Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mistaken Identity

The Singer Sewing Machine Company seemed to have a pattern in their numbering of models and then sometimes it seemed to be a bit random. Their 101, 201, 301, 401, 500 were all top-of-the-line (TOL) when they first came out. The subsequent models were lesser versions to some extent. The 301 is the darling of most sewers because of its versatility and lighter weight, yet the 306 has additional stitches with flat cams. The Singer 401, my all time favorite, is fully loaded with some built-in stitches and an extension of stitches with the add on cams. The subsequent numbers have less built in right down to the 404 which is straight stitch only. And now for the point of all this ruminating, the Singer 500, know as the Rocketeer, has all the features with the next-in-line having fewer built-ins. Imagine my delight when I find what appears to be a Rocketeer for only $20 at a local thrift store. The carrying case is pretty banged up and the latches are gone but the machine runs! Here she is, waiting to be cleaned up:

Singer 503 before cleaning
I notice she doesn't have the built-in stitches like my 401 and then it dawns on me: this is a 503, not a 500. But it has the sleek look and whole top opens, not just a door as per the 401.While I'm now a bit disappointed, I still think I have a real find so I proceed to clean her up. This takes quite a bit of the evening because she's been neglected and is dirty inside and out. I finally get her clean and start to sew. Hummm, the tension is taking a bit of adjustment and I finally have to change the bobbin tension before it sews an even zig zag on the top and bottom. I love the sound of these machines, all gear driven, and with some grease on those gears she can really move. I still have to play with different needles and weight of fabric but so far she's really nice to sew with:

Singer 503 after cleaning
Maybe I should call her a Rocketeer Jr. or how about a Rockette? Let's hope she doesn't dance across the table but she does perform well and is a beauty to behold!

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