Ever wanted to deliver an incomplete dress in the next 2 hours and you noticed a part of the cloth is tightly stitched, another is loosely stitched and another part is not stitched? Why do you have skipped stitches?
Skipped stitches are spots in which the needle and thread do not stitch while stitching on the fabric making that particular spot empty. This is caused due to few factors which need to be looked into to know how to fix it.
Why Is My Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches?
There is a need for problem identification before problem-solving, so it is in the sewing world, as, there is a need to look into the causes of skipped stitches before fixing them.
Below are a few of the causes of skipped stitches while using your sewing machine;
1. The Needle
One of the major causes of skipped stitches is a result of a blunt, bent, or incorrect needle. The incorrect needle could be a result of the fabric, some fabric does not work well with some needles and when the wrong type of needle is being used for such fabric, the stitch will start skipping.
For example, a woven fabric sewed with a ballpoint needle will have skipped stitches as it is best sewn with a sharp needle.
2. Wrong Needle Bar Settings
The result of a needle bar being set too high or too low is the skipped stitches on the fabric. You need to be observant enough to know if the skipped stitches are a result of the needle bar, which will require you to perform a few checks to resolve it.
3. Inferior Thread
Using an inferior thread for a high-quality fabric will result in skipped stitches as they cannot perform the task set before them due to the failure of blending with the cloth. Whenever you notice your thread is knotting unnecessarily, it means the thread is a low-quality thread and will not work well for your sewing machine.
Moreover, not all machines can support the use of all threads, as some threads are used specifically for a few machines such as yarn that is used for embroidery machines alone.
4. Needle And Thread Incompatibility
Another important thing to check is the needle size and thread collaboration. If the needle size and type of thread do not complement each other, there will be skipped stitches on the fabric.
A yarn can not be used for a needle size of 10 as that is meant for a thin fabric Failure to adhere to the correct use of a needle with the correct threading will result in other issues apart from skipped stitches, so take good note of that.
5. Wrong Machine Threading
A sewing machine has to be threaded carefully without overlooking any point, once a point is overlooked or threaded wrongly, this will result in skipped stitches.
6. Check The Presser Foot
After you might have checked the threading of your machine, there is an important thing to look at which is the correct placement of the presser foot. This is often overlooked as sewists believe the placing of the foot is not necessary.
However, skipped stitches can result from a wrong presser foot, a too-high or too-low presser foot, or when a presser foot is not coming down.
7. Dirty Machine
Dirt such as lint build-ups or tangled thread in the bobbin section or the feed dog section could result in skipped stitches, and this might not be easily noticed if you have a poor maintenance culture.
8. The Thread Tension
Skipped stitches might be a result of the thread tension. The thread tension is meant to be set based on the thickness of the fabric, as some fabric needs a very tight tension while some needs loose tension.
9. Your Machine Type
Not all types of machines are suitable for all types of fabric, some fabrics are best sewn with an embroidery machine, so, it is best to test your sewing machine on the fabric before working on the full project to know if they are compatible.- Failure to do so will result in skipped stitches on your fabric.
10. The Machines Timing
This should be checked after you might have checked the other causes attributed to skipped stitches.
Perfect timing of a machine helps the hook on the bobbin case to catch the thread from the needle section at the right time but whenever the machine’s timing is tampered with, the hook catches the thread late or earlier than the set period, and the result will be obvious on the stitches.
The timing issue can be a result of a faulty circuit board of a digital sewing machine or the needle striking the needle plate, this is best fixed by an authorized service center.
How To Fix Skipped Stitches On Sewing Machine?
Once a problem is identified, then the solution is at hand. Below are solutions to a few of the causes of skipped stitches discussed above.
1. Replace the Needle
A blunt or bent needle can be resolved by replacing it with a new one. The incorrect needle can only be replaced with the right needle when you are well-informed about the needle to use.
Therefore, a denim needle should be used for heavy fabric, a ballpoint needle should be used for knits, and a sharp needle should be used for woven fabrics.
