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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.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  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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  11. #11
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    I have this machine, bought it new in 1983. It runs well, does a good job most of the time. Sometimes the tension with bobbin gets touchy and it makes birds nests. I can do a nice satin stitch for applique on this machine.

  12. #12
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Caroloto,
    Nice machine you have! You don't need to order new needles from Sears for it. It will use Schmetz needles that you can buy at many places. Like JoAnn's or Wal-mart.

  13. #13
    Junior Member G-maBecky's Avatar
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    I have this exact same machine that I bought a couple years ago at a yard sale for $25.00. I am using it now because my newer machine has a part broken that is plastic. I sure like the way this machine sews! I haven't used anything but the straight stitch. I need to try the others.

  14. #14
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    Do you have the manual? If Not I found it for free on the Sears site and can link it here!

    Quote Originally Posted by G-maBecky View Post
    I have this exact same machine that I bought a couple years ago at a yard sale for $25.00. I am using it now because my newer machine has a part broken that is plastic. I sure like the way this machine sews! I haven't used anything but the straight stitch. I need to try the others.

  15. #15
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    The manual for the Kenmore 385.124180 " http://www.searspartsdirect.com/part...Id=&documentId= "

    If you need one for another Kenmore just type the machince full # points and all, you should be able to get the one you need.

  16. #16
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caroloto View Post
    Do you have the manual? If Not I found it for free on the Sears site and can link it here!
    please link it!!!
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    please link it!!!

    The link on post #15!!!

  18. #18
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caroloto View Post
    The link on post #15!!!
    got one! Thank you!!!
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  19. #19
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    Wouldn't it be nice if we could have a sticky with links to getting free manuals that takes you directly to find one!!! It would make it so much easier to find for the memebers then doing the google type of search which so often sends you to funky links...still doesn't get you where you need to find one...so off you go to the other links and maybe even redo a search wording it a little different hoping this time it will get you there!

  20. #20
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caroloto View Post
    Wouldn't it be nice if we could have a sticky with links to getting free manuals that takes you directly to find one!!! It would make it so much easier to find for the memebers then doing the google type of search which so often sends you to funky links...still doesn't get you where you need to find one...so off you go to the other links and maybe even redo a search wording it a little different hoping this time it will get you there!
    It would be even better if people actually would read the sticky notes.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  21. #21
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    I do read them but some are so long it's hard to find just what you are looking for even with doing the search. I was just saying a sticky with only manual sites listed without someone going there and asking for such and such manual. More a sticky just for reference.

    For example: I know I have a Pfaff 260 that has the 2 wires 1 for knee and the other a foot control with the plug for the electric wire and having problems getting it to run. It either acts like it going to work after I move the hand wheel and takes off super fast then I go to run it again and nothing. I saw where someone else hd gotten one like this, was having the same sort of problem, gosh it was way in the sticky but I couldn't find the answers if they figured it out. Or I ended up missing the post that figured out how to fix it??? I'm ready to totally give up on this Pfaff 260 and I have had it several years and even took it to the local old sewing machine viking guy who even sold Pfaff in the past. He couldn't figure it out either. It's such a clean machine too and I have I believe all that came with it. Yet I know I'll go back and reread the sticky...lol to see if I can find what I might need and missed again!

  22. #22
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    Hi i know this is an old post but would anyone know if this kenmore sewing machine would be able to sew through leather or harder materials? and how heavy duty it is ?

  23. #23
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    It's a domestic machine. You might (with the right needle) be able to sew some leather or canvas but a steady diet of heavier materials will likely break your machine at some point. I can guarantee it will struggle with multiple layers of heavier material like where one seam meets another. Most domestic machines do. I'm not going to say all-someone will prove me wrong. Pretty much all domestic sewing machines are designed to handle a wide range of material but keep in mind a jack of all trades is usually a master of none. If you need to sew upholstery, heavy canvas or leather on a regular basis you're far better off looking for a used industrial that's designed for those materials.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  24. #24
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    An old domestic machine will likely sew about anything that you can get under the needle. The motor may or may not be strong enough - you may have to hand turn it. You may have to increase pressure foot tension. Some times even with the right neede, the needle will pull the leather up when it comes up unless you have enough pressure to hold the material you are using down. Some do not have a strong enough spring. The machines with bigger hand wheels work the best IMHO - but then I've tried it...
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  25. #25
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    My mom just gave me this sewing machine, I was able to load the bobbin, and place the thread it all the correct places. But, I'm new at this, I tried to stitch a piece of fabric and I just got a huge knit from the bottom; with only a few stitches catching on top of the fabric

    i know now this is an old thread, any advice I'm open to it!!

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