DIY Sewing Machine Repair: Are You Ready to Fix Your Sewing Machine?

Many complain about problems with their sewing machines and the list just keeps getting bigger. And the fact is that these issues are very easy to troubleshoot.

Believe it or not!, you can do it yourself at home with some basic tools that are available in your house. I still can’t believe that people pay repair shop so much for repairing a sewing machine which can be easily done, if you can figure out what is the problem.

I present a book with over 900 pages of pure value information on the common sewing machines problems. And step by step instructions with images that will help you troubleshoot any of these issues. Whatever brand you own, this book will for sure help you in troubleshooting.:) (Happy Fixing)

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sewing machine repair manual

Today we will briefly learn about the more common problems related to the timing, tension, mechanical noise, and bobbin.


Sewing Machine Troubleshooting Common Problems

troubleshooting sewing machineFortunately, majority of the sewing issues are easy to fix and one can avoid those sewing problems arising back in the future by ensuring the machine is set up the right way and undergoes a scheduled maintenance.

Review the Sewing Machine Service Manual.

Even the best sewing machine on the market will need troubleshooting at some point of time. The basic step to take to troubleshoot when a sewing machine problem arises is to review the service manual. The manufacturer service book almost covers all the aspects of the right settings and instructions for proper maintenance of the sewing machine.

If in case you do not have access to the manual, then don’t worry. Here, is a reference to a universal handbook for sewing machine repair of any make and model. It is advised that you store this handbook along with other sewing accessories.

Is your sewing machine not sewing properly?

If so, then the primary causes are:

  • fabric is not fed through properly.
  • needle problems.
  • improper threading, etc.

needlesThe primary solution is to see whether the needle is secured in position or it may not get picked up when you are sewing. The needle is one part of the sewing machine that wears out faster than any other parts.

Well, predicting when the needle is going to break is difficult, but excessive use or longer term usage is one reason for the needle to wear out.


Note, when you force feed a fabric there is a possibility that the needle might break. And also, using the wrong size needle is another reason why a needle breaks!

The feed dog and the pressure foot should work synchronously so check the settings of both the pressure foot and the feed dog to ensure proper threading.

Tension Adjustments.tension adjustments

Make sure the thread is in place with the right amount of tension.

Every sewing machine needs regular monitoring of the tension and adjustments, if required. Tension related problems of the bobbin threading requires attention to detail before adjustment.

Do follow the owner’s manual specification before performing any tension adjustments. A neat hack to find out the tension in a particular area is to use two different threads of varying colors.

Fixing Mechanical Noises of Machine Parts

If you hear the sewing machine generating uncommon mechanical noises, then there is an urgent need for a maintenance and/or cleaning the machine parts. And it is not recommended to keep using the machine when it is generating too much noise. The best practice to follow in such situation is to unplug the power to the sewing machine before cleaning.

Use a brush to clean up the accumulated lint from the machine. When you are done brushing out the lint move on to oiling the machine based on the manufacturer’s recommendation (find that in the user manual).

One wrong move that the owners commit is the usage of an incompatible oil for lubrication the sewing machine parts. Always go for a sewing machine oil meant for lubrication of the inner parts.

The sewing machine oil helps avoid rust formation. Do a test sewing and remove any excess oil.

Furthermore, check for lose screws and use the basic tools to tighten up. When dealing with hex shaped screws a high degree of care and professional help is advised if you are not sure what you are doing.

Only a thorough and regular maintenance can avoid such mechanical noises from popping up. But, if the noise persists, then the professional repair instructions should be followed if you are repairing the sewing machine yourself.

threadsBreaking Thread.

If you experience frequent breaking of the thread, then try a better quality thread. Do check the thread path, along with the needle and bobbin, to ensure the thread does not break.

If the spool is the main reason for jamming and ultimately breaking of thread, then change the unwinding direction of the spool.

Looping/Bunching Thread.

Thread looping issues occur below the fabric while sewing is not a problem that occurs due to bobbin threading. Whereas, looping or bunching over the upper surface of the fabric due to the bobbin threading issues. Before troubleshooting any thread issue, it’s advisable to start by analyzing and ensuring that the machine is threaded well.

It should be noted that in case the machine was threaded having the presser foot down, it is most likely that the thread doesn’t contain the appropriate tension for a smoother sewing.

Where to find sewing machine parts?

First step, call up the manufacturer and ask them for parts you are looking for. If you don’t get a positive response then there are other solutions to try.

Today almost everything is available online, just type in the name of the machine part you want to replace and order online. Skim through a list of websites offering the sewing machine parts, and don’t worry too much about the model, whether it is new or vintage, there are suppliers who can supply the required part.

For your information, these online suppliers even provide industrial parts. And finding parts for your household sewing machines won’t be tough what ever the brand is – singer, white, viking, kenmore, brother, elna, bernina, etc., you name it. Which means you get most of the parts without even leaving your house.

Your local shops also are an excellent place to find these parts, you can give it a try too.