Home Beginner's Guide to Sewing Beginner’s Guide to Sewing: Sewing Machine Parts Reference Guide

Beginner’s Guide to Sewing: Sewing Machine Parts Reference Guide

written by Sarah July 3, 2014

which part is which

Ever been completely bewildered by your sewing machine? So many buttons and knobs and little parts – which parts is which???

We understand. We were once there, too. So, to go along with our Beginner’s Guide to Sewing, we’ve made this little reference guide to elaborate on those parts we went over in the videos- plus a few extras.

It’s all alphabetical so you can quickly find the part name.

Letter BBobbin:  A stitch is formed buy looping the bobbin thread and the needle thread together like this:

just_in_case_you_ever_wonder_how_a_sewing_machine_works-98670

HBR/Wikimedia Commons

The bobbin is essentially a second spool of thread. Different machines use different bobbin sizes, so it’s important to consult your manual or locate your machine in our database list before buying new bobbins.

Bobbins list of machines compats

You’ll notice that some bobbins are plastic, while others are metal. There are people who swear by metal bobbins, as they tend to be more resilient .  Speaking of resilient, a bobbin that is nicked, bent, cracked, or damaged in anyway needs to be thrown out. Even the slightest damage will affect how the thread  is pulled off the bobbin.

Bobbin Case: Your bobbin’s home. It’s composed of a hook rotary system that needs to be cleaned every few projects. When you turn the hand wheel towards your body, you’ll notice the shuttle system move. As the needle thread is pulled around bobbin case, it wraps around the bobbin thread, and pulls it up through the needle plate.

bobbin case

Bobbin Cover:  For front loading bobbins, you remove the storage compartment to reveal a flip-down cover. Most top loading bobbin machines have a clear clip-in cover.

bobbin cover

Bobbin Tension: As if tension wasn’t confusing enough, the bobbin has its own tension system, though you don’t ever really need to touch this as a beginner. Just keep it at the factory setting for now. As you gain more experience and become more comfortable, you can mess around with the bobbin tension. (i.e. for shirring fabric with elastic thread).

That being said, we demonstrate how to check the bobbin tension and adjust it in Episode 5: Troubleshooting and Maintenance.

Bobbin Winder: The majority of sewing machines have a built in bobbin winding system, as shown in the video. This loads the thread on to your bobbin for you, instead of having to hand wind. The key is to make sure the thread spool is feeding to the bobbin smoothly. A proper bobbin is wound evenly, just like a spool of thread. No one end should be thicker than the other, nor should any knots or tangles have formed. Once you see a tangle form, unwind the thread and start all over again.

bobbin winding

Tip: Wind your bobbin at a medium speed. If you go too fast, it can stretch the thread out, making the thread more susceptible to breaks, as well as warping the appearance of your seam.

You’ll notice that some of the bobbin stoppers have a little screw on the top. By slightly unscrewing, you can adjust the fullness of your bobbin. For instance, there is no need to fill a bobbin to the brim if you only plan to use that thread color for a seam or two.

bobbin stopper

Button Shank Plate: This is used to attach buttons to heavy fabric, like denim. It can also be used when sewing over thick seams, like when sewing jeans, as it prevents uneven stitches.

button shank plate

letter D

Darning Plate: On some machines, the needle plates can be changed out for specialty plate. For instance, if a machine (like the Brother in our video) doesn’t have a “drop feed dogs” lever, one can simply install the darning plate to achieve free motion sewing.

Darning Plate

Letter E

Extension Table: This is the removable/free arm sewing bed. To remove, you simply ‘pop’ it out of place. Buy removing this section, you are able to more easily sew circular projects, like hems and cuffs. Very often, this part doubles as a storage compartment.  For front loading bobbin machines, you must remove the extension table to access the bobbin.

extension table bed

There are also accessory extension tables you can use with your machine.  When sewing larger projects, especially quilts, it’s helpful and often better, to support the extra bulk with an additional extension table. However, you can also use your arm or flip the extra fabric over your shoulder.  If not supported one way or another, the weight will pull the fabric to the side, making sewing more difficult and stretching the fabric.

extension table extra

Letter F

Feed Dogs: These are those metal teeth located within the needle plate. When sewing, these teeth grab on to the fabric and pull it through the machine. Many machines have the option to “Drop Feed Dogs”. This means the feed dogs are lowered into the machine, thereby disengaging them.

feed dogs

But why would you want to disengage/drop the feed dogs? Because when doing free motion sewing/darning/quilting,  you move the fabric freely and in any direction or shape you want. If the feed dogs were to remain in use, you’d be fighting against their pull, which damages the machine and creates ugly stitches. If you machine doesn’t have a drop-feed option, you would simply install a darning plate (see Darning Plate).

Felt Cushion: This is placed on the spool pin under the thread spool. It’s suppose to make the spool pin spin better. I say suppose to, because I’ve never actually used one on the account that I’ve always lost it straight out of the box.

felt cushion

Foot Controller/Pedal: This little pedal is how you control the needle. Be wary of a lead foot; you don’t always have to go max speed. In fact, I recommend sewing slowly until you get more experience under your belt. As you sew more and more, you’ll operate the foot controller as well as you operate a gas pedal – or even better, if you’re like me.

foot controller

Foot Pressure Dial: A pressure foot dial lets you customize how much physical pressure is apply by the presser foot on to the fabric. This is especially helpful for very lightweight and very heavy fabrics, as adjusting the pressure makes for better seams and fabric control.

