9 Reasons your Sewing Machine keeps Jamming

It’s that day when you are super excited to begin your new sewing project. When you sit down at your sewing machine and press down on the pedal, you notice that the thread gets tangled up soon after the machine completes a few stitches correctly.

It is then you realize that your machine gets jammed. Did you come across such situations during your sewing projects? Don’t worry; it is something that everyone, from a novice to an expert seamster, faces during sewing projects.

Rather than getting frustrated, you can take a break and read this article. It will help you understand why you leave your sewing machine jammed and the possible remedies for promptly addressing the issues.

Common Reasons Why Sewing Machines Keep Jamming

The Needle Keeps Getting Stuck In the Fabric

When the needle keeps getting stuck in the fabric, it runs the risks of ruining your sewing project. It hampers your sewing progress and leaves you frustrated.

The common reasons underlying this issue include the improper thickness of needle and thread, tangled thread, poor quality thread, and broken needle.

If you don’t use the correct size of the needle for sewing your fabric, you may experience machine jamming frequently. Ensure that both needle and thread have a proper thickness as per the type of fabric.

Your needle also keeps jamming when you have a thread stuck in the bobbin case. You can resolve this issue by taking out the needle plate and cleaning it thoroughly. Put the needle plate back in its place after cleaning.

When you use a poor quality thread, it may cause various issues with your sewing machine. It creates a lot of lint that gets attached to the machine components and causes them to jam. It creates tiny knots and gets broken more often. Use a better quality thread for fixing this issue.

If your machine’s needle is bent or broken, it may prevent the thread from penetrating the fabric. Check the needle and replace it if required.

Also, ensure that you are using the correct type and size of the needle as per the desired stitch pattern.

The Sewing Machine Gets Stuck In Reverse

While the presence of a reverse lever in a sewing machine enables you to sew backwards, you may find your sewing machine get stuck in reverse. There could be many reasons behind this issue, such as reverse lever issues, feed dog issues, settings issues, software issues, etc.

The reverse lever is used for sewing your machine in reverse and securing the stitches. It comes in the form of a lever or button. If there are any issues with the reverse lever, you need to seek professional help.

The feed dog is responsible for the smooth forward and backward movements of the fabric. If the feed dog is stuck in reverse, you need to clean the lint or debris that might have jammed the mechanisms. This would free the jam and restore normal movements.

Check your sewing machine’s settings and ensure that you didn’t leave the machine in reverse settings. Ensure to keep your bobbin clean and properly installed. Check that the reverse lever is not active.

If you are using a computerized sewing machine, the issue may be related to the related software. Ensure that you are using an upgraded and updated version of the software. Seek professional help if you find it difficult to troubleshoot software issues.

Thread Getting Stuck In the Bobbin

If the thread keeps getting stuck in the bobbin, it may be due to the tension issues and bobbin threading issues.

Ensure that the bobbin is threaded correctly as improper bobbin threading may result in sewing machine jamming. If there are knots in the thread, then the bobbin thread won’t move correctly. Detangle the threading on the bobbin or rethread another bobbin if needed.

Check the threading tensions, as the improper tensions may cause the thread to get stuck in the bobbin. You can fix the tension issue by correcting the tensions in both the top and bobbin thread. Also, ensure that you have enough thread on the bobbin.

When you see the bunch of tangled mass at the fabric surface, it may be due to the upper thread’s tension. The lack of upper tension prevents the pulling of the thread up through the fabric. You should re-thread the needle with the lifted presser foot to fix the issue.

Sewing Machine Getting Stuck In the Maximum Speed

If you find it difficult to control the sewing pace, it may be due to motor issues or foot presser issues.

If you experience issues with a motor that affects your sewing machine’s speed, you need to seek professional help to fix the issue.

If there is something stuck in the foot pedal area causing it to operate at a specific speed, remove it and clean the foot pedal. If the issue persists, check the power cord of the foot pedal.

The Fabric Keeps Getting Stuck In the Machine

If you feel that your fabric gets stuck continuously in the machine, it may ruin your sewing project and leaves you frustrated. It may be due to incorrect needle, incorrect stitch length, and dirty needle plate.

Ensure that you are using the right-sized and sharp needle as per the fabric you are sewing. A heavy fabric requires a bigger needle, while a light fabric needs a smaller needle.

Clean your sewing machine regularly if you experience jamming of your fabric while sewing. Remove the dirt dust, broken threads, and fabric shreds from the bobbin and needle plate.

Ensure to make adjustments to the stitch length that matches the fabric you are sewing. This will ensure that the fabric does not get sucked into the machine.

The stitch length depends on the weight of the fabric. Try stitching on a sample fabric first for determining the right stitch length for your fabric.

Sewing Machine Getting Stuck In Bobbin Mode

If your sewing machine gets stuck in bobbin mode, then it may be due to the bobbin software malfunction, and bobbin mode stuck.

In case you are using a computerized machine, then check if your sewing machine requires software upgrades or troubleshooting.

Working with older versions or corrupt software may cause your machine to get stuck in the bobbin mode. Seek professional help if you can’t handle software issues.

You can use a lever or switch in your sewing machine for setting it to bobbin winding mode. However, if you can’t do so by yourself, then you need professional help.

Sewing Machine Getting Stuck In a Zig-Zag Mode

For reinforcing buttonholes or stretchy sewing fabrics, you need to use zig-zag stitching instead of a straight stitch line. However, if your machine gets stuck in zig-zag mode, you need to go through the user’s manual for any instructions regarding resolving the issue.

It’s better to contact the machine’s manufacturer at the given customer care number for assistance.

Handwheel is Stuck

The handwheel of your sewing machine should provide smooth movements. If you find it difficult to move the handwheel, it may be due to various reasons like a stuck needle, stuck fabric, and tangled threads.

Don’t try to turn the handwheel forcefully. Address these reasons and see if the issue is resolved. Most of the time, cleaning your sewing machine and removing the debris resolve the issue.

Even after fixing the above issues, if the handwheel stays stuck, you should seek professional help.

The Foot Presser is Stuck

If you find that your sewing machine’s presser foot is stuck downward, you can’t place the fabric underneath. It may be due to a broken lever. Call the qualified professional to fix the broken lever. You may also replace the presser foot if it is beyond repair.

If you find that your sewing machine’s presser foot is stuck upwards, then you can’t sew at all. Due to broken gear, a machine stuck in bobbin mode or accumulated debris near the presser foot. Address all these issues and call professionals if nothing works.


A sewing machine gets jammed for various reasons. It gets very frustrating when you are about to start a new sewing project or in the middle of an urgent sewing project. However, most of the time, you can apply various DIY tricks to fix the issues at hand.

You should focus on determining the exact underlying cause of jamming.

Check the various parts of a machine and listen for any distressing sounds from your sewing machine. It helps you to address the issue and keep your sewing machine running smoothly without jamming.

It’s better to educate yourself about the various components of your sewing machine and its functioning. Read your manufacturer’s manual thoroughly. If you cannot fix the issue by yourself, leave your machine and seek professional help.


Preksha is passionate about writing articles that will inspire readers to make better choices. You will find her eating desserts for lunch, dinner and any time of the day. Also, she is the chief playlist engineer for any road trip.

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