Sewing Machine Repair – 10 Most Common Problems and Solutions

What do you do when your sewing machine doesn't work as it should do. Did you take it to a mechanic to repair it? Then you should know how much a sewing machine repair can cost you.

Actually, you can repair your sewing machine without taking it to any mechanic. How? Simple by learning yourself.

Today I am going to give you some DIY Guide on how to repair a Sewing machine. I Hope this sewing machine repair guide can save you from costly bills and can give you inner satisfaction

Sewing Machine Repair Guide - 10 Most Common Problems and Solutions

1. The Thread is getting caught in the bobbing because of Bunching

If your thread is bunching under the Fabric, it means the top is formed in a perfectly straight stitch while you should establish it as a "bird's nest" on the bottom.

At first glance, you may assume that this discord is caused by the bobbin; well, it may not be the actual cause. This can happen because of the decreased tension on the upper thread.


The best way to solve this problem is to raise the presser foot lifter. Now re-thread the Machine while the tension mechanism will be ready to receive the thread

Follow your machine’s manual and raise the take-up lever and needle to their highest position. Hope this will help you to achieve the right tension

2. My sewing machine is Skipping Stitches

Well, it is a widespread problem with a sewing machine. Your sewing machine can skip stitching for once or for multiple times between the sewn stitches.

You should not overlook this problem, as it can weaken the integrity of your sewing


If your sewing machine starts skipping stitches, don't panic. The leading cause here can be the needle. It may have damaged or broken. We recommend you to replace the needle after every 16 to 17 hours of stitching time.

This problem can also arise if you do not handle the Fabric properly while sewing. If you try to pull the Fabric forcefully from behind while sewing, the outcome may not be satisfying, or your Machine can be damaged. Work with the Machine, Don't force it.

3. My Sewing machine's need is Breaking quite often

This problem can be risky for you as well as disturbing. The only questing raising in my head is, "Are you using the right sort of needle?"


If the needle is repeatedly breaking, you may be using the wrong sort of needle. Your Machine's output depends on the size of the needle. So choosing the perfect size needle can give you better performance. The needle size differs from 8 to 19, and each format has its function.

Also, there are different types of needle, such as regular point, ballpoint, and wedge point. You should pick the one that is appropriate for your task.

4. The Fabric is not Feeding


Well, this problem is very common among beginners. So before you begin to sew, make sure you always put the presser foot down on your Fabric to avoid this problem. Plus, check your thread tension is very tight or not. If the tension of the sewing machine is too tight, the thread cannot move freely. As a result, your Fabric may face difficulty in feeding.

5. Bobbin Tension is not Consistent


If you are facing trouble with the tension consistency, and you have to adjust it consistently, check the bobbin itself. If you are using a plastic bobbin, I suggest you go for a metal one. Because plastic bobbins can be the cause of losing balance within the bobbin house and making it difficult to maintain the correct tension.

6. Thread Frying, Shredding, or Breaking


If this problem frequently occurs with your Machine, You should take a look at your needle. Make sure your needle is large enough that the thread you are using can pass through the needle eye easily without any catching or pulling

7. Strange Noises are coming from the Machine


Stop sewing! Take your foot off the pedal. Whenever you hear any unexpected noises, such as thumps or clunks coming from your Machine, stop sewing as soon as possible. It may happen because you didn't give it cleaning for a long while. So it's time to give your machine a good cleaning and oiling. Follow the manual instruction given by your Machine. If you still hear any unusual noises, it's better to take it to a repair shop.

8. The needle doesn't move while the machine is running


Though this problem seems to be complicated, it has a simple solution. May your sewing machine be set into Bobbin-winding mode. So don't panic, check the lever or winding post of bobbing, if it's in the correct position or not.

9. The sewing machine doesn't sew


Well, this problem is not uncommon. Sometimes you have to give your Machine a little bit of help by turning the handwheel. Especially when you are going to start a new layer. Before starting sewing, make sure your needle is the right type and installed correctly. Take a look that the needle is not bent. If you are still facing the problem, check your manual for maintenance tips.

