Sewing question for Kay!?

Im hoping Kay will see this!

I have done all of the steps you have told me to do, and my sewing machine still isnt working. My bobbin is not the drop in kind, its front loading and I went to your link and made sure its in properly. I took the thread right off the machine, set the tension to 4, and re threaded, and im still having the problem with the bottom of the fabric being all loopy and awful.

Im attaching more pictures, and this is after I did the steps you told me to do.

Thanks for your help!


Thank you so so much for your help :)

Its an old sewing machine, I have had it for years, maybe 10 years or a little less. It hasnt been used all that much though.

Now, to clean the tension, I am not sure what a tension disc is or where I would find it.

Update 2:

I also had tried it on tension 9 the other day and got the same results.

Update 3:

Also, I have never used anything but regular thread, no quilting thread or dental floss. I have always used 'all purpose' needles, and have never sewn through anything heavier then denim, and that was only once. Its always usually been cotton kind of fabrics.

Update 4:

If it helps, the kind of sewing machine I have is a brother LS 1217. That is what it says on my sewing machine.

Update 5:


That link you sent me, under page 21 it says 1. reverse 2. service.

What does that mean?

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Somehow, you're still not getting any tension on the upper thread. There are several possible causes:

    1) You're not threading the upper part of the machine with the presser foot raised. (and it sounds like you were doing that if I recall your previous post). You can also try to raise the presser foot and then pull on both sides of the thread before and after the tension disk, just to try to pull the thread into the tension completely.

    2) The thread is too thick for the needle (thread diameter should be about 60% of the needle eye width --- standard dressmaker thread (which is what it looks like you're using) should feed fine through any needle larger than about a size 8/60, so I doubt it's that.

    3) The upper tension is set too light -- try increasing the number from the normal 4 or so to 9 and see if that makes any difference.

    4) you're trying to sew with the presser foot still up in the air, and we can eliminate that because your stitches are too uniform.

    5) something's wrong with the upper tension. Somebody crudded it up with trying to sew hand quilting thread or dental floss through the tension, or it's rusty, or the spring has given up the ghost, or a number of other problems that mostly require a trip to the shop. If this is a new machine, I'd haul it in to the dealer and have them look at it. If it's an older machine, let's try to clean the tension.

    Tension cleaning:

    Find a piece of cotton fabric about the weight of a pillowcase that's been washed a bajillion times and is nice and soft. Also find some rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) or some high test unflavored vodka or Everclear. Dampen the fabric with the alcohol of your choosing, and fold the fabric in half (or use the hem of the pillowcase) and raise the presser foot of the machine. Insert the alcohol-moistened fold of fabric in between the tension disks and "floss" with it. Floss again with some dry fabric. Rethread the machine and try sewing again, tension set to 4.

    If this is not curative, then it's ready for a trip to the sewing machine doc. :-(

    Source(s): 50 years of sewing
  • 10 years ago

    The disc is within the tension control knob and I doubt you can access it.

    See page 21/the tension control - the actual page number and not the number on the information bar at the top of the screen - You can print this manual free from Brother.

    Because the machine has not been in use for 10 years, there could be points of service that the owner/user cannot attend to.

    If the problem continues, take your machine to a Brother sewing machine dealer for service.

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