Is Your Sewing Machine Skipping Stitches?

Using a sewing machine to achieve all of your crafting goals is an excellent way to take your projects to the next level. But using a sewing machine can pose all sorts of challenges. One such challenge that you will learn to overcome with time is skipping stitches. You don’t want to compromise your project piece by continuing to use your sewing machine. Instead, continue below to learn why this might happen and how to fix it right away.

Sewing Professional Indianapolis Indiana 317-845-9077
Sewing Professional Indianapolis Indiana 317-845-9077

Why Sewing Machines Skip Stitches

Before you begin to troubleshoot your sewing machine problem, it helps to review the most common reasons why sewing machines tend to skip stitches. This knowledge will give you a place to launch in terms of diagnosing the underlying issue. Typically, sewing machines will start skipping stitches if the needle is old, you are using an incorrect needle, or your tension settings are wrong. Sewing machines can also skip stitches are due to tension disk, spool, and/or bobbin are not correctly attached or positioned.

Old Needles

If your sewing machine needle is too old, it can lose quality. Around 7 hours of sewing time should be the limit per needle. To follow the general rule of thumb, use a brand new needle for every new project you start. You never want to use a dull or bent needle in a sewing machine.

Wrong Needles

Not only should your sewing needles be fresh, but they should be the right type. Use the correct sewing needle for the particular type of fabric you are working with. For instance, if you are sewing jersey or spandex fabrics, you would need to use a stretch/ball point sewing machine needle. Additionally, be sure the needle is set within the sewing machine. If it is loose, it will skip stitches.

Tension Setting Problems

The tension setting must be just right for optimal sewing machine results. To fix this issue, adjust the tension dial little by little before each test run. It might be necessary to adjust tension for the bobbin as well if you have one in a metal case. Your sewing machine manual can also offer up some troubleshooting advice for tension setting difficulties.

Tension Disk, Spool, and Bobbin

If all else fails, you may need to re-thread the machine entirely and wind the bobbin. First, check that the thread is actually in the tension disc. Then check that the spool is positioned properly. Last, check on the bobbin. It should be in the right place and properly threaded.

Are you having trouble finishing your sewing piece or project? Contact Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for Indianapolis Indiana alterations and tailoring services at the most affordable prices around. We can help with home décor, costumes, upholstery, apparel, and more.

Related Posts:

Sewing Machine Tension Balancing Tips for Beginners
4 Ways to Prevent a Sewing Machine From Swallowing Fine Fabric
How to Properly Feed the Dog on Your Sewing Machine

Sewing Safety for Beginners

Sewing is an excellent and entertaining hobby that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and genders. However, when you are first starting out, it is important to instill some fundamental safety rules in order to prevent sewing injuries. Things like seam rippers, fabric cutters, scissors, needles, and Rotary cutting equipment can all cause severe injuries and even amputations! So, just as we learn the safe way to handle and use scissors as a child, you will learn these same values in terms of sewing, as well as a few other interesting tips that can save you time, money, or a huge hassle.

Continue reading to learn some helpful tips and tricks for safe sewing if you are just starting out as a beginner, and where you can get help with your sewing projects that leave you stuck.

Indianapolis Alterations 317-845-9077
Indianapolis Alterations 317-845-9077

Use Thimbles and Cut-Resistant Gloves

There are several sewing apparatuses that can hurt our fingers and skin, like needles, pins, seam rippers, rotary cutters, and more. Using certain sewing tools can significantly reduce the number of Band-Aids you peel through after a sewing project. Tools like thimbles are classic, yet effective in protecting fingertips from needle points and razor cuts. In fact, thimbles were among the very first sewing tools invented. Modern sewing gear that is effective at protecting fingers and skin are sewing safety gloves. They are relatively inexpensive and the perfect tool for kids and beginner seamstresses.

Fundamental Guidelines for Sewing Safety

Aside from protective tools and apparatuses, there are certain guidelines to follow in order to remain safe while sewing. For example, it is important to never aim a seam ripper at yourself or another person. Always aim the point away from the body and do not place your hands in its way. Also, avoid poking your skin with pins. Although mild in pain, pinpoint cuts can bleed all over your garment without you realizing it, or worse, become infected. 

Mind Your Rotary Cutting Equipment

Rotary cutting equipment is sharp, and can easily slice through, or slice off, a finger or piece of skin. It is important to always SLOW DOWN and take your time when using rotary rulers and cutters. Be sure to line the ruler up and then stop, keeping your fingers and hands out of its path. Also, many styles of rotary blades automatically retract, but many also do not. This means to never expect your rotary blades to automatically retract. Always be sire the blade is covered and locked before placing it down or putting it away.

Furniture Can Get Damaged From Sewing Activities Too

Although fingers and hands are important to protect, so is your furniture! Just like your skin and extremities, furniture can also be damaged by sewing tools and techniques. For example, when cutting fabric, it is always important to lay down a protective barrier on top of the surface you intend to use for a platform. Dining room tables, countertops, and more can be significantly damaged by cutters, seam rippers, and more. This leads to unsightly marks and nicks, as well as costly repairs and replacements. Try using a thick, folding cardboard poster as a liner for tables and countertops. It is thick enough to protect and easy to store.

Would you like some professional help with your clothing and home décor sewing projects you’ve been stuck on for a while? Contact Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 four Indianapolis Indiana alterations and tailoring services at the most affordable prices around.

You Might Also Read:

How to Create a Sewing Kit
How to Label a Sewing Machine for Beginners
How to Sew a Straight Line

Indianapolis Alterations
Indianapolis Alterations 317-845-9077

What You Need as a Sewing Beginner

When you are just starting out with a new sewing hobby, there is one thing you need to establish first. That is a beginner’s sewing kit. Everything you put in your sewing kit will play a major role in your daily sewing machine projects. Best of all, you can continue to add to your kit as your talent for sewing evolves overtime!

Continue below to learn what you need to put in a basic sewing kit, and a few beginner’s sewing tips that will help you get started on the right zipper foot!

Indianapolis Sewing and Alterations
Indianapolis Sewing and Alterations 317-845-9077

Sewing Kit Options

You have two great options for curating a sewing kit as you start out. The first option is to buy a pre-packaged sewing kit, online or at your local crafts store. Several national department stores with a crafting section will also have a selection of pre-made sewing kits. They will come in a wide array of sizes and skill levels. Choose one that is a full kit, whether for a novice or not, and no matter the size. After all, you need the basic stuff, but it is also okay to have more, because then, you will have the items you need as you get better at sewing.

Your other option is to manually put together a custom sewing kit yourself by choosing the items you need as a beginner sewing hobbyist. Look below for the recommended tool and material list for a beginner’s sewing kit!

Tools and Materials for Your Custom Sewing Kit

Let’s start with basic tools.

⇢ Sewing Kit Box
⇢ Hand Sewing Needles
⇢ Sewing Spools
⇢ Needle Threader
⇢ Pins and Pincushion
⇢ Sewing Tape Measures
⇢ Sewing Gauges
⇢ Fabric Rotary Cutter
⇢ Rotary Mat
⇢ Rotary Rulers
⇢ Seam Ripper
⇢ Sewing Scissors
⇢ Pinking Shears
⇢ Pressing Tools
⇢ Thimble
⇢ Bodkin

Other items to consider as you go:

⇢ Fabrics
⇢ Buttons and Snaps
⇢ Elastics
⇢ Wonder Clips
⇢ Fabric Steamer/Iron
⇢ Fabric Cutting Table
⇢ Clothes Rack
⇢ Printed Project Ideas
⇢ Hardware Bins and Organizers
⇢ Sewing Magazines

Need Some Help With Your Sewing in Indianapolis?

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional home décor and clothing alterations in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are expert tailors who provide affordable alterations for men, women, children, and home décor. Bring us your sewing projects, costumes, coats, suits, dresses, formal wear, team jerseys, curtains, upholstery, and more! Call 317-845-9077 to request a free estimate for Indianapolis Alterations, today.

Indianapolis Alterations
Indianapolis Alterations 317-845-9077

How to Use Your Sewing Machine to Baste Stitches

Basting comes with several benefits, whether you choose to hand baste or machine baste. Although hand basting is deemed easier since you maintain full control at all times, machine basting can be much faster, so long as you know the proper technique. Continue reading to learn some tips that will help you master machine basting stitches this year.

