"kenmore" needles for 1970 sears kenmore


I have a 1970 sears kenmore 1701, its a beautiful machine & sews wonderfully. I just received it recently off freecycle to teach my oldest to sew.
Here is the problem:
the manual states only use kenmore needles (obviously from that era). There is a diagram in the manual that shows the exact length the needle has to be. I have one that came with it in a sears needle package. I cannot find anymore of these. My sewing machine repair guys that I go to for tune ups etc are adamant that it will use standard size needles. I told them I tried that and the bobbin thread would not pick up, so they then said my timing is off & to bring it in for service. The only problem with that is when I put in the actual "sears" needle it worked perfect. There is only about 3mm difference in length, but it makes the difference. I am not a newbie to sewing, I made sure it was up in there all the way, flat side to the back, not bent etc...
Does anyone have any comments, advice? Or does anyone know where to buy these shorter needles? I will try using a standard needle one more time but if they didn't work the last five times I doubt I will be doing anything productive.
thanks so much everyone! This is a great machine, according to the sears archive it is a white machine with the kenmore brand on it.
Michelle Giordano
Reply to
Michelle Giordano

Oh shoot! Sorry everyone, here I am replying to my own post. I should have said this first....
!!! Hello! I am back after about 2 or 3 years of not being able to read the group! I missed it so much. It looks like some of the girls & guys I used to post with are still around, and alot of new-to-me people too! I used to post under the name dnmgiordano I think, I can't even remember my old username!
Michelle Giordano
On Sep 10, 8:57=A0pm, Michelle Giordano wrote:
(snip)
Reply to
Michelle Giordano

Michelle, so good to have you back. As soon as I saw you name I said to myself .Michelle with the 3 little girls, lots of sewing skills and a job with an insurance company.Oh and you live in Saskatchewan
Hope you stay around for awhile. Juno
Reply to
Juno B

Oh my gosh! Barbara & Juno! I can't believe you guys remember me (I don't know why I don't believe it LOL because I remember both of you!)
Yes Juno, that is me! Three cute girls, MAD sewing skills!!! (upgraded myself there LOL - ok maybe not so great, but hey, I have to walk the walk right?) and I still do work in insurance, but I took a position with an insurer, so now I am underwriting, not selling. I prefer it much better. And we have a new addition to our family..... No not a human baby, sorry. A pretty little blue point siamese or burmese cross female. The father was the siamese or burmese, or perhaps ragdoll considering she is very bendy and relaxed most of the time... the people we got her from didn't know what the father was. She is about 15 weeks old now & we just love her! We call her Tinky. But I think that is enough bragging for a cat...
I do have a sears in town, not too far from where I work. I am going to call there and see if they have someone in their sewing machine department who knows anything about sewing machines at all. Our city is majorly short staffed everywhere.
In other news I have to announce the untimely demise of my 1977 Singer due to a sewer back-up. This Kenmore is the replacement.
Michelle Giordano
Reply to
Michelle Giordano

On 9/10/08 10:48 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@w24g2000prd.googlegroups.com, "Michelle
Welcome back, Michelle! I had a couple Kenmore machines in the 80s-90s,and never had problems getting needles from Sears. In El Paso, TX, where I lived for years, I went to the repair store to buy the needles, but the store in the mall also had them. My DS inherited a Kenmore when his aunt passed away last year. I don't know how old it is, but it had a couple Kenmore Q-needles with it, that I've been using while playing around with it since DS got a manual, it was lost. DS says he will look at the mall soon, and if Sears has them, I'll post the info on here. Emily(in Houston awaiting IKE)
Reply to
Emily Bengston

Oh my gosh! Barbara & Juno! I can't believe you guys remember me (I don't know why I don't believe it LOL because I remember both of you!)
think that is enough bragging for a cat...
A cat can never have enough bragging!
Mary
Reply to
Mary Fisher

Ha! I didn't remember the name of the Schmetz needles, but that is what I sometime use in my Kenmore, Singer, and Pfaff! Boy oh boy, is my memory fading! But I have a lot on my mind with my BIL being in the hospital in Cardiac intensive care. And my sister is in bad health, And a cousin passed away and will be burried tomorrow. Gotta have an excuse! Barbara in SC
Reply to
Bobbie Sews More

