What To Check Before Taking Your Machine To The Shop



If you’re getting frustrated with your machine, take a deep breath, and go through the following list.  (You can click on the images to make them bigger.)



1.  When you see this on the back of your  fabric, it usually means that the top thread hasn’t been threaded properly, and is probably not completely in the tension disks.  Remember to lift the presser foot when you thread your machine.  This will open the tension disks, so the thread can go inside them.  Re-thread the top and bobbin threads.  Be sure you are threading correctly.  

2.  Adjust your tensions.  Set your upper tension at the “normal” setting.  It is usually marked on the dial.  If not, set it at 3.  Thread the machine with a dark thread on top, and a light thread in the bobbin.  Then sew with a medium zig-zag stitch.
3.  Do you need to adjust your bobbin case tension?  Remember, “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.”


Here are some pictures of bobbin cases.  Your drop-in bobbin also has a bobbin case, that you can adjust the tension on.  They are the plastic ones on the right.



The top thread should be just a “tick” on the back of the fabric.  (See the "Sewing Machines Tensions" page for more details.)



4.  Replace the needle — it may be bent, have a broken tip, or a burr on it.  Is the needle inserted in the right direction?  Usually the flat side on the top of the needle, goes towards the back, but not always.  Side-loading machines will be different, so check your machine’s manual on these.  Is the needle pushed all-the-way up?  If it's skipping stitches, that's the first thing to check.  Is it the right needle for your machine?  Most machines need a needle with the 130/705H configuration on the package.  Schmetz and Bernina needles are interchangeable.  Singer needles are not.

5.  Clean and oil the bobbin and feed dog area about every 2 to 4 hours of sewing time.  Remove the bobbin, bobbin case, needle plate (and hook on an oscillating bobbin system).  Use the lint brush to sweep out the lint, and put one drop of oil on the race or center hole under the bobbin case.  Only use clear “sewing machine oil,” not 3-in-one or WD-40.  Sew on a scrap of fabric to remove excess oil before sewing an important project.  (See the "How To Clean and Oil the Bobbin Area" page for more details.)

6.  Are you using a good quality thread?  It really does make a difference!  If you want a quality stitch, use a quality thread.  I recommend Metler or Guternam.  Never use “hand quilting” thread on your machine.

7.  Are the feed dogs up?  Do you know where your feed dog switch is?  Flip the switch, and rotate the hand wheel one complete turn to bring them up.  Please don’t try to force them up.  On many machines, it just takes one rotation of the hand wheel to bring them back up.

  
8.  Is your bobbin winder switched on?  If your machine is locked-up, and you can’t even turn the hand wheel, it may be that your bobbin winder is on.  Or if you press the foot control, and the machine makes a noise, but doesn’t sew, it may also be that your bobbin winder is on.   Switch it off or tighten the clutch on the hand wheel (on an older machine).


9.  If your fabric isn't feeding through the machine, check your presser foot tension, if your machine has one.  This controls how tightly the fabric is squeezed between the presser foot and feed dogs.  It is usually on the top, left of your machine.  You can tell if it’s too loose by lifting and lowering the presser foot lever.  You should feel some resistance.  Tighten it if it’s too loose.
 


10.  Is the bobbin in the bobbin case correctly?  Put the bobbin in so the thread makes a “lazy S” as the thread is pulled into the slit.  In other words, you don’t want the thread rolling off the bobbin and straight into the slit.  You want the thread to turn back, then go into the slit.  Usually, with oscillating or rotary hook systems, when you put your bobbin in the bobbin case and pull the thread, it should rotate clock-wise.  Drop-in bobbins will usually rotate counter-clock-wise.  Are you using the correct bobbin for your machine?  Check the height and width.  It should fit snuggly in the bobbin case, but not bind.  And it shouldn't be taller than the bobbin case (unless your machine is a Singer Featherweight).  Make sure your bobbin isn’t wound loose or sloppy, and that there are no threads dangling out of the center or wrapped around the outside.




11.  Check your stitch length.  If your machine is “eating” your fabric, you may want to make the stitch length a little longer.  Or if you’re starting on a pointed corner, sew on a scrap before feeding the corner under the needle.



12.  If you’ve gone through the list, and you’re still not sewing well, you’ll probably need to take your machine to the shop.  Your machine may just need a deep cleaning.  Or, it’s  possible that the timing is off.  You’ll know this if the needle thread isn’t picking up the bobbin thread, or if the machine is skipping stitches.  What causes the timing to go out is hitting a big pin, or sewing over a really thick seam or breaking a needle.  Adjusting the timing is something only a trained  professional should do.



127 comments:

  1. Hello Can you help please/ My bobbin/bobbin case will not turn when the needle goes up and down. The side dial turns, the shaft turns right up to the where the two gears come together, but they will not turn as if they were simply disengaged by a clutch. SINGER MERRITT 9608. Its about 25 years old.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My 1913 White VSM is breaking the thread is it the needle? Wrong size for thread? Also I did get it sewing but it was skipping some stitches? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Karen,
    Your machine has a side-loading bobbin, which means the needle goes in side-ways, so the hook can pick-up the thread from the back side of the needle. Put a new needle in, so you’re working with a needle you know is straight and sharp. It should take a regular Schmetz 130 705H size 80/12 needle. When a machine is skipping stitches, the first thing to check is that the needle is in the right position, and pushed all the way up. If your needle is in correctly, and it’s still skipping stitches, the timing is off. Where it’s breaking thread, too, it makes me think the needle may be hitting the hook – needle/hook distance is just one timing setting. Breaking thread could also be because there’s a burr on the hook or on the needle plate. You can polish a burr off with very fine sandpaper 400 to 600 gritt). Or you could just have rotten thread, so use some brand new quality thread.
    Good Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  4. my singer model 99 portable circa 1928 after a few stitches jerks the top thread so hard about a foot or so spins off and around the spindle. is this an adjustment or is it time to take it to the shop?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm impersesd by your writing. Are you a professional or just very knowledgeable.Thanku….ALOKA UST-5546

    ReplyDelete
  6. My foot pressor or shank moves side to side along with bar above. I have screw that feel out of the machine and I think it has something to do with it but I don't see where ot goes?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi, I have a Singer Simple 3116 and all of a sudden it will not sew forward, just stays in one place. It will sew backwards, no problem. Any ideas? To take it to shop will cost $100 and the machine only cost me $119. on sale, so if you say just toss, I will. I wanted to donate it to a community center as it is only 2 years old with light use. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Mary,

    It could be a couple things. First, remove the needle plate and clean out any lint under the feed dogs.

    Then completely re-thread the top and bobbin, making sure there aren’t any thread tangles along the thread path.

    Put your stitch selector on a straight stitch, with the stitch length knob on the highest number, then watch what happens. If it’s not sewing forward, try a different stitch. Sometimes the tracer on the pattern cams gets gummed-up, and you need to flip the stitch selector around to help it dislodge. Sometimes it gets caught in one of those forward/backward stitches, or the buttonhole system.

    One more thought... On the front of the machine, just to the right side of the bobbin door, is the feed-dog drop switch. Make sure it’s all the way into the feed dog up position. And give it some oil, on the little barrel at the top of the mechanism.

    Go that far, and let me know what you find.

    ReplyDelete
  9. he "Sewing Machines Tensions" page for more details.) ... ssewingmachine.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have a Kenmore model 148.19371 that's about 36 years old. I have used it a lot for making clothes and quilts, and it has worked fine with my cleaning and oiling it. But now it looks and sounds like a gear is slipping. The machine runs fine while the bobbin case is out of the shuttle, but putting it back in place causes a grinding noise. I'm able to manually move the left half of the shuttle, the part attached to the machine, and put it back into the correct position so the shuttle can be reassembled, but then it pops back out of place when I try to sew. Do you think there's anything I can do to fix it?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have a Juki. Less than a year old. It sounds like my bobbin is going to spin right out of the casing! It is SO LOUD when I sew it's annoying! I bought the more expensive machine so it would be a nice quiet time sewing. My manual says nothing about oil. My bobbin casing and feed dogs and everything are clean. I'm at my wits end. It's still under warranty but I have no idea where to take it for service! Juki HZL F300 . Thank you for any advice!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Pam,

    On those drop-in bobbin machines, there’s a spring that the bobbin case bounces off of. Sometimes the spring gets bent, and sometimes the plastic bobbin case gets a rough spot. With either problem, the machine makes a banging noise every time it makes a stitch, just as the thread is pulled through the gap between them. You can take the plastic bobbin case out and feel for rough spots, especially on the bump that hits the spring. If you find a rough spot, you can polish it off with a very fine sandpaper (400 to 500 gritt). If the spring is bent, you can usually bend it back into shape. There’s a picture on my blog at this link. http://shesasewingmachinemechanic.blogspot.com/p/how-to-clean-and-oil-bobbin-and-feed-dog.html Scroll down until you get to “How to Clean and Oil the Bobbin and Feed Dog Area On a Drop-in Bobbin System.” You can click on the picture to make it bigger.

    If that’s not the problem, you could be using the wrong bobbin. Those Juki bobbins are very specific to their machine. You can’t use anything but a Juki bobbin in those.

    I hope that’s helpful. Keep me posted.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have a Singer tech tronic 2000. And the bobbin seems to need something to shoot up from.the bottomed to wind the bobbin. I have looked at every you tube video available.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I’ve found a YouTube video for you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhsnFTopUpo Basically, you thread the top of the machine just like you always do, right down through the needle. Then open the bobbin cover and put an empty bobbin in place. Move the little switch inside there, over to the middle of the bobbin. Put the thread under the presser foot and secure the end around the thread cutter (behind the presser foot), and push the foot control until the bobbin is wound.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have a singer inspiration and the bobbin isn't turning . I can see the mechanism under it spinning but the bobbin itself isn't spinning.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have a Janine, New home, my excell 4123. Sews like a dream but now won't do the back stitch when I press the switch. Is there something I can do to fix this.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Jeri,

    Most likely, the mechanism is frozen with old oil. If that’s the case, you can use WD-40 to remove the old oil. When you look at the open bottom of the machine, and push the back stitch button, watch what moves. Follow the mechanism from the button to the feed dogs and spray WD-40 along the whole path. Then help the mechanisms to move by hand or with a screwdriver, until the button will do it by itself. Then you have to remove the WD-40. Here’s a link on my blog about how to use and remove the WD-40. http://shesasewingmachinemechanic.blogspot.com/2014/12/using-wd-40-on-sewing-machines.html

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome info! I am looking forward to see more posts by you!
    size of skips

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have a bernette 66 it froze up so I took it apart and found the bobbin froze up. I fixed that, put it back together and then the timing was off. I fixed that and now the belt keeps popping off and the bobbin case keeps jumping out of place. Please help

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Demaris,

    Most of the time, when the bobbin case jumps out, it’s because of a defective bobbin. Try to run the machine with the bobbin case in, and no bobbin. If it still jumps out, you’ve probably scrambled something. If it doesn’t , use a different bobbin. A metal 15 class Singer bobbin works better than the plastic bobbins that come with the machine, but they can get bent. And the plastic bobbins get rough edges. Throw out the bad bobbins so you don’t have the same problem again.

    As for the belt... I wonder if the motor mount worked loose? Does the motor move around? If so, set the belt tension (not too tight and not too loose) and tighten the bolts on the motor mount. Then make sure there’s no debris getting caught in the belt. I’ve seen some pretty impressive lint balls that get caught in the belt and it makes a terrible racket.

    There are certain things, like adjusting the timing, that only a trained tech should attempt. There are several timing settings: needle-hook distance, thread passage, loop lift, return motion, feed dogs and needle bar. They all need to work together. Generally, if something is froze-up, we don’t need to take anything apart, just work some WD-40 in, and that will take care of it. We see machines that get scrambled because a person doesn’t know what they’re doing, and we can’t always unscramble them. So, before you go any further, ask yourself if it would be better to pay a professional.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have a Kenmore sewing machine that is about 15 years old and it has always worked well, I clean it and oil it regularly when it is in use. I pulled it out to work on a Halloween costume for my daughter and the bobbin is not turning at all. At first I thought it was a timing issue but I took out the bobbin and its casings (like I do when I dust it out) and when I turn the wheel for a manual stitch, nothing moves around in there where the bobbin sits. The needle is still going up and down, everything looks normal with everything else but the bobbin is not turning. Any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Lizzie,

    Sounds like either a gear is broken or a screw is loose. It’s more likely that a screw is loose somewhere. Those are pretty good machines. Take off the needle plate and the bottom of the machine and watch what happens as you turn the handwheel. If the gears under the bobbin area are covered, remove the gear box cover and watch what goes on with those gears. If something is just loose, the timing will most likely be off. And timing is something you’ll want a sewing machine mechanic to fix for you. If it’s a broken gear, it can be replaced, but again, the timing will have to be set by a professional.

    Good Luck with your machine!

    ReplyDelete
  23. help! I have a brother ls2125. I went to sew today and the sewing machine eats the fabric and the top thread gets wound up around the bobbin casing and inside of it. I took off the plate and checked it and nothing was obstructing it and i also looked in at the bobbin and it was fine and there was no loose threads or anything.

    ReplyDelete
  24. When a sewing machine eats the fabric, it’s usually when we start sewing on a corner. If you sew on a scrap, on a straight edge, then put your corner in right up next to the scrap, it will prevent the machine from eating the fabric. Another good habit to get into is to hold the thread tails for the first 2 or 3 stitches, every time you start sewing. I’ve been in the habit of doing just that for 40+ years.

