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Serger problems

I recently got my serger back from being serviced and set it all up with nice new thread. I'm having trouble with the right needle thread. It seems to be catching on the inside of the machine or something... any ideas? Is the right needle supposed to be lower than the left? Any other tips for serging are also appreciated!

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Skirt I made from vintage paisley fabric (by THC textiles, heehee!)

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The mess of vintage patterns I scored recently at a local thrift store, all imaculately cared for and in my size!


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 29th, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC)
Um, yes, I'm pretty sure all sergers have a lower right needle. Are you hearing little "ting" noises when you crank the wheel by hand? It should not be striking ANYTHING after a servicing -- take it back and demand it be looked at again, free of charge. If they can't fix the problem, find an authorized service centre for your brand, and have it looked at there.

What do your stitches look like? If you're not seeing or hearing any kind of contact between the moving parts, maybe it's just that the tension settings have changed because of the tune-up.
Aug. 2nd, 2007 12:28 pm (UTC)
Something is definitely striking inside the machine, especially when I get up to speed with sewing. I'm going to have my boyfriend, who is very mechanically inclined, take a look at it, as the place I had it serviced is 3 hours away. The only shop in my town won't service my brand! It was doing fine sewing on woven fabric for the most part, and now I've tried switching over to a knit and all heck has broken loose. The stitches are bunching, and the fabric is getting ruched under the foot. I've tried increasing the pressure on the foot, thread tension, etc, but it doesn't seem to be helping.
Aug. 2nd, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC)
That actually sounds like problems having to do with improper needle type. Are you using ball-point needles on your knits?

If there is something striking the machine, you would be able to see it or hear it happen just by slowly cranking the hand wheel. If switching from sharp to ball-point needles doesn't make a difference, stop sewing with the serger until you can get it fixed. It's very easy to have a little problem that costs only $50 to fix to blow up into a $400 repair.
Aug. 2nd, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
Another thought: do any of your "tail" threads snag or loop around an immovable part of the machine's throat plate or presser foot? That would account for the "ruching" under the foot, too.
Aug. 7th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)
Yes, they have been! Do you have any suggestions to stop this from happening?
Aug. 7th, 2007 02:26 am (UTC)
I deleted my previous reply because I am an oik, and I thought we were talking about sewing machines, not sergers. X-(

My answer to you is: hang onto your tails behind your presser foot as you start a new seam! I occasionally get a weird tangle of thread through my lower looper -- not sure how it manages to do it, but I do know sewing machines have PMS occasionally. At that point, the thread starts feeding itself BACKWARD through the lower looper, with the predictable result that it can feed itself only so far, before the fabric can no longer be stitched, and the threads must be cut free. And of course I have to rethread EVERYTHING.

Follow the order in which you are supposed to thread your machine: on mine, it's upper looper first, then lower, then right needle, then left. Pull all tails toward the back, and I have found that, after threading the lower looper, it's a good idea to crank the handwheel just once, before the needles are threaded, to get the threads in the right position.

Hope that made sense... I'm wiped out, and seeing cross-eyed because I've been knitting half the day, and designing a paintbrush holder for my mom the other half. And the third half has been yelling at my kids to get outside and leave me alone. :-]
Aug. 24th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)
Alright! I'm going to totally rethread the machine and go buy ball-point needles tomorrow, then adjust the tension like there's no tomorrow. Hahha. Thanks so much for your help, and I warn that I'll probably have more ??s. You're the best.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )