Buy a vintage Kenmore sewing machine for a machine that will last a long time. The quality of many modern sewing machines is less than what it used to be if you are just buying simple, non-professional. Figuring out how to thread an older 5186 Kenmore sewing machine is the tricky part, as it is a little bit different from newer ones. However, Kenmore sewing machines follow all the same basics for threading the machine properly.
Wrap some thread around an empty bobbin spool 10 times to get the thread started. Set the bobbin on the bobbin winder spindle, at the upper right side of the sewing machine. Wrap the thread that is between the bobbin and the spool around the upper thread guide.
Pull out the hand wheel of your Kenmore sewing machine. Step on the pedal to wind the bobbin.
Remove the plate under the sewing machine needle and drop in your bobbin. Pull out 6 inches of the thread so the needle can catch it when you begin sewing.
Thread the sewing machine with a regular spool of thread. Start the thread by peeling back the sticky paper at the top of the spool and removing the end of the thread from the slice in the plastic.
Place the spool of thread on the spool holder at the top right of the sewing machine. Situate the spool so that the end of the thread is at the back of the spool and unwinds counterclockwise.
Take the end of the thread and guide it through the upper thread guide. Find the thread guide on the top left side of the sewing machine.
Wrap the thread around the tension dial. Set your tension dial to 3, 4 or 5 so the tension is not too tight.
Feed the thread through the thread take up lever, which is partially hidden inside the sewing machine. Turn the hand wheel until the thread take up lever is clearly visible. Open the door cover on the left if necessary.
Insert the thread into the hole in the needle. Turn the hand wheel a few times to allow the needle to pick up the bobbin thread along with the top stitching thread.