SINGER M3500 Common Problems and Troubleshooting

Welcome to our guide on troubleshooting common problems with the SINGER M3500 sewing machine. Whether you’re a seasoned sewist or just starting out, this article aims to provide solutions to potential issues you might encounter while using the SINGER M3500 model. With its versatile features and capabilities, the SINGER M3500 sewing machine is designed to handle various fabrics and projects. Let’s delve into the common problems that can arise and learn how to troubleshoot them effectively.

SINGER M3500 Overview

The SINGER M3500 sewing machine offers a range of basic and decorative stitches, including stretch stitches, making it suitable for sewing various fabric types, from sheer to stretch knit to denim and more. You have the flexibility to adjust stitch width and length to match your project requirements. Here’s a quick look at its key specifications:

Feature Details
Color Purple
Material Metal
Product Dimensions 7.35″D x 15.16″W x 10.9″H
Item Weight 11.79 Pounds
Power Source AC/DC
Is Electric Yes

Key Features and Accessories:

  • 85+ included accessories
  • 110 Stitch Applications for basic, stretch, and decorative fabrics
  • Easy one-step buttonhole for consistent results
  • Automatic needle threader for easy threading
  • Free arm for sewing hard-to-reach areas

Additional Details:

  • LED Lighting
  • 110V Machine
  • Metallic frame with plastic outer covering

Manufacturer: SINGER


Country of Origin: Vietnam

Item Model Number: M3500

Customer Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars (6,327 ratings)

Best Sellers Rank: #2,162 in Arts, Crafts & Sewing

Assembly Required: No

Number of Pieces: 1

Batteries Required: No

Causes of Common Problems with the SINGER M3500

Before we dive into troubleshooting, let’s explore the potential problems that users might encounter while using the SINGER M3500 sewing machine. The following subsections will address these issues and provide solutions to help you overcome any challenges.

Common Problems with the SINGER M3500

1. Stitch Irregularities – Uneven Stitches

Description: While sewing, you notice that your stitches are uneven or inconsistent.

Cause: Uneven stitches can be caused by incorrect tension settings or improper threading of the machine.


  1. Re-thread the upper thread, ensuring it passes through all threading points and the tension disc properly.
  2. Check the upper thread tension settings. Adjust the tension if necessary, following the machine’s manual.
  3. Ensure the bobbin is correctly inserted and the bobbin tension is properly adjusted.

2. Thread Bunching Underneath – Bobbin Issues

Description: The thread is bunching up underneath the fabric, creating knots and tangles.

Cause: Bobbin-related issues, such as incorrect insertion or improper tension settings, can lead to thread bunching.


  1. Check the bobbin for proper insertion and ensure the thread is wound smoothly.
  2. Adjust the bobbin tension if necessary, following the machine’s manual.
  3. Ensure the bobbin case is clean and free from debris.

3. Needle Breakage – Fabric and Needle Mismatch

Description: Needles keep breaking while sewing, even with light fabrics.

Cause: Using the wrong needle type for the fabric can lead to needle breakage.


  1. Select the appropriate needle type for the fabric you’re sewing.
  2. Check the needle size; using the wrong size can also cause breakage.
  3. Ensure the needle is properly inserted and tightened.

4. Fabric Doesn’t Feed Properly – Feed Dogs Issue

Description: The fabric doesn’t move smoothly under the presser foot, causing uneven stitches.

Cause: The feed dogs might not be properly engaged or the fabric is not positioned correctly.


  1. Check that the feed dogs are in the up position and not lowered for darning or free-motion sewing.
  2. Make sure the fabric is positioned correctly and aligned with the presser foot.

5. Jammed Bobbin Case – Incorrect Placement

Description: The bobbin case gets jammed or dislodged during sewing.

Cause: Incorrect placement or improper installation of the bobbin case can lead to jams.


  1. Turn off the machine and unplug it for safety.
  2. Carefully remove the bobbin case and clean any debris or thread tangles.
  3. Reinstall the bobbin case correctly, ensuring it snaps into place.

6. Thread Keeps Breaking – Incorrect Tension or Thread Type

Description: The thread frequently breaks while sewing.