Indianapolis Alterations 317-845-9077
Indianapolis Alterations 317-845-9077

Basting Fundamentals

Basting is the method of sewing long, easily-removable stitches into two pieces of fabric, and can be done by machine or by hand. It is intended to temporarily connect two pieces of fabric together for the purpose of fulfilling an overall sewing need. The umbrella reason for basting is to save time. Basting does this in many ways, but mostly, by providing ease and convenience. It is worth your time to baste if you find yourself in certain sewing situations.

Machine Basting

Machine basting is an efficient method of testing the fit of an area before committing to a seam, such as with an appliqué. When implementing a baste with your sewing machine, it is important to sew it in directly next to the line where your final, permanent stitches will go. However, if you are simply holding together two fabrics temporarily, this is not as important. An example of this would be when sewing in a zipper.

Getting Started:

First, set the stitch length to “long stitch” on your sewing machine.

Second, pin the fabrics together as if you were preparing to sew them.

Last, implement the baste with your sewing machine.

Some Tips:

Use different color threads for basting to easily tell them apart from actual seams.

Avoid Back-Stitching! This would make removing the baste very difficult.

You may use bobbin thread in the bobbin pin or upper thread if the thread tends to leave marks on the fabric.

Where to Get Professional Help With Your Sewing Projects in Indianapolis

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional sewing and alterations in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are expert tailors who provide affordable alterations for men, women, children, and home décor. Bring us your costumes, coats, suits, dresses, formal wear, team jerseys, curtains, upholstery, and more! Request a free quote for Indianapolis clothing alterations, today.

Indianapolis Wedding Alterations 317-845-9077
Indianapolis Wedding Alterations 317-845-9077

Sewing Machine Tension Balancing Tips for Beginners

Whether you are just starting out, or you are an accomplished sewer, learning to control and balance tensions on a sewing machine is an integral part of the skill. Proper tension balancing delivers a perfect stitch, as well as, the capacity to adjust tensions for different types of fabrics and materials.

Although it requires years of practice, experience, and trial and error, eventually you will get tension balancing just right. In the meantime, it is always helpful to review tips and tricks for balancing tensions on a sewing machine. Continue reading to do just that!

Indianapolis Alterations 317-845-9077
Indianapolis Alterations 317-845-9077

Sewing Machines and Tension Balancing

In order to learn how to properly balance tensions on a sewing machine, you must have general sewing machine knowledge and be able to locate and utilize their features; like the bobbin and bobbin case, bobbin tension screw, upper tension assembly, presser foot lever, presser foot, stitch length and width dials, needle plate, and so on.

Before balancing the tensions, it is best to first start with some standard preparations and a few tricks of the trade. For example, be sure to use a light-colored thread shade on top and for the bobbin. It is recommended to always use high quality mercerized threads. Next, insert a brand new needle.

Many people choose to use a size 14, but use whichever size you are most comfortable with, or the size the alteration calls for. Do this while keeping the needle bar in the “up” position. Go forward by threading the machine and the bobbin case. Then finish by bringing the bobbin thread upwards and through the needle plate as if you are preparing to sew.

Now, set your sewing machine to its widest and longest stitch settings it allows; for straight stitch machines, set it at the longest basting stitch. Upper tensions should be between 3 and 5 for older setups; while newer machines should be set to auto.


The bottom thread tension should easily pull out of the bobbin, and slide smoothly from the needle plate opening. You can check this by using your hands to feel for smooth and easy accessibility. Although it takes practice and experience to know what proper tension feels like, you at least get the idea of what to check for.


Go ahead and place a tester material underneath the presser foot. Try to use a dark colored fabric and fold it in half. Use this to test the stitch quality by sewing one length. Longer test fabrics allow more room for stitch testing.


Once you have tested the stitch, inspect the finished stitch quality. If there seems to be some stitches that are skipped or abnormal, then you probably need to repair your machine. It is not a tension balancing issue at this point. If the stitch is pulling off, or the knot is showing, then your tensions are too loose. Tighten bobbin cases in 1/8 increments for accurate adjustments. Once the knot is no longer visible, then your tensions are well-balanced.

