Many modern consumers still value access to a sewing machine in the home. Sewing machines can be used for everything from creating a simple hem to fabricating a new outfit. In order to ensure that you are able to get the most out of your sewing machine, you need to know how to complete some simple repairs that will help you overcome problems that could arise while you are sewing.

Use the following tips to troubleshoot your sewing machine so that you can better care for your machine in the future.

1. Check the Needle

Needles are one of the simplest components on a sewing machine, but they can wreak havoc on the performance of your machine when they malfunction. One of the most common indicators that you have a problem with your needle is bunching fabric. The more the fabric bunches up under the presser foot, the more likely the sewing machine is to jam up and stop running completely. Stop sewing and gently tug at the fabric if you experience bunching. Snip the threads connecting the fabric to the sewing machine, then raise the presser foot and examine the needle.

A bent needle will not create a proper stitch. Bunching occurs when individual stitches are not completed. You can repair a sewing machine that seems to be bunching by replacing the damaged needle with a fresh one.

2. Evaluate the Feed Dogs

Feed dogs are located in the lower compartment of your sewing machine beneath the needle and presser foot. Feed dogs move back and forth while you are sewing to help guide the fabric through your sewing machine. Occasionally, the feed dogs can malfunction. Common problems with feed dogs include total failure and getting stuck in reverse mode. Regardless of how your feed dogs are malfunctioning, a quick evaluation can help you repair the problem. The lever or button that you use to change the direction of your machine's feed dogs can get stuck. You can apply lubricant to the lever or button to help restore proper feed dog function.

3. Replace the Bobbin

Modern sewing machines need both bobbin and spool thread to successfully create each stitch. The bobbin is inserted into a hidden compartment beneath the presser foot and needle. If you notice that there are skips in your stitches or that stitches fall apart immediately after they are made, your bobbin could be the issue. Replace the bobbin with a new one that matches the manufacturer's recommended dimensions to get your sewing machine working properly once again.

For more tips, contact a sewing machine repair service near you to learn more.