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Sewing machine Model 385. 1284180

The bobbin constantly jams and the thread tension doesn't adjust correctly.

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  • rjkorb Jul 27, 2008

    I continue to have problems with the bobbin jamming and the tension not adjusting properly even after the tension is set according to the owners manual recommendation. I continue to have problems with the bobbin after the machine has been cleaned and oiled.

  • rjkorb Jul 28, 2008

    so far, all the comments seem to just state the obvious.


4 Answers

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Dear Sir/Madam,

The thread is tangling in the bobbin area either because the machine has some lint in the bobbin area or under the feeddog plate. It could also be having a tension problem, but first clip all of the threads loose and pull them out. Then use a small sewing machine brush to clean out all loose thread and lint. If the feed dog plate will not just lift up, you may have to take out a screw. A can of air like is used on electronic equipment will help to blast out the lint your brush can't get. The machine also needs periodic oiling. Check your owner's manual for oiling points.

good luck

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Posted on Jul 28, 2008

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Ensure a sharp and new needle,check ur thread line and bobbin are free from lint and jam,try setting ur tension to 4 and then suit ur bobbin.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008

  • Yaz  S
    Yaz S Jul 28, 2008

    If the looping threads are on the underside as you sew, it is the top tension. Top tension ought to be between 4 & 6 (this variation to allow for the different weights of fabric in your

    If you are using a needle that has seen quite a deal of work, or you suspect it may be blunt, change it for a new one !

    Make sure that when you thread the machine the presser foot is up so the thread goes between the discs and not to one side, top tension between 4 and 6, and that you have threaded through all the guides, including the last one, usually on the needle arm, just above the needle clamp.

    It may be there is lint trapped between the discs, this will keep them slightly apart and reduce the actual tension, sometimes dramatically.

    If tensions appear correct, and the thread is definitely in the channel between the discs, but still too loose and looping, try raising presser foot and remove your thread.

    Now, with a 2" (50mm) wide strip piece of fabric 8 - 10" (20 - 25cm) moistened with methylated or denatured spirit, gently insert the fabric strip and clean between the discs with
    a see saw / to and fro action.

    In the worst cases, gentle use of a needle to pick & remove the jam may be necessary, but be very gentle and make sure the tension is set at Zero and the presser foot is raised, (to
    disengage tension plates).... do not gouge or score the plates, they need a polished surface to work correctly.

    Far less common, but if the loose threads are on the top, it is bobbin tension that is loose, it too may have lint in the spring and be giving a "false" tension.

    I would not recommend fiddling with bobbin tension without good reason, it may end up with missing small screws and spring pieces, however, you can take the needle plate off to clean
    the hook race area (where bobbin case sits)

    ...this is just good housekeeping, my wife does this every time she replaces the bobbin....

    just take it out and clean the bobbin case and the fixed metal hook race with a small brush to remove lint. If there is a significant amount of lint, use a vacuum and small brush to get the worst.

    Then wipe all this area with a cloth or cotton bud (Q tip) moistened (not soaked) with methylated spirit, especially if there appears to be fine dirty deposits....oil and lint combine to conspire against you.

    If it seems likely that you ......really .....actually .....need adjust the bobbin case, first check there is no lint trapped in the metal spring where the thread is tensioned.

    Drop-in Bobbin case will look similar to this image with the tension screw in the middle of the metalwork....

    ...the other screw at one end is holding it all together, so is not a tragedy to undo the whole lot and clean it, but very gingerly and lay the bits out in sequence and orientation, or you risk tearing your hair out !

    ....this is a bobbin case from a front loading machine and works in a very similar fashion to the top loader with drop in bobbin, again, if you dismantle it, take care so you can put it all
    back properly.
    When you are certain there's no trapped lint in top tension or bobbin, set the top tension to 4 and the bobbin tension to a point where you just begin to feel resistance.

    Try using good quality thread of contrasting colours so you can more easily spot the changes.