Need Sewing Help?

Yong's Alterations 317-845-9077
Yong’s Alterations 317-845-9077

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional sewing alterations in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are expert tailors who provide affordable alterations for men, women, children, and home décor. Bring us your costumes, coats, suits, dresses, formal wear, team jerseys, curtains, upholstery, and more! Request a free quote for Indianapolis clothing alterations, today.

Common Sewing Terms and Definitions

If you are just entering the sewing world, you are new to many terms and phrases that you’ll find in beginner sewing instruction manuals. You will notice terms like ”basting” and “backstitching” that can confuse you when trying to following sewing instructions. To become a veteran sewer, it is necessary to learn and understand these terms. Continue reading for a list of common terms and phrases used in the sewing industry, and the meaning behind them all.

Make Sense of Sewing Instructions

If you want to understand what your instructions are telling you, you must first learn what certain terms mean and then try to practice them. Below is a list of 8 common sewing terms that every seamstress should know. Read and review them, remember them, and then practice them!

Ease. Ease refers the amount of space between the garment and the body. Easing into fabric is generally accomplished by sewing machine basting (see below) to draw fabrics closer together than their original manufacturing, without tucks and gathers in the fabric. An example would be easing in fabric to let a curved sleeve align straight with a jacket body.

Bias Grainline. A bias grainline is a thread line that’s at a 45 degree angle to the lengthwise and crosswise grain of the fabric on the bolt. These are commonly used cuts for making pillows and pot holders.

Selvedge. The selvedge is the edge of the fabric when it is taken off the bolt. This is where the manufacturer information and care instructions are located. It is generally bound and doesn’t fray.

Armscye. The armscye is simply the hole in your fabric where the sleeve or arm will go. In order for garment pieces to fit together properly, changes to the armscye will require adjusting the sleeve of facing as well.

Appliqué. Appliqué is a method of fabric artwork that involves placing a smaller piece of fabric on a larger piece of fabric to create a certain affect or result. The fabric is generally attached by means of hand-stitching or machine sewing.

Clean Finish. When you see the phrase, “clean finish” in your sewing instructions, it is referring to folding over the raw edge of the fabric and hand stitching the seam close to or on the folded edge. The raw edge should be anywhere from 1/8th to 1/4th inch, or smaller for fabrics not prone to fraying. This is also referred to as “turned and stitched.”

Backstitching. Backstitching is sewing forward, then sewing back over the seam just sewed, over and over again back and forth, to create a locked end seam to finish sewing. It prevents the seam from coming undone. Generally two or three times over is enough to do the trick.

Baste. To temporarily join fabric together while attempting a step in the sewing process is to baste. Basting fabric is a method of temporarily holding two or more areas of fabric together in order to create a separate stitch or task. The basting is removed once the particular task is complete. Machine basting is used to ease in and gather fabric.

Yong’s Alterations

Yong's Alterations Indianapolis Indiana

Yong’s Alterations 317-845-9077

If you have a garment that needs repaired, stitched, hemmed, or altered, call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 today. We are highly qualified and experienced tailors with several esteemed awards and recognition for outstanding workmanship in Indianapolis. Take all your dresses, tuxedos, suits, costumes, curtains, place mats, and more to Yong’s Alterations for custom tailoring services in Indianapolis you can trust. We specialize in wedding dress alterations, and have made thousands of brides extremely happy! Call us at 317-845-9077 for price quotes and availability for alterations in Indianapolis, IN today.

How to Sew a Straight Line

The first time you used a sewing machine may have been daunting and seemed down-right impossible to you. But gain comfort in knowing that a lot of first-time or novice seamstresses feel the exact same way! It is important to take all the small and necessary steps to mastering the art of using a sewing machine, and to enjoy the learning curve as you go! One of the first things you want to master is sewing in a straight line. After all, many seams are supposed to be straight! Continue reading to some tips and tricks to remember when trying to sew a straight line.

Sewing a Straight Line

There are six essential tips to know and follow for sewing a straight line. Each tip is a helpful way to reduce frustration that may show through in your finished garment, as well as, to guide you in the direction of familiarizing yourself with the basics to straight-line sewing. Let’s get started:

1. Always Set a Seam Guide

In order to achieve even seam allowance when stitching a garment, it is important to utilize a seam guide. The seam guide on a sewing machine is where the edge of the garment or fabric should be so you can stitch a straight line. Even professionals with decades of experience use seam guides.

2. Do Not Watch the Needle

So many novice sewers are compelled to only watch the needle when using a sewing machine. But this is not the way to get a straight line! When using a sewing machine, watch the seam guide, not the needle, and this will help produce a nice, even, straight line.

3. Control Your Speed

Basic sewing machine skills include how to control your speed when stitching. You never want to go too fast, so it is important to get familiar with the feel and speed of your machine. This way, you will not lose control or sew too fast without realizing it. Sewing at a high speed will almost never render a straight line. Control your speed and better control your stitching!

4. Use the Proper Needle

Using the wrong sewing needle will render a crooked or mismatched stitching pattern. In order to get the straightest line possible, you must always match the correct type of sewing needle for the fabric you intend to sew.

5. Learn Your Machine

Not all sewing machines are the same, which means they can all range in capabilities, styles, features, and more. In order to sew properly, you must know your machine. You have to learn all the parts, mechanisms, maintenance, minor repairs, and more so you can undertake any sewing matter or simply manage a straight line any time. Study the manual for help.

6. Practice Makes Perfect

To get good at anything in life, you must work at it. Sewing is no different. If you want to sew in straight lines, practice as much as possible! Practice makes perfect! Practice for years and years, and before you know it, you will be able to sew a straight line in your sleep!

Yong’s Alterations

Yong's Alterations Indianapolis Indiana

Yong’s Alterations Indianapolis Indiana 317-845-9077

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for professional alterations in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are highly skilled and experienced seamstresses that offer a wide range of tailoring services for women, men, children, home décor, and more! We specialize in wedding dress and tuxedo alterations for brides, grooms, and wedding parties! Call 317-845-9077 for Indianapolis alteration services you can trust.

How to Create a Sewing Kit

Here’s your beginner’s guide to creating your very own sewing kit! Everything you will need can be found either around your house, or at any local store with a sewing isle or department. These items are generally inexpensive, so your initial investment should be quite low; and then, when you need to replace items later on, they are always affordable and within your budget! The best part is, with your very own sewing kit and caboodle, you can sew or stitch anything in sight, and on your own time! A custom sewing kit makes curtains, drapes, cloth napkins, sleeves, sweaters, socks, dresses, hems, and more, possible projects! Continue reading to learn the basic items found in a traditional sewing kit, as well as, some extra sewing tools for more advanced students and seamstresses.

Sewing Kit Guide

You do have the option of buying prepackaged sewing kits on the market, but they always seem to leave something out! The best strategy for a sewing kit is to assemble your own and create a custom set just for you. Start by locating or purchasing a container to use as your sewing kit. A basket, shoebox, tackle box, or other container that will safely and effectively hold all your sewing gear. Once you have a place to keep and transport your sewing kit, it’s time to fill it! Here are the basic items to begin with:

• Fabric Shears
• Regular Scissors
• Straight Pins
• Pin Cushion
• Tape Measure
• Tracing Wheel
• Thread Snips
• Rotary Cutter
• Cutting Pad
• Quilting Ruler
• A Sewing Book

For advanced sewing enthusiasts and hobbyists, additional items are recommended for a sewing kit. Items like a sewing magazines, printed project ideas, thread racks, hardware bins and organizers, and lightweight fusible interfacing for tissue patterns and more. If you ever need advice about sewing projects and necessities, call your local Indianapolis tailor for professional and accurate information you can trust.

Yong’s Alterations

Yong's Alterations Indianapolis Indiana

Yong’s Alterations Indianapolis Indiana 317-845-9077

Call Yong’s Alterations at 317-845-9077 for alteration services in Indianapolis, Indiana. We are highly experienced and proficient tailors that are happen to answer questions about your alteration needs. We provide wedding dress alterations, as well as, alterations for tuxedos, men’s clothing, women’s clothing, home décor, leather garments, costumes, prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses, and much more. Call 317-845-9077 to learn more about alterations in Indianapolis, IN.