The correct size of needle for fabric type is also essential to note when you desire a perfect stitch for your fabric. A universal needle of sizes 75/11 and 80/12 is best for woven and knit fabric while sizes 14,16 and 18 are good for thick fabrics and needle size 8,9 and 10 is good for thin fabrics.
2. Set The Needle Bar Correctly
Using the hand wheel, set your needle to the lowest position causing it to enter into the bobbin section, carefully remove the plate that gives you access to the bobbin section and check the needle positioning.
If you can only see the tip of the needle, that shows the needle bar is set too high, if the whole of the needle eye is visible from the bobbin section, that means the needle bar is set too low. The correct needle bar setting is known when a part of the needle eye can be seen from the bobbin section with the rest hidden above the bobbin section.
3. Use A Quality Thread
To replace the inferior thread, get a high-quality thread produced by a reputable brand from trusted stores around. Also, make sure the needle and thread are compatible as not all threads can work with all needles.
For example, a metallic needle should be used for a metallic thread.
4. Rethread The Sewing Machine
After checking the needle’s condition with the correct needle bar settings, the quality of the thread, and the skipped stitches persist, carefully check the path at which the thread passes,
Once you notice a missed point, remove the whole thread and rethread again without missing any point.
5. Reposition The Presser Foot
A wrongly positioned presser foot can be easily solved by locating the screws of the presser foot to adjust the tension.
6. Stabilize A Thin Fabric
After you have tried changing the needle to the correct size for a thin fabric and skipped stitches persist, use materials such as paper, tissue paper, or a spray stabilizer to stabilize the fabrics and enable it to form a straight stitch under the machine instead of a dwindling one.
Wash away the stabilizer and remove the paper or tissue paper once you are done with your project.
7. Clean The Machine
Proper maintenance of the machine is very crucial to how well it functions.
Make sure your machine is cleaned regularly by using a brush to clean the bobbin and feed dog section.
8. Adjust The Thread Tensions
The best way to fix the thread tension is by checking the owner’s manual for an adjustment guide on the thread tension as adjustment varies based on the model and brand of the sewing machine. You can also check online for an online owner manuals guide.
You can do a quick check by adjusting it with the knob attached to the thread tension, sew a small piece of the fabric, and keep adjusting until you get the perfect stitch for the fabric.
However, there is a particular tension setting that gives the right stitch for both thin and thick fabric.
9. Do Not Rush
After addressing all these causes, the most important thing to do is not to rush while sewing as this could be the cause of the skipped stitches. Going gradually is best for some fabrics while moving quickly is best for a few.
10. Check Your Foot Pedal
Industrial foot pedals for your regular machine might result in skipped stitches on your fabric and that is because the pedal cannot regulate itself as a regular pedal when paused; thereby causing skipped stitches when you resume the task.
Make sure your foot pedal works well with your sewing machine.
How To Fix Skipped Stitches On Stretch Fabrics?
Stretch fabrics are being sown especially with a special needle, failure to comply with the principle will lead to skipped stitches.
The skipped stitch on the fabric can be fixed by changing the regular sharp needle to a ball point needle which is used for stretch fabric, adjusting the stitch length to 1.5 downward, and holding the cloth firmly while sewing it.
How To Fix Skipped Stitches On Thick Fabrics?
Thread tension and needle is the main cause of skipped stitches on thick fabrics. A dirty, bent, or blunt needle can bring about skipped stitches on a thick fabric, so, whenever you notice such on your thick fabric, do well to clean the needle before changing it, and thereafter, test your fabric on the sewing machine.
If the skipped stitch remains, check the thread tension, and adjust if necessary as this is another factor responsible for skipped stitches on thick fabric.
To avoid skipped stitches on your fabric while sewing with your sewing machine, do well to have a high maintenance culture and have full information about the use of your machine parts and requirements for each type of fabric.
However, after you might have tried all these solutions and the issue persists, you need to visit a sewing machine technician to help you with it.