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Sewing/Singer Stylist 533 not picking up bobbin thread in reverse


Hi! I have a Singer Stylist 533 that I am having a problem with. The machine works perfectly fine going forwards, but will not pick up the bobbin thread when I go in reverse. I have cleaned every speck of thread and lint out of the machine, followed the manual and oiled every oiling point, checked the gears (no cracks, splits, missing teeth, etc) and the timing seems to be right. At my wit's end as it runs beautifully... Just can't sew in reverse. Any help would be appreciated!

Hi Megan,

Sewing machines can be so finicky, I definitely understand your frustration!

Have you tried changing the needle? Sometimes even if the needle is inserted slightly off-centre it won't pick up the bobbin thread. I have learned this the hard way several times.

Another thing to check is the bobbin spool itself; is the thread properly wound (not too tight, not too loose)? Is the bobbin spool inserted with the thread traveling in the right direction? Is it the right type of bobbin for your machine?

Best of Luck!



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Amie Scott


I can answer many questions related to craft sewing, fashion design, pattern drafting, clothing alterations, clothing repair, and simple home decor sewing projects. I can not answer question about machine repair/maintenance, quilting, knitting, embroidery or needlepoint.


I have been designing and sewing clothing and accessories professionally since 2003. I have two years of experience teaching basic machine sewing classes for adults. I have experience altering clothing and drafting sewing patterns for women's wear. Currently I own a retail shop with a sewing studio, where I design and produce my line of women's wear, and also offer custom sewing to clients.

Although I'm mostly self taught, I have taken some advanced online pattern drafting and clothing alterations classes. Of course, nothing beats actual hands on work, and I have over ten years of experience in professional sewing and fashion design.

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