Sewing Machine Mechanics and Stitches

Hello Everyone,

I’ve had a couple of people write and ask me what Chris (another sewing machine mechanic) and I were talking about in the comments. So here is some more information to help clarify that discussion for the non-mechanics 🙂

The first question was about the top thread looping or “bubbling” on a wide zig-zag. A typical stitch for a mechanic to sew is a 4X4 zig-zag to check tension balance. This should result in a nice top stitch and a dot of top thread on each side of the bottom of the stitch.

 

 

 

 

As you can see from the two sewing samples above, the top stitch on the right is loose… “bubble” looking. Yet you can see from the bottom stitch on the left that the stitch is in balance on tension. So the question is, what causes this “bubble”? The answer is, the wrong presser foot. We generally use a “regular” foot when working on sewing machines. But most sewing machine manufacturers have a variety of feet for their machines. Each foot has a specific purpose such as a cording foot, a button hole foot, a zipper foot, and the one to correct this “bubble”… the open toe embroidery foot.

As you can see from the image on the left, the stitch sewn with the “regular” foot has a loose bubble on the top of the fabric. That is because as the fabric is being fed under the presser foot, the thread is pinched between the foot and the fabric. The stitch on the right was sewn with an “open toe” foot. So those stitches lay flat on the fabric, because the next stitch goes down before the thread reaches the presser foot.

The second thing we were discussing (and I get this question from a lot of you) is why there is a thread tail on the underside of a wide (5mm – 9mm) zig-zag, or blanket, or hemming stitch. The answer is, because until the last few years, sewing machines were never intended to sew such a stitch.

When you look at the two zig-zag stitches on the right, notice that the tail from the top thread is longer on the left than on the right. The machine left the factory that way. It has a wide stitch width, not so it can sew a wide zig-zag, but so it can sew a wide decorative stitch. That decorative stitch will have several fabric penetrations before it makes it from the left side of the 9mm to the right side of the 9mm stitch width. This will minimize the amount of pull on the left side of the stitch. The closer the two stitches are on that side, the less pull there will be on the top thread. The straight stitch on the right is with the needle in the full left position, and it is balanced. So it is not where the needle penetrates the fabric, but where the previous penetration and next penetration will be in the fabric. Some new high end machines can adjust the top tension for every needle penetration in a stitch, thus virtually eliminating that thread tail on the bottom of a wide stitch.

I hope that all made sense. 🙂

May Your Thread Never Break!

Michael

 

Sewing Machine Blog Posts

Hello Everyone,

It would be nice to be able to do a blog post every day, but that is not realistic for two reasons.

First, each post requires that I have the right machine in the shop to be able to take pictures and show you what I’m talking about. Today I have these two machines on the benches.

The embroidery machine on the left is a BNT10L and the sewing machine on the right is a Bernina 730. Neither will be included in my next few blog posts.

The blog posts that I am currently working on are for sewing machine needle plates (includes quilting machines and embroidery machines). Also the difference between sewing machine dual feed systems and a sewing machine walking foot. These two items are often confused and many of you assume they are the same. So we will clear that up in my next blog post.  I will update everyone as these are published. But for now, I’m trying to finish up the machines I have in the shop so I can spend a few days with our family.

I know many of you are waiting for my next article. It is already in draft. I will publish at least two articles in February.

If you have questions or if there are topics you would like me to address, please leave me a comment.

May Your Thread Never Break!

Mike Roussin

 

Which Sewing Machine Spool Pin To Use?

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Ever wonder why some sewing machines have a vertical spool pin while others have a horizontal spool pin and still others have both? When I started working with sewing machines in the 90’s, horizontal spool pins were just coming into vogue. Machines from the turn of the century until the late 1980’s and early 1990’s had vertical spool pins. This includes the old Singer, Bernina, Viking, Pfaff, White, Kenmore, Montgomery Wards, Good Housekeeping… you name it, it had vertical spool pins.