Letter G

General Purpose/Zig zag Foot: For basic sewing, you’ll use the zigzag foot/all purpose foot/general purpose foot. It has the wide opening to accommodate a zig zag. You’ll use this foot to do straight stitching, satin stitches, and a ton of decorative stitches. It’s basically your go-to foot.

general purpose foot

Letter H

Hand wheel: The first functional sewing machines used a hand crank to stitch the seams. This hand wheel is mostly used to bring the bobbin thread up through the needle plate and to raise/lower the needle for position changes/pivoting corners. When turning the hand wheel, make sure to turn it towards your body.

handwheel

Letter L

Lint Brush: Yup, you’ll have to dust. If you want to keep your machine operating smoothly, try to clean out the lint every few projects. Certain fabric, like those with a pile (velvet) need to be cleaned out after every project, because the lint builds up so badly. You don’t have to use the brush that came with your machine; many people have a combination of tools to cleans the best possible.

Tip: You can use pressurized/compressed air to clean the lint from your sewing machine. Spray away.

Letter N

Needles: There are a TON of different types and sizes. Here’s the thing, needles are really important. You have to use the correct needle for your fabric, the fabric weight, and the task to be successful. It’s so important, we made a whole flow chart to help you pick the correct needle by answering “yes” or “no”. Plus, knowing you already have the correct needle is one less troubleshooting step.

needles

TIP: You’ll hear you need to change your needle after every project. Unless you are using super cheap needles, you can use the needle for more than one project. With quality needles, you can get a good 15 hours out of them. Once you gain more experience, you’ll be able to recognize when the needle is dull and needles to be changed. This usually happens when the thread is bunching and stitches are uneven despite the  tension being perfect.

Needle Plate: This metal plate covers the feed dogs and bobbin casing. Nearly all needle plates come with some kind of etchings to act as a seam allowance measuring guide. The etching help keep seams straight.

needle plate

 

Needle Threader: These come in very basic to completely computerized and automatic. Many people have difficulty threading the eye of the needle. By having a needle threader, you prevent eye strain and making threading your machine more efficient, as a needle threader is usually much faster than the old fashion “squint-and-pray” method.

Letter P

Presser Feet: Oh, boy. Where do I start? These are special attachments that are either required (i.e. walking foot for quilting) or make sewing significantly easier (i.e. binding foot). As a beginner, you’ll use the general purpose foot (also called a zig zag foot or all purpose foot) and walking foot the most. Presser feet attach to the machine shank, which is either “High”, “Low”, or “Slant”.  Snap on presser feet are great, because they are easy to install. They are used by clipping into a Snap-on Shank Adapter. All new machines come with their own snap on shank adapter.

presser feet

snap on adapter

When shopping for presser feet, you must first know what type of shank your machines has and the maximum stitch width. For instance, if your maximum stitch width is 7mm, a 5mm presser foot isn’t technically compatible with your machine. However, you can still use a 5mm presser foot, just need to test your needle position by carefully, manually turning the hand wheel and watching where the needle touches. Of you don’t test first, you may break your needle on the presser foot. Nobody likes small, flying metal shards.

We have a library of presser feet videos demonstrating what each foot is used for and how to use it. Be sure to browse if you’re curious.

Letter R

Reverse Button: All machines have one of these. It’s because the start and stop of every seam needs to be back-stitched in order to lock in the threads. By  reinforcing the first few stitches, you prevent the seam from busting opening when tension is applied.

reverse lever

TIP: If the start of a seam is going to crisscross with another seam, like when piecing quilt blocks, you don’t really need to repeatedly back stitch; it just takes too much time. Also, if you’re sewing a basting stitch (or any seam you know you’ll rip out) don’t back-stitch, because it’s harder to removed stitches that have been reinforced.

Letter S

Screwdrivers: All machines come with tiny screwdrivers to remove the shank screw and to remove the  needle plate.  The screws are very small, so make sure to keep track of them. They tend to roll away.

screw drivers

Seam Ripper: This little tool has a sharp, hook-like end that slides under the stitch and cuts the thread. Or, you can use it to pull out each stitch, eventually removing the whole seam in one piece.

a seam ripper

Spool Pin and Holders/Caps: The spool pin is what holds your thread spool. Some are vertical, some are horizontal. A spool holder/cap is a little stopper that secures the spool in place. Without the holder, the thread spool would be yanked off while sewing.

spool pins

Start/Stop Button: Technically, this feature allows you to sew without using your foot controller. But, really, it’s used to start and stop automatic sewing, like machine embroidery and automatic buttonholes.

Stitch Selection Dial: Some machines have a very basic knob that turns to select the stitch, while others have multiple buttons or are completely computerized on a touch screen. The stitches are numbered on your machine, but in most manuals it has both the stitch number and the name of the stitch (satin, stretch, zigzag), as well as the tension, length, and width setting.

stitch selection dial

Stitch Length: Increasing makes the stitch longer, which is great for basting stitches or when sewing very heavy fabric. The longer your stitch length, the more you’ll need to lower the tension. The opposite goes when reducing the stitch length, like when creating a satin stitch. The shorter your stitch length, the more you need to increase the tension.

Stitch Width: This determines how wide or narrow you want your stitch.  Generally, machines are either maxed out at 5mm wide or 7mm wide. Meaning that the widest zag zag stitch you can make is either 5mm or 7mm. This is important, because you never want to install a 5 mm wide presser foot on a 7mm sewing machine without first testing you needle position and width by manually turning the hand wheel.

