Question about Bernina Activa 140

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Underthread Going Crazy

Hello, I've been having a recurring issue with my sewing machine. Every few pieces it decides that it wants to throw a tantrum. The upper threads will start skipping and suddenly the fabric is tugged. Upon pulling out the sewn fabric the usual result is a knotted mess of threads on the underside. Tugging on this thread mass usually loosens the whole piece and it comes undone. When it doesn't come undone the sewing is still weak and a horrid mess. I've tried what I think is adjusting the pressure and such, but I'm really just guessing here. Any tips? I'm in desperate need to get this sewing machine running asap. Thank you in advance.

Posted by Lauren Eby on

  • peg1of5 Oct 29, 2008

    i have had my bernina 140 for 12 years and never a problem, now in the last week the tension has gone crazy and it squeeks like it needs oiled. even tho the manual says it does not need oiled. I have adjusted the tension every way i can think of. she sews a bit then jams, sews a bit then jams. i have probably gone through an entire spool of thread, rewinding bobbins, and cleaning out the feed dog and bobbins housing. help

  • Anonymous Feb 24, 2009

    Same problem- 3 years with 3 hours of work. It will sew fine for about 20 minutes then stops. the needle refuses to go up or down and when you cut the fabric off it have about 10 threads sticking out of the casing onto the plate!



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Lala Lalala

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Our machine has done that since day one. So far nothing fixes it. What a piece of junk. I miss my singer machine. I'll never buy Bernina again.. disappointing garbage.

Posted on Feb 03, 2015



I am having the same problem, and i have tried all of those fixes, many, many times! did you find something else that worked?

Posted on Oct 24, 2008


V. Chris Suehiro

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Hi PixelPup....Although I am unaware of what types of fabrics/needle size/project (ie does it have batting or metallic/special threads) your issue involves a fault located above your needle plate with 2 points of interest in particular. 1) Appropriate Needle Size, Type and Insertion. 2) Absence of upper tension. When replacing needles, ensure that the groove along the length of the needle is facing you. For every day medium weight cottons, a universal size 70 or 80 needle is fine. However, ALL OTHER fabrics, especially knits, denims, stretch and very lightweight or sheer fabrics should be sewn with the specified needle types. Your local sewing retailer can help you with exactness if you bring along a swatch/sample when you shop for your needles. Please purchase your sewing machine supplies from a sewing oriented retailer. Needles AND Thread quality matter a great deal in the quality and longevity of your stitches. As for needles, I recommend Schmetz, and Viking for threads. Keep in mind that needles to get dull, and can easily acquire brays which may not only cut your thread, but damage your fabrics as well, and should be changed "regularly". I would guess that misthreading accounts for 95% of all sewing machine problems including lockups, needle breakage, and instant jams. The dial for your upper tension may have a "colored zone" for the universal tensioning starting point usually between 3.5 & 5.5, with the lower number for lighter fabrics, and increasing with weight. If you don't have a colored zone, begin with #4. Completely remove the thread spool from your machine. Ensure that your presser foot is in the up position, and begin methodically threading your machine, paying special attention when you reach the tension area. There are usually 3 or 4 'plates' that provide the tension, and rushed threading by experts regularly causes the thread to miss the discs altogether. The presser foot must be in the raised position, which releases the pressure on the tension discs enabling your thread to slide in. Why not be proactive and remove and rethread your bobbin as well, ensuring that your bobbin thread receives tension from the flat spring on your bobbin case. Unless I have misunderstood your issue, your problems should now be solved......good luck my friend.

Posted on Aug 02, 2007

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