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.

13 comments:

  1. 60.00 sounds like an excellent deal! I'm embarrassed to admit what I paid for my 401, but I did get all the accessories. Happy sewing!

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    1. I know what you mean! There are so many great accessories for the Slant-O-Matics. The 401 sure is a beauty! Great choice!

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  2. What fun finding your blog! I just inherited my Grandmother's Singer Slant-o-Matic 401. It has quite a few accessories, including the button-holer, and is in a cabinet that folds open. I have a lot to learn about it but it would be fun to use!

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    1. What a great keepsake from your grandma! And how fun that you have accessories to go with it! I love my 401! Here is a link for a free PDF of the manual in case you don't have one:

      http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_machine_company/manuals/singer-401-slant-o-matic-sewing-machine.pdf

      401's are great machines. Good luck with your new treasure!

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  3. Eva, do you have any photos of your 301A? Thanks for writing!

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  4. Well hello! Stumbled across your blog whilst doodling around... and behold, a lover of slant-o-matics! I have a 404 and I adore her to bits. She's a plain 'ole straight stitch, but you just can't beat the smooth operation of these babies! Your 301 does sound like quite the find, especially with the automatic zigzagger! I dreamt about finding one for my 404, but have since collected a total of seven machines. They're like cats, they just find me and follow me home! I actually chronicled my sewing machine addiction on my blog just last week.I look forward to reading about your machines, and all the little knick-knacks you pick up along the way!

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    1. It's so true. I can't bear to leave them behind whenever I see them! I actually haven't yet come across a 404. They certainly are beautiful machines!

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  5. Hi Eva! I just bought a 503A from a garage sale and am figuring out how to use it. Thanks for posting the .pdf of the manual, that'll help a lot!

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  6. Just discovered your bog and I am glad to see I am not alone in my Slant-o-matic obsession. My mom bought a new 401a when I was 10 years old to sew clothes for herself, my dad, and for then four, soon to be five little boys.

    Now I am a granddad and am sewing clothes for my four granddaughters (all 2 years or younger) on my 401a I got off CL. I also have 3-301's, a 403, and two 500's. I really love the Singer slant needle machines. Please keep up the bog!

    John Thomas

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  7. Hi. Great Blog. I have a 301A too and would like to get a zigzagger but dont know which zigzagger will work on the 301A. Do you know which one works on your 301A? I only see zigzaggers on EBay that are adaptable to the regular 301. Will those work on the 301A too? Any help would be great. Thanks in advance!
    Evan

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  8. I just bought my THIRD Slant-o-Matic.... uh-oh, I'm headed down a slippery slope! I have just about every foot, cam, and attachment you can get for slant shanks at this point too. The 503, 301, and 404 now have the places of honor in my sewing room while the low shanks (221 and 15-91) are sulking in their storage cases. I gotta say, both the 301 and 404 are amazing straight stitchers. The 404 I just bought for $30 sews so quietly, just a mere hum, but lickety-split fast. Its a very basic, simple machine but it is a beast. However, I still prefer the 301!

    http://runningstitches-mkb.blogspot.com/

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  9. Great find at $60... Just one note, though - 301 is a full-size machine, not 3/4.

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