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Sewing Machine Reviews> Kenmore> 385.15358

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Reviewed by:keljo60
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About keljo60
FL USA
Member since: 8/23/06
Reviews written: 3
Sewing skills:Advanced Beginner
sewing machines reviewed: 3
Bio: more...
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Posted on:3/30/14 8:26 PM
Approx price paid:$50
Had this machine for:1 day
Recommended? Yes
Online Merchants:Amazon.com
Features
  • Needle Threader
  • Embroidery Stitches
  • One step buttonhole
  • Adjustable Stitch Length and Width
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Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 5 people   
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Review:
I bought this machine this morning from a CL listing. I drove 85 miles each way. I was pleased with the price before I got there and after I saw the machine and what was coming with it, I was very pleased with the price! The girl selling it was moving out of state and couldn't take it with her.

I'm not sure how old it is, but I'm guessing it's about 5 years old. I read that Consumer Reports reviewed this machine in 2009 and recommended it as a Best Buy. That makes me happy! It looks like it hasn't been used very much and she told me she had only used it a few times, I believe it! She said she bought it to learn to sew but I guess she didn't get very far!

After I got it home and set it up I tried a few stitches on basic doubled up cotton, very nice stitches, none skipped and very responsive. Then I put it to my favorite test that quite a number of vintage machines fail, the knit test! I have some cotton/spandex that is not thin that I like to make panties with and ran it through the machine on the stretch stitch that looks like a serger ... BEAUTIFUL!!! Most machines skip stitches on this fabric! I am so happy about this!

Next I made a sample buttonhole, it worked just as it was supposed to, all in one easy step!

I read elsewhere that the foot doesn't lift up far, but I had no issue with that. The presser foot lifter goes up to one stage, but if more space is needed beneith the foot, lift the presser foot lifter a bit more and the foot will go up as needed to place a thicker fabric under the foot. Most machines have this feature.

A couple of nice features of this basic machine are the built in needle threader and the multi position needle (left and center). I had a higher priced Husqvarna with the same type needle threader and it worked once then the wire bent and it never worked again. This one works great! I kinda wish this machine had a right needle position for making a 1/4" stitch for quilt piecing, but I can't have everything!

Overall I am very pleased with this machine. I reminds me of a basic Janome machine I had that disappeared about a year ago. I'm sure I loaned it to someone and it was never returned. I asked all at work and posted on FB, but it never turned up. It was my backup machine so I didn't really miss it until I went looking for some machine needles that were in the case and couldn't find it. This machine will probably get quite a bit of use, I really like it!

Troubleshooting:
There are only a couple of minor items I would change on this machine. I would like it to have the right needle position for piecing, and on the build in buttonholes it would be nice if the side bars were wider. As they are, they are good for basic blouses, but I don't know how well they would be on something heavier.

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4 Comments
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Mufffet said...
Nice review. I had the basic model below this one for awhile. It performed excellently. Happy sewing. :)
3/30/14 8:49 PM
s.gopalan said...
I am impressed at he depth of your review ,in spite of having had it for only oe day! Thanks for a nice review
3/30/14 10:44 PM
Kippysan said...
Thanks for a nice review, very helpful. Glad you're happy with your new machine!.
3/31/14 10:30 PM
catsmeow said...
I have two Kenmore 385. series machines and I just love them. All kinds of feet will fit them. You certainly got your machine for a steal! Hope you have many years of enjoyment with it!
5/14/14 11:32 PM
 
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