Earlier this week I was working on my new wool applique by machine project that I am filming into two or three videos for my YouTube Channel. I already had some thread breakage earlier in the project, but I thought it was a thread type or tension issue, since I was using a 100 weight silk thread, and when I lowered the top tension it stopped (but also made a change in my stitch pattern).
So I went along on my project with no further problems until I changed from my narrow blanket stitch to a decorative stitch that filled the whole stitch width of my 9 mm foot. I started having thread breaking issues. I was sure it was the thread itself, since I had moved from the very lightweight 100 wt threads I was using to stitch down the appliques to a 12 weight cotton for some decorative stitching.
My threads started breaking after the first few stitches. I cleaned, oiled, and rethreaded. The thread broke by the third or fourth stitch. I rethreaded again with the same result and I lowered the top tension. So I changed threads, and the thread broke right away. Oh my. I was sure I was going to have to take Odette (my Bernina 880 plus) in for servicing, and that would be a big delay I really don’t need now.
But just before I was about to shut down the machine in disgust, a still small voice said “try a different foot”. I remembered then that I had once before had a foot that I had used for decades develop a burr that broke threads.
Sew to my joy when I put on another foot that worked ok for what I was doing and tried it out, no breaking. I tried it for some time and went on to finish the decorative stitching with the heavy threads I was doing.
Upon close examination of the culprit foot, I found that the right corner had a worn place that is very sharp. This foot is 19 years old and one I use a great deal since it had fit both two older machines I traded in and my new Odette. So now I have to either manage to fix the foot with some buffing, or replace it. This will be much cheaper and easier and quicker than taking my machine to the machine vet for unknown repairs.
Anyway, the point is, it might be the foot if you have been having problems with breaking thread. So check it out.
Sometimes sewing machine feet, after about 15 to 20 years of use (LOL) or if it gets in the way if you hit a pin or bend a needle because you forgot to change some setting or some such, need attention. The last foot I had this problem with was easily fixed with a little buffing with fine sand paper. I had used it for more than 20 years! When I am in my studio and having a lot of fun, it is hard for me to realize how old some of my tools have become…even those I bought myself “just a few years ago” (my thoughts). Indeed, it’s hard to realize how long I have been sewing myself (somewhere around 70 years now since I was five). If only if I can fix my own creakiness with a little light buffing. He he he.
Sew happy everyone! Have fun in your studio!