Just got this and am having a problem with it. No matter what I do with the
tension settings, when it lifts the top thread up it just doesn't bring it
up quite far enough, and snarlup soon results. I've checked & corrected th
e bobbin tension. I've got the upper tension to work, it was failing to gri
p the thread. Still no joy. I note the upper thread from lifting arm to nee
dle goes slack when the lifting arm goes down. What's going on, what can I
(Disclaimer: I do not know your machine)
Are you sure that model number is correct? Bernina does not seem to
If you have the user's manual (absolutely necessary, IMHO)
re-thread the needle path FROM SCRATCH. Do not assume you have all
the hooks and loops threaded, do it again. You wrote "I note the
upper thread from lifting arm to needle goes slack when the lifting
arm goes down." That sounds to me like a problem with the little
take-up spring, usually the next thing after the tension disks. (But
again, I don't know your machine, I'm a Singer sewist.)
Install a NEW needle, making sure it is installed
Thread the bobbin and the needle with different color threads,
to be sure you know which one is causing the problem. Sew a test.
If it has not been cleaned/lubed in a long while, take it to
your nearest shop for a thorough servicing.
I 2nd Beverly in her suggestion of changing the needle.
Bottom thread going wrong normally means problems with top threading.
Change the needle check the threading and if it's still odd go to a
reputable service person.
he tension settings, when it lifts the top thread up it just doesn't bring
it up quite far enough, and snarlup soon results. I've checked & corrected
the bobbin tension. I've got the upper tension to work, it was failing to g
rip the thread. Still no joy. I note the upper thread from lifting arm to n
eedle goes slack when the lifting arm goes down. What's going on, what can
Sorry for not getting back sooner, life has, how shall I say... overtook me
Yes it's a 121, the huge '121' printed on it gives it away ;) Bernina intro
duced the 121 in 1944, and I gather have long been happy to never mention i
ts existence. The 125 they seem happier about, which was a much improved de
velopment of the 121.
I have never taken a sewing machine to a dealer and never intend to. If I c
an't do what they can, something is very wrong. And an old basic 121 is not
worth it anyway.
It works perfectly now, though a little mystery still remains. The problem
was with the upper tension disc assembly. No matter what I did with it it w
ould not behave unless I removed the tension relieving washer, so in the en
d I did so and it works perfectly. My best guess is that at some time it ha
s been reassembled wrongly. I have the manual but it's only a user manual a
nd doesn't touch repairs.
The twist in the tail is that despite working fine it probably will go for
parts for 125s. Its mains lead is needed for a 530-2, a far more valuable m
achine, and the leads seem to be unobtanium. I got both machines for next t
o nothing, and I reckon neither had been lubricated in a couple of decades
Thank you for the suggestions. The 530-2 is proving harder to sort out, a c
ouple of bits of the mechanism are still jammed solid despite paraffin, oil
& baking it in an oven. When I get suitable time I'll try more determined