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Repairing a Sewing Machine

Unfortunately sometimes your sewing machine requires troubleshooting and repair for a variety of problems, such as jamming. This is a guide about repairing a sewing machine.
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Solutions

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May 14, 20131 found this helpful

This is a guide about when sewing machine thread keeps breaking. It is very frustrating to have the thread on your sewing machine constantly break.

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December 3, 20121 found this helpful

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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August 17, 20170 found this helpful

The reason that the needle will not move on your sewing machine may be due to a jam or a broken part. If you are unable to fix it on your own, it may be time to take it to a shop.

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This is a guide about what to do if your sewing machine needle is not moving.

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August 1, 20040 found this helpful

"Little problems with the sewing machine can be very irritating and time consuming. They can happen to even the most experienced seamstress.

The next time you have machine troubles, check this list to see if you can determined the cause of the difficulty and correct it. It may save you a service call and save you time as well. If you can't correct the trouble, it is wise to seek professional help." - College of Agriculture and Home Economics New Mexico State University

Link: http://cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/c-202.html

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September 18, 20170 found this helpful

Some problems with a sewing machine can be repaired by the crafter or seamstress. Certain issues simply need an adjustment made to correct the malfunction.

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This is a guide about what to do when a Brother CS6000i sewing machine won't sew.

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September 14, 20170 found this helpful

Sitting down to work on an embroidery project only to have your machine not stitch is extremely frustrating. This is a guide about what to do when a Singer embroidery sewing machine keeps freezing up.

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August 31, 20170 found this helpful

Kenmore sewing machines are generally pretty reliable but if your has stopped working it may need to be repaired or replaced. If your Kenmore sewing machine won't run it could be a variety if issues preventing it from working.

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August 25, 20170 found this helpful

These vintage machines imported in the late 1950s from Japan were well made and can still be found stitching away in many homes. This is a guide about repairing a Nelco sewing machine.

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August 21, 20170 found this helpful

Even with power to the sewing machine light and controls, it is possible for the foot pedal to not work. This may be repairable or you might need to buy a new one.

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This is a guide about the foot pedal not working on a sewing machine.

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August 6, 20170 found this helpful

If you have even attempted to repair your sewing machine, you may have had the unfortunate experience of being unable to put it back together again. This is a guide about putting my sewing machine back together.

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July 15, 20170 found this helpful

Certain sewing machine repairs require removing the hand wheel, such as when replacing the belt. This is a guide about removing the hand wheel on a sewing machine.

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July 6, 20170 found this helpful

If the bobbin is not winding on your sewing machine, you will need to get it repaired before you can continue using the machine. This is a guide about bobbin not winding.

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June 29, 20170 found this helpful

Before you take your broken machine to a repairman, you may be able to fix the problem yourself. This is a guide about repairing a Toyota sewing machine.

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June 14, 20170 found this helpful

Sometimes when making repairs to your sewing machine a part will come loose and it can be difficult to reinstall it. This is a guide about replacing a spring on a wards sewing machine.

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March 17, 20170 found this helpful

Keeping your sewing machine in good working order sometimes includes the need for repairs, which can be costly. Certain repairs can be done at home. This is a guide about repairing a Good Housekeeper sewing machine.

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March 1, 20170 found this helpful

Turning on the power switch on your sewing machine should not start it running and stitching. This guide contains some things to check if you experience this issue with your machine.

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February 10, 20170 found this helpful

It is frustrating to have your machine get stuck in a stitch mode and be unable to set it to another. This is a guide about sewing machine stuck in buttonhole mode.

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February 10, 20170 found this helpful

Troubleshooting the electrical problems with your sewing machine may be something you can do yourself, depending on your skills. This is a guide about sewing machine has no power when plugged in.

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November 11, 20150 found this helpful

This is a guide about sewing machine won't sew in reverse. It can be very frustrating when your sewing machine is not working properly. It may be time to take it in for repair.

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May 8, 20130 found this helpful

This is a guide about sewing machine presser foot stuck up. Sewing is impossible if the presser foot on your machine is stuck up.

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January 26, 20130 found this helpful

This is a guide about a sewing machine stuck in reverse. Right in the middle of sewing the machine gets stuck in reverse.

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Questions

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.

March 21, 20150 found this helpful

My machine would not sew, so I opened it up dusted and oiled it, now it only moves at a snail pace. Help?

