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Thread: I picked up a kenmore 385.1249180 Vintage yet?

  1. #1
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    I picked up a kenmore 385.1249180 Vintage yet?

    Any idea how old this machine is??? It's all metal body and inside it's mostly metal except the the worm gear and cam gear (not sure if this is right name for the part). I haven't had a chance to open the bottom to oil it and gears it yet so maybe there is more plastic below.
    http://www.searspartsdirect.com/part...dDiagramPageId=

    I have done a search trying to find out the year this machine was made and so far came up with nothing for a date/year. I believe it was made by Janome for Sears but not 100% sure on that either. It's super clean insid and out and doesn't look like it been used much except for breaking a few needles (needle was bent and point missing) on the face plate but I see I can still order a replacement from Sears. So far it seems to sew great doing a straight stitch but since I haven't pulled off the bottom to finsh oiling I only ran it a few inches on fabric. Well here is a picture of it before I started to oil and gease the top part and bobbin area.

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  2. #2
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    Don't know for sure but I think it was the end of the 70's or early 80's when they came out with the freearm models. I have a '76 flatbed and I wasn't aware of any freearm models then.

  3. #3
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    My Kenmore came out in 1976 and is a free arm but it all metal. They started making the newer ones with plastic gears in 1977. I taught classes for Sears on how to use your machine. This was one of the everyone can afford it machines with free arms. If you look for the model number and type it to google, it will be the best way to find out more about it. They last forever if you take care of them. Mine is 35 years old and is still running strong. Enjoy it.

  4. #4
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Awesome machine!!!

  5. #5
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    Thank you for the information! I did google it and really didn't find a lot of information on it. So guess it will be worth getting the new plate for it. I found thread wrapped around in the bobbin area. Still have to remove the bottom plate to oil and grease it and hope to finsh it up later tonight then run it for a good test drive.

  6. #6
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    The older Kenmores are heavy and sturdy. I still use mine, and teach pillowcase sewing to newbies on it. It's much less intimidating then computerized models and I have many cams.

  7. #7
    Power Poster MamaBear61's Avatar
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    I had a machine very similar that my DH gave me on our first wedding anniversary in 1983(it was new). My daughter is still using that machine and it works just fine. The carrying case on the one I had was plastic but the machine itself was metal and I have do idea about the inner gears etc as it never needed anymore maintenance than what I was able to give it at home.
    Lori - MamaBear

  8. #8
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I've been very impressed with the older Kenmore machines.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  9. #9
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    Some of the older Kenmores were made by Singer too. I have a Kenmore I bought in mid 70's and it is all metal and still runs great. I also have a kenmore 19000 made by Janome embroidery machine, and both are great. Just bought a Singer 288 with cams for $50 in a nice cabinet, singer says it was made in 1980-1984. Don't think it was used much. Along with Helen, my grandmother's Singer 201-3, brother SQ9000 and a babylock 418 serger and Janome 4 thread I am machined out of space.

  10. #10
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    From what I read so far this one, all 385 was made by Janome for Sears/Kenmore. I was able to finsh oiling and greasing it last night and gave it a test run. My gosh I really don't think this machine was used but maybe 20 hours.

    I'm very happy with this Machine! Here is a few pictures of the inside and notice the plastic gear.

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