Saturday, March 3, 2012

Overlocker Issue

My overlocker has been needling me today.
Fortunately I wasn't working on anything important; I was trying to test a t-shirt pattern for fit. What I thought would be a very quick job took ages because the needle thread kept somehow getting caught up, resulting in the mess in that top photo. I'd be sewing along happily, I'd hear a clunk, then discover that the needle thread was not where it should have been. It might not be obvious, but the thread should be coming straight down from the top of the photo, and through the needle. Instead it is coming down, then under the foot, back to the point I was at when the clunk happened, then forward to the needle. Not good!

To fix it I had to re-thread the machine. This is not a fun job! It takes about five minutes, and involves several handy tools, including these long tweezers I use to thread the needle:
After re-threading I'd test it, and it would sew perfectly. So I'd start back on the garment again, hoping I would get to the end of the seam this time, and sometimes I did, and sometimes the exact same thing happened again.

I don't know what the clunk was, because I couldn't see anything obvious happening. Has anyone seen this happening on an overlocker, or know what causes it? Maybe I should have changed the needle while I was re-threading?


  1. no sorry, i'm trying to think of someone who will know, give me a moment....Anne ? will google her

    1. Anne van der Kley - the overlocker queen, she'll know.

  2. I'd change the needle.... not because I know what the clunk is, but - after re-threading - it's my next trouble-shooter technique. If the needle is too blunt to travel through the fabric fast enough, it can mean that everything gets out of alignment in the making of the stitch.

    Failing that.... you could always try the old IT trick... turn it off and re-start...? ;)

  3. Last time that my overlocker gave me grief I changed all the needles and it made all the difference. And make sure that they are the right needles for your overlocker. Good luck!

  4. I don't know about overlockers but had at least 4 calls for "what else can i try with licra?" DD was making cumberbunds for dance class.
    The things we do. Good Luck

  5. Thanks, everyone. I may have to go shopping for new needles, because it seems I have used the last of my stock of overlocker ones.

  6. i just popped around to see what had eventuated.