My Vintage Kenmore Sewing Machine

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Kenmore 117-813Remember my thrift store post awhile back? It’s okay if you don’t! During that shopping trip, I bought a vintage Kenmore sewing machine for $20. I had no idea if it worked but it sure was beautiful. I figured that if it didn’t work, at least the money went to charity (we bought it at Salvation Army). Shortly after I wrote that post, I pulled it out to see if it ran. To my surprise, it did! It stuck a bit and the cord was a bit frayed. Being the cautious person that I am, I decided that I wouldn’t use the machine until I got it fixed. Last weekend, Phillip’s grandfather replaced the bad cord and oiled the machine. It takes a second to get going but once it does, it’s a powerhouse. I still need to find a place to put a sewing table but I’m so happy to finally have a machine of my own. I’ve always sewn by hand and if you’ve ever done it, you know that it sucks.

Now that it’s working, I’ve been doing a lot of research about the machine. It’s a Kenmore 117-813, originally produced in 1954. White manufactured the machine and Sears sold it under their Kenmore brand name. Sears marketed it as a “Kenmore Deluxe Rotary” sewing machine. I’d love to find out how much it sold for originally. Here are some more pictures of my beautiful sewing machine:

Anyways, I am totally in love with this sewing machine and I can’t wait to start cranking out some sewing projects. Any ideas?


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8 Comments

  1. I just found your post, I found a Franklin Kenmore sewing machine that looks very simular to yours,, but I can’t find a serial number. Have you been able to find more information about it?

  2. I recently purchased a few old machines: two Viking 6440 and one White 1421 (?). One, which I am already in love with is the Kenmore Model 29, 148.296. The green beauty with quite the motor. I am looking for a manual, and perhaps someone who has sewn on this. I want to be sure that I am taking care of this properly, so a manual would be great.

    Thank you.

    Sherry

  3. Just be careful and research before donating to charities like Salvation Army – they are against a lot of things and have refused services to some minority groups (anti gay marriage, etc).

    That is a really cool sewing machine, though!

    1. Thanks for the info, Amy! I don’t donate to Salvation Army, only buy from them. They’re the only fairly priced thrift store in the area. Sometimes I even feel like I’m ripping them off with the deals I get there. I bought 22 yards of fabric there for $6 last week. That would have cost at LEAST $40 in the store.

  4. I love it! Mine is an old Singer – more like from the 70s. It was my grandmothers. I had to have it fixed and finally got a table for it. Now I just need to find time!

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