Every manual from that era, for brands that sold machines as WELL as needles (Singer, Kenmore, etc) will state that very same thing - you MUST use their brand of needle! It's baloney. They did that to increase sales of their own brand of needles.
I have several 1970s era Kenmores and they are super machines! And they use universal needles....I like Schmetz and they just fine with Schmetz Universal size needles, 15x1.
Kenmore needles back in the 70s were made by another comapny (I think it was Organ) and today they're made by whomever has the lowest bid :)
If it possible the other needles you have aren't the standard universal size? There may be some debris built up in the little channel the needle sits in. Remove the needle, and use a old dental pick or similar instrument to see if there's stuff in there 'skewing' the way the needle sits. Alchohol on a qtip will help loosen it up for removal.
Congratulations on keeping a great old machine out of the dumpster and returning it to useful service! They do not build 'em like that anymore!
-Irene
Reply to
IMS

Dear Barbara, My thoughts and prayers go out to you. You are very wise to take the life break for awhile. It helps . Love and Hugs, Juno
Reply to
Juno B

On 9/11/08 1:40 AM, in article o5Gdnc9zeLHyIFXVnZ2dnUVZ snipped-for-privacy@comcast.com,
After the mess of traffic 3 years ago with Rita, when thousands decided to evacuate at once, the counties have set up a plan for evacuation, according to zip codes, beginning with water-front properties and moving westward. Since our home is about 70-75 miles west of Galveston, we are not in any evacuation zone as of yet. DS is on his way home from his work out of town and when he gets home, we'll decide if we'll leave early in the morning or not. When Gustaf was coming toward us, we planned to leave, but also stocked up on bottled water, non-perishable foods, batteries, charcoal for the grill, propane for the Coleman stove, etc. and all of it is here. I will post as often as possible; everything will be past in a few days. Emily

Reply to
Emily Bengston

On 9/11/08 5:21 AM, in article
Prayers for your BIL & DS; am sorry to hear of your cousin's passing. Just take a sewing break and make something fun for yourself, to give your mind a break. Emily
Reply to
Emily Bengston

First off: (((( Barbara ))))
Secondly: Thanks everyone! What a wealth of knowledge on the subject. I will definitley try cleaning out the needle holder ( whats the name?) and see what happens. I have some Singer needles around here too, but I do prefer schmetz & klasse.
Thanks Everyone!
Michelle Giordano *who has re-written this four times already because the cat kept swatting me* **who is totally into desingning purses now**
Reply to
Michelle Giordano

AGH I had some major blonde moments there. I didn't bother to bring out my existing stock of needles. The needle in the "sears" needle case is a standard size. the needle that was in the machine is a tailor-form, and that is what I thought was standard size until I looked closer. The tailorforms I have came with this new-to-me kenmore & I didn't know about this brand. These are about 3mm or so longer!!!! They are longer at the top of the needle.
Geesh! No wonder it didn't work for me with those needles. I think I am going to keep them to remind myself never to assume. The size is so close, and there are so many brands out there.
Whats even better is a girlfriend from work brought me her old kenmore to play with over the weekend. She just got married and wanted to get a sewing machine just to have around for hemming etc. She was going to buy a brand new one and I mentioned I would take an older one any day. She said she had one that used to be her grandmother's but didn't know how to use it. I told her bring it to me, I will oil it and make sure the timing is correct (if not she will have to have it serviced). Now I can test it with needles LOL. It is such a cute little machine. Its a model 385 if I remember correctly and it looks late 70's to mid 80's. It comes with the most adorable fabric travel case. I can't wait to try it out.
Michelle Giordano
The only problem with that is when I put in the actual
Reply to
Michelle Giordano

On 9/11/08 4:31 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@k37g2000hsf.googlegroups.com, "Michelle
Michele, I forgot to tell you last evening-mind is addled with this hurricane headed in our direction; BUT I should have told you that the people from who DS got the manual for his Kenmore: Their address is RELICS 1457 N Nottawa St. Sturgis, MI 49091 website: snipped-for-privacy@sewing-machine-manuals.com I am not associated with this business, only a happy recipient of a manual. Emily
Reply to
Emily Bengston

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