Overlocker Drama, Part One

So my mother-in-law had an old overlocker hanging around, and when I mentioned I was looking to get one, she offered me the use of hers. It was given to her by a retired dressmaker, and it seems ancient compared to the latest models out there. But it still has some life left in it, so I happily gave it a new home.

However, there have been some issues. The first hurdle was to clean it. It was very dusty, with lint and fluff stuck in every crevice. It took me ages to clean it out, and I’m still finding small nooks and crannies I missed. But it looked a hundred times better after! Here are some after pictures:

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It’s a Brother 546D. The second hurdle was to find a manual for it. That took some serious internet hunting. I found a couple, and one was even in English! Once I figured out how to thread it, and bought new needles and some cones for it, all that really remained was to get started, right?

The good news is that it does indeed work. The bad news is that the tension seems continually off, and no amount of adjustment actually adjusts it, if you know what I mean. I rang around and found a sewing machine repair shop, but it turns out their technician hasn’t been in since Christmas Eve. Bummer.

So until I figure out my next step, or until I have a stroke of brilliance that leads to fixing the tension somehow, I guess I’ll go back to zigzag stitching.

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2 thoughts on “Overlocker Drama, Part One

  1. I was an overlocker virgin and recently acquired the exact same model as yours and couldn’t get the tension right. I had it serviced and he told me that I’d not quite threaded it correctly, even though I was sure I had. I later realised that the manual (also acquired online as yours was) was not very helpful when it came to threading the lower looper – the illustration just wasn’t clear (and neither was the threading diagram on the machine) which I’m sure was the problem. It was only when my 16yr old stepson came home and had a go that I realised I had been missing out a vital part of the threading of the lower looper!When it came back from being serviced the tension was set at Blue 4, Green 3, Red 4 and Orange 5. Why not try threading the machine with blue, green, orange and red thread (as per the overlocker colours) so that you can easily tell which thread is giving the problem and then adjust that one only? Generally speaking, the orange and red will be lines of stitching (that look like a normal sewing machine) on one side of the fabric with loops of just blue stitching on one side and just green stitching on the other. Armed with this knowledge you should be able to work out which is at fault.

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