Why Isn’t My Sewing Machine Stitching

Background Information

A sewing machine is an essential tool when it comes to textiles and fabrics. It can be used to quickly stitch pieces of fabric together with just a few simple steps. However, certain issues can arise when dealing with a sewing machine that can lead to frustration and missed deadlines. One of the most common issues is when a machine won’t stitch. This can be a difficult problem to diagnose and fix, but it isn’t impossible.

Common Causes

When a sewing machine won’t stitch, it could be because of a variety of common causes. The most common is a problem associated with the thread. If the thread is tangled or knotted, it can prevent the machine from properly stitching. Additionally, the thread tension might need to be adjusted for proper stitching.
If the machine is not properly threaded in the first place, this could be the root cause of the machine not stitching properly. Additionally, it could be related to the bobbin, which is the spool of thread that supplies the underside of the stitching. If the bobbin is inserted upside-down, or the thread is coming off the bobbin too quickly, this might cause the machine to not stitch.


When the sewing machine isn’t stitching, the first thing to check is the machine’s technique, as this is critical for proper stitching. Make sure to keep the fabric under the presser foot, not too close to the needle, and not too far away, as this will affect the accuracy of the stitching. Keep the fabric moving constantly as the needle passes through, or the project may become stuck and the needle may break. Additionally, make sure the thread tension is correct; this should match the type of thread and the weight of fabric used.

Machine Maintenance

Machine maintenance is key to keeping the sewing machine functioning properly. Make sure to regularly clean and lubricate the moving parts of the machine, as this will prevent any unnecessary wear and tear. Additionally, check the belt regularly and make sure it is in good condition, as this could be the cause of a machine not stitching.

Resolving the Issue

If the machine is still not stitching, it might be necessary to take it to a professional technician for repair. The technician will be able to diagnose and fix the issue in a much more efficient manner, as they have the proper experience and knowledge of sewing machines.

Alternative Options

If the original sewing machine cannot be fixed, an alternative option is to purchase a new one. Technology has vastly improved in recent years so investing in a modern and reliable machine is likely to be more cost effective in the long run. Additionally, the newer machines have more features, so it could end up being a more enjoyable experience for the user.


Cost is always a consideration when it comes to purchasing a new sewing machine. There are many options available, so it’s important to do some research and decide which features and capabilities are most important. Additionally, there are some machines that offer great value for money, so it’s best to compare the prices and make sure you get the right one for the job.

Professional Opinion

It is always worth seeking professional advice when it comes to sewing machines. Experienced technicians know the ins and outs of different machines and can make sure any issues are quickly and efficiently solved. Additionally, they can provide further advice on preventing common issues from arising in the future.

Guides and Tutorials

Various guides and tutorials are available online which can help the user to quickly diagnose and repair a sewing machine issue. These resources can provide step-by-step instructions on how to troubleshoot a variety of issues, meaning the user can get the machine back up and running in no time.

Clothing Design

The sewing machine is an essential tool for any clothing designer or seamstress, so having a reliable machine is paramount. As such, it’s important to invest in a machine with good features and capabilities to ensure the best results. Additionally, it’s essential to practice regularly with the machine, as this will improve the user’s skills and knowledge over time.


When a sewing machine won’t stitch, it can be very frustrating and time-consuming to fix. The issue can often be solved with basic troubleshooting, however in some cases, it might be necessary to seek professional advice or purchase a new machine. Investing in the right machine, regularly cleaning and maintenance, and the use of guides and tutorials can go a long way to ensuring a reliable and enjoyable experience.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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