Sunday, October 05, 2014

My Serger Is Ill

I knew something was wrong the last time I changed the threads...it took forever to get the air to push the thread through the bottom looper...but I walked away...gave the serger a time out...came back a couple of hours later and it worked.  When I went to change the threads today, I almost didn't.  I mean I'm going to line the dress so who cares what color the serger threads are, right? Yeah right, someone who is so anal about thread changing that I change it for everything.

Today I just couldn't get that looper to thread no matter how many times I tried to insert the thread and pushed the air whoosh handle.  So off to the dealer it will go next weekend.

Now it's not necessary to complete/sew a garment with a serger.  I told myself that over and over again today as I finished up McCalls 6988. Honestly though I've used a serger for finishing for the last 20 years, so it's a hard habit to break.


Anyway, my serger is down for the count. I will be sewing without it until it returns from the shop, unless someone has a handy tip that I can use to make it work again.

...as always more later!


  

34 comments:

  1. I have a Babyloc Imagine. In the tools that came with it there is a long flexible wire with a loop at one end. It is made for pulling thread through the loopers when the thread won't go. (Like wooly nylon thread). Try that for today. You put the "unlooped" end of the wire into the thread hole and push it until it comes out the looper where the thread should come out. Then put the thread in the wire loop and pull from the straight end it all the way through till the looper is threaded with thread. Hope it won't be in the shop too long.

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    1. Holy mackatoools that worked! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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  2. How frustrating! Hopefully your baby will be back soon in top form! If your garment is a knit, can you just leave the edges as cut?

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  3. That has to be frustrating. I keep thinking I want a air threading serger, but no Babylock dealer close by.

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    1. Oh Linda, if you can find one I so suggest getting one because even the tension is automatic. No matter what type of fabric I put in the serger the seams always come out balanced! Love it because there is absolutely no fiddling!!!

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  4. Hi Carolyn, I've had the same thing happen and my dealer suggested using the wire tool Becky mentioned (or fishing wire) to clear dust/fibres from inside the thread chambers that can happen with use. There may even be some instructions in the manual. In the end I used the threader to run several strands of a rough decorative thread back and forth to clear it and this worked really well. Its hard to explain but hope that helps.

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  5. Just adding that its probably something the dealer could assist with on the day, as that's what my dealer did. Once you've seen it demonstrated its easier to know what to do. I had difficulty understanding what was needed at first (and am not a BL expert).

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    1. Thanks for commenting too! It worked! My only question is will that remove whatever is clogging the airtube or do I still need to take it in now instead of in a couple of months for it's regular scheduled maintenance?

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    2. As I told you you in a later comments it arrives to me, It was more than a year ago and I don't need to go to the shop , and as I changed thread more than once a week, think you can wait for it's regular scheduled maintenance.

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  6. Oh no, serger woes. I hate that. Here's wishing you quick repairs.

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  7. And I would advise buying a back up! But then I'm evil like that. :)

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    Replies
    1. Alison - that is just wrong but a back up is in my pre-retirement plans! *LOL*

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    2. Nothing wrong with a backup. It's only when things go wrong and your main squeeze is in the shop that you realise you need one. :) I now have a back up iron too. Same deal.

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  8. If you can thread the machine normally, then I don't see the immediate need to take to a dealer for repairs. I think that it's a good idea to have "routine maintenance - cleaning, fine tuning" on my machines about once a year or so -- depends on use. I time the visit to coincide with my vacations -- that way I don't miss not having my machines in the house. Keep a list of little issues to alert the dealer to when you drop them off. I think sewing machines are like cars -- last a lot longer when you do routine maintenance.....

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  9. Urgh. What a nightmare. I am a 'bad threader' and 'pull through' my threads. I know, the Serger Threading Police will be after me!

    I hope you get it sorted soon - there is nothing like a piece of equipment not working as well as you would like - all of a sudden you need it for EVERYTHING!!

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    1. I am in your camp. I have the same Imagine machine. I love the air jet threading, but honestly knotting and pulling the new thread through is still much faster. I pull the thread up from between the tension discs so that the knot does not go through there. I pull the knot through the machine slowly. I really can't see that would cause a problem for the machine. I've had mine since 1997. Still running great. My greatest sin is that I've only had it serviced once. Honestly, I don't think it sews as well since it came back from the service as it did before.

