Saturday, October 1, 2011

A New Baby -- Kenmore 117-959

This pretty little sweetheart was found for me by a dear friend.  On the sidewalk.  With a FREE sign attached to it.  Needless to say, I was more than happy to give her a new home  :-)

This is a straight stitch-only Kenmore rotary, manufactured in 1938, though it does have a reverse ability.  It has a very odd thread path, though.  In fact, I'm not 100% sure I am threading it right, since I haven't had much time lately to do any research on my new acquisition.  But it sews a beautiful stitch with that threading path, so I'm going to assume it's correct until I find out something to the contrary.

I've always wanted a straight stitch machine--ever since I discovered that you can only get perfectly straight stitches with a machine that can't do a zigzag.  And I would really like to be able to sew leather -- my current machines only do leather with a lot effort, needle changes, thread changes, coaxing, and cursing.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.  I'm not sure this is the machine for that job, but that's okay, since I've got plenty of other jobs it can do.

That's right.  I got a free, vintage sewing machine in a nice looking cabinet (needs a couple of minor repairs) that runs beautifully.  And quietly, too.  How is it that my 2005 Kenmore is louder than her sister who is nearly 75 years older than she is?

So with a little cleaning, and a little oiling and a little TLC, this one will be ready for some serious straight-stitching  :-)


  1. Oooooooh what a beautiful score!!!! It couldn't have found a nicer new home, I'm sure :) Enjoy!

  2. I just got one of the same. A beautiful Kenmore 117-959, 531030 in a nice cherry wood cabinet, w/drawers for free. It was abandoned by some uncaring person at an apartment complex my husband was doing construction at, and the owner of the complex said he could have it if he wanted it. He brought it home and lo and behold it actually still works. I haven't figured it out just yet but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!