When your sewing machine won’t work it is frustrating, but that doesn’t mean you have to take it to the repair shop. You can do some sewing machine troubleshooting on your own. There are several possible reasons why your sewing machine won’t sew or feed fabric. Take a look at the following causes and solutions to see if you can fix your sewing machine.
- Your Stitch Length Is Set to 0: If you’ve made button holes on your sewing machine recently, you may not have changed your stitch length back to 2 or 3. When the stitch length is set to 0, it won’t move fabric forward or backward.
- Your Feed Dogs Are Down: Some sewing projects require freehand stitching on a sewing machine without the feed dogs up, like machine quilting. If you’ve done anything like this recently, you may have forgotten to raise the feed dogs when you finished. Make sure that the feed dogs are up about a 1/4-inch from the plate.
- Your Presser Foot Is Up: Y0ur sewing machine won’t feed fabric if the presser foot is up because the feed dogs have nothing to hold the fabric down. This is a common problem beginners make, so make sure to always put the presser foot down on your fabric before you begin to sew.
- Your Thread Tension Is Too Tight: If the tension on your sewing machine is too tight, your fabric might have difficulty feeding because the thread cannot move freely. Loosen your upper thread tension and see if your can feed fabric through your sewing machine better.
- You Are Trying to Sew Over Too Many Layers: Sewing machines are not typically designed to handle several layers of fabric. This might be the reason why your sewing machine is not sewing or feeding fabric. If possible, reduce the amount of layers you are working with, or sew more slowly to make it through all of the layers. This is a common problem when sewing on faux leather and vinyl.
- Your Thread Has a Knot: Your sewing machine might stop sewing or feeding fabric if you get a knot in the thread. Rethread your machine and check your bobbin for knots.