The needle's thread no longer picks up the bobbin's thread. I pull thread thru bobbin's slot and under tension spring, place bobbin and case within shuttle, close the little door, and slowly turn the hand wheel to move needle down and up, as per directions, as always.
But the wheel stops. I carefully pull out bobbin to take a look: Needle's thread has circled the metal pin that sticks out from the shuttle, but has not caught the bobbin thread.
The bobbin and its case feel loose. For months, I sometimes gently held it in place with one finger while I turned the hand wheel, but that no longer works.
I've tried removing the bobbin case and putting it back in. That worked two months ago, but not today. Hope someone can help. I have so much mending to do!
How can I fix this?
First off I would keep the bobbin holder out and look inside. There are normally 2 latches on the place where the bobbin holder fits into the machine. Push these off to each side and remove the 2 metal pieces. Now clean out all the dust and dirt inside of your machine. You may need to remove the metal plate that is on top of the feed dog so you can clean this area really good. There is a screw that will allow you to release this place. This gives you more access to the bobbin area on the machine and you can see if there is any thread or dirt in this area.
It really sounds like you have not cleaned the machine in a very long time. I have been helping out to sew masks here at home and I have found out that I need to clean this area every 5 or 6 bobbins I change. There is so much lint that gets in there from the material and this clogs up the machine and a lot of times will block the bobbin from threading correctly.
If this is not your issue you may have some worn-out parts that need to be replaced. I had a machine that my grandmother had used for over 70+ years and I have never seen a part in this area go bad yet. I have seen an issue with the feed dog but never the bobbin casing and what you are describing. I had a friend who had a similar issue as yours and all I did was take apart the machine and clean out the years of gunk inside and it worked fine afterward. I even added a small amount of oil that is badly needed and the machine ran again like new.
If you are putting the bobbin into your machine correctly AND the bobbin area of the machine is cleaned out well, try checking the needle. If it is put on the machine wrong, threaded wrong, rusty or bent, that could be the whole problem. Try putting a new needle on and see if the problem persists. Also make sure the machine is threaded correctly and that the thread tensions are set correctly -refer to owner's manual.
Sounds like you believe your machine may need a professional clean-up and even though it may not have been 50 years it's still probably a good idea.
Since this is a Kenmore you might want to check with Sears.
If you have further questions you can always ask on one of the sewing machine forums.
This link is the best (I believe) as there is so much about sewing you'll be looking for a while.
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I have a Kenmore sewing machine, model 385.19150090. I turned it on and the machine light flashed and went out. I replaced two fuses because one fuse was blown. What else in there?
It sounds as though you have a broken wire somewhere along the wiring of the machine.
If you're handy electrically you can probably repair this yourself - open the machine by carefully unscrewing the head cover (be sure to take before, during, and after digital photos to assist in putting the machine back together after!) and see if you can visually locate any burnt, bent, or broken wires. Use a muffin tin to collect and safely store the teeny tiny little screws.
The wiring for the machine model you have isn't one I'm familiar with (I do vintage Singer repairs for my Sewing 101 students here in Scotland) and it's been years since I've seen a Kenmore (decades really, I had a Kenmore back in the late 70s and early 80s whilst living in the US), but I seem to recall the wiring on a Kenmore runs under the machine head - that should make finding and repairing a broken wire easier.
If the wiring runs along the inside, you'll need to be sure to take photos of everything first as you may have to take a part off to get to the broken wire and again, those photos will be very important to restoring the machine to a working condition after the repairs are made.
If you're not electrically handy, any Sears Service Center will be able to do the repairs. Not sure of the costs, should be under $100USD (but likely not far under, especially if you agree to a 'full servicing' which will include cleaning, oiling, and a full check-over).
Be sure to get an estimate up front, and also be sure to get the estimate AND the instruction to ring you before doing anything that will raise the estimated repairs cost in writing.
If I am correct, that machine is a 150 stitch computerized machine. You don't want to open the insides because it will be a lot of electronics and computer chips.
Try unplugging the machine for an hour or so and letting it reset. If that doesn't work, take the bobbin case apart and cleaning underneath it. That machine is designed to stop working of there is anything that jambs or gets stuck so as not to damage the machine. DO NOT oil the machine except for a minute drop of oil in the little hole under the bobbin!
