CAM Along and Sew With Me In 1963

If you were a 'Sewer' in the 1960's....you got 'CAM Along'...right?
If not, then I will explain!
~It has do with the ZigZag Stitch.
~A PORTABLE Sewing Machine that required Charles Atlas Biceps to lift.
~An understanding of 1960's Sewing Technology...or at least the courage to open the box.
~The smarts to know to READ the Instruction Booklet and admit that you weren't a 'KnowItAll'.
~And last, but not least...the NEED!
I NEEDED my own Sewing Machine. 
Mama NEEDED her Singer back!
My NEED was fulfilled on my 18th Birthday, January 1965,
the latest greatest in Sewing Machine Technology!
The Kenmore Model 52Automatic Zig-Zag Sewing Machine
I desperately NEEDED that ZigZag Stitch which I knew about from the sewing machines at school in homemaking class.  What I didn't know about was the CAM.  What would they think of next?  The CAM Technology had to be an invention from NASA Space Suit Sewing Engineers and was finally made available to us Domestic Engineers of the home sewing industry.   Surely Sears, Roebuck and Company had NASA connections.   Just think, I was on my way to ZigZag Zenith!

I did mention about being SMART enough to READ the Instruction Booklet....right?
Inside cover Letter:
Dear Homemaker:
This booklet has been written for you,  to  help you use and enjoy fully your KENMORE Automatic Zigzag Sewing Machine.
We urge you to read pp. 2-24 before using your machine.  This section explains the operation of the special controls that allow you to do many tedious tasks automatically.  The following pages offer suggestions and instructions for specific ornamental and time saving operations.  See p.24 before using the automatic patterns or zigzag stitch.
See p.24 before using the automatic patterns or zigzag stitch.
As you can see from the wear on the ZigZag Stitch CAM, I did read page 24.
Other than that...
...I was a KnowItAll.


  1. My mother was of the group who said: "If all else fails, read the instructions", I tend to follow her with that. I just got my first 'cam' machine last month, a Necchi. The cams arrived while I was in San Angelo, and I haven't even had time to open the box yet. My youngest son has my Kenmore (was my mother's), but, it was 1973, so, no cams, just a dial.

  2. Boy, did you ever bring back some sweet memories of my mother and grandmother at the sewing machine. I still sew, becoming new again, have you noticed? The end of the Depression Era kids like myself, learned from our parents to waste nothing. And now, here we go again.
    I just patched the bottom of my Grandson's backpack at his request. I was shocked he didn't want a brand new one..at 9, I was impressed. have a blast with your cams.

  3. I was just reading about cams last week! Thank you for sharing!

  4. They sure don't build them like they used to. Those old machines really do weigh a ton. I'm sure it gave you many, many years of good use. My mom taught me to sew back in the 60s on her Kenmore, but I don't remember the cams...maybe it was a different model. Thanks for sharing:-)

  5. I am not a sewer, but love seeing what others used and make.

  6. My first sewing machine, a Singer 500A purchased new in 1964, came with cams. I sewed many miles on that machine, which I still own! Is there really a connection between cams and NASA?

  7. Morning Sue, This paragraph describes EXACTLY how I learned to sew.

    Mothers teach daughters to sew, and daughters teach their daughters, and so the Art of Sewing is passed from generation to generation. My Mother learned to sew on my Grandmother Minnie's treadle sewing machine in the 1930's when a woman's sewing basket, mending and sewing clothes was a part of everyday life. Girls were first taught to stitch with needle and thread making doll clothes then perhaps an apron and as smaller stitches were taken and sewing skills were learned...the sewing machine was the next step.

    I started learning by making a doll dress for my doll. My mother taught me to sew tiny stitches and I remember her words of encouragement. She then taught me to sew straight on her sewing machine by making me hem dish towels. I did have a cam sewing machine later in years. This is why we have a connection with each other. Smile. I have not visited much lately but winter is a great time to catch up with my dear blogging friends. That is you Sue.

    Happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones.


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