Thursday, June 21, 2012

Left Needle Kenmore

One of my sewing buddies bought this lovely green Kenmore 158.130 model in a cabinet with accessories for a mere $10. It was a little dusty, and locked up in a few places, but it had no problems that a little oil and lubricant couldn’t take care of. It sews a nice stitch, but alas, it’s a “leftie”


The first time I encountered a left needle machine I thought something was wrong with it. I could get it to zigzag perfectly, but it only did a straight stitch in the left needle position. Hmmm…

needle position

This photo shows the needle in its straight sewing position. Turns out Kenmore made a lot of left needle sewing machines when they first began production of zigzag machines. In today’s world, it’s good machine for a utility sewist, a garment maker, or someone just learning to sew, but for the quilter, not so good. To get it to sew the quilter’s 1/4” seam the fabric would have to be fed through only the left set of the feed teeth. Guiding the fabric would require some digital gymnastics and might result in injury. Over the years I’ve had a few near misses because my finger was too close to the needle, and I don’t want to invite trouble.

That said, it’s a perfect machine for the Sewing Machine Project. Michele who blogs at Life with Lou just delivered 21 machines to one of the drop points for this wonderful organization. Maybe a trip to my closest drop point in New Orleans is in my future, or my friend and I will find a new sewist here who would give it a good home.


  1. Interesting post! I was not familiar with the organization and am reading the info on the website. Very worthwhile.

  2. That is so cool that you are thinking of donating it to the SMP. Or someone who would love it. No matter what we do, we need to keep them humming and out of the trash!

  3. Do you have any tips on finding attachments for a sewing machine similar to this? I have a Morse that is the same way with the needle to the left and most attachments are only for center needle positions.