    Another thing that is worth checking, is the needle. When you’re having trouble with your sewing machine, it’s a good idea to start with a new needle – it could be dull, broken or bent. And be sure you use the right size needle. If the needle is for thicker fabrics, and you’re sewing on thin fabrics, it will push the fabric into the needle hole and jam it.

    I hope there’s something here that will help.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have a Brother that is about 25 years old. It sews okay, but the bobbin clutch will not engage so I can wind a bobbin. Initially I thought the inner wheel had been overtightened when the bobbin winding had finished. I had my husband try to turn it for me, but it would not budge for him either, not even with the screw removed - and I checked to make sure he was turning it in the correct direction. Do you have any ideas about what the problem might be and how to fix it?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Mindy,

    If the handwheel is stuck, it won’t disengage to wind a bobbin. When I get a stuck handwheel, I use two pieces of grippy shelf liner. One is wrapped around the big outer wheel and the other is wrapped around the small, inner knob. Then I use a pair of channel locks to grip the inner knob, and twist with all my might. That usually gets it un-stuck for me. Someone else suggested getting two strap wrenches to wrap around each part and twist in the opposite direction. I’d like to get a pair of those and try it someday. I have a post about how I had to resort to violence to get one off. Here’s a link to that post. http://shesasewingmachinemechanic.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-wrong-oil.html

    ReplyDelete
  27. Graduate 2 model 724 sees great but on stitch other than straight the hand wheel pops in and out. Any solutions? Thank you L

    ReplyDelete
  28. If the handwheel is popping in and out, that can’t be good. The first thing I’d check is the bobbin winder clutch. Has the center knob been removed? If so, has it been put back together correctly? It goes back together with the inner ring nubs facing outward. Here’s a picture and instructions for putting it back together correctly. http://shesasewingmachinemechanic.blogspot.com/p/bobbin-winder-clutch.html

    If that’s not it, I wonder if there’s a loose collar on the upper shaft. To check that, grab the upper shaft and see if it will wiggle right to left. Or, maybe the worm gear or the vertical shaft gear are broken, and that might give it some wiggle.

    On those old Singers, they’re generally not worth putting the money into them for major repairs, like replacing a gear. But if it’s just the bobbin winder clutch or tightening a collar, it should be something that could be taken care of with a basic service.

    I hope you’re able to get your machine going.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you for your prompt response. It is not the bobbin winder clutch. It appears the whole upper shaft is moving when cams are ingaged. I will check for loosened parts. Worm gear hard to see without removing lots of parts. Nice clean machine and great cabinet, I was hoping to clean it up and pass along as cheaply as possible. I will go through it again and get back with you. There wasn't anything like this problem anywhere. Thanks again. L

    ReplyDelete
  30. I have a Brother that I haven't used in a couple of years. The tension dial is stuck on the highest setting and will not turn. I tried oiling it but no success. Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
  31. I’m assuming that your machine is a newer Brother with the tension dial on top. Sounds like that tension dial may have taken a hit. It may be bent on the inside, and is just stuck. Those newer Brothers are hard to get inside of. I think your best bet is to force it from the outside. When I can’t get a grip on something, I’ll use a kitchen gripper. If you can’t get it with a kitchen gripper, it would be better for you to take it to a shop than to try to get inside yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  32. My friend has a Singer Talent 3321. It's 4 years old and lightly used. Most recently, it made a clicking noise when sewing. I think I isolated the noise to the outer (metal) bobbin case (the one that rotates when sewing). We changed the needle, re-threaded the machine, changed the bobbin, checked for debris around the bobbin case. Still clicking. Took the bottom plate off the machine; didn't see anything of note. Took the foot plate off. Couldn't remove the bobbin case without removing screws that were on too tight for me to remove. It sewed fine, so we just used it and hoped it would keep going. Any other suggestions? Thanks. Judy

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi Judy,

    On a drop-in bobbin, there’s a spring under the needle plate, on the right/front. There’s a bump on the bobbin case that will bounce off of it. If that bump, or the spring, gets damaged, it will make a “thump,” every time the thread goes between it.

    Another thought is that the needle may be hitting the needle plate or the hook (the part that rotates around the bobbin case). To check if it’s hitting the needle plate, remove the presser foot and watch what happens to the needle when you turn the handwheel. To check if it’s hitting the hook, remove the needle plate and watch what happens when you turn the handwheel. When the needle and hook point come together, there should be one thread distance between them. If the needle is hitting either one, the needle/hook distance needs to be adjusted. It’s a pretty simple adjustment. If that’s what it turns out to be, I could try to walk you through it.

    Let me know what you find out.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hello,

    I have an old frister and rossmann cub 3. It has been serviced professionally in the last couple of years but I haven't really used it since. I just got it out to start using, and have found that when sewing straight stitch, the line of stitching drifts to one side - every couple of inches, the machine puts in a couple of diagonal stitches as if it is sewing zigzag, or it just drifts and looks a little wobbly. My tension seems otherwise to be okay, I'm just not getting a nice straight line of sewing, and I'm not sure what I've done wrong!

    Thank you,

    Rachel

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi Rachel,

    I’ve only worked on a couple of those machines, but haven’t seen that kind of problem with them. However, two of them had broken gears. It seems to think it’s in zig-zag, but only occasionally. Is the diagonal stitch regularly spaced? If so, it could be a broken gear on top. Otherwise, It’s likely that the mechanisms in the top of the machine are gummed-up. Remove the top cover and check the gears up there. If neither gear is broken, try some WD-40. Here’s a link on using WD-40 on sewing machines. http://shesasewingmachinemechanic.blogspot.com/2014/12/using-wd-40-on-sewing-machines.html

    I hope you’re able to get your machine sewing again!

    ReplyDelete
  36. My Singer 99 locked up I think due to a bobbin mess. I've see a piece of thread between the bobbin housing and somewhere underneath but don't see how to disassemble the lower hosting, any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Generally, if that machine freezes up, it’s from old oil that has gummed-up. I wouldn’t disassemble the hook area. I’d spray all of the shafts and joints with WD-40. Here’s a link for how to use WD-40 on your machine. http://shesasewingmachinemechanic.blogspot.com/2014/12/using-wd-40-on-sewing-machines.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I can also see some very small pieces of thread that look to be caught in the bobbin casing

      Delete
  38. I have an old Kenmore 1680 that has been a work horse for me. It has recently started making a knocking noise from the bobbin area. I cleaned it really well and it seems to run smoothly without the bobbin case, but as soon as I put the bobbin case in (with or w/o a bobbin) the knocking noise starts. Is it worth trying to find a replacement bobbin case (do they wear out?) or should I try something else?

    ReplyDelete
  39. I do like those old Kenmores, but they can be clatter buckets. The 1680 has a drop-in bobbin with the crazy toggle bobbin case. I’ve tried to order those from Brewer, and they’re not available. You might be able to get one from Sears. But I imagine the cost is pretty high. Another option is to find another old Kenmore from the thrift store. The front-loading or side-loading Kenmores have a better stitch quality. And you can find them for less than $25. Kenmores are my favorite thrift store machine. They are solid work horse machines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the input. I received this machine as a high school graduation present so it has sentimental value. I may see if I can find a replacement bobbin. I guess after 35 years, I may need a new machine! I am happy that this is the first real issue I have had with it, other than the buttonholer never worked well.

      Delete
  40. Hi, Thanks so much for your website! I have a Sears Kenmore 385-19233 computerized machine, with a "fried motherboard" (trusted repair shop diagnosis.) This machine served me really well for years, and produces one of the nicest satin stitches I've ever seen (including a 7.0mm stitch width.) Replacing the motherboard will cost more than I paid for the machine, if the repair shop does it. Any suggestions? Is this a part that I could possibly put in myself? I just hate to give up on this machine, but am not sure what to do? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi KCM,

    Those Kenmores are pretty great machines. But I DO think you could replace the whole machine for something just as good, for maybe a little more than the price of a new motherboard. Maybe a Juki HZLK85? They’re around $500 and have the wider stitch width. You may find a Janome that’s comparable, too – Janome made your machine.

    No, I wouldn’t try to replace the motherboard yourself. For one thing it’s kinda complicated to get everything out, then back in the way it should be. And… When we replace a motherboard on a Bernina, (where I work) we don’t charge any service fees – just because the part is so expensive. I don’t know how Sears/Kenmore does it. But you’d probably pay the same amount to have it replaced as you would to just buy the part.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for this advice! You're right about the expense--Sears won't do it, and my repair shop researched the cost of the part and found that it would be just about what I paid for the machine in the first place. Thanks for the suggestion on the Juki--that's a brand I have never considered. It's still hard for me to just donate the machine to a thrift store, because it sewed such a nice stitch (and amazing satin stitch) and is still in wonderful shape, except that it has no "brain" so is totally useless. Kinda sad.

      Delete
  42. Yes, I know. Our old machines are like a part of the family. But don’t donate it, because someone else will buy it and go through the same thing you did. You can set it up as a vintage decoration in you home.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I have a husquvarna ruby and when sewing the thread bunches up in the bobbin area , then the machine makes a weid noise can you give me any suggestions

    ReplyDelete
  44. Usually when the thread bunches up on the bottom of the fabric, the top thread isn’t in the upper tension correctly. But if it’s bunching up inside where the bobbin is, you need to remove the needle plate and clean inside there.

    To remove that needle plate, first remove the clear plastic bobbin cover and the bobbin. Then remove the metal needle plate. To do this, put a small screwdriver in the slot at the back of the needle plate and push it towards you. It doesn’t lift up, it slides towards you. Then you can remove the plastic bobbin case and clean the lint out. Inspect the plastic bobbin case to see if there are any rough spots. If there are, you can remove them with a very fine sandpaper (about 400-500 grit), but be very gentle. It should only take about 4 gentle swipes with the sandpaper. Then put a drop of oil in the center hole and on the feed dog linkages, which are the joints that move when you turn the handwheel. The hook is the pointed part that rotates around the bobbin case. Check that point for burrs. If the point is rough, sand it gently with the same very fine sandpaper. Then put it all back together.

    I hope you can get your machine sewing again.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thank you so much for your tips. This has been so helpful. I otherwise would have taken my brother Innovis 610 in for a costly service. It was the tension, of course! After following all of your tips on what to check before taking it to be serviced it seems to be working again. Very much appreciated. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I have a kenmore 385.16524000, that will not sew in reverse. I cannot get the front panel off to see if it just needs cleaning. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  47. We try not to take the front off of a machine if we don’t need to. You need to get into the bottom of the machine. The problem is connected to the feed linkage. If you can flip the switch to drop the feed dogs, watch what happens under the machine. There’s a bullet shaped part that moves in and out of a tube. I couldn’t find a picture of your machine on Google Images, and I don’t have all of them memorized. But on some it’s a plastic tube and on others it’s a metal tube. You need to get some WD-40 worked into that area of the machine. Here’s a link to using WD-40 on your machine. http://shesasewingmachinemechanic.blogspot.com/2014/12/using-wd-40-on-sewing-machines.html It also helps to heat the part with a hair dryer. There’s a part that should snap into place when it’s time to sew in reverse, but it’s gummed up. If you watch underneath, you may see a part that moves slowly when you push the reverse button. That’s got to snap in, not take its time.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thank you so much for your help. I will try that.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Greetings,
    I have been using a baby lock creative pro (purchased at auction for $35) Has been a fantastic second machine, but now after many years of use, the bobbin casing is constantly coming unseated. The casing is sloppy and casing spring is not able to stop the bump. There was significant scaring, so have sanded the burs off, sadly to no avail. My question to you would be, is it worth while to replace the casing at this stage...or should I bury it in the back yard...and go shopping.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi Rosie,

    Sometimes, replacing the bobbin case will take care of the problem. However, with it coming “unseated,” it’s more likely to be the bobbin case retainer. There’s a finger-like metal piece on the left/back of the bobbin area that sometimes needs to be re-positioned or bent downward to hold the bobbin case better. The bobbin case needs to have a little wiggle room for the thread to pass between the bump and the spring. If adjusting the retainer doesn’t help, then you’d need a new bobbin case.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Will definitely try to do an adjustment. Many thanks for taking time to offer a suggestion. Much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hey? Maybe you can help before I take the machine back in. I have a Juki F300 and just spent $150 to get it fixed. Bobbin case issue, the only plastic part on Juki Exceeds. Anyway, was sewing fine, on spandex, zooming along. I ran out of top thread, went and put on a new spool and bam! I have no stitches. NO matter what I do, rethread, change the spool, machine on an off, change bobbin thread, rethread. Nada, no stitches, can the timing go out for no apparent reason? I didn' break a needle, go over heavy fabric, just ran out of thread. Is there something I"m no trying before it goes back in. I've only sewn on the "fixed" machine for a day, but it worked fine for that time until...it didn't.Help..Den

    ReplyDelete
  53. One more thing on the Juki, I use Gutterman all thread and the BP 70/11 needles, never had an issue. WHen I thread the needle I don't feel any tension tug before this happened, how to make sure the thread is caught in the tension grippers?

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hi Den,

    When the presser foot is up, the tension disks are open. When you put the presser foot down, they close. That’s when you should be able to feel a tug. So, if all you did was run out of thread, I wonder if the thread got stuck on one side or the other of the tension disks? But that still wouldn’t explain why the machine isn’t forming a stitch. Are you positive that the needle is in correctly? The flat side goes to the back, and make sure the needle didn’t slip down. If the needle is in the wrong position, that will throw the timing off.

    Holly Molly! $150 for a service! That’s criminal! We’re still charging $70.

