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Simplicity Sewing Machine Problem?

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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!

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By Mia

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June 6, 20140 found this helpful

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!).

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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.

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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.

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