Go Back  Quiltingboard Forums >
  • Main
  • For Vintage & Antique Machine Enthusiasts
  • Help, my Kenmore is making me nuts! >
  • Help, my Kenmore is making me nuts!

  • Help, my Kenmore is making me nuts!

    Old 11-12-2011, 01:06 AM
    Senior Member
    Thread Starter
    auniqueview's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2011
    Location: Ft. Myers, Fl
    Posts: 582
    Default Help, my Kenmore is making me nuts!

    I am going to try to explain the problem, and hopefully, there is a solution short of taking it to the repair shop. This is the Kenmore 385.15500200, and I have been sewing quite a bit of heavy materials on it with no problems. Until tonight, when it decided to act up. I was sewing on a cut up pair of jeans, had sewn up the side, and suddenly the needle stuck. Just stuck. The wheel would not move either direction, and rather than force it, I opened the bobbin case area and pulled it apart, thinking that the needle had broken off.

    As soon as I pulled that apart, the needle came up, was in one piece, and did not appear to be broken or damaged in any way. I cleaned the whole area out, checking for lint and stray threads, and reassembled it. It got in about two stitches, hung up, and this time it broke the needle. I took it apart again, cleared the area, and put in a 16 to replace the 14, thinking maybe this was the problem. Apparently not.

    I have taken it apart, cleaned everything, put another new needle in, making sure it was in correctly, and without trying to sew it, checked the action of the needle, close up and personal, using a flashlight to see if I was missing something. It seems as if the needle is hitting against the pieces in the bobbin area, just ever so slightly. Watching the needle action from above, it seems that the needle, sewing on a straight stitch setting, is shifting ever so slightly to the left as it decends. It hangs up and either locks up, or breaks. I have taken the parts in the bobbin area (sorry, don't know the names of them) out and looked them over, and don't see any bends or nicks in them. I am at a loss. It was working fine before.

    About the second needle, I put on a pair of reading glasses...figured it was safer that way, lol. Does anyone sew with safety glasses?
    auniqueview is offline  
    Old 11-12-2011, 01:46 AM
    Power Poster
    Join Date: Mar 2011
    Location: Somewhere
    Posts: 15,506

    You said you were using heavy fabric. My first thought was to replace the old needle with a brand new needle. And is the foot or something loose? Sometimes the needle will bend ever so slightly and then do all kinds of weird stuff before it breaks and hits you in the safety glasses. Some times the fabric is so heavy it can bend the needle shaft as it falls on it's own weight through the machine. A little pulling on the fabric to get it through can bend the needle shaft. If so you won't be able to see that ever so slight bend until it is out of the machine. While it is possible to replace the needle shaft with a compatible shaft from a donor machine, it is NOT a beginner job - it does involve timing the machine to get it to work. You might want to PM with Glen Cleveland from Huntsville, AL - he is a very good trouble shooter and gentleman here on Vintage Sewing Machine Shop here on QB - maybe Glen can come up with some better ideas to get the machine working again.
    miriam is offline  
    Related Topics
    Thread Starter
    Last Post
    General Chit-Chat (non-quilting talk)
    07-24-2021 01:36 PM
    11-02-2010 10:28 AM
    07-03-2009 11:32 AM
    2 Doods
    04-07-2008 06:32 PM
    03-27-2008 05:16 AM

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off

    FREE Quilting Newsletter