    Set your zigzag to one width less than maximum (eg. 5 of 6 ...or... 4 of 5 etc) and sew a sample for a few inches and check the result.... adjust the bobbin tension screw very little at
    a time, perhaps 1/16 of a turn.

    You may find you are playing with this balance for some little while and if you are putting the needleplate on and off each time begin to think it cannot be correct to do is,
    and eventually, you do get a "feel" for the correct tension and then it happens quite a user you won't be doing it very often unless there is lint built up (or are there small hands at work around the house !?!?!)

    If you live near the ocean as we do, salt air can play havoc with metalwork inside and out, so to help minimise this, keep a few small packets of dessicant (silica gel) in your machine case ? then make some sort of cover !

    Same applies in any damp or humid environment, keep your machine dry and dust free.

    Budget for a proper full service every couple of years (more often if heavily used) and if you don't use your machine for a few years, be aware that old oil will dry out and combining with
    dust and form a "clag" like glue (another reason for some sort of cover, even a teatowel !)

    If it is worth spending the time, energy and money on making something that you would like to give lasting enjoyment......use quality thread, may seem to cost a little more at the
    time, but the results, ease of use and added longevity will be worth the extra, and as a bonus, your tension troubles may be fewer and further between, because there is a more consistant diameter with good thread, and less compensating to be done by your tension plates and less thread breaks !

    a fellow member had posted this on our site....Thanks for using Fixya


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Change the bobbin maybe it is already misalign, that causing to jam..

Hope this may help;

Posted on Jul 27, 2008

    LORETO LACARON Jul 28, 2008

    you put the bobbin in the right way round? Is the ends of the threads nice and long before
    you start sewing

    and are you holding them as you start sewing? Some machines have a

    slight tendency to 'eat' the thread tails as you start sewing if they

    are too short or not held.
    Using the instructions in the manual,
    thoroughly clean the

    entire machine, and oil all designated spots.

    Clean the thread path, using lint free heavy thread or cord,

    especially between the tension disks.

    Remove the bobbin, and if possible the bobbin case and use a

    soft brush to clean all areas of the case, lubricate if the

    manual instructs you to do so, re-insert the bobbin case.

    With the presser foot UP, thread the needle path, including

    the needle.

    Place a properly wound bobbin in the bobbin case, thread the

    bobbin path (and once again, have the manual open to the

    threading diagram and be sure you are catching the thread

    under/over EVERY spring/slot/opening), leaving a 6" tail.

    Holding the end of the *needle* thread in your left hand,

    and with your right hand manually turn the flywheel (again

    be sure you are turning it in the right direction, refer to

    your manual) a full turn, until the needle goes down, picks

    up the bobbin thread, and brings it up. Place BOTH threads

    between the toes and to the rear of the presser foot, being

    sure you leave at least 6".

    Place your fabric under the presser foot, lower the foot.

    Holding the thread tails firmly with your *left* hand,

    slowly start to sew.

    If none of this works, you may have to take your machine

    back to the shop where you bought it for service and


    Just click below for the picture guides
    and instructions;


    Fix It Club | Small Appliances | Sewing Machine

    Don't forget to rate;



    LORETO LACARON Aug 12, 2008

    did the solutions from all of us experts solved your problem if not then let us know the current updates so all the fixya experts can assist you further


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Are you helping feed the fabric through? Even with the "auto feed" on most household sewing machines, you need to pull the fabric through it doesn't really feed through itself.
Or you could have the tension improperly set on the thread, or the bobbin could be improperly threaded. I've had sewing machines jam up when too much thread "lint" gets caught up around the bobbin mechanism too and it needs to be cleaned out to run correctly again.
Such bunching can also happen if you're running too heavy of a fabric through and there just isn't enough clearance under the foot for it to move easily.

Hope that helps..........

Posted on Jul 27, 2008

  • Mark Gil
    Mark Gil Jul 27, 2008

    This machine should be take to a repair center and let them do the fixing because that can be a problem with the motor...

    Good luck........

  • Mark Gil
    Mark Gil Jul 28, 2008

    If you still have problem with the bobbin have you tried replacing it....


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