Tip: When sewing a straight stitch, you can change the needle position by adjusting the stitch width.

Letter T

Thread: There are so many different types of thread on the market. As a beginner, you’ll start out with All Purpose Polyester thread. Polyester thread won’t shrink, stretch, or loose it’s color (at least not for a long time). It’s very strong and easy to use. No fuss or fluff, and it can be used with virtually all fabric.

As you continue your sewing journey, you’ll love learning about new thread, like metallic, embroidery, clear, and nylon. There’s even glow-in-the-dark thread!

Tension Knob: Tension is one of the scariest things to learn for new sewists. But really, it’s just a game of tug and war. As you’re learning, try to stick within the automatic tension range; after all, mastering a straight stitch is hard enough.

Tension Auto

Remember, most manuals  list the tension settings for each stitch. If you do need to adjust the tension, do it 1 or 0.5 intervals at number at a time.

Here’s one way to think of it; imagine a dog on a leash. If little Spot wants to run 10 feet (i.e., a long length) in front of you, you’ll have to loose your tension/grip on the leash, right? If you want him to stay close to your heels, you’ll have to tighten your hold on the leash.  It’s the same thing for tension. The further the individual stitch needs to travel, the more ease it needs, thus less tension.

The longer/wider the stitch, the less tension, because the stitch has a longer distance to travel.

The thicker the fabric, the less tension, because you need more thread for each stitch to do through a thick piece of fabric.

The opposite applies when sewing a short/narrow stitch and thin fabric.  A balanced stitch will only show the needle thread on one side, and the bobbin thread on the other side.

tension solution

If you’re feeling brave, play around and see what happens. Put opposite colored thread in the bobbin and in the needle and adjust the stitch and tension settings.

If the bobbin thread is visible on the top of the fabric, then the needle tension is too tight.

If the needle thread is seen on the bottom of the fabric, then the needle tension is too loose.

Tension Disks: The thread is passed though these plates as part of threading your machine. Make sure you literally floss the thread between the disks. These two metal plates are pushed together when the stitch tension is increased and pulled apart when the stitch tension is lowered.

Thread Cutter (built-in the machine): Many modern machines have a tiny blade attached to the left side of the machine to conveniently cut thread tails instead of looking for scissors after every seam. More advanced machines will have a automatic thread cutter built into the bobbin area. You simply press a button, and the thread tails are trimmed to roughly 1/4 an inch.

Thread Nippers: These are just small scissor you keep next to your sewing machine. At the end of a seam, just clip the thread tails. Of course, if your sewing machine has a built in thread cutter, you can skip these.

thread nippers

Thread Take up Lever: Always make sure your thread catches on this when threading your machine. It’s kind of difficult to see, but if you move it to the highest position by turning your hand wheel, it’s much easier to visualize.

thread take up lever

letter Z

Zipper Foot: There are adjustable zipper feet, invisible zipper feet, and standard zipper feet. I can’t emphasized enough how much you have to use these foot when installing a zipper. Watch this zipper foot video to learn more.

Zipper Foot

 

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110 comments

DAMMY June 15, 2017 at 10:22 am

HI SARAH, I JUST BOUGHT A BUTTERFLY MACHINE AND DON’T KNOW HOW TO FIX THE HEAD TO THE BODY OF THE MACHINE

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Sarah June 15, 2017 at 1:01 pm

Hi, Dammy! I don’t know how to do that either. However, our lead technician, Dennis, may know how. Sends an email to info@sewingpartsonline.com with your question and we’ll see what we can figure out. Thank you!

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YEMI June 7, 2017 at 7:08 am

Hi , I have a new butterfly JH9180 but I have not been able to get different stitches such as zig zag and other decorative stiches on it, was just able to get the straight sewing alone.

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Sarah June 7, 2017 at 9:06 am

Hi! You may have to take it to a dealer or local repair shop to have the stitch gears assessed. I don’t have any information on that machine. With my machines, if I have a straight stitch plate installed, it won’t let me use zigzag stitches.

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Lori May 31, 2017 at 4:22 pm

Hello, I just came across a Vintage sewing machine and have no idea where the bobbin goes or how to load, can you help? Signature old really old machine….

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Sarah June 1, 2017 at 8:55 am

Hi, Lori! I would be happy to help! Do you know the model number of your machine?

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Olga Groner May 21, 2017 at 2:11 am

hi Sarah,I just bought a White Multi-Tasker 2200 used and it is missing a nob on the side that makes the bobbin spin.I plan to call the retail store Monday,just wondering if u could give me a insight sooner.

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Sarah May 22, 2017 at 9:27 am

Hi, Olga! I’m so sorry, but I’m having trouble visualizing which part you’re referring to. Would you mind sending up a picture to info@sewingpartsonline.com? We’ll see if we can get you the right part. Thank you!

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Sherry May 12, 2017 at 7:22 am

Hi Sarah, I have recently bought a sewing machine called sew 4 fun, it has a snap on adaptor, assume it’s low Shank. Is it possible to find a darning foot that’s suitable for this machine, because I would like to try the free motion sewing, so I don’t know whether I can find a darning foot that’s suitable for this machine.

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Sarah May 12, 2017 at 11:11 am

Hi, Sherry! It appears that machine is a low shank sewing machine. This foot should work with your machine: https://goo.gl/ogD0LA
However, I didn’t see that your machine is drop feed capable. Did you machine come with a darning plate?

