It took some hard work and tiring Googles searches, but I finally found a user manual for my Kenmore 385 -12914 sewing machine. Additionally, I was able to find a separate threading guide for my model which was super helpful as it is much clearer than the images in the user manual.
Change of Plan
I was going to try threading my machine, but honestly, I got side tracked with a ton of cool videos about everything to do with sewing. I have started into Step 2 and decided that it makes more sense to learn about tension, thread and fabrics before threading the machine.
Okay, so now I get to talk about all the cool tutorials I watched and want to try out. I found a great video on YouTube that demonstrates many of the basic sewing techniques a beginner needs to know and another video that talks all about the different fabrics. But by far, the most helpful video I found was a tutorial on using the right tension by Becky Hanson. She is an excellent teacher! I discovered that using the correct tension, thread and stitch for your project are critical to success.
She also posted an excellent tutorial on how to thread a bobbin which I am certainly going to use when it comes time to thread my machine (tomorrows project). The tutorial is specific to a Singer machine, not a Kenmore (which is the model I have) but she goes over general information that is helpful to all sewers. I also learned a ton about common sewing machine problems that can be avoided by following some simple practices. For example, serger thread isn’t meant for use on a regular machine, but if you do want to use it you can use a separate stand alone spool holder and a spool insert to keep it from moving too much. And that you should have a spool felt under your spool pole so it glides easily. And, you should put a spool cap on top of your spool. Apparently, these come in different sizes and you need to use the proper size to ensure your thread doesn’t get caught in the imperfections of the top of the spool while sewing. It should be a little bigger than the top of the spool. There is also a technique for putting it on properly. It shouldn’t be too loose (too far from the top of the spool), nor should it be pressed tightly against the spool. For best results, it should be very close but not quite touching the spool.
Thread that is wound onto a spool in a crisscross pattern is designed to be put onto a vertical thread holder while thread that is not is meant to be put on a horizontal thread holder. Becky Hansons tutorial also taught me that you can’t just use any old bobbin in your machine. You have to use the exact same type of bobbin that came with your machine. She also said that she does not recommend buying pre-threaded bobbins as they are not the correct depth and this can cause problems.
If anyone happens to know of other online sewing tutorials that teach basic skills, please feel free to share!