Question about Kenmore 19233 Computerized Sewing Machine

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I have a Kenmore 385 (12116690) the thread keeps breaking

I thread the machine start sewing the thread breaks after 2 inches. I have changed tension and thread width but nothing seems to help. I don't use the machine much because of this problem. I'm about ready to take it in to a repair shop but hope it is only a small problem. Help!

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  • k2columbus Jan 15, 2009

    I have about the same problem...It just started approximately 1 week ago and the only thing I changed was the thread. Still the same type, I just went to a larger spool. Now the thread seems to get too tight and fuzzes up around the needed and breaks. It also causes skipped stitches. Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

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I have this same machine, it belonged to my husbands grandmother and was given to me after she passed. I let it sit for a few years before I got it out to use it, it was just too emotional. I had this same problem, and after cleaning, it worked fine. I followed the instructions in the manual for taking out the bobbin, bobbin case and metal parts that hold it in the machine. (there are pictures in the manual to help you take it out, take it apart, and put it back in... sounds hard but it's really not). I used a tooth brush to get all of the dust bunnies out (you could go over with a vacuum hose too, after the toothbrush cleaning). After I did this it worked fine. You may want to look in the manual about oiling the machine, if it's been years since it's been done, that might help to. Hope you get it working! I love this machine, it works well and is good quality. (they don't make sewing machines like they used to, the only one I'll buy is a Kenmore!)

Posted on Feb 27, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Kenmore mini ultra The top thread breaks off from needle after a few stitches. The bobbin seems to Be catching the top thread. Thank you. ??


If the top thread sews a few inches and then breaks, something is catching the top thread and holding it until it breaks. Usually, this will happen when using the old style thread cones with the slit in the edge to keep the thread from raveling off the spool. To prevent the thread from hanging up, turn the thread spool over so the slit is at the top instead of the bottom. Sometimes top thread breaks will happen if the thread becomes looped around the thread spool pin.

Remove the thread, ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot and then rethread the upper thread. Verify that the thread path is correct and that the thread has not looped around a guide.

If the thread is fraying at the needle eye, the needle/thread are not compatible. Also, the tension may be too high.

Check that the upper tension disk is clean--no gunk buildup or thread pieces stuck.

If the thread is actually breaking when it penetrates the needle plate hole, there may be a burr or nick somewhere below that is catching the upper thread. You can wrap your finger with a piece of fine fabric, like an old pair of hosier, fine knit fabric, etc. and running your finger around in the bobbin area, under the needle plate. If you get snags, then you have a burr or nick. If it is small, you can sometimes smooth it with a fine emery board. If it is a large burr, you may need to purchase a replacement part.


Why Does My Top Thread Keep Breaking Sewing Machine

Sewing Machine Problem 1 Thread Breakage

Sewing Machine Thread Keeps Breaking

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Sep 05, 2016 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Hi When I start sewing in my pfaff sewing machine the thread keeps breaking off and finally the needle will break...I tried changing the tension also but not helping.please help.


Consult your owner's manual. First thing to do is verify that it is threaded correctly. This is probably the #1 cause for breaking thread. #2 is most likely the tension being too tight. #3 sometimes is the incorrect needle or installed incorrectly.

Check the suggestions here:
The thread keeps breaking Sewing Machines

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Jan 02, 2016 | PfaFF Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Top thread keeps breaking. Adjusting the tension does absolutely nothing. It seems as though the thread is getting caught on something inside the machine between the thread guide and thread take-up lever....


these are suggestion, if they don't help then the machine needs to be checked at a sewing machine shop
The top thread breaks


1. the needle thread is not threaded properly


2. The needle thread tension is to tight


3. The needle is bent or blunt


4. The needle is incorrectly inserted


5. The needle thread & the bobbin thread are not set under the presser foot when starting to sew


6. the threads were not drawn to the rear after sewing


7. The thread is either to heavy or to fine for the needle


8. Try a different spool or cone of thread

Sep 27, 2013 | Euro-Pro Sewing Machines

1 Answer

My thread keep breaking no matter what kind of thread I use its something to do with the tension but nothing I do seems to fix it. I'm in the middle of a big Christmas project I need help fast I'll...


The needle thread breaks
1. the needle thread is not threaded properly
2. The needle thread tension is to tight
3. The needle is bent or blunt
4. The needle is incorrectly inserted
5. The needle thread & the bobbin thread are not set under the presser foot when starting to sew
6. the threads were not drawn to the rear after sewing
7. The thread is either to heavy or to fine for the needle

Dec 21, 2012 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

My thread keeps breaking. bobbin thread seems to be alright, have changed thread, needle.


The needle thread breaks
1. the needle thread is not threaded properly
2. The needle thread tension is to tight
3. The needle is bent or blunt
4. The needle is incorrectly inserted
5. The needle thread & the bobbin thread are not set under the presser foot when starting to sew
6. the threads were not drawn to the rear after sewing
7. The thread is either to heavy or to fine for the needle

Dec 16, 2012 | Kenmore 19606 Computerized Sewing Machine

1 Answer

Kenmore bobbin issues


try these suggestions
Bobbin thread breaks
1. There is a right way & wrong way to insert the bobbin in the case --when you insert the bobbin in if it doesn't stitch correctly turn the bobbin over see if that helps or bobbin case is not inserted correctly
2. Lint has collected in the bobbin holder
3. The bobbin is damaged & doesn't turn smoothly
4. Lower thread tension is two tight

Oct 25, 2012 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Juki DDL 227 top needle keeps breaking


Needle breaks
1.the needle is damaged
2.the needle is not correctly inserted
3.wrong size needle for the fabric
4.the wrong foot is attached
5.the needle clamp screw is loose
6. Top tension is too tight
7. Machine could be out of time


The needle thread breaks

1. the needle thread is not threaded properly

2. The needle thread tension is to tight

3. The needle is bent or blunt

4. The needle is incorrectly inserted

5. The needle thread & the bobbin thread are not set under the presser foot when starting to sew

6. the threads were not drawn to the rear after sewing

7. The thread is either to heavy or to fine for the needle

Oct 08, 2012 | Juki Sewing Machines

1 Answer

On my singer i can sew about 3/4 of an inch and then it gets stuck.


Are you holding the threads as you start your seam? If not try that.

Sep 12, 2012 | Singer 8280 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

I have a janome 1600P, it will not sew without either the top thread breaking or the bobin thread breaking. It will sew for about a quarter of an inch and then the thread breaks, I have changed the bo


My experiences with thread breaking with machine on a quilting frame make me look at the upper tension being set too high, the needle being worn or movement of the machine is too fast. Reduce the upper tension first, then sew in straight lines at first. See if you can sew slowly, in straight lines and reduce the upper tension until the thread stops breaking. If so, try some 1-2 inch circles, again going slowly. If the needle thread is pulling to the back, you will need to increase the upper tension again until the stitches meet in the middle of the fabric. If you can't locate a balanced spot where the needle thread is not pulling to the back side and thread doesn't break, try taking the machine off of the frame and sewing on a table. If it won't sew this way, it needs some professional help. If it does, you will probably save a lot of time taking it in for service, making sure to explain to the repair center that you have problems on a quilting frame, not while sewing normally. When the machine is adjusted to sew normally on a table and you move it to the frame, you will probably need to reduce the tension by 1-2 complete turns of the tension knob.

Nov 17, 2011 | Sewing Machines

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