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Kenmore 1914 Zig Zag needle wont move side to side

When trying to do a zig zag type stitch or any decorative stitch, the needle will only stay straight. i have followed all instructions, oiled the machine, it just wont to the desings the way it should. the needle just stays in its place and i end up with a bunch of thread in one sport where the design (looping designs) should have been. any advise?

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  • katie_branha Feb 21, 2009

    yes, i am following all manual directions exactly and i have even tried doing every combo of settings. it will only go forwards and reverse. no side to side movement.

  • katie_branha Mar 03, 2009


    Thank you for the help. it was the needle shaft. it had seezed up from not being used. I do love thr machine and in the past week have bought the 1980 thats just like it and a 1803 thats got the same concept but only allows for 1 letter to be monogrammed at a time then you have to reset the fabric. I love them all but love the 1914 the best so i am searching for a second 1914 as a back-up for parts cause i too love the older machines with the metal gears!!

    Thanks for your help!!



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I have this machine and love it too. I am glad to see I was passed down a great machine from a great person. I do not have the arm cover to the machine or any cams, extra feet or Manuel. I have made do for many years but would like to know where to get parts.

Posted on Jun 10, 2009

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Hello. First thing make sure your feed dogs are in the UP position. Secondly, make sure your Special Stitch Selector is on the zig zag design. Adjust your Stitch Width Control to your preference (1-4), select your stitch length (any numer), put the Special Stitch Modifier on the RED DOT, and use your size zag presser foot and needle plate.

You are lucky to have the 158.1914. It is becoming one of the most desirable machines because of it's 1.2 amp motor and sturdiness, as well as being gear driven. I use two of them in my business and prefer them over my newer computerized machines any day.

Do you have a manual? If you do not have a manual, please let me know. I may be able to help you.


Posted on Mar 03, 2009

  • kenmore1914 Mar 04, 2009

    Great news! Glad you were able to fix the problem. I have my original machine from the early 70's and purchased another like it about 1 1/2 years ago for $200. (all of the attachments, etc.). I wanted to have it for a back-up. I really have never needed the back-up, but....just in case. I absolutely love this machine. If it is taken care of, there should never be a problem. By the way, if you purchase another machine, make sure, before you give it a good run, to take it apart and clean and oil it. The manual gives really good instructions on how to do so.

    You may be able to get another 1914 for a lower price, but the last I saw on Ebay last week, one went for $313.! Some may think this is rather high for a 70's machine, but I don't. It was "Sears Best" back then and was pretty pricey. The machines made today do not at all come close to it.

    Take care!



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Maybe a stupid question, but do you have the width selector to it's widest setting?

Posted on Feb 21, 2009

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