What Causes a Sewing Machine to Skip Stitches?

Last Updated on July 24, 2022

What Causes a Sewing Machine to Skip Stitches: Everyone who is engaged in sewing (whether a professional or amateur sewing just for himself) knows: that if the line ceases to be perfectly even and correct, then there can be no question of any quality of the product. 

But the problem with uneven stitching is when the sewing machine skips stitches. Uneven stitches not only look unpresentable – the connection of the parts will become weak, and the seam will quickly disperse. 

What Causes a Sewing Machine to Skip Stitches?

From time to time, all models of sewing machines, like advanced sewing machines or beginner sewing machines, can experience skipping one or two stitches when sewing, and this is normal, but if this happens all the time, then you need to think about fixing the problem.

This article will look at the most common reasons why the sewing machine skips stitches and what you can do to fix this problem yourself.

Reasons Why the Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches – Why Is My Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches?

The stitch is the result of the interaction between the needle and the hook. If the interaction is broken, skipped stitches occur. What can break this interaction? 

Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches

The most common cause is too much clearance between the needle’s tip in its lowest position and the hook’s nose. This gap should be 0.3 mm, and even less is better. If the gap has increased for some reason, then the shuttle mechanism cannot pick up the thread, and a gap occurs. It is the main reason, although not the only one. 

The quality of the stitch also depends on the adjustment of the tension of the upper and lower threads, the quality of the needle and threads, the correspondence of each other sizes, and the fabric’s thickness. Cleaning and lubricating all moving parts are not the last factors in trouble-free sewing.

What Causes the Gap Between the Needle and the Nose of the Shuttle to Increase?

Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches

1. Wrong Marking Needle

Each type of sewing machine has its needles. Despite their external similarity, the needles differ in the bulb’s shape, the blade’s length, and the shape of its sharpening. Therefore, if you take a needle unsuitable for your sewing machine, the gap will not be the same, and skips are inevitable in the stitches. 

The instructions for your machine model indicate the number of sewing needles suitable for it in terms of parameters. Do not break them. Buy only needles of this marking and a trusted manufacturer. If you don’t have instructions, take an old needle that didn’t fail with you to the store and buy the same one.

2. Blunted Needle

Needles are recommended to be changed frequently, ideally after each stitched product. A dull (in fact, worn out) needle tip not only tears the fabric but can also worsen the quality of the line because the gap increases and stitch skipping begins. The same situation will be with bent needles and even more so with a broken tip.

3. Part Deformation

With continuous operation of the machine for an hour at an average speed of 300 rotations per minute, more than 35,000 hits on the shuttle are obtained, and, accordingly, the shuttle suffers greatly. Deformation of parts occurs, and because of this, the gap increases.

How to Fix Skipped Stitches on Sewing Machine; What Else Needs to Be Considered?

Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches


Each type of fabric needs the right type of needle. The thickness and density of the fabric or leather are taken into account. For knitted fabrics, needles with a rounded tip are used. Nylon and a similar type of fabric cause the most incredible difficulty skipping stitches. The friction of the thread on such a fabric is the smallest, so there is no overlap loop. Respectively, a stitch skip occurs.

Upper and Lower Thread Tension

Adjusting and adjusting the tension as a stitch plays a big role. If the tension is incorrect, skips are also possible. The discrepancy between the thickness and density of the threads and the size of the needle. Thick threads and a thin needle cause skipped stitches.

Always choose the appropriate thread sizes. If the thread is too twisted, the loop will not form properly, leading to skipped stitches.


If you are an experienced seamstress and have correctly matched the fabric, thread and needle, checked the gap, adjust the thread tension, and your machine is well cleaned and oiled – but the stitching is still not happy, so how to fix skipped stitches on a sewing machine? and what to do? 

More serious reasons can no longer be eliminated on their own since this may be damage to the shuttle socket or the adjustment of the mechanisms responsible for raising and lowering the needle, and the thread take-up has gone astray. It requires troubleshooting. 

Many factors affect how a straight stitch is formed, so eliminating one (skip stitches) can result in looping or thread breakage. Finding a balance in tuning can be very difficult, especially for an inexperienced tuner.