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I cannot turn the clutch knob on my kenmore sewing machine. It happened when I was sewing last night. A needle got stuck and I removed it.

I have a kenmore sewing machine model #385.11608 which I have had and used for at least 25 years now with little problems. Last night I was sewing when my needle got stuck in the feed dogs. I managed to remove it by loosening the screw. I also took out the bobbin case and assembly. The needle was bent so I threw it away. Then I attempted to turn the clutch knob so that I could raise up the thing and put in a new needle but it would only turn about a 1/4 of an inch. So the thing would not go up so that I can put in a new needle. I also cannot replace the bobbin case and assembly.

Kenmore , Appliances
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2 Answers from these members:
Manage My Life
I'm sorry that you are having difficulties with your sewing machine. I did some research for you at and found an expert answer to a similar question that may assist you until your expert can respond. I have attached the link below
by Manage My Life
December 31st, 2010
Answered in 15 minutes
0 votes
Sam A
Thank you for your question.

It sounds like you have something stuck in the shuttle gears. Or the half gear on the shuttle driver is damaged.

Make sure that you have returned the bobbin winder to the sew position

If you were able to retrieve all of the needle parts, so that there isn't a piece stuck somewhere in the drive gears, then I would suggest some dismantling.


from the machine.

Lay the machine on its back and remove the left hand shuttle cover on the open arm.

Look at the half gear and the shuttle driver gear to see if it is damaged. You can check the see if the problem is there by trying to move the hand wheel while looking at the half shuttle gear to see if it is bound up.

Please let me know what you have found and if we need to look at more areas on the machine.

Thank you for using Manage My Life.
by Sam A Earned 792 community points in Appliances
January 3rd, 2011
0 votes
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