Question about Brother LS-1217 Mechanical Sewing Machine

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My needle won't pick up the bobbin thread

I was sewing and my thread broke. (I believe I caused this problem). I was sewing through (what I think now) was too many layers. When I rethreaded my needle and tried to pick up the bobbin luck. I think it's the timing (due to what I have been reading online). I have changed the needle, put in a new bobbin, cleaned inside the bobbin housing area (taking it apart first), and still no luck. It almost appears like the needle is not going low enough (but who knows, I've never had this problem, so I've never actually looked at this before. That might be perfectly fine).
If it is the timing, can I fix it myself? This machine was relatively inexpensive so I wouldn't want to pay a huge amount to fix it. I've also had it for close to 10 years, I think.

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Re: my needle won't pick up the bobbin thread

My sewing machine is a Brother LS1217, well actually it is my son's, and he uses it very seldom. I went over to put in a new needle and I cleaned it top and bottom, put in a new bobbin, and a new needle and the needle won't pick up the bottom thread. What am I doing wrong? Please help me!! It has to be something simple, as this is such a simple machine!

Posted on Oct 23, 2008

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Re: my needle won't pick up the bobbin thread

My needle not picking up the bobbin thread. When I remove the needle plate, then the needle took the bobbin thread,

Posted on Oct 06, 2010

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Re: my needle won't pick up the bobbin thread

I simply need to know how to thread the machine to get started.
please help me with what i thought was going to be a simple solution

Posted on Feb 12, 2009

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Re: my needle won't pick up the bobbin thread

I am having a problem with my Brothers Sewing Machine LS-1217, not picking up my bobbin thread. But,.... I have never oiled it before?!?!?! Also I sewing sticky back vecro, ruining the needle, I changed the needle and this problem is still happening? HELP!

Posted on Oct 22, 2008

Re: my needle won't pick up the bobbin thread

I have the exact same problem.. No Idea what to do.. Will anyone help?

Posted on Sep 13, 2008

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  • 111 Answers

SOURCE: Machine will not pick up the bobbin thread.

if your machine's needle threads from front to back, make sure that the flat part of the needle shank points to the rear of the machine. If it threads from left to right, the flat side should face right, etc.

Posted on Jun 11, 2009

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SOURCE: needle won't grab bobbin thread

Check the position of the needle. Some machines have to have the needle in a certain way or they won't pick up the thread from the bobbin. Make sure the screw on the bobbin is tight but not to tight you may have to adjust it a few times to get it where it needs to be. Also make sure the bobbin is wound tight

Posted on Oct 14, 2008

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im not!
it needs a good service the timeing has sliped out a little, nothing more that that,,,see its not a lost cause just yet

Posted on Oct 24, 2009

Testimonial: "Thanks! I was hoping to avoid paying for a fix, but it looks like I have to **** it up. So much for being thrifty and restyling my clothes."

  • 53 Answers


This is a top tension issue, you need to check two things,

-make sure you thread the machine with the pressure foot up ( this allows the tension discs to open up so you can pull the fabric away from the machine with the foot up and allows the thread to get to bottom of the tension discs)

-make sure your tension settings are set to the medium setting. (Usually 4 or 5)

If this still does not help, then turn the top tension knob up (from 5 to 6,7,8,9....)

-If that still doesn't do it, your probably need the tensions reset, and your local family sewing store will be able to assist you further.


Posted on Jun 06, 2010

  • 3006 Answers

SOURCE: The thread is bunching up

Your problem stems from the faulty foot lever mechanism. It's coupled to the upper thread tension control which only provides tension when the presser foot is in the locked down position.

If the presser foot won't positively engage in the down position, there's no upper thread tension and the thread bunches up below. Everything else stems from there. If the needle has hit the bobbin case too frequently then the bobbin timing may also be slightly out and the needle itself will be damaged and won't pass straight through the fabric; it only takes a tiny deflection from the vertical as it passes through the workpiece for the needle to flex and hit the bobbin case.

In summary, your machine is in desperate need of repair and adjustment. You haven't stated which exact Singer model you have, but they are usually easy to get servicing manuals for or you can take the machine to a sewing machine servicing specialist. Most singer spare parts (even for 100 year old machines) are usually still available fairly cheaply from a variety of sources, just enter "Singer spares" into your search engine to find suppliers.

To prevent re-occurrence, clean the mechanism regularly and lubricate it as directed by the manufacturer using sewing machine oil. Depending on how often you use the machine, do (or have done) a more thorough service periodically to check the timing and also that all mechanism screws remain tightly fastened.

I hope that my reply has shed some light on your problem and enables you to decide what to do next. Please take a moment to rate my answer.

Posted on Sep 30, 2010

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