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Judi May 8, 2017 at 9:25 pm

I have a Singer Tradition – refurbished. When I first started sewing (about 5 months ago) what I”m about to ask you about happened a lot. Lately not so much. Except tonight. I can’t figure it out. And since I’m a beginner, I don’t know if it’s me….or the refurbished machine. It’s a front-loading bobbin. I’m holding the tails – and about the 2nd or third stitch, it gets bound up. I have to take the bobbin out, AND move the little arms to take off the circle thing, and then take off the half moon thing (that fits in line with the other half moon thing – together the bobbin case sort of fits into the two of them, so if I just put in or take out the bobbin in its little case, I’m not disturbing this assembly), and unwind the thread which seems to have gotten caught up and wound around itself. I can’t find the names of the pieces, but I can send you a picture. When it happens, it happens multiple times and no matter what I do, it doesn’t rectify itself – until the next morning, when it’s as if nothing happened. I found your site trying to learn what the parts are called to see if I could find any inkling as to what is happening. Thank you.

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Judi May 9, 2017 at 8:26 am

I fixed it – sort of. I still don’t know what the problem is / was, but I remembered somewhere in some beginner’s tips and tricks thing,the blogger instructed to just rethread. When it’s all wonky and you can’t find the problem, rethread. So I did. That took care of the issue – whatever it was. I guess I’d been doing that before too, but it had been so long since the problem had occurred, I’d forgotten the simplicity of the solution. Thank you.

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Sarah May 9, 2017 at 11:21 am

Hi, Judi! I’m so glad you were able to fix the issue! Congrats!

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Sarah May 9, 2017 at 11:21 am

Hi, Judi! It could be a number of things, but usually, thread nests are caused by either a scratched needle plate, a scratched bobbin case, a bad needle, or a threading issue. If you change the needle and rethread and it still happens, check your bobbin case. If you run your fingers along all sides of the bobbin case and the hook assembly, do you feel and rough areas? Even the smallest burr will wreck havoc.

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judi May 13, 2017 at 9:05 am

Sarah – thank you so much for this. I’ll mark it for future reference. In the meantime, I’ve been exploring the site, videos and blog posts and there’s hugely great information here so I’ll be visiting and re-visiting everything quite often. Everything is so well explained (not always the case, and really frustrating when you’re a beginner) and I’m excited to dig in, once I get my initial project under the way, am bored, and ready for something new!

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Sarah May 15, 2017 at 10:35 am

Hi, Judi! Thank you so much for your kind words! It means so much to us!

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Billy Bond May 8, 2017 at 6:44 pm

Why did my grandmother put a piece of cloth underneath the footplate when she was through sewing

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Sarah May 9, 2017 at 11:12 am

Hi, Billy! There are a few reasons. By lowering the presser foot when not in use, you eliminate the risk of accidentally hitting the lever and having the presser foot slam against the needle plate. Having a piece of fabric acts as a barrier between the two metal pieces. Also, it’s safest to have the needle down and inserted through the piece of cloth fabric.

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judi May 13, 2017 at 9:08 am

Interesting! I have Googled a lot of beginner tips and tricks, and so am doing the cloth scrap under the needle (those lists have been super helpful), but didn’t know that extra info about having the needle down and inserted through the fabric. So I’ll start doing that. Thank you! In 7th grade I took home ec (just gave my age away I think LOL). Half was sewing and half was cooking. Afterward, I made two dresses on my mom’s very very old singer. Now 40+ years later and a beginner again, I not only appreciate Google and the internet, but whatever I learned in home ec that seemed to make my memory of sewing a lot easier than I’ve been finding it!

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Kathie May 5, 2017 at 8:21 am

I have an older Pfaff 1222 (was cleaned; refurbished three years ago). The needle is sewing in place, as if the feed dogs are dropped (they’re not). It probably needs a gear that controls the feed teeth but I don’t know what part or parts that it needs. Can you help?

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Sarah May 5, 2017 at 11:58 am

Hi, Kathie! It does sound like you need one of the lower gears replaced, but I’d like to consult with our repair technician first.

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Esther April 29, 2017 at 11:06 pm

Hi Kate, please can you help me with video or instruction on how to fix the elastic that connects the leg and the machine together. I just got a butterfly Ja2-1 machine. Anticipating your quick response

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Kathy Corjasso April 5, 2017 at 7:45 am

I am looking for the little springlike finger positioner thing that keeps the bobbin case in place. I have a Babylock BLSO, thank you

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Sarah April 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm

Hi, Kathy! This could be the part: http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/position-bracket-babylock-brother-xc8406151.aspx
But if you’re not sure, we can send you a parts schematic, just to be safe.

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Kathy Corjasso April 11, 2017 at 4:18 pm

You are awesome, thank you

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April Godboldo March 28, 2017 at 7:32 pm

Hi Sarah, what’s the name of the thin wire that’s attached to the tension knob which supports and guide thread between the tension disks?

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Sarah March 29, 2017 at 4:39 pm

I believe you are thinking of the check spring?

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Christine Williams March 26, 2017 at 4:37 pm

Hi Sarah – I just bought a vintage Kenmore carrying case for my vintage 1970’s Kenmore machine. It has a bed extension stored up inside the lid, which is held in place by a small metal clip that has two prongs that seem to hold it fast to the inside of the case. I have no idea how to remove this, and never noticed it in my old case back in the ’70’s when I used the machine. Can you enlighten us as to how to remove this? We’re afraid to use too much force, the bed is held tightly to the case and we’re afraid of breaking it. thanks!

