Sears Kenmore Vintage Sewing Machine

Sears Kenmore Machine

This Sears Kenmore electric machine is the latest of my vintage sewing machine finds from my favorite thrift store.  Yes, we are still off-grid; however, hubby couldn’t pass up this deal apparently.  She needs a name.  We already have Tabitha and Dorcas, hand crank and treadle machines respectively.  I’ve got it, we’ll call her “Rina” which is Hebrew for “joyous song”.  Okay, since that is settled what I need to know is her model and a bit of history?

Kenmore Throat Plate

The foot pedal states Model 6816 but is that for the entire machine OR simply the foot pedal?


When we first brought her home the bobbin casing, bobbin spool, and another piece down there were floating around in the plastic base area along with old oil.  Hubby “seems” to have fixed that situation.  Still, I am in search of a free machine manual.


Rina is going to reside over at one of my friend’s home.  When I need to get away (read that want some electricity) I can go visit her from time-to-time.  Plus, if I should decide to not master the hand made button hole Rina will come in handy for techniques requiring a zig zag stitch.

Thank goodness for the Internet.  This machine looks similar to mine.  There she is described as a “1960s-era Sears Kenmore”.  Model 158 keeps coming up but the search continues for truth.  They seem to be going for just under $100.00 to about $150.00 on eBay and were manufactured in Japan.  I’m feeling good that mine was $0 (tee hee hee).


Looks like mine; carrying case and all!

I am pretty sure mine is one of the Model 158s; but there seems to be more to the model number.  The ones I am seeing online look like “Model 158 xxxx”.  I think I can locate the number by lifting the machine from the plastic base and checking underneath.  I don’t recall seeing a number when I had it open earlier but I was more concerned with why the bobbin pieces were unattached and floating around.

If anybody has more information about this lovely please let me know.  ETA:  I found a free online manual in case someone else is in need.

Manual cover



13 thoughts on “Sears Kenmore Vintage Sewing Machine

  1. Nothy

    Oh congratulations! I sew on a vintage Kenmore – if you get the buttonhole attachment, you will not regret it. It makes the best buttonholes ever. (I also have a newer Viking but I prefer my vintage Kenmore.) Congratulations!


    1. Really, Nothy.

      How cool your situation sounds. I have a “Singer” buttonholer. Wonder if it’ll work or no? See, that’s why I need a manual. I thought this machine makes buttonholes. Hmmmm? Rina will be staying at my girlfriend’s because we are off the grid. When I go over there to sew I am so distracted, LOL. At home it’s just me and my babies.




      1. Nothy

        I think there are manuals online – if not, I can mail your a photocopy or scan one for you – my machine is a similar model to yours…let me know


      2. I’m looking up the model number right now. I did find out it is a “158” but there are other numbers behind the 158. I’m awaiting a tele call to confirm. Thanks, Nothy.


      3. nothy lane

        Okay, so happy to hear you found the manual. Mine is a 158 too and I think the other numbers are 1981 but I could be wrong. ANyway, it is a workhorse…you’ll love it.



  2. Lovely machine dear! I would bet you will find the model number on Rina’s bottom, much like a Cabbage Patch Doll. LOL. Great find and what a treasure! Good luck finding more information on her. I do miss thrifting in Florida so badly. So many great things to uncover there in the stores. Many many weekends were spent ruffling through treasures when I lived there.


  3. judy

    How exciting…Looks like a really clean /good shape sewing machine.. I think Rina.. is going to be great to have [and going to visit her at your friends house..will be fun…
    Try typing in to your search engine, Free Singer——sewing machine manual”.. it should be some for free. best wishes.


  4. Pat

    Just purchased this same machine for $5.00. Cleaned it all up and adjusted the tension and she runs like a champ. Can’t wait to slip it into a cabinet and start some projects.


  5. Terri

    I have been sewing on a machine like this one since 1975. It’s the only machine I’ve ever owned and she is going strong. I’ve made everything from drapes to wedding gowns on it. At one point I did a craft show circuit for 5 years and was sewing on her for 40-60 hours a week. Definitely a work horse.


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