How to Find a Machine Embroidery Thread using an iPhone

Sewing Machines are so sophisticated today.  Back in the dark ages – well at least when my husband bought my first sewing machine as a wedding gift almost forty years ago (He was so loving and thoughtful. How could have he have known it would lead to this.), sewing machines were much simpler to repair. Everything opened up and came apart. Even the manual told you how to repair it.  You were just expected to repair it yourself.

Today, the sewing machines are so complicated.  They are computerized just like our modern cars. The sewing manual is a tome and it does not even address repairing it. I have asked my beloved sewing machine salesman/owner/repairman if he would tell me how to open it up so that I could make sure that I did not have an illusive thread floating around when it breaks, but he assures me that I would forfeit my warranty and that I should just bring it in any time I have an issue.  Who wants to forfeit that incredible warranty and yet I do not want to drive an hour and fifteen minutes to his shop (yes, his price was well worth the savings, service and training).

 Embroidery Design by Sonia Showalter

Embroidery Design by Sonia Showalter

As I was embroidering the muslin bags to keep our church’s baptism towels from getting dirty while they are stored, that upper thread broke for no apparent reason.  It sprang up into the upper thread tension area and balled all up.  I could see its gold little head peeping through the little crack. I searched for my tweezers. UGH! One of the boys took them.  I hid my eyebrow tweezers and did not think they knew to look for my sewing tweezers, but at least they know not to take those scissors! Of course, after realizing that the boys uses them, I decided to just buy new ones and never ask what they were used for because I really do not want to know.

 Thread Ball Discovered!

Thread Ball Discovered!

Thankfully the edge of the thread was barely peeking out of the crack and I could pull it ever so gently by hand. Oh, so tenderly. I knew it could break inside. I pulled. It slowly began to unwind. Not what I wanted.  I wanted it all to just lift up and stay together. Gentle! Gentle! It was coming. It broke! I could see there was some still in there. Nothing would fit inside the crack that had the ability to grab. I did not, under any circumstance, want to break the plastic casing. It was not worth it. 

 Using the iPhone to look up the in the upper tension area to see the thread ball.

Using the iPhone to look up the in the upper tension area to see the thread ball.

Modern technology could help me out, but how? I had to think like a surgeon.  I wanted to look inside and magnify it. If I used my iPhone to look under the plastic casing and it would show me where the thread was and then I could use it to look inside the crack to see if it was still there by magnifying it. It worked. I finally got it out and now it is running just fine. 

How has your iPhone gotten you into places you never thought you could see?