Why Does My Bernina Sewing Machine Skip Stitches?

When you experience skipped stitches using your Bernina Sewing Machine, it’s quite a frustration but you don’t have to panic as the reasons for this are not far-fetched and are also reversible. 

Bernina Sewing Machines are strong, durable, and well-built but just like it is with every other sewing machine, the problem of skip stitches occurs using them too. Trying to figure out the causes and how to fix them is quite challenging.

For a sewing problem free, this article gives the best explanation and steps to fixing your Bernina Sewing Machine when it starts skipping.

Why Does My Bernina Sewing Machine Skip Stitches?

Bernina Sewing Machine gives an experience worth its price from the regular ones to the more classic and sophisticated models. However, from the technical POV, it is observed that there’s a moment or situation when the sewing machine isn’t able to sew properly and this might make statements like ‘the machine isn’t able to pick up the stitch’, ‘the timer went off, and several other statements true but might be different from the main reasons why your Bernina Sewing Machine skip stitches.

However to answer the question ‘why?’, let’s take a look at a few things to help understand better.

Skipped Stitches are one of the major types of sewing machines issues that occur when your needle and thread do not make a complete and regular pattern creating an empty area in a row of stitches while sewing; the most common reasons for skip stitches in Bernina Sewing Machine is a result of needle problem.

To solve the puzzle of why your Bernina Sewing Machine Skip Stitches while you’re sewing, there 6 reasons below:

Problem 1: Needle Problem

Needle problem is one of the main causes of skipped stitches and three reasons affect this:

– Using the Wrong Needle

The size of your needle is vital! There are different types of machine needles with different designs for specific fabrics and materials, thread sizes, and different usage methods. For instance, the needle used for a jersey fabric is the ball point needle, and this is because it is a stretchy material and the ball helps to part the fabric rather than piercing through them.

– Incorrect Needle Position

The sitting position of the needle in the needle bar is another reason your stitches skip while sewing with your Bernina sewing machine. In cases where the stitches still skip even when you have the right needle for your work, it means the needle seating is incorrect.

– Incorrect Needle Bar Setting

When you set the needle bar of your Bernina sewing machine too low or too high, it causes your fabric stitches to skip. This can happen on its own due to over-time loosing or when needle striking knocks it out of its place, it strikes the needle plate or something that it can’t penetrate through, or as a result of your adjustment.

– Damaged, Bent, or Dull Needle

When your needle becomes bent, dull, or old, they are likely to cause skipping in your stitches. A sewing machine needle becomes dull after sewing for about 6 hours, and once it becomes dull, it won’t be able to press through the fabric. A bent needle becomes incorrectly aligned to the bobbin and causes it to miss grabbing the thread.

Problem 2: Machine Problem

There are reasons why the sewing machine begins to malfunction and also causes skip stitches, they include:

– Machine Debris or Dirt

When a machine is dirty, it leads to mechanical difficulty in the machine’s moving ability and causes skipped stitches. 

– The Machine Timer Is Off

The machine timer can sometimes be mistuned – this means that the timer that makes it work and stop at a specific time is sometimes tuned incorrectly causing the bobbin case that ought to grab onto the thread from the needle to miss it either earlier or late resulting in skip stitches. 

Problem 3: The Fabric Texture

When your fabric is too soft, stretchy, or thick that the needle isn’t able to pierce through it, it results in skip stitches. 

Problem 4: Threading

When the machine is improperly threaded i.e threaded from the wrong side, the stitches skip. Also, using a poor-quality thread will keep breaking and the stitches as well will keep skipping. 

Problem 5: Tight Threading Tension

While there’s a tight threading tension when using your Bernina sewing machine, it has an effect on your thread such that it pulls the thread, causing it to break or stitches to skip.

Each fabric has its specific sewing tension and when the tension is too high, it causes skipping as the needle won’t be able to pierce through the fabric well especially if it’s a thick material.

How Do I Fix The Problems Of Skip Stitches On My Bernina Sewing Machine?

Resolving and preventing the problem of skipped stitches while using your Bernina sewing machine is quite easy and necessary. Before you get to use your sewing machine again, it is best to fix the problems and causes of skipped stitches. 

Below are tips to guide you on how to fix and prevent your machine from skipping stitches:

1. Needle

The following are sure to work in fixing your sewing needle problem:

  • Replace the damaged needle: the first method of preventing skip stitches is to change your damaged machine needle. The sewing needle has a life span of about 7 hours usage and once you’ve used it for such time, it becomes dull. Replace it with a new one before it gets broken, bent, or damaged.
  • Use the correct needle size: there are different sewing needles for certain fabrics and this means that combining both the specific needle type and the fabric is necessary. For a stretchy or sewing knit fabric, you should use a ballpoint needle, for woven fabrics, a sharp or all-purpose needle is used. Ensure to always follow the recommended needle size for your fabric, thread, and even the Bernina sewing machine techniques.
  • Position the needle bar: If the needle bar isn’t in its right position or rotating, ensure to pull it out and re-insert it properly allowing its seat in the right place.

2. Threading

A thread of good and high quality is best used when sewing. However, if you have specialty threads, it doesn’t stop your machine from using them but it is just too difficult to do. Ensure that you use a good-quality thread and that your machine is properly threaded on the right side.

The thread should be kept away from sunlight as this causes it to fade, dry out, and become brittle. For your machine, always use a double-gassed low-lint thread as this prevents lint build-up in your machine.

3. Wound the bobbin correctly

Wounding the bobbin around its spool should be tight and neatly done. If it is loosely wounded, it won’t work well and also causes skip stitches. Also, the bobbin should be the correct one for your Bernina Sewing Machine Model type.

4. Your Machine Maintenance

To resolve the machine problems, here are ways to maintain the machine:

  • Adjustment the Tension

When you begin to notice differences in the top and bottom stitches, it is best to adjust your machine tension and that of the bobbin case too if necessary. For a large number of fabrics, the normal tension set point of your machine is ideal. If you’re working on much more thicker and sturdy fabrics, the tension needed should be loose and a longer stitch.

  • Care for your machine

Your sewing machine should be properly cared for. Clean it regularly especially when you finish working on lint-shedding fabrics- use the brushes that come with the Bernina Sewing Machine to clean. The bobbin case should be well cleaned as there might be lint accumulated in the case.

  • Regular maintenance service:

If the machine is consistently used, causes lint build-up in your machine, wearing out of lubricants that help to run the machine smoothly, and several parts of the sewing machine that can be replaced. To prevent your sewing machine from malfunctioning, it is highly recommended and ideal that the machine be regularly serviced annually. Ensure that your machine is regularly taken for service. 


Of course, skip stitches hurt but you can stop them from re-occurring. Generally, it is common to experience skip stitches in the sewing world, it is unavoidable. 

However, the life span of a needle is for about 7 hours which means once it is used at that length, it needs to be replaced before it gets damaged and leads to skipped stitches. To prevent this, use the right needle, thread, and tension, and ensure that the needle and thread match the fabric to work on. Also, ensure that you have your machine regularly serviced at least once a year.

To solve the issues of your Bernina Sewing Machine Skip Stitches, the above fixing tips are perfect to prevent or even stop the occurrence of skipped stitches to avoid work stress.