How to Lower the Feed Dog on a Janome Sewing Machine

Janome sewing machines have various feed mechanisms, drop feed, or regular feed being more prevalent. You will find them on the domestic Janome sewing machines, and they are pretty straightforward to use. The functioning of each feed mechanism differs depending on the type you are using.

Almost all sewing machines come with a set of feed dogs. They will either move up or down, depending on the direction the needle follows. If the needle moves up, they will, in turn, rise to touch the cloth feeding it forward. As the needle backtracks, they will detach from the fabric and rest beneath the plate. Here, you will learn a lot, but mostly the mechanism you can use to lower the feed dog on a Janome sewing machine.

How to Lower the Feed Dog on a Janome Sewing Machine?

Feed dogs hold your garment with the help of a drop lever. It drops or rises depending on the direction you push the lever. Moving the lever to the left will drop it. Pushing it to the right side will make the feed dog raise. The lever in your Janome machine is at the machine’s rear-end below the free-arm bed.

How Do Sewing Machine Feed Dogs Work

Feed dogs are conical and metallic. They move to and fro the needle plate while sewing. They help in making stitches between materials by pulling them between the machine and the needle. The length that the stitches will form is equal to that of the teeth of the feed dogs.

Feed dogs work this way; they will plunge into the cloth, lift it, and move it forward. It will then detach from the fabric, lower down as it progresses. This process will happen until you finish stitching the fabric. It is clear that feed dogs are essential in sewing, and it can be quite challenging without them. Here is a summary of its two primary functions;

  • Moving the Fabric Forward– is the most significant role that feeds dogs play in a sewing machine.
  • Making the Uniform Stitches – Feed dog’s teeth ensure that the placing of the stitches is even. It may not be the case in hand sewing.

When hand sewing, one can control the length and the placing of the stitches, depending on what you want. So, this is a plus. Once the feed dogs are down on the Janome machines, you release grip underneath the fabric. The downside of hand sewing is that it’s not easy to come up with inline stitches. 

Steps to Lower Feed Dog on a Janome Sewing Machine

steps to lower feed dog on a janome sewing machine

The same way sewing machines come in different types, so are their techniques of moving the feed dogs. But each device comes with a drop feed lever that helps the feed dog move up and down. For the Janome sewing machine, the lever is at the machine’s rear-end below the free-arm bed. The feed dog will raise once you push the lever towards the right. Likewise, pushing the lever towards the left direction will drop the feed dog. Quilters will do the following while dealing with a Janome or any other sewing machine.

  • Some feed dog’s fixing may be permanent, so it can’t move to a lower distance. So, quilters will use playing cards to cover the feed dogs. Others may opt to use a plastic cover.
  • Some machines, mostly older ones, come with a plate for covering the feed dogs.
  • The present-day machines come with a functioning switch that one can press to lower the feed dogs.

steps to lower feed dog on a janome sewing machine

When dealing with Janome machines, the feed dogs will lift if you push the lever. It isn’t enough. Ensure you stitch the fabric a little bit before feed dogs raise again. Also, ensure you rotate the wheel for a while. These two steps are critical. Otherwise, the feed dog may not move back up.

Are you new to using the Janome sewing machine? Then, go through the guide that comes with the machine. It will come in handy to get insights on how to lower feed dogs.

The guide is also available online, so visit the manufacturers’ website if you don’t have one. Type the manufacturer’s name in the web browser. Consider indicating the number of the model for more accurate results.

How to Resolve Janome Sewing Machine Feed Dog Issues

how to resolve janome sewing machine feed dog issues

It may take long before noting an issue with the feed dog, despite being one crucial part of your Janome sewing machine.

If the feed dog isn’t working well, your cloth won’t pass through the machine properly. Below is an outline of feed dogs issues you can find in your Janome sewing machine.

1. Feed Dog Staying in Place as You Try to Sew

It is not normal for your feed dog to remain intact. It should be swaying. Otherwise, it won’t be possible to sew your fabric. Check the length of your stitch. It needs to be high enough for the feed dog to move the material back and forth.

When sewing on buttons, set the stitch length at zero and don’t bother adjusting it. It will ensure that the feed dogs don’t move back and forth, so your cloth remains in place. It is common to use zero stitch length in such a case.

Setting the stitch length at two or higher will ensure that the feed dogs move the fabric the way it should be.

2. Feed Dogs Staying Down for Long

It may not be a problem if you opt to sew by hand. The issue comes in when using a machine. Your feed dogs need to move the fabric back and forth. Having them remaining in a down position will make this movement hard. You can try these things to try and fix the feed dog.

  • Ensure you revolve your needle to the highest distance it will reach.
  • The feed dogs will lift above the needle plate if the rotation is complete. Also, gear the wheel towards yourself.
  • Change the feed dog lover if facing downwards; if not, leave it as it is.
  • Check your guide. It will show you the direction the lever should face when the feed dogs are up.
  • For the feed dogs to go back up well, it may be best to make a few stitches.

3. Feed Dog Not Raising From the Machine

feed dog not raising from the machine

It is much easier to raise your lever than the feed dog, even when it defaults. The steps you can follow to lift the feed dogs are similar in all machines.

  • Raise your pressure foot and ensure it in that position.
  • Ensure you raise the lever
  • Rotate the hand wheel towards you. Most times, you use your hands, of course. You should hear a pop sound as the feed dogs return in position.
  • In some cases, you may not hear the pop. Continue rotating the hand wheel and check if you can see the feed dogs get back in place.

Why Should I Lower Feed Dogs?

why should i lower feed dogs

If you prefer using your hand to sew, then you get total control of the fabric. You will be able to know the right length and positioning of your fabric. However, it may be hard coming up with uniform stitches. When you lower the feed dogs, you will be doing away with the grip that the machine makes.

Will It Damage My Machine if I Left the Feed Dogs Up?

It is all up to you to leave the feed dogs up. Dropping them down is also a good option. Examine different machines to observe the best way to leave the feed dogs. However, the machine’s design is created in such a way that the feed dogs need to be up. It ensures that you come up with uniform stitches.



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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