Stitching Problems – Trouble shooting common problems

I am often called upon to make a soft splint in my job and thus have to engage the services of a sewing machine, something that I have developed an intense Love- hate relationship with!!

It constantly surprises me that young girls do not know how to use or operate a sewing machine! There are many instructions guide out there but most problems in using the machine fall in to the following categories, and thus I am sharing these with any beginner sewers out there.Blog pics 006


Looping stitches on underside of fabric

  • Incorrect threading can cause this
  • Upper tension too light

*The presser foot is not positioned correctly or laid down before sewing

  • Wrong needle size or thread type for fabric sewn

Bobbin under thread breaks

  • Lower tension too tight?
  • Bobbin has been unevenly wound ( vary the machine speed when winding bobbin)

  • The bobbin has been over wound and is too full

  • Puckered Fabric

    • Both upper and lower tension is probably too tight
  • Presser foot is not resting fully on the fabric

  • Fabric is being pulled through the machine

  • Machine is threaded incorrectly

  • Thread has been wound on bobbin unevenly

  • Wrong needle size or type

  • Machine not feeding properly

    • Reverse is engaged (believe me, it CAN happen)
  • The feed dog may be lowered

  • Insufficient pressure on the presser foot

  • Guide fabric through until machine feed dog can grip fabric securely

  • Incorrect threading of machine

  • Incorrect threading of bobbin – usually threaded clockwise

  • Common sewing problems are something I ponder about




    13 thoughts on “Stitching Problems – Trouble shooting common problems”

    1. My old machine started to feed the cotton unevenly. I tried whatever I could. Took it for a repair. Still it just once in a while jumps stitches. “Sigh” I think the machine has some worn out parts! I am pondering on getting a new machine or just go on with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A difficult decision Ineke. Sometimes the new machines are not as good as the old. Then again, you do a lot of work on your machine and need it to be in top condition. Still – better the devil you know…


    2. Not only not knowing how to sew but what about knitting? Helvi can do all, including crocheting. As did our mothers. Buttons hardly ever get sewn back, just chuck the garment out. As for darning socks; are you serious? Fathers use to put soles on shoes, but now? Chuck them out.
      I can do the basisc of knitting, even boys were taught that in the school that I went to. Of course, the original knitters were men whiling the time away watching the sheep.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I never knew that men were the original knitters, however I can see that they would have had plenty of time and plenty of wool! I think every girl in the northern climes knows how to knit. It is a rite of passage. And you are absolutely right, it is a disposable society when it comes to sock repairs. Cheap items and time poor couples with high disposable income have made it so. I can knit but prefer to crochet. I also like to up-cycle items where I can, but these days it is not so appreciated. Perhaps there will be a retro movement one day, to hand made objects as factory made items lack the quality of hand made and don’t last. The girls and boys are not really taught these skills at school unless they choose home ecoomics as an elective. The schools emphasize academic subjects unless a kid is wanting to be a fashion designer…… sad


    3. Yer a good woman ! – this will be of inestimable help to many a beginner … in which class I cannot put myself, as I have only once in my life used a sewing-machine. My mama’s fault: she was a brilliant dressmaker but a hopeless teacher. That’s where I got my impatience from. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At least you tried it? M.R. My mum did not teach me anything. I suppose it was control issues and lack of a role model that made her like that. However this has inadvertently made me an independent learner for which I probably should thank her!!

        Liked by 1 person

    4. My memories of sewing were in my Chinese-Malaysian grandma’s house. She had this big, heavy dark brown chunky sewing machine, probably about over 30 years old or something. It really looked dated. I’ve had a go at it a few times myself and the pedal was so hard to control 🙂 These days if I need to sew anything like shorten the leg of pants or the sleeves of a jacket, I just use needle and thread.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I had to Google old Singer. Yes. it look exactly like that, brown, wooden and all, minus the wording. It sure was heavy to move around the house, and it stayed in a corner for a very long time.

          Liked by 1 person

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