Help sewing pleather skipping stitches

So, I’ve looked around online for solutions, but still having trouble. Wondering if anyone else has a good solution. Sewing stretchy pleather that’s being a pain with skipping stitches.

I’ve got a new leather needle, put tape on the bottom of the presser foot, and using tissue paper on top of the material. Playing around with stitch length and width as well as tension and speed. Seems like an overlock stitch works alright for now.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Are you using the Babylock Zest machines or the Janomes? We’ve been having issues with the Janomes skipping stitches, even after servicing them.

If you are using a Zest, set the tension to 3, stitch length to 4, and go SLOWLY. Also, do NOT pull the fabric though the machine, let the feed dogs advance the fabric on their own set speed.

Using my Janome at home. Pretty sure it’s the same model that we have.

Yours has probably not been used as hard as the DMS machines have, but if its been a while since you’ve had yours serviced it might be time. I recommend you give the Babylock Zests at DMS a try as they’re brand new and the way the bobbin threads makes it less likely to have problems with stitch skipping.


Skipping can be a needle issue. While a leather needle seems like a good call, a strong jeans sharp might be a better fit. If it’s a knitted backing instead of a woven a ballpoint is your choice.

I’d play with needles before making other big decisions. Good luck!

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Update and to preface things I’m impatient. With sewing and with myself in general… I just went with it and struggled through with an occasional handful of skips. Switched needles to a heavyweight ballpoint halfway through this waistband. Might have skipped 2 stitches in the rougher spots. Now if I can just remember that the next time I use this fabric.

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Train yourself to read the fabric. A ballpoint is the choice if you need it to nudge the backing (or fabric) into a slightly different position rather than trying to bully its way through. Good job.

Would the Thor or Pfaff leather sewing machines be a better option? I don’t know, just asking.

I hope it didn’t ruin your fabric.

I know you’ve probably moved on, @Sil0K1tsun3, but I was just reading some sewing machine descriptions online, and apparently there is a foot you can get with a roller in it for leather and thick fabrics to avoid this exact problem.

Sadly, roller feet often have “teeth” that leave a track.

This type of fabric/work is full of tradeoffs.

Ya. I have been trying to be better about paying attention to the needle I’m using and the fabric.
The fancy sewing machines are on my list of classes to take. Hopefully for future projects.
I did look into getting a Teflon foot that’s supposed to help with sticking, but I don’t have a reason to buy one yet since I finished that project.