Sewing Machine Blues

Frau verzweifelt an Schnittmuster

As I mentioned in another post, I had bought a sewing machine (Singer 3342 FashionMate) last summer and had been taking sewing classes. I was enjoying making different items and recently started making small tote bags. About a week ago, I started working on a tote bag and noticed that my white thread had run out, so I decided to use another spool of white thread that I purchased from Walmart. I noticed that the thread was a little thicker (the label said it was craft and sewing thread) and hoped it wouldn’t cause a problem with my machine, but I decided to try it anyway.

I was able to sew with it, but it kept jamming my machine. As a result, now I can’t sew anything! Arrrggghhh! The needle will not go up and down like it used to, but instead the needle will do down and hit the black bobbin casing. After hours of online searches, I realized that the machine could possibly work again if the bobbin casing was in the proper position. All I gotta do, I thought, is unscrew the throat plate (or needle plate??) cover.

I removed one screw and attempted to remove the other one. It.Wouldn’t.Freaking.Budge. What the heck?!

Ok, let’s try this again. Nope.

Maybe Mom can unscrew it; she has a pretty strong grip.

“Nope!”said the screw. Are you serious??

Online searches continued but weren’t much help. I tried the rubberband method, which is basically using a rubberband under the screwdriver for extra grip. Nope. I bought a mini screwdriver for sewing machines, thinking that I needed something I could grip (the sewing machine had a flat metal screwdriver, which was awkward to use with this tight screw). Nope. I tried rubbing the screw with sewing machine oil, hoping it would seep down the screw and loosen the blasted thing. Nope. I even tried a little WD-40, hoping that would loosen it. Nope, nope, and nope. Arrrggghhh!

So now I’ve started to pull up the whole throat/needle plate to see if I can break it off. Not sure about this because I don’t really want to break it. But what if I do break it and there’s still a piece stuck on the machine with the stupid screw that I can’t get off?

I’m bouncing back and forth with the idea of just donating/dumping this thing and buying a new machine. All of this is too much! Why did Singer have to make this screw so tight (well, when I called their customer service, the lady told me it was to protect the machine during shipping–to make sure stuff doesn’t fall out. But why did y’all have to make it so ridiculously tight??). But on the other hand, I really want to keep my machine, dangit! I was enjoying sewing with it and hoped it would last a while. I didn’t have any major issues with it (well, the automatic threader stopped working so that’s another story; maybe the hook is bent?). I thought about getting the machine repaired but what if the cost is too high? In that case, I may as well get another sewing machine. I’m still kicking myself for using that thicker thread but if this hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have known about the tight screw.

Does anyone out there have a similar experience with tight screws on their sewing machine? Any advice?? Is there a way to solve this problem?


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