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Forum > Sewing Machines > Kenmore 385 - trouble with stitch selector ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Kenmore 385 - trouble with stitch selector
can't get stitch selector from gold stitches to red stitches
KimDavis
KimDavis
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VA USA
Member since 8/23/13
Posts: 6
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Date: 8/23/13 11:33 AM

On my Kenmore 385 Sewing machine, I can't get the stitch selector dial off of the gold "super stretch" stitches back to the normal red stitch selections.

I don't think the machine broken. I think it's something to do with where the width selector and length dials and something else is set. The manual just says to put the other dials where you want them, but it just won't click back to the red zone.

Surely someone else has this machine and has run into this problem?!

Thanks,

bestgrammy
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bestgrammy
OR USA
Member since 8/29/06
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In reply to KimDavis <<


Date: 8/23/13 11:46 AM

Edited to add: Forgot my manners again. Hello and welcome to Pattern Review. Hope your sewing machine problem is soon resolved.

Need more numbers to know what the model actually is.

Those three numbers only indicate your Kenmore was made by Janome. The next five numbers are your sewing machine's model number.
-- Edited on 8/23/13 11:48 AM --

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
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OH USA
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In reply to KimDavis <<


Date: 8/23/13 12:22 PM

Hi Kim, welcome to PR. What model do you have? Is it a mechanical or computerized? Did you try putting everything back to a basic straight stitch? Did you put the presser foot up? Sometimes you can't change stitches with the foot in the down position.

KimDavis
KimDavis
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VA USA
Member since 8/23/13
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In reply to bestgrammy <<


Date: 8/23/13 12:37 PM

It's a 16524000.

It's not digital.
I've put the pressure foot up. I've put the needle in various positions, I've had the length and the width at different spots, just can't quite seem to get the right combination.

bestgrammy
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bestgrammy
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In reply to KimDavis <<


Date: 8/23/13 6:53 PM

Thank you for the model number. With that # I've been looking at an online manual for your sewing machine. I don't have the same machine...so trying to figure out what needs to be done.

It seems the stitch length is what needs to be set for regular sewing...straight stitch and zig zag to get it from the gold setting.

How long have you had this sewing machine? Has this problem started recently? Does it seem like the knobs are not moving as they should...or as you mentioned something is not "clicking".

Good that the presser foot is up...that is what the manual states to do.

I will read the online manual some more...but hoping someone has this model and knows just what's what with it.

KimDavis
KimDavis
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VA USA
Member since 8/23/13
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In reply to bestgrammy <<
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Date: 8/23/13 7:30 PM

Thanks for taking the time to look into it. I've had the machine for a couple years, but I only pull it out once or twice a year when I decide it's time for a project. It happened the last time I pulled it off the shelf, but I wiggled this knob and that knob and it did finally click into the red zone again. And I remember feeling really stupid about how easy it was to change it, once I was able to change it.

bestgrammy
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bestgrammy
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In reply to KimDavis <<
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Date: 8/23/13 8:08 PM

Machines can "freeze up" from sitting unused for long periods...such as what your sewing machine does. What happens is that sewing machine oil inside the machine...and possibly mingled with lint/dust...becomes glue like and freezes up moving parts.

Do you have its manual?

From what the online manual indicates...turning the stitch length dial to higher than 2 gets it out of SS (stretch stitch). So is that dial not moving/clicking? Do you think it's a matter of not clicking...being frozen up...or that the right setting is not done?

If it's frozen up...some have had success with warming up the sewing machine with a hair dryer set on medium...not cool but not too hot. But it takes about 20 minutes of warming to get things loose. Before sewing with it...clean it out in the areas that you can get to easily as indicated in its manual...and oil the two points the manual says to oil. IMHO...from having a Kenmore sm smiliar to yours...not the same model...but similar...look under the bobbin to find the oil wick...in the bottom of the bobbin case are two holes...one looks like there is a tiny wad of material/cotton in it...DO NOT try to remove that wad...only add one or two...not more than two tiny drops of FRESH SEWING MACHINE OIL...to that wad...wipe off any excess/drips from the bottom of the bobbin case. If you have very old sewing machine oil...please buy a small fresh bottle at Joann's or Walmart...etc. DO NOT use anything other than sewing machine oil. NOT household 3 in 1 nor WD40...nor anything like that. Just oil for sewing machines which looks crystal clear and light.

The area where the width and length dials are are not accessible by you and should not be except by a sewing machine tech...so just try the hair dryer warming to see if the dials will move better...if that is what is the situation...that the dials are not moving.

If you get it working...be sure to take it down from the shelf more often just to move its dials and run it a few minutes...also keep at least an old towel over it to keep dust from settling inside. Store it with its presser foot in the up position. Clean out any dust and old oil and add a couple of drops...just a couple...at its oil spots and oil wick at least once a year...even if not being used.

If you don't mind...please post with an update if you get it to work or not.

Edited to add: Be sure to use only Janome or Kenmore plastic bobbins in your sewing machine...no metal bobbins. Metal bobbins will not cause the issue with the dials...but using metal bobbins will cause problems with the magnetized bobbin system...so thought I'd mention it while you are checking posts.

Dritz and Singer plastic bobbins and other generic plastic bobbins will not effect the bobbin system magnetization...but they will not perform well and will jump and rattle in the bobbin case. Some PR members state that Brother SA 156 bobbins work for them...not the SA 155...but the SA 156 are said to be the right size.

Sorry for the extra info...but thought it best to mention while you are actively reading posts.

-- Edited on 8/23/13 9:21 PM --

bestgrammy
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bestgrammy
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In reply to KimDavis <<


Date: 8/23/13 9:14 PM

Forgot to say...besides the presser foot being up...the needle must be up to its highest also.

Any luck yet?

KimDavis
KimDavis
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VA USA
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Date: 8/23/13 9:38 PM

Wow. Who would have believed it? The hair dryer did the trick. It now moves between red and gold stitches depending on the "length" dial. Because all of the dials moved freely, and it would sew, I didn't think the machine was "frozen". But, there were signs inside that the grease/oil was in a more solid form that it should be. So it was worth a try. Took me almost 30 minutes of blow drying, but I have the manual almost memorized now.

Many good things from this. I now know that it is supposed to move freely between red and gold stitches - it's not some trick. I've found the great place of "patternreview". Some really nice, helpful people. Some great tips about things I wouldn't have known to think about. A place to learn. I'm excited!!

bestgrammy
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bestgrammy
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In reply to KimDavis <<
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Date: 8/23/13 9:58 PM

Hurray...very glad you fixed your sewing machine!

Even when there is not a project to do...take your sewing machine down for a little "Sunday drive" about every two months. Turn the dials and run it on straight and zig zag for a few minutes...don't even use thread and fabric. That will warm things up inside and help its lubrication stay soft/fluid.

Enjoy making your project. Happy sewing.

Edited to add: Forgot to say...when letting your sewing machine run without fabric for its "Sunday drive" every couple of months (or more often)...be sure the presser foot is up so the feed dogs don't scratch the bottom of the presser foot...and of course as previously stated do not use thread in either the needle or bobbin.
-- Edited on 8/24/13 2:51 AM --

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