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Serger “Fixes”

2014 April 2
by elizabeth_admin

No my machine is not running at full potential yet.  I have not yet found a new place to take her to be fixed.

Here is the (copious) list of things I have done or had done to my machine thus far:

  • Rethreaded countless times with different color threads
  • Replaced the needles several times.  Sometimes with plain serger needles, sometimes with ball point serger needles.
  • Replaced the upper and lower knives
  • Replaced the faceplate which had broken needles on it.
  • Had the machine serviced and cleaned three times.
  • Tried different fabrics.

Now the serger:

  • Sounds “wrong” for lack of a better term.
  • Does not serge smoothly.
  • The tensions are not quite right anymore no matter how I reset them.
  • Still does not adequately serge the green fabric without skipping stitches.
  • The whole left side of the machine does not look like it was put back together correctly and the pull out section that you take off to sew necklines or sleeves does not fit nicely anymore.
  • The new faceplate does not sit flush with the bed of the machine.
  • Nothing seems 100% right with this machine now.

I am beyond frustrated and sad.  I am scared to use it any further for fear of making it irrevocably worse.

So. Bummed.

16 Responses leave one →
  1. Jana Duplantis permalink
    April 2, 2014

    I bought a Brother 1034D and within a month I had problems. I took it in for repairs, which costs $179, but it broke again in a week. I only paid $225 for it new so I definitely wasn’t going to put more money in it.
    I now have an Elna serger. It is fabulous! I paid $400 for it from a good dealer (listed for $599.) It was well worth the money! I gave the Brother to the dealer to use for parts!

  2. Mae permalink
    April 2, 2014

    So sad. You need a new serger. The good news- they are available!

  3. April 2, 2014

    Ooph. It sounds like it wasn’t put back together properly. Is it time for a new serger? How old is your current serger?

  4. Annie permalink
    April 2, 2014

    Maybe the manufacturer will fix it?

  5. Renee permalink
    April 2, 2014

    Have you tried titantium needles?

  6. Candace permalink
    April 2, 2014

    You are in San Diego, correct? This is the only place I trusted when I was there, they are a bit of a jaunt to get to but worth the drive.

    Sewing Machines Plus
    800-401-8151 | 760-739-8222
    713 Center Drive San Marcos CA 92069

    Also, there is a thing that happens when these machines age and the tensions stop holding tension. In some models it’s such an expense to fix that it’s not worth bothering to replace it. It’s what happened to my old machine and it acted a lot like what you have been describing. The good folks at Sewing Machines Plus will be able to tell you if that’s the case with yours, I hope this helps!

    • elizabeth_admin permalink*
      April 2, 2014

      Thanks Candace, but I took my machines there once before and they were there for a long time and I didn’t like how they came back oily. Also, the work done was just ok. Not great.

  7. April 2, 2014

    That sounds awful.
    You have told about how this all started before. It just worked fine one moment and then started skipping stitches on one fabric, didn’t it?
    I have had issues like that on an older serger when the needles hadn’t been put in exactly right and a piece of thread getting stuck somewhere other than in its guide can cause trouble as well. However, considering your efforts to solve the problem, neither of those explanations seems likely.
    On that same old serger, I’ve also had an issue with a very thick knit which got stuck in the machine. When I got it out, it turned out it had bent one of the bottom needles. The serger still kind of worked, but badly. Of course, anyone who repairs these things for a living should see something like that straight away.

    And about the way the outside of your machine now fits together: that does sound like bad job from that repair place.

  8. Linda Ferris permalink
    April 2, 2014

    I know JUST what you mean “sounds wrong!” Mine is making an awful, labored noise. I am lucky that my Janome dealer does an awsome job of putting it back in good running order. Can you find a dealer rather than just a repair person???
    My sergers are my right and left hand.. couldn’t live without them.

  9. April 2, 2014

    I bought a used BabyLock serger at a garage sale, brought it home, cleaned it, oiled it, and the stitches were terrible. I went on line and found 2 sites that explained step-by-step how to adjust the timing. I followed the directions and guess what?!? It worked! Stitches are beautiful, blades work fine. I will look for the links and send them to you. One is even on youtube. Good Luck, Bev

  10. April 2, 2014

    If it were me, I’d get a new serger already (obviously you have to have money but you’ve already invested in repairing the one). Give it away (being upfront about its issues) or sell it for parts and let someone else figure out what’s wrong with it — there are a lot of tinkerers out there. A sewer should be sewing!

  11. April 2, 2014

    The links are: bangerlm.blogspot.com/2007/01/do-it-yourself-serger-repair-how-to.html
    and http://www/youtube.com/watch?v=JpVeOe009vE

    I believe it is worth a try. I felt I had to try and am glad I did. It really was easier than I thought it would be.

  12. April 2, 2014

    It may be time to graduate to a Babylock.

  13. April 11, 2014

    Oh, that’s bad news 🙁
    It sounds like you’ve done everything possible to fix it yourself, so maybe it’s a dodgy job on the behalf of the repair shop… could there be somewhere else to take it? I occasionally get terrible woes with mine, but I’ve worked out over time that some types of fabric are trouble no matter what. The worst are the thick but light “spongy” fabrics, and even worse if they have some lurex in them.
    I hope you can sort something out 🙂

  14. Jan permalink
    April 13, 2014

    I would definitely follow the advice of Bev and check out information (links on timing). That seems to be the issue that separates competent repair from an oiling and a dust-off.

    Years ago, I had a Janome that was underperforming as you have described. Luckily, I gave it to a man who really knew sergers and he repaired it (had been to another “pro” prior to that)

    Though I have other sergers, that Janome, now 30 years old is still in service. Don’t give up until you have to!

  15. DeDe Palmger permalink
    August 17, 2015

    I have an Elna Pro 905 DCX Serger and the needle bar broke off just above the part that holds the needles at the shaft. Is this something that can be fixed reasonably?

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