Sewing Machine Keeps Jamming (Common Problems And Fixes)

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This might sound like a silly question, but it’s one that many people want the answer to. When you press a button on your sewing machine and it starts to jam, what should you do? 

Well, if you’re anything like me then all that happens is that the machine jams for about five minutes and then continue as normal. However, there are some ways to fix this problem without turning to an expensive repairman or going through so much of your time.

I accidentally got my thread caught around one of the wheels that turn while I was sewing, and it was fascinating to see how my sewing machine worked. The thread was wrapped around the wheel and as I pushed the pedal down, it sewed through the material. The thread then went back out through a hole in the wheel, before going back into the main part of the machine through a much smaller hole on top of that wheel.

Sewing is a long and tiring process that requires patience. That’s why it’s important to have reliable machines, so you can keep on sewing without worrying about any interruptions. It might seem like there are no problems when you’re in the middle of your work, but ultimately there will be downtime where your machine needs repair or maintenance. 

Maybe you’ll hear a slight noise and everything comes to a halt for a moment before resuming again. But eventually an unexpected failure will occur – which makes the entire process time-consuming and tedious for the novice seamstress – much less fun! This is where this article comes in handy, because it will give you pointers on how to avoid any further problems with your machine.

Why Does the Bobbin Keep Jamming?

Well, when sewing machines jam, you have to look at the reason why. Is it a mechanical jam or was the stitch length set incorrectly? Many times, when people are just starting out as seamstresses and need to learn to sew every last inch of detail on their projects, they tend to set their stitch length too long. The only problem is that if this happens, the thread will keep going back through the machine and could cause problems at the end of your stitching. 

If your machine is consistently jamming with thread, then it’s a good idea to check the needle. Damaged needles are a common cause of these problems because they can bend and break easily. Consider getting a new needle to resolve this problem.

There are also some other reasons why the machine might be jammed, such as when the bobbin thread gets tangled around the hook on the machine or around the bobbin case body. If the thread is wrapped around a bobbin or case, then this can cause tension on the bobbin and it might slip out from its place. Fortunately, there are some things that you could do to fix this problem.

It’s also important to look at the machine’s thread tension. The tension of a sewing machine is adjusted by turning the dial that’s located at the front of your machine. If you keep your tension too high then the needle will have trouble moving through a seam and causing it to jam. If you need to know how to adjust the dial, then check your sewing machine manual for instructions about how to adjust the bobbin tension.

Once you’ve checked these things, start sewing again and see if any problems occur. If the machine is still jammed or experiences other issues, then it might be time for a new one.

When you start using a new sewing machine for the first time, it’s not uncommon that you’ll have to make adjustments on how the machine runs and what type of stitches it should produce.

What Are The Main Reasons Of Sewing Machine Jamming?

Professional machines are typically perfect in terms of their quality and efficiency, but they are not immune to accidents that might hamper the functioning of the machine. The most common reasons why sewing machines jam are a stuck needle, jammed bobbin, and thread, or something else that doesn’t work properly.

To prevent any further problems, you should clean your machine regularly and make sure that it is free from grease or dirt before you put the needle down. You should also check that the needle and bobbin are in proper working condition, as well as the thread.

If you are having problems with your machine, then you might have to buy a new model – but you can get the best sewing machines from reliable sellers on eBay. You can find all types of reliable products and accessories for your machine there, so don’t hesitate to search for them and buy them quickly.

Causes of Sewing Machine Jamming

Anything that isn’t working properly can be the reason for your sewing machine jamming, and so you should take care of these issues right away to avoid further loss of time and money. 

here are some main causes to keep jamming your sewing machine.

  1. Stuck Needle
  2. Jammed Bobbin
  3. Thread bunching
  4. Halved Bottom Thread
  5. Spool Jam
  6. Motor Stuck
  7. Dust and Dirt Overload
  8. Broken Needle or Broken Bobbin Case

Stuck Needle

If your sewing machine starts to jam, then the first thing you should check is the needle and make sure that it is not stuck. If you aren’t sure how to remove a stuck needle, then perhaps call up a friend to help you out. You can also find some tutorials on YouTube that can help you troubleshoot the problem.

Jammed Bobbin 

Another reason for your machine jamming might be that the bobbin isn’t working properly or has been tangled or damaged in some way. If the bobbin jams, then you can try to feed the thread into it manually and sew a few stitches. Just make sure that there isn’t any problems with your bobbin before you proceed.

Thread bunching

Your needle should not have too much thread on it. It should only have enough to last one or two more projects before you need to add more thread to it. You can fix this problem by sewing a few stitches and then pulling the needle out by hand.

Halved Bottom Thread

If the bottom thread appears to be stuck, then you can take out more than half of the thread with your needle and re-thread it on a different part of the fabric. This is the best way to keep your machine from jamming.

Spool Jam

Sometimes a spool of thread can get stuck inside your machine, and this might be the reason why it is jammed. It is better to avoid this problem by making sure that you have a small enough spool for your machine, so it won’t get stuck inside. 

Motor Stuck

If your machine is jammed, then it might be a good idea to run the motor a few times to see whether you can unjam it. You can do this by inserting the needle into the material and pressing it down on the pedal. In this way, you will find out whether your machine is actually working or not.

Dust & Dirt Overload

If your sewing machine jamming problem is because of dust or dirt, then you need to clean out all of the threads that are inside of your machine. To do this you can remove the needle, bobbin, and presser foot until a small window is left. You can now use a vacuum to clean out the machine’s interior. 

Broken Needle or Broken Bobbin Case

If your needle is broken or your bobbin case is damaged, then you should replace it immediately. You can order them for your machine from reliable sellers on eBay, and in the process, you will save a lot of time, so your sewing machine won’t jam anymore.

How To Solve Sewing Machine Jamming Problems?

There are some tips and tricks to resolve jamming issues.

  1. Keep your sewing machine clean and well-oiled. Wipe the machine with a cloth if you see any dust has accumulated on it.
  2. Use the right needle size for the fabric to avoid needle breakage while sewing.
  3. Make sure that the thread hasn’t run too low, or is tangled. This can cause a jamming issue while sewing.
  4. If your stitches are uneven, change your machine’s tension setting accordingly to make them even and smooth.
  5. If your stitches are loopy, tighten the upper tension dial on your machine.
  6. If your stitches are puckering, loosen the upper tension dial on your machine.
  7. Keep the top of the presser foot clean of lint and dust material to avoid jamming while sewing. 
  8. Go slow when setting up allowances and layers of fabric, or you might get a jamming problem while sewing or embroidering. 
  9. If you are sewing with a lot of layers, or the fabric is heavy, make sure that your needle is fresh and sharp.

Try the following tricks to stop needle breakage when sewing:

  1. Use a thinner needle. The thicker your fabric is, the bigger your stitches should be to make them easy to pull out after sewing.
  2. Increase your top tension to keep the upper thread from looping over the edge of the fabric while you are stitching.
  3. Use a heavier or thicker needle to make your stitches larger.
  4. With a lightweight material, try using a thinner needle and moving it slower.
  5. Use a thicker and longer thread on your sewing machine. Loop the thread around the bobbin as soon as you are done with stitching so that it doesn’t become tangled.

A simple way to solve sewing machine jamming problems is by re-threading them. The following steps will help you with this problem:

  1. Take out the thread from the needle and then insert the end of the needle into the hole at the top of your machine (this is where you thread in your materials, like pieces of fabric). Pull out the thread through that hole.
  2. Re-thread the needle back into the hole, and pull out a new thread.
  3. Insert the end of the needle into a different part of your machine. Pull out the thread until you have used all of it. 
  4. If your needle comes out with thread attached to it, then you can use some light oil on the end of your machine.

Here below are the detailed guides about threading your sewing machine,

How Do You Fix A Sewing Machine That Keeps Jamming?

Sometimes a sewing machine is just too old to work properly, but there are other reasons why it might not sew. It can happen that the needle breaks or gets jammed inside the machine. Also, you can have a lot of problems with your bobbin case – which can be very annoying.

Here are some basic steps on how to troubleshoot your sewing machine and fix it so that it will start working properly again. Make sure that you have turned off the power to the machine before you attempt any maintenance work or cleaning.

  1. Remove the needle from the material.
  2. Loosen the bobbin case, as well as the tension screw.
  3. Remove and replace broken parts and then check for jamming.
  4. Sew a few stitches to see whether you can get the machine to work now or not.
  5. Insert the needle back into the material and try to sew it.
  6. If you are still having problems, then try removing and replacing other parts like the bobbin case, needle, and tension screw again, as well as checking for jamming.
  7. If your machine is still jamming or acting up, then it might be time to buy a new one altogether,  unless, of course, you can fix it cheaply or with minimal replacement parts so that you can just get a new sewing machine without spending much money at all.

Why do sewing machines lock up and won’t sew?

There are a few different reasons why a sewing machine may stop working. These include:

Machine parts may be faulty and just need to be replaced, or They may be dirty and need to be cleaned, or They may be acting incorrectly and you need to fix it.

However, if this is the case, then you’ll have to bring your machine in for repair – if that’s not an option, then there are solutions that can help prevent further problems – which will help you avoid spending so much money on a repairman.

There are many things that you should keep in mind when buying a sewing machine. For instance, you probably want something with a good instruction manual and decent accessories. You’ll also want to know how much the machine will cost, although be aware that some machines are sold on a brand name alone, and they may not be worth the amount they’re advertised at. 

Therefore, be sure that you read reviews by other users before making your final decision.

Why Is My Sewing Machine Making A Clunking Noise?

