Top Stitch in Medford, Oregon
If you bought your Bernina at Top Stitch, you are entitled to free, unlimited trouble-shooting assistance in person, by e-mail or phone for as long as you own the machine. But for those times when we’re closed and you’re still sewing, we’ve put together this list of the most common issues – and their solutions – to help you get on with your project.
“I hear the motor running but nothing’s happening.”
“My machine’s making a loud buzzing/whirring/humming sound.”
The most common reason for any of these concerns is that you’ve accidentally switched on the bobbin winder mechanism on top of the machine. Simply push it back to the right and the sound should stop.
“There’s a bird’s nest of thread on the bottom side.”
“The stitches look fine on top but it’s all loopy on the bottom.”
No matter how counter-intuitive this sounds, usually this means that there’s no tension on the UPPER thread. The best way to avoid this is to ALWAYS thread the machine with the presser foot in the UP position. Try re-threading from the top, making sure the presser foot is up.
“I’m not happy with the straight stitch – it looks wobbly.”
“I can’t get a perfect quarter inch seam.”
We recommend using a JEANS point needle size 80/12 to get the straightest stitch on woven fabrics. It is stronger and sharper than a universal point needle which tends to wobble while sewing. In conjunction we advise using a finer weight thread for seam accuracy. Our favorite is Mettler brand 60 wt. cotton (labeled in green lettering with the words “Fine Embroidery”)
“The thread keeps breaking.”
The first step is to change the needle. The eye of the needle may be worn to a sharp edge which cuts the thread. Needles are disposable items and have a limited life expectancy. Secondly, oil the bobbin case area. Oil keeps the all-metal parts moving properly so they don’t snarl or snag. Make sure this is genuine Bernina oil which is the right viscosity for the job. DO NOT USE ANY OTHER OIL.
“The machine makes a horrible snarly sound and the needle wedges in the machine.”
Another problem related to basic threading. Usually you’ve missed the take-up lever – the ‘goose-neck’ item jumping up and down just above the needle. Re-thread from scratch.
“It takes two stitches and stops.”
You’ve engaged the ‘end pattern’ function. This either looks like a half-moon with a line at the top and bottom or a triangle with a line top and bottom. If in doubt, you can always turn the machine off and on again and it will take you back to normal settings.
Bernina's FAQ (Click Here)