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Got the manual, Bernina 1020, but needle won't stay threaded

Got the manual, Bernina 1020, but needle won't stay threaded

Postby Learning-As-I-Go » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:41 am

I finally worked up the courage to print the Bernina manual for my new-to-me but obviously very used Bernina 1020 and start trying to sew.

I got one line of straight stitch but then my top thread just will not stay threaded. Not sure if it is breaking at the needle, or coming loose.

What should I check to fix this? I have the stitch width, length, etc. set to the settings it gives on the stitch indicator thingy. I am sewing at full speed instead of half speed, through 2 layers of cotton. The thread tension is set so that the red line on the dial matches the red line on the machine, which the manual tells me is the "normal" thread tension setting.

I am a super baby beginner at this --- this is literally my first time to use a sewing machine, at all. So, anyone with a tip, please use small words and speak clearly ;)

I haven't gotten around to printing out the rest of the manual where maybe I'll find a troubleshooting guide specific to this machine....thought I'd ask here before finding those particular pages to print. It's a LONG manual with many pages. But I'll do that if you all tell me to.

Thanks,
Heather
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Re: Got the manual, Bernina 1020, but needle won't stay thre

Postby littleflower » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:31 am

First thing we always do with newer owners is make sure they are threading the machine properly.
Next thing is make sure the needle is in correctly...make sure the flat part is to the back of the machine.
If these things aren't working then I suggest taking it in to a local dealer for a tune up to make sure there's nothing wrong with the thread track.

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Re: Got the manual, Bernina 1020, but needle won't stay thre

Postby Learning-As-I-Go » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:44 am

thanks, i will check those things.

As best as i can tell, I am threading the machine correctly, following the diagrams/instructions in the manual exactly. I will double check the needle, though, to be sure it's put in correctly.

Do you know where I can find a listing of local dealers for Brazil? On the Bernina website I only saw US and Canada.
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Re: Got the manual, Bernina 1020, but needle won't stay thre

Postby Renata » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:52 am

Here is your contact information for Bernina in Brazil. Hope this helps. Renata
Bernina Brazil.png
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Re: Got the manual, Bernina 1020, but needle won't stay thre

Postby Renata » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:00 am

Heather, I just did a search for the Grimondi Bernina in Brazil. They do not seem to have their own website. If you go into the Bernina USA page, at the bottom left hand side you will see a map with a title Bernina Worldwide. You click on that to get the information I sent you. However, Grimondi will refer you to a page in Portuguese that refers customers to the Bernina Portugal webpage if someone wants to access a Bernina Website in Portuguese language. Renata
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Re: Got the manual, Bernina 1020, but needle won't stay thre

Postby lotti » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:35 am

1. have you tried using a new needle - if the eye is fauty - has a little burr or something it will also cut the thread on you
2. also - try loosening the top tension a little bit - i.e. not exactly on the red line but half a number or a whole number (?line) lower...

3. - and this should probably be nr. 1.
when starting to sew - make sure you have a goodish lenght of thread top and bottom - on my mom's old machine if we don't hold on to the threads when doing the first couple of stitches either the top thread pulls out (when you start sewing the top tension comes on and pulls the thread back up...), or, alternatively, the two manage to tangle and form a birds nest an albatross could lay it's eggs in.

4. i know you're scared of your new machine - but does it possibly need cleaning? i.e. is the area under the "teeth" full of fuzz and lint?
open the front of the bobbin-area - you might have to clean it all out

good luck
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Re: Got the manual, Bernina 1020, but needle won't stay thre

Postby Learning-As-I-Go » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:20 pm

lotti wrote:1. have you tried using a new needle - if the eye is fauty - has a little burr or something it will also cut the thread on you
2. also - try loosening the top tension a little bit - i.e. not exactly on the red line but half a number or a whole number (?line) lower...

3. - and this should probably be nr. 1.
when starting to sew - make sure you have a goodish lenght of thread top and bottom - on my mom's old machine if we don't hold on to the threads when doing the first couple of stitches either the top thread pulls out (when you start sewing the top tension comes on and pulls the thread back up...), or, alternatively, the two manage to tangle and form a birds nest an albatross could lay it's eggs in.

4. i know you're scared of your new machine - but does it possibly need cleaning? i.e. is the area under the "teeth" full of fuzz and lint?
open the front of the bobbin-area - you might have to clean it all out

good luck


Thanks for these ideas! There's no lint or such, I've checked that and it is clean.

The machine *was* set just a hair off from the red line when I got it, so I will bump it back to that just in case, though I've been in there playing around at whole numbers and it hasn't helped. But maybe a whole number lower is too loose, so I'll put it back where it was when I found it.

I haven't been pulling up loads of the bobbin thread, so will do that, and I haven't been holding them in place either so will do that. One question related to that ---- the instructions say to pull the bobbin thread up and make sure it goes through the slit in the presser foot and then back/to the side. When I do that, and then put fabric under the foot to sew, then the thread is sort of on top...it comes from under the fabric, but then at the foot since it's pulled up over the foot that makes it also up over the fabric at the back end. Not sure how to explain it....but, is that right? The bobbin thread through the slit in the presser foot and thus over the top rear/side of the foot and off to the back of the machine?

