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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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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.

By 5 found this helpful
October 22, 2010

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 22, 20100 found this helpful
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When I have that problem, I have found it works to hold the thread in the needle to the left while you put the needle down to pick up the bobbin thread. Sometimes it is still hard to see if the bobbin thread has come up and when that happens I take a darning needle and run it under the pressure foot and the bobbin thread is there, just needed a little help for me to see it and straighten it out.

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Anonymous
October 23, 20100 found this helpful
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If redhatterb's suggestion doesn't work, you might have the bobbin turned the wrong direction. Also, try removing the top thread and rethreading the sewing machine.

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October 26, 20101 found this helpful
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Try changing the needle for a new one. I don't know why but this usually works for me.

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October 26, 20101 found this helpful
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You may also check to make sure your needle is turned properly. I had this problem not too long ago.

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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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By 6 found this helpful
August 21, 2016

My mini sewing machine's needle is not picking up the bobbin thread. Why?

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August 27, 20161 found this helpful
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Make sure the needle is all the way in and that it's tight. Something of note: Schmetz and Klasse needles are different in length. Klasse needles are longer and cannot be used in my Singer. Klasse double needles broke in my Janome.

Good luck

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August 27, 20160 found this helpful
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These two things should be done straight off whenever there are stitching whenever there are any kind of stitching issues. Put in a new needle. Sometimes a needle can get bent without realizing it.

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If you have a new needle you automatically exclude it as a reason the machine won't work. Re-threading is also something you should do right off. one of my machines sews goofy once in a while = when the unseen area isn't threaded properly.

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By 5 found this helpful
January 11, 2016

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

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By 1 found this helpful
November 16, 2010

My machine suddenly stopped sewing. It is not picking up bobbin thread. There are no loops under the material. I have re-threaded it 3 times and have cleaned the bobbin area and rechecked the bobbin. I have also changed needle and thread. No luck.

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By Coral from Nudgee, QLD.

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November 17, 20102 found this helpful
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Try this. Turn your bobbincase on it's side. There should be a small screw. This will adjust the tension. When you put your bobbin in the bobbin case hang onto the thread and your bobbincase should slowly go downward (like a yo-yo). If it does not move you tightened the screw too much. Hope this helps.

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By 2 found this helpful
June 8, 2016

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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By 1 found this helpful
November 12, 2015

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.

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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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November 15, 20150 found this helpful

I'm not familiar with this machine either (I do some vintage repair-refurb for my Sewing 101 students) but what you're describing is a common problem with vintage machines - a worn or broken bobbin gear inside the machine.

However, the problem could be a few other things instead and the only way to be sure is to have the machine to a repair tech who can inspect the inside safely (modern, and some 'vintage' electrics, can shock you even if they've been disconnected from the mains for hours or days) and make the needed repairs.

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This isn't a 'home-fix'. The tech should also do a servicing (cleaning and oiling, inspecting for potential developing problems), and should also be happy to tell you how to wind bobbins, use the other features, and very likely will be able to direct you to a free or low cost download of the machine user manual.

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By 1 found this helpful
September 1, 2015

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

Take your machine to the repair tech - I do some vintage repair for my Sewing 101 students and it sounds to me as though there are multiple issues. Could be anything from excessive lint and thread fluff build-up to a bobbin or other gear on its last sewing legs.

Only a pro will be able to find and fix whatever is wrong with your machine.

This IS NOT a home repair job - please DO NOT take your machine apart to see if it looks like something simple you can do at home - IT'S NOT and the repair tech will charge you a lot more if he/she has to put a basket case back together before even beginning to work out what is wrong with the machine!

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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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Anonymous
December 2, 20150 found this helpful

I'm having the exact problems. I'd love to hear if you took it to be repaired and if they were able to solve these issues!

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February 17, 20140 found this helpful

I have Brother sewing machine Model VX-1120. It won't pick up the bobbin thread!

By Opal D.

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February 24, 20140 found this helpful
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First of all, here's a link to a free download for your machine:

http://www.brot  _1120_EN_203.PDF

Now check page 12 to be sure you're seating the front load bobbin case into the machine correctly, and that you've snapped the bobbin winder back to the sewing mode (follow the illustration on page 11 and 12).

Next go to page 14 and be sure you're following all of those directions for pulling up the thread.

If none of the above solves your problem, check page 47 (Performance checklist) and if nothing there solves your problem (are your feed dogs set to 'no-feed? That will keep your bobbin thread from pulling up on some models), it's time to find a factory trained Brother repair tech!

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May 22, 20130 found this helpful

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
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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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By 1 found this helpful
February 3, 2017

I don't know what else to do because I've followed all of the fixing procedures. I'm frustrated coz my new mini sewing machine is refusing to catch thread from the lower bobbin. Please what else can I do? I just bought the machine.

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August 16, 2017

Could having the wrong bobbin be the problem of the thread not catching?

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By 0 found this helpful
March 30, 2016

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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November 18, 20130 found this helpful

I have just bought a used Home Elite Pro. I threaded it like the manual said, but the needle is not pulling up the bobbin thread. I've used a sewing machine once in my life so I'm not experienced. How do I make it work?

