The Secret Guide to Common Sewing Machine Problems and Solutions

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Read These Tips To Eliminate Common Sewing Machine Problems And Solutions Them!

Those who work with sewing machines, including tailors, dressmakers, and even home sewers, may have experienced challenges or complications. It makes no difference whether they are stitching with mechanical or electric sewing machines, since the results are the same.

Because a defective sewing machine can prevent you from starting a project or finishing a good one, you should learn how to troubleshoot your sewing machine as soon as possible. Continue reading the article to learn about the causes of sewing machine difficulties as well as how to fix them in order to have a better understanding of the subject.

Table of Contents

Sewing Machine Terminology Should Be Familiar With Before Troubleshooting Your Sewing Machine

common sewing problems

The following sections of the sewing machine will help you better comprehend the troubleshooting techniques. Here are the components of the sewing machine you should be familiar with, as well as their functions:

Automatic needle threader

This component is a pull-down lever that threads the needle automatically. It takes care of threading the eye of your sewing machine needle for you.

Presser foot screw

This is a screw that is used to secure the presser foot to the shank of your sewing machine. Prior to adding certain accessories, such as the ruffler, you must first take it off.

Pressure regulator

Its name suggests that it controls the presser foot foot pressure pressure applied to the sewing machine. Presser foot pressure regulator Most of the time, you won’t need to make any adjustments to this section of your sewing machine.

Bobbin winder tension disc

This component of the sewing machine is responsible for applying thread tension during the bobbin winding operation.

Thread tension control

This component is responsible for controlling the portioning of the thread used by your sewing machine

Thread tension control

This component is responsible for controlling the portioning of the thread used by your sewing machine

Cover face

It serves to protect and cover the light as well as other components of the sewing machine’s interior.

Needle plate/Stitch Plate

A needle plate is the rectangular flat metal element that sits under the presser foot. In addition to an entrance for the feed-dogs and a passageway for the needle to move down into the bobbin housing, it has measurement indications for your seam allowance. You may take the stitch plate off of the machine to wipe away the lint.

Thread cutter

This is a little knife that is used to cut the thread tails with ease.

Thread take-up

It can be moved up and down to feed the thread to the needle. Thread take-up – You can move it up and down to feed the thread to the needle. It also helps to tighten the loop that has been produced by the shuttle.

Feed dog control

You may adjust the height of your feed dogs using this sewing machine component.

Extension table

A detachable table or an auxiliary table that provides more space and support for whatever you are sewing on. Usually, it is only eliminated when dealing with little goods.

Foot control

Similar to the accelerator pedal on your automobile, your sewing machine likewise includes a pedal that allows you to adjust the pace at which your machine operates. When you press harder on the button, it will also instruct your machine to move quicker as a result of the increased pressure. Always keep in mind that, similar to driving a vehicle, going quicker makes it more difficult to manage.

Stitch width control

This feature allows you to adjust the width of the stitches produced by your sewing machine.

Reverse stitch lever

Lever for starting and finishing back-stitching or sewing backwards, which is kept down while operating the machine.

Bobbin winder shaft

This is the shaft into which you insert your bobbin in order to thread it.

Bobbin winder stop

In order to avoid over-winding, this component is installed on the bobbin winder stop.

Stitch length control

This feature allows you to fine-tune the stitch length of your sewing machine.

Stitch indicator

This sewing machine component indicates the stitch that has been chosen.

Power/light switch

This switch regulates the electrical current flowing through the machine by turning on and off the lights.

Stitch picker

This tool allows you to choose the kind of stitch you want to use, such as straight, blind-hem, or zig-zag.

Identification plate

This plate contains the unique identification number for your sewing machine.

Hand wheel

Using the hand wheel, you may manually move the machine’s feed dog as well as the machine’s needle up and down. It is often used while turning around corners.

Foot release lever

There is a little lever located at the rear of the presser foot’s ankle that allows you to remove the foot from the presser foot. It allows you to replace your shoes since it releases the foot.

Needle clamp screw

This component is responsible for holding the needle in position. When releasing or fastening the needle, you may vary the tension to make it looser or tighter.

Bobbin cover release button

This button acts as a release catch, allowing the bobbin cover to be closed into position or released as necessary.

Retractable spool pin

The sewing machine’s pin that holds the thread may be lifted or lowered to suit the situation.

Feed dogs

A set of metal teeth is used to feed the dogs, which grabs the cloth and feeds it.

Buttonhole lever

When the buttonhole lever comes into contact with the plastic guide, it acts as a sensor, alerting your machine that it must turn around. It aids in the creation of the proper buttonhole size for the button that will be used for the project.

Super pattern group selector

This component allows you to switch between different pattern groups.

Horizontal spool pin

When stitching, this sewing machine element is responsible for holding the thread in place.

Plug socket

This is the location where you will locate the foot control and where you will plug in the power wire.

Presser foot lifter

It is responsible for the presser foot lifting.

Thread guide

The thread guide on your sewing machine acts as a guide for the thread, ensuring that it stays on the correct course.

Buttonhole stitch adjuster

This tool allows you to make minor adjustments to the stitching around a buttonhole.

Presser foot

Using a presser foot, you may sew in a variety of ways when connected to your sewing machine. Examples include the blind-hem foot, gathering foot, ruffler, and 14″ piecing foot.

Bobbin cover plate

When you see the bobbin cover plate, it is the plate that covers the bobbin housing and the bobbin, and it prevents the bobbin from popping out while the machine is in motion.

Sewing machine issues that are most common

sewing problems and solutions

Tangled threads, broken needles, and uneven tension are just a few of the sewing machine issues that tailors and even some home sewers have to deal with often. If you have a sewing machine that has to be fixed or constructed at home, you won’t have to spend much money. Sewing machine difficulties and how to remedy them are outlined below in this article.

The sewing machine starts to make a lot of noise

Cleaning and removing some of the accumulated oils from the needle bar is necessary if your sewing machine begins making sounds. Keep an eye out for broken or malfunctioning needles. To learn how to properly clean your sewing machine, see the owner’s handbook. If your sewing machine is still making sounds, try lubricating or oiling it.

It Is Very Simple to Break the Needles

It is an indicator of tainted needles when a needle snaps or breaks readily in the hand. Ensure that the needles are inserted appropriately. Another reason for needle breakage is that the fabric or material you’re working with isn’t compatible with the needle. Striking and strains might occur if needles are placed incorrectly. Always place the needle into the shaft on a flat side and allow no room for error. Make sure it’s tightened all the way.

The Fabric Doesn’t Fit Into the Machine

Several kinds of textiles and materials are incompatible with various sewing machines. Thick fabrics need special needles and threads, so keep this in mind while sewing. Using this method will allow you to prevent overworking your cloth in the sewing machine.

If your sewing machine is having trouble feeding your materials, remove any lint from around the feed dogs and give it another go at feeding them. You may also increase the pressure on the presser foot to keep the cloth in place while stitching.

The Thread Quality Is Poor and Uneven

To keep your sewing machine and your textiles in good working order, use only long-lasting, high-quality thread. When sewing, let the feed dog take care of bringing the cloth up under the presser foot.

Before sewing with a certain cloth, be sure to verify the thread’s size and kind. The more compatible your needles and threads are, the less likely you are to have an issue.

Sewing Machine Friction Buildup

The cloth might be damaged if you stitch with a heavy needle. For denser and more elastic materials, if the sewing machine is not properly greased, it will most likely cause friction.

When sewing, the needles do not move at all

Make sure the bobbin winding mode on your sewing machine is in the right position.

The Threads Become Loose

If your sewing machine’s threads are readily tangled and loose, you may have an issue with the machine itself. Dust and grime may cause your sewing machine’s threads to come loose. Cleaning your sewing machine, particularly the bobbin case, will help you prevent this issue. Dirt and lint may be removed using tiny vacuums equipped with brush attachments.

The Bobbin Case is easily damaged

Replace your sewing machine’s plastic bobbin cover with a metal bobbin case if you’re experiencing uneven tension. Sewing machine bobbins will have an easier time maintaining the optimum tension using this tool.

Threads are prone to breaking and tangling

Make sure you have the right size and kind of thread before you start stitching anything. Some of the most delicate threads are often used primarily for hand stitching. Sewing machines’ thread breaks and tangles due to increased tension, thus the top thread tension is adjusted accordingly.

