Question about Kenmore 16622 Mechanical Sewing Machine

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Kenmore 385 series

Hi...My sewing machine suddenly decided to stop. It won't sew. It won't go up and down. I can only turn the belt wheel about an inch back and forth but that's it. Nothing is jamed in there as I just about took the entire machine apart. Now I have an extra spring too. I found it after I removed the tension wheel. It was just sitting there on a spot where it did not belong. Could you please advise me as to what could be wrong?

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SOURCE: kenmore model 385. 12912890

Make sure your machine is set to feed material. There may be a switch or knob somewhere on your machine to lower the "feed dogs" (the little metal teeth that pull the material through the machine). If they are down, the material won't feed so the machine will sew in place. More likely, since its knotting on the bottom, your machine is probably not threaded correctly. Rethread the machine, and try again.
Yes, the thread on the bottom IS the needle thread.

Posted on Dec 01, 2007

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: kenmore sewing machine model 385 16764

There's a website called which is sponsored by Sears. It's free to join. Go to the Home Manager column and choose Owner's Manuals from the drop down menu.

You can type in the brand name (Kenmore) and model number of your machine. Not all of them are in there but, I did find the one for the 1950280 question. It's a pdf file.

For the 38516764 question, please double check your model number. I received either no response or a Kenmore Elite dishwasher manual in response to my query.

Posted on Feb 04, 2009

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SOURCE: My old Kenmore sewing machine makes a loud squealing noise.

It sounds as if your machine needs a little oiling. If you have a clear machine oil (not 3 in 1). place a drop in the bobbin case area and if you will notice, you will see small holes on the bed and on the top of the machine. place a drop of oil into each of these holes. If you can take the top and bottom covers off, you can put a drop of oil every where you see a hole..some of the machines actually have the oil holes painted a red color. Also place a drop at the handwheel as well. Just remember when oiling, less is better. After oiling, run for a few minutes, if you feel it still needs a litte more, do the same, one drop at a time. After this, if you machine sets for a while, oil just before starting to sew, that way when you put the machine away the oil has been worked through and it should help prevent the squeaking when starting up again.

Posted on Mar 01, 2009

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: serger

As long as this is a sewing machine and not a serger, I don't know about them. I only tinker on my own. Remove the bottom. There is a rod running along the length of the machine. it needs to be turned 180 degrees. You may need to retime the machine.

Posted on May 29, 2009

  • 11 Answers

SOURCE: How to thread Kenmore 25 sewing machine Model 385

Hey if you need a new manual go to this link and dont forget to put this code (150t) so you can get $1.50 discount. Hope this help.. By the way the manual cost only $10. BYE

Posted on Jul 22, 2009

  • 1388 Answers

SOURCE: top tension is making a loop as I sew, bottom

Please TRY the solution BEFORE giving your considered rating.
Specific detail on bobbin case adjustment (with picture) near halfway down reply, the remainder will help you achieve a balance of top and bottom tensions.

Ensure that all is clean and free of lint and jams, this is the most likely for tension troubleshooting .......

This solution is for tension problems...if you cannot form any sort of stitch, the issue is quite different, so please let me know if you need a different problem solved.....

It is quite long, but just work through each section in order.

The "knotting up" can reveal a lot. If you have loose threads on one side or the other, the tension on the opposite side will be the culprit.

Ensure sharp new needle,
Thread guides and Bobbin are Clean & Clear of lint
Set Top Tesion to 4 ....then....
Balance Bobbin to suit.

If the looping threads are on the underside as you sew, it is the top tension. Top tension ought to be between 4 & 6 (this variation to allow for the different weights of fabric in your projects).

If you are using a needle that has seen quite a deal of work, or you suspect it may be blunt, change it for a new one !

Make sure that when you thread the machine the presser foot is up so the thread goes between the discs and not to one side, top tension between 4 and 6, and that you have threaded through all the guides, including the last one, usually on the needle arm, just above the needle clamp.

It may be there is lint trapped between the discs, this will keep them slightly apart and reduce the actual tension, sometimes dramatically.

If tensions appear correct, and the thread is definitely in the channel between the discs, but still too loose and looping, try raising presser foot and remove your thread.

Now, with a 2" (50mm) wide strip piece of fabric 8 - 10" (20 - 25cm) moistened with methylated or denatured spirit, gently insert the fabric strip and clean between the discs with a see saw / to and fro action.

In the worst cases, gentle use of a needle to pick & remove the jam may be necessary, but be very gentle and make sure the tension is set at Zero and the presser foot is raised, (to disengage tension plates).... do not gouge or score the plates, they need a polished surface to work correctly.

Far less common, but if the loose threads are on the top, it is bobbin tension that is loose, it too may have lint in the spring and be giving a "false" tension.

I would not recommend fiddling with bobbin tension without good reason, it may end up with missing small screws and spring pieces, however, you can take the needle plate off to clean
the hook race area (where bobbin case sits)

...this is just good housekeeping, my wife does this every time she replaces the bobbin....

just take it out and clean the bobbin case and the fixed metal hook race with a small brush to remove lint. If there is a significant amount of lint, use a vacuum and small brush to get the worst.

Then wipe all this area with a cloth or cotton bud (Q tip) moistened (not soaked) with methylated spirit, especially if there appears to be fine dirty deposits....oil and lint combine to conspire against you.

If it seems likely that you ......really .....actually .....need adjust the bobbin case, first check there is no lint trapped in the metal spring where the thread is tensioned.

Drop-in Bobbin case will look similar to this image with the tension screw in the middle of the metalwork....

4c76dc1.jpg ...the other screw at one end is holding it all together, so is not a tragedy to undo the whole lot and clean it, but very gingerly and lay the bits out in sequence and orientation, or you risk tearing your hair out !

....this is a bobbin case from a front loading machine and works in a very similar fashion to the top loader with drop in bobbin, again, if you dismantle it, take care so you can put it all
back properly.
165ca5c.jpg FINISHING UP
When you are certain there's no trapped lint in top tension or bobbin, set the top tension to 4 and the bobbin tension to a point where you just begin to feel resistance.

Try using good quality thread of contrasting colours so you can more easily spot the changes.

Set your zigzag to one width less than maximum (eg. 5 of 6 ...or... 4 of 5 etc) and sew a sample for a few inches and check the result.... adjust the bobbin tension screw very little at
a time, perhaps 1/16 of a turn.

You may find you are playing with this balance for some little while and if you are putting the needleplate on and off each time begin to think it cannot be correct to do is,
and eventually, you do get a "feel" for the correct tension and then it happens quite a user you won't be doing it very often unless there is lint built up (or are there small hands at work around the house !?!?!)

If you live near the ocean as we do, salt air can play havoc with metalwork inside and out, so to help minimise this, keep a few small packets of dessicant (silica gel) in your machine case ? then make some sort of cover !

Same applies in any damp or humid environment, keep your machine dry and dust free.

Budget for a proper full service every couple of years (more often if heavily used) and if you don't use your machine for a few years, be aware that old oil will dry out and combining with
dust and form a "clag" like glue (another reason for some sort of cover, even a teatowel !)

If it is worth spending the time, energy and money on making something that you would like to give lasting enjoyment......use quality thread, may seem to cost a little more at the
time, but the results, ease of use and added longevity will be worth the extra, and as a bonus, your tension troubles may be fewer and further between, because there is a more consistent diameter with good thread, and less compensating to be done by your tension plates and less thread breaks

Posted on Aug 19, 2009

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