Skipped Stitches Solutions Part 1

A question we educators are often asked is, “How do I eliminate skipped stitches?” It’s a frustrating occurrence which happens to us all at one time or another, regardless of which brand of machine we use, or it’s value. Skipped Stitches are sometimes just part of sewing, but I’m going to share with you a couple of little tips and tricks to help eliminate those woes.

The first thing I check is the thread path of the needle thread to be sure it’s fully engaged in the tension disks and travelling through it’s correct path to the needle. Consult your manual to be sure, though I think pretty much every Janome machine has a numbered thread path to help make this easier.

Depending on the thread you’re using, like wiry Metallics, for example, and the thread orientation of your machine, using the Janome Spool Stand can often help correct wonky stitches.

Janome has both a 2 Spool and 5 Spool option, which is especially useful on the embroidery machines with frequent colour changes, like the new Janome MC 550E, Janome Skyline S9, and the Janome MC 15000 Quiltmaker. Having the extra height of the telescoping thread guide allows more distance for the thread to relax and uncurl before it reaches the tension disk and down to the needle.


There’s two little screw holes in the back of many Janome machines which will accept either of Janome Spool Stands.IMG_2294

But machines like the Janome MC 6700P, Janome HD9 and fabulous new Janome Continental M7P have this telescoping thread stand built-in.

The needle is the next thing I check. Is it dull, bent, or has it a burr? My motto is, “when it doubt, throw it out!” The cost of a needle is so insignificant when you consider the cost of your machine, fabric, time and sanity when trying to work with sub-standard equipment. Do yourself, and your machine a favour and replace your needles frequently. With experience, you will hear, as well as see in your stitching when they are dull. I found the below photo on Wikipedia. Cool, isn’t it?!

Your Janome dealer will either stock, or can order, each type of our Janome needles, which were manufactured by Organ to use specifically in our machines to ensure optimal stitch quality. Our three most popular needles are Janome Blue Tip, sz 11, Janome Red Tip, sz 14, which I use for probably 90% of my sewing, and, my all-time favourite, Janome Purple Tip, sz 14. For more information on needles, check out previous posts on Janome Life.

Janome Red Tip sz 14

Janome Blue Tip sz 11

Janome Purple Tip sz 14

Janome Purple Tip needles seem to be magic with their slightly flared, or Cobra, head, just before the eye of the needle. They stop skipped stitches dead in their tracks! I used one in place of a Denim, sz 16 needle, which was recommended in the pattern of the Jelly Roll rug I made last year at my men’s quilting retreat – and no skipped stitches!


Please join me again soon for Part 2 of Skipped Stitches Solutions. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to FOLLOW us here on Janome Life so you don’t miss a post!


About janomeman

As Janome Canada's National Consumer Education Manager, I'm SEW excited to share my love of sewing, quilting and all things creative with everyone at our fabulous new Janome Sewing and Learning Centre in Oakville, ON. Have an idea for a class, or to be put onto our mailing list, E-mail me at
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8 Responses to Skipped Stitches Solutions Part 1

  1. Karen says:

    This is useful. Thank you. But I’m curious: if the purple tip is your all time favorite, why do you use a red tip 90% of the time?


    • lizafrica says:

      Hi Karen,

      We use red tips for most of our sewing and embroidery. But the purple tip needles have helped us immeasurably when required to prevent skipped stitches. We love and use both.



  2. Wilma Osmond says:

    This is very good advice,I never know which size needle to use.Does the numbers mean bigger or smaller. I mean is the higher the number the bigger the neede ?


  3. Sherrie Johnson says:

    Such an excellent article!!! The most informative I’ve read in a long time. Love the needle photo! Can’t wait for Part 2.


  4. dotscalm says:

    issues I have is the thread getting caught in the tension discs, would like to know how to resolve this issue


    • lizafrica says:


      This could be happening for a number of reasons. First place to go is your local dealer for trouble shooting. We cannot offer much further comment as we don’t know which machine model, what threads, needles, etc as there are many factors which can cause this. It really is best to consult your dealer for assistance. Could be something as simple as your machine needs a good clean and service.



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