Sewing machine troubleshooting can be relatively pain-free if you know what to look for. Usually each problem that occurs in sewing can be pinpointed to one of only a few causes. Knowing what to look for will help make your sewing project less stressful.
Bent or Dull Needle
A sewing machine needle that is bent, dull or otherwise damaged will cause skipped stitches. The needle must be able to take up the bobbin thread to form a stitch; a dull needle may not be able to do so. Change your needle to one that you know is new and sharp.
The wrong size needle or the wrong type of needle may cause skipped stitches. Heavy-duty or denim needles in a larger size (indicated by a larger number) are best for heavy fabrics; stretch or ballpoint needles are best for stretchy or knit fabrics. Smaller needles are indicated by smaller numbers; the middle-of-the-road needle size is 80/12, which would be used on medium-weight fabrics.
Wrong Thread Tension
Thread tension that is too tight may cause skipped stitches. Refer to your sewing machine's user manual for proper thread tension. Usually a higher number means higher tension.
Improper threading is a common cause of many sewing problems, including skipped stitches. Take out the top and bobbin thread and re-thread the sewing machine completely. Refer to your user manual to ensure you are threading the machine correctly.
- "User's Guide: Designer SE"; Husqvarna Viking; 2007
- Ultimate Sew and Vac: Troubleshooting
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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