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Problems With Skipped or Missed Stitches

By: Laura Farrant - Updated: 30 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
Skipped Stitches preventing Skipped

There are few things more annoying in life than skipped stitches! Why is it then when you want to put together that perfect seam you end up with an unsightly gap! Here is some background information that will help you make sense of the problem.

Why Do Stitches Skip?

So why exactly do stitches skip? Surely, our sewing machines are designed to prevent this from happening and from ruining all our hard work!

The Top Ten Reasons for Skipped Stitches

There are 10 standard reasons that we can refer to which help explain skipped stitches. Here is the rundown so check them out and see if you can spot the error of your ways:
  1. Improper threading – wound that bobbin a little too tight? Or put the thread in the wrong position? This is why your stitches have skipped
  2. Wrong Size Needle – use a needle too small or too large for the job and your machine will not like it. For instance, a blunt needle for sewing denims will only end in skipped stitches
  3. Old needles – if you can’t remember the last time you changed your needle, its definitely time to change it! Old needles are less effective at sewing and so should be changed on a regular basis
  4. Thread and Needle Clash - if your thread is too big for your needle it will put unnecessary strain on your machine
  5. Lack of Oil - your sewing machine probably came with a bottle of oil, specially made for the delicate parts. Make sure you regularly apply it in order to ensure that the equipment runs smoothly and so that the threads are fluid
  6. Lack of Pressure - if the thread is languishing and not taught enough, the machine will get confused and start misbehaving. Make sure the tension is right before you start
  7. Incorrect Thread - it might be that you got the thread wrong. If your fabric is particularly tough the thread needs to be strong enough to cope with it so don’t go for a cheap cotton. Always makes sure that there is a synergy between fabric, needle and thread
  8. Cheap Thread – this can be your undoing. Yes, it will be cheap but will it result in long lasting and reliable sewing? No. Buy the best that you can and your garments will reflect the quality and sewing will be easier
  9. Cheap Needles – equally to blame is a cheap and blunt needle. Make sure that you buy quality rather than quantity
  10. Worn Parts – it may be that your beloved sewing machine is just simply too old for the job. If the parts haven’t been changed for decades, they are likely to be the culprit

Avoidance Strategy

It goes without saying that you should pay attention to the top 10 causes listed above. The good news is that you can get to grips with skipped stitches. The bad news is that you and your fingers are largely to blame for it happening. So think the next time you want to bash your machine for distorting those seams or fine needlework.

Prevention is better than cure so if your parts are worn and if your thread is incorrectly threaded, rectify the problem before you embark on the project.

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