    Keep me posted.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Yep. All of the above. I checked everything. I've used this machine daily for about 3 yrs and just recently bought the f600 since I love the features of the Exceed line. Reaced needle, Needle in correctly, thread rethreaded a dozen times as well as bobbin, turned machine on and off thinking maybe a re-boot, and still no stitches. Bobbin case moves but doesnt pick up top thread to create a stitch, its driving me nuts. So I guess my expensive repair guy gets the machine back. One day of use, no problem, now dead again. I think $150 should last a bit longer. Right? Must be timing.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I have a question and don't know if this is the correct area to enter it, but here goes. I have a Brother SE-270d Sewing/Embroidery machine and everything seems to work well except the bobbin winder. I follow all the directions and push the button, machine makes a noise like it is winding the bobbin but the bobbin is not moving, shaft on winder is not moving. Is there anywhere I can look for directions on how to remove machine cover to see if the o-ring has deteriorated or come off or something.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hi Debi,

    You don’t want to open this machine yourself. There’s too many cables and computer components, and screws in weird places. The only suggestion I have is to try to turn the bobbin winder spindle by hand. If you’re not able to turn it by hand, it’s probably frozen-up. Try putting a little WD-40 on the spindle and let it work in. Try to turn it by hand and keep working it until it’s un-frozen. If that doesn’t work, take it to a Brother dealer. We had one of those in the shop last week with tension disks that wouldn’t close, and The Boss didn’t want to touch it. And he’s been doing this for 30 years.

    ReplyDelete
  58. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I have a White 3300 embroidery machine, she's been good to me but the last time I stitched something thick it birdnested, so I took the thread out along with the bobbin, checked the bobbin case for thread underneath then put it back and now the upper thread won't catch the bottom thread, been sewing for years never seen anything like it. It has the plastic type of bobbin and I have looked everywhere online and I am just beside myself that I really messed something up with her. Is there hope? Should I buy a new bobbin case or do you think it's more serious. Hubby's not too happy with me cause I bought a lot of embroidery designs and now my machine is sick.

    ReplyDelete
  60. It sounds like your timing is off. First, put a new needle in. If the needle is bent or not pushed all the way up, it will throw the timing off. If a new needle doesn’t take care of the problem, the timing is off, and you’ll need to take it to the shop for that.

    ReplyDelete
  61. My Singer 758 flywheel is hard to turn, it is harder to turn at one point that it is the other 340 degrees of the wheel. The machine has been in storage for several years, and I decided it just needed oil, but it got just a minimally bit better after being oiled. I am afraid to use it for fear of ruining the gears.

    ReplyDelete

  62. Sounds like it could be a broken gear. The only way to know if there’s a broken gear, is to take the top and bottom off of the machine and take a look. There are 4 nylon gears in that machine. There’s a set in the top/right and another set in the bottom on the drive shaft. If you’ve got a broken gear, you’re likely to be told to put your money into another sewing machine, than to replace a broken gear. The reason is that when one gear goes, there are 3 more that are likely to follow.

    ReplyDelete
  63. I do not see a broken gear, but is likely I do not know, There is no gear shearings, broken bits coming off in the case top or bottom, all the lub places are crumbly orangy brown. The machine looks quite good inside otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  64. That sounds great. So if there’s crumbly, orangy brown stuff in there, that may mean that the old grease or oil has hardened and needs to be removed. We use WD-40 at the shop to remove the old grease and oil. Here’s a link to using WD-40 on your machine. http://shesasewingmachinemechanic.blogspot.com/2014/12/using-wd-40-on-sewing-machines.html

    ReplyDelete
  65. I have a Singer Sew Mate 5400. It's my first machine trying to learn on my own. I turned the wheel both ways multiple times before I read not to do that.What happens if you turn the wheel in the wrong direction? My machine isn't picking up the bobbin thread and also makes a noise then gets stuck/locks/jams up so I need to manually turn the wheel to free it.

    ReplyDelete
  66. When you turn the handwheel backwards, it makes the thread tangle up in the bobbin area. Your machine has an oscillating hook system. It has the best stitch quality, but the bobbin and feed dog areas need to be cleaned and oiled about every 3 hours of sewing time.

    If you’re machine isn’t picking up the bobbin thread, the timing is off. The first thing to check is the needle. Is the needle in with the flat side to the back, and is it pushed all the way up? The second thing to check is the threading. Remove both threads and re-thread. If your needle is in correctly and the machine is threaded correctly and it’s still not picking up stitches, you’ll need a tech to re-set your timing.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I have a 32 year old Bernina 930 that sews almost like new in every way. The hand/flywheel makes a light clicking sound that is more like something tint in the wheel than a machanical clicking. Do you have any idea what that might be?

    ReplyDelete
  68. Hi Iris,

    That Bernina 930 is an awesome, powerful machine! I have one at home.

    The sound is probably the needle up clutch, and nothing to worry about. The 930 has it’s own sound, with a “whirr-and-ca-chink” every time you stop sewing. It’s not as efficient as the needle up clutches on our modern machines, but was a pretty great thing at the time.

    If it’s not the needle-up clutch, it may have thread wrapped around the inside of the handwheel – I’ve seen that a few times. Or it may have a pin lodged in there somewhere. If you could blow it out with an air compressor, you might dislodge anything that ‘s in the wrong spot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it is more like very light rattling WHILE stitching and stops when stitching stops. I sounds more like the needle inside option. I'll try the canned air and let you know.

      Delete
    2. Here’s a thought… If I don’t have a felt pad under my spool of thread, the spool rattles. Also, if you use a Singer 15 class bobbin instead of a Bernina bobbin, it’s looser in the center hole and will rattle. Bernina bobbins have “BB” on them or they have 7 holes, where Singer bobbins have 10 holes.

      I hope you’re able to fix the rattle.

      Delete
  69. Dont know if you remember my post, but have a couple of Juki HZLs, 600 and 300. Expensive repair lasted a day, then after rethreading, no stitches, bobbin thread wasnt being picked uo. Update: my reoair guy said it was out if his league and wrote up warranty referral to Juki in Georgia. So $50 later for shipping UPS, it is now in their hands. My dream machine is at the Juki hospital. Ill let you know what they do once I get it back.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Wow! That’s pretty serious when the tech has to send it to the Juki hospital. Please let me know what they find out. I hope they get it back to you quickly so you can get back to sewing.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Hiya, I've got a year old Janome 2212. There's a grinding coming from the race hook when I turn the wheel. I've cleaned and oiled all of the bobbin components.
    Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hi Meg,

    I’ve got a couple ideas. We can figure things out by process of elimination. So, #1 is it grinding when the bobbin is in the bobbin case? #2 Is it grinding when the bobbin isn’t in the bobbin case. #3 Is it grinding when the bobbin case is out? #4 Is it grinding when the hook is out?

    It could be a bad bobbin (which can be replaced for about 40 cents. It could be a bad bobbin case (which can be replaced for about $3.00). It could be something that’s embedded in the race (which is the ledge that the hook sits on). Sometimes a broken needle gets jammed in the race. If the hook is out and it’s still grinding, it’s probably the driver gear. You can scramble the timing if you loosen the driver gear, so I’d recommend that you take it to the shop for that. Sometimes the top of the race, just below the needle plate, gets broken off.

