Why Is My Janome Sewing Machine Not Sewing? Expert Tips to Get You Back on Track

Every ardent sewer knows that heart-clenching moment when, after hours of flawless stitching, the machine suddenly stalls, leading to the exasperated question, “Why is my Janome sewing machine not sewing?” While it’s easy to be overwhelmed, understanding the possible reasons and knowing how to address them can make all the difference.

Why Is My Janome Sewing Machine Not Sewing? Expert Tips to Get You Back on Track

Janome, a stalwart in the sewing community, has won the trust of countless enthusiasts with its precision and reliability. Yet, even the best machines have their off days, throwing a small wrench into our symphony of creativity.

Recognizing that each machine has its distinct personality and rhythm, like the artist using it, is the key to addressing its needs. With the right insight, patience, and attention to detail, these minor hiccups can be seamlessly ironed out.

In this guide, we embark on a thorough journey, aiming to answer the pivotal question, “Why is my Janome sewing machine not sewing?”, and provide solutions to ensure you’re back to your sewing projects in no time.

  • Understanding the Issue: Learn the common reasons that might prevent your Janome from sewing optimally.
  • Specific Problems & Solutions: Delve into particular challenges like feed dog misalignment, needle issues, and stitch inconsistencies.
  • Maintenance Matters: Discover the importance of regular cleaning, oiling, and the significance of machine timing.
  • Practical Tips & Tricks: Embrace useful hacks from resetting your machine to ensuring a stable power source and the value of the user manual.
  • Advanced Troubleshooting: Venture into deeper issues, like tension settings, bobbin concerns, and electrical aspects that require a professional touch.
  • Machine Care: Grasp the essence of storing, handling, and fostering the longevity of your Janome sewing machine.

Join us as we unravel the details, ensuring your Janome remains a beacon of creativity and reliability for years to come.

Sewing, for many, is not just a hobby but a passion. The harmony between the fabric, the thread, and the machine creates a melody of creativity. Janome, a renowned name in the sewing world, is known for its reliability and precision. However, even the best sewing machines can sometimes hiccup, causing a brief pause in our creative pursuits. One such common issue many Janome users face is when the machine unexpectedly stops sewing.

Before we dive into the details and explore the key points of “My Janome Sewing Machine Not Sewing”, let’s understand that every machine, like its user, has its unique quirks and rhythms. And with a bit of patience, guidance, and care, most issues can be harmoniously resolved.

When faced with the statement “My Janome Sewing Machine Not Sewing”, the natural reaction may be one of frustration or concern. However, a detailed breakdown of potential problems can guide us to precise solutions. Here are the deeper insights into the aforementioned issues:

Details Expert Advice and Tips of My Janome Sewing Machine Not Sewing:

Understanding the specifics of the “My Janome Sewing Machine Not Sewing” issue is half the battle. With this detailed knowledge in hand, you can confidently troubleshoot most problems, ensuring that your sewing projects continue without a hitch. Always refer to your Janome manual and read more about how to Adjust  Bobbin Tension on Janome Sewing Machine, and when in doubt, seeking expert advice is a stitch in time that can save nine!

Specific Problems and Solutions:

Machine Not Feeding Fabric:

Causes:Feed Dogs Lowered or Damaged

  • Feed Dogs Lowered or Damaged: The feed dogs are the small metal ridges beneath the needle area responsible for gripping and advancing the fabric. If they are not raised or are damaged, they can’t perform this action effectively.
  • Lint or Debris Build-Up: With frequent usage, lint and debris from fabrics can accumulate around the feed dogs, preventing them from moving the fabric.
  • Improper Presser Foot Pressure: If the presser foot pressure is too light, it won’t hold the fabric down firmly enough for the feed dogs to move it.


  • Checking Feed Dogs: Ensure that the feed dogs are in the raised or “up” position when you’re sewing. Some machines have a mechanism to lower them for tasks like free-motion quilting.
  • Regular Cleaning: Make a habit of cleaning around the feed dogs after each sewing session. Use a soft brush or a specialized sewing machine cleaner, ensuring that the area is free from lint or any debris.
  • Adjust Presser Foot Pressure: Some Janome models allow you to adjust the presser foot pressure. If yours does, refer to the manual to adjust the pressure appropriately based on the fabric you’re using.