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Sarah March 28, 2017 at 9:39 am

Hi, Christine! I would be happy to look into this for you. Do you know the model number of your machine?

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Christine Williams March 29, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Hi Sarah – it’s a Kenmore 1703 Zig Zag machine. Thanks!

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Sarah April 7, 2017 at 8:24 am

Hi Christine! I apologize for the late response – do you have the manual for your Kenmore 1703??

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Christine Williams May 5, 2017 at 4:56 pm

Hi Sarah – sorry it took so long. Yes, I have the manual, but there doesn’t appear to be anything about the case in it. Thanks.

Sarah May 8, 2017 at 11:20 am

Hmmm… I think your best option is to speak with our technician. He has more experience with those machines than me. Please give us a call at 888-824-1192 and ask to speak with Dennis. Thanks!

Nilima March 20, 2017 at 5:04 pm

Hi Sarah, I have a Janome machine,’Allure’ model,6years old. It was working fine till recently but suddenly it has started giving problems. It doesn’t stitch properly. It is skipping some stitches, even if the top seam looks fine its gathering too much thread below the fabric and the seam is also very loose. I can easily remove the top thread and all the seam comes out easily. Not sure what is the problem. I have been using no.14 needle till now. I tried changing the tension but doesnt help. I try to clean the bobbin case and oil the machine regularly. Can you please suggest something? Thanks, Nilima

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Sarah March 22, 2017 at 9:58 am

Hi, Nilima! If you’ve completely removed the bobbin and the bobbin case and dusted between all the nooks and crannies – but are still having issues, it may be time for a new bobbin case. When these issues occur, it’s usually because there’s a nick or burr on either the bobbin or the bobbin case. Unfortunately, I don’t have any information on that machine, as it’s not an American Janome machine.

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Jaime March 7, 2017 at 7:30 pm

I have a singer esteem 2. The automatic feeder seems to be broken. When i pull the lever down it keeps getting jammed

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Sarah March 8, 2017 at 10:20 am

Hi, Jaime! Unfortunately, it may need to be replaced. We have parts for your machine here: https://goo.gl/vBCJBL

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Wendy February 27, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Sarah, maybe you can help me? I am wanting a manual for an OLD Brother Sewing machine, model 130656. I can’t find anything on it anywhere. Thank you.

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Sarah March 1, 2017 at 11:53 am

Hmmmm…that is a tricky one. Can you send a picture of your sewing machine to info@sewingpartsonline.com so we may look into this for you?

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merridee February 19, 2017 at 6:45 am

Thanks for a help hint of sewing machines and also photos should be helpful in sewing camp for the kids.

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merridee February 19, 2017 at 6:44 am

Thanks for the sewing hints and photos too, will be helpful at sewing camp with 4H

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Kathy February 15, 2017 at 6:11 pm

I have a brother 6000 series sewing machine. Every time I turn on machine the needle goes to the left. If I forget that it does that and start to sew it breaks my needle on the presser foot. Any suggestions on how to make it stay in one position when I turn it on?

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Sarah February 16, 2017 at 3:10 pm

Hi, Kathy – is your machine the Brother CS6000i?

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Helen February 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm

Hi not sure if you can advise me. I have been given a very old(1966)Bernina 5?? Machine. I oiled it but it looks as if it’s been worked to death Are any of these parts still available and could I purchase some from yourselves?

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Sarah February 16, 2017 at 3:09 pm

Hi, Helen! I think you’re talking about the 5-series. We have many parts for that machine here: http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/bernina-530-sewing-machine-parts.aspx
If you don’t see what you’re looking for, give us a call or email and we’ll get you all set up.

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Stan Rinde February 6, 2017 at 8:27 pm

All the information is very helpful, but how can I order a needle plate that allows for zig zag sewing on mechine modle # 158.19412.
Thank you

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Sarah February 13, 2017 at 9:47 am

Hi, Stan! This needle plate fits your machine and accommodates a zig zag: https://goo.gl/I8TwFv

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Cindy February 4, 2017 at 1:04 am

Hi,

I purchased a replacement bobbin winder part from you for my Brother CE1100PRW machine. I managed to install the new part but it not longer snaps into place against the wheel. I was wondering if you might have a schematic or picture of the machine in the area of the bobbin winder? Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

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Sarah February 13, 2017 at 10:20 am

Hi, Cindy! I will send a picture to your email. I hope it helps!

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Sarah February 13, 2017 at 10:49 am

Hi, Cindy! Our customer service reps can personally email you an image of the machine’s schematics. Call us at 888-824-1192 or email us at info@sewingpartsonline.com and we’ll get that right out to you.

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craftmanic December 30, 2016 at 5:01 pm

Rather than a screw, I’d call it a squiggle? Thank you for your help.

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craftmanic December 30, 2016 at 4:59 pm

I have a Singer Quantum 9910. I have been missing the screw like thing that the thread passes through before going into the needle. What is this called? I’ve tried all kinds of names, but can’t come up with a name in the search engine to buy a new one. Can you help?

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Sarah January 3, 2017 at 9:14 am

Hi! Would you mind giving us a call? We can go over the schematics of the machine and find the part you need. 888-824-1192

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Stacy Boland December 17, 2016 at 5:24 pm

I can not turn the hand wheel towards me. It is stuck/locked in place and will not move. What is the most common reason this would happen?

