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Hm, could be several things. If stitches are not being formed, it could be a timing issue (the needle does not arrive at the bobbin at the correct time). Did the machine recently hit a pin or something hard? That will knock a machine out of time. There could also be a broken piece stuck that is preventing the feed dogs from operating. Thoroughly clean the machine around the bobbin area and feed dogs.
The thread sounds like it is not running freely so the upper tension is either too tight or blocked by lint.
If neither of these solutions work then try changing your needle as a blunt or wrong needle can also be a cause
Your reverse mechanism may be frozen. You need to place a couple drops of sewing machine oil into the mechanism. Remove the bobbin case, thread, and needle then permit the machine to run freely. While the machine is running, move the reverse mechanism up and down until it is free.
try to pull the fabric as you hold the reverse lever.....pull away from front towards yourself. the dogs pull the fabric in the opposite direction. make sure your stitch length is narrow or "1" ...reverse only works with a straight stitch foot not a zigzag. Sometimes a machine needs a little help getting the reverse mechanism going......
Please check your needle position, putting it in backwards is a very common error, the FLAT side of the needle shank should be towards the back. Also be sure that during the transition, that the bobbin thread did not get misaligned.
So, make sure the needle has the flat side to the back, and rethread your bobbin thread through making sure it is correct.
have you checked the needle to make sure it's in correctly--flat side of needle goes to the back of the machine
correct needle insertion is mandatory for the proper use in your sewing machine. Raise the needle bar to the highest point, then loosen the needle clamp screw to remove the old needle.
place the new needle in the needle clamp with the flat side of the needle facing the back (or if using a round needle the groove in the needle should be facing away from the shaft.
push the needle all the way up to the stop, or as far as it will go, then tighten the needle clamp screw.
how to decide which needle is correct to sew with, it depends on the fabric & thread being used for the project.
like for example, I've been sewing for over 30 years, I'm sewing a stretchy fabric & regular needles won't work because they skip stitches & will pull the fabric thus damaging the fabric, the needle I have to use is a singer universal ball point needles, & I have no problem with the stitches they come out fine.
Probably a problem with either your top tension being way too tight (high) - turn it down. CHeck this first and if you have never cleaned out the tension device, then check your manual and clean it now. It is usally a matter of turning the tension right down to zero, raising the pressure foot, and "flossing" between the tension discs with a clean piece of waste fabric. But each machine is different so check the manual to see if this area can be accessed and cleaned.
Or the thread is caught/catching on something in the threading path.
Recheck your threading fully from spool to needle and look to see if the thread has wrapped twice around anything like the take up lever or a thread eyelet.
Some thread spools have a little notch to hold the thread tail when putting away and if the thread has caught in this, this will certainly stop it from running freely and make it break so always check this first and put the spool up the other way or use a mushroom cap over it to help the thread run freely off the spool.
Is the needle bent or burred as this could also cause stripping of the thread.
Have you been oiling the bearings per the guide? Try to isolate the upper mechanism versus the lower by rocking the handwheel and observing which causes the bind (take the bobbin and needle thread off to prevent jamming). You may have to remove some of the covers to see most of it. As long as no gearing becomes shifted or uncoupled, you should not cause trouble. Try taking the motor belt off to see if the motor itself may be binding. Good to see people keeping old, but still working machines running
The most common cause of this problem is a bent or backward needle. Double check that the needle is in properly, that the needle is not bent, the bobbin is in the race properly, unwinding in the correct direction, and unwinding freely. Make sure there is no lint in the bobbin area, and everything has been oiled properly. You also need to make sure the upper thread is not wound around anything and running freely. If it still will not pick up, there is a chance that the timing is off. Then it is time to see your favorite service person to have it looked at.
Have you replaced the needle with a new one? Your needle may be bent or in wrong, or the wrong size. You may have a bad needle. Check that the upper thread path is running freely and is not tangled or wrapped around anything. Make sure that the bobbin is unwinding in the correct direction as well, most bobbins, this is clockwise as the bobbin faces you. If you are using inexpensive thread, it could be the thread that is the culprit. Uneven thread in the needle will not flow through the needle properly, and cause bunching as well. Save it for the bobbin, and use good thread in the top.