By Pat A

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March 23, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

I teach sewing here in Scotland, and do some repair-refurb on vintage machines. Your problem sounds as though it could be in the foot control - a fraying wire, 'gummy' connection or loose wire. But it could also be in the machine where the connection is made between foot control and machine. Only a trained tech will be able to quickly and relatively inexpensively determine the problem and solve it.

This really isn't a home sewer DIY. You could spend a lot of money replacing the foot control only to continue having the same problem. The best thing to do is take your machine (and foot control) to a qualified repair tech. Be sure to get an up-front estimate, and ask what a total servicing would cost, too. You'll be amazed at how well your machine sews after a proper servicing, and a good tech will give you a heads up regarding developing failures.

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Word of warning - vintage sewing machine parts can be difficult to source no matter what country your machine is sewing in. Many of us techs use salvage parts we find on jumble and car boot (flea markets in the US) sales. The trouble is these parts wear out quickly, and as we can never be sure of the conditions these parts laboured under with the original machine owner, we can't vouch for the longevity of the part.

Some parts are universal (but not many) and are 'new-milled', making them a lot more reliable and a lot more expensive. Hard to find, too - a good repair tech will know where to find them, and will tell you if the replaced part is new or salvage - if he/she doesn't say, be sure to ask!

I can look at a machine and on the spot be able to advise my students if the machine is worth fixing or should be replaced by a comparable new model machine that comes with the bonus of being under warranty.

The only vintage machines worth keeping forever are the old treadle and hand crank models as those parts last centuries - I have several:)

If the machine is a 'modern vintage' (meaning it was built in the last half of the 20th century or early part of the 21st) and runs on electricity) your gran sewed your christening-graduation-wedding dress on, you may be willing to keep 'er running no matter the cost, but for the most part, after a certain point it's best to make that a display piece and buy a modern machine for reliability.

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By 2 found this helpful
July 23, 2013

My machine was sewing fine (missing some threads, but I think that is another story!), then it makes a noise and jams a little and the needle stops going up and down. So I take out the fabric, re-thread the machine and bobbin and try again, but the needle isn't going up and down. It isn't a jam, as you can sew manually using the reel on the end of the machine. I am able to sew using the foot if I take out the bobbin and case. So it's like it is somehow getting jammed on bobbin only when being used using the electric foot. The machine is an older Brother. Unsure of model. Please see photo.

By Kaela

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July 2, 20120 found this helpful

The fabric will not move, but I can pull it.

By Debbie K.

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July 9, 20120 found this helpful
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Have you checked to make sure you have not accidentally switched off the feed dogs? My machine has a switch that you turn to lower the feed dogs for free motion sewing. Check your manual or on-line manual to find yours if you are not familiar with the switch/dial/button.

Also, I have had feed dogs get clogged with fabric lint to the point they did not grab well. Brush them with a toothbrush or machine brush and vacuum to get all the stray lint out.

Good luck. If it is not one of these simple things, you could check with Brother service on-line for other ideas. They answered a query I had on my Brother serger in less than 48 hours and helped me fix the problem I was having.

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August 27, 2007

My problem is a new Singer simple sewing machine that binds up in the presser foot when I'm sewing. I have oiled the machine using WD40 because we can't find sewing machine oil around here, but I'm still having the problem. Can anyone help! Thanks.

Denise Warner from McRae, GA

Answers

August 27, 20070 found this helpful

Hancock Habrics has Singer Sewing Machine oil. If you don't have one near you go to their website. I would never use anything but sewing machine oil on my machine and it's old as thunder.
What does your manual have to say about the problem?... It should have a troubleshooting chapter.

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February 21, 20140 found this helpful

I just got a vintage Universal sewing machine. I cleaned it very good. It looks great and was sewing great until I removed the inside of the flywheel to clean it. I tried to remove the outside of the flywheel and couldn't. I didn't realize that that would throw it out of line. Please tell me how to fix this problem.

By Dale

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February 24, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

This isn't a repair you can do at home without investing in a service manual (which runs into the high triple digits money wise depending on the model) so the best thing is to take it to a sewing machine repair tech. The cost should be under $100USD/£80GBPs depending on how much needs to be done to put the machine right. The cost will usually include a general servicing too.

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