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Even the best sewing machines are bound to run into problems eventually. The more they’re used, the more often small mishaps are bound to happen, as with any piece of machinery. When you find yourself in need of sewing machine repair, what comes next? That depends on the problem, how experienced you are with sewing machine repairs, and if you’d rather just take the sewing machine into a professional. These small issues may arise now and again but can sometimes be fixed quite easily.

1. Bunching Thread

If knots are showing up at the bottom of your sewing project, your machine may be experiencing a threading issue. To troubleshoot this, you’ll need to remove your sewing project from the machine. Make certain you cut through the thread to set your project free and release it —as simply yanking it out can inevitably damage your beloved sewing machine.


  • Start by checking both the top and bottom thread and bobbin areas for lint and dust accumulation. Clean these areas if there’s any residue.
  • Next, remove the top thread and bobbin. Make sure both threads are the same type and weight. If they’re not, the machine may be struggling to draw threads of differing weights at the same rate, which may be causing it to turn the knots.
  • If the threads are different, rethread the top thread and bobbin with the same threads. If they were already the same, just go ahead and rethread. See if the issue has resolved itself by sewing a scrap piece of fabric.
  • Should the issue not be resolved, check the tension settings. It’s possible that the settings haven’t been adjusted for the type of fabric you’re using. If the settings don’t match the fabric, adjust them and try again on the scrap fabric.

When It’s Time for Sewing Machine Repair

If these simple steps don’t yield results, sewing machine repair service is needed. Any further attempts to resolve the issue at home are likely to cause more damage. Be sure to take your sewing machine into your local Tucson sewing machine repair shop, such as Cathey’s Sewing & Vacuum.

2. Damaged Needles

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Sewing machine needles simply don’t last forever. In fact, you should use a new needle after every project you complete. For larger projects, you may need to replace your needle multiple times. What should you do if your sewing machine needle is dull and damaged?

Troubleshooting Tips:

  • When your needle needs to be replaced, make certain you’re using the best type of sewing machine needle for your project. You can verify this online or head to any sewing store and ask the sales associates.
  • This also means changing the sewing machine needle out often, as noted above. Dull or incorrect needles for your project can cause all kinds of sewing project mishaps.

Seek Professional Sewing Machine Repair

If you’re replacing your needles regularly, using the correct needles for each project, and still having issues—the cause of damaged needles may be the timing mechanism or a bigger problem that needs to be identified. This will definitely require assistance from a sewing machine repair professional near you.

3. Inconsistent Fabric Feeding

In any sewing project, even seams are the key to a professional, finished look. This is impossible to achieve, however, if the sewing machine you’re using isn’t drawing in fabric evenly. This can cause lumpy and uneven projects, which are just frustrating. As such, this is an issue you will want corrected as soon as possible, most likely by a professional.

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  • Check to see if there’s a build-up of lint or other material around the feed dogs—the metal bars that are part of the drop feed of your sewing machine. If so, remove the lint and try sewing on your test fabric to see if it’s feeding correctly again.
  • When fabric continues to feed incorrectly, the usual cause of this is that the feeding dogs need repair or replacement. If a cleaning of the feed dogs doesn’t resolve the problem, they’ll likely need to be replaced by a sewing machine repair professional.

Cathey’s Sewing Machine Repair Services

All sewing machines brought to Cathey’s for repair are handled with care and fully tested before being turned back over to owners. All sewing machines are also treated to a cleaning, oil, and tension adjustment. Here are just a few of the sewing machine repair services we provide at Cathey’s Sewing & Vacuum:

  • Mini Service—Mechanical Machine: The machine is cleaned, moving parts are oiled, and the tension and timing are adjusted if needed.
  • Full Service—Mechanical Machine: A full chemical cleaning is rendered and in addition to the mini service items, the hook timing, needle bar height, and feed dog height are adjusted as needed.
  • Mini Service—Computerized or Embroidery Machine: The machine is cleaned, moving parts are oiled, tension and timing are adjusted as needed, and the hook timing is set to factory specifications.
  • Full Service—Computerized or Embroidery Machine: A full chemical cleaning is rendered and in addition to the mini service items, the needle bar height and feed dog height are adjusted, and all other settings are set to factory specifications.

To learn more about our sewing machine services, you can browse our website, give us a call, or visit us in person. We have three convenient locations in the Tucson area, which means we’re never too far away to help you when you need us.

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