Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Introducing My Machines, the Singer 503 Rocketeer
This is the fun machine in the group. And honestly, how cool is he? (For some reason, this machine is a "he," while the others are "she.") I will confess at this point that he is exactly my age - let's just say that both of us were born during the Kennedy administration and leave it at that. The Singer 503 shows it's Space Age influence in the Rocket Man styling. If George Jetson's wife ("Jane, his wife!") had a sewing machine, it would surely be the Rocketeer.
Compared to the straight stitch vintage Singers, the 503 Slant-o-Matic (along with its fraternal twin, the 500) is ultra modern. Every gal needs a zig zag (more about that later) and that is his special talent. He has Singer's innovative slant shank needle which means different feet and attachments for this guy. He has such "State of the Art" features as twin needle stitching and 3 needle positions. And instead of dropping the feed dogs, you can just switch that lever on the front and the throat plate raises up.
He has the works - all the original feet plus a few specialty feet, like the overcast foot and blind stitch foot, and even his own slant shank buttonholer. Best of all is the collection of top hat cams for decorative stitches - 21 in all. Unlike the Singer 500, the 503 does not have a camstack so you get the hands on satisfaction of manually inserting a cam for each pattern stitch. Call me weird, but I prefer it (no camstack to freeze up, for one thing.)
This Slant-o-Matic has a few issues and is not a good top stitcher, for example (more on that later). But he gets his turn at bat on a regular basis whenever deco or zig zag stitching is needed.