Flat Wound Thread. – Here is why, old style spools were flat wound. The thread on a flat wound spool is intended to come off by turning the spool. The problem was that you could only put so much thread on a flat wound spool before the weight of the spool started messing with the top tension as the machine tried to turn the spool. Seamstresses and quilters wanted more thread on the spool. The introduction of decorative “embroidery” stitches on the 1960’s sewing machines meant that people who embellished with those stitches were going to use more thread. Note the Sulky and Madeira in the back row. Flat wound threads are still produced today for the modern creative seamstress or quilting enthusiast. These are generally specialty threads, quilting threads, metallic threads or similar threads for the creative seamstress or quilter. There are also inexpensive threads for the folks who still have their original needle in their vertical spool pin sewing machine 😉

Cross Wound Thread. – Thread manufacturers were willing to solve the problem by producing cross-wound spools and cones. With cross wound spools, the thread is intended to be pulled off the end of the spool, so the spool did not need to turn. This meant you could have thousands of yards of thread on a spool. It also meant you needed a horizontal spool pin or another way to feed that thread onto an older machine. I’ve seen some interesting engineering over the years. While I’m never happy to see a machine that the husband has tried to fix, I have enjoyed seeing some of the ways they figured out for getting cross-wound thread onto a vertical spool pin machine. Almost all involved duct tape, but they generally worked!

 

 

I on the other hand, prefer a thread stand. (Here is a spool holder for under five bucks!) As you can see, I can place the cross-wound cone behind the machine. If I need to alter the thread path, I will tape a safety pin onto the machine so that the circle part protrudes above the machine and use it as a thread guide eye. This way I can direct the thread to where I need it. I have seen bobby pins, paper clips, fishing swivels, keys, etc… attached to machines to serve as a thread guide. I like the safety pin because you all sew and therefore you all have one. The double wind of that hole means your thread can’t escape or get caught in your thread guide.

Today, almost all sewing machines come with both a horizontal and a vertical spool pin. I know when I explain the reason to clients I still get the occasional roll of the eyes. How can the thread coil going into the sewing machine when it comes off the spool the wrong way? Easy, and you can prove it to yourself. Take a spool of flat wound thread and pull about two feet of thread off by rotating the spool (without letting go of either). Bring the end back to the spool and your thread should hang straight. Now, same spool of thread, pull about another two feet off the end of the spool and bring the end back to the spool. The thread twists in the air. Just the opposite for cross-wound spools. Perhaps I should post a short video 🙂

I hope the information on vertical and horizontal spool pins was helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please use the comment link.

May Your Thread Never Break!

Mike Roussin

Needles are what makes a sewing machine sew!

I have answered thousands of questions about needles. Sometimes I was asked about needles. Sometimes I was asked about a problem where the answer was the needle. The topic is more than just the right needle for the job, or the right size needle for your project and your thread. The fastest, easiest, and cheapest tune-up you can give any sewing machine, quilting machine, overlock machine (serger), cover-stitch machine, or embroidery machine is a new needle!

This will be a long blog post and it won’t cover which needle to use for which project (but I will provide a link). People think that if it still makes a stitch, there is no need to replace a needle. I have over the years had many sewing machine owners (and one quilt machine owner) bring me their machine after years (sometimes decades) and tell me that it still has the original needle. So if you can hear the needle penetrate the fabric, it is either dull, bent, or the wrong needle for your project. As I said in the opening, the fastest, easiest, and cheapest tune-up you can give your sewing machine is a new needle. So if you have started to skip stitches, fray thread, break thread, pull fabric, or your stitch quality is simply starting to deteriorate, change your needle!

Needle manufacturers have spent millions of dollars developing and perfecting their sewing machine needles. If you use Groz-Beckert, Organ, or Schmetz needles, you are using needles that rarely have flaws. I am not saying or suggesting these are the only quality needle manufacturers, but I am saying if you buy from one of them, you have a quality needle. I also like Klasse’ for overlocker machines. I am also saying it IS POSSIBLE to get a bad new needle. If the new needle has a problem, try another. If both new needles have a problem, it is most likely the machine or the needle type and size you have chosen.

Needle Systems. – There are dozens of needle systems for different types of machines. For most home sewing machines over the past 60 years, the 705 needle system is what makes the machine sew. The 705H is by far the most common household sewing machine needle (sometimes shown as a 15 x 1), but 705B are still on the bench of almost every sewing machine mechanic. When I have a machine on the bench that took a 705B needle (like the Bernina 500, 700, and 800 series – the OLD ones), if it comes in with a 705H needle, I will adjust the needle hook clearance so that it no longer takes a 705B needle. The difference between these two needle systems is that the 705B grows to the front of the needle as it goes up in size. The 705H needle grows equally as it goes up in size and the scarf becomes deeper to accommodate the larger needle size. In this post we will not discuss the systems for industrial machines or quilting machines or overlocker machines or cover- stitch machines or multi-needle embroidery machines. Today we will discuss needles for home sewing machines. I will write separate posts for quilting machines and overlock – cover-stitch machines. The commercial embroidery industry has an abundance of information about needles for multi-needle embroidery machines.

