Question about Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Reverse on kenmore sewing machine 385

The reverse button on the kenmore has stopped working when you push it and also the reverse on the button hole doesn't work.
thanks for any help

Posted by on

  • Anonymous Sep 08, 2008

    The reverse on my machine also doesn't work, plus the zig-zag is stuck in zag (needle stuck on right hand zig-zag pattern) None of the decorative stitches work either. I feel lucky if I can get it to sew forward. I'm considering adjusting the machine with a sledge hammer.

  • nomokenmore Mar 04, 2009

    reverse on my kenmore 385 suddenly stopped working. the buttonholer works in reverse but pushing the reverse button does nothing



1 Answer

I recommend that the machine be serviced by a professional but if you're handy it may simply need cleaning around the reverse cam. To do this place the machine on it's back. You'll need to access the rod that drives the feed dogs and cam mechanism by removing all screws holding the bottom plate of the machine. Remove the bottom plate. Note that when you push the reverse button, while turning the wheel a thin rod moves left which allows a plastic cam mounted to the cam rod to also move left and engages the feed dogs in reverse. If the cam is not moving enough or if too slow, it may be that the rod and cam need cleaning and lubrication. Clean out all lint and lubricate the cam where it moves on the shaft. Try to get it to move more freely without forcing it. When done replace the bottom plate. I just repaired my wifes machine and this solved the problem. Hope it helps.

Posted on Feb 17, 2008

  • 5 more comments 
  • mg48 Dec 13, 2011

    Glad to find this exact problem I have, and the clear directions. Thank you.

  • mg48 Dec 13, 2011

    And let me add that it fixed the problem and saved me a lot of time and money.

  • aga_lupa
    aga_lupa Aug 23, 2012

    Thank you! That helped solve my problem!

  • Thomas Witman
    Thomas Witman Oct 23, 2013

    That was right on! I could see the rod moving and releasing the spring loaded cam but the cam wouldn't move. I put some sewing machine oil on the shaft and pushed the cam left until it started to move. Then put some more oil on the newly exposed shaft and moved the cam back and forth until it now moves with the force of the spring only. Backwards works as well as the stretch stitching which didn't work before!

  • Sparkle4513 Apr 13, 2015

    This info was helpful but doesn't fix my problem. My reverse button just stopped engaging entirely. It's like it's not connected to the motor. I've opened the machine up and I can't find anything disconnected or broken so I'm completely stumped.

  • Sparkle4513 Apr 13, 2015

    This info was helpful but doesn't fix my problem. My reverse button just stopped engaging entirely. It's like it's not connected to the motor. I've opened the machine up and I can't find anything disconnected or broken so I'm completely stumped.

  • WillieCindy Jan 10, 2016

    I can't get mine to work either. I've opened the bottom and can see the hook on the shaft, oiled everything I can find but it's still not engaging. Any other comments that might help me find what's wrong? I am assuming the cam is the out of round thing on the shaft. The cam seems to slip and then catch up. The hook on the shaft looks like it should be holding the cam to the right and the reverse button releases the hook, then the hook grabs again when you let go of the reverse button. My hook isn't touching anything - it doesn't put pressure on anything. does that make sense?



1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

a 6ya Repairman can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repair professionals here in the US.
click here to Talk to a Repairman (only for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017


Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

Will not sew in reverse when reverse button pushed

my kenmore 385.17526 will not go in reverse when I push ... > Manage My Life > Questions
my kenmore 385.17526 will not go in reverse when I push the button ... Having asewing machine that doesn't reverse can be a bit disappointing, especially ...

Sewing Machine Repair ' ThriftyFun
Sewing Machine Won't Sew in Reverse. My Elna 3007 became temperamental atsewing in reverse some years ago. On occasion, I will need to push the button ...

Bernina 1230 Reverse Button Fix ' Temecula Valley Sewing ...
Aug 30, 2010 - The reverse button of the 1230 had been pulled or popped out of ... All I had to do to fix the button was to hold the button in, and then push the cap forward. ... My 1120 Bernina reverse button will not work and the person who ...

Dec 28, 2015 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

How do I fix my kenmore sewing machine. Model # 385. 1960180

Consult your manual, the Troubleshooting section. It should explain what the Code 5P means and how to correct it.

Aug 11, 2015 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Reverse not working

it would be a good idea to have the machine checked to see
if the reverse button is damaged or broken

Jun 11, 2012 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Kenore Sewing Machine - Model 385-1960180

In the very back near the front but just beneath the bed of your machine, you will find a flat button. Push the flat button and it will lower your feed dogs. I have this sewing machine and I love it.

Apr 17, 2010 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Kenmore 385 model Automatic Button Hole Apparatus Jams Thread?

Practice and practice some more! Use the same fabric and interfacing as your project and a NEW needle (the correct needle) This is for the Sears Kenmore 385 automatic button hole maker. Make sure you pull the bobbin thread through the Guide Block - it is that simple. Make sure you pull your thread to the back of the machine though the presser foot slot - the correct presser foot. Account for both thread tails before starting to sew. Keep thread tails to the back of the machine 4-5", insert fabric under presser foot keeping thread tails clear. Mark button hole and sew.

Mar 30, 2009 | Kenmore Drop-In Bobbin 505S-21BH...

2 Answers


Dud you pull the button hole lever down so that it engages the foot?

Jul 17, 2008 | Necchi 3102 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

Automatice Buttonhole attachment

I'm going to assume the button fit into the button hole foot to measure the length of button hole. If this is correct, then there is a lever very near the presser foot bar which needs to be pulled down to be engaged by the bh foot. Let me know if this is correct.

Jul 15, 2008 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Kenmore 385 sewing machine gets stuck in reverse

Make sure that your machine is set to sew forward. The reverse button on your machine should have a spring loaded return. If the spring is in place, and doesn't appear stretched, try a drop (just a drop) of sewing machine oil. Please use sewing machine oil. Not WD-40, or any other household oil. If the machine hasn't been serviced in a while, or used alot recently, they knob may need to be "reminded" that its supposed to go in and out. :) After applying the oil, push the knob in and pop it back out like you have been. If nothing else is wrong, it should loosen up and move freely.

Nov 24, 2007 | Sewing Machines

Not finding what you are looking for?
Sewing Machines Logo

Related Topics:

5,507 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Sewing Machines Experts

Tally Girl
Tally Girl

Level 3 Expert

1133 Answers

Chris Wetmore

Level 2 Expert

185 Answers


Level 3 Expert

77202 Answers

Are you a Sewing Machine Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides