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Understanding your Creative Partner, Skipped Stitches Part 2 - July 12, 2023

Hello Stitching Community!

Wednesday is Understanding Your Creative Partner, YOUR SEWING MACHINE, Day!

  • In the email on June 21, we started to examine: SKIPPED STITCHES 
  • I know, I've been slacking on my Wednesday emails so let's get back to it!
  • On June 21 
    • I presented my "Rule Out" list (trouble shooting guide) for SKIPPED STITCHES. 
    • We also looked at how your machine forms a stitch. Hook /Timing
  • Today we are going to figure out what was happening to cause the skipped stitches shown in the picture below.
  • We will also discuss the varying length in stitches.

Before we jump into new information, let's have a brief review because I don't even remember what I was writing about!!!

My Rule out list.

  • Thread: (See old emails, 4/26/23)
    • Is it spooling correctly
      • Is the spool supported? Or is it flopping around?
      • Is there label goop on the spindle? (Usually causes the bobbin thread to pull to the top)
      • Are there any thread tangles? (Usually causes the thread to pull to the top or the needle to break)
  • Needle: (See email, 5/17/23)
    • Is the needle the correct type and size for your fabric?
    • Does the needle need to be changed?
    • Is the point dull?
    • Is the needle bent?
    • Is the needle in correctly? The flat side to the back is the most common on our home sewing machines.  (I see this frequently. Your machine usually does not form any stitches)
  • Foot 
    • Are you using the correct foot for your fabric type?
    • Is fabric flagging happening? (Will cause many skipped stitches)
  • Timing:
    • Everyone blames the timing.
    • Rarely an issue.
    • Timing being off means that the hook is not at the correct position when the needle is in a certain position! Resulting in the hook not being able to "grab" the needle thread.

So back to Troubleshooting.

  • The thread wasn't an issue.
  • The needle was a new Schmetz Microtex Sharp 80/12
  • The foot was an open toe applique foot. Should be fine.
  • The machine was brand new so what was up.
  • Remember how the stitches were very short then a skip.

So what was happening? The individual was putting on binding.

  • The variation in stitch length was due to the machine's feed dogs not being able to move along the fabric at a "regular" rate.
    • This often happens if the project is hanging off of the edge of a table (Very Likely) 
    • Is pinched between your body and the sewing table (Very likely, especially around Thanksgiving!)
    • Maybe there isn't enough pressure on your presser foot (Least Likely). If that were the case, the stitches would all be very small.
  • The skipped stitch was most likely due to the weight of the project pulling the needle just enough so the hook could not "grab" the thread to form a stitch. 
  • If the needle was pulled too much it would have hit the throat plate and broken.
  • Placing your machine down in a Sewing Cabinet or using a Sew Steady Table will make stitching all projects much easier, especially big ones! 
  • Click Here to view our video "Sewing in Comfort" 

An understanding of how your machine forms a stitch is sew important. To become sew much smarter...Join me in my new class series: Help! I think my sewing machine hates me class! Click Here to View Our Class Calendar!

Thank you for reading!