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Feed dogs work with paper but not fabric?

My machine is being so weird right now! I had to take the bobbin and the thing that holds it in (I don't know what that's called) the other day and I accidentally lowered the lever that lowers the feed dogs. So today to make sure they were working again I tested it on some paper and that worked fine so I thought they were fine, but when I tried to sew with fabric they weren't working again! I thought they might've gotten accidentally lowered again somehow so I tried again with paper and it worked fine with the paper again. I know I've had it happen before where they wouldn't work because I was holding my foot on the foot pedal incorrectly, so I tried moving it around in various ways, but it still wouldn't work with the fabric. But I tried several more times with the paper and it worked every time. This is so weird! Does anyone know why this might be happening and how to fix it?


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 20th, 2017 08:51 am (UTC)
A few different things to try; what happens if you run it without any paper or fabric? Can you see the feed dogs working? If not, see if you can re-set the lever that lowers them.

If they are working OK, the problem may be elsewhere. What sort of fabric are you using? And what's actually happening when you run the machine with fabric in it? Is it just not moving at all, or is it bunching up? Is the needle moving smoothly?
It's possible that the bottom bobbin is the problem; maybe try taking it out and re-inserting it, making sure it's in the right way.
Apr. 24th, 2017 05:42 am (UTC)
When I don't have anything in there and look at the feed dogs they do appear to be moving ok. With the actual project I'm doing right now I'm sewing a cotton piece to a knit piece, but the scrap fabric I'm using while I'm trying to get this figured out is cotton. The fabric just isn't moving at all. The needle does appear to be moving freely. I took the bobbin out completely without putting it back in and the feed dogs still aren't working.

I am noticing that when I lower the lever that's supposed to lower them they don't appear to get any lower. Is that normal? But when I have it lowered they won't move the paper through either, so it seems like they are actually lowered even if they don't look any different. For a long time I couldn't figure out how to get them to come up at all and I thought the machine was broken, but when I took it to a repair shop she told me that I just needed to either pull the lever forward or push it back (I don't remember which) before I raised it. But when I try to do either of those things I can't get it to move forward or back--it's just staying in one place. All I can do is raise or lower it.
Apr. 24th, 2017 08:26 am (UTC)
Sometimes "lowering" them actually just stops them from moving; see what happens when they're lowered, and you run the machine with nothing in it?
What model is your machine? It may be possible to find an online manual, or a discussion if someone else has had the same issue?

Oh, the only other thing I can think it that it's worth checking your stitch setting and length?

Edited at 2017-04-24 08:27 am (UTC)
Apr. 24th, 2017 10:57 am (UTC)
When they're lowered they still keep moving. There doesn't appear to be any difference.

The machine is a Janome Magnolia 7312. I do have the manual but all it tells me is to use the lever to raise or lower them.

The stitch setting and length are the same as normal.

I guess I'll try googling tomorrow and see if I can come up with anything that way.
Apr. 24th, 2017 11:04 am (UTC)
It looks like this may be a known issue with some Janome machines; according to one of the comments there, you may be able to raise them manually, as a short-term solution, or get the cam that raises them replaced as a long-term fix!
Apr. 24th, 2017 11:08 am (UTC)
Oh I see! Ok I'll try lifting them manually tomorrow. Thanks for your help, as always! I think I told you this the last time I posted here asking for help, but you always comment on my posts asking for help and I really appreciate it!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )