December 21, 2021

Hi, everyone. I have seen some posts on here from 2019 about Butterick machines sewing in reverse. Please could anyone tell me if they have successfully found a solution. The machine I have is brand new but hasn't been taken out of the box since it was bought in 2018.

When I took it out of the box today, this is the problem I have found and obviously it is out of warranty. I would be very grateful for any help


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December 21, 20210 found this helpful
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Thrifty Fun has a guide here:

If it is the motherboard, you will have to have a qualified technician fix it. Too bad you did not test it out while it was under warranty.

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December 31, 20210 found this helpful
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It seems that on some forums when people have this problem, they need to unplug the power cord and turn the plug around the other way. This appears to be to do with polarised outlets.


It could also be the feed dogs. Even if you don't have a setting to change the feed dogs yourself, it could still be the case that the feed dog is stuck in the wrong direction.

Modern sewing machines with an on-board computer system that tells them what to do and how to do it, like all computers, can malfunction and wreak havoc on your sewing machine, including having it stitch in reverse only.
It is best to take your sewing machine into an authorised service centre to have it diagnosed and repaired.

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September 27, 2021

Kenmore 1753 reverse seems to be locked. It only sees backward. How can this be fixed. I am the original owner. Machine is 52 years old.

A Kenmore sewing machine.


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September 27, 20210 found this helpful
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If you can, flip the machine backwards in the cabinet so you can see up inside the sewing machine. On the inside, locate the reverse mechanism, and give it a couple drops of sewing machine oil. Let it sit for 1/2 hour or so. Then tip machine back flat into cabinet and try it out.


If it hasn't been oiled and used regularly, old oil has a tendency to gum up, to the point of causing problems. Adding new oil and letting it sit awhile should loosen it up. If that doesn't work, you may need to have a repairman look at it. Good luck.

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September 30, 20210 found this helpful
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Check your Kenmore sewing machine to ensure that it is in the straight stitch forward position and is set to sew in a forward motion.

Press the reverse button and check that the spring action is ok. Ensure that the spring is in the machine, is in the correct place and is not stretched out of shape. Replace the spring if it is missing, reposition it if it has slipped out of place or replace the spring altogether if it has stretched out of shape.


Remove the top cover to expose the gears. Press the reverse button and check the teeth, to ensure that they are moving backwards.

Inspect the cam at the top of the shaft inside your sewing machine. Check the vertical bar. Loosen the screw on the cam to move it and align the two marks if they are not aligned. Then tighten the screw on the cam.

Blow hot air into the top of your sewing machine with a blow dryer and push the reverse button gently at the same time to loosen the hardened lubricant.

Use sewing machine oil only.

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November 8, 2020

My sewing machine is running in reverse on every stitch setting except for one setting. If I depress the reverse lever it will change the feed dogs

to forward stitching. When I release the lever it is back to reverse. What could be causing this? What do I need to check? And how will I fix it without an outrageous service charge.


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November 12, 20200 found this helpful
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I have not had this problem but from research it appears there could be several reasons for your machine acting this way.
It seems one problem is a spring has slipped or broken but it sounds a little complicated to repair so it would be better to read instructions from machine techs who know how to do it.
Since this is a Kenmore you might want to ask a Sears tech first. They are usually very helpful when I contact them but not sure about hours and such so check in your area.

Here are a couple of sites that offer methods to try:

There several sewing machine forums and it's always a good idea to belong to one or two of these as these members can help you with any kind of sewing or machine problem. Most of these members are really good and, of course, they know what questions to ask to get to the real problem.
You will have to join the group but I do not think you'll regret this action. Post your question to more than one group.

Here is a link to a free manual - sorry but sometimes it works and other times not so good.

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August 22, 2012

My Morse sewing machine is stuck in reverse. I tried setting it back to 0, but it's not fixing the problem. Please help. The model is # FA630.

By J.D.


December 18, 20120 found this helpful

My Morse machine is also stuck in reverse. FA631. I have not used mine for 8 years though. I think mine is jammed and is in need of a good cleaning I have been told.

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June 23, 2016

My Singer heavy duty 4423 sewing machine started sewing backwards.

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December 1, 2015

My machine will only go in reverse. What can I check? My grandson played with it when I wasn't around and now it doesn't operate in forward stitching.


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December 2, 20150 found this helpful

Have you followed your user guide instructions re making needed setting adjustments back to a sewing mode? Have you checked the guide for instructions on 'resetting to factory default' so that you can reprogramme?

If the above doesn't help, have you tried a 'shock reboot'? Start by turning on machine on and let it sit for a few minutes then without turning it off, pull the power plug from the electrical outlet. Wait five minutes then reconnect and turn on your machine - it should have defaulted back to factory settings. You'll lose your saved stitches but your machine should function properly again.

