Sunday, February 17, 2013

Singer 301A

As I've mentioned before my Singer Slant-O-Matic 503A is my favorite machine. I have a confession for you. I've been using another machine.

My lightbulb burned out my my precious 503 and I was forced to use another machine for a bit until I replaced the bulb (which really isn't that hard as it turns out. The bulbs are readily available at JoAnn's for less than $3.00 and are really easy to replace). I am a late night sewing person so the lightbulb is really very key so I had to use another machine for a while. I pulled out my Singer 301A, also a slant needle machine like the Slant-O-Matics. The 301 was the first slant machine. Mine is from 1956 and he's a beauty. (I'll post a photo of him soon. Promise).

I found him on an online classified ad. The seller wanted $60.00 for him plus all his accessories. I'll admit, I was first drawn to him only for his accessories (which work on the other slant machines; you just have to remember they're made for a straight stitch machine). He was decked out with just about every original accessory he would have come with: his original trapezoid case (which is awesome in itself), a buttonholer, automatic zigzagger with the original 4 cams plus an additional 4 optional cams, all of which are in their original boxes with original instructions. He also came with his original manual, which was the old one with the black cover, his original green accessories box packed with feet, and 6 original vintage bobbins. I wanted his accessories but had also wanted to try out one of the original slant machines. And at $60.00 that can't be beat.

I gave him a quick test drive and he was amazing. Very smooth. Very quiet. Very cute. $60.00 later the adoption was complete and he was a member of my (ever growing) sewing machine family.

The 301 is sometimes called the big sister of the little Singer Featherweight sewng machine. Like the Featherweight, the 301 is a portable machine but it's a bit bigger. The 301 is a 3/4 size machine, which means it's lighter and more portable. Lighter compared to other solid metal machines, that is. It still weighs in at about 16 pounds plus the accessories and case. There are tables for the 301's but mine is strictly a portable machine; I keep him savely tucked in his case when not in use. He's a straight stich only machine, which of course means there's no zigzagging with out the automatic zigzagger attachment. I have found that my current sewing projects (mostly super small doll clothes) do not require much zigzagging and the straight stitch machine fills my needs well.

The bobbin winder for the 301A is on the front of the machine. It's really pretty genius. You push the bobbin up against the handwheel and that is what fills the bobbin.  In theory I guess you could be filling a bobbin while you were sewing. If you really wanted to.

Anyway, when theh lightbulb on Sinclair (my delightful 503) went out I dragged out the 301A, set him up, and have been using him for a while now. It's great because he's so portable I can sew anywhere in the house without much trouble setting him up. I can sew at night in the living room, which is way from the kiddies, and not worry about waking them.

There certainly are times when a zigzag machine are key. I haven't yet tried the zigzagger or buttonholer on the 301A yet but will let you know what I think of them when I do. It's so simple to switch from straight stitching to zigzag on the 503, 401, and 500 machines that I go to them when I need zigzagging capabilities.

But I am really liking my 301A.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Awesome Antique Singer Sewing Sign


Check out this gorgeous present my mom gave me for my birthday!!!

It's glorious.

It's a vintage tin Singer Sewing litho sign.

I did some research on this beauty. There weren't many clues but I came to the conclusion it was made before 1928 because the company that made the sign shut down that year.  I compared the machine, which I believe is a Singer model 66K. Judging by the hair and clothes of the girl in the logo it's probably from about 1905, which means it's not only super cool but also super old.

Turns out it was a calendar. The little arms on the front would hold the calendar parts.

I was thinking I could duplicate the calendar pages and have it be a calendar again but I have an even cooler use for it: It's a magnet board. It's tin so the magnets stick right to it. That way I don't have to use any tape or mess with it's finish at all. It's perfect.

I've decided to keep my project ideas on there. It hangs on the wall right above my Singer Slant-O-Matic 503A where I can see it when I sew.

I've been collecting odd vintage sewing bits to be magnets. There will be more to come about that. You're going to love it.

"For Every Stitching Operation." Awesome.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Singer Accessories Tin

As you know, I love going to thrift stores and rescuing Singer Slant-o-Matic sewing machines but I also love picking up accessories to add to my ever-growing collection. Whenever my mom goes to her local thrift store she always keeps an eye out for anything vintage sewing related for me.

Check out this little gem she picked up for me! It's an accessory tin, about 2.5 inches by 6 inches. A real beauty! Based on its red and green zig zag design it is from the late '50s to early '60s, just like my favorite Slant-o-Matics.

It has all the dings and dents that come with being 50+ years old, which only add to the vintage delightfulness.

In all my research I have never come across another tin with this design!

It's a real find.

And the best part?

It only cost $1.00.

Friday, August 31, 2012

ANOTHER Sewing Machine?

Dodge, my delightful 4 year old, said something hilarious the other day.

I had brought home yet another machine to add to my ever-changing collection.

I hauled it in and put it in the hall (with the three newest machines in my menagerie. I saw him looking at them all, thinking. Finally he said, "If we get any more sewing machines we won't be able to walk around the house and they will CRUSH us!"

Hmm. Maybe 9 sewing machines is a little excessive...

...but only maybe.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

More Singer Sewing Book

I have been pouring over the delightful Singer Sewing Book - A Complete Reference Guide to Sewing. I came across a great section on your appearance while you sew:

I love this.

Powder? Lipstick?

When I sew I'm lucky to be out of my PJs.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Singer Sewing Book

I found the most delightful sewing reference book. I have had my eye on it on eBay but I found it at my local thrift shop for $4.00. And it is in MINT condition.

It's the Singer Sewing Book - A Complete Reference Guide to Sewing. It was printed in 1961, right around the time my Slant-O-Matic 503A was born so I had to have it.

It is an excellent resource for all things sewing. It gives very clear instructions about how to use attachments and about different sewing techniques.

Below is an excerpt from the book:

I love how they talk about how to treat your sewing machine. I think I'll have to make a cover for mine.
If you ever see it for sale snap it up. It's a great reference. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Why a Slant-O-Matic?

So you're wondering just what it is that makes these machines so awesome.  So fabulous. So GLORIOUS!

If you weren't already sucked in by their MODERN '60's design and aerodynamic lines you would be by their brilliant slant needle.

All right, all right. I know I am a sucker for these things. But I buy into all the hype. All of it. The good old Singer Sewing Manufacturing Company touted the Singer Slant-O-Matic was "The Greatest Sewing Machine Ever Made!" Of course they said that about a few machines...

...But I really believe it.

First of all they are BEAUTIFUL. I know I am biased of course, but I think the 500 series is the most beautiful in design. The 401s are great, don't get me wrong. But, aesthetically speaking, nothing can compare to the lines of the 500 and 503.

They can do anything. They have adjustable needle position, a wide variety of attachments (there will be a comprehensive list of compatible attachments here in the very near future).

They are strong. Anywhere you look you hear about how they can sew through six layers of denim and leather. I must admit I don't come across a lot of need to sew through 6 layers of denim but when that day comes I am READY.

They are slant needle machines. Slant needle machines offer greater visibility of the needle and what you are sewing. It's a higher shank so you can really get in there. Love it.

They are solid metal. There are no plastic parts in the workings of these guys. They are metal gear driven so they can handle just about anything you throw at them.

And finally, they are just so COOL! Look at the Slant-O-Matic. Listen to the Slant-O-Matic. Sew with the Slant-O-Matic. Trust me. You will be hooked.