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Common sewing machine problems - and how to avoid them!

Having sold and serviced sewing machines for over 30 years I can honestly say the biggest headaches for customers are actually caused by mis-threading of the sewing machine!


Everyone does it from time to time whether beginner or expert - novice or sewing teacher 

Particularly with modern sewing machines that have an 'easy threading' take-up lever


the problem occurs when thread doesn't go all the way through the slot to the actual 'eye'

this causes the sewing machine to 'jam' or lock almost right away


the problem can be further exacerbated because it appears to be coming from underneath - the bobbin area

diligent customers then strip out the bobbin area, clean it, put it all back and try again (never thinking to re-thread the top thread) - but still a jam occurs: the top thread is still not correctly in the take-up lever!



Another threading issue is to do with the presser foot  - I call it the birds nest effect!


When threading a sewing machine its important to have the presser foot in the UP position

The reason in this opens the machine tensions discs - you can't really see the discs but its important because when the discs are open the thread can go right in and be gripped properly when sewing 

If you accidentally thread the machine with the presser foot down, the discs are closed and the top thread isn't gripped so when sewing you get an unholy mess on the underside of the fabric !


From there we move on to thread - a big subject!

Its surprising how many customers will pay a considerable sum for a lovely new sewing machine and then use old or cheap thread.

Its a bit like buying a new car then topping up the oil with old stuff from out of the shed !


Poor quality thread can break easily or can drag or snag as its sewing, causing tension problems, thread jams and other frustrating issues.

A quality thread such as Gutermann is smoother, stronger and actually gives off less lint, meaning it not only sews better and makes for stronger more durable seams - its actually better for the long term running of your sewing machine 😁


 So to sum up if you're having problems with your sewing machine - first have a break, maybe with your beverage of choice, then go back to your machine and take off the top thread.
Then following the points above

  1. use a reel of quality thread such as Gutermann Sew All
  2. make sure the thread has gone all the way into the take-up lever 'eye'
  3. have the presser foot raised

Hope this helps  

Best Regards



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