How can I stop thread jamming on my old Singer 342 sewing machine?

Hello, I have an old Singer 342 sewing machine with the bobbin compartment directly underneath the sewing needle. When I sew with the machine, it always comes that the thread of the sewing needle ends up stucked between the three pieces that make up the compartment of the bobbin each time the needle goes through. I tried pulling a bit less thread out before starting to sew, since I thought I might use too much but that didn't help either. Does anyone have an advice?

2 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    The cure-all for this is to replace the needle, solves all sorts of ills from timing issues to thread-tangling - also make sure the bobbin tray is scrupulously clean and free from fluff. The other thing is to use a leader piece - a bit of scrap folded fabric you push through ahead of your seam and stops fabric and thread being pulled down. Also get into the habit of holding the threads taut with left hand as you push work though.

  • Speed
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Lots of older machines are prone to bobbin tangles. The fix is easy.

    When you are about to start sewing, press the ends of both the upper and bobbin threads to the flat surface a few inches from the needle and hold the thread in place there until you've done several stitches. This keeps the end of either one from being drawn into the works.

    Problem solved, usually.

    If that doesn't fix it, in addition to doing that, you can:

    --experiment with changing the tension. Note where it's set when you begin, and work on scraps of cloth, seeing if small changes in tension corrects the problem.

    --review the threading diagram for the top thread. A small mistake, like threading the needle back to front, can have big impact.

    --review the way to insert the bobbin into its compartment, particularly in which direction the thread reels off the bobbin. Again, little goof, big mess.

    --make sure the presser foot is down before you start stitching. (I know, duh, but who hasn't done this?)

    --clean and oil the machine, removing lint; install a new needle; wind a new bobbin of the correct type from the bobbin that you're using when this tangle happens.

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