Question about Bernina Activa 130

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Can't get a neat straight and stretch stitch underneath

Hi,
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!

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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.

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