Updated at: 15-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Getting your sewing machine to jam is the most frustrating thing that can happen to you. You stock up on all the thread, fabric needles, and other supplies you need to accomplish your project to the best of your ability. You can’t wait to get started on your project. And so it is…

The pedal on your foot does nothing but make an eerie whirling sound when you press down on it. You can watch the machine sew a few stitches before the thread becomes tangled up on the other side of the fabric. Take a sip of coffee and read it again when you’re ready to toss it. I’m confident that you’ll regain your sanity.

Why Does My Sewing Machine Keep Jamming?

Many factors can cause a sewing machine to jam, not just one. Nevertheless, there are only two types of causes. As a result, whether it’s a faulty design or poor upkeep, sewing machines eventually break down. Using a sensitive needle to stitch denim could result in the needle being damaged and the machine shutting down. In addition, if the presser foot is broken, the machine may be forced to stop midway through the project.

One of these 15 issues is almost certainly to blame if your sewing machine gets stuck mid-stitch. Find out what’s wrong with the machine by reading on.

1. Needle Suddenly Fails To Move

The first thing to check if your needle isn’t moving at all is to make sure it’s in the right place. In the middle of sewing, if the needles refuse to move, there are two possible causes.

  • It’s possible that the clutch had become disengaged.
  • It’s possible that your driver’s seat belt is broken.
  • Use of an incorrectly sized needle

The Answer:

  • You’ll notice that the machine isn’t in sewing mode if the clutch is faulty. Make sure your machine’s handwheel is not blocked. The bobbin winder on your machine can then be moved to the left side. Afterwards, the machine should return to bobbin winder mode without any complications.
  • If you find that the belt is damaged, you can replace it.
  • Based on the thickness of your fabric, use a larger or smaller needle.

2. The Motor Fails To Function

The motor may be the problem if the motor is unable to start or stop entirely. An electrical problem or a problem with the motor’s belt can cause it to malfunction. Repairing broken or loose wires that connect your foot to the motor can be done if you take a closer look at the problem.

  • Don’t forget to disconnect the gadget from its power supply.
  • Make sure to repair the drive belt if any of its components are broken or missing.
  • Make that the connections between the motor and the foot pedal are secure.
  • Using a multimeter, check the wire connections to the foot pedal.
  • In the event that the connectivity is interpreted as negative, the foot pedal must be upgraded.
  • A humming sound coming from your motor brake indicates that the motor belt is excessively tight.
  • Before you clean and oil your motor’s belt, start turning the handwheel. Drive gears can be cleaned by removing the lint and debris with this method. Running well, the motor has loosened up.
  • Keep in mind that two machines are never the same, and even if they are, the location of the motor in each machine could be different.

3. The Thread Keeps On Breaking

It’s possible that the thread has broken multiple times just as you’re preparing to press the pedal to begin stitching. When you’re sewing something quickly and the thread breaks, it’s excruciating to see. Different causes and solutions can be found if thread breaking isn’t caused by the machine’s threading.

The Answer:

  • The problem may be caused by incorrect threading. The upper thread of the machine must be rethreaded. When the machine is obstructed, it can no longer do its work. There may be an issue with the way the laser spool or cord is held, which could make it difficult for it to move.
  • Look for needles that have larger eyeballs. When working with smaller needles, it is possible for threads to break. As the machine moves, the thread’s tension fluctuates, and the needles’ eyes shatter under the strain.

4. Several Stitches Keep Getting Skipped

When the wrong needle is being used to sew, sewing machines can skip stitches. Regardless of how many stitches you’ve skipped, you need to make sure the needle is seated properly.

  • The needle may break and leave you stranded. A new one will have been purchased in this case. Make a note of the difference between ballpoint needles and sharp needles for knitted materials.
  • Your machine’s tension could be at blame if your stitching isn’t consistent. The bottom and top stitches should not be separated by more than a few inches.
  • If you find yourself changing the needle a lot, be sure to let the machine take the cloth slowly rather than pushing it.

5. Machine Refuses To Take In The Fabric

This is a common problem for beginning sewers whose machines have a hard time accepting the cloth. Nothing to worry about if the machine stops stitching or takes the fabric. To address the problem, use the following advice:

  • Make sure the dog’s food bowls are at the correct height before you begin sewing.
  • If you sew buttonholes on a regular basis, you may want to skip changing the stitch length from zero to three or two.
  • Prior you resuming your work on a quilting project, raise the feed dogs so that they are a couple of inches higher than the plate.
  • Before you begin stitching, make sure the pedal is all the way up. While feeding your fabric, the feed dogs will hold it in place.
  • Inadequate tension could lead to difficulties. Feed your cloth after making it big enough.
  • Restart the system if you see any stuck threads.

6. Sewing Machine Being Stuck In Reverse

When sewing in the opposite way, you don’t want the machine to become stuck in that position. In order to stitch properly, you must put the machine in reverse. This problem can be solved in two ways.

  • While the feed dog is still moving backward, the sewing machine continues to sew backward. To resolve the issue, clean up the lint and dirt from around the feed dog’s bowl. Check to see if the feed dog is raised to accommodate your cloth at this point.
  • This could be due to the fact that the machine was set to revert back to its default settings. Find out if you are experiencing the same issue by:
  • then switch it on and off again”
  • Make sure there are no reverse levers in use.
  • Keeping the bobbin neat and orderly

7. Sewing Machine Stuck At The Maximum Speed

When dealing with intricate components, speedy sewing is not the best option. As a result, it is critical that you have complete control over the speed at which your sewing machine operates. Since it can only identify one speed, you need to get it fixed as soon as possible. Here are a few possible difficulties and ways to fix them:

  • A malfunctioning motor in your machine will have an impact on the machine’s overall speed. Damaged motors might slow down the machine, and this is something that can’t be fixed without the help of an expert.
  • The machine may run at full speed if you have a problem with your foot pedal. Examine your foot pedal to see if anything is preventing it from moving at its normal pace. Make that the pedal works properly by cleaning off any dirt or debris.

8. The Machine Stuck At Its Bobbin Mode

It is your sewing machine, not you, that is responsible for winding the bobbin. Doing the job yourself will result in thread loss due to insufficient tension. There are a slew of reasons why the machine can’t be shifted out of bobbin winding mode.

The Answers:

  • One of these electronic machines may require a software update that you aren’t aware of. When upgrading, the machine may become stuck in bobbin mode. A repair or an upgrade may be necessary in this situation. If you’re not sure how to do any of this, seek advice from a professional.
  • With a lever or switch, most machines allow you to set the bobbin’s winding mode. For some who can’t manage to turn off the mode on their own, a professional’s assistance is required.

9. The Handwheel Refuses To Move

Any sewing machine’s handwheel must be able to move smoothly and without any problems. You have a problem if the handwheel is difficult to move. When the machine is unable to move, the handwheels become difficult to turn.

  • You need to check the machine to see if the needle or the fabric has been stuck.
  • Instead of creating an untidy mess halfway through, the thread should be placed neatly the entire way through. If the thread become tangled in the first place, the machine must be restarted to fix it.
  • To get the machine working again, you’ll need to get in touch with a professional that specializes in the type of machinery you’re using.

10. The Presser Foot Fails To Move

If the fabric is stuck downward, it will be hard to sew it under the presser foot. If you can’t sew because the presser foot is jammed upwards, it’s a much greater problem.

  • The broken lever is to blame for the pressure foot’s downward position. The lever on the foot must be replaced if it breaks. You may also want to acquire a new presser foot, as the one you already have is likely to stop working.
  • Due to broken gears in the machine or accumulated dirt and debris, the presser foot may be in the upward position. It is also possible that the machine is in Bobbin mode, which could lead to this situation. If you’ve checked all three options and found nothing wrong, you’ll need professional help to fix the issue.

11. Not Enough Tension In The Upper Thread

If a machine starts getting stuck most initial concept that pops up to the mind of everyone is that it’s caused by an untangled thread that is located in its bobbin beneath the fabric. But you may be surprised to hear that the lack of tension in the higher thread could also be a factor.

  • The first thing that comes to mind for most people when their sewing machine begins to jam is that an untangled thread in the bobbin beneath the fabric is to blame. However, you may be surprised to hear that the lack of tension in the upper thread may also be a factor.

12. A Broken Or Deformed Needle

An unbroken or bent needle can prevent the thread from entering the fabric, causing your machine to cease operating.

The Answer:

  • Stop stitching and inspect the needle for signs of damage or deformity. If you notice anything, use a new needle to fix it. In addition, make sure that you are using the correct needle size and type for your machine and the project you are working on When everything is said and done, the jamming could have been caused by a simple needle imbalance.

13. Clogging Of The Machine At One Or More Points

Lint or dirt lodged inside the machine can cause it to become clogged. It is for this reason that cleaning the equipment is important.

The Answers:

  • Switch off the machine and unthread it if the problem is caused by a blocked machine. Now is the time to thoroughly clean the machine, paying special attention to all of its operating components. You can take this time to clean the devices with a little brush if they’ve accumulated any dust or debris. Metal parts of the machine must be regularly oiled to keep it in good working order.
  • The bobbin components should be blasted with canned air to remove any residues that may have built up. In order to avoid making the same mistakes again, Regular maintenance includes cleaning the equipment and applying oil. Washing and lubricating your sewing machine more frequently than once a month is necessary if you sew frequently.

14. Improper Threading Leading To Tangling

Incorrect threading of the machine is the most common cause of a huge tangle of thread. Don’t blame the bobbin if you see a mess on the bobbin portion of your sewing machine.

The Answers:

  • Unscrew the machine’s presser foot and begin the process of de-threading it. You can then restart your machine while maintaining your presser foot in place. In order to ensure that you’re passing the threads in the correct places, follow the directions in your machine’s manual.
  • When threading a machine and lowering the presser foot, the most typical mistake is to move the presser foot upwards. By doing so, the disks that hold the tension are forced to tighten and engage further. This stops the thread from securing itself to the two disks in a secure manner.

15. Inability To Take The Machine Out Of The Zig-zag Mode

To stitch in locations where a straight line is not practicable, zig-zag stitching is a common type of stitching. Because of this, you can use zig-zag stitches to improve buttonholes or sew elastic materials. This does not mean that your machine has to be permanently set to sew in a zig-zag pattern just because some materials or portions of materials require it.

The answer:

  • The task at hand is to unlock the machine’s Z-Z-Z mode. For more information, consult the product’s owner’s handbook. There’s a good chance you’ll learn something new. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for in the manual, contact the manufacturer’s customer service department.

A possible answer to your inquiry may have been found in one or more of these 15 explanations. When your sewing machine gets jammed, take these tips to fix it.

Some machine issues to look for are:

  • Switching off and then turning the laptop back on should clear any stuck reverse buttons.
  • Make sure the switch in the pedal is working properly if the pedal is stuck.
  • Even when there’s no bobbin in it, it’s possible the switch or the programming is malfunctioning. After shutting down the machine, restart it. Contact customer service if this doesn’t help.
  • An error has occurred. An external fault may be present, or the inside portion may have been damaged or detached. It’s probable that you’ll need the assistance of a maintenance professional.
  • Could be stymied by software issues that impact machines with preprogrammed speed or stitch settings. The machine can be restarted by unplugging and plugging it back in. If that doesn’t work, call customer service or take your vehicle to a mechanic.

How Do You Fix A Sewing Machine That Keeps Jamming?

  1. Check and rethread your machine to confirm that it is following the correct paths, if necessary.
  2. Make sure the needle is not bent or damaged by replacing it and inspecting it.
  3. Get rid of the threads and lint by gently brushing the holder, bobbin, and plate using an old paintbrush.
  4. If the thread was tangled, rewind the bobbin. Remove any bobbin thread ends that may be sticking out.
  5. Determine whether or not the tension and stitch on your sewing machine match your project’s requirements.

Why Does My Bobbin Keep Jamming Up?

  • Learn to put the bobbin in place correctly, as it could cause problems similar to a poorly guided top thread
  • Bobbin placement can produce problems comparable to those caused by a sloppy top thread.
  • Make sure you have enough thread for your bobbins; if there isn’t enough, it may get reeled.
  • In order to keep your machine running smoothly, you should experiment with the bobbin tension to find the right balance between tight and loose.

What Causes A Sewing Machine To Lock Up?

During the tug of war for the shuttle, thread bundles are the primary cause of the sewing machine’s lockout. Because debris and lint can prevent the needle from catching onto the thread, you can avoid the sewing machine from being locked by keeping the shuttle race clean. During the race, a jammed needle and clumped thread are both possible outcomes if the needle can’t correctly grasp the thread.

How do you fix a locked sewing machine?

  1. Shuttle races should be cleaned and inspected regularly to remove any lint and other debris that may have accumulated over time.
  2. Using the handwheel, you can remove the race needle if the machine is unable to move owing to the accumulation of thread.
  3. You can remove the needle by hand if you can’t get it out of the shuttle race.
  4. Remove the fabric and unravel the shuttle race threads.
  5. After washing the shuttle, you can alter the needle’s time if the thread is still clumping up.
  6. Get help from an expert who knows how to use equipment to get the shuttle hook and needle to line up perfectly.
  7. It’s possible to position the needle and then release the screw set for shuttle gear, allowing it to modify the setting and thereby aligning the shuttle hook and needle.

What Tension Should My Sewing Machine Be On?

You can alter the sewing machine’s tension. It is critical to put it through its paces in a variety of settings. For example, if your needle thread shows through the cloth, the bobbin tension may be too high and the needle tension is not strong enough. Instead, if the needle thread tension is too high or the bobbin thread is too brittle, you may see the bobbin thread poking through the cloth.

Additionally, we offer a guide on sewing machine tension replacement that can help resolve tension-related concerns.


Were you helped in any way by reading this article? This could be due to wear and tear on the sewing machine, needle difficulties, poor sewing threading or fabric that is difficult to stitch with. Repairing these parts and then unblocking the machine should be straightforward.

If you still have questions, feel free to leave a comment below or check out our sewing machine troubleshooting blog.