Sewing Machine Help..! Help And Advice On How To Repair Sewing Machine Problems

Do you have a sewing machine problem, or need help and advice our sewing machine knowledge base will help you repair and solve stitch looping problems
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Sewing Machine Troubleshooting Guide Sewing Machine Troubleshooting Guide - FAQ

  1. Stitches are not formed properly while sewing

    Thread has not been pulled through thread tension unit- re thread making sure thread is kept taut whilst threading.
    Bobbin case has been threaded wrong- Correctly thread bobbin case.
    Spool cap is wrong size for thread spool- Replace the cap with correct size.

  2. Bobbin case has jumped past its stopper.

    For whatever reason top loading sewing machines can jam, most of the time you can simply find a tangle of thread and remove it, and start stitching again. However, if yo are unlucky and had a large jam up, which sometimes happens if the machine is not threaded correctly, or the user is pulling the fabric through. When this happens the bobbin case can be forced past its stopper spring and will need to be reset. This can be done by following the pointers below or checking the machines user guide.

    1  Remove the needle plate on the machine, usually held down by two screws.

    2  Now, you can now see the plastic bobbin case. The outer edge should be very smooth with no burs or needle marks, the edge is not a full circle, it has a small V shaped indentation, with a bulbous stubby protrusion, called a Butt, and this comes up against the bobbin case stopper spring. The bobbin case spring stopper is located at the 5 o'clock position as viewed from the front of the machine. If jammed the Butt will now have jumped past the stopper spring clip.

    3  Remove the jammed bobbin case and check for any damage, light damage can be smoothed by using fine emery paper, heavy damage and the case will need to be replaced.

    4  Re-seat the bobbin case in the correct position so that the V shaped butt comes up against the bobbin stopper spring when it is resting on the metal hook. There should be a small amount of movement in the bobbin case as it lets the thread whip round it a speed, the rotation clearence should be no more than 1 mm

    5  Re-attach the needle plate, check your threading and try again.

  3. The machine does not feed material

    The stitch length may have been set to zero - Reselect the proper stitch pattern and length.

    The presser foot pressure is set too low - Set presser foot pressure adjustment lever to ""normal"" or increase foot pressure.

    The machine may be set in button hole mode - set the machine to straight stitch

    Feed dogs are in the lowered position - Raise feed dogs.

    Lint could have gathered under needle plate - Clean out lint from between feed dog teeth

  4. Irregular stitches while using my sewing machine

    Loosen upper thread tension - Tighten upper thread tension. 
    Pulling fabric - Do not pull fabric, guide it gently. 
    Light pressure on presser foot - Increase pressure on presser foot. 
    Loosen presser foot - Reset presser foot.

  5. Sewing Machine Needle Breaks

    A thin needle was used for sewing a heavy weight material - Always use the correct size sewing machine needles of correct type for the material being stitched.

    The needle has not been fully inserted into needle bar - Check then re-insert correctly.

    The needle clamp screw maybe loose - Make sure the needle clamp screw is securely tightened.

    The presser foot is incorrect - Use correct presser foot.

    The presser foot could be loose - Check then re-install presser foot.

    Make sure you don't pull on fabric as you sew - Do not pull fabric, guide the fabric gently the feed dogs will do the rest.

    Incorrect needle plate used. - Check that correct plate is being used, e.g don't use a straight stitch needle plate when using a zig/zag stitch.

  6. Upper thread breaks

    The most common error here is that the threading may not be correct - To make sure you have this done correctly, please consult your instruction book and thread machine as per the books guidance.

    Upper thread can also break if:

    The thread has a knot in it or has become twisted - To fix this problem we recommend that you remove the knot and check the thread quality.

    The thread tension is too tight- You will need to change the top thread tension and move it to a lower setting.

    Needle is bent or blunt or has a sharp eye - Replace needle.

    Needle is wrong size or needle has been inserted wrong - Replace needle with correct size.

    Needle and thread do not match - Use good quality thread or needle.

    Starting to stitch too fast - Start sewing machine at a medium or slow speed.

    Thread take-up lever has not been threaded - Check threading order and check thread is in take-up slot. 

  7. Machine not moving fabric

    Feed dog set for embroidery in lower position - Reset feed dog

    Presser foot pressure too low - Adjust presser foot pressure.

    The stitch length has been set to zero - Reselect the proper stitch pattern and length.

    Machine set in button hole mode - Check machine stitch settings.

  8. Fabric puckers

    Stitch length is too long for material - Decrease stitch length.
    Needle point is blunt - Replace needle or correct size and type.
    Incorrect thread tension - Reset thread tension.
    Presser foot is the wrong type - Check you have the correct presser foot onyour  machine.
    Fabric is too sheer or soft - Use material backing, stifner or tissue paper.
    Using two different sizes or types of thread - Upper thread and bobbin thread should be the same size and type.

  9. Noise is heard, it is clicking

    A very slight clicking noise whilst sewing a seam!

    Once one becomes accustom to sewing, you get to know the sweet sound your sewing machine should make when it is stitching perfectly.

    On the odd occasion, a very slight clicking noise can be heard when sewing. 90% of the time this indicates that the needle is the wrong type, or is blunt.

    Machine needles often hit the needle plate or the rotating hook when sewing. This is not a normal occurrence, but usually happens because the user is pulling/pushing the fabric instead of gently guiding the fabric under the presser foot.

    This heavy handedness (which is often the case with beginner sewer's) means that as the needle is going through the material, the user is still pushing/pulling which slightly flexes the needle which then bashes into the metal hook and causes a tiny burr on the needle point. Because of  this tiny burr, the needle has to force its way through the fabric, which then makes a clicking noise.

    Replace the needle with a new one and try stitching the same fabric again.

    This would only happen on a older machine that has been used a good few times. 
    Another cause could be dust or lint that has accumulated under the feed dogs, which in turn causes the needle plate to flex as the lint between the feed dogs gets so compressed, it can permanently bend the needle plate. It often makes a clicking noise as the lint bashes in to the bottom of the needle plate. Clean under the needle plate and between the feed dogs. Replace the needle plate if needed.

    Beware of dropping pins in to the bobbin area. A snapped pin in the machine workings will often make a clicking noise as you are stitching.

  10. Automatic needle threader will not work

    The automatic needle threader uses a hook which is very tiny and can be easily bent or damaged. The hook passes through the needle eye. So the threader and needle must be positioned correctly.

    The needle threader is designed not to turn. Yes it rotates or swings in to the correct position, however, the needle must not be bent and it must be set in the needle clamp correctly.

    When using the needle threader, the needle must be at its most upper position to protect the threader - Turn hand wheel until needle reaches its highest position.

    Whilst swinging the needle threader in to position, the user must be very gentle not to push the threader out of position causing the tiny hook to bend instead of passing through the needle eye.

    If the automatic needle does not thread the needle.

    1. Needle not aligning with threader hook - Replace needle.

    2. Make sure needle is a its highest position.

    3. Don't force the threader as it swings in to position.

    4. Threader hook bent - Replace with new needle threader hook.

    The threading hook can be bent very easily, it can also be bent back in to the correct position very easily.

  11. Needle pushes fabric down needle hole

    Needle blunt - Change needle for the type of fabric being stitched.

    Wrong needle size - Change needle to correct size for fabric.

  12. No power machine not moving and light not working

    Make sure switch is on.

    Push the foot control connection firmly into the machine socket and check wall plug fuse.

    Some machines don't work if the bulb has blown or not working. Replace the bulb.

  13. How to use an Automatic needle threader

    The important thing is that the needle must not be slightly bent..

    1. Put a new size 90 needle in the sewing machine.

    2. Make sure the needle is at its highest point, before using the threader.

    3. Pull the needle threader fully down and twist it, so the tiny hook of the needle threader goes through the needle eye.

    4. Use the plastic hook on the left of the threader as a guide, while you push the thread against the needle (near the point) and move it up the needle until it reaches the stop bars. Slowly let the needle threader twist backwards out from the needle and it will spring back to its resting position.

    5. Catch the loop of thread from the back of the needle.

    This technique does need a little practice and is much easier than the description above.

  14. It is still looping under the fabric, then jams

    It's still not threaded correctly!

    I think you may have the thread laying 'on top' of the tension discs, (whatever number the tension is set at wont make any difference) the thread must be pulled or tugged a little to make it pop between the tension discs.

    When threading, always thread with the presser foot in the up position, which opens up the tension discs to allow the thread to locate to the correct position.

    Keep the thread taught while threading the machine.

  15. My sewing machine is missing stitches

    Thread tension is too tight - Re set tensions.
    Needle is bent or blunt - Replace needle.
    Needle is not the correct type or size for the fabric being sewn. 
    Thread take-up lever has not been threaded - Re thread and check thread goes through take-up slot. 
    Thread is of a lesser quality and needs to be changed for the correct sewing machine thread to suit the fabric being stitched.

  16. Fitting a spring loaded darning or free-motion embroidery foot

    When fitting a darning foot or embroidery foot to a sewing machine, make sure the arm is above the needle clamp screw. I normally squeeze the foot (compressing the spring a little) while fitting it to the presser foot shank and at the same time make sure the spring loaded arm goes over the needle bar clamp.

  17. Sewing machine suddenly stops during sewing

    The motor belt maybe slipping or jumped off the handwheel or the motor completely - Reset the belt making sure it has the correct tension or replace the belt.

    Thread lock, threads maybe wrapped around bobbin case or sewing head - find and remove threads from head or bobbin case.

    Has the machine still got power? Is the light still on? - If not check the fuse and replace if necessary.

    Power leads or foot control leads may have a break in them - check all leads for twisting or breaks *important do this with the power off* - leads can be repaired or replaced.

    The machine still may have power but the foot control maybe faulty - if possible check with another foot control - most foot controls can be repaired or replaced.

    Do you notice a burning smell coming from the machine - If so then the motor may have burnt out - most motors can be replaced.

  18. Missing stitches but only on polyester or nylon fabrics.

    Needle is the wrong size or type - Use ball point sewing machine needles with good quality polyester thread.
    Needle and thread does not match - Change needle to correct size for fabric thickness. 
    Only use good quality thread while sewing awkward to manage materials.

  19. Where can I get an Instruction Book

    Instruction books or an operators guide, is essential reading for anyone starting to use a new or older sewing machine. Each style and model of sewing machine has its own requirements for threading and setting up. Always refer to your machine's manual, if you have it. We have a few of the older Instruction books you can download from our website for FREE!

  20. Needle will not move up or down

    There are many reasons as to why the sewing machine needle will not move.

    I will put these in order.

    1. The bobbin winder may still be engaged after last use. The winder could possibly have been left in winding position causing the it to spin but the auto de-clutch mechanism will stop the drive to the needle bar shaft - Move bobbin winder unit back fully to the left or rearward to engage sewing mode.

    2. On older machines, the clutch in the hand wheel may have been left out of gear after bobbin winding - check clutch and if necessary re-tighten the small thumb screw in the centre of the hand wheel.

    3. On some electronic machines, if the pull down buttonhole lever was not lowered when buttonhole mode was selected, for safety the machine will not operate - Lower buttonhole lever to the correct position.

    4. Presser foot maybe in up position - a lot of modern machines will not work until the presser foot is lowered - check and lower foot.

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