Where Is The Reverse Lever On A Sewing Machine

The sewing machine, like any other mechanical equipment, is made of different intricate parts that work together to make the sewing of clothes possible. One of these intricate parts is the reverse lever. The reverse lever is that part of your sewing machine that allows you to make stitches backward. This is an important function because it allows you to make stronger stitches and firmer seams.

When you buy your sewing machine, the vendor is obligated to explain all parts of the equipment to you. Due to a number of reasons, the vendor might not be able to explain the machine in detail. Perhaps it was ordered online and delivered to your doorstep. In the event that this is your case, this article is here to guide you on how to find the reverse lever of your sewing machine.

Where Is The Reverse Lever On A Sewing Machine?

In common cases, the reverse lever of a sewing machine is often found at the front of the machine towards the extreme left or extreme right corners. Mechanical equipment often comes with a hand held manual to guide first-time users on how to set up and understand the equipment better. 

How To Locate Reverse Lever Of Your Sewing Machine?

Finding the location of your reverse lever is not really a difficult thing to do. Professional tailors already know the ins and outs of most sewing machines. However, for the purpose of learning, we are going to assume to you are new to sewing and sewing machines. New tailors are always advised to learn about all the parts of a sewing machine. The reason for this is because it makes understanding the equipment as a whole easier. To locate the reverse lever on a sewing machine, you can follow these 3 simple steps:

  • Identify the equipment

For you to locate the reverse lever of your sewing machine, you have to know the exact sewing machine make you are dealing with. The reverse lever is not always a lever. In some cases, it might be a button and it could probably be labeled backstitch button or something close to that. Once you know the equipment you are dealing with, then it becomes that much simpler to locate the reverse lever. It is, however, important to note that almost all electrical sewing machines use buttons instead of levers.

  • Tag all levers and buttons

Chances are, this would have already been done by the manufacturer. But peradventure this is not the case, you can always tag them yourself. More often than not, the reverse lever or button is always located on the front side of the sewing machine just opposite the needle. It could also be at the center plate or at the bottom right corner. Since we are not sure which one the reverse lever is, we try to discover the functions of each of the buttons or lever and tag them accordingly. 

  • Test with a piece of fabric

 The next step is to get an average-sized piece of fabric, preferably one you are no longer in need of. We are operating under the assumption that you are a new tailor so therefore you should already know how to work a sewing machine. The reverse lever in most cases is the biggest button on the sewing machine. After making your initial stitch try using that button to backstitch the fabric. If this does not work, try with other buttons. After doing this, you should come across the reverse lever. 

Other Ways To Locate A Reverse Lever

Sewing machines are not any different and this is probably the fastest way to find the reverse lever of your machine without the help of a professional. You should note that there are multiple manufacturers of sewing machines and so there might be slight variances in the reverse lever placement. For example, the old manual sewing machines had their reverse lever at the back-right corner. Here is list of other things to consider in locating a reverse lever.

  • Getting the manual   

This is probably the easiest and the fastest way to locate your reverse lever. Even though this article was written with the assumption that you don’t have access to your manual, it would still be very advisable for you to get its manual. If you know the make of the sewing machine, you could easily take it to appropriate stores and try to get the manual. It will help a lot when it comes to other parts. 

  • Check the internet

Well, that is probably why you are here. Identifying the equipment will save you a whole lot of time if you decide to try this alternative. If you know the make of the product, you can easily log on to the production company’s website and check the features of the sewing machine. You might even be allowed to download the equipment manual depending on the website and the manufacturer.

  • Ask someone

You don’t have to hire a professional. You could probably just ask your office colleague or your next-door neighbor for clarification.  

Common Problems You Might Have With A Reverse Lever/Button

A sewing machine is a very useful and important equipment. However, like all other mechanical equipment, some of its parts can develop faults over time. The reverse lever is not an exception. Tailors sometimes experience sudden complications when using their sewing machines and this is not uncommon. Some of these complications can be directly attributed to the reverse lever and these problems can be easily identified through the following signs;

  • The reverse button gets stuck. Perhaps due to over-using or just good old mechanical failure, a reverse button might seize to respond. If this happens to your sewing machine, the safest course of action will be to enlist the help of a professional to help you solve the problems. However, if you are conversant with the parts of a sewing machine and you can go ahead and have a look with it.
  • Your sewing machine keeps sewing backward. This is a bit similar to the first problem. Your reverse button gets stuck but the only difference is that it gets stuck when it is in use. The purpose of a reverse lever is basically to help you make backward stitches. When you are in the process of doing this and the reverse button gets stuck, you will not be able to perform any other function with the sewing machine apart from backward stitches. 

Related Questions

How can I prevent my reverse lever from damage?

A sewing machine is just like any other mechanical or electrical equipment. If you fail to take care of it, its parts will begin to develop faults. These parts include the reverse lever. However, if you follow the basic guidelines of equipment maintenance, then your machine and its reverse lever will be just fine. 

Can a reverse lever be changed? How much does it cost?

Yes, of course, a reverse lever can be changed. We would, however, advise that you don’t attempt to change this lever on your own. As earlier stated, the sewing machine is very intricate equipment and in trying to fix one part of the machine, you could accidentally damage another part. A reverse lever is not expensive. With as low as 10 – 30 dollars, you can get a new one.



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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