How to Troubleshoot Your Sewing Machine

How to troubleshoot your sewing machine

if you’ve sewn on a sewing machine for more than a month, you’ve likely come across some minor issues, skipped stitches, uneven stitches, thread breaks, tension issues, fabric bunching… and the list goes on.

the good news is, there’s usually a very simple solution, let’s talk about them.

  • power your machine off and on. make sure your needle is in the up position, prior to powering off. just like many electronics, sometimes your machine just needs a reset.
  • check your settings. is your tension, stitch length, width, etc correct?
  • check your needle.
    • do you have the proper needle for your project? read more here.
    • is your needle bent? a slightly bent point is all you need to ruin a project, replace needle.
    • is your needle dull? a dull needle will easily ruin a project, be sure to replace your needle each time you begin a new project.
  • check your thread. often times simply rethreading your machine will resolve your issue, be sure you’re threading your machine correctly [refer to your user manual]. only use a good quality thread, cheap thread will cause all sorts of issues. read more here.
  • check your bobbin. remove and reinsert your bobbin. only use the manufacturers suggested bobbin type [refer to your user manual], using an improper bobbin can damage your machine.
  • clean your bobbin casing, feed dog, etc. lint build up in your bobbin casing and feed dog, will certainly cause your machine to run poorly, work harder, and reek all sorts of havoc.  read more here.
  • oil your machine. [if applicable] many newer machines do not require oiling. refer to your user manual for instructions. if you do not have a user manual, a quick google search should provide you with one.
  • annual or bi-annual maintenance by an authorized service center. when was the last time your machine had a check up? depending on usage, your machine needs to be serviced every 1-2 years.
  • call your manufacturer. if the above steps fail, call your manufacturer to see if they can help you troubleshoot over the phone.

if you’ve gone through each one of the above steps and your machine is still running poorly, it will need to be seen by an authorized service center.

Organized Machine Accessories

Organized Sewing Machine Accessories with Labels

i love to organize! i feel like i can’t function if i can’t find things and it drives me crazy when i can’t..! okay, call it OCD, my kids do…

i thought i’d share a quick little post about how i organize my sewing machine accessories and machine needles! they go together like bread and butter, so i store them in a simple 17 compartment plastic organizer, one compartment is larger and fits my walking foot perfect!

Organized Sewing Machine Accessories

keeping everything together makes it easy to tuck your container into your sewing tote and go off to class, a retreat or a sewing party with friends!

i label my container, so i can grab my presser foot quickly, and when you purchase a new presser foot, just add a new label! if you don’t have a label maker just use a thin sharpie and you’re all set!

happy sewing!

My Melody

Babylock Melody

introducing my sewing, my quilting, my crafting BFF…Melody! she’s an amazing partner!

i’ve owned 5 sewing machines in my lifetime and this is the most i’ve spent…the sky’s the limit when it comes to the cost of sewing machines… unfortunately my budget doesn’t reach the sky..

when looking for a sewing machine, it’s a good idea to give yourself a target price range, mine was around $1000-ish.. you’ll also want to make a list of your must have features..

my must haves included:

  • automatic thread cutter
  • speed control
  • automatic needle threader
  • drop in bobbin [i love the idea of seeing just how much thread i have left]
  • a decent amount of stitches
  • the ability to plow through layers of fabric, duck cloth, canvas, and denim
  • extension table
  • walking foot
  • free motion quilting foot
  • warranty

Melody gives me all those features and much more, she hums along happily, stitches beautifully, i couldn’t be happier… [ok let's be realistic, even when you're perfectly happy with your sewing machine, you always look at the newer, bigger, better, faster, models available.. haha]

Melody and i will be best friends forever… or until i hit the lotto [okay not really because i don't even play the lotto]..

she’s great!