Cause: Incorrect upper thread tension or using the wrong type of thread can lead to thread breakage.


  1. Check the upper thread tension settings; adjust if too tight or too loose.
  2. Use a high-quality thread suitable for the fabric you’re working with.
  3. Ensure the thread spool is properly placed and the thread is unwinding smoothly.

7. Skipped Stitches – Needle or Fabric Issue

Description: Stitches are being skipped, resulting in incomplete sewing lines.

Cause: Dull or bent needles, or improper fabric handling, can cause skipped stitches.


  1. Replace the needle with a new, appropriate needle for your fabric.
  2. Check the fabric for any uneven thicknesses or puckering that might affect stitching.
  3. Sew at a slower and steadier pace, especially when dealing with thicker fabrics.

8. Motor Runs but Needle Doesn’t Move – Handwheel Clutch Disengaged

Description: The sewing machine’s motor is running, but the needle isn’t moving.

Cause: The handwheel clutch might be disengaged, preventing the needle from moving.


  1. Turn off the machine and unplug it for safety.
  2. Check the handwheel; make sure it’s properly tightened and engaged for sewing.
  3. Ensure the machine is in the correct stitching mode (not in bobbin winding mode).

9. Uneven Feed – Presser Foot Pressure Issue

Description: The fabric is being fed unevenly, causing uneven seams.

Cause: Incorrect presser foot pressure settings or using the wrong presser foot can lead to uneven feeding.


  1. Adjust the presser foot pressure according to the fabric’s thickness and type.
  2. Ensure the presser foot is securely attached and compatible with the selected stitch.

10. Loud Noises During Sewing – Mechanical Issue

Description: Unusual loud noises are heard while sewing.

Cause: Mechanical issues such as misaligned parts or trapped debris can cause strange noises.


  1. Turn off the machine and unplug it before inspecting.
  2. Check for any loose screws or parts and tighten them if needed.
  3. Remove the bobbin case and clean out any lint, debris, or trapped threads.

11. Bobbin Thread Not Catching – Bobbin Case Misalignment

Description: The bobbin thread isn’t properly catching or forming stitches.

Cause: Incorrectly inserted or misaligned bobbin case can prevent proper thread catch.


  1. Turn off the machine and unplug it for safety.
  2. Remove the bobbin case and reinsert it, ensuring it’s correctly aligned.
  3. Check for any tangled threads or debris in the bobbin area.

12. Needle Jamming in Fabric – Incorrect Needle and Fabric Pairing

Description: The needle frequently jams or gets stuck in the fabric.

Cause: Using the wrong needle type or size for the fabric can lead to needle jams.


  1. Select the appropriate needle type and size for the specific fabric you’re using.
  2. Slow down when sewing through multiple layers or thick materials.
  3. Check for any damaged or bent needles; replace if necessary.

13. Uneven Tension – Incorrect Thread Path or Tension Setting

Description: Stitches appear uneven with visible loops on either side.

Cause: Incorrect thread path or tension settings can result in uneven tension.


  1. Follow the machine’s threading guide carefully, ensuring the thread passes through all necessary points.
  2. Check both upper and bobbin thread tensions; adjust as needed.
  3. Test on a scrap fabric to find the optimal tension settings.

14. Needle Won’t Move – Safety Feature Engaged

Description: The needle is not moving even when you press the foot pedal.

Cause: Some machines have safety features that prevent sewing if the presser foot is raised.


  1. Check if the presser foot is properly lowered; some machines won’t sew with the foot raised.
  2. Make sure all safety switches or locks are properly engaged.
  3. Refer to your machine’s manual to understand its safety features.

15. Fabric Puckering – Incorrect Stitch Length or Pressure

Description: The fabric gathers and puckers while sewing.

Cause: Incorrect stitch length or presser foot pressure can cause fabric puckering.


  1. Adjust the stitch length; shorter stitches might cause puckering, especially on lightweight fabrics.
  2. Check the presser foot pressure and adjust it according to the fabric’s thickness.

16. Fabric Jamming in Bobbin Area – Incorrect Fabric Handling

Description: The fabric gets stuck or jammed in the bobbin area while sewing.

