- All Metal Gears
- Side Loading Bobbin
- Reverse Stitch Lever/Stitch Length Regulator
- 1.2 Amp Motor
- Pearly Lavender Color (unofficial color)
- Uses Class 15 Bobbins and Standard 15×1 Needles
- Low Shank Foot
A very basic 3/4 size Kenmore sewing machine; this one is a straight stitcher only. Machine was built in Japan, possibly between 1963-1965. I have not been able to verify the exact manufacture date. This sewing machine is an all-metal, gear driven, mechanical sewing machine, it is very simple underneath. Take a look!
I purchased this sewing machine at a flea market for $10 dollars. The tension unit had been taken apart, the foot and the needle clamp were missing; the machine also needed a good cleaning. I snapped it up because Kenmore machines were built to last and I knew this one would be fairly simple to whip back into shape and sewing well. I bought the missing parts on eBay and put the tension unit back together. Cosmetically it looks great, there is a bit of yellowing on the paint and just a few minor scratches here and there but that’s expected with a sewing machine that is about 50 years old!
The wooden base came with the machine. I believe that a carrying case was not originally part of the purchase because the base of this machine does not have any latches on the side. I could be wrong but it I think these machines were offered on this simple wooden base or one had the option of buying a table to go with the machine.
The feed dogs on this machine cannot be dropped, so no free-motion sewing or drawing for me. Machine has a reverse stitch lever; handy for fastening a seam. You just lift it up all the way for reverse stitching.
Winding a bobbin is fast & easy.
It uses Class 15 bobbins and Standard 15×1 needles sizes 11 through 18. Placement of the needle is flat side faces to the right.
This machine can make really tiny stitches, here is a photo of the different stitch lengths on a piece of cotton twill.
Per the Sears website, the purchase of a machine like this back in the early 60’s would have included the following:
- Accessory box with 2 felt pads for the spool pins
- Package of needles
- 3 Bobbins
- Instruction book
The motor on this little machine is a 1.2 amp motor which can handle sewing silk to heavy woolen coating fabric. I’v sewn jeans on this machine without any problems. Actually this is the highest amp motor I’ve seen on vintage sewing machines. Motors on my other machines range, from 4 to 1 amps.
The foot controller is a basic one with a 3-prong connection.
Believe it or not, this little machine weighs a good 30 pounds or so. If you buy one of these, you may want to find a permanent spot for it as moving it around may tire you out! Below you can see this machine’s approximate size.
Every sewist needs a light on their sewing machine so I purchased one on eBay, and attached it to the plate on the back of the machine. Does not match the machine but it works.
As mentioned on the features list above, this is a straight stitch machine so if you are looking for decorative or buttonhole stitching this machine does not include either. Although I have not tried yet, a vintage low shank buttonhole attachment could work just as well on this machine. There are also vintage zig zag attachments out there on the web for sale that may be used. I have a small collection that can be viewed here on my Vintage Sewing Machine Attachments page.
Have one of these machines already & don’t know how to thread it ? Here’s a diagram:
Be nice to your machine and oil it here:
I really like the color and size of this Kenmore. This model is not rare but I’ve seen one for sale online only once in the last 4 years. Maybe people who own these are not selling.!? A machine like this would be really great for a beginner as it is really simple to use and you don’t have to worry about breaking anything.
What do you think, would you buy a machine like this?