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Is my sewing machine misaligned???

Hi! I really hope that one of you sewing machine gurus out there can help me...

I bought a 'barely used' Janome Jem 660 from Craig's list. Remember when you used to hear about cars that 'were only driven by an old lady to church on Sundays?'-- well, that's what I bought-- a Jem 660 that Mom barely used and took great care of till she died. It was only $90.00, so I thought I should give it a try.
I got it in the mail today (long story why it was mailed...) and it was packed very well, in its soft carrying case, surrounded by air-packs both inside and outside of the carrying case. It didn't seem to be shifting at all. BUT...
When I got it out, and started threading it, I saw the needle was broken. The broken-off piece was in there with it, too. I placed a new needle, but upon trying to sew, the needle ran into the needle plate. I took off the needle plate and spun the wheel again. This time, the needle ran into the bobbin case. Clearly, the problem was in the needle's direction, not the throat plate placement.
Okay. So now, I took apart the needle housing-- the place where you place the needle and screw it in. I've never done that before... but as I looked at it, I can't find anything in the removeable part of the housing to cause the problem. I watched the machine run (with the needle out), and the motor is fine. The motion *looks* fine to me. But when I place a needle, the needle just points about 2 mm too far back, so it bumps right into the throat plate, at that metal area between the feed dogs and the appropriate needle hole (the rectangular hole the needle is *supposed* to go through to get to the bobbin thread).

The needle bar itself does not appear bent to me. When I look at it from the side with the plastic side-covering off, it looks straight. And when I first put a needle into it, I can sort-of point the needle in the right direction, frontwards, and into the proper hole. When I then turn the wheel, The needle will pick up the bobbin thread. So I don't think anything is wrong with the timing. I also don't think anything is wrong with the side-to-side positioning of the needle bar; the needle strikes just at the midpoint in this direction, and if I raise the needle, the built-in needle threader hits the needle in just the right place. But the needle will only go into the right place if I 'lean' on it with my finger while it's loose. When I tighten the needle screw, it tightens the flat side of the needle against that flat part of the needle bar, and as it does so the needle point gradually moves about 2 mm back.

I've tried all these steps with 4 different (new) needles, and set on multiple different stitches. The needles are facing the right direction (flat side tothe back).

Do I have a needle bar misalignment? Is this a big deal? Is it hard to fix?

Thank you, pro's! I can't wait to hear what you all think--

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  • nomorethan2 Apr 08, 2008

    Thanks for that! I can't figure out exactly *which* bar and *which* screw you're referring to, but it sounds like you're telling me this is quite fixable. Correct?

    If so, I'll take a picture of the inside fo the machine and post it at my picasa site-- you could point me to the correct screw. Let me know if this would help you help me...



  • lizthiriot Aug 05, 2008

    I have a Euro-Pro Craft N Sew model # 7500. My needle hits the metal plate before it goes in the hole toward the bobbin. I've changed the needle to a new one. Take out the needle and inspected the bar where it goes, taken out the bobbin casing and put back in, taken off plastic side to watch needle bar go up and down... can't figure out why it's hitting barely to the front of metal plate. Any suggestions or hints to fix it? Thanks, Liz from Las Vegas

  • garciasherry Jan 31, 2009

    i replaced a broken needle and rethreaded my bobbin and now the needle hits metal when it goes down. can you help me?



6 Suggested Answers

  • 2 Answers

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a 6ya Repairman can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repair professionals here in the US.
click here to Talk to a Repairman (only for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017


SOURCE: Machine keeps jamming

My bernina 1630 started making erratic noises so I oiled the bobbin and now it is puckering and skipping stitches

Posted on Oct 07, 2007

  • 255 Answers

SOURCE: Feed Dogs, Thread Tangle

Hi Jeanette! You have a Singer Featherweight--the best sewing machine ever made! (Mine dates from 1950/51 and I wouldn't trade it for the world.) These beautiful, sturdy machines were designed to be easily repairable at home, but you'll need a copy of the Service Manual (get the Instruction manual too, if you don't have one.) Go to and check out what they have available.

I had a similar problem (needle thread not catching the bobbin thread) and the problem was that I hadn't put the needle in correctly (flat side to the left). Also, I will occasionally get thread wrapped around the bobbin housing--sewing along just great and then everything comes to a screeching halt. I'm not sure why that happens, but I'm getting pretty good at taking the bobbin housing apart. The manual is pretty clear on how to do it. You can contact me direct at for more information.



Posted on Jan 10, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Bobbin Case

I'm having a similar problem today. I took out the bobbin case and when I went to put it back in, the whole system locks up. I've tired cleaning, changing needle taking the metal plate and piece that holds bobbin case out and put it all back in after cleaning. Nothing. My symptom is I can't get a complete stitch, the needle goes down, the whole deal acts like it will work and as soon as the arm of the bobbin case gets to 8 o' clock on the gears, It jams and won't hardly move. I cannot pull the bobbin case out easily after this. Perhaps there is someone out there that can help us!

Posted on Jun 23, 2008

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Shuttle driver

Hi i have a Janome 350E thread got court undert the needle plate so i cut the thread from under the hoop and got it all out the bobbin shuttle but the machine wont sew now it seams to be out of timining as the needle is coming up to soon for the shuttle to pick up the thread can you please tell me how i can fix it as i dont have a sewing machine mechanic in town and i will have to travel up to 2 hours to get it looked at and they are really slow to get things back to thier clients.

Regards Sandim.

Posted on Aug 17, 2008

  • 66 Answers

SOURCE: Bobbin Case

ok Sim this is a bit tricky but not to tricky first turn the handwheel toward you until the hook is at one o clock postion then slide the case without the bobbin in into the hook area you may have to work the handwheel back and forth alittle but it should slide in just remember that the case should ride in the rim. also take the needle out first that way you wont get stuck trust me it happiens.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009

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