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How Do You Fix A Sewing Machine That's Skipping Stitches?

A sewing machine will skip stitches if the needle's not able to penetrate the fabric or if it isn't able to properly catch the thread. Skipped stitches make seams look inconsistent, and they're also a headache to deal with. Whenever they happen, you need to stop sewing, remove the stitches, and try again. If your sewing machine is constantly skipping stitches, your projects will take more time to complete and become frustrating. Thankfully, it's typically easy to fix a sewing machine that's frequently skipping stitches. To find out what you should do to stop the problem, read on.

Replace Your Needle

In order to stop your sewing machine from skipping stitches, the first thing you should try is replacing the needle. Sewing machine needles become dull quickly, and a dull needle won't be able to consistently penetrate the fabric you're working with. When the needle can't get through the fabric, it will cause a skipped stitch. You need to replace your sewing machine needles periodically, and you may have to do it multiple times when you're working on a long project with heavy fabric like a quilt.

When you're replacing your needle, make sure that you're using the right type of needle for the fabric you're working with. Your sewing machine manual will have a table listing the type of needle to use. Using a ballpoint needle on a heavy fabric like denim, for example, will result in skipped stitches since the rounded tip of the needle won't be able to easily penetrate the heavy denim.

Increase Your Thread Tension

If the thread tension on your sewing machine is too low, the bobbin won't be able to catch the thread when the needle pulls up from the fabric. Its thread won't rise high enough because it's too lax. You can rotate a knob on your sewing machine to increase the thread tension, allowing the bobbin to properly catch the thread as you're sewing.

Clean Your Sewing Machine

A sewing machine that's filled with lint will cause a similar issue due to low thread tension. The extra friction caused by the needle and thread brushing against the lint will prevent the bobbin from catching the thread. Cleaning and oiling your machine to remove lint and lubricate its moving parts will help prevent it from skipping stitches when you're using it.

Take Your Sewing Machine to a Repair Shop

If you've cleaned your sewing machine and it's still skipping stitches, you'll need to take it to a sewing machine repair service. The timing of the sewing machine's motor may be off, causing the bobbin to miss the thread as the needle moves up and down. In newer computerized sewing machines, the timing may be incorrect due to a problem with the circuit board. A sewing machine repair service will carefully inspect your machine and adjust its timing to stop it from skipping stitches.

Overall, you can normally stop your sewing machine from skipping stitches by making sure you're using a sharp needle that's appropriate for the fabric you're working with and using the right amount of thread tension. If you've checked that the needle and tension are correct, there may be a deeper mechanical issue with your sewing machine that's causing it to skip stitches. Take it to a professional sewing machine repair service to have it inspected and fixed.