Saturday, May 17, 2008

A new machine for me!

I bought a "new" machine! From a fellow quilter who gave me a great price on it. It's a Singer 301, made in the 1950s. I haven't looked for the exact date yet.

I've spent a few hours today getting to know my new toy. I cleaned it, oiled it, figured out how to wind the bobbin and thread the machine up. Sewed on some scraps to figure the tension, and it's good as gold now! :)

Here it is next to my Bernina. Slightly smaller, weighs less... but the Singer has all metal parts! Well, the pedal foot feels like it has some plastic on it. ;)

I'll probably continue to use my Bernina for the most part. I know that machine well, it's got lots of extras, and the knee lift. I'm so addicted to using the knee lift. I kept swinging my right leg for the imaginary knee lift on the Singer. :P

The Singer is a simple straight-stitch machine. It doesn't even have a free-arm for sleeves and stuff. Eh, not that I ever sew sleeves these days. ;) No zigzag, I haven't figured out how to use the reverse option yet. Nor did I experiment to figure out how to drop the feed dogs. I only have one foot (and one bobbin), so I'm limited to piecing for the most part, but that's exactly why I wanted another machine. So I won't go into panic mode whenever my Bernina lands itself into the shop, be for regular cleaning or something more serious. I will also use the Singer to take with me when I sew with other quilters. Hauling the Bernina for a few hours of sewing can be a real pain. Plus the computer chips in it make me nervous. With the Singer? I just better not drop it. ;)

From the back of the owner's manual:
For Your Protection
Singer sells its machines only through Singer Sewing Centers, identified by the Red "S" on the window, and never through department stores or other outlets.
Ha! They don't make Singers like they used to. ;)



Diane said...

I learned to sew on a machine just like that. I loved it! I know you will enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a treasure you have, your right that they don't make them like that anymore. Enjoy your new machine.

Karen L

Dorothy said...

Beauty! To sew reverse (at least on my old Singer Spartan) just push the stitch length lever up. It'll stay up (and you'll keep sewing in reverse) until you put it back down. If, for some reason, you want to zig-zag, there is an attachment that moves the fabric back and forth since the needle is fixed. One great thing about a non-zig-zag machine is that y ou get a real straight stitch, better than any movable needle machine.

Cheryl said...

What a great machine. I ve been looking for a new 'old 401a' machine to take to reteats and sew ins. You can't beat the reliability of an old singer. Im not sure if the 301 will do a reverse stitch. I know that you can go on the singer website and get some of the older manuals. Heres to many happy hours of sewing on it.

Tracey in CT said...

Looks like a great find! you are going to love having a second machine for backup. One nice thing you can do now is use the singer for piecing and have the bernina set up with the walking foot for quilting and you won't need to mess with taking the walking foot on and off.

naomi said...

wow, this brings back memories! This singer is the exact machine I learnt to sew on about 20yrs ago. My grandma gave it to me. I still remember it distinct smell, weird hey!

Michelle said...

What a great machine! I believe, if you lift up the bed extension and look, to the left of the bobbin, there should be a black metal knob. If you turn that, the feed dogs should drop. I just found a long bed 301 recently. You can't beat them!