Your machine was made by Janome ( I used to work at Sears selling sewing machines and vacuums). Sears no longer makes or sells Kenmore machines and there are no longer Sears Service Centers. They have all been shut down except for a few select cities. To get your machine fixed by Sears, you would have to ship it to TN.
Your best bet if my suggestions don't work, is to take it to a sewing machine place who specializes in computerized machines. The going price for servicing a computerized machine is around $125. If you need any extensive repairs, it will probably cost around $175-$250. That was a good machine and would be well worth getting the repairs done.
The light works, but the machine will not run.
If the machine is turning on but won't sew when you push on the foot peddle there is an issue with the connection here. You could have a bad foot peddle that needs to be replaced. First off look at the connection to the foot peddle and make sure there is nothing wrong with it. Then check the machine where it attaches and make sure you have a good connection.
I was recently given my grandmother's sewing machine and I have never sewed before. I have it set up in my room and am trying to learn this new skill however, it won't actually start.The light comes on when I flip the switch, but the needle doesn't move when I push the foot pedal. Is there an on/off switch somewhere I am missing?
Those old Kenmore machines do seize up frequently.
Did you tighten and untighten the wheel? Did you check that the bobbin is in right (they can fit backward but don't work...at least mine is like that)?
Did you check that the feed dog is in the upright position?
Is it all clean in the undercarriage and in all the doors that open in the front? NEVER use canned air...just an old toothbrush or if you were luckly enough to have the original cleaning kit the little brush that came with it.
There are some decent YouTube videos on the old Kenmores. Most are very similar so you may find some helpful hints to get it going. These are workhorses....just a little finicky!
Be wary of using oil other than sewing machine oil if they tell you about oiling. I say that and I will tell you that I NEVER, EVER oiled my Kenmore (bad experience with oiling a Singer that ruined a project when the oil got all over it).
I had it in for service once many years ago and they may have oiled it... back to Sears (when we still had a Sears), but keeping it clean has always worked for me and my machine is...hmmmm...50 years old...maybe older.
There used to be manuals online for free. Maybe someone else on the site can point you to those. I can only find the pay version, which I wouldn't do unless it was a last resort:
Hope it is an easy fix! Happy stitching!!
It sounds like there is a loose or broken wire in the foot pedal. You may have to take it in for servicing
Now, I am going to say something about your machine and learning to use it.
how do you repair the foot pedal
I accidentally pulled the electric cord connection out of my Kenmore sewing machine. After plugging it back in, there seems to be absolutely no power to the sewing machine. There is no noise whatsoever.The wall outlet is fine and the cords look okay. There is no off/on switch for this sewing machine. You just push on the pedal when ready to sew. Any suggestions?
You must have damaged the wiring. Take the cover off the machine and try to trace the wiring. If you can't figure it out, you will have to take it in for serving.
Does the thick switch go in the other way? It may just be on upside down not making the correct connection.
Take a closer look at the black cord and make sure there are no kinks or lose wires, especially around the connectors (you said it is OK but carefully examine it from top to bottom as even a tiny bend or crease or kink can cause issues. If you see anything, you can try black electrical tape to secure or flatten.
Also, check the three little prongs to make sure they are not bent.
If they are, you can try to gently straighten.
Post back with an update!
You have broken the connection to the foot peddle and the machine. If you know about wiring and can repair problems this one should be a simple fix. Other than this you will need to go to the repair shop and have them look at it for you. You will need to reconnect the wires on the machine and test the foot peddle to make sure it is not damaged.
I am new to sewing machines. I have an older machine from my MIL. It is a Kenmore 385- 26. The home plate is missing, but it has other parts. I have threaded the top thread. The bobbin thread did not catch when I put it through the bottom, so I tried manually removing the bobbin case and feeding it through. I am not sure if that is correct.
When feeding fabric through the needle does not create a stitch into the fabric, as I move the fabric through. The needle does move up and down, but no stitch is made (just up and down motion like normal).
I have tried a few different fabrics to see if that mattered, with the same result. I have the tension set at 4, dials set at 3 for length and 4 for width.
Make sure the needle is new. Try to download a manual if you do not already have one. It will give diagrams that will tell you how to thread it correctly and how to put the bobbin in correctly. It will also have a troubleshooting section.