Sewing machine help(Crafts or Tools?) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

My sewing machine keeps locking up. It's been oil. It's a Brother and just a basic(cheap) machine. The bobbin has never worked properly, I'm in the middle of a big project. Help and thanks.

-- Cindy (SE IN.) (, January 17, 2001


When you say "locking up" does it just quit or kinda grind to a halt?

One thing I found with mine is that it will get so it seems to be turning really hard and I have to take the bobbin part apart and clean it. The thread gets stuck in there and can cause a real problem. You might check in your book and adjust that little screw head on the bobbin until you get a good clean stitch. Kinda hard to explain, but this may be a quick fix.

-- Betsy K (, January 17, 2001.

It sounds like the timing is way off. Are you breaking needles prior to having it lock up? Its not something you can fix at home, it needs to see the repair shop. What happens when the timing is off is that the needle drops in the wrong area of the bobbin carrage and gets jammed up. Not an uncommon problem with sewing machines. I wouldnt try to sew with it until it gets fixed, you will only make it worse!

Good luck, Judy

-- Judy L (, January 17, 2001.

My father was a sewing machine repairman for years, and he says that 9 times out of 10, the needle isn't in properly. It could be in facing the wrong way, or could be threaded incorrectly. So, while it sounds like Judy is right on, check your needle/thread and make sure it's done properly.

-- Julie (, January 17, 2001.

Sometimes its just something like an evil little piece of thread wrapped around some part of the bobbin case. But if the bobbin has always been a problem, then there is most likely something wrong with the bobbin case. That will require a repairman. Gee, where is Juno? She repairs sewing machines, doesn't she?

-- Joy Froelich (, January 17, 2001.

I've worked as a seamstress for years and have at least 4 different machines. I learned real quick it was expensive to keep taking them in so I learned to work on them myself. If your bobbin thread is getting into snarled knots then the tension is wrong..probably too loose. There should be a little screw to adjust it either on the bobbin housing itself or close to it. Your needle could also be in wrong. If in doubt get a flashlight...look up in the holder(in other words stand on your and you should be able to tell where the flat side of the needle should go. I keep a cheap narrow paintbrush with soft bristles next to my machine and use it periodically to thoroughly dust all of the parts of the machine I can possibly get to. This really prolongs the life of a lot of parts. Make sure your machine is threaded correctly....lots of folks thread their machines wrong. Get some scrap material and monkey with the tension knobs till you have a smooth seam(those always intimidated me for some reason...didn't want to adjust them..afraid I'd mess it up). I hope this helps. God bless.

-- Amanda in Mo (, January 18, 2001.

Also might be the wrong needle. Either the wrong size or the wrong make for the machine. Also wonder if you have the correct bobbin. Sewing machines, as far as I can figure out, work by magic. But it's finely tuned magic, and any part that is not adjusted properly or does not belong to that specifc machine can cause the problems you have described.

-- Maggie's Farm (, January 23, 2001.

I've been sewing for 45 years. I started on my mothers treadle machine, so I've been around sewing machines a long time. I would check to see if your machine is locked up with lint. Check carefully all over the insides. I use a soft brush too, but I also use a vacuum attachment especially made to clean computers, sewing machines and sergers. I remember clearly bringing in a machine when I was a teenager to be fixed and it was clogged with lint and thread pieces.Like the others said, check the threading, needle position and tension too. Good luck!

-- Ardie from WI (, January 23, 2001.

only thing I didn't see mentioned, is that the very last thread guide right above the needle will line up with the hole in the needle and the needle has a groove down the front side which faces the last thread guide, I have an old machine that I spray down with W-D 40 once a year, then go back to the regular oil again.

-- Thumper (, January 24, 2001.

I have the same type of machine and had experienced the same type of problem. Despite the fact that I've been sewing for over 30 years and consider myself very experienced, it ultimately turned out that I was using the wrong type of needle!! Make sure you use ball point needles, and that they are the correct size for the fabric you are working with. The Brother machines seem to be much more "touchy" about that than Singers, etc. I keep a supply of various needle sizes on hand and sometimes need to change them a couple of times while sewing the same project, depending upon trims, details, etc. Hope this helps.

-- KathleenInMN (, March 18, 2001.

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