Needle Not Moving:


  • Threading Issues: If the machine isn’t threaded correctly, especially in the upper part, it can lead to tension on the needle, causing it to not move.
  • Needle Damage: A bent, blunt, or damaged needle can get stuck or may not move properly.
  • Internal Mechanical Problems: There could be a mechanical issue inside the machine, such as a broken gear or a problem with the drive belt.

Related: How to Thread Janome Sewing Machine: A Step-by-Step Guide 


  • Rethread the Machine: Ensure that the machine is turned off, then rethread it according to your Janome model’s instructions.
  • Replace the Needle: Always have spare needles on hand. If you suspect that the needle is damaged, replace it with a new one suitable for the fabric you’re working with. You should learn correctly How to Change the Needle on Your Janome Sewing Machine
  • Consult a Technician: If the problem seems internal and isn’t resolved by the above steps, it’s best to take your machine to a professional technician for a thorough checkup.

Stitches Not Forming Correctly:


  • Incorrect Threading: If either the upper thread or the bobbin thread is not threaded properly, it can result in incomplete or skipped stitches.
  • Wrong Needle Size or Type: Using a needle that’s either too large or too small for your fabric or thread can lead to poor stitch formation.
  • Tension Imbalance: Incorrect tension settings for your specific fabric and thread can cause the stitches to be too tight or too loose.


  • Correct Threading: Turn off your machine and rethread both the upper thread and the bobbin, ensuring they’re correctly positioned.
  • Choose the Right Needle: Consult your Janome manual or fabric guide to select the appropriate needle size and type for your project.
  • Adjust Tension Settings: Tweak the tension settings based on the fabric and thread. Start with small adjustments and test on scrap fabric until you achieve the desired stitch quality.

Maintenance Matters: Keeping the Harmony of Your Janome Machine

For any craftsman, their tools are a direct extension of their hands. Similarly, for a seamstress or tailor, the sewing machine is an embodiment of their creative aspirations. And just like any precision instrument, it requires regular upkeep. Understanding maintenance is a pivotal step towards ensuring that you never have to utter the dreaded words, “My Janome Sewing Machine Not Sewing”.

Why Regular Cleaning and Oiling Are Crucial:

  • Longevity: Proper cleaning and oiling act as a preventive measure against wear and tear, ensuring that your machine serves you efficiently for years.
  • Smooth Operation: Regular lubrication reduces friction among moving parts, leading to smoother operation and fewer chances of the machine jamming or making unexpected noises.
  • Stitch Quality: Clean and well-oiled machines produce more consistent and better-quality stitches, enhancing the final look of your projects.

Related: How to Clean and Oil a Janome Sewing Machine

Dust and Lint – The Silent Troublemakers:

While sewing, it’s natural for fabric to shed tiny fibers. Over time, these fibers accumulate, especially in the bobbin area, becoming a hub for lint and dust.

  • Impact: This accumulation isn’t just an aesthetic concern. Lint and dust can interfere with the machine’s operation, obstructing the movement of crucial components and potentially leading to uneven stitching or fabric-feeding issues.
  • Cleaning Tip: Utilize a small, soft brush or a vacuum attachment designed for sewing machines to clean the bobbin area gently. Avoid canned air; it can push the lint deeper into the machine.

Machine Timing – The Heartbeat of Stitch Formation:

Every stitch is a result of impeccable timing between the needle descending and the bobbin hook catching the thread. This synchrony is often termed ‘machine timing’.

  • Symptoms of Off Timing: If you’re experiencing skipped stitches or hearing a hitting sound as the needle descends, it might indicate that the machine’s timing is off.
  • Causes: Timing can be thrown off due to several reasons like the machine jamming, using the wrong type of needle, or even regular wear over time.
  • Professional Calibration: Adjusting machine timing is a delicate operation, often requiring disassembling parts of the machine. If you suspect timing issues, it’s best to consult a professional technician. They have the tools and expertise to recalibrate the machine’s timing without causing any damage.