If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, then this is a situation to try and solve as soon as possible. A clunking noise can be the result of many things, which include broken belts, a slipping needle and a few more. If you’re going to do it yourself then make sure you know what you’re doing and don’t take risks that could end up damaging your machine even more.

Look for possible thread blockages/jamming in the bobbin area, which are often located in front near the foot. This can be a long and tedious process but it will give you a great idea of what is causing your problem, along with possible fixes that can solve the issue.

Upon inspection, it might look like there is no problem, but here you have to be ever-vigilant. Small particles of lint can build up over time, and this can become lodged inside the bobbin area and cause trouble in the future.

Why Is My Sewing Machine Bunching Underneath?

This is the most common problem on any sewing machine. At first, you might find it odd that your machine’s thread and bobbin are not going through the machine, but this is because your needle is stuck inside of the sewing machine. The thread has stuck to the needle and then put pressure onto a post inside of your sewing machine.

This is a common problem when you are using a machine for the first time, or if you have put the thread too tight. Be sure to check your manual on how to properly fix this problem.

Why Is My Sewing Machine Making Loud Noises?

The noises made by your sewing machine are usually caused by broken belts, loose pulleys, or gears that need lubrication. If you don’t know how to fix these issues, then it’s best to bring your machine in for a repair and see what might be causing the problem.

Sometimes the noise is heard when you first turn the machine on, but you don’t know why. This could be caused by a loose pulley or a broken belt.

Another reason why you might hear a loud noise is that there’s dirt in your machine’s parts. If this happens, then use your machine’s manual to find ways to fix the problem.

FAQ about Sewing Machine Jamming

What tension should my sewing machine be on?

In the beginning, you might find it hard to adjust the tension of your machine. If you don’t know how to do this, then it’s best to keep adjusting it until your sewing machine is running smoothly. Some sewing machines run at different tensions so be sure that yours is properly adjusted before you start your first project. When adjusting the tension, make sure that your needle is not going through any parts of the fabric. You might want to place a ruler or something similar underneath each side of the fabric.

How do I stop my bobbin from jamming?

If you’re having problems with your bobbin jamming, then you’re most likely having a problem with the feed dogs. The feed dogs are the gears inside of your sewing machine that moves the thread. These gears are attached to a shaft located by the front of your machine, and they work together to move the threads from behind the needle and through your fabric. If this method is not working for you, then it’s best to contact a professional and have them repair it for you.

What causes birdnesting?

Birdnesting is caused by a few different things, and it can happen to beginners who don’t yet know how to use a sewing machine. This problem happens when the thread has wrapped around the needle and this causes the fabric to become wavy, making it hard for you to see your stitch placement. Birdnesting can happen at any time but it happens more often when you run your machine too fast or if you’ve chosen a heavier needle on your sewing machine.

Why does my thread keep birdnesting?

Make sure you haven’t wrapped the thread multiple times around the bobbin. This can cause it to bunch up and make birdnesting very likely. If this happens, then it will be hard for you to see your stitch placement, which means that you might not get the best results when you sew. Another issue that could cause birdnesting is when there are too many layers of fabric underneath where you’re sewing. This can pile up and cause a jamming issue with your sewing machine.

What do I do if my sewing machine needle is stuck?

If you are experiencing a problem with your sewing machine needle being stuck, then it’s possible that your needle is too dull. It is important that you oil the needle before using it for a long period of time. This will help keep the needle working properly and give it the strength it needs to weave through fabrics. When using cheap needles, you might want to buy new needles as soon as possible in order to prevent this from happening again.

What should bobbin tension be?

When it comes to bobbin tension, there’s an endless amount of material available on the internet about how to fix this problem. The best thing that you can do is check your manual first and see how your bobbin tension should be. The bobbin tension is dependent on what type of sewing you are doing. If you’re sewing a lightweight fabric then you will want a lower bobbin tension. With high-density fabrics, you will want a higher density in order to get better stitching results.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of things that can go wrong while using a sewing machine, and it’s important to know these things so you can know what to do when they happen.

If you follow these simple steps, then you should be able to solve any problem that might occur while using your sewing machine. You should always check your manual before doing any type of work with your machine.

It’s also important to keep your sewing machine lubricated, clean, and well-kept so it can continue working properly.


  1. Reddit – My sewing machine keeps jamming. I pulled it apart and this is the slow-motion version of what’s happening. Any idea what’s going on and how to fix it? This is my first machine and I only started sewing a couple of months ago so I don’t know what to do.
  2. QuiltingBoard – Sewing machine jamming after about 20 stitches.
  3. Quora – How do you troubleshoot a sewing machine that keeps jamming?
  4. Quora – Why is my Singer sewing machine jamming?
  5. Brother – Why is my machine jamming in the bobbin case area?



I have been working as a seamstress since I was 12 years old, and I would be happy to teach you what I know. I, along with the rest of my team, investigate numerous sewing, quilting, embroidery, and fabric related how-to guides, and present our findings to you.

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