How to Troubleshoot Common Sewing Machine Problems

October 9, 2019 12:51 pm


How to Troubleshoot Common Sewing Machine Problems

Whether you’re new to sewing or an old hand, it’s helpful to know how to deal with some of those problems that seem to crop up when you’re least expecting them. Here is our guide to the most common problems.

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Before we get started, it’s worth saying that regular maintenance of your machine is necessary to keep it in top working order. If you still have the manual for your machine, there should be some advice on how to maintain the machine in there. Good Housekeeping have a guide on how to find an old sewing machine manual here:

Check Your Settings

If your machine has been unused for a while before you go back to it, make sure that it’s still set up how you left it. This is especially true if you have children about, as the number of dials and levers on a sewing machine can be irresistible. On that note, always make sure that you unplug your machine when it’s not in use to avoid accident or injury.

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singerSkipping Stitches

Sewing machine needles are very fine at their tip and are quite easily damaged. If your machine has been sewing well and suddenly begins to skip, then you have probably damaged the needle and will have to replace it. This most commonly happens if you push the fabric through rather than letting the dog feeder pull it through.

Some fabrics are harder to feed than others. If you think this may be your problem, then you could try sewing with a piece of cotton fabric and see if you have the same issue.


If your threads are repeatedly breaking, check that you have the tension set correctly on the machine. Generally, turning the tension dial to the left will loosen it and to the right will tighten it. You should also make sure that you are using the right thread for the fabric that you are sewing. Although it’s tempting to always use multi-purpose thread, for tricky fabrics it is worth taking advice and buying a specialist thread.

If you are having repeated problems with thread snarls from your bobbin, then it may be that you need to replace the bobbin itself as they can wear over time.

We hope this helps you overcome your sewing machine problems!