Kenmore 385-19606

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I just bought a close out model at Sears. It is a Kenmore 385 19606 a
reliable? What problems does the machine have. And just who makes it and
what model?


Re: Kenmore 385-19606
dplant had written this in response to  :

Buster52 wrote:

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hey Buster ...

I have a 385 Ken also.  LOVE IT!  But, I have a friend and now mine, that
when you try to sew material that is thick enough to jam the needle, it
will throw the bobbin timing off and then the needle won't pick up the
bobbin thread.

Something about the timing.  Mine is still under warranty and Sears
informed me it will be THREE WEEKS before I get it back.  We'll see what

My friend says Sears repair service is NOT reliable.  His machine jammed
He now takes it to the local Janome dealer and has it back in two days.

I must learn how to do this "re-adjust" myself as I want to sew thick
materials occasionally.

The Kenmore 385 is made by Janome.  

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Re: Kenmore 385-19606

ferreter had written this in response to  :
I saw a comment about how the Kenmore 385 easily loses its needle - hook
timing. I can't find how to fix the timing of my Kenmore 385 "100 Stitch"
sewing machine.  I have looked at some of the instructions online but they
are not specific & clear enough. Did someone find this info or find that
it much better to pay someone to do the work?

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Re: Kenmore 385-19606

On Sun, 07 Feb 2010 04:05:09 +0000, ferreter <annbran1_at_gmail_
dot> wrote:
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Just an FYI:  385 is Sears' designator for machines made by Janome and
sold under the Kenmore name.  The actual useful model number is the part
after the decimal point, so a machine that's 123.456789 is a machine made
by company 123, and the model is 456789 (though usually only the first four
digits are useful, so it's really model 4567).  Some of the parts lists
and manuals are available at
and/or /

Most of the "loses a needle" problems are just "wasn't cinched up tight enough
when you installed it" problems, in my experience.  One machine I owned had
a knurled thumbscrew that the ridges were sharp on.  If I didn't use a
scrap of fabric between the thumbscrew and my fingers, it hurt enough that
I didn't get the thumbscrew tight.  (Nowadays I'm old and impatient and
I'd probably just file down the thumbscrew edges a bit to round them over.)

Another machine had a flat thumbscrew that was hard to grip because there
wasn't much clearance between the machine housing and the thumbscrew.  
I fixed that issue by putting a little plastic wrap over the thumbscrew
and then taking a lump of epoxy putty and making a little handle thingie
I could use for better leverage.  Once the epoxy started to
harden a bit, I pulled the lump and plastic off the thumbscrew and
let it cure.  Then I had a custom lever for snugging down the needle
without skinning my knuckles.

Retiming a machine tends to be an exercise in frustration until you have
someone teach you the basics; I learned on an ancient White that was
forever going out of time because of poor quality metal in the needlebar.
I suspect you can learn to do it on your own, particularly if you have
good tinkering skills, but I also suspect most machines in need of
retiming get taken to a real mechanic.

Also, if you're having trouble snugging up the needle in the clamp, the
machine will be "out of time" if the needle drops just a smidge.  And
it will be variably out of time, just to make things more fun.  So always
retime with a brand new needle of the right needle system for the machine
fully inserted.  Conventionally, home machines are retimed with a size
80/12 needle, ime.

IME also, except for that ancient White (which had more than one
mechanic swear it should never have left the plant because of the slipping
timing issue), actual timing problems tend to be immediately preceded
by broken needles, really bad jams, loud noises, and Bad Words.  If none
of those have happened to a machine that you think is "out of time",
it's amazing how often you can properly clean the machine, oil it if needed,
put in a new needle right way around, decent thread on a correctly wound
bobbin the right way around, and rethread correctly, and voila! the machine
is "magically retimed",

Again, in my experience, "mistimed" machines are mostly misthreaded --
to the extent that I put up a series of pairs of photos at so people could compare
the stitching on a clean, properly timed machine to the same machine
with minor misthreading.  The photos are in pairs, blue thread on top,
red in the bobbin.  First pair is correct; all the rest of the problem
stitching samples I induced by minor misthreading or poor seam starting.


Re: Kenmore 385-19606

Kay Lancaster wrote:

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Bravo, Kay, well done!!!  Bookmarked for future reference.


Re: Kenmore 385-19606
On Monday, May 4, 2009 at 1:42:50 AM UTC-4, Buster52 wrote:
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Thanks for that well written article.  

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