Question about Bernina Activa 130

1 Answer

Can't get a neat straight and stretch stitch underneath

I'm using a Janome 2522LE and sewing through some tough materials, however the machine seems strong enough to cope with this: stainless steel fine mesh (almost like fabric) and leather, together.
(I've done lots of tests with leather needles & threads etc and have found the right combination to cope with both materials together).

I am having problems with the underside stitch - I want to use stretch stitch mainly, and straight stitch but the underneath looks very messy.
On stretch: there is looping/bunching and feels raised and bumpy
On straight: it either looks like a straight tight line with even spaced bobbles, or when i reset the top tension, it can look diagonal and loose, still with bobbles.
Both the top and underside of my fabrics will be in view, so I need to achieve a really neat stitch on both sides. Can you help please? Many thanks

Posted by on

  • abi-K Mar 25, 2008

    ...also, I think I may have a problem with my bobbin tension screw. Having adjusted it several times attempting to achieve the right tension, it now seems to not make any difference to the bobbin thread resistance at all? Could I have damaged the tap/die mechanism on the screw and nut itself?

    I have observed the screw does move into the nut when turning to the right, but the tension is not affected at all on the thread, and the thread still releases effortlessly with no resistance.

    I have a problem with the underside striaght looking loose/baggy and diagonal. The topside looks OK. I have tried adjusting the top tension but I'm still having probelms.

    Please help! Many thanks

  • abi-K Apr 01, 2008

    Hi robroy7, thank you for your reply. I forgot to mention I'm using a walking foot already, which has helped enormously with the materials I'm using. The machine is new, and was recommended specifically by the retailer (hmm) for working these materials, due to it's top loading bobbin.

    Since my last post, the bobbin tension screw problem is rectified, and good news, I've managed to achieve a decent straight stitch on both the top and bottom, (by setting the top tension to 9?!) however the under side stitch still appears slightly slanted - can you tell me if this is normal? or should I be able to achieve a completely straight line stitch underneath?

    I am still having problems with straight stretch though. I have tried samples using different colour (same quality) thread in the bobbin from the needle, to ascertain what's happening. The top stitch is fine, but the understitch is still quite messy, altho improved from before. The needle thread is slightly visible just inbetween the bobbin thread stitch.

    I can always email you good quality close up photos of the problem if that helps in your diagnosis. Many thanks again!



1 Answer

  • Level 2:

    An expert who has achieved level 2 by getting 100 points


    An expert that gotĀ 5 achievements.


    An expert whose answer gotĀ voted for 20 times.


    An expert who has answered 20 questions.

  • Expert
  • 106 Answers

Sounds like a bottom tension problem, to be sure I would have to have a look, I would suggest you have it looked at. Not sure about the materials you are sewing and have serious doubts as to whether the machine you are using is up for the job and will give you a satisfactory finish. It is possible a "walking foot" machine is what you need.

Posted on Mar 26, 2008

  • Peter Bradshaw Apr 01, 2008

    The stitch should be straight. You should not be able to see the top thread looped under the bottom thread. Certainly seems to be a bottom tension problem. If adjusting the bottom tension does no good it is possible that there is lint/fluff underneath the leaf spring. Take the leaf spring off, have a clean round, re-assemble and try again.



1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers


Hi there,
Save hours of searching online or wasting money on unnecessary repairs by talking to a 6YA Expert who can help you resolve this issue over the phone in a minute or two.

Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.

Here's a link to this great service

Good luck!

Posted on Jan 02, 2017


Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

My Jenome 385.4052LX200 isn't sewing most of the stretch stitch patterns, sews just a straight line.

Have you asked Janome, online? Or the seller of your machine? Most sellers will bend over backward, to help you with your purchase.

Jan 23, 2018 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough. Problem with SS (Stretch Stitch) setting.

Probably something amiss with your machine. Have you tried other stitches and how do they sew?

Feb 28, 2017 | Brother Sewing Machines

2 Answers

Janome MC9400.Can needle position on U6 stretch stitch be altered.I want it to go more to the right. Also is there a way to just alter needle position without selecting a stitch first?

The width of the needle setting is limited by the width of the hole in the needle plate and the presser foot. You really don't want to alter this unless it has been knocked off its specified setting.

Some machines are straight-stitch only, some have 3 position settings (left, center, right), and some newer machines have a variety of needle position settings. Whichever your machine has is what you can use.


Nov 20, 2016 | Janome Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Janome machine probs

try a ballpoint or a stretch stitch needle, that what I use when sewing
knit, t-shirt. it doesn't break the fiber in the fabric.

Jun 05, 2012 | Sewing Machines

2 Answers

My machine is skipping stitches

Lower the pressure on the feed dogs, use a stretch stitch, and longer stitch length. Be sure to use a good quality thread, and maybe go lighter weight thread.

Oct 25, 2017 | Janome Memory Craft 9000 Computerized...

1 Answer

I want to just make a straight stitch like it was a regular machine

if you are using an overlocker you can't replicate the straight stich as it has no bobbin for the underneath stitch. Even if you get a stitch like that accidently, it will pull apart because the 2 threads are not linked in any way; sorry

Aug 11, 2010 | Janome MyLock 634D Mechanical Sewing...

1 Answer

Using twin needle with Janome dc3050

you can just use the straight stitch.If you want to use a fancy stitch you have to be careful that the throw, as I call it is not too wide as you could break the needles and put the timing out. Also use a longer stitch than normal.Also use the stretch twin needle.

Jan 30, 2010 | Janome Sewing Machines

1 Answer

When sewing elastic type material it keeps knoting

you may need to use a certain type of thread for jersey knits and stretch fabrics also your machine should have a setting for stretch stitches to allow for smoother sewing

Dec 11, 2009 | Janome Memory Craft 5700

Not finding what you are looking for?
Sewing Machines Logo

351 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Bernina Sewing Machines Experts

Tally Girl
Tally Girl

Level 3 Expert

1134 Answers

Chris Wetmore

Level 2 Expert

188 Answers

Wayne Buss

Level 2 Expert

121 Answers

Are you a Bernina Sewing Machine Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides