No more Kenmore sewing machines!

vacuumfreakJuly 8, 2012

This isn't specifically related to quilts, but more about machines... Has anyone noticed that Sears doesn't sell any Kenmore sewing machines anymore?

This issue is near and dear to my heart, because when a new sewer is looking for a sewing machine, I always send them after a Janome made Kenmore! They are good machines for beginners and well priced... or the were anyway.

I used to sell vacuums and sewing machines at Sears, and I know that the Kenmores that were Janome made were far better than the Brothers and Singers at the time.... I know Brother has come a long way since then (it was the early 2000s), but still, this upsets me!

I noticed there were no Kenmore machines on the Sears web site a few months ago, and yesterday, I happened to be in a Sears store checking out the vacuums. I always "talk shop" with the associate and tell them I used to do what they do, so they don't try to sell me anything... the woman there said that they haven't had Kenmore or Janome branded sewing machines for about 8 months and there were no plans to get them back.

The display models were all Singer and Brother, and not very good ones at that!

This stinks! Anyone know anything about this?

Where do we send newbies now? I have a neighbor who wanted to sew, and he asked me to look for him a decent used sewing machine on C/L. I told him a Kenomre with a drop in bobbin would be a good starter, but I've been looking for him for about a year and haven't found anything... maybe because they aren't being sold anymore! So, today he got a fairly recent Kenmore for 50 bucks, but it has a vertical bobbin which I hate for beginners to learn on... I'm going to show him how to use it tomorrow which should be great... I love teaching people how to use sewing machines, especially people who are green and don't have any bad knowledge to "undo"....

Anyway, just thought I'd share this news and see if anyone else knew about it!

What a sad day for appliance lovers... Just found out that Hoover is closing it's vacuum cleaner bag manufacturing plant and moving all bag production to China... what is the world coming to ? AAAAAAAhHHH LOL

I need to pour a glass of sangria and go spend some quality time with my buddy (the sewing machine) for therapy.... yeah, maybe not, the last time I mixed sangria and sewing, I ended up going to the repair shop :o)

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That's a shame. I still have my old Kenmore, bought in 1971. Avocado green! Straight stitch and zig-zag is all it does. It was my first wedding anniversary gift from DH. I detested sewing back then, couldn't believe he thought I would want it. Turned out to be one of my best friends quite a few years later. It still runs, it weighs a ton. I keep it for back-up.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 6:02AM
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I'm sorry to hear that. I bought my first sewing machine in 1972. A Kenmore with cams for fancy stitches. I made all my clothes for a decade, so that machine was used constantly. It is a real work horse! As Rita said, it weighs a ton. I use it from time to time and it still sews beautifully. It has never met a repairman! After 40 years, it's still a wonderful machine.

When I started quilting in 2002, I decided I was due for a new machine, and got a high-end Kenmore (made by Janome). I was retired and addicted to quilting so I really gave it a workout (until I got my new Janome 6600 last year). It has had routine servicing three times, and is still like a new machine.

My father worked for Sears for 35 years until his retirement, so we got everything from Sears, and Kenmore was a name we trusted. The "Satisfaction Guaranteed" mantra meant just that, and their products were dependable. My Kenmore washer and dryer will be 29 years old in October--and have never needed servicing! But I would be reluctant to buy Kenmore products now; since their takeover by K-Mart, their product line seems to have deteriorated. It's a shame, and it's like losing a trusted friend.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 9:06AM
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Ritaweeda, that's a funny story. Your DH violated the first law of spousal gift giving - never buy her something that plugs in. Sounds as if you were eventually pleased with it though.

It's always sad when a revered old product name is retired, or worse yet, when it's sold to a company that makes an inferior product. This has happened often in the tool industry too. I wish I had a solution for you.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 9:13AM
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Rita, my mom has a Kenmore that's probably early 60s has cams you put in to do decorative stitches!

My first new machine was also a Kenmore.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 9:24AM
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My old 60s Kenmore is still my go-to for hemming pants, etc. My quilting machines and Featherweights don't do zig-zag. Sometimes you just need that.

You can still get parts for them, though. I just replaced a broken part through the parts department so I'll keep it going as long as I can.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 10:05AM
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My mother had a Singer when I was growing up and it lasted forever. A lady gave my granddaughter a Singer and it was a piece of junk. I had to order the lost manual to figure out how to thread it!!

I bought a Kenmore and I haven't really used it, it's still in the box in my closet. I need to rearrange my small sewing room and use it.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 5:05PM
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A friend of mine was at a Sears liquidation center here in Ontario a month or so ago and bought a bunch of Kenmore sewing machine feet for .99 each. She got 1/4 feet and walking feet among others. We wondered why they were so cheap and now we know! She has a Janome machine so they fit. She bought all they had figuring she has enough friends with Kenmore and Janome machines that somebody will need them.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 6:14PM
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Tuppermom, that is a great deal, 99 cents for sewing machine feet. How considerate of your friend to buy extras for people who may need them!

I went over to show my friend how to use his Kenmore machine. When I got there, he'd taken the entire race assembly apart and had it laying in pieces on the table. I asked why and he said that was how he thought you were supposed to take the bobbin out! I chuckled! He also got some machine quilting thread to hem pants with and was trying to thread the bobbin thread through the eye of the needle when I arrived, he just couldn't wait to play with is new machine! The machine was in really good shape... it was a little loud and needed to be oiled, but it sewed perfectly from the start. He picked up quickly on everything I taught him the first try.... he really listened and when he sewed, he sewed a perfectly straight line the first time. I couldn't believe he'd never even touched a sewing machine before (but then I remembered the race assembly laying there on the dining room table in pieces :o) I have other friends who have to call me just to turn their machines on and if the bobbin runs out or they need to change colors, I have to pay a visit and do it for them. Anyway, my neighbor already hemmed 15 pants after my little lesson! He said that he doesn't think it's fun or relaxing to sew though, and he's only going to do it for practical reasons and not as a hobby.... I told him to never sew over pins and to never touch the tension dial, not to even look at it cross eyed!

Anyway, that's how it went... just wanted to conclude the story!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 3:32AM
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Thanks for sharing this! I always enjoy your posts and your stories. I can't imagine how much you wanted to laugh when you saw all those parts on the table!!! He's lucky he had someone there who knew how to put it all back together.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 6:40AM
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Presently, I have 3 Kenmores, the oldest from 1956 and they are all sewing perfectly..I mostly just quilt and can machine quilt a king size using one of them..Hubby keeps telling me to get rid of them and get a new machine but when I see the garbage that is out there now, I'll hang onto my 3 babies....That's a shame about the Kenmores.....

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 12:49PM
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I found this post and thought how strange. I just purchased a Kenmore Sewing Machine at Sears. A fully computerized one and they are still made my Janome. I have heard great things about them. It must have been a particular store that stopped stocking them which I find surprising. I am in Canada and find the Kenmore products are very good.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 6:46PM
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Travelmom, I think they are still available in Canada and not the US... this discussion came up the other day at my quilt group and all the ladies there said that Kenmore machines in the US have been discontinued... I'm not sure if Canada will eventually follow in the footsteps of the US stores or not...

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 10:40PM
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Nostalgic reading this thread, Sears used to be the place to go for any household appliance or tool, not anymore.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 7:30AM
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I have 2 Kenmore sewing machines. They were bought in the 80's. One is mine the other was my sister's. They both run great, I sew on one all the time. I have made several queen size quilts with it.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 4:12PM
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