Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sing a song of Singer

I have a love/hate relationship with Singer sewing machines. I started out on a Singer when I was learning to sew and even had a Singer when I was first married. I have no idea which models I had and, of course, no photos. When I first started buying and selling sewing machines I did try a few of the 1960-1970 models and had problems. Problems. Problems.More research showed the truth that was beginning to dawn on me: Singer stopped making good sewing machines in the late sixties.
(Some of the following was reported in an earlier post so skip down to the 3rd photo!)
Here are a few of my duds (they worked but sounded loud or I didn't like the feel of them):
This one came in a cabinet that had been hacked to pieces to try and accommodate this machine. I had to give the cabinet away.
Quite an adventure with this one. I bought one at Salvation Army and got my first experience in replacing plastic gears. Ended up buying this one from ebay just to try and figure out how it worked. I did learn quite a lot and sold the ebay acquired sewing machine to a cute young woman who knew this was exactly the sewing machine she wanted. Are you sure?

Now that the unpleasantries are over, let's look at the wonderful Singers that were made before those plastic gears came into being. Other than some black 66's and 99's that I have loved, the first Singer to bowl me over was a 401A:

I know just a photo doesn't tell you what is so great about this gem. It's the feel of this machine while you sew. Powerful, precise, a workhorse in every sense of the word. She came out of a home that was probably going to be demolished, the owner going into a memory care facility. It was quite dirty and the extra parts were eventually found in another pile of stuff but I got the "tower of power" with extra feet, bobbins, cams, the works!

I have enjoyed this sewing machine so much I bought 2 more as they came on the market. I'm sure I will have no trouble selling them.

Since then I have bought 2 Singer 404's and three Singer 306's but they are stories unto themselves. The moral of this story is to know the background of a sewing machine and check others reviews, taking into account that even a good company can make a poor product. I do love the old Singers but will no longer even look at the Singer Stylist or Touch and Sew. I tried, I was defeated. I rest my case.

1 comment:

John Thomas said...

I have four 401's and a 403. Both my brother and I remember the round stitch dial on my mother's 401 and our mother sewing up party gowns for herself on this machine. I bet she would be shocked to find I love sewing and vintage sewing machines so much!

John Thomas in NC