How They Work. – I put this in a previous post, but I’ll repeat it. When you look at your sewing machine needle, you will notice the front has a groove and the back has a small notch (called the scarf) above the eye of the needle. So when the needle penetrates the fabric, the thread slides in the groove. When the needle starts to rise, the thread will still slide in the groove, but since there is no groove on the back, the thread drags on the fabric and this creates a small loop. The hook comes into the scarf (the notch) on the back of the needle and picks up this loop. It then carries the thread across the face of the bobbin case and wraps it around the bobbin thread creating a knot – a stitch.

Needle Sizing Problems. – First, needle sizes are Metric and Singer. In the metric system, a size 100 needle is 1 mm. So a size 80 is .8 mm and and a size 65 is .65 mm. The other number (like 65/9 or 80/12) is the Singer size. It is obsolete, but it sticks around like an old bumper sticker. It fades, but it just never goes away. So a Singer size 1 is a metric .2 mm needle. So that would be a 20/1 needle. It goes up by 1 for each .05 mm. Now you you know another useless fact about Singer needle sizes :-).

The first problem I see (too often) with small needle sizes relates to needle threaders. Most manufacturers today use some type of automatic or semi-automatic needle threader. But the hook on the threader that goes through the eye of the needle and grabs the thread has a size. If the eye of the needle is too small, it is not going to make a new hole in the needle. It might, however, put a burr in the eye of the needle you have already installed. Most will not fit through a needle smaller than a size 75/11 needle. (I know you are all doing the Singer needle size math now. It’s okay, have fun with it until you get bored with adding up parts of millimeters) So if you are using a size 70/10 or a size 65/9 and you try to use your threader, you bend the hook. Sometimes this can be fixed, sometimes you are out $10, or $20, or $30, or even the fun ones in the $49 range plus the labor to install it on your sewing machine. So look in your manual. I really don’t know of any sewing machines that will thread a size 70 needle. If you do, please add it to the comments.

Thread to Needle Ratio. We talked about how needles work with the groove and scarf and the loop and hook. If the thread is too large to slide in the groove on the front of the needle, you end up with a loop on both sides of the needle. Result is skipped stitches, loose stitches, or frayed thread. If the needle is too large for the size of the thread, it does not drag on the fabric to create a loop. This results in loose stitches or skipped stitches. So when using a heavier thread (30 weight or top stitch or “heavy duty”), use a larger needle. When using a 50 or 60 weight thread, use a smaller needle.

Changing Needle Problems. – So when you change needles, make sure they are inserted all the way. Frayed thread, skipped stitches, or not being able to bring up the bobbin thread after changing needles are good indications that you did not put the needle all the way up. If that little notch (the scarf) on the back of the needle is too low, so is the loop that the hook is suppose to pick up from the needle. So now the hook hits the thread and frays it, or misses it and skips a stitch. If you put the needle in backwards (usually on older machines like the Singer 221 Featherweight), the loop is on the wrong side and so you can’t bring up the bobbin thread and it skips more stitches than it will make.

Needle Types. – For almost every project there is a needle designed to be efficient at that work. When you are disposing of old needles, I suggest a medicine bottle with a hole in the lid. (you can use these later for putting things on cork board or the wall). The most common needle out there is the universal needle. There are also Double Eye Needles, Embroidery Needles, Hemstitch (wing) Needles, Jeans Needles, Leather Needles, Metallic Needles, Microtex (sharp) Needles, Quilting Needles, Spring Needles, and Topstitch Needles. Here is a link to the different types of needles and how they are used. Click Here for Needle Brochure. 

Bent Needles. – A full ten percent of all machines that come to my bench have a bent needle. This accounts for most of the skipped stitches and broken thread machines I see. When you look at the needles on the left, some are very obvious. But ALL of those needles are bent. If you had a bird nest in the hook area, if you hit a pin, hit a “hard” seam, hit the needle plate (that’s for those of you who pull the fabric, and you know who you are), or tried to pull the fabric out with the take up lever not fully raised, you may very well have a bent needle. Symptoms of a bent needle? Skipped stitches, frayed thread, broken thread, and of course – broken needle (problem solved – but new problems follow many broken needles).

