Sewing Machines Keeps Jamming! What Can I Do? Find Out Here!

Written By 

Karlie

Last Updated on 20 October, 2020 by Janet

Fixing a Jammed Sewing Machine

Sewing can be a pleasant, relaxing pastime however if your sewing machine jams, your favourite hobby can quickly turn into your biggest nightmare.

A jammed sewing machine can really throw a spanner into anyone's day, especially if you are facing a deadline or struggling to finish a project.

Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks you can try in order to fix your jammed sewing machine before you feel like you need to call someone for help or take your sewing machine to be assessed by a professional.

Unjamming a Sewing Machine

There are a few helpful steps that you can follow if your sewing machine becomes jammed. If this happens, whether you are sewing a dress, quilting, or using your machine for any other project, it is important that you stop what you are doing the minute you think there is something wrong with your machine.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should not try to force a jammed sewing machine to keep sewing. Definitely do not try to keep feeding fabric through a jammed or broken sewing machine.

Keep reading to find out how you should address the situation if your sewing machine is no longer acting like it normally does.

Pause and Assess the Situation

Before you go and actually try to fix your jammed or broken sewing machine, it is paramount that you take a second to pause and assess the situation.

Different stitch types and crafting projects require the user to set up the sewing machine in different ways. For example, the sewing machine set up for using heavy duty fabrics like denim or leather will be very different from using thin fabrics such as satin.

If your machine jams, check your thread type, tension, and holder. Also take a peek at your needle to ensure that it is not bent or broken.

Check to see if you have the correct presser foot installed for your project.

If any of these things are off or incorrect, set them right and see if your sewing machine becomes unjammed. If it still is not working properly, then you can try a few additional tactics.

Rethread the Machine

If your sewing machine is still jammed, then it is time for you to rethread it.

Place the presser foot into the 'up' position to open up the tension discs. This way, all of the thread will fall between the discs and will be set to the proper tension when you begin sewing.

When you thread your machine with the presser foot up, it prevents the tension issues that can arise from big knots of thread.

Change the Needle

Most jammed sewing machines are due to the user forgetting to change the needle. Changing out needles is recommended after 10 hours of stitching or after using up four full bobbins.

You should always install a fresh needle if you think that your needle hit something hard or is bent or broken.

Do keep in mind that different needles are required for different projects and fabric types. Make certain that you have the right needle in your sewing machine for the job at hand.

Common Sewing Machine Problems

Besides jamming, there are several other problems that can frequently arise with sewing machines. Knowing how to remedy these issues is important because it will save you time and money.

Improper Threading

If you end up with a ball of tangled thread while you are sewing, chances are that your sewing machine is not properly threaded.

If this occurs, do not panic. simply put the presser foot up and unthread the entire sewing machine. Now, rethread your machine with the presser foot still up.

If you are unsure if you are threading the machine correctly, refer back to your user manual. Most thread jamming occurs because people thread their machines with the presser foot down instead of up.

Skipping Stitches

A sewing machine that skips stitches can be a huge headache. The most common reason this happens is that the user is sewing with the wrong types of needle.

Knit fabric requires a ballpoint needle while woven fabric requires a sharp needle. If you follow this basic rule, you should be able to successfully avoid stitch skipping most of the time.

Skipped stitching can also occur is the needle is bent which can happen if you force the fabric through the machine instead of letting it go through automatically.

Breaking Thread

If your thread is breaking often during your project, check to see if it is getting hung up on the thread spool. This can sometimes happen if there is a notch in the spool somewhere.

If this is the case, you can simply change the direction that the thread comes off of the spool.

If you are using old or low quality thread, breakage and shredding can also occur. Invest in new, quality thread to avoid this problem altogether.

If you have remedied these two problems and your thread continues to break, next clean out all dust and lint from the bobbin area and the tension discs. Then, run your fingers lightly over the path that the thread travels over and look for any kind of debris that could be causing the snags.

Fabric Does Not Feed Under the Needle

If you are having fabric feeding problems, there can be several things wrong.

First, if the feed dogs are not coming up to move the fabric on your machine, check to see if there is a setting that has lowered them. If this is the case, return the feed dogs to their proper position.

If there is no setting to lower the feed dogs, next take off the throat plate to clean out all dust and debris that reside there. Then, oil your sewing machine according to your user manual.

If all of the steps in this guide do not fix your jammed or broken sewing machine, then it may be time to take it into a shop to have a professional take a look at it.

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