Why Is My Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches: 4 Reasons

Last Updated on 9 months by Susan Mayrich

There are four potential reasons if you wonder why is my sewing machine skipping stitches. And the best thing about this guide is we’ll also talk about how to fix them. You’ll even learn techniques to avoid issues like this as we go through this article. 

why is my sewing machine skipping stitches

Additionally, why not read this article discussing how a sewing machine works? It will help you understand how each part functions. Therefore, you’ll also understand better why they can cause the machine to skip stitches.


What Would Cause A Sewing Machine To Skip Stitches?


Wrong needle

Learn how to put a needle in a sewing machine because it can cause the unit to skip stitches. If the replacement needle isn’t tightly installed, you may notice the machine skipping stitches. Simply adjust or reinstall the needle to fix this issue. 

Furthermore, you want to use the right needle for your project. If the needle can’t work with the material, it can’t pierce the fabric and cause skipped stitches. The same will happen if you used a bent or dull needle, so make needle replacement a part of your sewing machine maintenance.


Improper threading

If you did not thread the sewing machine correctly, you would risk issues during sewing, such as skipped stitches. Understandably, threading the sewing machine can be complicated, but you only need to read the manual and follow the guides on the machine. Furthermore, you can’t just use any thread because low-quality ones can break during sewing. 

If you use a low-quality thread, it can easily get damaged, which can cause skipped stitches. Therefore, it would be best to familiarize yourself with different types of threads to know how to select the ideal one for your project. And of course, don’t forget that it must complement the needle you’re using. 


Incorrect bobbin winding

Threading is not the only part of the sewing machine setup that you must check to avoid skipping stitches. For example, if you did not wind your bobbin correctly, you will find errors in stitches. Remember that you want it to wound around the spool securely, or else a loose bobbin will cause skipped stitches. 

If you confirmed that this is the issue, study how to put a bobbin in a sewing machine. You can always redo it if the wounded bobbin is done incorrectly. 


Wrong tension

Ask yourself if you’re using the correct tension for the material you’re sewing. If it’s not appropriate, expect that you’ll see skipped stitches. You don’t want to use a very high tension nor pull and move the fabric too tight and fast when sewing. 

There are various considerations to find the perfect sewing machine tension. But a quick way to identify it is if there are no loops nor uneven stitches on your fabric. Always experiment with your tension dial, and you should find out what works best for specific projects. 


How Do I Stop My Sewing Machine From Skipping Stitches?


Check your sewing machine setup

  • Replace the needle of your sewing machine each time you’re working on a new project or after 7 hours of sewing
  • Rethread the sewing machine and wind the bobbin to ensure that your stitches will be even without skipping
  • Make sure that your thread and needle are also ideal

Use the correct tension

  • Check if you’re using the correct tension for your fabric
  • Adjust the tension and test the sewing machine to see when you find the ideal setting
  • Refer to your sewing machine manual for the manufacturer’s recommended tension settings

Read this guide on how to setup a sewing machine for other tips before using your unit. 

What Should Sewing Machine Tension Be?

If the top and bottom threads are identical, the factory preset sewing machine tension should suffice. However, you will need to adjust the tension if the threads differ in weight or fiber. You’ll need to increase or decrease the tension to equalize the mechanism of two threads. 

How to adjust the sewing machine tension

  1. Read the manual to know how to adjust your sewing machine tension
  2. Turn towards the increasing number to tighten the loose tension
  3. Test ½ to 1 number higher on a scrap material until you find your ideal tension
  4. The stitches should be even, and the bobbin thread is located on the right side of the fabric
  5. If you need to loosen your tension, decrease the number until the stitches are even and the needle thread is on the wrong side of your material 
  6. Adjust the bobbin tension if adjusting the top tension didn’t work

Why Does My Sewing Have Looping Underneath?

If you notice looping on the back of the fabric, you need to tighten your top tension since it’s loose compared to the bobbin tension. As a result, the bobbin thread pulls the top thread too much. Simply tighten the top tension to fix the looping on the underside of the material. 


And that’s it! The answer to why is my sewing machine skipping stitches might be from improper setup or tension. Therefore, you must always check your sewing machine before starting working.

We hope this was a helpful read, and in case you don’t know yet, here is a useful guide on how to clean a sewing machine. A well-maintained machine will work cause no headaches.


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