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Sewing Machine Problems and Remedies

Top 14 Sewing Machine Problems and Remedies

Having a hard time at sewing machine troubleshooting? We’ve got your back!

While sewing machines can make your life abundantly easy, they can also give you a hard time with technical issues. After all, it’s still a machine that needs human intervention every now and then.

However, you’d be surprised to know that, at times, it’s the simplest of things that can pose major problems to your sewing machine.

Do you also face issues with your sewing machine regularly with no obvious solution in sight? Fret not; we have got you covered with our sure-to-work sewing machine troubleshooting tips.

Generally, the sewing machine troubleshooting protocol is the same for all brands. However, if you are a beginner, you might need to get accustomed to the sewing machine’s ins and outs to fix it.

You can check out our list of best sewing machines for beginners for a nudge in the right direction.

This article will cover all the typical sewing machine problems and remedies to make your life easy! So, without further ado, let’s dive deep into these sewing machine problems and solutions and change the game!

10 Sewing Machine Problems and Remedies

Once you familiarize yourself with all the common sewing machine problems and remedies, you can fix virtually any technical blunder. The listed sewing machine problems and solutions can be implemented even by novices quite effectively!

1 ) Crooked or broken needles:

The needles of the sewing machines are highly prone to damage and breakage. Bending of a needle is a common phenomenon, and it is enormously damaging to the fabric. Subsequently, they shall be timely replaced.


To avoid needles to bend or break, reload the needle after each sewing project. It is recommended to replace the needles after every 10 hours of rigorous stitching. If your sewing machine’s needle is tilted, then the fabric you are working on will get damaged immensely. Using the right kind and size of needle is crucial while working on a piece of cloth.

At times, replacing the needle can one of the most effective sewing machine solutions. This is a sewing machine troubleshooting advice that even experts would give you.

If you are using a thin needle to work on a denim pair, you will get yourself in trouble. Various users have found themselves in trouble for neglecting the most common sewing machine problems and solutions.

The thickness of the denim will prompt your needle to break. Just in case this happens, halt the work immediately. Replace the broken needle with the correct-sized needle and begin working again. A universal needle of size 90/14 is what works best on denim.

2 ) The sewing machine skips certain stitches:

At times, your sewing machine will omit some stitches, creating an irregular pattern on the fabric. This can happen if the needle is unable to enter the loops at correct intervals. This can be highly troublesome due to the fallible stitching.


Skipped stitches occur when the sewing machine’s looper misses the loop in the needle thread. To prevent this from happening, check whether the needles have been placed correctly.

If the needle is bent or broken, replace it immediately with a suitable needle. Lock the threads properly so seamless sewing could ensue. Ensure that the thread is wound properly on the bobbin.

Also, make sure that the needle and bobbin thread you are using are of good quality. This factor could have a major influence on how the fabric looks after the work is done.

3 ) Unbalanced Stitches:

Unbalanced stitch could have numerable causes. These can range from inadequate lubrication of the sewing threads, incorrect sewing tension to incorrect use of thread path.


This problem can be remedied by adjusting precise and correct tension to the thread. Adjusting the thread tension can prove to be a major sewing machine troubleshooting trick. Inadequate tension can lead to the imbalance of the stitch, which will be reflected in the work you are doing. 

Use threads of superior quality to prompt the lubrication. Lubricated threads can make working on a sewing project extensively seamless and effortless.

Use just the right thread path. If need be, re-thread the machine. The problem of unbalanced stitched will get fixed.

4 ) Thread Jam:

The threads of the sewing machines can be jammed quite easily. This could happen if the device has not been set up correctly for the task you were about to encounter. Most heavy-duty sewing machines encounter this issue.

Although, you can check out our list of the best heavy duty sewing machines for recommendations. These suggested instruments do not experience thread jamming that often.


Fixing thread jamming can loosen the grip around various other sewing machine problems and solutions. If your machine gets jammed, halt the work, and remove the fabric from under the needle. It’s time to do some re-threading!

Remove the fabric gently as to not tear it. Once the material has been removed, remove certain parts of the sewing machine, such as the bobbin and the throat plate. This will ensure that you can easily remove the thread that caused the jam.

Discard the drawn thread and place a fresh set. Replace the needle of the machine and get to work again. The jamming problem is likely to get solved. 

5 ) The fabric is not moving:

The material stops to move if the feed dogs have some technical issue or if the stitch length has been adjusted to 0. At times, the feed dogs are not able to process the fabric without creating havoc. This can be solved with quick sewing machine troubleshooting.


  1. Adjust the height of the feed dogs if they are not high enough to process the fabric. If the feed dogs do not move at all, chances are that you have set the stitch length at 0.
  2. Ensure that the settings have been changed to above zero or as much stitch length as required to finish the project at hand.
  3. Tighten all the components around the feed dogs and the sewing machine.

You are now all set to work. 

6 ) Needle thread breakage:

Needle thread can break due to the damage to the machine’s metal surfaces. This damage could result in the damage of needle thread, bobbin thread, and the looper.