By JB

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November 19, 20130 found this helpful

Often it is because the needle is too short. Try a different brand or don't push all the way up when installing the present needle. It will eventually work it's way up though.

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November 25, 20130 found this helpful

Um, no, the needle is not too short - sewing machine needles are a general, standardised LENGTH. Widths, points, these are different, but lengths are the same.

I'm thinking you've either got the bobbin case loaded incorrectly (not likely) or the bobbin gear has worn out - might be the reason this machine was up for sale.

This isn't a repair you can do at home (I'm a sewing teacher and a self-taught repair tech, btw:), and the part for your machine may be difficult to source for the average home sewer. The professional repair tech has sources for these parts and can have you back behind the needle fairly quickly.

Have him/her show you the part, what caused the failure, and how to prevent it happening in the future.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 30, 2017

My Memory Craft 8000 will not pick up the bobbin thread. How can I reset the hook to pick up the top tread? I have looked online and found no answers.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 22, 2017

I bought a 2nd hand Sewland kids sewing machine at the op shop. It didn't come with a bobbin case. Should it have one? I can't seem to pick up the bobbin thread without one.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 28, 2015

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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December 29, 20151 found this helpful

First, here's a link to a free user manual download from the Singer website:

http://www.sing  45b39af1873c.pdf

Use the troubleshooting pages at the back of the booklet to see if there is any helpful tips you can use - I don't think you'll find any help there, though, because after years of repairing vintage Singers including Stylists (usually the 513), I can say with near 100% certainty that the problem is a worn bobbin gear. These were made with silicone during the Stylist years (late 60s through mid-late 80s). Replacing one isn't a home fix - you need to take the machine to a repair tech.

I could be wrong - it could be a stubborn piece of thread or fluff has lodged somewhere you can't see, or it could be a couple of other things - the only person who can get this machine back to sewing condition is a repair tech with the machine on his/her bench so it can be properly checked.

Be warned - with the Stylist line, once the bobbin gear goes and needs to be replaced, other parts start to go as well, and it doesn't take very long for the machine to become a 'money pit'. As you've borrowed the machine, you're the unlucky person using it at the time the part 'died' and are therefore honour bound to have it fixed. This part gives no warning, it just goes when it goes, and you were the one on it when it did - nothing you did wrong, it's just Time having its way with the machine. Have it fixed and then never borrow it again because it's only a matter of sooner rather than later before another of the silicone parts fails.

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March 20, 20150 found this helpful

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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March 21, 20150 found this helpful

Check your manual. and then take it back to the dealer. I am sure it is one of those simple things that drive us nutz sometimes.

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March 23, 20150 found this helpful

Marty is spot-on - check your user guide and if that doesn't solve the problem take the machine back to the seller.

Try the following if you can't return the machine for some reason:

Be sure you're loading the bobbin case correctly with the thread coming out anti-clockwise (counter-clockwise), and that you have the upper thread path correctly threaded. New machines have the tension discs inside so you can't see if you're getting that upper thread through the discs correctly but careful following of the diagrammed path (usually on the machine and always in the user guide) usually ensures correct threading.

Be sure the feed dogs are in the correct position, and ALWAYS be sure to wind-load-thread upper path with the presser foot in the UP position. You'd be surprised at how many 'problems' are solved this way:) And you'd be glad to know how many of us 'experienced' sewers forget sometimes to lift the presser foot - I teach sewing and sometimes forget!

Good luck, I hope your issue is resolved soon and you enjoy many happy sewing hours!

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By 0 found this helpful
June 26, 2010

My sewing machine needle keeps hitting something and my bobbin will not loop at the bottom.

By blazing from OKC, OK

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June 30, 20100 found this helpful

The needle may not be in correctly.
Check your presser foot that it is in correctly.
Hand roll the machine so you can see where it is hitting. It might be the dogs have moved.
Make sure the bobbin shuttle is locked in place.
Could be timing.

Ria

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June 30, 20100 found this helpful

The timing gear is out of "whack", take it to a repair shop, there is no quick fix I can think of. Good luck.

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July 11, 20100 found this helpful

I'd certainly change the needle, you may not be able to tell whilst in position but even very slight bend on it will stop it picking up and probably hit either the plate or bobbin case. Another thing to check is that the bobbin thread is not tangled or too tightly wound.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 10, 2018

I have a Brother RL425 sewing machine. The needle is not picking up thread from the lower bobbin. I have tried to adjust the needle to the correct height with the hook, but when it is low enough to catch the thread the needle hits the bottom of the bobbin setting case. (Sorry I don't know the technical terms. I hope this makes sense!)
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
TIA.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 29, 2017

I have a Kenmore sewing machine. It seemed to be working great until I changed the thread to top stitch thread and I put it in the bobbin too. Now it won't pick up the bobbin thread when using this thread. I changed the needle to a top stitch needle, but it did not help.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 16, 2016

My New Home machine was working fine. Then it stopped picking up the bobbin thread. Why?

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