I’ve been sewing for quite a few years now, and this has happened to me frequently enough that I’m writing about it. The machine will be stitching along great — maybe even embroidering on something like satin fabric — when suddenly it will skip stitches. This problem occurs when your sewing machine‘s hook and loop system fails to properly catch the top thread or bobbin thread, resulting in the lower thread being pulled down. As a result, your stit h gets skipped. I had initially and logically traced this to my needle or the thread, but there are other possible reasons that I will list in the article.
Before going through all of the possible reasons why your machine is skipping stitches, I invite you to read one of my latest product review articles: Best Sewing Machines for Beginners in 2023
Table of Contents
- 1 What would cause a sewing machine to skip stitches?
- 2 What are three possible causes for skipped stitches in a seam?
- 3 Why is my sewing machine skipping stitches on thick fabric?
- 4 Why does my sewing machine skip stitches on stretch fabric?
- 5 Skipping stitches may be the result of using an industrial sewing machine.
- 6 My Brother’s sewing machine is skipping stitches.
- 7 Conclusion
What would cause a sewing machine to skip stitches?
There are many possible reasons you may have to deal with skipped stitches. It could be due to the type of fabric, needle size or style, top tension, the accumulation of lint, and even the thread you use.
The first thing you should do is check your needle and make sure it’s not bent or if it has any other faults. You could try using a different type of needle and see if that helps solve your problem. Make sure you select t e right size needle for your fabric thickness and stitch pattern. You can check this vid o on how to change the needle of your sewing machine.
Incorrectly placed presser feet could be another reason for skipped stitches.
Sewing machines often skip stitches, but there are several reasons this occurs. Incorrectly placed presser feet could be another reason for skipped stitches. Make sure the presser foot is attached correctly and adjusted. Also, place it in the correct position for your selected stitch. You can check this vid o on how to adjust the foot pedal on your sewing machine.
The upper tension might be set too loose or tight. You can adjust it by turning the knob identified with the upper thread symbol. Thread tension is one of the most common causes of skipped stitches, especially with heavy fabrics.
You can check your thread tension by pulling one strand of thread out of the thread supply and holding it up against the seam allowance at a 45-degree angle with both hands on either end of the thread. It may be too loose if it pulls more easily than loose hair from your head.
A tighter tension gives better control over thick or thin fabrics. However, if it is too tight, straight seams will ripple and show puckers at the beginning and end. If so, loosen it slightly until it ripples evenly across both ends of the stitching with no puckers or gather-like effects.
Dirty machine head
Also, a dirty machine head can cause skipped stitches, so clean your machine before checking for any damage. If there are no scratches or dirt on the needle, but the thread tension is not correct, you may need to change it.
Lint accumulation in the bobin
There might be too much lint built up in the bobbin case if you are having problems with skipping stitches on thick fabric. The best way to resolve this is to remove the lint using a small brush, which should solve this issue.
What are three possible causes for skipped stitches in a seam?
- Poor threading of the machine
- Incorrect needle height
- Not threaded properly the machine
The causes for skipped stitches can be due to poor threading, incorrect needle height, or the machine itself not being appropriately threaded. An incorrectly threaded machine may skip stitches because it cannot grab the bobbin thread to pull a stitch through. If a needle is too low, it may also prevent a stitch from being placed in the fabric for sewing.
Improperly placing a presser foot on the fabric may result in skipped stitches. No matter what causes the seam to have missed stitches, they should permanently be removed and re-sewn as soon as possible, so the garment retains its shape and durability without problems down the line.
In addition, if you’re having trouble with your seams falling apart even after removing and re-sewing, use a seam ripper to remove the stitches, then use a pressing iron on high heat to press the new seams. Pressing after sewing will help set your stitches for even more durable stitching with less thread breakage.
Why is my sewing machine skipping stitches on thick fabric?
First, let’s try to troubleshoot the issue and narrow down what the problem can be.
There is a problem with your sewing machine when it skips stitches on thick fabrics. If you use the same thickness of the fabric and can avoid skipping stitches, there is something wrong with your sewing needle or thread. You will need to check your needle for any damage or burrs.
Also, a dirty needle can cause skipped stitches, so clean your needle before checking for any damage. If there is no damage or dirt on the needle, you may need to change it. The thread tension also needs to be checked and adjusted if needed.
You will not be able t adjust the timing and pressure of the foot if they are factory set, but you can look at this video explaining how to sew through thick fabric. I have just finished another article that you may find interesting: What is Gsm in Fabric?
Why does my sewing machine skip stitches on stretch fabric?
Sewing on stretch fabrics can cause many issues, including skipped stitches. When sewing with a stretch fabric, always use a ballpoint needle and set your stitch length to 1.5 or less.
Also, ensure you’re holding the fabric firmly but not stretching it too thin, as this may cause skipped stitches! To ensure proper thread tension in a large zig-zag setting, try adjusting the bobbin case tension by moving the wheel along the thread tension scale until achieving the desired results.
Following these tips for sewing on stretch fabrics using your sewing machine will get professional results every time without any missed stitches!
Skipping stitches may be the result of using an industrial sewing machine.
Skipping stitches may result from using an industrial sewing machine’s foot pedal. The reason is that an industrial sewing machine foot pedal does not have any clutch system to disengage the presser when pressure is removed from the pedals.
So, when you remove your foot from the presser while stitching in heavy fabrics or at high speed, there will also be no break in the stitch. This results in skipping stitches because the automatic take-up lever takes more load, which causes skipped stitches.
My Brother’s sewing machine is skipping stitches.
If your Brother sewing machine is skipping stitches Brother has got two main suggestions:
- Brother users should check whether the needle is inserted correctly into the machine.
- Check the needle stop position and make a smooth stopping motion with your foot on the presser foot lifter because sometimes brother machines skip stitches due to incorrect needle stop position.
I wrote an article comparing Brother and Singer sewing machines a while ago.
Brother has this great instructional video to help you troubleshoot why your machine is skipping stitches.
Skipping stitches is one of the most common problems people have with their sewing machines. It can be frustrating and annoying, but it all boils down to a few fundamental causes. First, ensure you are using good-quality thread appropriate for your fabric. Choose polyester over cotton as it is more durable and resistant to stretching.
Use topstitching thread for thin fabrics like silk, satin, or thin jersey knits, and use bobbin/bobbin case thread on heavier fabrics like jeans or home decor fabrics. They both work best in tension discs and guides or on the bobbin area of the machine (including top-loading bobbins).
Always use fresh, high-quality needles, and keep an extra pack of Schmetz sizes 60/8 or 70/10 universal, or stretch needles on hand. Change your needle regularly for best results, primarily if you work with multiple projects using different fabric weights. Needles tend to get dull after 6-12 hours of sewing, depending on the quality and brand used. So always change it at least once a day when doing large projects.