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Sarah December 19, 2016 at 10:04 am

Hi Stacy! This most commonly occurs when thread has accumulated behind the bobbin case. It can also be a lack of oil. Hopefully, you can get your machine back to working quickly. Best of luck!

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Franny November 24, 2016 at 7:42 pm

Im looking for the piece that connects to the pressure foot to make it move up and down? Please help

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Sarah November 25, 2016 at 11:22 am

Hi Franny! Do you need the presser foot lifter? What is the make and model of your machine?

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Disney Fan October 27, 2016 at 11:13 am

Question: I am just learning how to sew and just purchased a second-hand Brother LS2125i. According to the purchase date (receipt was included with the machine) the machine is 8 years old. The problem is the thread keeps wrapping itself around the screw that’s attached to the thread take up lever when the machine is running. Why? It seems to get in the small space between the screw and the lever base. The upper threading looks correct. I can run it for about 15 seconds, then either the bobbin thread knots up under the fabric, or the top thread breaks and the middle part of that thread line is tightly wrapped around that screw. I am sure the original owner could not figure out why the upper thread kept breaking (we removed that screw and there was a lot of thread pieces wrapped tightly in it). Is this a tension setting, or a manufacture/design defect?

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Ellen October 28, 2016 at 8:54 am

I would suggest taking the machine to a technician. If you’d like to speak to ours for advice, you can call 888-824-1192 extension 307. His name is Dennis!

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Jeremy K. October 28, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Hi! There could be a number of problems, but I believe they can be easily fixed. First, when you thread your machine, are you able to pull off about a yard of thread smoothly without anything getting caught?

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Disney Fan October 29, 2016 at 3:14 pm

Hi Jeremy.
Yes, I can pull both upper and bottom thread through without catching.

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Jeremy K. October 30, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Hi again! Can you send us a picture of the thread wrapped around the screw? You can send it to info @ sewingpartsonline.com or upload to our facebook page.

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Disney Fan October 31, 2016 at 2:05 pm

I was hoping not to run the machine again until I could figure out the problem. We removed the screw, and cleared out all the thread. I’d rather not have to do that again. I’m not sure if that is breaking the upper thread, or if the thread is breaking for another reason, thengetting wrapped around that screw. The bobbin also tangles up. Maybe that is breaking the thread? We did clean the machine and oil it as instructed by the manual even before we threaded it and ran it the first time. It seems to run great for about 10 seconds, then I stop it, remove the test material, pull the threads out again to start again, and then the breakage happens. I did pull out about 3′ as you instructed with no problems. I did not run it though, as I waited for your response first. Besides taking a picture, is there any other test I can perform?

Sarah November 1, 2016 at 9:29 am

If you’ve already switched out your needle and thread, I have a feeling you may have a burr on either the needle plate or the bobbin case. Run the tip of your finger along all the surfaces of your needle plate and bobbin case. It should be perfectly smooth. Any knick, even the slightest, will cause thread to break and nests to form.

Monique November 3, 2016 at 12:56 am

Hello, I’m wondering if perhaps you might know how I can replace a tiny screw on a singer over lock professional 5 machine. The little screw that holds the needle in the machine is missing. It goes in spot C”. Hoping there’s an easy way to get another one. Thanks for any advice you may have. I’m hoping it’s easy to replace.

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Sarah November 4, 2016 at 11:43 am

Hi Monique! We can get you this part, but we have to get some more information from you. Could you please email us at info@sewingpartsonline.com or call us?

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Deb Strohmayer September 23, 2016 at 11:52 am

I have a New Home sewing machine manufactured in 1967. The knob on the hand wheel will not loosen so when I fill a bobbin my needle goes up and down. How can I get this loosened? Which way should I be turning the knob?

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Ellen September 23, 2016 at 11:58 am

Hi Deb

What is the model of your New Home? A lot of times the handwheel will simply pop outward (away from the machine) for winding the bobbin, then you pop it back in for sewing. Other times there’s a circular lever inside the handwheel that you can press on one side for winding the bobbin, then press the other side for sewing.

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Disney Fan November 3, 2016 at 5:33 pm

Hi Sarah,
I checked the entire bobbin, bobbin casing, and the needle plate, and do not feel any burrs or knicks. I also looked carefully and felt around in the area of the thread take up lever including that attached screw. and did not find any burrs, scratches or gouges. I ran the machine on new test fabric several times now, and so far the top thread has not broken, but the bobbin ends up with multiple threads on the second time I run it. I cannot and do not go in reverse at all. I can run a straight stitch forward and stop at the end of the fabric after which I can pull both threads out with no problem. I find I have to remove and reload the bobbin before running it again or the bottom threads will mess up. I cannot pull the fabric away due to several threads coming up from the bobbin on the second run if I haven’t removed and reinserted the bobbin, however there is no knot ot or bird nest, but I also cannot pull it free when I stop. I can see several threads holding the fabric from underneath when I do stop. After removing and reinserting the bobbin again, I can pull both threads freely and run it for several seconds, but only once. What is happening? What else can I check?

I really do appreciate your assistance. 🙂

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Sarah November 4, 2016 at 10:29 am

Your machine is really giving you a rough time! We have a repair technician here who has been working on machines for over 20 years – I think we need his help. Can you please call us and ask to speak with Dennis?

