How annoying. You are halfway through a project when your sewing machine starts playing up or even worse, stops and plays dead. Very often it's a simple problem that could have been avoided with some Basic Sewing Machine Maintenance other times it could just that the kids have got to the machine without you realising and have messed with the tensioner!Skipped StitchesIf you sewing machine is sewing fine and then starts to skip stitches it's probably due to a worn or bent needle.The machines needle is very fine and it's easily bent when pulling in fabric but more often it gets bent by hitting a pin or something hard like a Functional Knitted Air Layer fabric zip.
If you are having to change needles quite often then make sure you are allowing the feed dog to move the fabric through the machine and you are not pulling it.Knotted or Breaking ThreadFirstly make sure you are using a good quality thread. Cheap threads may seem like a bargain but they give off excessive lint, have loosely bound fibres and will easily knot. Always try and buy your thread from a good trusted source.Check your sewing machine is threaded correctly. If you are unsure completely de-thread it and redo it as per your manufacturers instructions. Remember to thread your machine with the presser foot up as this will alleviate most tangling problems.Make sure the bobbin is correctly threaded. Make sure the bobbin is in the bobbin case and the right way round for your machine.See if your bobbin is worn. The plastics ones can wear after a lot of use and wobble in the case which messes up your tension as you're sewing.ChildrenWatch out for kids playing with your machine as your back is turned.
All those knobs, dials and pedals are irresistible to a child.If your machine is not in use then I would suggest keeping it locked away. Not only so they can't play with it but it wouldn't take much for a child to turn on the power and run a stitch across their hand.Tension AdjustmentAdjusting the tension varies by machine so you really need to look at your manufacturers handbook and see how it's done. As a rule though turning the adjustment to the left slackens the tension and turning to the right tightens the tension.Regular MaintenanceIt's very easy to get so enthralled in your sewing projects that your forget Basic Sewing Machine Maintenance and before long you start to have problems. Believe me when I say it's so much cheaper to do a few basics checks at the end of your sewing project than fork out your hard earned cash for a service agent to repair your sewing machine.For peace of mind I would very often put a small dymo label on my sewing machine listing the basics maintenance I would have to do after finishing every project.