When I was a little girl there were two brands of sewing machine most commonly found in my friends’ homes – Singer and Kenmore. Both brands were known for their reliability and affordability. Over the years, Kenmore maintained its reputation for delivering a great quality sewing machine at some of the most affordable prices on the market.
In 2011 rumors began flying that Sears would no longer carry Kenmore sewing machines. Loyal customers rushed to buy the remaining models and members of sewing chat boards fielded questions from those who were worried they wouldn’t be able to find accessories for Kenmore machines they already owned.
It didn’t take long for Sears to sell its stock of Kenmore sewing machines, but even today the machines show up on search engine pages as being available at Sears and once the page is visited a message is posted along with a photo of the sewing machine in question saying it is no longer available but the buyer might be interested in other products. Obviously, the strong reputation of Kenmore products continues to attract buyers searching for their sewing machines.
Unfortunately, Kenmore no longer manufactures their full line of sewing machines. There are a couple of lesser expensive models available at Walmart and Amazon has a couple of different machines including a higher end model, but the Kenmore name is no longer on a full line of sewing machines.
Janome, another fine name in the sewing world, has been manufacturing the sewing machines for Kenmore and some of the Sears brand models have sister models within the Janome brand. For example, the Kenmore model 19233 is also Janome model 115215. The good news for those loyal Kenmore owners is that Janome will continue to manufacture compatible parts for both brands of sewing machines.
Kenmore’s quality may have actually contributed to the demise of its sewing machine line. Of course, that’s an oversimplification of what happened, but as I read site after site looking for information about Kenmore machines I saw many comments from people who had owned their Kenmore sewing machine for 20+ years. When a machine is that reliable it doesn’t have to be replaced often. That’s great for the machine owner, but not so great for the company relying on new sales!
If your heart is set on owning a Kenmore sewing machine they are still found on sites like Amazon, as I mentioned earlier, but they can also be found on auction sites like Ebay. You might also look on Craig’s list, but keep in mind if you buy a used machine, you might also need to budget to have the machine serviced or refurbished.
However, if you are simply looking for a quality sewing machine for an affordable price several companies have models that are helping fill the gap left by Kenmore’s move to reduce its line of sewing machines.
Brother is well known for its printers and copiers but also offers a wide variety of affordable choices when it comes to home sewing. I have been sewing with a Brother for about 8 years, but spent the first 22 years or so of my sewing life with Singer. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another of either brand. We have reviewed the Brother CP-7500 and the Brother CS6000i, both very highly rated models. Both machines are appropriate for beginner and experienced sewists alike.
Singer is one of the oldest and best known names in sewing. Singer sewing machines are known for lasting a very long time. My mother is still sewing on the machine she purchased when I was a very little girl. It is almost 50 years old and still sews beautifully and the machine requires an annual service visit. Newer computerized models may not be built to last quite that long, but the sheer numbers of positive reviews from loyal customers is a clear sign that Singer is still one of the most trusted names in sewing machines. We have reviewed the Singer 7258 Stylist and the Singer 7256 Fashion Mate. Like the Brother machines we’ve reviewed ,both are appropriate for a wide range of sewing expertise.
Janome is a very respected name among sewing enthusiasts. The company is well known for its higher end machines, but as mentioned earlier, Janome manufactures affordably priced sewing machines both under the Kenmore and Janome brand names. We have reviewed the Janome DC4030Pr and the Janome Memory Craft 6500 Professional. Both are excellent machines representing both ends of the price spectrum.
While it is true the Kenmore brand sewing machines will no longer be available at Sears stores, some models are still available through Walmart and Amazon. Sears will also continue to stock accessories for the Kenmore machines for the foreseeable future.