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  10. It's a pain in the butt, for sure. I've been without my JetAir threader for years now,
    and just keep my magnifier handy to ===>endure the misery of hand threading. It is
    a bear, but I've learned to grit my teeth and just do it. For me the obstacles are all the places your thread can get hung up or easily pull out in the process that get me putting wicked curses out to the air .. LOL. I just had to learn patience as I don't have any Babylock dealer near me.

    I suspect the 'claw' part has distorted as mine has, and even tho it seems like you could just take your pliers and gently squeeze the sides closer, it's not worked for me. I had it repaired years ago when I could find a friend who had the time to take me way out to the dealer and back, and then it went bonkers within a year. Sure hope you get yours back really soon. I remember how delightful it was to use.

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  11. Well, that's what happens when you've been sewing, watching football and at the
    computer all day ... LOL. My eyes .. my eyes .. I totally missed that it was threading the loopers. Duh .. Forgive my post .. haha .. just delete it. So glad the skinny wire worked .. YAY! Back to sewing ..

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  12. I do not know how my air threader is working as I seldom have to use it. I just tie each new color thread to the old looper thread and pull through. The needle threads are easy. I do not have that threader wire as my machine was a floor model and came as is. That said, it is in the serger hospital for a checkup and a new knife. I am using a 1990 Kenmore serger that I keep as a backup. It was my first serger and still works well. It comes in handy every once in a while.

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  13. The little looping wire is a fine and handy tool indeed, and wanders off to do other things around the house too often. Planning on getting another next notion sales event.

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  14. Hi , I've got the same serger as you, and also got the same problem. In the tools of the serger the was a thin metal thread so you can thread it by hand. I used it twice and by the way it has clean the air threader so I did'nt have to go to the shop. Hope it will be the same for you . (excuse for my poor english, I'm french)

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  15. No hints for the serger (mine still terrifies me!), but your Janome must have an overcast stitch you can use in the meantime. My Magnolia has one and she doesn't have nearly as many stitches as yours does.

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  16. Why are you serging seams that will be hidden by the lining? Why are you serging lining seams? When I did alterations for a high-end dress shop (yonks ago) I learned that serging is very often skipped in rtw, if a garment is to be lined.

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    1. It's my personal choice but mostly because lining will fray and I hate the resulting strings. I also hate when the fashion fabric starts to fray, even if you do pink the seams, there is some fraying going on. Serge finishing those seams means that I avoid this from happening. I realize that RTW skips this step and I truly believe its to save money, but this is one of my sewing quirks. I really like clean finished garments, even when a lining is involved.

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    2. And now we know! Some of that lining fabric does lend itself to making its own Halloween spiderwebs ... I still skip any seam finishes on stable fabrics that will be hidden under a lining. I only use my pinking shears to trim curved edges (as for facings) because it automatically clips the curves, with all those little Vs.

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    3. The Imagine makes such pretty tight seems. I often just serge seams and call it done.

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  17. Glad you were able to get it threaded. The sewing community is a wealth of help.

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    1. Sheila, I know I felt the same way when I got the first response...and then when I found the wire and it worked...it was just awesome!

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  18. Ah! I hate when that happens! Stay sane while you're machine is away :)

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  19. That must be so frustrating!

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  20. I second Alison's suggestion about purchasing a back-up serger ;)

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  21. Keep that wire thingy. My air threading is starting to fail too, and the wire thing for wooly nylon is going to be my salvation until I bite the bullet and buy the Juki I really want. Anyway, years ago Vicki at the dealer/repair place for tacony (baby lock), told me that those bladders have a finite life. That when they dry out, they're done as far as the air- jet goes. My Imagine is about 12 years old. How old is yours?

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  22. Mine is only 5 years old and this particular looper has been testy from the start. I didn't realize that the air dried up but that would make sense! Now that I realize I can tie off I'm going to use that method also. I'm not ready to invest more money in a serger when everything else is functioning fine !

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