Handheld Sewing Machine Not Stitching? Here’s How to Fix

Last Updated on November 2, 2023

Hello, sewing enthusiasts! Melinda here from The Sewing Stuffs. Today, I want to address a common concern that many of you have raised in the comments section of our website – what to do when your handheld sewing machine refuses to stitch. It can be incredibly frustrating, but fear not!

Handheld Sewing Machine Not Stitching


  • Ensure the needle is at the right height and facing the correct way.
  • If the problem persists, consider replacing the needle with the right type for your fabric.
  • Always test the machine after adjustments to confirm it’s working properly.
  • Remove the battery and handle the machine safely during adjustments.

How to Fix Handheld Sewing Machine Not Stitching?

Handheld Sewing Machine Not Stitching

If your handheld sewing machine isn’t stitching, first check the needle’s position and alignment. Ensure the flat side faces the screw, adjust its height, and test it with fabric. If the problem persists, consider replacing the needle and always use the correct type for your fabric.

Here, I’ll guide you through a simple solution that might just save the day.

1. Check the Needle

Check the Needle
Check the Needle

The first step in troubleshooting your non-stitching handheld sewing machine is to inspect the needle. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Secure the Machine: Ensure the machine is turned off and, for safety reasons, remove the battery to prevent accidental sewing mishaps.
  • Position the Arm: Lift the arm of the handheld machine to its highest position.
  • Inspect the Needle: Examine the needle closely. You’ll notice a flat part and a rounded part at the top. The flat part should be facing the screw.
  • Adjust the Needle Height: If the needle is too high, use a screwdriver to loosen the screw that holds it in place. Gently push the needle down until it is almost flush with the top of the plastic holder.
  • Tighten the Screw: Carefully tighten the screw back up, ensuring the needle remains in the correct position without threading the screw.

Reassemble the Machine: Put the plastic arm cover back on and replace the battery.

2. Replace the Needle

Replace the Needle
Replace the Needle

If adjusting the needle height doesn’t work, you might want to consider replacing the needle altogether. Needles can become dull or bent over time, affecting their stitching performance.

  • Choose the Right Needle: Ensure you use the correct needle type and size for your fabric. Using the wrong needle can lead to stitching issues.

3. Unlock the Machine

Unlock the Machine
Unlock the Machine

Before you start sewing again, remember to unlock the machine. With the needle adjusted or replaced and the machine properly reassembled, you’re ready to give it another try.

  • Test the Machine: Insert your fabric under the needle, making sure the eye of the needle is facing the front of the machine. Try stitching a small sample to see if the issue is resolved.


There you have it, a quick and easy solution to tackle the problem of your handheld sewing machine not stitching. By checking and adjusting the needle, ensuring it is in the correct position, and testing the machine with the right technique, you can save yourself from unnecessary frustration and get back to your sewing projects without a hitch.

I hope this guide proves helpful for you! If you found this information useful, don’t hesitate to share it with your fellow sewing enthusiasts. If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to leave a comment below.

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