Saturday, January 17, 2009




This sewing behemoth was purchased about 32 years ago. It is a Kenmore. It weighs about 30 plus pounds. And it makes the most magnificent buttonholes. One of my sewing goals for the new year was to master my ruffler. Cybersewing friends told me that they work far better on mechanical machines than on computerized machines. So I spent a good part of the afternoon cleaning this puppy, pulling out gobs of matted lint, oiling her up, and basically getting her purring like a kitten in my lap. Then I pulled out my ruffler and realized it was for my Pfaff only. So sad, I tell ya. So it will be back to the Pfaff to practice with the ruffler and we will see where it goes. Now, my ancient, heavy Kenmore will be set up with it's buttonholer, ready to go at a moments notice. I love it's buttonholes. Just so no aggravation and perfection when done. Why can't computerized machines do this without all the major adjustments?

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I have been working on my pants pattern. So far I have done two muslins. Now I must say, right out of the envelope, these were not too bad. I used the curvy option offered. But being the sewist that I am, I needed to tweak these pants further. So this simple pattern ended up with the following alterations: side seams reduced 1/2 inch. The CB seam was reduced 3/4 of an inch
In the front I pinched out one inch between the crotch and waistline. In the back I did a fish eye dart, thank you Debbie, and raised the back crotch point a half inch. I know they need further tweaking but are not too bad. I think the further tweaking will depend on the type of fabric used. I am going to make a twill pair and we know that cotton twill just does not drape. But that is OK and the pants will be great to tool around in for the summer. Now, a "finer" fabric, like a summer weight wool, or a wool crepe, will definitely need further tweaking. DH really liked the fit, me too, and suggested we got to a couple of my favorite spots for pants fabric when we go to New Hampshire. I can't wait! So for the moment it will be be some basic twill pants with the better fabrics to come.

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This is my thermometer from yesterday morning. Yes that is a minus sign in the upper left hand corner. Wednesday and Thursday mornings were both 28 Below zero Fahrenheit up here in Dickinson Center. Today was a little warmer at 11 below when we woke up instead. I hope you are all warm and toasty and sewing away..........bunny

15 comments:

  1. Funny that you mentioned liking the Kenmore button hole maker the best because I have two Kenmores and a computerized Jenome that I bought two years ago and when it comes to making button holes I always use one of the Kenmores because their so much easier and make much better looking ones. I also rather use them for stitching on heavy fabrics such as leather.. they seem to plow across anything without complaining.

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  2. I "used" to have one of those Kenmore behemoths years ago... and I agree, that little buttonhole attachment made just the nicest buttonholes. I don't know why I let that machine go... and even now, every now & then, I think about tracking down another one on Ebay or some place like that. Seeing your machine sure brought back memories. I enjoy your blog, by the way!

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  3. Welcome aboard, Celeste, glad you are enjoying your visits to the blog.

    Seems like we are all in agreement on the buttonholes!

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  4. My first machine was a Kenmore, it's put away for DD someday. It's not like yours, but it is a good machine. Stay warm, I think we have more snow than cold, right now!

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  5. I have 2 Kenmores, one from the 80's and the other from the 90's. I love them and the ruffler works really well on both of them.

    Love your blog!

    Susan

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  6. Thanks, susan.
    I love the new hairdo, Kristine, very pretty.

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  7. My mother (86) still has this machine; it just keeps rolling along. Sadly, I traded mine in for my Pfaff, which I love, but I agree completely that mechanicals make superior buttonholes, so I recently purchased a well used singer and its buttonholer--problem solved.

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  8. I had that sewing machine. It was great. And it did make consistant great buttonholes. I'd been using it for about 20 years and my daughter knocked it off the desk and crushed it. Good luck with it. My co-worker just came in complaining about the cold wind it's 50 degrees here in Texas. Brrr

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  9. My first machine was a Kenmore, and interestingly enough, I DON'T have good memories of it making wonderful buttonholes. As a matter of fact, I remember being so happy with the quality of my Bernina buttonholes! I'm going to have to go look at it, I don't have it set up, and really haven't used it in ? years, and I'm trying to remember HOW it made buttonholes, I'm thinking it's similar to yours. I remember it having two knobs, one to adjust stitch length, and one to adjust stitch width. I also have a ruffler, and I KNOW it can be used ONLY on my Kenmore. I'm surprised that you would use a ruffler however. To me it wouldn't be EXACT enough, and you seem to be a very precise sewer.
    On the temps there, Brrrrrrrr! Can't even imagine that degree of coldness anymore.
    PS Cissie is a different poster

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  10. Bunny .- ahhh ... I love the old sewing machines. I have two machines that I think there are more than thirty years, but work perfectly. I recently bought a small computerized sewing machine that goes very well for the eyelets on the shirts, but it is impossible to sew with it.

    The trousers are good looking ... and the cold ,..... aaaaahhhh. Here we have also had a very cold winter, which is unusual.

    My best wishes to you, Paco


    ahhh...Bunny.- me encanta las viejas máquinas de coser. Yo tengo dos máquinas que creo que también tienen más de treinta años, pero funcionan perfectamente. Hace poco compré una pequeña máquina de coser computerizada que va muy bien para hacer los ojales en las camisas, pero me es imposible coser con élla.

    Los pantalones tienen buena "pinta" ...y el frío,.....aaaaahhhh. Aquí también hemos tenido un invierno muy frío, algo que no es habitual.

    Mis mejores deseos para usted, Paco

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  11. Funny, I was just at a friends house the other night and she was showing me her new machine, but also showed me the old Kenmore she had. I told her to keep it serviced and it would probably run forever!

    Yikes - your freeze was deeper than mine!

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  12. I have the very same Kenmore. It was my mother's and it makes the best buttonholes ever! I have a newer, electronic machine, but nothing sews like this Kenmore, from denim to fine knits. I was using my electronic machine, but it skips terribly on knit fabrics, so out comes the Kenmore once again. I have even found an adapter so I can use updated presser feet on it

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  13. I had that same machine and let it go a couple of years ago. I had quit sewing even more years prior to that, I don't know why. I guess I just was having too many issues and sewing seemed like more frustration than fun. Anyway, my girls gave me a new Brother last summer and I'm sewing again, but I miss my old Kenmore. It did make great buttonholes. I haven't tried yet with the Brother. I just hope it comes close.

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  14. Good morning, Bunny!

    I found your website last week via an embroidery site, and I have been reading your wisdom for the past week. What fun and what learning I am enjoying! Just now I am quite surprised to see mention of this Kenmore machine. I inherited this same machine from my late mother, and it needs some repair and servicing. What's the best place to take it? I live in northern New Mexico.

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    1. I would have no clue, unfortunately. I live in Northern NY near the Canadian border so don't have any connection to your area. It's a mechanical machine so probably any half way decent sewing machine dealer could bring back in shape for you. Good luck.

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