|Kenmore:16231 (Sewing Machine)|
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32 more reviews for this machine
Review rated Helpful
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by 11 people
|About C_M |
|Member since: 3/27/06 |
|Reviews written: 3|
|sewing machines reviewed: 1|
|Posted on:||6/10/13 10:35 PM|
|Approx price paid:||$200|
|Had this machine for:||3 years|
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- Needle Threader
- Needle Up/Down Setting
- Embroidery Stitches
- One step buttonhole
- Drop-In bobbin
- Free Arm
- Adjustable Stitch Length and Width
- Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure
- Adjustable Needle Position
- Auto Threading
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|What C_M likes about this machine|
Does PR need yet another Kenmore 16231 review? Well, not really, I suppose, as I agree with the other 30+ previous reviewers that this is a solid general-purpose sewing machine, suitable for beginners and beyond, and highly recommended. It was recently discontinued along with the rest of the Kenmore line, but is still available used here and there, sometimes refurbished and labeled as "Janome 11590."
In general, this is a workhorse machine that was sold at an attractive price point. While I don't sew anything particularly challenging, even simple projects have areas with six or eight layers of fabric, and I never have a problem sewing over them.
Here are a few more details, some more significant than others:
Extremely quiet, smooth operation.
Not computerized means fewer electronics to malfunction. The stitch selector dial makes a satisfying "thunk."
Nice stitch quality. Infinitely variable length and width for versatility.
Three needle positions - oddly, some Janomes only offer center and one-side positions.
Adjustlble presser-foot pressure makes the machine more versatile for a wider variety of tasks.
Drop-in bobbin (or "horizontal sewing machine" in Sears-speak). My old sewing machine took a vertical bobbin, and my ten thumbs and I had a hard time with it. This is far easier to manage.
Clear bobbin cover. Of course, the cover is covered by your work-in-progress, so it is still possible to run out of bobbin thread, but at least you could have checked the bobbin every so often if you had thought of it....The threading diagram on the bobbin cover is nice to have as well, at least while you are getting accustomed to using the machine.
Presser feet - lots of them - inexpensive, useful and easily available from Sears/Kenmore/Parts Direct. Snap-on style is a cinch to switch. A buttonholer with oval and keyhole templates is available as well. Part numbers for all the accessories are listed in the manual for easy shopping.
Thoughtfully-placed seam guide markings in both inches and centimeters, on both sides of the needle.
Front accessory box can be opened without removing the extension table.
Thread cutter - nice and sharp. Perhaps I noticed this because it was brand-new, compared to the thread cutter on my old machine, but it was an unexpected pleasure.
Start/stop feature - allows pedal-free sewing, which can be helpful if you need to change your body position. (You need to unplug the foot pedal to allow the start/stop button to work - I learned this on PR; it's not in the manual).
Manual - with the exception of the start/stop omission above, the manual is excellent. Clearly written with useful diagrams and uncluttered design, you can use it to work through every feature the sewing machine offers. One quickly becomes accustomed to the tri-lingual pages.
Appearance - while modern sewing machines are hardly objects of beauty, the clean white body and gently rounded edges are aesthetically pleasing enough. The machine is light enough to be portable but feels solid.
Reliable, worked perfectly out of the box, and has required no repairs. The Sears warranty covers the frame (25 years), internal mechanism (10 years) and exterior and electrical components (2 years). While some would shy away from buying a machine without trying it first, the return policy was generous and allowed me to test it out thoroughly at home.
This machine is not a thread snob, and neither am I. We have used lots of normal Coats and Clark thread, with nary a problem.
The needle-threader works every time!
What C_M does not like about this machine
The aqua trim is perhaps my least-favorite color and I really wish the knobs and handle could be any other color in the world, but I have learned to live with it.
The face cover is somewhat bulky, and I find myself bending to peer underneath it at times. Just a little, not enough to be a problem.
The presser foot lift mechanism isn't exactly where my right forefinger wants it to be.
That's about it for dislikes.
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