Question about Kenmore Drop-In Bobbin 16231 Mechanical Sewing Machine

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Thread catches on hook race

Every time the needle goes down, the thread stays caught in the hook race. I can only get about 2 stiches and then I have about 10 inches of thread wound around the race. I have a brand new Kenmore 385.16321 that I have been sewing on for all of about 2 hours.

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Re: thread catches on hook race

I have been repairing sewing machines for 20 years. Usually when one comes in doing this it means the hook is out of time. This isn't really a do it yourself thing but take it in to be looked at. On the new ones that are doing this I would definately take them back to place of purchase for fix or replace. Most machines time fairly easy but I have had one of these newer Kenmore's that I never did get back in time - that's the only machine I've ever gave up on so good luck.

Posted on Mar 26, 2009

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Re: thread catches on hook race

I was having the same problem and would go into hysterics. Not too long ago, I went through my manual and tried to figure out the problem with a friend. In the end, I hadn't been raising the bobbin thread. You should make sure you do so, and pull it to the back along with the top thread.
I hope this helps~! ^_^

Posted on May 17, 2009

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Re: thread catches on hook race

Are you sure you are using the supplied bobbins and not just any old thing that came from another machine ??

Bobbins from different manufacturers (even models from one manufacturer) will vary in diameter and height and as they don't fit properly, will present this symptom.

If the bobbins are OK, then..........

With such a new machine my first port of call would be the retailer where you purchased......quick phone call and arrange for them to have a look at it.

If it was a cash & carry store with no service technician, ask for a replacement, and they will have to sort out their return and credit with manufacturer.

Take your samples with you to show them, this may reveal the troubles to a trained eye.

There are rare occasions where settings may not be correct when a product leaves the factory, unfortunate, but if caught early and it is a warantee issue it should be very easy to repair/exchange.

Bargain Box

Posted on Jan 30, 2008

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I bought this for my granddaughter. we just tried it for the first time and it doesn't sew. It works, looks like all is going well but does not stich.

Assuming that this is the first time you use a sewing machine I'd tell you that you don't have the thread properly looped. Read the book and insert both threads in it step by step. But if you are skilled at sewing, then the machine may be defective

May 07, 2016 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

How do i fix the top thread just tangling, looping on the shutter race?

1. Make sure that you are using the right bobbin case. (LX3125) 2. Adjust the tension of the bobbin case. (I've sent a guide for this) Your's is considered the older style.
3. Make sure the bobbin that is used is the right one. If it is too long or too wide it will cause problems.
4. When you insert the bobbin case make sure the lock handle goes down flat with the bobbin case. Also, feel the bobbin case for rough snags.
5. Replace the needle. Insert it the new one in the right direction.
6. Thread the machine (while pressure foot up) according to the directions. While threading give small tugs to check for snags.
7. Place the tension on four. It is ok to feel by hand if this is excess tension.
8. While turning the hand wheel towards you the bobbin thread should rise above the throat plate.
9. This should be ok now. Try it on some old rags. Don't forget to set that bobbin case.


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1 Answer

Skips stiches won't zig zag

Your timing is off. When the hook comes around, the needle bar is either lifting before the hook catches the thread, or it's too low for the hook to catch. depending on the make & model of your machine, it may need taken to a repair shop.

Mar 03, 2015 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Have Janome DC3050. Bobbin thread is getting caught on the hook shaped guard to the right of the bobbin. Hook race? I know threads got caught in bobbin and believe it bent or moved this. Now makes a...

I don't know your model but my Janome 6500 has a bobbin case held in by magnet on the underside and it will dislodge and move if there is a jam up. This then prevents it from forming stitches correctly. You need to lift out the bobbin case and put it back into position. With mine, when it has moved, the needle then strikes part of the case when it comes down. This often results in a burr in the plastic which then causes the thread to catch again even when the case is back in correct position.
There should be two marks, one on the case and one on the outside to align it to.
this is my bobbin case, and the cut away part on lower part of the image is the bit that goes into the machine away from you.

Feb 07, 2014 | Janome DC3050 Computerized Sewing Machine

1 Answer

My sewing machine will not stich. i have tryed everything i can find on this problem but nothings working

Make sure nothing has either gotten stuck/caught/jammed somewhere inside it. Insure that the thread stays attached to the needle. Or the material you are trying to sew/stitch may be too thick.

Nov 17, 2012 | Singer Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Bobbin thread bunching and top thread breaking

After double checking your threading path, changing your needle, ensuring you have good quality thread, and cleaning under the needle plate and in the bobbin race area, if none of that helps your problem, check the hook that goes around the bobbin for a burr that could be catching and not releasing the upper thread on its trip around the bobbin. Remove the hook from the race if you can, and run your fingernail from the base to the tip of the hook on all sides, watching for it to catch on something. If it does not, let me know and I'll dig deeper. If it does, use a very fine emery board or cloth and just barely touch it to the hook, stroking from the base to the tip very very gently. That should knock the burr off, reassemble and test.

Apr 28, 2012 | Singer Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Viking husqvarna classica 100, thread tension

I suspect you are correctly threading the machine but the timing of the needle and bobbin hook is off. When the threaded needle goes into the bobbin area, a pointed hook grabs the thread and loops it with the bobbin thread. Something is catching when the needle starts to come up that is not allowing the bobbin thread to be pulled back through the needle plate opening by the upper thread. With machine threaded and bobbin in place, have the bobbin area open if possible and watch the thread interaction when the needle goes down. To set the hook/needle timing, normally covers have to be removed. Suggest taking it to an authorized Husqvarna Viking dealer for service. You can find the nearest dealer by click on the "Dealer" link at
Good luck.

Jan 19, 2010 | Husqvarna Viking 1

1 Answer

My brother PE-400 sewing quit sewing

The "race" on your machine needs adjusting. Remove the bobbin cover, bobbin, & case. What you have left is the race, it moves when you turn the large wheel on the top right of machine. The needle also moves up and down. There is a hook on the race that catches the needle thread. Try moving the race to the line up with the needle. It may take a couple of trys but it should do the trick. Also clean any threads that may be caught on or arround the race. Hope this helps!

Jan 02, 2009 | Brother Disney PE-400D Computerized Sewing...

1 Answer

Elna SU missing stiches and breaking thread

it sounds like the needle hook timing is out. You need to get the needle in the lowest position and measure the gap from the needle to the hook point on the bobbin shuttle. It should be 1/4". You will need to remove the foot and foot plate to be able to see. I use a 1/4" drill bit as a gauge. If you need to adjust it, you will need to remove the free arm cover to the right of the foot and loosen the 2 allen head screws that hold the drive gear. Adjust the gap, tighten the screws and retry. Usually if the needle catches the thread to early, it will make a bad stitch and the upper thread will break. If it catches to late, it will make thread loops and the machine will skip stitches. Good luck, these are a good machine and worth fixing. Phil

Oct 27, 2008 | Elna 1010

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