Manufactured by Singer, the Kenmore 158 was sold in the late 1970s and is one of the last mechanical sewing machines offered by Sears. The sewing machine offers a variety of stitches determined by the choice of plastic cams that were placed in a compartment at the top of the machine arm. The machine came with a simple straight and zig-zag stitch cam, and additional cams were available through Sears or Singer. The solid metal construction means that many machines still work today.
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Rotate the hand wheel on the right side of the sewing machine until the needle is at its highest point. The door to the bobbin case lies directly beneath the needle. Slide the door to the left. Pull out the small rectangular latch on the bobbin shuttle and the entire circular piece will come free. Remove the bobbin from the bobbin shuttle.
Place a spool of thread on the thread spindle on top of the sewing machine. Pull 2 feet of thread from the spool. Draw the thread downward and slip it between the bobbin tension discs on the right side of the machine. Wind the thread five or six times around the bobbin. Place the bobbin on the bobbin winding spindle next to the hand wheel. Snap the bobbin winder lever down. Loosen the hand wheel by rotating the center portion of the wheel toward you. Press the foot pedal and wind the bobbin. When the bobbin is full, release the pedal, tighten the center potion of the hand wheel, open the bobbin lever and clip the thread.
Place the bobbin back into the bobbin shuttle. Slide the bobbin thread into the slot on the side of the bobbin shuttle and slip the thread under the tension spring. Leave a 1-foot tail. Hold the handle of the bobbin shuttle open and place the bobbin back into its place below the needle. Pull a tail of thread out of the door to the bobbin case. Slide the door closed, leaving it open 1/4-inch.
Pull 2 feet of thread from the spool on top of the sewing machine. Slip the thread under the thread guide at the top of the machine. Draw the thread down and slide it between the tension discs on the tension dial. Pull the thread up and slip it through the eye of the take up lever. Pull the thread down and slip it through the thread guides at the bottom of the left hand side of the machine and on the needle assembly.
Loosen the flanged screw on the back of the needle assembly. Insert the back of the sewing machine needle into the hole at the bottom of the assembly with the flat portion of the needle toward the back of the machine. Tighten the flanged screw. Thread the needle from front to back.
Hold the tails of the thread from the needle and the bobbin together. Slowly rotate the hand wheel so the needle dips and rises again. Slide the scissors between the feed dogs and the presser foot. The scissors hook the bobbin thread and pull it out through the throat plate. Close the door to the bobbin case completely. Clip both threads, leaving a 2-inch tail.