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Curating sewing and quilting talent, techniques, and tutorials, since 1997.

Common Tension Mistakes on Sewing Machines

This video shows the thread not between the sewing machine tension disks - what did I do wrong?

About this machine:

Sailrite LSZ-1, 5mm ZIGZAG & Straight Stitch Walking Foot Sewing Machine LSZ1, 150W, 1.5A, 1/4

Sailrite LSZ-1, 5mm ZIGZAG & Straight Stitch Walking Foot Sewing Machine LSZ1, 150W, 1.5A, 1/4" Welt Foot, 800 SPM, 4 SPI", 6mm SL, FREE 100 Needles

Use Organ Size 22 Needles system 135x17, and #69 bonded nylon/polyester thread for sewing on exterior weight upholstery fabrics. Both zigzag and straight stitch can be operated in reverse with the lever on the right. Stitch quality is comparable to an industrial machine, for a fraction of the price… plus the added bonus of a zig-zag stitch, now that's value!

All of the convenience features are standard to make your job easier: reverse lever, zigzag adjustment lever up to 5mm, stitch length adjustment, built-in bobbin winder, fabric pressure adjustment knob on top and oscillating shuttle hook. 150 Watt, 1.5 Amp, 110 Volt, 60 Cycle Motor, 8000RPM. High lift walking foot with 1/4" clearance underneath the foot. Sews Up To 1/4" Compressed Fabric. 4 stitches per inch maximum stitch length.

Up To 800 Stitches Per Minute. Toothed Belts And Pulleys. Cleated positraction belts combine with new geared hand wheel pulley, geared reduction pulley and geared motor pulley to eliminate slipping. Special heavy duty motor attached up to 150 watts, 1.5 amps, twice as much as home sewing machines rnrn. Top And Bottom Feed. Spring loaded reverse. Uses 16 class welt foot. Fabric Presser Foot Pressure Adjustment. All-Metal Construction.

Portable Walking Foot Sewing Machine. Foot Control Included. Fits regular portable case or cabinets. In straight stitch mode, a needle positioning lever allows for movement of the needle left, right, and center. Uses standard upholstery needles: 135x17, size 22, 20, 18, etc.

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Comment by Kathleen on October 14, 2011 at 2:47pm

Thread "puke" on the bottom of your sewing, you have an upper threading issue.

Thread "puke on the top of your sewing, you have a bobbin threading issue.


Easy rule to remember!


Remember to always use the correct bobbin! Bobbins That Work

Comment by Patricia on August 19, 2011 at 8:40am
I would like to tell you the story behind me getting a sewing machine. In 2003 my mother had died from her triple by pass. I had kept most of her clothes  and thought To make a quilt, The only experience I had with a sewing machine was in high school and didn't like it only because of the teacher I had..lets say it wasn't a fun time for me. So, the machine sat waiting to be used. The first thing I made with it was a memory flag. Yes, you heard me. SO new at it, Yet , it turned out so well, I was proud of myself. The first year after her death, I placed it out on my porch. It started to tether, learning I need to use bias tape .. it went back into storage until I moved. when I brought it out again It wouldn't sew or make a stitch, I didn't know what I did. I gave up and placed it on a site called free cycle to see if anyone wanted it , since it wasn't working for me. I did get help from that site and a dear friend who is a master at sewing. That I needed to turn up the tension. NOW>... that is telling you something about me. I KNEW NOTHING... and was willing to give away a good new machine , all because I had no idea how to use it. I am grateful to those who jumped in to help . because of their help I was able to make my first pillow with pieces of clothing and buttons from my mothers things. Because of this site I learn more each and every day I am deeply grateful faith jumped and placed it in my way. I learn so much . THANK YOU ALL
Comment by Judy Bailey on August 18, 2011 at 4:39pm

I have have been sewing for 50 years and I still like to tips like this one.  

Thanks for sharing

Comment by Delores Kling on August 18, 2011 at 1:53pm
this could just be the answer to my problem. Thanks
Comment by Brenda George on August 18, 2011 at 11:41am
if you have one of these Sailrites just go on their website and they have lots of videos on you tube as well
Comment by Katherine Prevallet on August 18, 2011 at 10:55am
I would love to see more videos like this concerning easy to do mistakes on the machine itself.  So many things can be fixed by yourself if you only know what the issue is.  This instructor was very straight forward and easy to understand.
Comment by Brenda George on August 18, 2011 at 8:24am

I just bought this machine last week.  Have not had alot of time on it but it goes through a pile of denim nicely with perfect tension. 

Let you know more when I have played around.

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