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How To Properly Care For Your Bobbin Case

by Sarah

Today I’m going to give you some tips on how to properly care for your bobbin case.  This is a Singer Apollo bobbin case. This is a top loading bobbin case and it works with Class 66 bobbins only. It seems obvious, but you must always use the correct bobbin for your machine. This can be confusing because a lot of bobbins look very similar. Although a similarly sized bobbin will fit in the case, like a class 15 bobbin, it will create terrible stitches. In fact, you could completely ruin your bobbin case by using the wrong bobbin. If you’re not sure which bobbin your machine uses, go to our site and search for the make and model of your machine. We’ll help you find the right bobbin.

In addition to using the correct bobbin, be sure to use the correct needle size for your fabric or else you’ll poke little holes all over your bobbin case. For example, if you use a size 80 needle to sew leather, you’ll bend your needle and hit the bobbin case. Any kind of nick or scratch will negatively impact your stitch formation and will require the whole bobbin case to be replaced. If you’re not sure which needle size to use, download our needle chart.

To make your bobbin case last as long as possible, be sure to remove lint build-up regularly. Make sure you are oiling the bobbin case right here along the plastic and the metal. The metal front loading bobbin cases are oiled on the hook where the hook touches metal. Remember, you only need a drop.   Turn your hand wheel to disperse the sewing machine oil evenly. Speaking of oiling, protect your investment and have your machine fully serviced by a professional every 6 months if you use your machine daily. Otherwise, once a year is enough.

Let’s move on. Do you see this little screw here? This screw adjusts the tension of your bobbin thread. Generally speaking, the factory set tension works fine for most sewing and you don’t ever have to mess with this. However, if you’re using a particularly heavy thread, like an industrial bonded nylon thread, or even a very thin thread, you’ll likely have to adjust the bobbin tension.  For thick thread, you’ll want to slightly loosen this screw. For thin thread, you want to slightly tighten the screw. Only adjust this screw in very small increments.  A quarter of a turn is a lot.  Again, you only need to worry about the bobbin tension if the factory set bobbin tension isn’t creating a balanced stitch.

As long as you take good care of your bobbin case, it will perform well. However, eventually, it will cease to sew smoothly and will need to be replaced. Sometimes people think they only need to replace certain parts of the bobbin case, like the tension spring or the tension screw. That’s more trouble than it’s worth because the rest of the bobbin case is already worn. The same goes for metal bobbin cases. You don’t want to just replace the tension screw or just replace the metal plate. Do yourself a favor and buy a whole new case. They’re very inexpensive. See, over time, the repetitive spinning of your bobbin grinds down the inside of the case, causing it to fit poorly. In addition, the bobbin case cut out will become worn down, causing it to move back and forth sloppily inside the assembly.  You’ll have a more enjoyable sewing experience if you get a brand new bobbin case at the first sign of wear and tear.

If you need a new bobbin case, new bobbins, or help finding a part, visit us at www.sewingpartsonline.com. If you want to come and hang out with our sewing community, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram…we’re everywhere. Be sure to like this video, share this video, and, of course, subscribe for next week’s sewing video.

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Ashley May 30, 2020 - 10:12 pm

Hello! Quick question! My bobbin holder has holes in it and is threading through the holes . I will be replacing it but how do I avoid puncturing holes in it ? How do I know which type of needle I need for certain cloths ? Thank you !

Mary May 7, 2020 - 10:01 pm

Can anyone tell me why or how do I fix when the needle keeps hitting the bobbin case. My needle broke and now there are scratches in the bobbin case. Is there a way I can fix it ? Please and thank you

Jeremy Kocourek August 18, 2022 - 3:05 pm Reply
Amy Jo March 14, 2019 - 5:22 pm

I have a question. When I buy a new bobbin case, it will already be set at the right tension, is that correct? Thanks in advance!!

CustomerService March 15, 2019 - 2:25 pm

Hello Amy! Yes, that would be correct! You would not need to adjust the tension on a new bobbin case.

Herbert lynch October 5, 2018 - 3:44 pm

have a problem with the needle keeps breaking

CustomerService October 5, 2018 - 3:48 pm

Hi Herbert!

Breaking needles can happen for many several reasons. To best assist you, please call us at 888-824-1192 or email us at info@sewingpartsonline. Please include your make and model and what you are sewing and we will be happy to offer you some suggestions!

Meshell Compton October 13, 2019 - 1:24 am

My bobbin case keeps popping out when I go to sew and it makes this load sound, I’m pretty sure I’m putting the bobbin case in right why does it keep popping out and what could the noise be… Help please

CustomerService October 15, 2019 - 12:34 pm

Hi Meshell!

Feel free to give us a call with the make and model of your machine and we will be happy to look into this for you!

Kathy snapp December 3, 2019 - 5:57 pm

Please send me a book of how care for my singer sewing machine please. I’m new at this. Please.

CustomerService December 5, 2019 - 7:42 am

Hello Kathy!

Please contact us with the make and model of your machine and we will be happy to see if we have a copy of your machine’s manual. We can be reached at 888-824-1192.

