Question about Kenmore Drop-In Bobbin 16231 Mechanical Sewing Machine

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Kenmore sewing machine - uneven top stitches

I reset the tension because I was getting looping on the back.
I took off the throat plate and cleaned out all the lent.
Now, the top stitches are not the same size. I get a tiny stitch, then a big stitch, then a few small, then a really big stitch, etc.
What do I need to adjust?

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  • Anonymous Feb 16, 2008

    Bernina Record about 38 years old but has been working perfectly. Serviced recently. Going OK then refilled bobbin the other day, Now looping at the back and loops get bigger abnd then a angled mess develops and cotton breaks.

  • Annas Nanny Sep 11, 2008

    I have been having a similar problem with my old Kenmore machine. I no longer have the manual and am really frustrated with it. It runs beautifully but I will get an inch or more of nice even appropriately-sized stitches and then a long basting size stitch. What's wrong? I have tried adjusting both stitch length and tension.



    Thanks for any help

  • Anonymous Apr 01, 2014

    machine skips stitches irradicly adjusting tension sometimes improves a little tighten or loosen a little,doesnt stitch at all.

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HI,

I work for the distributor of Kenmore and I work closely also with the cabinet vendor for Sears as well. I think I can help!

Which sewing machine did you have in mind and which cabinet?

I could not get this info from the intial e-mail.

Bonnie

Posted on Oct 30, 2008

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Am about to buy this machine for my wife and the sewing machine cabinet I have chosen has parameters as far as the overall dimensions of the machine. Can you provide me with the width, depth and height of this sewing machine. The cabinet is offered for sale by Sears so it ought to work but still I will feel better with this information. Thank you.

Posted on Feb 05, 2008

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1 Answer

Why is the bobbin thread looping and catching on my sewing machine? The stitches are uneven, too.


Hi Sylvia,
Your problem is an un-matched tension of the threads. You mentioned doing an adjustment recently. That is the problem area.
If your bobbin thread develops loops on the top side of the fabric, you need to tighten the bobbin tension.
There is no easy method for this and you will have to do it slowly -
tighten, test, re-tighten, test.... until you get a near perfect stitch.
I haven't come across a portable device specifically designed to set thread tensions.

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First Clean the upper thread path with unwaxed dental floss or some sturdy thin fabric like light weight denim. Get in between those tension discs and floss away. Then make sure you are threading the machine properly with the lever in the UP position and have a proper sized needle. (not all needles are alike) Make sure the needles you are using are not damaged or bent.

Go ahead and clean in and around the bobbin area. Make sure your bobbin is going in the correct direction in the bobbin case. (yes it makes a difference)

Do a test seam. Note any improvements... If you have loops on bottom... tighten the top tension. Loops on top.. tighten the bobbin case tension (look for tiny screw)

Do a test seam. Keep working the tensions until you get a balance stitch. Be patient... this sometimes takes a bit of time to get it right. Work mostly with the top tension if you can.

To determine if it is a timing issue, take off foot, throat plate and bobbin plate so you can really see. Use the hand wheel to get the needle to the lowest position. Note where the shuttle hook is... ideally it should be just about to pass the needle scarf at this point. If it is more than just a few millimeters away, it's out of time.

I can't help with with a manual for a JCP machine not sure where once could be found... would need more than just "JC Penney sewing machine to find one anyway... need model number."

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also try changing the needle, it's possible that it's bent or blunt
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Good day!

please try this simple tips:

Good day!

A sewing machine operator can often help themselves when their machine does not operate properly.
Here are some simple instructions, which if properly used can save time and mechanics service calls.
TROUBLE;UPPER THREAD KEEPS BREAKING;
This could be trouble;================Do this;
1.Top tension to tight================loosen tension 1 turn
2.Machine improperly threaded=========check threading
3.Thread twisted on guide post========"
4.Thread twisted out of tension======="
5.Take up spring bent or broken=======Check action of spring
6.Thread jumped off pull off finger===Check threading
7.Needle bent or burred===============new needle
8.Bad cone of thread==================try another cone
TROUBLE;LOWER THREAD KEEPS BREAKING;
1.Bobbin tensionspring to tight=======Loosen tension slightly
2.Bobbin threaded wrong===============check threading
3.Bobbin wound to tight or uneven=====try new bobbin
4.lint or thread on bobbin case=======clean inside case
5.Lint or thread inside hook==========clean inside hook
6.Bobbin case nicked bent or burred===check/change case
TROUBLE;MACHINE STARTED SKIPPING STITCHES;
1.Needle bent or burred===============change
2.Needle set in crooked===============Check
3.Thread jumped off take up spring====check threading
4.Thread jumped off pull off finger===check threading
TROUBLE STITCHES SHOWING LOOPS;
1.Forming loops on top of cloth=======Tighten bobbin tension
======================================or loosen top tension.
2.forming loops on bottom of cloth====Tighten top tension
3.Bobbin placed in case incorrectly===remove and replace
4.Bobbin thread slipped from under====check threading of
tension===============================bobbin case
5.Lint or thread in top tension=======clean between tension discs


Thank you and good luck.

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Tl98e broke a needle and now won't stop looping.


needle plate may be sanded lightly for nicks and scratches. Timing is probably off, need to see an expert repair service in your area.

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1 Answer

Tension


Turn off the power, open the throat plate. Raise the needle to the highest position and remove the bobbin case. Clean the area and replace the bobbin case and throat plate.

Thread the machine with the presser foot up to see if this will eliminate the looping stitching.

Be sure to use the correct size needle for the type and weight of the fabric being sewn. There should be a chart in the manual for the machine. There should also be a suggested setting for the tension.

If you need a manual, check the Brother website for a download.

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Take out the bobbin case, remove the bobbin. Using laquer thinner on a Q-tip or a thin rag, clean the center "hole" of the bobbin case. Then look at the post in the machine that the bobbin slides onto. Is there thread wrapped at the back of the post? Also clean the post with your cleaner. Once the post and the hole are clean, put a little sewing machine oil on your finger and wipe the post with it and the chattering noise of your bobbin will be gone.

Take the thread off the top of your machine, put in a new needle.
Turn your top tension to Zero and lift the presser foot, this will open the tension discs of your machine. Using a needle, scrape or clean the area between the discs. (Your needle also has a flat spot on the top of the needle, that faces the rear of your machine.) Also look for any rough edges in the hole of your presser foot or the hole in your needle plate. If there are any rough edges in the metal areas that your needle goes through, you would have poor stitching. Don't forget to put your tension dial back on the red dot before you sew.

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looped stitches are usually caused by improper tension. when the loop is on the upper side, it may be corrected by loosening the top tension or by tightening the lower tension (turn the tension screws on the bobbin a hair at a time)

since using the machine only a few times it is best to clean the machine from dust (can use a can of air) blow air into the bobbin area and between the tension disks and under the throat plate.

make sure the machine is threaded correctly and bobbin is evenly threaded

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the problem you describe is called bird nesting and is a needle tension problem
it is not tight enough
causes are tensions plates are no responding to the spring pressure , thread not between the plates or wrong settings for the material and thread in use
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If the looping is happening on the underside, it is your top tension that is to blame, conversely looping on top is bobbin tension.........take a look HERE for detail on cleaning lint buildup.

Top tension should be set around the middle of the range, usually 4 - 6.

I would not advise playing with bobbin tensions, however, you can take the needle plate off to clean the hook race area (where bobbin case sits) ...this is 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 appears to be fine dirty deposits, a cloth or cotton bud (Q tip) moistened (not soaked) with methylated spirit will do the trick.

Bargainbox

Jan 26, 2008 | Kenmore Drop-In Bobbin 16231 Mechanical...

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