Q:My sewing machine is not feeding the fabric like it should. The stitches are very small regardless of how I set the stitch length.

A: Nine times out of ten, this problem is due to lint buildup in the feed system. Here is what you should do:

  • Remove your presser foot and needle plate. For safety, also remove your needle and turn off the power to your machine.
  • Examine the area positioned under your needle plate. Look at your feed dogs. Do you see a buildup of lint in your feed system?
  • Take a long pin, dental pick or tweezers and clean the gaps between the feed dogs. If there is lint buildup, you will remove compressed lint. They will feel and look like “little felt pads”. This lint has built up and become a barrier between the feed dogs and the needle plate. After a while, the buildup becomes so thick that the feed dogs can no longer rise to the proper level to feed the fabric.
  • Replace the needle plate, presser foot and needle. Turn on your machine, thread your machine and test sew a piece of scrap fabric. You have probably solved your problem with this simple maintenance exercise.

Just SEW You Know…
written by Amy Smith