Can anyone help a sewing machine rookie - fabric not feeding through?

(20 Posts)
MinaPaws Mon 28-May-18 23:08:15

It's driving me nuts. I haven't used the machine for years. When I first got it I taught myself how to use it from the manual and made quite a bit of stuff. Then put it away for a year. When I next tried to use it, the fabric wouldn;t feed through, I assumed it was broken, but a friend borrowed it and said it was fine. She made a few dresses on it, so it must work. I just tried again today - reread the manual, spent ages setting it up and it's not feeding through again. AFAIK the feed dogs are open, the tension is right, the stitch is the right one. I've changed the needle. I've threaded and rethreaded it half a dozen times. I just can't work out what's wrong. Any ideas?

When I sew the fabric just stays still and the thread bunches up underneath.

OP’s posts: |
Fucksgiven Mon 28-May-18 23:10:19

Check tension?

LivingMyBestLife Mon 28-May-18 23:11:05

Are the feed dogs moving? Mine has a switch near the bobbin to turn it off for freehand embroidery? Also, is the drive wheel at the side of the machine turning - you can sometimes pull the centre out to stop the wheel turning when you wind a bobbin, try pushing the centre of the wheel in.

elephantoverthehill Mon 28-May-18 23:11:38

Recheck the feed dogs and check the bobbin is correctly threaded. Sorry I can't help further. What type of machine is it?

MinaPaws Mon 28-May-18 23:23:22

It feels like the feed dogs aren't moving at all. I'll recheck them in the morning - too knackered now! Thank you all. Hadn't thought about the drive wheel. Will check that too.

OP’s posts: |
BetterEatCheese Mon 28-May-18 23:24:04

Type of fabric? Mine does that on some fabrics like very soft or thin materials

Usuallytootiredbuthappyanyway Mon 28-May-18 23:25:34

Does sound like your feed dogs are dropped. There will be a switch somewhere to raise them again.

LivingMyBestLife Mon 28-May-18 23:25:59

Is the presser foot right down as well, hasn't broken at the back, pin come out in the middle or anything blocking it?

The drive wheel usually stops the needle going up and down at least, so it's worth checking. Hope you sort it so you can get back to your sewing!

tenredthings Mon 28-May-18 23:34:12

What make is your machine ? Is the setting on for winding cotton onto the bobbin which goes underneath ?

MinaPaws Tue 29-May-18 08:07:33

Thanks so much for all your suggestions. I'm going to recheck the feed dogs and the bobbin settings as I did fill a bobbin just before threading the machine so might have forgotten to change a setting .

It's a John Lewis 300 - quite old now (about 12 years old?) but a really nice machine. Not been used much as I seem to be really rubbish at setting it up. Once it's running it's fine.

OP’s posts: |
Magpiefeather Tue 29-May-18 08:12:01

If you still can’t solve it maybe try different thread? May sound silly but I had an issue once with bobbin thread bunching up, changed from the cheapie thread I had put in to some branded stuff that was better quality and it was fine. Teaches me to be a skin flint doesn’t it!!

pastabest Tue 29-May-18 08:19:07

Hmm my first thought if it worked fine for your friend is the presser foot not being flicked down properly.

That's probably too obvious though?

Mine can struggle sometimes if I'm trying to use particular materials like cotton lawn or something though? Perhaps it's that?

S0upertrooper Tue 29-May-18 09:47:44

What kind of spool are you using? If it's metal try changing to plastic. I'd google the manual and check that the spool is the correct way round-I often make this mistake and I've been sewing for years.

S0upertrooper Tue 29-May-18 09:49:04

Also there may be fluff under the needle, if you can remove the plate that the fabric runs over it might benefit from a clean.

GruffaloPants Tue 29-May-18 09:52:22

Are you lowering your presser foot?

That's the sort of daft thing I'd forget to do!

Bowlofbabelfish Tue 29-May-18 09:55:55

Check the presser foot is down - we’ve all done that!

Rethread fully, top and bottom. Lower presser foot. Turn drive wheel forward slowly - is it feeding?

Post pic of the setup as well.

pastabest Tue 29-May-18 10:27:16

Check the presser foot is down - we’ve all done that!

Yes, yes we have.

There's a good reason why that came to my mind blush

lljkk Tue 29-May-18 10:55:29

Does it feed thru when you manually feed (my machine I can hand-turn a knob to feed thru slowly, no foot pressing).

MinaPaws Wed 30-May-18 07:51:07

Check the presser foot is down - we’ve all done that!

Hah yes. That was the first thing I checked. I've done that before.

OP’s posts: |
lljkk Wed 30-May-18 09:10:50

My needle breaks if everything not in place (like shank).

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