Frustrating serger!

donnar57September 1, 2008

I have a Simplicity serger that is driving me batty when it comes to threading it. I do FINE if I can tie the thread onto the former thread and pull it through. But if it unties itself along the way (because I didn't tie it strong enough), that's where I have trouble.

It has one of those little threading holes. You're supposed to lift the presser foot (I did), engage the threading lock (I did), and then feed 1-inch of thread into the hole. Once you get the thread into the hole, you push this lever which is supposed to pull the thread through the system and thread it for you.

I cannot get that 1=inch of thread into the hole!!!! The instructions say "don't wet the thread". I've tried that anyway, but nothing seems to work.

Does anyone have this kind of system, and what's your trick? It's supposed to be the cat's meow when it comes to threading, but so far I've found this too frustrating. This machine was inherited from my late aunt - it's a beautiful machine when the threading isn't an issue -



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When I bought my serger, a pair of long tweezers came with the machine for help in threading. I'm talking long tweezers - about 5-inches long at least. Maybe long tweezers could help you?

Wish I could find mine now......(sigh).....

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 10:29PM
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I also got tweezers with mine and i keep them hanging on the thread pole of the serger,so i always know where they are.(between the spools of thread)

Do you use the girl scout knot when tying on?? Ya know left over right,left under right.Mine never untie when i do it that way.Think it's also called a square knot.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 1:32PM
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Please don't be offended as this may be a dumb question. It sounds like you are describing a Babylock brand of serger with jet air threading. Is it really a Simplicity?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 6:16PM
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Deb, I'm not offended as that is a very good question. The book says "Simplicity", also "Babylock" and "Eclipse". I gather that Simplicity puts their name on Babylock???

Yes, it's jet air, or hydraulic air type threading. It is STILL driving me crazy. To others, I'm using a long pair of tweezers - I have two by my machine and have been using them both. I just got 1" of thread into the machine, pushed the lever, and it did NOTHING. I'm not sure if there's a problem with the threading port (though I hear the air pumping through) or if it's something I'm (not) doing.

It's a fairly new machine to me - I think I may have knotted that thread incorrectly. The other three threads (2 needle and 1 upper looper) are all threaded and ready to go. I can't really start sewing this item until that lower looper is threaded.

I'll keep trying, but if there's another suggestion, I'm sure gonna try it!


    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 8:32PM
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You can get the very long needle threaders, 2-3" long loops, on a stick for sergers. I found them at bigger sewing stores selling sergers and also big fabric stores. They also sell the very long and pointy tweezers. I bought spares!

Threaders are really helpful with my mother and her poor eyesight. She has a miserable time threading her old machine and the threaders made it possible for her to get machine fixed when she breaks a thread. She always ties when changing color, everything pulls right thru. She has a Viking.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 9:40PM
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I have a Pfaff that has a threader but not an air threader but I have to have the hand wheel in the position where a mark is on the hand wheel lined up with a mark on the machine. Does your machine have something similiar you have to do before your use the air?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 11:47PM
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The Babylock I have requires the following, which I've done:

1) Lift the presser foot.
2) Rotate the wheel and press the little lock button to lock the machine for threading. I did, and it's locked.
3) Make sure the lever is set for the port you want to use (L for Lower).
4) Pull the thread off the cone and thru two guides.
5) Then try to insert 1" thread into the port. Once 1" is in, press the lever to JetAir the thread through. That's where I run into problems.

If I don't have success myself in doing this soon, on Friday I'm taking it to the shop. Can't help but think something's not right with the machine!

Thanks, all,

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 7:37PM
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DonnaR -Well you probably have your problem solved by now.

The easiest way for me to get 1" into the machine is to pinch thread in left hand at approximately 1.5 inches above end of the thread, then with tweezers in right hand feed 1/4" of thread at a time into the port instead of trying to insert 1" all at once.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 7:00PM
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With my eyesight not what it used to be, I have resorted to using spray starch on the end of a thread that I need to insert into my serger or my sewing machine. It slows me down as I have to let the starch dry but I just have a cup of tea while waiting.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 9:02PM
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Update (November):

After too many tries and taking all of the advice here, I finally took the machine down to my favorite Sew & Vac repairman. The FIRST thing he said to me, after peeking inside it for a few minutes, "WOW, this thing is dirty. When was the last time you had it serviced?" Since the machine belonged to my aunt until about a year or so ago, I had no idea. He suggested getting an annual service performed, and if that didn't solve the problem, he would recommend that I take it up to San Marcos to the Babylock dealer.

Well, the cleaning fixed the problem. He said that the holes were all clogged with lint and such. It set me back about $120, standard around here for service on a serger.

I've been stitching away on it for the past 6 weeks - with nary a problem. I had one thread unknot itself but was able to use the Jet-Air feature to rethread the machine without trouble this time. I've made a lot of vests for my daughter and myself, some new clothes for me, and right now I'm working on a tote bag! Thanks for the help, everybody!


    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 8:51PM
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Hi Donna, I am so glad you get to enjoy it now, it is a great serger. Deb

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 12:27AM
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