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.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Before I had my beloved Singer 503 I had a plastic Simplicity brand machine. It was a very fun beginner's machine. It was toward the end of the machine's life when my husband tore his work jeans. He had 5 minutes before he had to go to work. Plenty of time to mend it, I thought.

It should have been an easy fix. It was a tear along the back pocket. Just a bit of zigzagging and they'd be good as new. I threaded my machine, got the pants positioned, and .... nothing.  The needle would not go through it. It was one layer of heavy denim. Poor Husband had to wear his good jeans to work.

That is not a problem you come across with your Singer Slant-o-matic.  It can easily stitch through 6 layers of denim. I've seen it done.

I had an extra 401A I had up for sale on craigslist the other day. The lady who bought it told me bought her 401 in 1960 and it just gave up the ghost this year, 52 years later. When she came to my house she brought along a pair of her husband's work jeans with a tear so she could give the machine a test drive. It was amazing watching her mend the tear. She really knew what she was doing. It must have taken her and the 401 less than a minute to do the whole thing. The 401 zipped through that denim like it was nothing.

You really can't beat the Singer Slant-o-matic.