Thread and Needles. – The image on the left shows how many stitches are made before a piece of thread actually gets onto the fabric. So on this machine, the thread passes through the eye of the needle 42 times before it actually makes a stitch on the fabric. Press here to watch the video.  

Most people don’t realize that the thread passes through the eye of the needle several times before it makes it to the fabric as a stitch. Cheap thread, old thread, thread that is too large for the needle, and a bad needle eye will cause thread worms (frays that push up from the needle like a woolly worm), frayed thread, broken thread and broken needles. If your project is worth making, it is worth good thread! But even good thread has a shelf life. So if you remember you have that color thread from a project you did for the 1976 Bi-Centennial, you may have problems using it today. Since the thread must pass through the eye of the needle multiple times in each direction, broken thread may be a challenge. Easy way to figure out if it is the thread or the needle is to change the needle or try another spool of good thread.

I hope today’s discussion about sewing machine needles was helpful. If you have questions or comments, please use the comment link on the left side at the top of this article. If you need needles, you can click here.

May Your Thread Never Break!

Mike Roussin

Why are my sewing machine stitches slanted?

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope 2017 brings you health, happiness, and everything else your heart desires.

Today we are going to discuss a topic that comes up often. People with embroidery machines never ask me this question. But seamstresses will sometimes ask and quilters will often ask why their sewing machine is giving them a slanted stitch? Here is what they are asking about.

They are wondering why their “straight stitch” is slanted instead of straight. They all assume the machine is out of adjustment, but that is not why the stitches are slanted. Here are the two basic types of sewing machines.

The machine on the left (Bernina 630) has an oscillating hook. The machine on the right (Bernina 185) has a rotating hook. Machines with drop in bobbins are also rotary hook machines. Over time we will be discussing each hook type in depth, but for today I just want you to understand that it makes no difference what type of machine you have it will still sew a slanted stitch.

Here is why, the way a stitch is made. When you look at your sewing machine needle, you will notice the front has a groove and the back has a small notch above the eye of the needle. So when the needle penetrates the fabric, the thread slides in the groove. When the needle starts to rise, the thread will still slide in the groove, but since there is no groove on the back, the thread drags on the fabric and this creates a small loop. The hook picks up this loop and carries the thread past the bottom of the hook path where the thread is no longer held by the hook.

 

 

You can see the hook tips above are just past the bottom of their cycle. The thread loop they picked up from the back of the needle (the green thread) is dragged across the face of the bobbin case. In the position you see above, the thread is released from the hook and the take up lever pulls the thread up. This wraps the top thread around the bobbin thread creating a knot, or stitch.

So why are the stitches slanted? Because, the hook picked up the thread on one side of the needle and released it on the other side of the needle. So the thread enters the hole made by the needle on the side of the bobbin thread where it was picked up and leaves the hole on the other side of the needle and bobbin thread.  The bigger the needle, the more obvious this will be to the naked eye.

The arrows show the direction of sewing. The top pink stitches were made with a size 75/11 needle. The middle two purple stitches were made with a size 80/12 needle. The bottom two brown were made with a size 90/14 needle. We will discuss the different needle types and sizes in the future, but for now I just want you to be able to observe that as the needle size grows, the slant of the stitch becomes more obvious. That is because the needle is making a bigger hole in the fabric so it is easier to see which side of the hole the thread went in and which side of the hole the thread comes out.

This “straight” stitch will become much straighter when the fabric is washed. But when you are observing that straight stitches are actually slanted, there is nothing wrong with your machine…. or you. So don’t stress out over slanted stitches. Just shows your sewing machine and your quilting or seamstress work are bordering on perfect!

I try to write this blog to address questions and problems I see over and over. I hope this article was helpful. Please feel free to leave me a comment or question. The comment link is at the left of the top of this article. Again, Happy New Year! 🙂

May Your Thread Never Break!

Michael Roussin

 

Why is my thread looping on the bottom?