So, the maintenance of your Janome sewing machine is akin to nurturing a relationship. The more care and attention you invest, the more seamlessly it operates, allowing you to bring your creative visions to life. So, next time you sit down for a sewing session, remember: a little care goes a long way.

Practical Tips and Tricks: Navigating Your Janome Machine with Ease

Whether you’re a seasoned seamstress or just starting your Janome sewing machine journey, knowing how to effectively troubleshoot and care for your sewing machine can be invaluable. Here are some hands-on, practical tips and tricks to ensure your Janome sewing machine operates at its best:

Resetting the Machine:

The Power of the Power Button: Sometimes, the simplest solution can be the most effective. If your machine is behaving erratically or unresponsively, try turning it off, waiting a few moments, and then turning it back on. This action can often reset minor electronic glitches.

Stable Power Source Matters:

  • Avoid Overloads: Ensure that your machine is connected to a power outlet that isn’t overloaded with too many devices. This ensures it receives a consistent power supply.
  • Use Surge Protectors: A surge protector can shield your Janome sewing machine from sudden voltage spikes, which can be harmful to its internal electronics.

Firmware Updates: Keeping Your Machine Current:

  • What is Firmware?: It’s the software embedded in your sewing machine that dictates its functionality. Over time, Janome may release updates to enhance the machine’s performance or to rectify known issues.
  • How to Update: Modern Janome machines with digital interfaces often have the capability to receive firmware updates. Check Janome’s official website or contact their customer support to see if any updates are available for your model. If so, the website or the user manual will typically have step-by-step instructions for the updating process.

The Golden Book – Your User Manual:

  • Your First Point of Reference: The user manual that comes with your machine contains a wealth of information tailored specifically to your model. Whether you’re trying to understand a specific function, troubleshoot an issue, or simply want to know more about maintenance, the manual should be your go-to resource.
  • Safekeeping: Always keep your user manual in a readily accessible location. Consider also searching for a digital version online, which can be handy to have on your phone or tablet.

Seeking Professional Assistance:

  • Recognize the Signs: If you’ve tried multiple solutions and your machine still isn’t functioning correctly, or if you’re unsure about a specific issue, it’s time to consult a professional.
  • Routine Check-ups: Just as we benefit from regular health check-ups, your sewing machine can benefit from periodic professional servicing. This ensures that any potential issues are identified and addressed before they escalate.
  • Trustworthy Technicians: Ensure that the technician or service center you choose is reputable and has experience with Janome machines. This ensures your machine gets the expert care it deserves.

5. Advanced Troubleshooting: A Deeper Dive into Your Janome Machine’s Issues

While basic troubleshooting tips can resolve many common issues, some problems require a more intricate understanding and approach.

Here’s a deeper dive into advanced troubleshooting for your Janome sewing machine:

Tackling Inconsistent Stitches with Tension Settings:

  • The Role of Tension: Proper tension ensures that the top and bottom threads interlock smoothly, producing even and consistent stitches.
  • Inconsistent Stitches?: If the stitches on the top are too tight (or puckering the fabric) or too loose (forming loops), it often points to tension imbalance. Similarly, if the bobbin thread is visible on the top side, or the top thread is visible from the bottom, tension adjustments might be necessary.
  • Making Adjustments: While adjusting, make minor tweaks. If using thicker or decorative threads, they often require a tension setting different from the standard. After each adjustment, test the stitch on a fabric scrap to ensure desired results.

Bobbin Issues: Winding and Placement:

  • The Perfect Wind: An unevenly wound bobbin can cause stitch irregularities. Ensure the bobbin thread is wound evenly without being too tight or too loose.
  • Correct Placement: Make sure the bobbin is inserted correctly into its case, and the thread is feeding in the correct direction. An inverted or improperly seated bobbin can throw off stitch formation.

Needle Nuances: Placement and Type:

  • The Right Fit: A needle placed too high or too low can lead to skipped stitches or needle breaks. Ensure the needle is set at the correct height and is securely tightened.
  • Match the Material: Using a needle unfit for the fabric (like a delicate needle for thick denim) can cause uneven stitching, needle breaks, or fabric damage. Match the needle type and size to the fabric and thread you’re using.
  • The Machine’s Belt – Linking Motor to Movement:
  • Symptoms of a Belt Issue: If you hear the motor running when pressing the foot pedal but the machine doesn’t sew or moves very slowly, the belt might be loose, worn out, or broken.
  • Inspecting the Belt: Most machines allow you to access the belt by removing a side or bottom panel. Look for signs of wear, cracks, or slack. A belt in good condition should have a firm tension.
  • Replacement: If the belt appears damaged or overly loose, it may need replacing. While handy individuals might attempt this, it’s often best done by a professional to ensure proper tensioning and alignment.