If that doesn't get your machine sewing forward, something the wee man did snapped something inside the machine (usually a gear and the things are easier to 'snap' than people realise) and it's time for a trip to the repair tech.

Be sure the tech has experience working on the Memory Craft series - great machines but the 4000 is a 'retired' computerised machine and unless you choose a 'factory trained - authorised' may not be qualified to work on vintage (sewer speak for 'retired' models) computerised machines.

Best luck to you! I do vintage machine repair-refurb for my Sewing 101 students but as I have NO experience with the computerised machines I usually try a shock reboot while they are with me in the classroom and if that doesn't work I send them to a factory trained and authorised tech.

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March 21, 2010

The button that you press in to make the machine sew backwards is stuck. How do I fix this problem without taking the machine apart?

By happy sewer from NC


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March 22, 20101 found this helpful

Make sure that the machine is in straight stitch forward and the stitch length is the highest level that it can go. If that doesn't make it go forward, you will have to use the old hair dryer trick. Take the top lid of the machine off and heat the inside with a heated hairdryer. Work the stitch length and the reverse until it frees up. Good luck.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 306 Posts
March 25, 20100 found this helpful

You might try just a drop of machine oil on the top of the button. Lay your machine on it's back so the oil will run in around the button and try to work it.

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April 11, 2020

My model 6235 Singer sewing machine only sews in reverse. I have taken it somewhat apart, but it looks like the reverse button raises the reverse lever, but the lever will not come back down unless I push it down.

I have oiled the moving parts but it seems pretty stiff. Any ideas?

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May 17, 2018

My Viking Designer SE will only go backwards. Anyone know how to fix this?

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July 24, 2016

My Viking 6030 is stuck in reverse mode. I have removed the presser foot plate and cleaned, but it made no difference. What do I need to do?

Does the machine need to be oiled? If so, how do I oil it? What kind of oil do I use? The manual gives no mention of oil.

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December 23, 2012

I have a old Viking Husqvarna 6000 series. It doesn't stitch going forward, it goes the other way, like backwards.

By Kathleen


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December 31, 20120 found this helpful

I sew and teach with vintage (electric and non-electric) and modern Singers so have very little experience with Huskies, but what you are describing is universal to sewing machines-it's either a blockage of lint caught in the gear that shifts the direction of stitching, or the gear is broken.

I got the impression from your post that your machine is a vintage machine (more than 15-20 years old) so it's more than likely that the gear needs to be replaced, and that really is a job for a professional no matter how old your machine is.

First of all the pro will have better and less expensive sources for replacement parts, and second (most importantly) he or she will have the know-how including tech drawings to assist diagnoses, repair, and the all-important task of putting the machine back together correctly.

Look in your phone book to find a repairman or 'Net search using a search phrase that includes the name-model of your sewing machine and the words 'repair', 'service', 'refurbishment', and the area you live in.

One thing about many vintage machines is that when the gears start breaking, you need to be aware that for many models new parts are no longer being milled - the repairman may have to use a salvaged part and he/she may have no clue as to how many sewing hours that salvaged part may have on it.

Which means that salvaged part may fail sooner or later (usually sooner, ask me how I know). It is very important if you sew a lot to be sure to ask the repairman if he used a salvaged part so that you are prepared for the inevitable.

A new part of course can be expected to provide you with many sewing hours, and some parts for vintage electrics are still being milled with several of them interchangeable from manufacturer to manufacturer. Be sure you know what's on yours when you get it back from the repairman.

While it's sadly true that vintage electric machines are a joy to use, often having sentimental value (it was the first machine you bought, or it was Mum's, Gran's, etc), and most have unique features with gorgeous stitches you don't get on modern machines, parts are hard to come by for these machines. Especially if those parts are on a machine built in the late 60s forward when plastic and silicone parts began to be made-plastic and silicone have a 'shelf life' far shorter than metal, and will fail with time and sewing hours.

I had to give up on two absolutely fabulous Singers (513s, sniffle, what a beautiful straight and zig-zag stitch those produced!) because finding replacement parts became so difficult. The one plastic gear on them kept 'dying' due to age, usually right in the middle of a class or special project.

I now sew primarily with an inexpensive modern Singer Talent, and use the treadles and hand crank machines for heavy duty work (leather, wax cotton, etc) - I sold off my vintage electric collection; students come to me to learn how to use their vintage machine and I have no trouble teaching them, but I do stress to them the potential disappointment of using an electric vintage as the primary sewing machine.

In the States, a good repairman will charge up to $100USD to fix your machine (this will include finding the part, plus a cleaning, oiling, check for other problems, etc-be sure you know what he/she is going to do for the price charged). Very rarely will the cost of the work be under $50USD.

Good luck, I hope you'll update once you either retire the machine or have it fixed.

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December 31, 20120 found this helpful

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.)

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