Thursday, March 18, 2010

What A Difference A Blog Makes!

I have said it before, and I will say it again: God bless the internet! Frankly, I don't know how we got things done before it.

I have been having troubles with my new sewing machine. So much so that I was at the point where I was going to contact the seller and ask for help. I wasn't going to ask for my money back, just wanted some insight. I understand that I am new to this machine, and with that there will no doubt come complications.

But my frustration has been REALLY building lately. Last night I spent an hour or two trying to get the machine to sew together two pieces of milliskin. I am at a point in my test project where I am using the heavier weight blue milliskin, and the machine just could NOT hack it. I could only sew about one inch before the thread would snap. Granted, it only takes a minute or two to rethread the machine, but it makes the seam look ugly.

After the second hour of this, I just gave up on the milliskin.

And that's when I turned my attention to the internet. I LITERALLY did a google search for something like "sewing machine thread breaks milliskin" and got like five billion hits. The first page I went to was a sewing website that had an entire page dedicated to this exact problem. The two suggestions that caught my eye were on thread type, and on obstructions. The thread that I grabbed originally was an organic thread, and they recommended something synthetic, or a synthetic blend. But what really caught my eye was the bit about obstructions. It said that if the thread wasn't flowing smoothly through the machine, then something could be wrong.

Well, I had certainly noticed from day one that even under ideal conditions, the thread was not going smoothly through the machine. I took a closer look and realized that the machine actually had a little gizmo that was oriented BACKWARDS. Take a look at this picture:

This is actually the AFTER picture. I took my whole sewing machine apart, removed that piece, flipped it around, and then put it back together. I had to take it apart because the screw that holds that thing in place locks into a piece of metal inside the machine that is free floating. Kind of a poor design, but I am over it.

Once I flipped that thing around and loaded in my new polyester thread, I was off and running. I ran a sample through the machine like six times, and sewed a ten inch lenght over and over again without a single break! yay! I also did a little experimenting with the knobs that control stitch width and length to find the stitch that will work best with the milliskin.

Overall, I am EXTREMELY happy with these advances. My frustration from using the machine is all but gone, and I'm ready to get back to the body suit.

The ONLY complaint I have about this machine is that after taking it apart, I now realize just how reconditioned it is. There are a number of panels on the outer skin that have been repaired, and the bottom panel was scratch built by hand to replace what must have been a lost or broken one. Granted, it works like a charm, but the auction for this machine had it listed as a demo machine that had been used a few times at trade shows. I seriously doubt that. Looks to me like this has seen a few years of service, but has been taken care of.

I assume that it was when they were reconditioning it that they removed that little gizmo and consequently put it on backwards.

No big deal really, and overall, I'm still pleased with the machine, and it so far has served its purpose entirely.

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