    There’s a spot that freezes up on these type of machines, and it has nothing to do with the bobbin area. There’s a shaft at the top of the machine. Where the eccentric attaches to that shaft, It needs a little WD-40. That can squeal pretty bad when it’s frozen-up.

    Let me know what you find out.

    ReplyDelete
  73. The sound was the edge of the race hook scratching in its housing. After cleaning and oiling it still scraped, so I switched the race hook out for an identical one from another machine. Now neither machine has made the noise. I guess whatever was causing it has been dislodged and all is happily oiled.
    Thank you for your help. What a great blog! It gave me the confidence to open the machine up and tinker on my own.

    ReplyDelete
  74. That’s great! I didn’t think about the machine having the wrong hook in it. You did some great detective work!

    Have fun sewing!

    ReplyDelete
  75. I'm pretty new to sewing so excuse me if I don't explain this very well.

    I have a Singer 4432, and the bobbin winder refuses to stay in the locked position to wind it. I took the top of the case off, and it seems like when the bottom tire hits the smaller round bit inside the handwheel, the smaller round bit pushes it out like it's spring-loaded or something. Any idea what it could be? I should add this is a brand new bobbin winder assembly since the one that came with it was broken.

    ReplyDelete
  76. My first thought is that the tire on the hub is too big. But my second thought is that there should be a way to adjust the spring mechanism. I don’t have one in front of me to see what’s inside – there’s a lot of different kinds of bobbin winders. If you could send a picture of the bobbin winder assembly, I might be able to see how to adjust it. A lot of times, there’s a screw in a long hole. So you can loosen the screw and slide the bobbin winder one direction or the other.

    Let me know what you find out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://imgur.com/a/2LzCr

      If you need more pictures let me know.

      Delete
    2. Got the case off completely and the knobs. There seems to be no adjustment screw anywhere for the spring inside the handwheel. Also took the tire off the old broken winder and put it on the new one, but that didn't change anything. Might just get a separate bobbin winder.

      Delete
  77. Hi!
    I have a singer fashionmate. The handwheel turns fine until the little hook at the top of the machine gets to the very top position. Then it gets tight and I have to apply pressure to get the wheel moving again. There's no thread in the machine right now

    ReplyDelete
  78. My first guess is that there's a broken gear somewhere. But, there are so many Singer Fashion Mate models. Some have gears in the bottom and some don't.

    My second guess is that something may be getting caught in a belt in the bottom or right end of the machine.

    Lay the machine on it's back and remove the bottom plate. See if you can spot a broken gear or chunk of lint. Also, remove the top cover and check the gears up there.

    If it's got a broken gear, you'd be better off putting your money into a new machine.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Do you have experience with embroidery programmed machines?

    ReplyDelete
  80. is this the same as sewing machine oil? It says singer machine oil all purpose https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000YZ1Y06/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    ReplyDelete
  81. I picked up a huskylock 900 from a thrift store thinking to fix it for my daughter. It is locked up. The hand wheel will turn backward but not forward.Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
  82. Hi Machelle,

    If it turns backwards but is hard to turn, it may just need to have the old oil removed and re-oil. We’d remove the bottom and left side (so you can get to the take-up lever), spray a lot of WD-40 on all of the shafts and eccentrics, then remove the gunk with an air compressor and re-oil.

    If it moves backwards, freely, it could mean a gear is broken, or the loopers are crashing against each other, the needles or something under the needle plate. To check that, remove the needle plate and see if it’s the loopers. If it is, take it to the shop and have the timing re-set. If it’s not, check the gears. You may have to remove a lot of the cover to get to the gear.

    Good Luck with your machine!

    ReplyDelete
  83. Hi there! I have a Brother ce8080prw. I have been sewing with it a few years now and never had to adjust it once I found that spot that it sews my heavy fabrics with. Today though it decided to hit my bobbin case and puncture it and no matter what I do (adjusting, rethreading, or cleaning) the bottom thread remains loose like in your first picture or it will start to braid where it catches the loop before it and will continue to do that.

    ReplyDelete
  84. When that plastic bobbin case gets punctured, you can try to polish it with a very fine sandpaper (about 400 grit). It needs to be smooth where the thread drags across it, and especially at the “bump.” Don’t “sand” it, just gently polish it with a few strokes. If polishing doesn’t work, you may need a new bobbin case.

    If it’s looping on the bottom, something is usually amiss with the top tension. Make sure the presser foot is up when you re-thread. When the presser foot is down, the tension disks are closed. Use a flashlight to visually see if the thread is going between the tension disks. Sometimes it looks like the thread is going where it should, but it goes off to the side.

    If re-threading doesn’t work, take the upper tension as high as it will go. If that helps, great! If not, there’s something pretty wrong with your upper tension. It’s time to find a Brother dealer.

    If the stitch isn’t forming at all, the timing is off.

    Good Luck to you!

    ReplyDelete
  85. Hi, I've recently got my late grandmas vintage sewing machine. I oiled it cleaned it. It seems to be working fine, everything works fine. Until I put a bobbin case underneath. Everything gets stuck. And when I remove the bobbin everything runs again. Please help me. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Hi Judith,

    My first thought is that maybe you’ve got the wrong bobbin or a damaged bobbin. That would make it jam. Does it work with the EMPTY bobbin case? If yes, that would indicate that the bobbin is the culprit.

    If it jams with the empty bobbin case, it’s possible that you’ve got the wrong bobbin case or a damaged bobbin case.

    Can you tell me the brand and model of your machine?

    ReplyDelete
  87. Wow thank you for your prompt answer. Makes me more excited �� its a vintage singer machine. The black one with gold flower designs. Tomorrow I'll be buying a new bobbin case. I'll just show the pictures to the store and I'll let you know if it will solve it. Thank you very much, you don't know how happy I am that you answered ����

    ReplyDelete
  88. Hi, I have a seammaster 6950 sewing machine that was given to me. It worked well at first, but the last time I pulled it out to work on a project, the needle kept getting jammed in the bobbin. I changed the needle, rethreaded the machine, and cleaned and oiled it. I'm not sure what else to look for or try. Can you make any suggestions? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  89. Hi Sally,

    If you’ve done all of the basics, and you’re sure your needle is in correctly, the timing may be off. If you turn your handwheel and watch where the needle goes, does it hit something? Are you using the right bobbin? You need a metal, Singer class 15 bobbin for that machine. Be sure it’s not bent or damaged.

    Those are my thoughts. Let me know if I’m getting close or give me more info.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for replying so quickly! I checked my machine again, watching the needle closely, and right before it jams in the bobbin, it seems to slant to the side a little. It was a brand new needle, so could this be a timing issue, like you suggested?

      Delete
  90. If it slants to the side in zig-zag stitch, that could just be the pitch of the fulcrum, and that’s alright. However, if it slants to the side in straight stitch, the parabola is off. That can be caused by a broken worm gear in the top of the machine. Or it can be caused by a pin, or something, that’s caught inside the needle bar area. Remove the left end cover and take the top of the machine off. Then look inside to see what happens when you turn the handwheel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesn't seem to slant in a straight stitch, just the zig zag. I took the left end cover and top off, and to my eye nothing seems to be broken. I can turn the handwheel about 15 or 20 times and then suddenly something will clink and the needle will be caught in the down position and I'll have to take the whole bobbin piece out to get the needle loose. Do you think it's something I need to take to a shop to get looked at?

      Delete
  91. Yes, it would be a good idea to take it to the shop. But… It will likely cost more than it would for you to go buy a cheap, new machine from Walmart or JoAnn.

    I wish I could reach through the world wide web and get my hands on it. It kinda sounds like a gear may be broken. It kinda sounds like the return motion timing setting may be off. If it’s jamming with thread in it, it could just be that there’s no upper tension, and the thread is tangling.

    If you can find an honest sewing machine tech, who will tell you what the problem is before they rack up a huge bill, then yes, take it to the shop. Where I work, if we can’t fix the machine, we don’t charge you a penny. I’ve heard of other shops that charge $85 just to look at it. If that’s the case, you may want to put your money into another machine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do know a shop that will look at it and let me know the problem before they charge me. Hopefully it turns out that it's something that can be fixed without too much hassle. Thank you so much for all your suggestions-I'm so glad I found your blog. You have so much good information on here. Thanks again!

      Delete
  92. Hi,
    I Have a Brother XR1300. I have replaced the bobbin casing so it is brand new. I have not been able to sew with it still though because the fabric is being pulled down into the machine. I took it all apart and thoroughly cleaned the machine and it made a few stitches, but jammed again. So I adjusted the tension wheel on the upper thread and it didn't pull the fabric through but it didn't pick up the bobbin thread this time either and the top thread knotted up. So I tightened the tension just a hair again and it pulled the fabric in again and didn't pick up the bobbin thread again. I took the fabric out of the machine and watched the machine again and noticed that the bobbin casing was not moving at all with the machine. It threaded properly but it did not move in order to interlink it with the upper thread. I dont know what I should do? Can you help?

    ReplyDelete
  93. Hi Laura,

    The bobbin case shouldn't turn around. The hook turns around the bobbin case. The hook is the point on the metal ring that turns around the bobbin case. If the hook is damaged, that could cause your problems. To check that, remove the bobbin case and feel the hook point with your finger. If it feels rough, you can gently polish it with a very fine sandpaper (about 400 grit).

    Another thing that could cause your problem is a damaged needle, or a needle that is too big for the fabric you're sewing on. A size 80/12 universal needle will work for most fabrics and projects. So try putting a brand new needle in and see if that helps.

    If neither of those are the problem, your timing may be off just a little bit. There are several timing settings. Needle/hook distance -- which is the space between the hook and the needle, when they meet. Thread passage -- which is the space between your bobbin case and the little spring on the front of the machine. Needle bar height -- the point of the hook should come across the top of the eye of the needle as it comes around on the left side, while you're in a super wide zig-zag. Loop lift -- Does the thread form enough of a loop for the hook to grab it? Feed dog timing -- are the feed dogs under the needle plate when the needle is in the fabric?

    Let me know what you figure out.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Hi,

    I have a Bernina 1001 which I learned recently is a "classic". I had it tuned up a few months ago and have used it very little until this week. I'm making covers for a camping trailer with a linen/cotton blend, Coats Extra Heavy nylon thread, and a Jeans size 18 needle.

    Stitching was all going great until the thread bunched up in the bobbin area today. When I got it out, a bit of metalic stuff came out. As I looked at the bobbin case more, I realized it looked like it lined the case as another piece came out.

    It's $65 to get a new Bernina case (ouch). My question is whether you think I need to do something to prevent this happening again or is this not so unexpected given the age of my machine and the heavier fabric I'm using. Note: The machine has actually been used relatively lightly for Halloween costumes, etc over the years. This is the first "heavier" project.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Hi Peggy,

    You can get a good quality Bernina bobbin case from Brewer Sewing Supply. Brewer is owned by Bernina. The part number is 0060687000, and the retail price on it is $25. You may be able to find it on Amazon or Ebay.

    I have never seen a Bernina bobbin case break apart. Are you sure it’s the bobbin case?

    I have seen a lot of bad results from using the extra heavy thread in any domestic sewing machine. I recommend that you use 100% polyester Guterman, or Omni machine quilting thread from Superior Threads. If you need it to be extra strong, you can sew over it 2 or 3 times or use the forward/backward straight stitch.

    ReplyDelete
  96. I'll look for that part. Thank you!

    The anodized metallic piece ( that came out in two pieces) seems to have come from the inside back of the bobbin case like a gasket. One piece fell out when I got the tangle of threads out. The other piece was inside the case when I removed the bobbin. I'll look inside my new bobbin when I get it.

    I'll get the Guterman thread as you suggest; better than to chance this again. The woman at Jo-Ann Fabrics said the Coats Extra Strong nylon was new but thought it would work although she did recommend the Guterman. I went with Coats as nylon was suggested by sailrite.com where I've been watching a number of great how-to videos. But then they use industrial machines themselves.

    Thank you! I'll report back when my 4 cushions are covered. 1 and 1/2 are done.)'Two are 12 x 60; row are 24 x 60. We were given a roll Schumacher fabric for the project that was picked up for $8 at a garage sale.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Peggy,

    The metal piece in the bottom of the bobbin case is a “back-lash washer.” You can sew just fine without it. It’s supposed to prevent the bobbin from spinning too far. Or you can get a replacement part #006069.53.10 (stop spring C). Or use a Magic Bobbin Genie.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Looks like I found the part http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/bobbin-case-bernina-1001-sewing-machine.aspx. And it has a picture of the mettalic piece inside. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  99. I didn't see your post about the washer before I sent mine. Thank you for that additional information! Did seem weird that I'd have to get a whole new case... I'll see how it goes without it today and look for a replacement in the meantime

    Thank you! You are awesome

    ReplyDelete
  100. When threading upper thread on my singer, I cannot engage thread in bobbin tension wheel. It is within machine so I have no control over this, but know it is happening since my upper thread tension remains loose. Any suggestions????

    ReplyDelete
  101. My wife's 30 year old Bernina Record 930 recently had a capacitor on the power board fail. With the help of a 930 service manual, I was able to disassemble the machine and remove the PCB, remove & replace the capacitor, and reassemble the machine.

    I thought it was sewing sweet & smooth until she pointed out that the machine now takes 3 additional stitches after she removes her foot from the foot control! From Hero to Dunce! I can only conclude that I must have knocked something out of adjustment in the process.
    Since there is no Bernina service tech anywhere near our rural Texas location, I've been searching the internet without much success. Most have never heard of a 930 adding those 3 additional stitches... Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gary,

      I have a Bernina 930, and it is an amazing machine! I love it!

