Friday, May 21, 2010

YouTube has Everything a Seamstress Needs!

I've hauled out my "vintage" Kenmore that my parents bought me when I first started sewing.  I use the term "vintage" loosely, as it was purchased around 1986.  It's a Kenmore 385.1584180 (rolls off the tongue, huh?), and it still works wonderfully, except for one thing.  The reverse button doesn't work anymore.
(The machine pictured above isn't mine, but it's very close.  I have 24 stitches on mine, but it looks the same.)

I consulted the wonderful "We Fix It" Yahoo Group, which I'm a member of (since purchasing my vintage 1926 White Rotary), and got 2 helpful replies of what could be wrong, how to fix it, and where to get additional feet/parts.  This is the same group that saved me well over $100 in fixing my Viking a few months ago!  Upon closer inspection, I couldn't figure out how to get to the inside "guts" of my Kenmore, though.

YouTube has video clips of just about everything, so I searched "Sewing Machine Repair" and found this most fantastically wonderful series of videos that you should all bookmark for future reference.  It's a 5 part series of how to do routine maintenance on your own sewing machine, and they are well produced with clean camera work, good lighting, clear audio and well explained.  I know that a "tune-up" at my local machine repair shop costs $70, and when you multiply that by the 3 regular machines that I have... that's a lot of money that could be spent on fabric!  What? Beg your pardon?  Did you say "save that money"??? Ha, ha... you're a funny one!

So, here is the link, I hope that you find it as helpful as I did.  All 5 parts cover the same "tune up", they're just divided up into 8 minute segments.  You can also go to YouTube and search "sewing machine maintenance".

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Now, if you'll excuse me, I am going to see if I can figure out how to fix my "reverse button"...

p.s.  If you're wondering why I'm even messing with this machine, it's none of your business.  ha, ha... Just kiddin'!  The seniors in my building are leaving on Wednesday, which means that my AP Stats classes will be empty.  Not mostly empty... totally empty.  That leaves me teaching Algebra II 1st, 4th, and 5th hours so, I am bringing in my old Kenmore to work on small projects to pass the time until June 18 when I'm really, really done.  Don't be a hater...

5 comments:

Sewfast said...

Thanks for the links and I would never be a hater of you! I have a Kenmore in the back room at my disposal under the guise of sewing repairs for the students (and sewing projects for me when all my other work is done...hehehe!!!) I also lug Kenny in here because I like sewing with her, but unfortunately I have been too busy to sew much lately...sigh...soon...

alethia said...

Thanks for the information. It will save me a couple of bucks because I have 3-sewing machine

Bunny said...

Thanks for the great link. I have a 1975 Kenmore, weighs a ton, and makes the best possible buttonholes. I am starting to literally wear out the buttonhole maker. I don't think I would ever get rid of this. I also use it for abuse sewing, you know, that heavy duty stuff, like heavy bags, that doesn't agree with a computerized machine. I really think every sewing room needs a mechanical machine as well as a computerized machine. They each have their strengths and compliment each other nicely. I would love to see pics of how you "opened it up." I have done that with mine. Since these old machines require oiling, they can get amazingly gummy inside. I know yours will be showroom clean when you are done with it.

Rebecca said...

Best Post EVER! Thanks for the links! I would have never thought to look it up myself.

patsijean said...

I had that Kenmore 30 stitch machine, purchased in 1990 I believe. I loved that machine so much, I purchased a 150 stitch machine a couple of years afterward. The 30 stitch machine now resides at my daughter-in-law's and the 150 stitch went to my grand-daughter (different mom). I loved the 30 stitch Kenmore, it replaced a green cam operated Kenmore I purchased in 1970. Yup, I used it for 20 years. I also owned a Viking #1+, which is still a great machine, and currently own a Babylock Ellageo. Rather odd feeling with these newer machines not being able to oil them. I keep wanting to as a matter of good maintenance habits.