Sewing Machine Won't Stitch?

My vintage Kenmore 158.130 picks up the bobbin thread, but won't stitch. It is threaded correctly, the tension is OK, and I cleaned and oiled it. Everything moves so smoothly just as if it's stitching, but it never forms a stitch. Could it be the needle length? The needle I'm using was already on it.


It is in fine condition, but it is shorter than the example in the manual. Maybe I'm answering my own question. I know little about sewing, and have spent 4 frustrating days on this. Any help appreciated. I live in a very rural location so it will be some days before I can buy new needles.

By Penny

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February 22, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Is the needle currently on the machine even coming down far enough to penetrate the fabric? Turn the handwheel and watch to see if it is. If not, there's your answer - order the correct needles for the fabric you want to sew and watch for the postie or courier van:)


However, the problem may be something different. As you write you're in a remote location, give serious consideration to using the Sears website to order a replacement manual for the machine if you don't already have one. You don't say if you do have it, so I'm taking a jump and suggesting the manual purchase.

Also, whilst on the Sears parts and repair site, look for the location of the closest authorised Kenmore machine repair tech - as this is a vintage machine, even though you've cleaned and oiled it, there may be a worn part inside that is best looked at by a repair tech.

I love vintage machines and do a good bit of repair on them here in Scotland where I now live (lived in the US 40+years). But buying and using vintage sewing machines is not for the faint of heart - parts wear with age and conditions-of-use (dusty, going too fast, more, all can wear a machine no matter how good it looks on the outside), and all sewing machines require periodic inspection by a qualified repair tech to stay on top of potential problems (wearing parts, parts about to fail, etc).


Best of luck to you. I've lived in a remote, rural area and know how sewing machines (and other home-craft tools) are needed for household items, and creative outlet! I hope you and your machine have many happy sewing years ahead.

February 21, 20190 found this helpful

Thank you. This help me too.

April 12, 20150 found this helpful

Penny, if the needle is longer in the manual since you did everything else I would get a longer needle. If that doesn't work I would get the machine serviced.

February 9, 20161 found this helpful

I have just bought a Woodsonia Needlelite machine, looks real nice, but it makes no stitches when sewing

August 10, 20160 found this helpful

Change your needle. Mine worked fair on zig zag, but was a little off. I tried to use the straight stitch and it wouldn't stitch, it just went through the motions. The bobbin thread hooked but both threads just trailed along the fabric w/o interlocking.


I cleaned, oiled, searched the Internet for hours. Then I changed the perfectly looking needle and it works!!

October 9, 20180 found this helpful

I have the same problem. Without the cloth in place, the hook picks the top thread and brings it around the bobbin and catches the bobbin thread. But once I sew with cloth in place, the stitches don't form and the hook doesn't catch the loop.


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