Handheld sewing machines not stitching – 8 reasons, solution 2023

Handheld sewing machines not stitching

Almost every seamstress will have a handheld sewing machine as it is helpful in small sewing sleeves, ripped garments, etc. But, commonly, you will face difficulties, especially when many sewers come across handheld sewing, not stitching problems. 

Therefore, I investigated and identified 8 possible causes for this situation and provided solutions. 

So let’s start with the main discussion. 

8 causes of Handheld sewing machines not stitching in 2023

1. Faulty needle

When your handheld sewing machine doesn’t make stitches or, in most cases, doesn’t even operate. The first thing is to analyse the needle condition. 

Typically, a bent needle will shatter when it strikes the bobbin case and will not pick up the lower thread. And in a few cases, the bent needle will hit the needle plate quite often; thus, your sewing machine won’t work regularly.

Bent or damaged needle


2. Problem with threads

Sometimes with the right needle, your handheld sewing machine won’t sew because, in this case, you might be using a low-quality thread. 

With cheap thread, sewing machine pressure often causes the thread to break when used only a few times. Using low-quality thread will also cause extra lint to accumulate in the bobbin and other components, resulting in the sewing machine jamming and skipping stitches

Using low-quality thread


  • If you want to tackle this situation, use high-quality sewing threads that won’t break and won’t produce useless strands.

3. Inconsistent bobbin winding

Another cause of handheld sewing machines not stitching is uneven bobbin threading. It occurred when the bobbin thread tangled because it spread irregularly. A clogged bobbin will prevent the needle from feeding the jammed thread. As a result, there will be no seams. 

Inconsistent bobbin winding


  • I recommend you thread the bobbin properly so there are no knots, etc. You can also consult the user’s manual if you need help winding the bobbin. 

4. Faulty or Expired Batteries

Do you know that handheld sewing machines rely on A3 batteries to operate? Your device may not sew if the batteries are faulty or inserted incorrectly. Therefore, batteries cannot power your sewing machine, resulting in no sewing.

batteries have expired


  • If batteries malfunction or wear out, consider replacing them. Afterwards, check to see if the batteries are correctly installed. The user’s manual will explain what type of batteries you must use for your sewing machine and how to insert them correctly. 

5. Bunching up of threads

You may have noticed that thread collects on the back side of fabrics during sewing. Most beginners and intermediates need to figure out why. 

Do not worry; this problem is caused by the upper thread coming from the spool pin. When the upper thread is not threaded correctly, the thread has an uneven supply and tension, so the needle forms clumps. 

Thread bunching up


  • The upper thread can be adjusted by unthreading and rethreading the sewing machine. Checking the user’s manual is the easiest way to thread a machine to sew, depending on the type of sewing machine.

6. Dirty sewing machine

Because most people don’t clean their sewing machines, lint builds up in the internal parts. This way, your handheld sewing machine’s moving parts will cease to carry, and it cannot stitch.


7. Overusing the handheld sewing machines

Overusing anything can be harmful; the same applies to handheld sewing machines. Due to their compact size and battery-powered capabilities, handheld sewing machines are only suitable for light sewing and will overheat if overworked. 


  • You should take a slight pause during this situation during sewing. Fortunately, handheld sewing machines don’t overheat, as they are usually used for small projects that don’t require a lot of power. 

8. Check the thread tension

Many issues can arise when thread tension is too tight or too loose for many sewers. So keep the thread tension according to the fabrics you want to sew. 


  • If you want your sewing machine to make even stitches, you need to adjust the thread tension. 


concern among sewers. When your sewing machine isn’t sewing, sewing turns into a hassle. As a result, your enthusiasm and tempo for sewing will be broken. 

You don’t need to worry as every issue can be resolved, which is why I explained the 8 causes of this concern and their remedies. 

Be sure to read each point carefully to make sure to get everything. I hope you will restore your sewing machine after reading this.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most common cause of handheld sewing machines not stitching?

Well, there can be dozens of reasons, but the most obvious is a Faulty Needle. So always check the needle; if it is bent or broken, consider changing it.

How to fix handheld sewing machines, not stitching problems?

To fix them, you must first know the exact problem because your sewing machine will stop sewing for different reasons, such as needles, thread tension, faulty batteries, etc. So analyse your issue first, then fix that.
If your handheld sewing machine is not stitching because of batteries, then change them or install them accurately. Simple.