The tabs above represent many of the common issues that occur when using sewing machines, and provide some examples of what causes them and how to resolve them. If you are experiencing an issue not listed above, or using these troubleshooting steps does not help resolve your problems, check the troubleshooting section of the machine's manual (see bottom of this page).
Makerspace staff are available for assistance. Please notify staff if machines are damaged or if troubleshooting will require any repair.
If your needle breaks during use, remove the broken needle and discard in a designated sharps container - makerspace staff can show you where this is in each space.
A needle can break due to a variety of causes, including:
Common causes of the upper thread breaking are:
Lower thread tangling on the underside of fabric, or breaking is commonly caused by:
If you encounter issues winding the bobbin thread neatly, start by checking these two common issues:
These are common causes of the machine skipping stitches while sewing:
Common reasons a stitch is not turning out as expected:
Causes for fabric puckering/wrinkling while sewing include:
If the fabric will not feed while sewing, it may be one of the following issues:
If you are using a machine with a needle auto-threader and it is not working, it could be one of two issues:
Information about the common issues listed above is available in the troubleshooting sections of the individual manuals, as well as information about other issues that are specific to each machine.
The machine guides are linked below with the page numbers for the troubleshooting sections. Please note there are two sets of page numbers listed. Online PDF is for anyone accessing the guide on the internet. Physical guide is for anyone using the physical copy of the manuals in the makerspaces. These numbers don't perfectly match.