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Linda September 18, 2016 at 12:25 pm

Hi there I am a beginner and have purchased a mini multi-purpose sewing machine model FHSM-505 VIDA,my problems are the lower bobbin won’t catch the upper thread. Tried to rest the lower bobbin case back in line but every time you put the needle down it jumps back out of place and jams. The feeder dogs same to jams. Was wondering if you have any suggestions on how I might fix it.
Linda from Scotland xxx

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Ellen September 19, 2016 at 9:11 am

I would recommend taking the machine to a technician. If you’d like to speak to our technician just call 615-229-7171 and ask for extension 307.

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Karen September 6, 2016 at 1:55 pm

If I am in the wrong place for questions, please ignore this. I”m a grandma who took home-Ec in Jr. High and have done basic sewing (curtains, Barbie doll clothes..) until about 20 years ago. NOw I can’t even get the darn thing threaded but if I do, then I have another problem that I’m hoping you can answer. First of all, the last time I attempted to sew, the adjustments were off and there was a messy bobbin thread stitching. So I put it away until my granddaughter asked if she could use my machine in a How To class she signed up for. My daughter took the machine to a Sewing Center to see about the adjustments. They told her it needed over $200 in parts and labor so they sold her a new one. Now that I have it back, when I press the pedal, there is a whirring sound but the hand wheel (if that’s what it’s called) doesn’t move. There is another, smaller “wheel” on top of the big wheel on the right side. IT’s the one I loosen to load a bobbin. If I manually turn the smaller wheel the needle will go up and down but no matter what I try, I can’t get the larger wheel to turn. It worked fine before it got inspected at the sewing center. I assume it’s an easy thing that I don’t know about. Any clue?

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Ellen September 7, 2016 at 8:35 am

Hi Karen

What is the make and model of your machine?

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Lindy September 3, 2016 at 9:26 am

Hello! I am trying to replace the needle plate on my Singer 44S Classic. I ordered the new needle plate online and it is identical to the one needing replacing. Trouble is, when I started taking the old needle plate apart, the black plastic underneath section held loose pieces that fell out and I can’t seem to get them back together. I thought about going to Wal-Mart, buying a new one, opening it, checking out how it was put together and then returning it. Can you send me a picture of what the underside of the needle plate is organized? You know how that little trap door to the bobbin opens up when you slide the lever to the right? What I’m trying to do is get that particular mechanism to work again. Thanks for any help you can give.

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Ellen September 6, 2016 at 8:53 am

Hi Lindy, if you’ll follow this link you should find a snapshot from the Singer 44S Parts Schematic. It shows all the parts of the needle plate and where they connect. You can also speak to our technician by calling 615-229-7171 and asking for Dennis at extension 307. Needle Plate Image

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Ahmad Sarlak August 24, 2016 at 11:30 pm

Hi SARAH;

My name is ahmad.
hope you are doing well.
actually i need to carbon pile that is using in foot pedal in swing machine. do you know how could i order it??

Regards

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Ellen August 25, 2016 at 8:27 am

Hello Ahmad

You can contact our customer service team at (888) 824-1192. If you give them you make and model they may have a parts breakdown they can send you.

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Meeka August 23, 2016 at 5:43 pm

Hi there. I came across your site and after so much time searching, I am hoping that you can direct me. I was given an older sewpro zz-401 simple sewing machine (which isn’t turning out to be so simple). After many videos, and near-fixes, we now realize that the belt (or 2?) fell apart & need replacing. I am not having any success at finding where/how to replace. Any leads or suggestions? Thanks so kindly!

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Ellen August 24, 2016 at 8:37 am

Hello Meeka

We have a blog post on how to locate the correct type and size belt for your machine: http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/blog/sewing-machine-belts-sizing/
Once you have that information just click the “Shop” button in the upper right-hand corner. If you’re having trouble finding the belt or belts you’re looking for you can always call our customer service team at (888) 824-1192

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Tammy Akin August 23, 2016 at 2:49 am

I have a white machine…the other day while sewing a pair of denim jeans I broke the needle and then I noticed it no longer picks up the bobbin thread..I think something broke off the grabs up the thread…any thoughts? Tammyakin@yahoo.com

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Ellen August 23, 2016 at 8:35 am

Hello Tammy

Sounds like your needle may have hit the bobbin case and broke something down there. I would take the machine to a technician. They’ll be able to open it up and tell you exactly what’s wrong and what parts need replacing.

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Roger August 18, 2016 at 3:02 am

I have a Janome 3128 that I absolutely love. I make neckties and doo-rags and this mid size machine is just perfect. Anyhow, I’ve watched videos on maintenance of a machine and they all talk about oiling certain parts. However, in my manual, it mentions nothing at all about oiling any of the parts. Is this true ? It just seems reasonable that over time, certain parts should be oiled. What parts should I be oiling?
Plus, I’ve been unable to open the area where the light bulb is located. There’s only one screw but after removing that screw, that piece just doesn’t want to come off, and I don’t want to force it. What am I doing wrong ?

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Ellen August 18, 2016 at 8:52 am

Hello Roger

We actually have a tutorial on oiling sewing machines (skip ahead to 2:34 to see oiling instructions): http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/blog/beginners-guide-sewing-episode-5-machine-troubleshooting-maintenance/

As for removing the face plate, it should just pop off after removing the screw. I wouldn’t force it. If you’re having trouble with it being stuck, I would take it to a technician.

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Sharon July 17, 2016 at 11:55 am

I have an old Kenmore sewing machine and the feed dogs don’t move back and forth what can I do

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Ellen July 18, 2016 at 9:00 am

Hello Sharon

On some machines you can disengage the feed dogs (for button sewing, etc.) I would suggest checking your manual to see if your machine has this capability and if so how to reengage the feed dogs. If it does not have this capability I would suggest taking your machine to a technician.

