Lizzie asks…

How to thread a old sears kenmore sewing machine?

I found a old sears kenmore sewing machine at a thrift store for $10 that works, but didn’t come with any instructions on how to thread the machine. It is a older model that comes as a table and one can flip the machine up. Does anyone know where I can get a online instruction guide or does anyone have one and can tell me step by step how to thread it??

admin answers:

Lift the machine itself out of the table. Look on the lower front for a metal plate with a model number. Then go to and under “SEWING MACHINE MANUALS and Related items”, look for your model. It should be “starts with Kenmore”. You can order a manual from there.


If you don’t want to spend the money, here is the basic idea of threading a machine. Place the thread on the little pole on top of the machine. Thread it through any loops nearby, back to front (usually two slots or loops). Then take it through the tensioner (usually a dial of some sort that squishes two metal plates together). Make sure the thread goes *between* the plates. Then take it up to the “goose” which is the arm that sticks out and goes up and down when the machine goes. It is usually on the upper left of the machine, above the needle. From there, thread it through any “pigtails” (curly metal loops) on the way to the needle. And then through the needle.

The bobbin is below the needle, inside the machine. This will need to be removed, loaded with thread, and reinserted. Or you can buy ready-filled bobbins. But that is another question…

Hint: adjust the tension if the stitches don’t seem right at first. This usually fixes the problem!

Sounds like a great deal! Good luck.

Donna asks…

What year was the 158.331 Sears Kenmore Sewing Machine made?

I found this machine at a thrift store and I love it. I was just wondering how old it is. It’s built into a table if that helps anything.

admin answers:

1967, according to this site

Steven asks…

Sewing Machine Problems: Sears Kenmore Model 1802, Zig Zag Sewing Machine?

I recently was given a really nice sewing machine from the 1970s that had only been used a handful of times. It still even had the original instruction manual with a letter that is addressed “Dear Homemaker” (haha…). The warranty actually just went up maybe 2-5 years ago. It’s the kind that flips up out of a table so you can keep it out of view at other times.

Anyways. I know I’m threading everything correctly, I have the tension accurate as far as I can tell, but every time I start sewing one of two things happens. 1) the bobbin (which goes in from the front underneath instead of straight down like what I’m used to) pops out and falls on the floor (even when I’ve snapped it in place) once I pick up any speed beyond just turning the wheel by hand. Or 2) I get a horribly tangled mess down in the bobbin/shuttle area that causes the everything but the motor on the machine to stop going and often breaks my needle.

Does anybody have an idea of what’s going on?

I know the machine works well, because I’ve already used it to make several items. I had this problem once already and I thought I had fixed it, but then I had to add more thread to the bobbin and the problem came back, so I have no idea what’s going on.

admin answers:

It sounds like the bobbin isnt’ wound properly and that you are inserting the bobbin into the bobbin case incorrectly. With the kenmores from that era, there is a right way and wrong way to put the bobbin in the case. If you put it in wrong, it will at the very least fall out, and at the worst give you a snarl underneath the machine.Re REad the manual.