Troubleshooting 5 Common Sewing Machine Problems
Sewing machines are wonderful when they’re working well and your projects come to fruition quickly and easily - but sometimes this just doesn’t happen and there’s nothing more frustrating than having to deal with snapped needles, skipped stitches and so on… so knowing what to do in a sewing machine emergency is a must!
Here are some of the more common problems that you may encounter as you learn to sew. Rest assured that no problem is insurmountable and your machine won’t be broken - it just needs a little bit of TLC!
Bent or broken needles
When you start a new sewing project, always make sure you do so with a new needle, so you know it’s nice and sharp, and won’t snag your fabric. Also make sure you know which needles work best with the fabric you’re using - denim, for example, will need something sturdy, while a jersey needle may be the best option for knit material.
If a needle does bend or break, stop sewing immediately and remove it, then replace it with the appropriate one, rethread and away you go. If needles continue to break, there may be a mechanical problem somewhere.
You may well experience a few loud clunks coming from your sewing machine at some point - but don’t panic! It probably just needs a thorough clean, so give it a good going over following the manufacturer’s instructions and see if that makes a difference. Don’t carry on sewing if you do start hearing funny noises from your machine.
Big loops on the back of fabric
Check your threading! Loops on the back of the fabric you’re using means that yoru top thread isn’t in the tension disks. Always check the threading and make sure you concentrate when doing it in the first place as, if it’s wrong, your machine won’t sew.
If you notice that your sewing has skipped stitches in it, it could be because you’re using the wrong needle for your fabric. Woven fabric needs a sharp needle and knit fabric needs a ballpoint one, but it could also have something to do with how you’re sewing. Make sure that you don’t force any fabric through the machine, instead allowing it to feed it through itself.
This is a very common problem that sewing enthusiasts often encounter. If it happens to you, take out the fabric you’re sewing as gently as you can, lifting it up so you can cut the threads and release it from the machine. Then take out all the jammed thread and check the needle before you start to sew again, as bent needles can cause jams.