10. The Sewing machine is not turning on


This problem usually happens with an electric sewing machine, or if it runs by a battery. For an electric one, check out the power cord, if it's torn or not. And for the 2nd one, check out that the battery is charged. Also, the battery health is good or not

Note: If you don't have any basic idea about mechanical terms, I suggest you take your Machine to a Sewing Machine repair shop. And one more thing, Keep your Machine away from Water!

If you are still having any issues, These three simple DIY steps can solve most of your sewing machine's problems.

sewing machine repair

1. Clean your Machine

Your bobbin and tension assembly can quickly and easily be accumulated by dust and lint. So it's necessary to take a look at the cleaning part. If you use your Machine for daily tasks, you have to clean it weekly. For weekly use, it needs monthly cleaning. But if you use it occasionally, you should clean it once in three months.

2. Re-thread the Machine

Well, even a tiny bump can be a headache while stitching. So before starting sewing, check out your bobbin, needle, and thread are at their right place.

3. Check out the needle and thread

As we mentioned several times, A perfect type and size needle is compulsory for your Machine. Moreover, You always choose a good quality thread, so that the outcome will be beautiful, smooth.

How to Clean a Sewing Machine

Can you remember, last when you cleaned your sewing machine? To keep your sewing machine running as good as you want, you have to clean it regularly. If you are a regular user, I hope that you open up to her at least once in a month to clean the dust.

STEP 1 - Unplug the Machine

To begin the cleaning process, first of all, take out the throat plate. There you will see the majority of the fabric fibers and dust are gathered. To do that, you can follow the manual, if you didn't open it before. You may need a screwdriver to open it, or it can be simply opened by slid off.

Note: It would not be wise to use compressed canned air to clean your machine. As all the debris can be stuck inside again

STEP 2 - Take a Brush to clean

If your sewing machine contains a bobbin case, take that out and clean it properly. To clean your Machine, use a nylon brush. Collect all the dust and get in between all the nooks and crannies. Try to get inside and in-between the feed dogs. Take a screwdriver, and use its end to take out the dust inside.

STEP 3 - Oil Your Machine

After all the parts are cleaned properly, it's time to oil your Machine. Before applying Oil, take a look where the moving parts touch and friction is created. This where you need to oil. Now put a little drop of sewing machine oil on these moving parts. While applying Oil, use one hand to turn the handwheel back and forth.

STEP 4 - Wipe out the additional Oil

Taking a piece of fabric, especially cotton, would be good. Now use it properly to wipe away any extra oil on the body of your Machine. You would not like any oil mark on your next project. Now install back all the equipment as it should be.

Bonus Tip!

The best thing to do to keep your Machine as good as always is to cover it when you are not using it. A cover should come with your sewing machine, but you can also make one for you as your taste.

Some important FAQ

What is the average cost of a sewing machine repair?

In general, it can cost from $75-$100

How long will a sewing machine last?

Basically, a sewing machine can last from 5-25 years if you follow the instructions. By taking care of your Machine, you can make it longer than this.

When should I oil my sewing machine?

If you are a regular user, I suggest you oil your machine weekly. Also, I recommend you to apply the Machine after cleaning.

What kind of Oil should I use on a sewing machine?

A sewing machine has its type of Oil. It looks like a white mineral and has no smell. You should use only this type of Oil on your Machine.

Can sewing machine oil be spoiled?

Yes, sewing machine oil can be spoiled. But if you collect it accurately, you can use it in the long run.

Happy Sewing...

Kevin R. Watson

Hi, This is Kevin R. Watson! I am a 48-year old experienced quilter who has deep interest in DIY stitching tasks along with handling the professional level stitching projects. To me, sewing is both my PASSION and LOVE. Having such passion, I love to talk about my sewing experiences along with giving reviews on varieties of sewing machines.

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