Thursday 18 July 2013


Yesterday I finally got the time to sew. Was going great.... until I broke a needle in my overlocker.

I have two pieces of red cord that have been calling out to me for a couple of weeks now. One piece is about two and half meters long with a fine cord detail. This is going to be all mine, I am on the look out for the perfect pattern to make a pair of pants for myself. I am thinking 1940s inspired, high waist, with a wide straight leg.

The other piece was a small piece only 45cm long. With some imaginative cutting this will become a new pair of sarouels for Jarvis. I managed to get these cut out, always tricky when Jarvis and Tira both like to sit on the fabric I am cutting. Am I not the only one who likes to cut out on the floor?

Work in progress on the horrible cork floor in the office/sewing room

Two seams down, started on the third and one of the needles broke off in my overlocker. The top piece is still in the machine, I have found the middle piece, but the tip of the needle eludes me. I have dusted; I have even vacuumed the overlocker in an attempt to find it.

The piece I found

My questions to all of you in the know…do you think it would be safe to insert a new needle and to commence sewing? Or should I keep looking for the tip?

Also, I have never replaced a needle in an overlocker (I know I have had this for over two years and should replace them occasionally) do I just get machine needles from Spolight? Are the generic in size? 

The overlocker is a Brother.


  1. I believe needles for overlockers are the same as regular machine needles, so you'll be able to go to spotlight etc. What I might suggest (and I am by no means an expert) might be to go with it and put in a new needle (you may need a small screwdriver to unscrew a small screw to do this) and instead of going straight at it with your foot pedal, go gently with your wind by hand and see how you go? It could be possible the missing part of your needle somehow flew off somewhere external to the machine.

    Oh and yes, I sometimes cut fabric on the floor :)

    1. Thank you so much for your suggestions. I am going to Spotlight today to get needles. Will definately go slow and gentle when I start.

  2. If it isn't too late, maybe tip the overlocker about to see if you can dislodge the missing bit, then maybe try a strong magnet,move the hand wheel a little and try again, also move backwards.Did you look carefully in the fabric? the missing bit may be very tiny.Most of the time, needles break by striking the plate near the feed dogs and bend till they break, so bits can fly off anywhere.Good luck hunting.

    1. Tried the tiping option, plus I looked/felt through the fabric I was sewing. I just got needles from Spotlight, so will try your magnet suggestion before I put in a new one.


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