How to Fix Presser Foot Lifter on a Sewing Machine

Presser foot lifters are a necessity for many machines, but they can also be a pain to operate. This is because they have to be adjusted constantly to keep the machine moving. However, there are some ways to fix presser foot lifters on your sewing machine without having to replace them.

What is a presser foot lifter?

The presser foot lifter is the part of the sewing machine that raises and lowers the presser foot. It’s usually made of metal or plastic.

How do you adjust a presser foot lifter?

Presser foot lifters are the small metal rods that you screw into the sewing machine to push up your presser foot. They can be quite difficult to operate, especially if you have arthritis in your hands.

Luckily, there are some ways to help make them easier to use. One way is to put a little bit of Vaseline on the rod, so it will slide more easily in and out of the screw hole. You can also purchase a rubber sleeve for the rod, which will also help it slide more easily. Finally, you can replace your presser foot lifter with a ball bearing mount type. This mount will allow you to adjust the presser foot with one hand and keeps it from moving around while sewing.

Regardless of what type of presser foot lifter you use, it’s important to make sure they’re adjusted correctly for your particular machine and fabric weight by following these instructions:

  • Put on gloves or oven mitts
  • Locate the small setscrew at the end of your presser foot lifter
  • Turn this setscrew clockwise until there’s enough tension on the spring that it’s strong enough to push up an inch or two longer than your fabric
  • Tighten (clockwise) the presser foot screw until it’s snug
  • Lower the presser foot
  • If it doesn’t raise all the way, turn your setscrew counterclockwise a little bit at a time until it does
  • Make sure the presser foot doesn’t move freely up and down even when you’re not pressing on the treadle. It should stay where you put it.

How do you fix a presser foot on a sewing machine?

If you’re having trouble with your presser foot, there are a few things that may be causing the issue. You can test these by inspecting your machine and identifying what the problem is:

  • Is it dirty? A simple brush of your machine can help to remove any dust or dirt.
  • Is the thread in the needle tangled? If so, make sure to keep extra thread on hand and wind it out before continuing sewing.
  • Are your needles bent? It’s time to replace them when they start getting this way.
  • Are your needles broken? This may be caused by old age and you’ll need to replace them if it continues to happen.
  • Is there something in between the needle and needle plate (needle hook)? Remove it before continuing sewing.
  • Check your presser foot lifters – these may need adjusting.

What lifts the presser foot on a sewing machine?

A presser foot lifter is a metal arm that attaches to the machine and lifts up the presser foot. It does this by pressing a small button on the machine.

The presser foot lifter’s purpose is to make it easier for you to guide fabric through the machine without creating too much tension on it. The amount of pressure needed to operate a presser foot lifter depends on how heavy your sewing projects are. If you’re working with lighter weight fabrics, you’ll need less force to lift the presser foot while if you’re using heavier fabric, more force will be needed to lift the presser foot.

Another thing that can affect how much force is required for a sewing machine’s presser foot lifter is how often a person changes stitches. If a person changes stitches often, they will have to use more force when lifting the presser foot because there will be more seams in one spot making it harder for them to move forward.

Why is your presser foot lever loose?

One of the most common complaints about presser foot lifters is that they are loose. This can be a problem because it could cause the machine to stop working, or it could cause ripping in your fabric.

There are a few reasons why you might have a loose presser foot lever. Some of these include:

  • The fabric is wound unevenly underneath the presser foot
  • The thread is too heavy and pulls on the fabric
  • You used pins to hold the fabric together and they’ve come undone
  • The sewing machine was dropped or roughly handled

How do you attach a presser foot lever?

The first thing you need to do is find out how your presser foot lever attaches to the sewing machine. This will help determine what type of fix you might need.

There are two types of attachment methods for presser foot levers: screw-on or snap-on. Screw-on presser foot levers are attached by loosening the screws on the side, sliding the lever over the screw, and tightening it back down. Snap-on levers are attached by snapping them onto a ring at the base of the sewing machine.

If your presser foot lever is screwed on, you can try adjusting or replacing it. If your lever is snapped on, then all you need to do is loosen the screw that holds it in place and move it to a different spot before snapping it back into place.

SINGER® Sewing Machine Presser Foot Tutorials

How do you raise the presser foot for thick fabric?

Depending on the type of machine you have, there are different ways to make your presser foot lifters work better.

The first thing you can try is to adjust the tension on the presser foot. This will help with any fabric that’s not thick enough to raise the presser foot by its own weight.

If this doesn’t work, you can try adjusting the height of the needle. That way it’s easier for fabric to pass under it when you’re sewing.

You may also want to adjust your stitching width so that the fabric has more room when passing under the needle. A wider stitch width will almost always give your fabric more room when passing over the needle, which in turn will allow your presser foot lifters to do their job more efficiently.

Lastly, if none of these options work, then maybe it’s time for a new presser foot lifter!


There are a variety of ways to attach a presser foot lever, and many types of presser feet. To get the perfect fit for your sewing needs, it is important to determine the best presser foot to use, and know how to attach it to your sewing machine.

Patrick Cooper

Patrick has over a decade’s experience writing about consumer electronics on the web. An avid traveller, he is the father of two adopted pitbulls and a greyhound. Cheif editor at, right now Patrick lives in Austin, TX. Reach him at