How To Fix The Reverse Button On A Sewing Machine?

It’s frustrating and common to find your sewing machine stuck in reverse one day. Often, there’s an issue with the reverse button.

It might be broken, stuck, or malfunctioning. Sometimes, someone or something may have tampered with it.

How do you go about fixing the reverse button on a sewing machine and make it work as it should?

How to Fix the Reverse Button on a Sewing Machine?

Here are some of the methods you can use to diagnose and fix a malfunctioning or stuck reverse button on any sewing machine.

1. Reattach the spring

Modern sewing machines always have a spring for the reverse button mechanism. It’s very common, especially with Janome, Brother, and Kenmore sewing machines, for the spring to disengage.

Reattach the spring

The reverse button or lever might either stick in one position or move without any result. To adjust or swap out the switch, open the sewing machine head using Philips screws.

First, disconnect the sewing machine from the mains and turn it off entirely to prevent any electric shocks.

Inspect the cover assembly for your specific sewing model and unscrew any bolts or screws that keep the covers in place.

Pull off any removable knobs and then carefully lift the covers. Identify the reverse button’s position inside and find the spring.

You might discover that the spring has either slipped out of its place or become stuck because of grease, rust, or gum.

If the spring has slipped out of its brackets, repositioning it should restore the reverse button’s function. If it appears overly greasy or rusted, apply some oil to help it expand and contract smoothly. Test the reverse button to ensure it’s working correctly.

Note: You may need to unscrew a few components and move them out of the way before you can access the reverse button spring. Be careful not to mess with any lose components or cut the electrical cables inside the sewingmachine.

2. Replace the spring

Sometimes replacing the entire spring might be necessary if it’s too rusted or broken. Almost all problems associated with the reverse button on a modern or antique sewing machine have something to do with a worn out or rusted spring.

Replace the spring

Unlike most of the other metallic components in the sewing machine, the spring has a limited lifespan, therefore, needs to be changed after a while. If you are lucky or keen, you may hear it snap or creak as it gets older or right when the reverse button stops working.

Also, if you use a mechanical machine,take note whenyour reverse button/lever suddenly loses tension orrequires a bit more force than usual to work as this a sign that you need to replace the spring.

3. Oil the inner components

Like all mechanical devices, dust and excessive friction can cause a sewing machine’s reverse button to stick over time.

Singer sewing machines, which use a lever driven by internal gears and springs, often experience this issue.

Oil the inner components

All you need to do in this case is to open the sewing machine head up and add a bit more grease or oil to reduce friction in the moving parts.

Follow the manual on how to service your machine, and you won’t have a problem with greasing or oiling your reverse button/lever and gears.

4. Release the hooking mechanism – Brother sewing machines

A common reverse button problem in most Brother sewing machines has to do with the hooking mechanism. You will often find that the internal components have grown too tight or too far apart and, therefore, can’t registerinput from the reverse sewing knob.

Release the hooking mechanism

To fix the reverse button on a Brother machine, you just need to open the headcover and see if loosening or tightening the inner screw (mostly golden in color) will fix the problem.

Remember to move the reverse button while you fix to see if tightening or loosening the screw fixes the problem.

5. Cleaning and degreasing the sewing machine

Over time, dust and grease might have accumulated around the moving components in the sewing machine. Too much grease or dust will definitely affect all the buttons and could be the reason yoursewing machine is stuck in reverse.

Cleaning and degreasing the sewing machine

Take time to service the machine from the outside to the inside and removing the grease, dust, and gum in and around the buttons and inner components.

This is especially important if the sewing machine has been sitting unused for an extended period. Doing this will almost certainly fix the reverse button on the sewing machine if it got stuck due to grease and dust accumulation.

Why Is My Sewing Machine Sewing Backwards?

Every sewist, from novice to expert, occasionally faces unexpected challenges with their sewing machine. One of the most baffling issues is when the machine suddenly starts sewing in reverse. This unusual behavior can stem from a variety of reasons:

1. Reverse Lever/Button Issues: Over time, the reverse button or lever can wear out or become jammed, causing the machine to only sew backwards.

2. Internal Mechanism Glitches: Sometimes, lint, dust, or threads get caught in the machine’s inner workings, affecting its normal function.

3. Software Problems (for Computerized Machines): Modern sewing machines rely on software. Just like any other digital device, they can sometimes glitch, causing them to behave unexpectedly.

4. User Error: Occasionally, the problem lies not with the machine, but with the user inadvertently pressing or activating the reverse stitch without realizing.

5. Maintenance Needs: Regular cleaning and oiling are crucial for the smooth operation of a sewing machine. Neglecting maintenance can lead to various issues, including sewing in reverse.

Understanding the root cause is the first step to addressing the problem. Always refer to your machine’s manual. If needed, consult with professionals. You can also visit forums dedicated to your sewing machine model for detailed troubleshooting.

How to Solve the “Sewing Machine Stuck in Reverse” Dilemma?

Many sewers face a surprising hiccup: the sewing machine suddenly starts stitching in reverse, adding backward stitches not intended in the original design.

This situation becomes even more frustrating with an urgent project waiting. So, what triggers this reverse glitch, and how can you set your machine back to its forward momentum?

Mechanical Hiccups: Over time, sewing machines, like all machines, wear out. The gears can get jammed or the reverse lever can become sticky, especially if the machine hasn’t been serviced regularly.

Dust and Lint Accumulation: Believe it or not, the tiny dust and lint that accumulate beneath the needle plate can affect the machine’s direction. A regular cleaning routine can work wonders.

Software Glitches: For those using computerized sewing machines, sometimes the issue might be with the software. A simple reset might do the trick.

Old Age: Vintage machines have their charm, but they might also have parts that need replacement. This might be a good time to check if any parts are due for an upgrade.

Remember, before diving into self-repair, always refer to your sewing machine’s manual or consult a professional. It’s always better to move forward with the right knowledge in hand.

What Does The Reverse Button Do In A Sewing Machine?

The reverse button is used to change the direction of stitching from forward to backward. Sewing in reverse means the fabric will move towards you.

What Does The Reverse Button Do In A Sewing Machine

This is a fundamental sewing skill. It strengthens stitches, finishes seams, corrects errors, and is key for detailed embroidery.

Without a reverse button you will need to remove the fabric with every pass and reattach it.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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