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How to Repair Sewing Machine – Tips and Guidelines


How to Repair Sewing Machine

We are indebted to a small appliance – a sewing machine. Our daily lives are influenced by it. Suppose you have a kid. He gets many cuts in his clothes while playing. What will you do then? Will you rush to the tailor or try to mend them by yourself at home?

Definitely, you want to do such a problem fixing or altering the cloth at home. Hence you need to have a sewing machine. When you run the sewing machine, you will experience some problems; you may get stuck to some points.

It may seem to you bothering if you don’t know the reason of those problems and know-how of getting rid of them. In this article, I will show how I am enjoying the most benefits of it and solving the problems at home.

Before going for its repairing, you must know problem types, reasons, and tools to be used. 

Problems as Experienced by Users and Required Tools: 

For long life expectancy of it, I try to maintain its routine lubrication. Despite that, I am faced with troubles for bobbin or take-up lever jam, corrosion of bobbin, bobbin case, hook, and tension spring, faulty or lose drive belt, faulty motor, failure of electrical cord and on-off switch.

In most cases, you are in trouble for a bent, broken, loose, or incorrect sewing needle. To fix the problems, you are to use screwdrivers, sewing machine oil, tweezers, emery cloth, small brush, etc.

How to Find Problem:

Your machine may have a working light like mine. It may not work. Just open the head test the bulb& check electrical connection. If my machine doesn’t turn on, I check the power supply, on-off switch, etc. Sometimes it runs but doesn’t sew.

Then I look for any jammed thread in the bobbin, lubricate it, tighten the clutch knob and check the drive belt. It becomes irritating when the needle or the bobbin thread breaks. You can take the help of the user manual. To ensure well feeding of your fabric, keep lint from feed dogs clean.

Thread bunching

At the time of sewing, a perfectly straight stitch on the top enlightens you. But what happens when you turn the opposite side and see a “bird’s nest” like formation? Definitely, it’s frustrating. The incorrect winding of bobbin thread, uneven tightening of bobbin thread, accumulation of dirt and lint in between tension discs, incorrect top and bobbin thread tension may be the reasons.

What I do? I don’t wind the bobbin by hand & ensure even tightening of bobbin thread. Then, I clean the tension discs. Adjustment of thread tension is more important in this respect. Regulate needle thread, not the lower thread, except you are sewing lightweight fabrics like chiffon, etc.

To have the right tension, I re-thread the machine raising the presser foot lifter. Then I raise the take-up lever and needle to the highest position following manual. 

Some repair mechanisms for the following common problems are stated below: 

Uneven or Skipping Stitches 

While dealing with my machine, I got such a bitter experience. The reasons are incorrect insertion of the needle, using damaged or worn needle, mismatch of needle size and thickness of fabrics and thread, dirt accumulation under needle plate, incorrect threading and sewing machine hook timing, etc.

So, install your needle properly. Insert it with the flattened edge towards the back of the sewing machine. Then, push the new needle up inside the needle clamp as high as it will go. Don’t be a miser. Change needle as recommended after stitching for every 16 hours.

Like others, you may also pull fabric from behind for passing it through the machine. It results in skipped stitching or even can damage the machine.

Needle size and thickness of fabric and thread must have good coordination. You may require adding some interlining or stiffener, even tissue paper, to thinner fabrics. Changing thread tension, you get relief from this situation.

In addition, apply required pressure on the presser foot and sew at an even speed. Remove dirt using a brush. Clean the shuttle area and teeth of the machine. Then lubricate, if necessary.

Needle breaking

Excessive or prolonged use or running over a pin or a hard object while sewing may cause needle breaking. Again, don’t fight with your fabric as you sew. Make sure that you are sewing at the same speed, inserting the needle fully and properly into the needle bar, and the needle is not loose. Your wrong choice needle size may create an obstacle breaking the needle.

Insert bobbin properly. Use knot-free, quality thread. If your needle breaks down, check pressure foot, its pressure & secured attachment, loosening of needle clamp, correct foot, and plate. If you intend to sew zig-zag stitch and use straight stitch needle plate on, the needle will break.

Top Thread breaking 

When you are fed up with top thread breaking, check the threading. You may need to rethread the machine. The rough spot around the bobbin case, race, hook, or needle plate area may cause it too. Then, rub it with fine emery paper.

If the still problem remains, check the quality of the thread. Use a knot-free, new thread for smooth sewing. For settling the problem, choose exact needle size/type which in blunt or bend or too sharp. Take care of thread tension. Usually, I keep it around the middle of the dial for not being too tight. 

Check whether the thread is caught on the spool pin because thread breaking may occur. Besides, ensure compatibility of needle and thread. Thread too thick for the needle, needle too fine for thread, the correct needle with faulty insertion, fast stitching – all create problems.

Sewing Machine Noise

Such a problem may arise for loos screws(used for joining parts of the sewing machine). So tightening them works well as a repair mechanism. Over tightening is prohibited. Noise from machine warns you of minor problems but may lead to major break down. Jam in any notable part of the machine also produces such noise.

Loose Drive Belt:

If your machine is motor run, inspect the drive belt for damage and wear. It may require replacement. Unmasking the handwheel cover with screws, remove the old one and reinstall a new one. Usually, I check the belt tension pushing the belt side and tighten motor mounting belts.


Every problem must have a solution. But it may get worse if not taken care of. Following the mentioned tips, I try to repair my machine at home. You may give them a try to mitigate the damage that might lead to costly repairs.

It’s just a primary treatment, saving your time and money. Allow machines to rest after trapping of any fiber in the bobbin, clean and lubricate it regularly, replace worn-out and old parts of it periodically, apply obtained knowledge from my article, and enjoy hassle-free sewing.

Happy sewing!!!! 

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