After every use, bend the needles

Always use a fresh needle for stitching new cloth or material, taking into consideration the material’s specific size and kind. You won’t have to deal with any issues when stitching and your fabric won’t seem boring. To guarantee that your project’s seams are of the highest possible quality, various kinds of needles are required for different types of fabric, such as leather and denim.

When sewing, use clustered threads to keep things neat

Remove any and all under-fabric threads or knots. When stitching, it will result in thread clusters. Remove any knit or excess thread from beneath the cloth with care to prevent any harm. Using scissors, trim away any leftover threads left behind after stitching. Depending on the kind of thread and cloth, you may need to modify the sewing machine’s tension setting.

Poor seams are produced by the sewing machine

It’s easier to feed your cloth into your sewing machine when it’s at the correct pressure. Poor seams are the consequence of a presser foot that does not provide enough pressure.

The seams in the fabrics are inconsistent in their appearance

Machines are notorious for producing wavy and uneven stitching. It’s also possible that your stitching method is at blame. Use pins to keep the edges of your fabric or material in place. Thick fabric feeding into the sewing machine may also generate wavy stitches.

Incorrect Bobbins Type and Size

Using simply thread and needles isn’t the only option when it comes to sewing. For your sewing machine, the kind and size of the bobbins you use are critical.

The sewing machine does not produce a variety of stitches

If you want to use a variety of stitches, be sure your sewing machine’s length and breadth settings are correct. The seams may begin to bunch and distort if the stitch setting is incorrect.

Sewing machine troubleshooting

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What are the most common issues with sewing machines?

A needle that was placed in the incorrect direction. The machine may either push or pull the fabric through. Incorrect attachment of the foot. Unsuitable needle plate had been fitted.

What causes the machine to stop sewing?

Make sure the machine is threaded properly by ensuring that the threading line on the hand wheel is at the highest position possible (this puts the needle into the correct position for threading). Before beginning to thread the machine, you need to make sure that the presser foot is up. Make sure that the bobbin is properly positioned inside the machine.

What should be done for the sewing machine’s maintenance?

Make sure that your sewing machine is adequately lubricated at all times. At the very least once every week, the exposed portions of the machine need to have all of the dust cleaned off of them, and the essential moving parts need to be oiled. Always use oil of a high grade in your sewing machine. Before applying oil to any element of the machine, you should always clear away any lint deposits, dust, or fragments of thread.

What might be causing my sewing machine to jam?

There are a number of potential reasons for this, including a strand of thread becoming entangled, an uneven feed of the fabric, or an accumulation of lint or dust in the machine. It is important to maintain a close watch on the needle at all times while you are sewing, since jams may also be caused by the needle striking anything within the machine.

How do you adjust the tension on the bobbin?

If the bobbin case does not budge when you try to move it, the tension on the bobbin is too high. To increase the tension on your bobbin, turn the little screw located on the bobbin case a fraction in the clockwise direction. Turning the screw in the opposite direction of the clock will reduce the tension on the bobbin. A excellent place to begin is with no more than a quarter of a turn.

What are the proper procedures for lubricating and cleaning a sewing machine?

Within a few minutes, you may clean and lubricate the working components of your sewing machine by either opening the pedal switch or directly spraying WD-40 on them. This will depend on the kind of sewing machine you use. After applying lubricant to the pedal, you should continue to move it in order to confirm that the task is completed.

What causes the bottom thread to be loose?

The thread take-up spring, also known as the check spring, has not been changed and hence does not function correctly. The solution is to adjust the thread take-up spring so that it has the appropriate amount of tension and its upward motion is done immediately before the needle penetrates the material.

How can you solve an issue with a thread?

If a thread’s damage is modest, it may be feasible to reconstruct the threads by passing a nut up and down them; however, doing so carries the danger of the nut fusing to the thread. Damaged threads on a screw or bolt may typically be mended by running a die over it.


Basic sewing machine troubleshooting knowledge includes checking the handbook and following the directions. The best way to avoid costly repairs down the road is to keep your sewing machine well-maintained and familiar with a few basic fixes. A sewing machine may be simply repaired and assembled if you know what it does and how it works.

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Aithley Balder

Hello there, my name is Aithley Balder from Texas. I am a cookware, sewing, toilet, technology enthusiast and I have been sharing my passion with my friends and likeminded folks for close to 4 years now. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via the contact page.