The Singer 301… Simply Amazing.

Singer 301A – Light Beige and Oyster White (LBOW)

Released in Singer’s centennial year (1951), the 301 and 301A were one of the most revolutionary machines Singer ever produced, and they have developed quite the following among sewists of all kinds.

Dressmakers, quilters, and others appreciate the speed (1600 stitches a minute), perfect stitch, and power of this gear driven, rotary hook wonder… and it was the first machine to use Singer’s proprietary slant shank presser system, which brings your work forward for a better view.

It is also a remarkably lightweight machine at 16 pounds, and packs up to just under 23 pounds in it’s case with it’s pedal and accessories.

When we receive these machines in for sale, they do not last very long, and we usually have a waiting list… the rarest version is the black long bed, and they also came in a solid beige (standard and long bed versions). The LBOW only came in a standard bed version.

Contact us if you are looking for a 301 and we’ll put you on our waiting list.

Motor upgrades…

Being a bit of a speed freak, and liking both power and speed I set about upgrading a Singer 306k yesterday with a .9 amp, 7000 rpm motor to replace the original .5 amp Singer unit.

The new motor is much quieter and has an electronic pedal which gives nice control, and the 306 is such an amazing machine, with a rotary hook it could probably sew even faster with nary a ripple on the water.

We carry the motor and pedal kit which fits most Singer models, price is $70.00 cdn and this will include a belt to match your machine, as the supplied belt is too short for some machines.

Putting the pedal to the metal…

My friend has knee issues and has trouble sewing for long periods, so we are working on making up a new pedal system she can use with both feet, that won’t stress her knees / hip at all.

The metal pedal is great because it can be drilled and mounted to a base, and we’ll add a heel stop / riser and set the toe bar for optimum position, leverage.

I used to work in rehabilitation… just mocking things up here.

Singer – The 115

Produced between 1912 and 1923, The Singer model 115 was closely related to the Singer 15 but differed in that it used a rotary hook and industrial class 20 bobbin, system instead of the oscillating hook of the 15 and class 15 bobbin. It is a straight stitch machine with no reverse, which does not really pose a problem, especially if you are quilting or doing free motion work, or thread painting.

They are most often found with the “Wings” decals shown here, although they also came with a Gingerbread decal in the United States.

At a glance the machines look identical but upon closer inspection one will see that the 115 has three holes next to the needle plate instead of two, and when you look underneath the machines look different.

Singer 115 under bed
Singer 15, under bed.

In 1906 Singer bought Wheeler and Wilson, using the proven strategy of “if you can’t beat them, buy them out” and it was from Wheeler and Wilson they acquired the proven rotary hook design of the superlative D9.

The bobbin case and bobbin from a 115, the L type bobbin has a higher capacity than a 15 and is also used in many Singer industrial machines like the 31k20 and 20U.

Singer 115 bobbin case, 20U bobbin (L type)

My beloved 115 is scruffy, worn, chipped, and bears the marks of nearly 100 years of use but still runs like a buttered kitten on glass and makes a perfect stitch. I don’t plan to change a thing save for doing a little more polishing to see if I can clean up the old clear coat, all these marks bear witness to her history and the millions of stitches she must have sewn.

She still stitches beautifully and is a wonderful machine for free motion work.

Happy sewing.

Needles…

My parents were born in the depression and because I came along late in life feel more like a boomer than anything else, and had parents who repaired, re-used, upcycled, and stretched every penny, and that even applied to my mom and her sewing. She worked as a seamstress to help pay the bills before she went back to school, at 50, to become a nursing aid.

Some folks say, and maybe those are the ones that sell needles, that you should change your needle every eight hours or after every project but if the needle isn’t bent and just has a little burr, you can touch it up.

You can usually hear the needle popping when it has developed a burr before you can see it with the naked eye, and will be most evident when you are sewing lighter fabrics.

My 1902 Winselmann has an interesting bobbin winder, with an extension to the right of the bobbin tire and this was used to de-burr needles. It just takes a second to do as you wind up a new bobbin.

In the modern day you can use a needle sharpener, as these are still available, or go to a sporting goods store and pick up a fish hook sharpener with a slot, which is normally used for sharpening fish hooks.

A few light passes on the hook sharpener is all it takes and then that needle (this works on normal sharps) will be good for another day of sewing.

The commercial sharper is easy to use, just drop the needle in point first and turn the sharpener a few times.

The hook sharpener… just a few light passes as you turn the needle in your fingers works wonders. It is a diamond grit also used for putting a really fine edge on knives and also touches up scissors nicely.

Happy sewing.

The Singer VS Machines: 1885 – 1960

Singer 128 – 1924 – La Vencadora decals

Launched in 1885, the Singer VS (Vibrating Shuttle) machines had one of the longest production runs of any sewing machine and were originally treadled or hand cranked machines, with later versions coming as electric models.

Singer 28 – 1908 – Victorian decals

The 27 and 127 were the full size models (usually treadled) while the 28 and 128 were the 3/4 sized “portable” versions which sold in the millions and are perhaps what people think of when they picture an antique sewing machine.

Singer 27 – 1911- Memphis decals

Even after they were eclipsed by more technologically advanced models they continued to sell well into the middle of the 20th century, their simple and robust design and an enviable stitch quality is one thing that kept them popular among sewers, and now collectors and modern sewers still seek them out.

They are abundant machines, unless you are looking for a hand cranked model 27, or a 28 or 128 in a treadle… both variants are extremely hard to find.

The VS machines did not change much over their 75 year run, the 127 and 128 added an ejector for the shuttle, and a built in upper tension release. As time went by the ornate decals gave way to simpler gold patterns, the La Vencadora decals are in my opinion, the most beautiful Singer ever offered.

Some pictures…

Singer 28-9 – 1912 – Victorian decals
Singer 128 – 1948 – Celtic decals – For Sale
Singer 128 – 1934 – Celtic decals, in a library table. – For Sale

Happy New Year from all of us at In Stitches

Happy 2019 !

Pearl is showing off a 1912 Singer 28-9 here, this was a transition model between the earlier 28, and the 128 and you can see where the Singer badge was re-located on this machine to cover the old lower mount for the bobbin winder.

This machine belongs to our permanent collection and was a gift from a dear friend.