Who Made JCPenney Sewing Machines? (How to Thread and Use)

History loses a lot of data. That is one of the sad aspects of history. Time seems to not only heal all wounds but it seems to make facts and information disappear as well. This is the case when it comes to department store branded sewing machines.

Who made JCPenney sewing machines? JCPenney was like many other department stores after World War 2. They did not produce their own brand name sewing machines but contracted with the many different Japanese sewing machine makers to produce their models. The list includes, Brother, Janome, and Toyota.

To learn some history about the JCPenny sewing machine and how to thread it, just continue to read our article. It is filled with the information you need to know in order to purchase and use your JCPenny machine

JCPenney Sewing Machines Manufacturers


This is a very interesting question as there seems to be a variety of answers. The first thing you need to know is that this department store did not produce its own sewing machines.

The second thing you need to know about this topic is that the names of several sewing machine makers are often used to say who built those machines. The list includes, Brother, Janome, Toyota, and the list could include 100 different Japanese sewing machine makers that are not as well known.

After WW2 the record-keeping by Japanese companies was not all that good, whether intentional or not, and it seems who actually made those sewing machines is lost to history.

The model 7057 with a JCPenny nameplate was a complete copy of an original Singer model. That tells you that JC Penny machines may have been clones of different top sewing machine brands.

The 6950 model was made by a lesser Japanese firm called Chi Yoda and there is no way to tell how many JCPenny sewing machines were made by that company. It would take a lot of research to track down the actual makers of that department store brand.

JCPenney Sewing Machine Models

It would be impossible to list all the different JCPenny’s sewing machine models here as some may not have survived through the war years or were not recorded when the Japanese took over manufacturing those machines.

However, we have three websites that list different models for that department store and one site has the PDF owner’s manuals for sale. That site’s website is located here. A repair shop also lists different JCPenny’s sewing machine models and you can find that list here.

Then a third list can be found at this location. A good internet search may help you find your model as well as producing a manual for it. Getting and keeping the manual should make your sewing machine more valuable when it comes time to part ways with it.

The manuals for the first website cost $9.95 each. That is a small sum to pay to make sure you can find the right part or thread your particular model.

Does JCPenney Sell Sewing Machines?


Sewing machines have been one of the more stable products this company has sold. While they do not make sewing machines, they do still sell them. How many is not known at this time as the change in shopping has depleted the company of needed revenue.

According to an article dated four years ago, it seems that the company stopped selling a lot of home appliances and focused more on clothes and other goods. Sewing machines were not listed in that article so they may or may not be making a come back, if they left at all.

Of course, those appliances did not carry the JCPenny name. They will carry the label of the company that makes them. Those companies are LG, Samsung, and others. An article dated to last year stated that the company will once again depart from the major appliance market but no word about sewing machines was mentioned in the article.

Given the facts of those two stories the company may or may not be selling sewing machines.

How to Thread an Old JCPenney Sewing Machine

There are several steps to threading an old JCPenny sewing machine. Here are those steps:

The first step involves locating the thread guide and then once that is done move the handwheel. The turn of the handwheel is away from you and as you do that, you should see the take-up lever emerge at the top of the thread guide.

The second step is to place your spool of thread on the left-hand side spool pin. Then take the thread end and put it through the thread guide at the back left side of the machine. After that, bring the thread to the thread guide on the front left side of the machine.

Next, you pull the thread down to the tension dial. Going under the dial you should be able to pull the thread through the wire spring at the left-hand side of the dial. Now you take the thread up past the thread guide and going right to left thread it through the take-up lever. Then take it down to the little wire loop located at the top left of the needle.

Then pull the thread through the eye of the needle going front to back and pulling about 6 inches of the thread as your tail. The final step is to hold the thread tail with your left hand and spin the handwheel away from you with your right.

The thread from the bobbin should appear looped through the top thread. Grab that and pull it through and you are ready to sew.

