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Sewing Machine
Troubleshooting Guide

Troubleshooting your sewing machine doesn't have to be a puzzle.Click 'Save to PinIt for later!

Sewing machine troubleshooting can and should be learned by anyone who owns and uses a sewing machine.

Not only will you save time by eliminating unnecessary trips to the repairman, but you'll save money on unneeded repair bills.

Learn by doing. Troubleshoot by thinking logically about the common problems you'll face during your quilting time.

The purpose of this troubleshooting guide is twofold.

First you'll learn some simple preventative maintenance to perform on your own machine.

Breaking needles, breaking threads, or unbalanced tension. are the next problems you'll learn how to conquer.

Follow these simple steps for more trouble free sewing time.

If you haven't had the opportunity to look inside a sewing machine to see just how a stitch is formed, please take a minute to watch the video on our page Learn How Sewing Machines Work. (This link opens in a new window to make it easy to come back here.)

The First Step to a Happy Sewing Machine

Before beginning, locate the instruction manual that came with your domestic sewing machine. Find a place to keep it handy when you are sewing. It is an invaluable aid to diagnose problems and likely has a directory of problems and fixes indexed in the back.

The Importance of Needles

Sewing machine needles are such little insignificant things. Or are they?

This tiny piece of metal is at the root of so many problems. ‘Good thing it's so easy to change. For almost every problem listed in this guide, it is the first thing to check.

Troubleshooting Needles:

  • If the problem just started, insert a new needle. Keep in mind that just because it is new and fresh from it's package, doesn't mean it's perfect.
  • Change it if you hit a pin. Same goes for a one that you've been using for several hours. The smallest amount of damage to its tip will affect stitch quality.
  • A bent needle? Of course, you'd change it!
  • Make sure to insert it completely. A needle that extends just a tiny bit longer will be in the wrong position to form a stitch.
  • Choose the correct needle to handle your thread choice.

Now to learn more about simple preventative sewing machine maintenance, click here.

Troubleshooting Topics

We have covered a number of common problems. Find yours in the list below and click on the name. Remember that if you feel uncomfortable with any of the adjustments consult you dealer for more information.

Tension Problems

Breaking Needles

Breaking or Shredding Needle Thread

Breaking Bobbin Thread

Skipped Stitches

Fabric Won't Feed Properly

Thread Nest Forms on the Bottom

Go to Sewing Machine Maintenance

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