Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vintage Kenmore Decorative Stitching

My vintage Kenmore has the capability of sewing decorative stitches.  However, unlike a new computerized machine where the user simply touches a button to adjust the stitches, the Kenmore has cams to be inserted. The cams simply adjust the stitch width from narrow to wide automatically as you sew.

First:   In the back of the owner's manual is a chart to show what stitch each cam will make.
Second:  The cam is chosen by the number stamped on it which corresponds to the stitch you would like.
Third:  The cam door is opened, the cam placed on the shaft, and the door is closed.
Fourth:  Set the stitch width and length to the desired settings.
Fifth:  Sew a fabulous fifties style decorative stitch.

Kenmore 158.352

Cam cavity

Cam inserted

16 cams to choose from

Straigt, Zig-Zag, and Decorative

The decorative stitches shown are definitely reminiscent of the fifties.  I think a shirt with the sleeves, collar, and pocket finished with one of these stitched would give it an instant retro look.

Just like vintage cars, vintage sewing machines take you back in time.  I think my Brother is a great machine. But the weight, the feel, the sounds, and the stitches of the Kenmore add a  whole different and enjoyable experience to sewing.  Just like my 1958 Lincoln, it drives different from my newer car, but I won't say I like it any more or less, it provides a different experience.

Now I see why a person can't stop with just one sewing machine.  Especially a vintage one.  When I get Grandma's Singer running, that will be another wonderful experience.

Hope you have enjoyed this as much as I have.


  1. Congratulations on joining the club of vintage sewing machine owners. I concur with your assessment that vintage machines are just as enjoyable to use as a new one with all the bells and whistles..... just different.... in a very good way!

    I recognize your machine. I had the very same model until I sold it to a friend who learned to sew on this model and had been looking for one for a very long time. It has become her favorite machine. I remember it as being especially smooth running, quiet and strong due to it's quality construction. Nice machine!

    Steve P aka "Bobbin Doctor"

  2. hello

    I too just purchased a kenmore 47 and am looking for the cams but have no ideal as to the number of the product. Could you plz help me and e-mail back any relevant info the box of cams have on it that would make it helpful to purchase them on e bay

    thank you
    and your work is awesome

  3. I have a question for you. I own a couple of Kenmores, which I love but neither of them use cams. I also own a White 761 (made in 1954) which I used to have cams for but the disappeared when we moved. Do any of you know if the Kenmore cams would work on my white? They are the tophat type.