I will have to buy a new needle if this doesn't work, but I'm glad to have a 1st step fix before finding somewhere local to service the machine. Surely finding a new needle will be easier than finding an authorized Bernina service center. I hadn't thought that the eye could be scratchy and cutting the thread; that's a good point.

I *AM* having fun playing with this and can tell I'll love it once I get the thread to stay where it belongs! It makes my project list seem manageable now that there's this speed behind it that I could never manage by hand! wow. I might have to think up more ideas, and increase my fabric budget just to keep up....LOL!!!!
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Re: Got the manual, Bernina 1020, but needle won't stay thre

Postby Learning-As-I-Go » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:22 pm

Renata wrote:Here is your contact information for Bernina in Brazil. Hope this helps. Renata
Bernina Brazil.png


thank you! I hadn't noticed the Bernina Worldwide tab, but I'll check there. This shop is within driving distance to me but not exactly close, either....hopefully one of these other tricks will work and I won't need to service the machine. I *think* it was serviced before being given to me so it should be okay and likely is human error on my part. I hope!!
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Re: Got the manual, Bernina 1020, but needle won't stay thre

Postby she-quilts » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:06 pm

Learning-As-I-Go wrote:
I *AM* having fun playing with this and can tell I'll love it once I get the thread to stay where it belongs! It makes my project list seem manageable now that there's this speed behind it that I could never manage by hand! wow. I might have to think up more ideas, and increase my fabric budget just to keep up....LOL!!!!


Ahhh... this does my heart good. :)

I'll try to get you some photos. Fast.
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Re: Got the manual, Bernina 1020, but needle won't stay thre

Postby lotti » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:53 pm

Learning-As-I-Go wrote:...the instructions say to pull the bobbin thread up and make sure it goes through the slit in the presser foot and then back/to the side. When I do that, and then put fabric under the foot to sew, then the thread is sort of on top...it comes from under the fabric, but then at the foot since it's pulled up over the foot that makes it also up over the fabric at the back end. Not sure how to explain it....but, is that right? The bobbin thread through the slit in the presser foot and thus over the top rear/side of the foot and off to the back of the machine?


yes that's correct - that's the way they say:
IMG_6215.JPG

pull bobbin thread through slit over the foot, i generally hold both threads together and pull them back a little

IMG_6216.JPG

hold both threads back and out of the way - just hold it, don't use any pressure, and sew a few stitches

IMG_6218.JPG

after the first 3-4 stitches, you can raise the foot a little and pull both thread ends under and back out of the way (and let go of them of course).

with my mom's 50 year old machine it's absolutely vital that both threads are held for the first few stitches - with mine it doesn't matter too much - but when i have birdsnests at the beginning of the line - i can be sure that i hadn't held my threads in place...
or if the thread disappears instead of sewing - it's also because i havn't held it and the top tension pulled the thread back and right out of the needle... oh yes - happens to me all the time :)

whenever you pull on the thread, or remove the piece of fabric, always pull towards the back, never pull out the front
if you pull forward you can bend and even break the needle
when you pull towards the back, the needle can't bend very far

the important thing is: have fun :)
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Re: Got the manual, Bernina 1020, but needle won't stay thre

Postby Learning-As-I-Go » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:34 pm

thank you for the photos, Lotti!!! I will give it another go and see what happens.

it seems to be snagging in the bobbin and causing the break, but we'll see. When I manually raise the bobbin thread, turning the hand dial on the side of the machine to pull up that thread as they say, I have to hold the top thread AND gently pull it to raise the bobbin thread up, otherwise it seems to catch the top thread and wind that around down in there without pulling up the bottom thread.
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Re: Got the manual, Bernina 1020, but needle won't stay thre

Postby lorra » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:51 pm

Heather, are you sure you have the bobbin in right. My Bernina is a newer model, but I have to hold the bobbin with the thread coming from left to right over the top, then drop it in the bobbin case. Just an idea. I hope you get it figured out. You will love your machine when you do. Good luck!
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Re: Got the manual, Bernina 1020, but needle won't stay thre

Postby Sewdreamy » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:25 pm

The idea occurred to me that the bobbin case tension may be a little off...just a thought. Hope you get it running happily along soon.
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Re: Got the manual, Bernina 1020, but needle won't stay thre

Postby she-quilts » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:39 pm

Sewdreamy wrote:The idea occurred to me that the bobbin case tension may be a little off...just a thought. Hope you get it running happily along soon.

This is my thought too. We'll see what she says in the morning!
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Re: Got the manual, Bernina 1020, but needle won't stay thre

Postby lotti » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:33 am

yup - bobbin case tension,
alternatively a burr or something in the bobbin case that catches the thread, in which case the bobbin case may have to be replaced

you might find one of these sites helpful:
http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/430 ... n/page/all
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaH9yB7XUBk

one more thing about my pictures from yesterday - i showed you pulling the bobbin thread up on top of the foot (as they say you should in the book) - i generally do the opposite, pulling top and bottom thread through under the foot

i personally don't think it matters too much - to me the important thing is that the threads can be held out of the way - especially on the older machines - i recently inherited an old bernina and this one is also quite touchy if those beginning threads aren't kept under control
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