Electrical Concerns – A Territory for Professionals:

  • Warning Signs: Flickering lights on the machine, unexpected power losses, or unusual sounds often hint at electrical issues.
  • Safety First: Electrical issues can be dangerous, posing risks like electric shocks or further damage to the machine’s components. If you suspect any electrical problem, unplug the machine immediately.
  • Seek Expert Help: Never attempt to fix electrical problems on your own unless you’re trained in electronics. Always consult a certified technician or electrician familiar with sewing machines.

6. Machine Care: Preserving the Integrity of Your Janome Machine

The longevity and performance of your Janome sewing machine are directly proportional to the care and attention it receives. A well-maintained machine not only functions optimally but also serves as a reliable companion for your sewing endeavors for years. Here’s a more in-depth look into the nuances of machine care:

Storing in a Dust-Free Environment:

  • Why Dust Matters: Over time, dust and lint accumulation can clog the machine’s moving parts, leading to friction, wear, and even malfunction. Furthermore, the moisture accompanying dust can be detrimental, potentially leading to rust or corrosion of parts.
  • Protective Measures: If you don’t have a dedicated sewing room or space:
    • Use a machine cover when not in use. This can be a store-bought cover, a cloth, or even a custom-made one.
    • Consider storing the machine in its original box or a dedicated sewing machine cabinet or case.
  • Humidity Concerns: In areas with high humidity, consider using silica gel packets near the storage area to absorb excess moisture, preventing potential damage to the machine.

Regular Professional Maintenance – Beyond DIY Care:

  • The Benefits: Just like a car needs routine check-ups, your sewing machine benefits from periodic professional inspections. Experts can spot and address underlying issues, recalibrate any misalignments, and ensure optimal performance.
  • Frequency: Depending on usage, scheduling a professional maintenance check every 12-18 months is advisable. For those sewing frequently or with heavy fabrics, more frequent checks might be needed.
  • What to Expect: During professional maintenance, technicians will typically clean and lubricate the machine, check the timing, inspect the tension settings, evaluate the electrical components, and replace any worn-out parts.

Handling with Care – Gentle Operation:

  • Transportation Tips: If you need to move your machine:
    • Always carry it from the base and not by the arm or wheel to prevent misalignment or damage.
    • When traveling or attending classes, use a dedicated sewing machine trolley or a padded bag for extra protection.
  • Operational Precautions: Avoid using excessive force when turning knobs or dials. Gentle, consistent pressure ensures that internal components aren’t stressed or damaged.
  • Workspace Etiquette: Place your machine on a stable, flat surface during use. This prevents unnecessary vibrations or movements, which could lead to parts wearing out prematurely or the machine tipping over.

In Conclusion: Nurturing Your Janome Sewing Machine

Every artist needs their tools to be in pristine condition, and for those passionate about sewing, the Janome machine stands as a beacon of precision and reliability. Through our comprehensive guide, we’ve navigated the nuanced lanes of troubleshooting, from basic hitches to advanced issues, and delved deep into the world of maintenance and care.

Ensuring your Janome sewing machine’s optimum performance isn’t merely about addressing problems as they arise. It’s about preventative care, understanding the machine’s needs, and being proactive in its upkeep. Whether it’s the routine checks, the diligent cleaning, or even the careful handling during use and transportation, every step you take is an investment in your machine’s longevity.

Remember, your sewing machine isn’t just a tool; it’s an extension of your creativity. By giving it the attention and care it deserves, you’re not just preserving a piece of equipment; you’re safeguarding your ability to bring your artistic visions to life. In the grand tapestry of sewing, each stitch, each adjustment, and each moment of care weaves together, ensuring that your Janome machine remains your trusted companion in all your textile endeavors.