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How to Thread a Kenmore Sewing Machine

a Kenmore model 385-17026590

Getting a new sewing machine (or even a hand me down) should be an exciting time. But when you start to thread a sewing machine for the first time, or one that is unfamiliar to you, it can seem a bit intimidating. In reality, it really is quite easy to thread a sewing machine if you know what you are doing. In this post I will be covering how to thread, wind a bobbin, and install a bobbin on a Kenmore model 385-17026590.

How to Thread a Kenmore Sewing Machine

For this sewing machine, you can start with your thread on either a horizonal spool holder or a vertical.

  • Start by finding the beginning of your thread on the spool. It will be hooked into a notch in one end of the spool. If you have trouble releasing the thread, try using a sewing needle and run it behind the thread to loosen it.
  • Once you have the beginning of your thread, if you are using the spool horizontally, place the end of the spool with the notch facing the right on the spool pin. You don’t want your thread to get caught in the notch as you are sewing. If vertically, place the notch end down against the machine.
  • Now take the thread and wrap it over the thread guide to the left, then down the thread slots, back up and around the thread take-up lever, back down to the needle housing.
  • Once you have made it to the needle housing area of your machine, you need to look for the thread guide above the needle. Once you find it, run your thread through the guide, then thread your needle from the front as shown in this video. You now have the top thread installed on your sewing machine.

How to Wind a Bobbin on a Kenmore Sewing Machine

Winding a bobbin may look difficult, but it really is fun once you get the hang of it. Here is how you wind a bobbin on a Kenmore.

  • Take your empty bobbin, run the end of the thread from the middle of the bobbin (from a side view), up through one of the holes in the top of the bobbin, then back down the center post of your bobbin.
  • Place the bobbin onto the bobbin winding spindle, careful to hold the end of the thread until you have it on the spindle.
  • Push the bobbin to the right towards the bobbin winding stopper.
  • Now look on the right side of your sewing machine. On the hand wheel, the center of the wheel should have a smaller wheel. Pull that wheel out. This is your clutch and it will stop the rest of your sewing machine from operating while you wind your bobbin.
  • You are now ready to wind the bobbin. Slowly place your foot on your pedal and being winding the bobbin. I find it helps to hold the feeder thread over my fingers so that I can guide the thread onto the bobbin.
  • Once the bobbin is full, your sewing machine will slow to a stop. cut the feeder thread, slide your bobbin spindle to the left and remove your bobbin by gently pulling upward.
  • Trim the beginning piece of thread that is run through the center post of your bobbin and you are done.
  • Don’t forget to push in your clutch!

How to Install a Bobbin on a Kenmore Sewing Machine

  • Open your bobbin housing by sliding the small black button to the right of the clear plate.
  • Place your freshly wound bobbin into the bobbin housing according to the picture on the clear plate. For this Kenmore sewing machine, you place the bobbin with the thread leaving the bobbin on the left.
  • Now take your thread and come straight down to what would be 6 o’clock on a standard clock face. You will then move the thread back to the guide at 8 o’clock, and end at the 12 o’clock position.
  • Make sure your machine is already threaded with a top thread, then take your hand wheel and rotate it until the needle goes now into the bobbin housing and back out 1 time. Take a pair of scissors (something flat enough to go between the bobbin housing and your presser foot) and slide them from right to left under your presser foot. This should catch the thread from the bobbin that the needle just brought up. If not, Rotate your hand wheel and try again.
  • Once you have the bobbin thread up and under the presser foot, replace the clear plate back over the bobbin.

Sewing machines generally top thread the same way, or at least similarly. The differences usually come in with the bobbin. Some machines top load, some front load, but either way, once you know how a sewing machine works it becomes quite easy to figure it out. I hope these videos and steps have helped. Now that you have a threaded sewing machine, go get sewing!

The sewing machine in this post is a Kenmore model 385-17026590. Other Kenmore models may thread differently.

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