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Problem w/ 1974 Singer Futura II

paulacaroline | Posted in Sewing Machines & Sergers on

Hello all, I have a Singer Futura II Model 920 (manufactured 1974), and I’m having trouble with it. The machine was my mom’s, and I know she was sewing with it successfully as of about three years ago. I acquired it last year, but I haven’t been able to make it work—and unfortunately, my mom passed away in 2017, so I can’t ask her about the issue I’m having.

Basically, the problem is: Most times I try to sew with the machine, I get a few stitches in, and then the thread gets tangled up in the bobbin case (below the needle), and the machine gets stuck. I’m including a photo of the thread tangled in the bobbin case—it seems like it’s not passing around the bobbin correctly. (Forgive me, I’m new to sewing, so I don’t know all the terms!) I’ve had some success where the machine miraculously worked just fine, but the problem just keeps re-occuring, and recently I haven’t been able to get it to work at all.

I have had two sewing pros look at the machine, and they were both pretty puzzled by it and advised taking it into a repair shop. Before I pay to have it looked at, though, I thought I’d see if anyone here might be able to offer any insight about what the problem might be (and whether it’s repairable). As I understand it, replacement parts for these machines aren’t available anymore.

Super appreciative of any help anyone might be able to offer. I know I may ultimately be better off buying a new machine, but I want to give this one the best shot I can, because it does have so much sentimental value for me.

Thank you in advance!


  1. homesewer587 | | #1

    Hi Paula- While I didn’t have your exact machine, I did have one similar. Here are some things that might help: clean your bobbin mechanism. There should be a brush that came with your machine. Look for loose threads. Your instruction book may tell how to remove your bobbin mechanism for cleaning. Also, I’m not sure about your machine, but your bobbin might be in the machine facing the wrong direction. Try flipping it over so that the thread comes off the bobbin the other direction. Also some older Singer machines used a bobbin that was two haves screwed together. Make sure the thread is not caught up in the center of the bobbin where the two halves come together. One last thing. When you start a seam, make sure to start with long enough thread tails that they don’t get pulled back into the throat plate. Make sure to pull them out and to the left of your presser foot as you start to stitch. Happy Sewing and good luck!

  2. user-4940335 | | #2

    I had a Singer Futura II. bought it in 1973, so I don't know if it's the same as yours. However, one thing about mine is that it takes a specific bobbin. My machine wound the bobbin in the machine. You push the lever all the way to the right to wind. After the thread is wound, you push the cover over the bobbin case and it pushes that lever back to where it belongs for regular sewing. You don't take it out to wind it. Also, the top of the bobbin is larger than the bottom with red lines circling the top to show amount of thread on the bobbin. You can't turn it upside down. And you can't use generic bobbins. Make sure you're using the Futura II bobbin designated for that machine.

  3. paulacaroline | | #3

    Thanks so much for the help! I ended up taking the machine to a repair shop, and the technician was able to get it up and running after cleaning and oiling. He also said that I need a different bobbin, so that was a good recommendation. However, he did discover that the tension mechanism is broken. He showed me a way to coax it into working, but it probably won’t be a great long term solution.

    That said, does anyone know of a way to find parts for old machines online? The repair tech said he can’t order parts for old Singers anymore, and so he wouldn’t be able to replace the tension mechanism, but I wondered if there might be sources for secondhand parts online.

    Thanks again!

    1. roady | | #5

      Hello. If you can go to YouTube and search for a channel called "the vintage sewing machine garage" you will find a wonderful and knowledgeable man who specializes in restoring vintage sewing machines, all brands, but mostly Singers. Try to get a hold of him and ask about your machine. I'm sure he can help you with your machine.
      I hope this helps you with your machine.

  4. skeeters | | #4

    Hello, do you by chance have the machine manual that came with the machine?
    If not., the internet might have the sewing manual.
    The second item I would try is getting the phone number for Singer people and asking them for help.

    I would ask you the clean your machine getting all the lint from everywhere. get under the feed dogs too.
    Use a brand new needle. Singer or Schmetz. Use the right needle for your project.
    check the tensions including the pressure foot.
    Use good thread and check the thread size for your project.
    Rewind the bobbin per directions
    Make sure the machine has been oiled with sewing machine oil..not the stuff your basement has for heavy machines like drills etc

    When sewing use a scrap of fabric first and then run your project to avoid a log jam.
    Being a newbie sewist..I would get a beginner sewing book.
    There is nothing more irratating than a sewing machine that goofs up.
    Have your machine cleaned by a professional.
    I hope this helps you.
    Keep reading Threads. There is a wealth of knowlege and an article everyone will be able to use Beginner or Professional.
    God Bless and don't give up! You can do this!!!!
    Linda Swanson


  5. Davidbrands3 | | #6

    Does anyone want to buy A futura 2 920 Singer sewing machine?

  6. user-6998382 | | #7

    I had to replace some extras that came with my old Sears sewing machine,and I found at least two main websites that had EVERY SINGLE PART AND EVERY SINGLE MODEL OF SEWING MACHINES ' PARTS EVER. (ALMOST.)I am not kidding; apparently we ALL LOSE LOTS OF PARTS. Just about everything, even bobbins,ect. ect. Find out your exact model no.s and exact company and they will sell you just about all of them. It's one reason I am keeping my old Kenmore Sears machine, I can get all the parts for it. OK, it's not an 1,000 $ machine.So what??I do a lot of hand sewing,and I am trying to study a book for "Couture Sewing Techniques" slowly and surely,cause I I like hand sewing so why not learn how to really do it?. Yeah, my old sewing machine has really been helpful, we are machine loving animals. heh heh. ^_~

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