Why Does My Sewing Machine Keep Skipping Stitches? Find Out Here!

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Last Updated on 19 September, 2021 by

Skipped Stitches - Our Troubleshooting Guide

Running into the common problem of skipped stitches when sewing can be annoying and time-consuming, especially when you have to restart your project and pull out the rest of the stitches to fix the issue.

Luckily, if your sewing machine is skipping stitches then you should know that it's nothing to with your machine and is most likely due to bad threading, wrong needles or tension, which can all cause the stitches to skip in your work.

We have gone into some further detail below as to why your sewing machine might be skipping stitches and how to fix the problem.

Common Issues For Skipped Stitches

A sewing machine without any issues will loop your two pieces of chosen thread together to create even stitches, however, when one of the common issues from below occurs, you will likely have to re-sew over the skipped stitches or take out your whole line and start again.

You Didn't Thread Properly

Checking whether your thread is threaded correctly or not is one of the first problems you should be looking out for when you have skipped stitches.

No matter whether you are an advanced sewer or not, skipped stitches can still happen, you'll need to ensure that all the thread runs through the markers from the spool to the eye of the needle.

If you find your thread is not threaded properly then you will have to rethread your machine from the beginning, do this by making sure your take-up lever is in the highest position possible, reattach your spool then pull the thread through the guides and discs to the eye of the needle.

You should always ensure you have 3/4 inches of thread left after threading.

The Needle Is Bad/Wrong Size

When sewing through thick fabrics multiple times, your sewing needle is likely to get tired and bent easily, this can be a common culprit for skipped stitches and can be fixed by using a sharper needle or slowing your sewing speed to reduce the likelihood of damage.

Same goes for the size of the needle, if you are using a needle which is too small or too big then you will get skipped stitches, for example, finer needles will not work on materials like denim and thicker needles will struggle to sew thin materials like satin.

Its Thread Is Of Poor Quality

Believe it or not, the quality of your thread can result in skipped stitches. Threads of different weights are more likely to snap in your machine depending on what your sewing, or can give missed stitches.

You should always avoid buying low quality or speciality thread for your work and never use thread from bulk packages as these will often be very thin and hard to work with.

You Have The Wrong Thread Tension

Uneven tension in your thread can be a reason for skipped stitches and comes from having too high or too low tension or a different weight thread in your bobbin and upper thread.

You should try to leave the bobbin tension alone and adjust the upper thread tension instead which can be done easily via your sewing machines manual that you give you step by step guides on how to adjust your threads tension.

The Bobbin Is Not Inserted Right

So, even if you insert your bobbin backwards into your machine, your model should still stitch, however, these stitches may look loose or uneven or might 'skip'.

If your seeing skipped stitches it could be worth checking if your bobbin is inserted correctly, with some machines requiring you to insert the bobbin thread clockwise or anti-clockwise, you should ensure you are threading it right.

Bad Hook Timing

The hook system on your sewing machine is responsible for creating the loop in your thread when your needle goes down, forming a stitch.

To solve this issue you may need to send your machine to be fixed or fix it yourself, you can see if the hook timing is a problem by slowly lowering your needle through the plate and watching for when the loop forms for a stitch.

The Fabric Is Wrong

One of the most obvious reasons for skipped stitches is if you are trying to sew fabrics which are too thick, too many layers of fabric can result in your needle not piercing all the way through and skipping stitches.

If you have to use a thick fabric then you could try adjusting the presser foot on your machine, slowing down or using a longer stitch length.

Lack Of Correct Maintenance

Over time, worn out parts or lack of oil and lubrication on your sewing machine can result in choppy movement and affect the smooth sewing motion, this can mean skipped stitches too, so it might be time to take your machine to a professional to check if everything is working correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions About Skipped Stitches

Can a badly inserted bobbin result in skipped stitches?

Yes, a badly inserted bobbin can weaken you stitches and result in missing a few stitches when the thread is being sewn, make sure your bobbin is in the right position with the thread wound around in the right way via your manual and see if this fixes the issue.

Why is it important to clean my bobbin case?

It's important to make sure your bobbin case is lint-free as a build-up of lint can block your needle and get in the way of the hook, which will prevent stitches from forming and result in 'skipped stitches'.

How do I fix skipped stitches?

You can troubleshoot as to why your getting skipped stitches from your sewing machine with the methods above if none of these methods works you can try taking your machine to a professional and double-checking you're manual.

What should I do if I want to sew thick fabric?

If you want to sew thick fabric you could try changing your presser foot, using a bigger needle, changing your stitch size and sewing at a slow speed, all these methods will help your machine handle thick fabric better.

Why is my thread skipping stitches when I'm sewing knits?

Your thread could be skipping stitches when you sew knits if you are using the wrong type of needle (you'll need a stretch round point needle) or if the material is too thick for your machine.

Final Words

To conclude, your sewing machine could be skipping stitches for several different reasons, but luckily most of the time these issues are common and easily fixed, with it rarely ever being the machines fault.

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Mum, Wife and Blogger at TopSewingMachines.uk, having excelled at textile arts in school, I soon thereafter embarked my journey as an assistant to a Fashion Designer. This fueled my passion for making clothes and soon lead me to creating Top Sewing Machines. A site where I talk sewing machines, overlockers along with tips and tricks and buyers guides.
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