Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I'm Blue (and I am not talking Politics)

 I have a five hundred dollar Kenmore 158.1358.  Maybe more.  I spent HOURS on it today and Sunday trying to figure out what the devil was wrong with the multi-stitch Zig Zag.  You know that stitch.  It's the one that zooms down the seam taking tiny little stitches as it zigs and zags to and fro.  It is my all time favorite stitch.

I must have taken the motor off of the machine ten times at least.  I would figure that it had nothing to do with anything underneath and put the motor back on.  Then I would look up top and deduce that everything was working just fine there and go back to the bottom. Finally I got out the 158.1350 and set it up next to the 1358.
I know it is a scene.  I know its messy.  Still it makes me happy
It was a little bit different, being a free arm and all, but I managed.  I studied them both, watching the mechanism as I switched from the hem stitch into the multi zz.  Everything was working fine.  Finally I figured it had to be the stitch length regulator(SLR) .  And sure enough the 1358 SLR  did NOTHING when in Multi ZZ. But the one in the 1350 moved the front/back feed dog mechanism when changing stitch lengths.   OK  now to figure out how to fix that.  I looked at the bottom again.  ARRRGGHHH.  There are two set screws at a 90 degree angle and the shaft of the SLR.   One is accessible from beneath and the other from above.   NO WAY was I going to try to adjust those babies.  I knew that was not the adjustment point.  TOO COMPLICATED.  Even for a Kenmore.  Oh I wonder if this spring has anything to do with it?  Maybe its too loose?  Nope.  Sounds nice and sound.  BOING.

By now it was getting late.  Wrigley had decided that it was time to get my attention.  So he positioned himself at my feet.  Or between my feet.  He had been lying to the right earlier so I moved to the left.  He moved too.   Why he had to be between my feet is a mystery to me. 
 I had vowed to cook supper tonight.  I thought that Steven deserved a decent meal with vegetable, protein and carbohydrate groups.  My plan was to find a nice recipe on line for the big head of escarole I bought Sunday.   That plan fell through.  The stupid machine had all my attention.

I was back at the top looking around.  I wonder what this screw does?  I turned it on the working machine and the multi zz stopped feeding.  I turned it the other way and it worked.  Oh My Goodnes.  I can't @#$ believe that is the fix.  That little @#!% screw?  Really?  After all the %$#& HOURS  I just spent on this stupid #@$%&$#@!#$% machine?  REALLY?  How #$%& simple was that? (I really did get that blue.  The dogs weren't sure if there was a convention of sailors or truck drivers in the shop.)
 Here is another shot of it.  Close up.

That screw is MILES away from the stitch length regulator and I have no clue how to the two are linked.  Well, that's not exactly true.  But I am grateful that I messed with it and found out that was the problem.

I did cook dinner.  I didn't make anything with the escarole.  I need some white beans.... But Steven did get his meal with protein (TVP) vegetable (broccoli and salad) and carb (brown rice).  I had a vodka tonic.  I figured I deserved it.

After dinner I went back out to the shop and set the stitch length and then tested the stitches.  Look out, more blue language.....  Every stitch, no matter what the setting, was a multi stitch ZZ.    Yes, every one.  Except ss.  Even ZZ was multi ZZ.  What did I do?  Something was wrong with the cam follower.  So I set the SLR back to where it was and fiddled with the cam follower and then re set the SLR and all was fine......Almost

The [Blind] Hem stitch was off. (Corrected, see below)  You know that little stitch that takes two straight stitches and the zigs to the right.  It would zig right and then zag left and then zag left some more before it zigged again.  It was supposed to zig and then zag back all the way take a straight stich and then zig again.  The arm that controls the needle bar left and right motion was stuck a bit.  More Tri Flow and I manually moved the bar about three hundred and fifty eight times.  Then I turned on the machine and while it ran I gently kept my finger on the cam follower connected to the zz needle bar arm and that fixed it.

So, you see?  I have a five hundred dollar machine.  BUT next time I will know.  And the next time might be coming up pretty soon.  Betsy is still on vacation and she left me an ultra 12 stitch with problems.  It won't zig on any of the stitches that require zigging.  Maybe the plunger point is stuck on the needle bar.  We'll see.


  1. I know exactly how you feel, except I thought I had incredible patience and refusal to give up. I think you have more. Congratulations. Yes indeed, it is a learning experience. It will come in handy next time.

  2. Brava!

    My husband saw a quilt kit that I had fallen in love with. "160.00, not bad" Then I broke it to him: add batting, backing and quitting, get a 500.00 quilt.Kit

  3. Blind hemstitch.
    That is one clean machine. Did anyone ever use it??

  4. Blind Hemstitch I will correct it......

    Yes this machine has been used. It has wear and paint chips as evidence. It now has tension issues. But I can deal with that. I wish it were a free arm after all that work.....Nice stitches though.