Last week I was altering school trousers for The Boy.  Even the smallest size were too large for his skinny self.  So I was just running a new side seam down each pair with the overlocker.

Simples.

Until the needle hit a thick bit where there were layers of seams, and promptly pinged off at high speed, bouncing off my glasses in passing.  Never have I been so glad to be short sighted.  It could have been pretty nasty.

Since then the overlocker has been on strike.  Refusing to sew without making the most godawful noise.  Breaking threads every third stitch.  Not even the same thread every time. Nope…it has 4 to choose from and was making the most of it!

So I cleaned it out and checked to see if I could identify the problem.  I replaced the needle and figured out eventually the that noise was under the needle plate and would need a visit to the lovely guys at Bambers for some sort of serious, and no doubt, expensive repair.

Then, as I was turning the machine I noticed the above.

See the right hand needle (the one at the back in this picture).  See how it’s sitting in front of the left needle rather than side by side.  (Yep, that’s the bend in the needle, not a dodgy camera angle).

Turns out that when you ping off one needle its a really, really great idea to check the other needles to see if they’ve been damaged.  Or bent.  Because bent needles on your overlocker catch underneath the plate making one hell of a racket and snapping threads with glorious abandon.

And replacing a needle is considerably cheaper than driving 20 miles or so each way to the repair shop and paying them to tell you what a fool you are!

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