Why Does My Sewing Machine Sew in Zigzags

Zig zag stitches are versatile and are used in most sewing projects but a sewing machine isn’t supposed to keep sewing in zig zags. Both skilled and beginner seamstresses can come across this kind of problem and most often wonder the reason why this happens.

However, If you notice your sewing machine sewn in zig-zags and you want to find out what might be the cause you should read through this article to find out the reasons that are likely to cause this issue and how you can fix it.

Why Does My Sewing Machine Sew In Zig Zags?

The reasons why your sewing machine might be sewing in zig zag can include:

Irregular Maintenance: one of the reasons why your sewing machine can be sewed is because of irregular maintenance. Not caring for your sewing machine and not keeping it in a good condition can cause stitching faults and when this happens your machine will sew in zig-zags.


Incorrect Tension: When sewing problems like persistent zig-zag stitches, arises it’s might be due incorrect machine tension, incorrect thread tension, incorrect bobbin tension, or incorrect fabric tension. When the needle tension is extremely loose, the stitching thread will show loops on the underside and if it’s too tight, the loops will be seen on the topside. If the seams of lightweight fabric puckers then the thread tension is too tight.


Threading Wrongly: Another reason your sewing machine sews in zig-zags can be because you’re threading in the wrong manner. Apart from uneven stitches, it could also lead to skipped stitches. Threading can be quite tricky as if you miss an essential step, the sewing machine will not function properly.


Using Threads of Poor Quality: Some underestimate the importance of using good quality thread which results in stitching faults. Just as the sewing machine and fabric are important in sewing, the thread to is also important and threads of poor quality can cause zig-zag stitches, skipping, and uneven stitches.


Problems With The Needle:  You should also know that apart from the above reasons, an issue with the needle can also cause a sewing machine to sew in zig zags. If a needle is bent, blunt, broken, or facing backward it will cause problems for you while sewing.


How To Fix My Sewing Machine Sewing In ZigZag.

The methods to adopt in order to fix your sewing machine that sews in zig-zag includes:


Regular Maintenance: Properly maintaining your machine from time to time will improve its efficiency and prevent any faulty stitches. You should make sure your machine is covered when it’s not in use, dust on the machine should be cleaned off regularly and the important part of the machine should be oiled using good quality machine oil. All this will help boost its proper functioning. You can also get more care and maintenance tips for the sewing machine from its manual and when you think it requires deep cleaning take it to the professionals.


Fix The Tension: When the thread tension of a sewing machine is correct, it makes the right type of stitches and the stitches looks smooth, even, and flat from both sides. In addition, the bobbin thread and needle interlock midway between the surfaces of the fabric when the thread tension is adjusted properly. When you observe that the thread tension is too tight on the underside, you should loosen it up but in the case when it’s the upper side that’s too tight you will need to adjust the tension of the bobbin case using a screwdriver to loosen the small screw on the case. Take note that you should avoid adjusting both bobbin and needle tension. In the cases when the fabric is the one with incorrect tension you just need to loosen the tension and change to a larger stitch size.


Threading Properly: When threading you should be very careful so as not to miss any step, this way you can prevent your sewing machine from sewing in zig zags. Follow the threading instructions in your manual to make sure you’re not doing it improperly or better still search online to find videos to watch and assist you in the threading process.


Have A Collection of Good Quality Threads. Once you observe that your old threads are fraying or feel fuzzy then it might be time to go for a new set of threads to avoid any stitching fault. Good quality threads give neat and consistent even stitches and it’s less likely to tangle or break and will not produce too much lint.


Pay Attention To The Needles: Since it’s been stated that problems with needles can cause this problem in sewing machines, pay extra attention to it. Make sure the needle you’re using is not broken, ensure it’s sharp and it’s facing the right direction to prevent any sewing fault.


Work With Your Sewing Machine Manual: Since the basic operation of every sewing machine is the same, some seamstresses tend to abandon the instruction manual that comes with the sewing machine. The machine manual is very essential and it’s meant to be used apart from it containing detailed information about everything the machine offers. It also contains care and maintenance tips, guides on how to thread, and much other useful information to promote the proper functioning of the machine. If you’re the first owner of your machine you will have it but if not you can search for your sewing machine model manual online.


Time To Visit The Professionals: If after going through all the previously mentioned fixing options, your sewing machine is still sewing in zig zag then a visit to the professional is your last option. There might be something you’re missing and the repair professionals are more likely to discover the problem on time and fix it as that’s what they’re trained for.


Can My Sewing Machine Get Stuck In Zig Zag Mode?

Yes, your sewing machine can get stuck in the zig-zag mode but there are ways to fix it. Sometimes the sewing machine might just need a good cleaning and lubrication. You can just pick up your manual and read the instructions to oil and clean your machine.


Other times it might be that you’re just not using the correct sewing plate, straight and zig-zag stitches have different sewing plates so make sure you’re using the correct one. The sewing plate is located under your machine’s foot.


Why Are My Sewing Machine Not Sewing Zig Zag Stitches?

If you find out that your sewing machine is not sewing zig-zag stitches it might be due to the following:


Incorrect Sewing Machine Timing: Your sewing machine feeds dogs and presses the foot won’t work correctly to make zig-zag stitches if the sewing machine time is incorrect. So you will need to reset the timing using the instructions in your machine’s manual


Wrong Sewing Machine Setup: The wrong machine setup can also affect the zig-zag function, so make sure your sewing machine is properly set up and the important and moving parts are well oiled and clean, there should be no accumulation of lint in the bobbin area so the zig-zag stitch setting can work well.



Sewing machine sewing in zig zags might be due to certain mistakes or omissions on your part, even the littlest things like using poor quality threads can cause this issue. And this is why you should be careful, you should also pay attention to your sewing machine so you can quickly pick up if anything is wrong. The effect of regular and proper maintenance of a sewing machine on its functioning shouldn’t be underestimated. But take note that after trying any of the above options and it’s still not fixed, the best thing is to seek professional help to avoid wasting your time and prevent further damage.