Cause: Pulling or pushing the fabric too forcefully can lead to jamming.


  1. Guide the fabric gently and smoothly; avoid pulling or tugging.
  2. Use a seam guide or edge guide for consistent fabric feeding.
  3. Check for any debris in the bobbin area that might be causing the jam.

17. Thread Getting Caught in Bobbin Case – Improper Threading

Description: The thread gets caught and tangled around the bobbin case.

Cause: Incorrect threading of the machine, especially in the bobbin area, can cause thread snags.


  1. Refer to the machine’s threading guide and ensure the thread path is correct.
  2. Check the bobbin case for any tangled thread; remove any snags carefully.
  3. Re-thread the machine, making sure the thread is properly seated in all threading points.

18. Inconsistent Buttonholes – Incorrect Settings or Calibration

Description: Buttonholes are uneven or not forming correctly.

Cause: Incorrect settings or calibration for buttonhole sewing can lead to inconsistencies.


  1. Refer to your machine’s manual and follow the instructions for buttonhole sewing.
  2. Ensure the buttonhole foot is attached securely and the fabric is properly positioned.
  3. Calibrate the machine for buttonhole sewing according to the manual.

19. Thread Nesting on the Underside – Bobbin Tension Issue

Description: The thread forms loops and nests on the underside of the fabric.

Cause: Incorrect bobbin tension can cause thread nesting on the underside.


  1. Check the bobbin tension and adjust it if the thread is too loose or too tight.
  2. Ensure the bobbin case is properly inserted and threaded.
  3. Thread the machine with both the presser foot and needle in the up position to properly engage the tension discs.

20. Thread Fraying or Breaking at Needle Eye – Dull Needle or Incorrect Threading

Description: The thread frays or breaks frequently at the needle eye.

Cause: Using a dull needle or threading the needle incorrectly can cause thread breakage.


  1. Replace the needle with a new one if it’s dull or damaged.
  2. Thread the needle following the correct threading path and making sure it’s properly threaded.
  3. Use a needle suitable for the fabric you’re sewing.

21. Fabric Slipping – Lack of Grip

Description: The fabric moves around excessively and slips while sewing.

Cause: Insufficient grip from the presser foot or incorrect feed dog settings can cause slipping.


  1. Ensure the presser foot pressure is appropriate for the fabric being used.
  2. Check the feed dog settings; engage them if they are disengaged for certain sewing techniques.
  3. Use a walking foot or non-slip sewing machine mat to improve fabric feeding.

22. Thread Keeps Tangling Around Spool Pin – Thread Unwinding Issue

Description: The thread frequently gets tangled around the spool pin.

Cause: Improper thread unwinding or loose threading can cause tangling.


  1. Ensure the thread spool is placed correctly on the spool pin, allowing smooth thread unwinding.
  2. Use a thread spool cap to secure the thread and prevent tangling.
  3. Check the upper thread path and make sure the thread isn’t catching on any obstructions.

23. Fabric Not Feeding – Feed Dogs Issue

Description: The fabric isn’t advancing or feeding properly while sewing.

Cause: The feed dogs might be lowered or malfunctioning, preventing proper fabric feeding.


  1. Check that the feed dogs are in the up position for regular sewing.
  2. Ensure there are no fabric obstructions blocking the feed dogs’ movement.
  3. If the issue persists, consult the machine’s manual for feed dogs troubleshooting.

24. Uneven Seam Allowances – Seam Guide Misalignment

Description: Seams are uneven due to inconsistent seam allowances.

Cause: Misaligned seam guide or incorrect markings on the sewing machine can cause uneven seams.


  1. Check and adjust the seam guide alignment on the machine’s throat plate.
  2. Use a seam guide attachment or marking tool for accurate seam allowances.
  3. Practice on scrap fabric to ensure even seam allowances before sewing on your project.

25. Stuck Reverse Lever – Mechanical Obstruction

Description: The reverse lever is stuck and not functioning.

Cause: Dust, lint, or debris might be obstructing the reverse lever’s movement.