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OLAYINKA.J.MOSHOOD June 11, 2016 at 7:48 pm

I have. 205RB industrial machine.new one.but it felt down in my hand.the problem now is that the neck broken.i mean the area where the belt stay to go down to make motor roll.if I see the picture of it I know.it I need it.tell me the price then I will go for it.

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Ellen June 13, 2016 at 9:08 am

Hello Olayinka! One of our customer service reps will be emailing you a parts list for your machine.

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Liz May 26, 2016 at 4:59 pm

I believe my problem is the shuttle. sometimes when I try to bring up the thread from the bobbin it clangs. I tried to take it apart and had a really REALLY hard time. I finally got it together but it is not working right the sewing stitches are really messed up. Help please!!!! I have a Singer model 384 13012000. I just cannot figure out what is causing the problem!

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Sarah May 27, 2016 at 8:28 am

Hi again! Sorry I missed this message! I think you might have a burr or scratch on the shuttle or the bobbin case somewhere. I hate to say it, but you might want to take it in to your local sew and vac shop for a diagnostic. Do you have a local sew and vac shop nearby?? If not, please give us a call and ask to speak with Dennis. He is our AMAZING repair tech – he can walk you through a solution. He’s the BEST!

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Krystal April 12, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Hi there:) I am truly a beginner and trying to teach myself. I was giving a brother\project runway, and was so excited to finally be able to get started with this adventure. Then I noticed it was missing a few things lol. The extension table and accessories; no biggie, I can buy some new ones over time. The spool pin and the piece that holds the spool pin, a little more necessary; if I dt wat to wind bobbins by hand 🙁 so my question is what is the piece that hold the spool pin called and where can I get a replacement? Thank you in advance.

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Ellen April 12, 2016 at 12:42 pm

What model is your Brother?

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Temika Depp March 13, 2016 at 7:35 pm

This is an example of a definitely well-researched article. Thank you so much.

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Kaitlin February 5, 2016 at 10:03 pm

HI! I noticed you didn’t say anything about presser foot lifters. I have a 1966 Singer model 348 and I’m a beginner meaning I’ve literally only ever touched a machine once. And I can’t figure out how to lift the presser foot lifter! There seems to be a little metal thing stopping the lever from lifting up all the way. Is that MEANT to be there?? How do I do this!? Please help me.

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Ellen April 6, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Just from looking at the parts list I’d say no it should not be there. You may need to have a technician look at it.

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Jackie Longbone January 2, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Very helpful .. thank you 🙂

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Axe Leven December 6, 2015 at 10:36 pm

Love this reference guide!

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Cynthia Thomas November 20, 2015 at 9:38 am

I am a beginner sewer, so my question may be silly. I just bought a Brother JX2517. When the presser foot is in the up position should it be secured? I can easily move mine with ease, as if it may need to be tightened. Is this normal?

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Sarah November 27, 2015 at 4:35 pm

Hi Cynthia! It’s not a silly question at all! A general purpose will move up and down, but shouldn’t be able to move side to side. You can secure it by tightening the presser foot screw.

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Deyanira November 10, 2015 at 10:09 pm

Hi i have a riccar sewing machine yrs1992 and I don’t know how to use it.i need the manual and I don’t know where to get/find in can you please help me with this problem

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Sarah November 11, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Hi! We are happy to help! Do you know the model number of your Riccar machine? If not, you can email us a photo of the machine (info@sewingpartsonline.com) and we can go from there.

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Pamela Braught September 11, 2015 at 9:41 am

I would like to buy a book on upgrading patterns. I love the videos, but I can’t keep running back and forth from my office to my sewing area (total knee replacement). P let me know if you have a book on the beginner’s guide to sewing book, all 20 episodes.

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Sarah September 11, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Hi Pamela! Unfortunately, we don’t currently have a book version of our Beginner’s Guide to Sewing. I understand going back and forth is difficult. However, I can recommend a great book. This book by Sarah Veblen has awesome color photos and step by step instructions. I hope it’s helpful! http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/complete-photo-guide-to-perfect-fitting-sarah-veblen/1103296978

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Daelin June 10, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Wow, I was mesmerized by the moving image of how a bobbin and needle work together. I’ve honestly never understood how a sewing machine actually worked. I wondered and was amazed at the simplest seam, but I could never watch the inside at work. My mother still uses the same machine that she bought after college in the late 70’s. She has always said that machines were made more reliable back then. It’s in good shape, and I hope if it ever breaks that she will be able to find parts to fix it. It becomes less likely as digital machines become more popular.

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Sarah June 11, 2015 at 6:49 am

Yup, older machines were often made much more durable. They were built solid. There are still amazing machines available now, but they’re pricey.

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June van den Noort March 4, 2015 at 7:05 pm

Have new Bernina Sewing Machine and I need to know how to use it. Manual with machine, not helpful. Thanks, June

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dovie howard February 23, 2015 at 8:28 pm

I’m 88 years still sew work in a art gallery paint on clothing and sew small children clothes to sell your information is very helpful sometimes a review is good
thank you for your program l

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Buz February 7, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Where can I get a hard copy of your Needle Selection chart?

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Sarah February 10, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Hi Buz! You can order the Needle Selection Flow Chart here (includes free shipping!): http://www.sewingpartsonline.com/sewing-needle-selection-poster.aspx

Please let me know if I can help with anything else!

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