Kenmore sewing machines have been favorites in the American household for years and have carried the Sears reputation for quality. The Kenmore name first appeared in the 1913 catalog. Sears dropped the name in 1919 and reintroduced it in 1934, according to the Sears Archives website. Kenmore electric sewing machines have been in constant production since that time, and in recent years, Kenmore has added electronic machines. Most sewing machine repairs can be done by the owner. The common problems are needles, threading, shuttle, feeding, tension and sluggishness, according to Kenmore literature from 1975.
Locate the manual for the Kenmore sewing machine you need to fix. If you do not have the manual, look at the Home Appliance Manuals Online website and see if the manual is available. Unplug the sewing machine to work on it.
Clean the Kenmore sewing machine by removing the bobbin, bobbin case and shuttle as well as the sole plate, needle, and any removable parts at the needle. Clean with a toothbrush to remove lint and dust. Replace the needle with a new one and place the shuttle and sole plate back in the machine. Be sure the flat part of the needle is in the correct position according to the manual. A new needle often fixes skipped stitches or broken thread. Plug the sewing machine in and turn it on.
Wind a bobbin for the sewing machine and place it in the bobbin case and into the machine. Use the same spool of thread to thread the Kenmore sewing machine, using the manual as needed. Make a few stitches in a piece of fabric to see if it sews. Check the top stitches and the back of the fabric for loops and loose tension. Decrease loose stitches on the top of the fabric by adjusting the screw on the bobbin case. Decrease loose stitches on the bottom of the fabric by adjusting the tension wheel on the front at the thread guide. Correct tension should lock the threads in the center of the fabric, not on top or on the bottom.
Fix sluggishness by oiling the Kenmore with sewing machine oil only, and according to instructions in the manual. Sew a few feet with scrap fabric to distribute the oil.
Repair improper feeding of the fabric by adjusting presser foot pressure at the top left of the machine. Check stitch length and make sure the feed dog adjustment (lower right) is in the up position. Open the top lid on a cam machine and remove any plastic cams. Make sure that the metal cam is in place and the dial is set at the same color as the stitch dial on the front of the Kenmore machine. Close the top lid, thread the machine and sew another seam.
Get help at Sears Home Services if your machine has a broken part or still will not sew correctly.