 

Since I first started repairing machines two decades ago, not a single week has gone by where I have not received at least one call asking me about looping thread on the bottom of the fabric. Since December 6th (today is the 22nd) I have received over a dozen calls and I was only in the shop 10 days. This is what they are calling about.  Almost everyone with a sewing machine has seen this at some point. It makes no difference what machine you own, it can make this stitch 🙂 Small or Large loops on the bottom of the fabric. The story is either “it was fine and now it’s looping on the bottom”, or the more common “I loaned my machine to my _____ (fill in the blank, neighbor, mother, daughter, sister, friend, etc.) and now it’s broken. There are large loops on the bottom of the fabric”. The reality is that only about one in a thousand machines are actually broken, so hopefully this article will help you keep sewing when it happens at 7:00 p.m. on a Friday night of a long weekend.

Unfortunately, many will immediately start adjusting their bobbin case. While this usually won’t stop us from getting rid of the looping during a phone conversation, it can make getting back to a balanced quality stitch more difficult. When you see thread looping on the bottom of the fabric, it is telling you that you don’t have any top tension. Loss of top tension can be caused by the tension unit(s), check spring, take-up lever, top tension setting, and thread path.

Here are two machines that were recently in for service. The Pfaff has a rotary hook. The Bernina has an oscillating hook. The Pfaff is mechanical and the Bernina is computerized. Both machines are in great condition and tuned up with only minor adjustments. Most would not even know I had made the adjustments. But since it was the Holiday Season and many of you are trying to finish that last little project, I put green thread on the top and red thread in the bobbin so you could see how these machines are both capable of producing the stitch shown above.

 

 

 

Here is a sewing sample from the Bernina. The simple truth is that oscillating hooks can better hide some basic setting problems.

The image on the left (red thread) is the bottom stitching and the image on the right (green thread) is the top thread. Without changing thread or fabric, we go from a quality stitch to a mess by the way we thread the machine. I know that many of you have been threading your machine for years and can do it with your eyes closed. Which is often the problem. Threading the machine while visiting with someone, or while looking at other parts of your project. Although your hands went through the motions, the thread skipped a step for you (the pre-tension unit, the tension discs or tension unit, the check spring, the take-up lever). You just can’t trust thread to do what it’s suppose to do when you’re not watching it closely 🙂 There are also the times when pushing and pulling fabric creates a thread loop that let’s the thread escape from a place you had properly put it (this is commonly a result when “chaining” quilt pieces).

Over the years I have learned not to tell women on the phone that it’s a threading problem. Some assume I am questioning their sewing skill, machine knowledge or general intelligence. Not a good way to start a conversation if you are trying to help. So now I usually start with “it’s a tension issue, cut the thread at the spool and pull the thread out at the needle. This will help clear any lint or dust bunnies in the thread path (it is also because you should NEVER pull your thread backwards through your machine. Bad things can happen, and depending on your machine, some expensive bad things can happen). Now make sure your bobbin is inserted correctly and the bobbin case is inserted all the way”. We then go through the re-threading of the top and that is usually the end of our machine discussion, so we close with thank you’s and other pleasantries and chit chat.

About 15% of the time, that does not solve the problem and then we look at top tension settings, which are down in the 0-2 range. Adjust the top tension back to “normal” and the problem is solved. On the rare occasion (these are very rare) that the problem still exists I ask if they broke a needle (almost always yes) which can result in a burr on the hook which won’t let the thread escape to complete the stitch. If the answer is no, I will have them again cut and remove the thread and then (with the presser foot raised) have them put some canned air through the tension discs (more common with intermittent loops every so many stitches) to clear any lint or thread pieces. If there is still a problem, then this is when I listen sympathetically to their need to complete their project. If they are close to my shop, I will usually try to polish the burr while they wait.

As I said above, oscillating hooks are better at hiding adjustment problems. Here are the samples from the Pfaff with the rotary hook.

Again, the top thread is green and the bobbin thread is red. As you can see, it makes no difference if your machine is new or old, mechanical or computerized, oscillating hook or rotary hook (drop in bobbins are rotary hooks ((exceptions are so rare, I’ll pretend they don’t exist))). If your machine is not broken, it can create the thread looping under the fabric stitch with the right adjustments or top threading changes.

So when the looping starts… DON’T PANIC!!!  Take a breath, get another cup of coffee (or glass of wine) and re-thread the top end of your machine. Check your top tension settings. Then… keep on sewing.

May Your Thread Never Break

Mike

P.S.

I will put this article on the tips and tricks page along with several other TNT (Thread, Needle, Tension) issues.

Winter Weather Warning for Sewing Machines!