Donna Rottschafer August 28, 2018 - 12:19 am

I found Sarah’s video about the bobbin case very helpful. My Singer Inspiration keeps jamming with thread above the bobbin and below the plate and into the fabric. Does this sound like a bobbin case issue? I can send a pic of what the jamming looks like if needed. I am a basic sewer and use the machine for basic sewing. I’m so frustrated and this video was the first one to give me hope. Thank you! Let me know what you think.

CustomerService August 29, 2018 - 9:08 am

That is definitely a possibility. A couple of other troubleshooting things to try: 1.) Make sure the machine is threaded properly 2.) Install a new needle 3.) Check your tension settings
I hope this helps.

Dean Merritt May 1, 2018 - 10:24 pm

My sisters 1971 kenmore had a bobbin not turning. Was just a need to remove the cover and oil the bobbin shaft was stuck . 15 min and Sew easy! Just an fyi from a lawnmower nech. Thanks

CustomerService May 2, 2018 - 7:42 am

You are very welcome!

Kathy snapp December 3, 2019 - 10:35 pm

I had to take my singer sewing machine in needle was hitting my bobon case. Iv only had it one year. I love it made curtains and doilies . Simple things. Don’t know alot about it wish I had a book on all the parts in how to care for it. Why didn’t it come with a book only a one page to thread it only. Could someone send me how to care for it what to do and what Not to do. Desperately need help. Please. [email protected]..Thank you

CustomerService December 5, 2019 - 7:46 am

Hello Kathy! Please contact us with your make and model and we will be happy to see if we have a copy of your manual available. We can be reached at 888-824-1192 or you can email us at [email protected].

Tricia April 2, 2018 - 8:02 pm

I’m searching for a bobbin case for a singer Merritt 4225

CustomerService April 26, 2018 - 9:59 am

Hello Tricia! I am very sorry, but we do not have a bobbin case for that make and model.

SHARON BUCKINGHAM December 11, 2017 - 7:02 pm

I have a singer 9985, the bobbin casing is very loose and when I am sewing the case moves alot causing my needles to break or bend , I don’t know if I need a new bobbin casing .
My singer is still under warranty I purchased it May 2017.
It would probably cost me more money out of pocket to send the machine back to the singer company than it would for me to just order a new bobbin case, can you suggest what else could be wrong with the machine if it’s not the bobbin casing.
Thank you for your help.
Sharon Buckingham

Sarah December 12, 2017 - 1:40 pm

Hi! You most likely need a new bobbin case. We have them here: https://www.sewingpartsonline.com/bobbin-case-singer-416397501.aspx

Ann Smith November 28, 2017 - 11:16 am

In the middle of my sewing last night, I noticed that the top thread stopped picking up the bobbin thread. I thought possibly I had not properly threaded either threads correctly so I redid them. When I went to bring up the bobbin thread, the top thread does not pull up the bobbin thread at all. ???? I have viewed several of your videos to make sure I was doing it correctly, pulled out bobbin casing and cleaned………nothing it working yet. Help please.

Sarah November 28, 2017 - 11:28 am

Hi, Ann! There could be 3 problems. Most likely, you hook is out of time – meaning you would have to take your machine to a repair tech and have it put back in time. Less likely, but still possible, is that you need a new bobbin case or a new needle. What is the make and model of your sewing machine?

Ann Smith November 28, 2017 - 11:47 am

my machine is white 2999

Sarah November 30, 2017 - 9:20 am

Hi, again! I confirmed with our technician that it’s still likely a timing problem. A local sewing machine repair tech should be able to fix it quickly. It’s a common issue.

Malorie September 20, 2017 - 12:58 pm

I’m just starting back up sewing after a lot of years and I’m a little confused setting up my machine. I think a part might be broken but I’m not sure

Sarah September 22, 2017 - 12:27 pm

Hi! Send us a picture to [email protected] and we’ll see if we can help!

Carolyn Thompson August 17, 2017 - 5:07 pm

Great site & basically easy to follow–for me that is because I get easily confused now that I have had several strokes. (I even forgot how to use my sewing machine for a while) so I really like the video tutorials! I will be ordering several parts in the near future!

Sarah August 18, 2017 - 9:14 am

Hi, Carolyn! Thank you so much for your kind words and for your support! We’re so happy to help!

Maxine Brown August 3, 2017 - 9:24 am

A very helpful video. Will continue to try and watch sewing news. Thank you.

Sarah August 3, 2017 - 11:51 am

Hi, Maxine! Thank you for watching!

Sarah July 6, 2017 - 1:46 pm

Please help me,I have a problem my bobbin with the case jump out of place when I sew what is the problem? The model number 2639.I use it once a year to sew straight stitches for labels on the clothes. Thanks in advance Leah

Sarah July 6, 2017 - 4:20 pm

Hi, Leah! Does your bobbin case have any damage to it? Try removing the bobbin case and dusting out the inside of your machine. Then, bring your needle to its highest position and reinstall the bobbin case. Test that the bobbin case is properly inserted by turning the hand wheel 3 or 4 times. The bobbin case should not move at all.

Randy June 27, 2017 - 8:28 pm

Loved watching your vids. Is there a way that I could put them in a file for my reference later? Thank you

Sarah June 28, 2017 - 9:01 am

Hi, Randy! Thank you for watching! We recommend bookmarking our videos in your web browser.


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