JCPenney Sewing Machine Manual


If you are a proud owner of a JCPenny badged sewing machine then you are in a better position than many vintage sewing machine owners. You have easy access to the many different owner’s manuals written for JC Penny sewing machines.

We have linked to 3 websites that have those manuals already and they are very straight forward websites. The one charges for the owner’s manuals it has but we are not sure about the other two.

The manuals are all in PDF format and are ready for download. Making sure you have the manuals is important if you ever decide to part with your machine. The machine’s value increases a little when the manual is part of the sale.

Plus, if your machine breaks down it should help you find the part number you need.

Finding JCPenney Sewing Machine Parts

This task does seem to be as easy as finding the JCPenny’s owner’s manuals. There are a lot of places on the internet that claim to fix these old and somewhat new sewing machines.

eBay is one place where you might find some replacement parts. They seem to list some for the model 6915. It is possible that you will find more there or other similar online outlets.

This store, at this link, claims to have over 60,000 parts for new, used, and vintage sewing machines. Contacting them directly should save you some search time. Then this location, at this link, has different parts for a variety of old sewing machines including the JCPenny brand.

Since most of the JCPenny sewing machines were cloned, you may find the part you need under another brand name. For more modern JC Penny machines, you can try this link. It runs through Sears but the page is dedicated to JC Penny’s sewing machines.

As we said, finding parts for your JC Penny sewing machine is not going to be that difficult unless all of these and other options are out of stock.

JCPenney Sewing Machine Needles


It is possible that you think that needles are needles. But that isn't generally the case. Not all machines accept needles made by other companies, including universal variations.

You may have to do some searching to find the right ones for your JCPenny sewing machine model. The parts stores we listed above should help you with that search. If you contact them they may be able to tell you a good substitute needle to use.

This size chart may help you find the right needle for your older machine. The best thing to do is to check the owner’s manual. Those will tell you which needle works the best for your machine.

If you are still in doubt, you can check this cross-referencing chart to find the right needle. Worse comes to worst, you can always e-mail them and ask. There is plenty of information about needles everywhere you look. The last resort would be sewing repair shops.

They would know exactly what needle you will need and where to find it. Being pointe din the right direction is half the battle. It may save you some frustration as well.

How to Use a JCPenney Sewing Machine

A JCPenny sewing machine works just like any other sewing machine made in its era. There may be a few differences between models and brands but sewing is basically the same no matter how you do it.

The key to using a sewing machine sold by JCPenny is not to sew it to death. If you do not use it for production or for school projects then their machines should last you a long time. The Penncrest model may be more heavy-duty and be able to handle those tougher production demands.

Some of these sewing machines can be fickle. They may work for one woman but not for others. That was the experience of one sewer. She had no trouble using it but her friends were brought to tears as the machine would not respond to their touch or bidding.

Just take care of your machine and treat it well and it should return the treatment and last you a long time.

Servicing a JCPenny Sewing Machine


To help make your model last a long time, you should service the machine regularly. This helps prevent parts from breaking and from costing you a lot of money. Regular maintenance and then annual servicing by qualified repairmen should keep your JCPenny sewing machine by your side for decades.

The standard maintenance steps apply to these machines as they would any other made in Japan. The first step is to clean the machine every month or close to that time. Keeping the dirt and lint away lets the machine function like it should all the time.

Next, check your bobbin to see that it is the right one and positioned correctly. Different machines have different positions so you can’t assume the bobbin will fit the same as other machines. Also, do not use plastic when metal is called for and vice versa.

After this do your lubrication. The owner’s manual should be able to tell you where you place the sewing machine oil and how much. Then check the electrical wiring. These can become loose or frayed and you may not notice it until it is too late. Keep the wires connected tightly and replace frayed wires ensures your machine will operate when you want it to.

Some Final Words

History has a way of hiding the past. It is normal for that to happen especially when care is not taken in preserving vital information. As for JCPenny sewing machines, it is anyone’s guess as to who made them over the years.

The good news is that you can still find owner’s manuals, spare parts, and other important items related to these sewing machines. When working they can still be good machines to use or teach beginners.

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