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Sewing Machine Troubleshooting - Sew a sample to help diagnose the problem


Sew a sample to help diagnose the problem

Sew a seam on regular cotton using the same type and colour of thread top and bottom. Don't forget, always use two layers! Often we have customers saying that the machine is stitching perfect on practice scraps of fabric, but will not stitch as well on the garment. This is because, when the machine was setup, it was setup on a single layer of material. This is no use to anyone, as a sewing machine is made to sew material together!

It is very rare that the user would want to sew only a single layer. Often a special bobbin case is made available, set-up in a particular way for sewing decorative stitches on single layers of material.

Now have a good look at the 6 inch seam you have just sewn.

  • If the top thread does not catch the bottom thread and the machine does not make stitches at all, it is most likely either a timing problem or the needle is bent or has been inserted incorrectly.
  • If the machine sews a few stitches and then skips a few, this is also a machine timing issue. The needle timing of a sewing machine means that the needle eye is not at the correct position when the hook is just about to catch the thread from the needle. The timing must be spot on. Later we will tell you how to re-time a sewing machine.
  • If the upper thread breaks, the upper thread tension may be too tight or the thread is of low quality or too stretchy.
  • If the bobbin thread breaks, check to see that the bobbin is inserted the right way around. Other causes may be because of a build up of lint about the bobbin case area.


Now go through the other steps below to find the fault.

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