Although it means the Holidays, and skiing, and building snowmen, the weather change also means it is time to take precautions with our sewing machines. It is also that time of year when people gather to finish those Holiday sewing projects. That means transporting their sewing machine.

Over the years I have seen many quilters and hobbyists turn a well intended outing into a repair disaster. Placing your machine in the car over night for that early start in the morning can result in repair nightmares when temperatures drop below freezing. Placing your sewing machine in the trunk of the car to make room for passengers and packages can have equally bad results if you are traveling any distance in freezing weather.

Sewing machines are made from a variety of materials. A typical machine will have aluminum, magnesium, copper, brass, steel, nylon, pvc, a variety of plastics, and that does not include the materials in the electronics of newer sewing machines. In addition to the materials that make up the machine, most machines have a variety of lubricants. When these materials are exposed to extreme cold (or heat, but we will talk about that next summer), they change. And they do not all change the same. Sewing machines are considered household appliances, and like all household appliances, they are intended to be used at room temperatures. That is the 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit range of temperatures. So if you are transporting your machine, ALWAYS let it warm up to room temperature before trying to use the machine.

Have an old mechanical machine? So what can go wrong? The different metals react differently to cold temperatures. Bushings may shrink more than the shafts that pass through them resulting in the bushing seizing the shaft. This can result in damage to the bushing or “spun” bushings that no longer hold their position once the machine thaws out. The use of nylon to steel gear sets has been around since the 1960’s. This results in a quieter machine that requires less lubrication of internal gear sets. It was also the intent that if one of the gears is going to fail, the one that would be least expensive to replace will fail. But a $300 repair instead of a $600 repair is still not an inexpensive repair. Also, many bevel gear sets have been made entirely of nylon or some composite material since the 1970’s. Again, they are quieter and require less lubrication and will run for decades. That is because they have some pliable characteristics that are lost when they are frozen into brittle bricks.

Have an older “electronic” machine with push buttons for different stitches and for reverse feed? Again, they have the same metal problems as the mechanical machines. They also have circuit boards. These old solder type boards get hot fast and cracked “cold solder” joints are not uncommon when they are powered up while the boards are still frozen. These repairs require substantial trouble shooting by the repair technicians and sometimes the pronouncement of “DOA” if the board can not be repaired and a replacement board is no longer available.

Have a nice newer “computerized” machine, with hundreds or thousands of stitches, an LCD screen or a color touch screen? In addition to the problems other machine owners face, these boards are like any computer board. They are sensitive to temperature changes, and those fancy screens are also subject to freezing and breaking some of the crystals resulting in blank spots on the screen, or worse, the liquid spreading across the screen and requiring a new screen. These screens are expensive to replace, no matter who manufactured your sewing machine. And finally, the covers of most new machines are quite flexible at room temperature which allows them to absorb some level of shock, but they are brittle and fragile when frozen. Your machine may still work with that chunk missing out of the covers, but who wants a fancy sewing machine with a big hole in it? Replacing a front machine cover can cost hundreds of dollars.

So our lesson for today is to ALWAYS let your sewing machine warm up to room temperature before turning it on and asking it to sew. And how long will it take to reach room temperature, a simple rule of thumb is you should have your machine in a warm room for as long as you had it exposed to the cold. So if it was in the trunk three hours, give it three hours, if it was there over night, give it until the next day.

May Your Thread Never Break!

Mike

 

You can call me BATMAN!

 

This machine came in with a little extra inside

Over the years I have found thousands of bugs and spiders inside of sewing machines. Some living, some not. I’ve found two dead mice, hundreds of pins and needle pieces, a few small children’s toys, an now…. A BAT!

When I took the covers off this machine, the creature was located just beside the heat sink on the power supply board. It was, fortunately, dead. But it hadn’t been dead for long. It was not the shrunken remains of the two dead mice. It looked like it might fly away. I took a pair of long tweezers and dropped the bat into a plastic bag.

Now most mechanics will tell you there is not a lot of room between the covers and the machine on this model. Additionally, there is no easy way for the creature to get into the machine period. The only way I can think of for this creature to get inside of the machine would be if the owner had  left the access panel for the take-up lever off for some reason.

Small Bat

That is a T20 screw in the background, so this is a very small bat. And as you can see, it has not been dead for a long time. It has not begun to rot yet. Still, it was a surprise. And while I’m sure I have not seen it all in the world of sewing machine repairs, I have seen enough to start being known as Batman!

May Your Thread Never Break!