Just as I thought I was getting the hang of things, I figured it might be smart to practice a little more on scraps before sewing my clothing . . . you know, just in case. I put the scrap material under the needle and pressed down on the foot control and – SNAP – I broke the needle. No big deal, I thought – must have been a faulty needle. I replace the needle, press down on the foot control and – SNAP – break another needle. In walks confidence crusher.
I could not for the life of me figure out what I was doing wrong, but I continued to breaking needle, after needle, . . . after needle. In fact, I spent the next two hours breaking needles. With a little troubleshooting, I was sure I could figure this out. How hard can it be, right? Wrong!
Attempt 1: Online User Manual
I checked the troubleshooting section of the online user manual – went through each point under the needle breakage section. I reinstalled the needle, tightened the needle clamp and loosened the tension. Put the fabric back under the needle, pressed down on the foot control and– SNAP – broke another one.
Attempt 2: Internal Examination
I opened the bobbin housing and slowly turned the hand wheel to move the needle up and down in the hopes that I could see where it was striking. I could hear it striking but couldn’t see the point where the tip of the needle was making contact.
Attempt 3: The Bobbin
Thinking I might have threaded the bobbin incorrectly or installed the bobbin case wrong, I rethreaded the bobbin and reinstalled the bobbin case. As soon as I started to sew – SNAP – broke another needle.
Attempt 4: Presser Foot
Maybe I was using the wrong presser foot? After all, the zigzag foot and the satin stitch foot look so similar, perhaps I inadvertently had the satin stitch foot on?
So, I changed the presser foot and as soon as I started sewing – SNAP – broke another one.
In Walks Dispair
Nothing was working. Was my machine broken? I figured my last option was to read the ENTIRE online user manual! And what do you know, waiting for me, right there on page 32 was this:
It turns out that when you change the stitch on the stitch selector, depending on the stitch you select, you change the position of the needle. When I had been testing out different stitches, without realizing it, the needle position was moved to the left and it was striking the presser foot and snapping. So although I wasn’t using the straight stitch foot, I learned from this section of the user manual that changing the stitch can change the position of the needle, causing it to collide with the foot.
“But even a skilled seamstress can fall victim to the dreaded skipped stitch or broken needle, or what’s possibly the most annoying of all sewing machine headaches: thread bunching”
After solving the problem I decided to do what I had intended to from the start, practice stitching. As you can see it didn’t go so well, but at least I didn’t break another needle :).
After all of that, I pulled up the user manual and hit CTRL+F, and what do you know, it is searchable!!! I hadn’t even tried searching the document as it was so fuzzy looking that I just assumed it wasn’t searchable. All that time I could have just CTRL+F’d ‘break’ and found the solution, less all the turmoil. Lesson learned. No knowledge is ever wasted, right?
My Brain Must be Growing
On a positive note, according to Mindset Theory, my brain should have grown exponentially during all those challenges!
Plan of Attack Update
My plan of attack has changed quite a bit since my first post Teacher Shirts. Thus far, at my current skill level, I am pretty confident that I won’t be sewing on my actual clothing until I have mastered the basic skills. My next challenge will be learning to sew button holes!! Wish me luck.
What about You?
Have you ever tried to learn something new and failed repeatedly, but persevered? I would love to hear about it.