      I believe the 3 extra stitches has to do with the needle up clutch. Sometimes it gets gummed-up. It’s located at the top, back on the right side of the machine. If you can get it loosened up with some WD-40, that might take care of the problem. But you’ve really got to get all of the WD-40 out of there when you’re done.

      My second thought is that the needle up stop on the upper shaft is out of position. There’s a light that shines through a hole that tells the machine when the needle is in the highest position. Maybe the light isn’t getting through the hole.

      Let me know what you figure out.

      Delete
    2. With your help, I'm a Hero again! While I was never able to confirm that I had found the "needle up clutch" or the "needle stop on the upper shaft," you did inspire me to "go back in, full bore."
      In may exploration, I reheated a capacitor solder-joint that might have been a "cold joint." But I honestly believe that previously, when I re-installed the PCB board, I had failed to be sure that the lever the fits into the hinged armature core that pushes the lever back toward the center of the machine when the magnetic core is energized had not been engaged properly! Inserted it carefully this time and all is right with the world! Honey is a Hero! Thank you. Because of your help, it is working great again. (And now I am permitted to touch the 930, beyond just oiling it!) :-)

      Delete
    3. Wonderful! You’re the Man!

      I’m honestly not sure what you did, but I’m so glad it worked.

      Keep up the good work!

      Delete
  102. My Bernina 230E back stitch does not work. I tried everything cleaning bobbin case, feed dog up/down, etc. It acted up after working with terry cloth. Can't afford cost of driving a hour away or service cost. Please help!

    ReplyDelete
  103. I have a Bernina 230E, the back stitch stop working. I tried everything including cleaning bobbin case, feed dog, etc. I cannot afford service fee nor driving a hour away. Please help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jonagwen,

      My main machine is a Bernina 230, and I know that the back-stitch button gets worn out. What I’ve done is just push the top of the button instead of the bottom of the button, and that’s working for me – until I can find the time to repair it. But… if it’s a matter of the feed dog linkage inside the machine, being gummed-up, you may need to take it to the shop.

      Delete
  104. I recently bought a singer 500a. It sews okay, but the flywheel is loose and I need to turn it to get the machine to sew. Is there a way of tightening the flywheel?

    ReplyDelete
  105. Hi Winnie,

    The handwheel on your machine will have a little “play” in it. That’s just the way the gears are set up on that particular machine. Unless it’s moving in and out of the machine. If that’s the case, there are collars along the upper shaft that may be loose.

    If you need to help the machine get started, it’s just because it’s an old machine, and it’s tired. The motor could be re-built to give it more power. It also may be the foot control that is tired. Sometimes putting a new foot control on it will bring it back to life. But the shafts and linkages will have old oil that has hardened, and that would also need to be removed. I haven’t had much success with reviving the old Singer “Rocketeers,” like yours.

    There’s a group on the Vintage Sewing Machine Board that are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the old Singers. Here’s a link: https://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage-antique-machine-enthusiasts-f22/ You might get some good advice from them.

    ReplyDelete
  106. I have the Baby Lock Jazz. It is only 6 months old. I have had tension issue from the start. The shop had to adjust timing in the first 2 weeks. The hand wheel now is binding. What could be causig this.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Hi Wendy,

    The first thing that comes to mind, is those darn, plastic bobbin cases. They jump and bind and get all scarred up. Have you taken the needle plate off and looked inside?

    If you’ll use a vertical spool pin, it should improve your tension. I know they say it depends on how the thread is wound onto the spool, but those horizontal spool pins really create a drag. If you’re using a cone of thread, us a spool pin that sits on the table behind your machine, that draws the thread straight up.

    My second thought is that when the bobbin winder is flipped to the “on” position, the handwheel won’t turn. It’s a clutch that shifts from bobbin winding to sewing.

    I hope you’re able to get your machine sewing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi thanks for your reply. I have taken the plate off looked inside, found a few threads down in the gears, which I removed with tweezers and a crochet hook. That did help with the hand wheel drag. I do use the vertical spool pin. Got you on the clutch and it's not engaged. For the life of me I can not get this machine to make quality stitches. Tesnion is always off. I put different colors in top and bottom this morning and ran through the dial starting at zero. The stitch quality is as good as it gets at a 1 or 2, believe it or not, but the bottom thread will still show on the top always. At normal setting of 3 to 4 same thing, thread on the top. When I sew a straight stitch I set it at about a 2 which seems low to me, and stitches never seem tight. Then when I free motion quilt on this machine I have to set the tension all the way up to 7 or 8 to keep the top thread from showing on the backside, and will often shred or break needles at this high tension. Top thread still shows on the back at this setting but not as bad. These 2 extremes in tension, along with the insanity of thread showing, lead me to believe something is wrong with this machine. I can make this work on my inexpensive Brother machine with inexpensive thread. Please advise with your thoughts. This machine has not been pleasent to sew on.

      Delete
  108. Have you adjusted the bobbin case tension? Some people will have two bobbin cases – one for regular sewing and one for free-motion quilting (or embroidery). Sounds like for regular sewing, you need to tighten the bobbin case tension. Then for free-motion quilting, you need to loosen the bobbin case tension. It might be worth having two bobbin cases. The tensions are made adjustable, so you can get a good stitch on different fabrics and applications. When I’m piecing, sewing Velcro, free-motion quilting, sewing on stretchy fabrics, etc., I’m always changing the tensions. Aurafil thread is a different tension than Guterman Poly or Metler Silk-finish cotton threads. I sew on Berninas at home, but play with lots of different tensions at the shop. Sometimes we get a customer who wants us to set their tension for some particular thread or fabric. Spandex is the worst! Double needle on Spandex is even harder. But it can be done -- on most machines.

    With some machines, the needle/hook distance (a timing setting) is variable. The needle bar can wiggle forward and backwards as it sews, so there’s no way to control that timing setting. If you can grab the needle bar and wiggle it forward and backward, that’s just asking for a sloppy stitch. Some machines have a huge needle hole in the needle plate – another sloppy stitch problem because the fabric isn’t supported as the stitch is formed. Thread drags on a worn, plastic bobbin case. Metal is always better. It seems like sewing machines are being made cheaper and cheaper. There are a couple machines I won’t even touch. The Brother with the thread cartridge, and there are a couple machines out there with plastic hooks. I’ll just tell them not to put any money into the machine and they’d be better off going to a thrift store and buying an old, metal Kenmore.

    Sounds like you’ve got a very temperamental sewing machine. But you’ve jumped in and have been experimenting with the tensions. That’s a good thing to do. Get comfortable with it, and if it doesn’t work, take it back and get your money back. Any reputable dealer will refund your money on a bad machine. We took back 2 Bernettes in one day, just a couple weeks ago. They both traded up for a Bernina, which I’m sure they’ll be much happier with.

    Keep me posted.

    ReplyDelete