Need info on this sewing machine!
August 8, 2008 10:57 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know anything about the Sears Kenmore sewing machine Zig-Zag 1756? I can purchase used one for $30, but I can't find any information online about it, other than the opportunity to purchase a manual. Is it an old model? Is it appropriate for a beginner? Thanks!
posted by faunafrailty to Home & Garden (1 answer total)
Well, nobody else has answered so I'll see if I can help a little. I've never used this particular model but it looks a lot like my Mom's old Singer zigzag, so I'm guessing it dates from the late 1960s or early 1970s. Sewing machines from that era were strictly mechanical and fancy stitch patterns were controlled by cams that you could swap out for a variety of patterns, but the stitch width was limited to about 5 mm and the patterns were sort of humdrum.

However, being entirely mechanical they were pretty robust and if this machine is in good shape, you can't go too far wrong for 30 bucks. You'll want the manual, which will explain the threading path, how to wind the bobbin and other essential things.

Do check it for rust and gunk inside before you buy it, if possible. Lots of old machines have been stashed away in damp garages or basements for years. Also, the oil used to lubricate it can get oxidized and sticky and gunky; this can be cleaned off but it's a nuisance. (Real sewing machine oil is extremely thin, intended to evaporate before it oxidizes, but a lot of home sewers didn't always use the right oil. Buy some real sewing machine oil when you get the machine and don't just use any ol' machine oil on it.) Turn the handwheel and make sure everything moves smoothly. There will be some resistance from the electric motor but it shouldn't stick or jerk when you turn it.

Older machines like these are fine for beginners, since they are pretty simple to operate. You don't get fancy features like automatic buttonholes but a $30 machine would be a good way to try your hand at sewing for a minimal outlay. If you decide you like to sew, you can invest in a fancier machine later on. Good luck and have fun!
posted by Quietgal at 7:35 PM on August 8, 2008

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