Best of Plans

776 skeleton

Looks kind of sad, doesn’t it? Let me retrace a bit.

Last weekend was filled with minor annoyances – a piece of software saw fit to warn me that my hard drive had ‘integrity errors’ (?), which led me down the rabbit hole of backing up, scanning, verifying, etc… After disk utility failed to find any problem’s with my drive’s integrity, I tried booting from a dvd in order to scan the drive further. No go. All the usual tricks failed and the mac restarted each and every time with its happy little chime.

It wasn’t the first thing that had gone wrong, so I decided some instant gratification was needed. I had a pattern for a cute top and just the right fabric, so set out to carefully cut out the pieces. I figured it would take no more than a couple of hours to serge it together (when I told my friend Ali P. the story, she said ‘uh oh’ at this point).

Uh oh was right. Good old Pfaff 776 was acting funny. It had done that lately, mainly seeming to change tension all by itself *midseam*. Further inspection revealed that the needle bar was loose, but I had no idea how to tighten it.

Went online in search of a service manual – found some (my serger is old – Marcel bought it for me when I was pregnant with Oona), but the first few were either photocopies which had to had to be physically mailed. Patience was a foreign word for me at this point so I kept looking until I finally found a pdf and bought it.

I then waited for 15 minutes, hitting ‘get mail’ countless times. Nothing. Fed up, I gave up and decided to do something I couldn’t possibly fail at: cook something.

The service manual arrived nearly 4 hours later. With its help, the machine was quickly dismantled and cleaned – you should have seen the amount of lint trapped within its housing (I though it was clean). Figured out how to adjust and tighten the needle bar, checked the other settings and put the whole thing back together.

The good news is, it now sews very nicely. Bad news? Adobe Acrobat decided to give me a hard time today and make everything fuzzy. Keep me in your thoughts.

  • Bonjour Véronik:

    Sorry about your troubles. I would strongly suggest you ditch Acrobat Reader because it has too many security issues. I personally use a freeware called Sumatra, It’s a stripped down PDF reader. There are more free alternatives out there, some that do offer more options then Sumatra but you only need a PDF reader, it’s a pretty good option.


  • Veronik

    Reader isn’t the software I’m having a problem with, unfortunately – it’s acrobat pro. Long story, but I’m either getting bloated files or very fuzzy. I’m sure it’s user error!

  • Kathryn

    Good luck! The serger is a familiar sight; my mom has always loved to take things apart and put them back together. Keeps things clean and running, but there are often a few pieces left over when she’s finished. If the machine still runs, she isn’t bothered!

  • Ali P

    I need to learn how to properly maintain my old baby Brother. It does that thing with the stitch tension etc like you described above and was the cause of a nasty steeking experience (the one where I screamed in horror when I cut the steek only to have the machine stitching let go and my kids came running to see if I’d sewn my finger again…remember that?). Suffice to say my relationship with sewing machines has always been a tenuous one fraught with homicidal urges on my side (death by hammer, you $%^&ing piece of #$%!!!) and rebellious behaviour on the machine’s. I think you are AMAZINGLY capable when it comes to gadgets and I bow low to your expertise. I’M NOT WORTHY!!!!!!!!!

  • Veronik

    Ali, some machines can be lemons – from what you’ve told me, yours just refuses to stick to correct timing (to bring everyone up to date, Ali’s machine has been serviced so many times that the repair shop stopped charging her). Keep an eye out for a metal body machine – I just checked ebay, and there was a little elna grasshopper in NS for around $25. Only does a straight stitch, but it’s often all one needs…