  1. Gently clean around the reverse lever using a soft brush or compressed air.
  2. Apply a small amount of sewing machine oil to the lever’s pivot points to improve movement.
  3. If the lever remains stuck, consider seeking professional servicing.

SINGER M3500 Sewing Machine User Reviews

When considering a sewing machine like the SINGER M3500, it’s essential to take into account the experiences of other users. We’ve gathered insights from various online sources to provide you with a well-rounded overview of user feedback.

Positive Reviews from SINGER M3500 Users

Many users were satisfied with various aspects of their experience using the SINGER M3500 sewing machine:

  • Some users were impressed with the machine’s smooth and quiet operation, making it easy to work with bulky materials.
  • Several beginners appreciated the user-friendly nature of the machine, stating that it was easy to set up and thread.
  • Customers highlighted the machine’s ability to handle a variety of fabrics effectively, from normal fabrics to denim.
  • Users found the machine’s stitch variety and quality to be commendable, allowing them to accomplish a range of sewing projects.
  • Customers were pleased with the included accessories and spare needles, providing convenience and value.

Overall, positive feedback indicates that the SINGER M3500 offers a satisfying sewing experience, especially for beginners and those looking for versatile stitching capabilities.

Negative User Reviews of the SINGER M3500

While many users had positive experiences with the SINGER M3500, some encountered challenges:

  • Several users reported issues with jamming and tangling of the thread during sewing.
  • Some customers found the machine’s tensioning system to be inconsistent, leading to uneven stitches.
  • A few users mentioned difficulties in working with thicker fabrics, particularly with regards to needle breakage.
  • There were instances of users struggling with bobbin-related problems, including incorrect threading and tension.
  • Several users noted issues with the reverse lever getting stuck, impacting the ability to sew in reverse.
  • Some customers experienced challenges with the machine’s feed dogs, leading to uneven fabric feeding.

These negative experiences highlight areas where users encountered difficulties while using the SINGER M3500 sewing machine.

Considering both positive and negative feedback, it’s evident that while the SINGER M3500 has garnered praise for its beginner-friendly features and versatile stitching options, some users have faced challenges related to threading, tensioning, and handling certain fabric types.

SINGER M3500 Sewing Machine Manual

The operating instructions for the SINGER M3500 sewing machine can be found on the manufacturer’s official website. You can access the manual and detailed user guides to learn more about the machine’s features, settings, and troubleshooting tips. It’s recommended to review the manual thoroughly to ensure proper usage and maintenance of your sewing machine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is my thread constantly breaking while sewing?

A: Thread breakage can be caused by various factors, including using the wrong needle for the fabric, improper threading, or incorrect tension settings. Ensure you’re using the appropriate needle and thread, rethread the machine following the manual’s instructions, and check the tension settings for balanced stitching.

Q: How can I prevent fabric jamming in the bobbin area?

A: Fabric jamming often occurs due to forcefully pushing or pulling the fabric while sewing. To prevent jamming, guide the fabric gently and avoid excessive force. Make sure the feed dogs are engaged and functioning properly, and clear any debris in the bobbin area that might be causing obstructions.

Q: Why are my stitches uneven and skipping?

A: Uneven stitches and skipping could be due to improper threading, incorrect needle size, or tension issues. Check that the machine is threaded correctly, use the appropriate needle for the fabric type, and adjust the tension settings as needed to achieve even stitches.

Q: How do I handle fabric slipping while sewing?

A: Fabric slipping can result from insufficient grip from the presser foot or improper feed dog settings. Make sure the presser foot pressure is adjusted correctly for the fabric. If needed, use a walking foot or non-slip mat to improve fabric feeding.

Q: What should I do if my buttonholes are inconsistent?

A: Inconsistent buttonholes can be caused by incorrect settings or calibration. Review the machine’s manual for proper buttonhole sewing instructions, ensure the buttonhole foot is securely attached, and recalibrate the machine if necessary.


For any issues you encounter with your SINGER M3500 sewing machine, it’s always advisable to refer to the manual provided by the manufacturer. Additionally, if problems persist or you need expert assistance, don’t hesitate to contact customer service or a certified service center. Proper maintenance and troubleshooting can help ensure that you get the best performance and longevity out of your sewing machine.

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