I was a single parent on a really fixed income and was sewing with a 1949 Singer 99 that I picked up at a local garage sale, and I still have that machine.
But I was looking for a more versatile machine and an ad came up for this 1977 Kenmore 158.1931 and knowing how good these machines were, I went over and paid the $80.00 the lady was asking, and she told me she had got it as a wedding gift 25 years earlier.
Now we’ve been running this shop for a good time now and countless machines have come in and out, the collection has grown, and I have been fortunate to test and use some really incredible machines.
My 44 year old Kenmore is still my go to machine, and the standard by which all other machines are judged… when it comes to stitch quality, range, and the ability to sew through everything from silk to 8 layers of denim this machine is very hard to beat.
She isn’t as quiet as my Elna 62C, but she isn’t noisy by any measure, she straight stitches as well as any of our vintage machines, the built in stitches and stretch capability offer a staggering range of stitches, she’s powerful, has a super high lift that rivals some industrial machines, and never, ever fails at any task I have thrown at her.
You could have bought this machine new at Sears for about half of what a Bernina 830 or Pfaff 1222 cost at the time… and many probably still made payments as this was not an inexpensive machine at nearly $500.00 CAD
This model rarely comes up for sale, and my thought is that anyone who has one feels like I do and have no need or desire to part with a machine that was so perfectly designed… it is all mechanical, built to a ridiculously high standard, and virtually unbreakable.
And she still sparkles…
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