Author Topic: Kenmore 1774 Sewing Machine  (Read 5073 times)

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menelson55

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Kenmore 1774 Sewing Machine
« on: November 21, 2006, 08:55:57 PM »
I have just inherited a Kenmore 1774 sewing machine, in a cabinet.  It sit right flat in the cabinet, which excites me no end since I've never had a machine that does that.  It has a buttonhole attachment and a box that looks like a book full of orange cams for decorative stitches.  Miracle of miracles it still have all the manuals as well, and the power chord looks just fine.

It appears to be an all metal machine, with a zig zag.  My husband remembers his mother buying it sometime in the 1970s -- the fact that it has a zig zag was quite fancy for that time as I recall.

Does anyone know anything about this machine?  I'm sure it hasn't been used in over a decade, or longer, so I will take it to my favorite sewing machine guy (the bobbin doctor) and have it tuned up and find out if it's serviceable.  But I'm quite sure it is once it's cleaned and oiled and tuned up -- my mother in law was quite fastidious and I'm sure she took good care of it.

And the price is right!  Score!  I've wanted an older all metal machine with a buttonhole attachment for quite some time now.

Offline Pina

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Re: Kenmore 1774 Sewing Machine
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2006, 07:40:51 AM »
menelson55,
you inherited a very good sewing machine,and in a cabinet too.
Wonderful.
Please read
Liana's Kenmore 1774 Review
This is a keeper.  :grinning:

stitchntime9

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Re: Kenmore 1774 Sewing Machine
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2006, 09:47:18 AM »
Lucky you!  You have the decorative cams and everything...some people hunt wide and far just for the cams.

The one thing the book says for the decorative cams is use stabilizer or spray starch.  I wish I had known about that when I got my Lady Kenmore in 1963 as a new sewer or I would have used the decorative cams more.

It would be interesting to find out when the zigzag machine first appeard on the market.  I know it had to be the early 60s if not before.

Offline lamx

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Re: Kenmore 1774 Sewing Machine
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2006, 12:46:02 PM »
"It would be interesting to find out when the zigzag machine first appeard on the market.  I know it had to be the early 60s if not before."

  The Necchi BU came out in 1948.  The Singer 206 and the Pfaff 130 also showed up around the same time, but I don't have dates for them. The Elna Supermatic debuted in 1952 with cam-controlled decorative stitches and the Necchi BU Mira came out around the same time with the "Wonder Wheel" that used external cams to physically move the stitch width and needle position levers to form a limited number of decorative stitches.   I believe there were industrial zig zag machines decades before then but from what I can find, the capability didn't show up on family machines until the late 40's.  I think I might own the earliest Kenmore zig zag machine, it was made in West Germany, possibly by Pfaff/Gritzner, and is black with gold decals.  I have no way of dating this machine, no one I know has ever seen another like it.

Ed
« Last Edit: November 22, 2006, 12:51:15 PM by lamx »

menelson55

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Re: Kenmore 1774 Sewing Machine
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2006, 02:35:27 PM »
Ok now that I know that Liana has used this machine for many years I'm even more excited because I know she has definitely put it through its paces over the years.

I wonder who manufactured it -- you know Kenmore is a store name and then actually buy the machines from someone else.  I've gone through the manual pretty carefully and there's nothing to indicate if it's Singer, White or whoever.

It does have the chainstitch feature Liana talks about in her review on pattern review -- now that's pretty cool!  I remember my mother getting a machine, probably about 1970, a Singer Touch 'n Sew, that zig zagged and had the cams.  We all hated that machine -- too bad she didn't get this Kenmore instead!  She had traded in her old White -- we still talk about how we regret that.

Offline Liana

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Re: Kenmore 1774 Sewing Machine
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2006, 03:38:18 PM »
menelson,

Congratulations on your "new" machine!  8)  I saw the title of this thread, and thought that sounded like the same model number as mine, and now I don't have to go look. :)  How nice to get a cabinet too!  Mine is a portable, and I just set it on my sewing table.

I think you'll really like this machine.  I was just using mine last night, as I was sewing through some really heavy interfaced stuff for a craft project.  (I just got my Elna back from the repairman a couple weeks ago, and didn't want to immediately do something weird to it.)  I've never found this machine to really need much maintenance I couldn't do myself, and if your DMiL was fastidious with it, as you say, it may need nothing more than a good oiling and a little cleaning. 

As you mentioned, I do like the chainstitch feature, it makes great buttonholes with the attachment (of course you can do them manually, too) and since I'd never had anything but a flatbed machine before I got this one either, it was no problem. 

I have no idea who actually manufactured them.  I'm sure Ed can tell you.  :)

menelson55

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Re: Kenmore 1774 Sewing Machine
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2006, 03:46:48 PM »
I really like my Elna 8000 -- the feed dogs feed really well, the stitch quality is fine, and I don't really use the built in embroidery stitches so that's not an issue.  But I've had a few little glitches with that machine over the years, and the buttonhole is crummy.  I finaly resorted to a $10 plastic buttonhole foot and do them manually -- and still, there will be one that's fractious.  So I'm really happy to have found this machine and gosh, if I just use it for buttonholes, I'll be happy. 

The thing with my Elna is 1) it does have needle down, but it goes 2 stitches ahead before it stops. 2) sometimes when I drop the feed dogs it's almost impossible to get them back up again, which of course makes me reluctant to drop them in the first place.  3) when I first turn it on, sometimes it doesn't run at all, and I have to turn it off and on again (like rebooting).  4) The satin stitch has never really worked properly. 

The other problem is they no longer make them, so if the motherboard goes or something like that, the machine is kaput.  I've used it a lot over the years and will continue to use it, but a good mechanical machine is like gold.  You can always fix them and they are so reliable and what they do, they do well.  And it's in a cabinet!

Offline lamx

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Re: Kenmore 1774 Sewing Machine
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2006, 08:10:21 PM »
I wonder who manufactured it -- you know Kenmore is a store name and then actually buy the machines from someone else. 

 On Sears machines, the model number begins with a three-digit number followed by a decimal point.  You can identify the source by that prefix on the model number.   Currently, any Sears machine whose model number starts with 385 is made by Janome.  White built machines always started with 117, including a few Gritzner-Kayser zig zags that White imported for them.  Sears 158 prefix was assigned to Maruzen, which has evolved into what is now Jaguar.  120 was the New Process Gear Corporation, which (at that time) was a division of Chrysler.

Ed 

menelson55

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Re: Kenmore 1774 Sewing Machine
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2006, 04:03:02 PM »
Ed, the serial number starts with 158, which means it was a Maruzen, now Jaeger.  Never heard of either of them but then I'm not that knowledgeable about machines.

After the holidays I will spend some time getting to know this machine and report back.  I absolutely love that it is in a cabinet -- I've never had a machine in a cabinet. 

 

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