This machine was going to be thrown away and was rescued by a sewing person who couldn’t bear to see it tipped – minus its foot pedal. It then spent a while in a sandy carport before it was given to me. The week before I’d scrapped a Singer Stylist machine which, by a nice co-incidence, had the same design of foot pedal. The foot pedal plugged straight in, although the connections were a bit loose, soon rectified by squashing the plug a big with Molegrips.
The machine, once cleaned up of sand and old oil, worked perfectly. Another successful rescue – and another good machine for the repair café I attend.
This machine is a bit weird. Although it looks like early eighties in date, the machine is a slant shank, swing needle machine – very like the 400 series from twenty years earlier. The mechanism is a modernised, simplified and plasticky version of the 400 series, but with the addition of extra gubbins for fancy stitches that use reverse feed.
It looks like and indeed is a flatbed, but has a convertible hinged section of the bed that folds down (noisily and with the risk of jamming your fingers) to create a free arm. The free arm is not particularly narrow and the harp space not great. But that’s typical of more modern machines.
It has lots of fancy stitches and proper left/centre/right needle position control, but some fairly basic things are missing –for example no presser foot pressure adjustment and no drop feed.
So this is a part of the evolution from the old fifties mechanical designs to the present day electronic embroidery machines. In some ways it’s the worst of all worlds – the disadvantages of the old mechanical machines with mechanical complexity, but with the disadvantages of modern machines too – less robust, low harp space and wide free arm, plus being less pleasing to the eye – to my eyes anyway.
It’s not all bad news though. The straight stitch on this machine is great – even with a zigzag throat plate and presser foot. I’ve found that with all the vintage zig zag Singers. I haven’t yet found one that can’t do a great straight stitch.
So, this machine is not a classic. But it sews great for a machine that would otherwise be in the tip….