July 30, 2011

Singer Sew Handy

I thought I would get this classic Singer when I found it on Craig's list

A children's toy from about 1955, beautiful condition with a fine tan crinkle finish on the casting. Like most collectibles the original box is a plus.


July 28, 2011

Stitch Master 139

Found the Stitch Master on Craig's list too, another Japanese make from the 60's, maybe from the Toyota factory? Its not at all easy to identify these Japanese makes and years because so many were made for retailers and badged over here.

It has that really stiff 70's styling, the dial controls are quite nice and easy to move. It'll need a new bobbin winder casting though. The badging is of the highest quality enameling. It's an interesting mix of quality parts,  engineering and bizarre styling.


New Home 532 & 108

Recently looking over a Craig's list offering I became intrigued by what I saw. Taking a chance I picked up these two... I have been very impressed. They are very well made and and more quiet that any of the Singers. Best of all is the 1amp motor; most home machines are between .5 & .7amps.

 The metallic brown job is a 108, Green one is a 532; they are the same except for the light position and some badging.

From the middle 60's the color and finish are great. The rotary knob moves the stitch width indicator back & forth in the little window; its great. The New Home is a Janome made machine. These are excellent machines.


Singer 15 - 91 (1952)

Another estate sale find, this 1952 15 - 91 is the epitome of workhorse design and construction in its day. This one is in quite nice condition as you can see. The front mounted thread tension dial keeps the side view clean and; narrow.

Singer held on to all of the old designs as long as the market would bare didn't they? The way I see it as the world came out of the Second War Japan, Germany, & Italy (the Axis powers) started making modern looking machines; using Industrial Design (styling) to help market there industrial restart. Now when u look back at the 50s design from these countries you see a wholesale shift away from the past; the past that got them nowhere.

I made the base after removing from the cabinet, one fine cabinet by the way. 75

Singer 503a (1961)

Ahh the 503... pretty cool, the 500 has all the bells & whistles on it; the 503 has just the essentials. The attention to detail is amazing.

Built in the mid 60's it's been nicnamed the "Rocketeer." By the 60's Singer had finally left the old look behind and was trying some way-out stuff like this. As with the White 764 the 60's were a time for wild shapes combined with the old sewing machine design know-how.
From a technical standpoint I love the additional little "flicker" above the thread tension dial, I have not seen that feature on any other machine.

Singer 401a (1972)

A gift from Aunt Doris, these things really were / are engineering marvels. Built in 1972 it has the two tone tan earth tones from the 70's.

It clearly shows its heritage from the 301s and the like. These are prized machines, at 22 lbs. you have all the stiffness of the older 40's machines at half the weight. Known as a "Slant needle" Singer thought it would be better to have the closer to the operator; not a bad idea but maybe not worth the effort.
The 400s are not stylistically impressive and do have a balanced, no-nonsence, and therefore a more enduring appeal.

Singer 338 (1965)

Got the 338 at a garage sale, the case was trashed but the machine works fine.
Has the very familiar baby blue color from the 60's

Also has a unique bobbin winding mechanism that is completely hidden, very modern!

I recently took it to play with and it really is a nice little sewer. 


Singer 327 K (1964)

Found the 327 k at an estate sale and although it was a low end model in its day it turned out to be one of the most reliable machines I have. Made in England (k) in 1964 it has the great turquoise color scheme and a well made matching carrying case.

It sews all my garment weight leather without a complaint, and was my number one machine untill I recently discovered the New Home 532.

I don't know why these things are so popular? Maybe they made so many that everyone can find them easily?

I have to admit that I like the fact (on any machine) that the reverse stays in reverse for the next line of sewing; it makes it easier to start in reverse then to have to free up your hand at the very beginning of a new stitch line. This would be a good option on the newest of machines; the ability to remain in reverse after the reverse button has been hit. Just like the auto needle up position the computer could be told to stay in reverse or not.


July 27, 2011

Singer 99 - 24 (1947)

Found this little gem at an estate sale during the 1/2 off period!
What's really cool is that it had all the original accessories and the original sales receipt!

It had been in that house since it was purchased in 1947 for $90; a top of the line treat for the misses back then. Imagine just after the war a home maker, making a home.