6 Troubleshooting Tips to Fix Your Sewing Machine Immediately

As a sewing machine owner, machine troubles are inevitable. At some point or another, your machine will need some adjustments to help it get back to sewing correctly. I’ve compiled a list of easy troubleshooting tips you can do at home to help you solve your sewing machine woes. 

This list of troubleshooting techniques will help you address the following issues:

  • Tension troubles
  • Breaking thread
  • Thread “nests” or knots
  • Clunking sounds
  • Breaking needles
  • and more

With this list of troubleshooting tips, you’ll be able to get your machine back up and running and spend more time stitching instead of fixing.

For specific instructions on how to use your machine, be sure to reference your machine’s user manual.

The first three steps of this troubleshooting guide are the most crucial and will solve nearly all tension troubles. However, it is possible your machine will need to be serviced by a professional depending on the issue. If you’ve gone through all of these tips and you’re still having issues, it may be best to consult a sewing machine mechanic or sewing machine dealer near you.

HELPFUL TIP: Always unplug your machine before you thread it, change the needle or go into the lower bobbin case. 

Re-Thread your Sewing Machine

When your sewing machine is not stitching correctly, the first step should always be to re-thread your machine. If one small thing is off, your machine may not function properly. Re-thread both the upper and lower thread and then try stitching again.

Change your Needle

Skipped stitches or clunky sounds may be a sign of a dull, bent, or broken needle. Keeping a sharp sewing machine needle in your machine is necessary to ensure your machine will give you strong and even stitches. Even if you think you changed your needle recently, try changing it again.

Clean your Sewing Machine

Did you know that you need to clean your sewing machine regularly? Yep! Cleaning is an important step in maintaining the functionality of your machine. Fabric and thread create lint and the lint will build up in the bobbin area of your machine.

If your sewing machine suddenly is not working properly, use a lint brush to remove all of the excess lint. Take off the plate to get to clean the feed dogs, too! Be sure not to use compressed air to clear the lint as this can push lint deeper into your machine and cause more issues in the future. A clean, dry lint brush or paintbrush is recommended for machine cleaning.

Double Check your Bobbin

Check to make sure that you are using the correct bobbin for your machine. It’s easy to get bobbins mixed up if you have multiple machines.

After you’ve made sure that your bobbin is correct, make sure it is inserted into your machine correctly. Some sewing machines will not function properly if the bobbin is inserted backward. Reference your machine’s user manual for help with inserting the bobbin correctly.

Check your Feed Dogs and Presser Foot

Your machine needs the fabric to feed through the machine evenly and it needs tension in order to sew correctly. Double-check that your machine is set up to sew correctly.

If your machine has the capability of lowering the feed dogs, raise the feed dogs so they can help guide your fabric through your machine.

Lower your presser foot before you start sewing. Lowering your presser foot is necessary before you start stitching, but it’s an easy step to miss especially if you are a new sewist!

Re-Wind your Bobbin

Sometimes bobbins don’t get properly wound and it can cause issues with your sewing machine tension. Try inserting a newly wound bobbin into your machine and see if this fixes your issues.

By using these tips, your sewing machine should be back up and running in no time. However, it is possible that these tips didn’t help your situation. Sewing machines are complex machines, so there are several things that could be causing the problem. I recommend checking in with a sewing machine mechanic or your local sewing machine dealer to help you address the problems you’re having if these tips didn’t help you.

Happy sewing!

xo, Hailey

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