It could be that the threads were wound on the bobbin improperly. Moreover, if there is exceeding tension on the bobbin thread, both the bobbin and the needle threads can break.


Foremostly, polish the metal surfaces of the machine. If any part appears to be damaged, replace them immediately to prevent it from affecting other mechanisms.

This one step could help you get around ample of sewing machine problems and remedies.

To avoid the breakage of needle thread, wind the threads optimally on the bobbin. Not only will this prevent the breakage of needle thread, but potential breakage of bobbin thread could also be avoided.

If the bobbin that has been fit into the machine is of incorrect size, replace it with the proper one. You can experiment with various sizes and types of the bobbin to see which one best suits your needs.

7 ) Staggered stitches:

Staggered stitches can occur when the yarns in the fabric prevent the needle from working in a straight line. This can be caused if you are using the wrong-sized needle or if the needlepoint is unsuitable.

Moreover, the damaged needle and incorrect seam for the fabric you are working on could also contribute.


Check if you are using the right needle size. If the needlepoint is unsuitable, choose a needle with a sharper point.

This will allow you more control over the fabric, and precision while working would boost. You won’t have to search for sewing machine problems and solutions if you follow this!

If the needle is bent or broken, replace the needle with the suitable one and continue working. You can also choose to use an alternative for the feed mechanism.

 It could contribute to better material control. If all these tips are put in place, the problem of a staggered stitch is bound to get fixed.

8 ) Variable Stitch Density:

Variable stitch density can occur if the pressure in the drop feed is inadequate. If the material has a sticky surface, this problem could prevail.


Sufficient pressure should be applied to the drop feed to promote equal feeding. However, some fabrics might require specialized feed systems. These systems ensure that even feeding is done on the material. Quick fixes for this issue could be used to –

  1. increase the foot pressure or, 
  2. change the drop setting of the machine.  

9 ) Seam Pucker:

This is one of the prime sewing machine problems and remedies in the book. Seam pucker happens when the seam gathers during the process of sewing. This makes the appearance of seam ghastly. Although the seam pucker is unavoidable to some degree, there are various ways to minimize it optimally.


The seam pucker could occur if the needle thread frequently jams. To avoid this, choose superior quality thread and install it into the sewing machine. You could use a small-sized needle with a sharper point to have better control over the work. 

Seam pucker could also be caused due to the sewing thread tension. In such a case, reduce the thread tension.

Change the feed time if need be. You can use a synthetic thread to avoid the shrinkage of the fabric. Lubrication of thread is essential to prevent the seam pucker. You can choose a thread that has optimum lubrication.

10 ) Sewing Thread Tenison:

 Under tension, the sewing thread can expand. When it tries to relax, the fabric could form a pucker. This could happen if the bobbin thread tension is higher than the needle thread tension.

Being one of the most common sewing machine problems, the solutions can be implemented even by novices.


The sewing machine troubleshooting trick to get over this is quick and simple. Thread tension pucker can be avoided if the thread tensions on the sewing machine are reduced.

You could also introduce a large hole in the fabric by using a needle with a ball eye. This will aid in setting the stitch. Threads with low elongation could contribute to preventing thread tension from occurring.

Other 4 Sewing Machine Problems and Remedies

1 ) Use quality thread:

Various sewing machine problems could occur because of the use of poor-quality threads. Needle and bobbin threads tend to break if the quality is not up to the mark—most sewing machine problems and remedies are traced back to the quality of thread used. 

Thus, ensure that you use superior quality thread while sewing. To be sure of the quality, purchase the thread from proper sewing machine stores. Such stores sell authentic and quality threads only. 

2 ) Use the right-sized needle:

We cannot emphasize this point enough. Using the needle of the appropriate size is enormously essential. If you use incorrect measures of the needles, the needle is likely to break or bend.

The fabric you are working on can become the victim of this negligence of yours. Therefore, ensure that the right size and type of needle is used while working on a project.

3 ) Using the right bobbin:

Each type of sewing machine requires a different bobbin. This can cause confusion to a tremendous degree.

Chances are, you could fix a wrong-sized bobbin into your sewing machine. To ensure that you are using the right bobbin, consult an expert.

You can take professional sewing machine troubleshooting tips to broaden your horizon as well.

4 ) Change needles regularly:

Needles are not expensive. So, open your wallets to a large number of needles. According to experts, the sewing machine’s needles should be changed after 10 hours of active working. 

Some people say that needles should be replaced after every sitting. The intervals of the replacement largely depend upon you. However, replacing the needles are a must, and these shall be done in short breaks.

The listed sewing machine problems and solutions will help you immensely in maintaining your sewing machine.

Maintaining a sewing machine can be tricky, especially if you are a beginner. However, as you familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the mechanism, the job of maintaining it keeps becoming easier.

The above-mentioned sewing machine problems and solutions are pretty common amongst sewing machine users. 

Many people often find themselves in a puddle while figuring out sewing machine problems and remedies. However, with these sewing machine troubleshooting tips, you are bound to have an easy time managing your sewing machine.

As long as these sewing machine problems and solutions are carried out optimally, you will find fixing your sewing machine a piece of cake!

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