Friday, December 15, 2017

Singer Toy Lockstitch Sewing Machine

So back in the day, Singer even made a half-way decent toy sewing machine, a real LOCKSTITCH sewing machine:

This one has an actual bobbin
That is a shuttle type bobbin

And even a bobbin winder

It has a foot pedal and comes in a carrying case

Of course this a 100% toy, and not meant to actually sew much more than two pieces of cloth together.  But I would have LOVED to have had this when I was ten years old.  I used to sew clothes for my Barbies back then - by hand - and I was so proud of them.  I would have been beside myself to have a little machine that could do very basic stitching.

And here is how it works

It makes a perfectly nice, even stitch which is a full lockstitch and will actually hold the fabric together.

You can buy pretty cute toy sewing machines nowadays like this:
Super cute, yes, but it makes a chain stitch which is less than worthless.  Most toy sewing machines you can buy now, no matter how fancy they seem with all the gadgets and accessories, make a chain stitch.  It makes me mad whenever I see those chainstitch machines advertised as being something you can "make" things with.  The only thing you will ever make with one of those is a mess!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Word You'll Never Hear Me Say (About Sewing Machines)

Very short and quick post here.

From 1960:

I like to read sewing machine reviews - of all kinds of machines, not just vintage - and it has become a game where I am waiting for the inevitable description of any given machine as a "workhorse."  I'm getting tired of this same old/same old description.  Every machine is described a "workhorse," so it doesn't even mean anything.

THIS is a workhorse

THIS is a sewing machine
I'm ready to hear some lively new words to describe sewing machines because this one's been done to death.

I assure anyone who reads this blog that I will never refer to a machine by that term.  I'll come up with other descriptive words for sturdy, heavy-duty sewing machines but that is one you will never hear me say.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Singer 328k Style-o-Matic

Here's something a little different from the usual parade of Slant-o-Matics I've reviewed lately, and it goes to show that looks can be deceiving.  At first glance, this doesn't look a whole lot different than one of the 400 machines, and you even might be tempted to think that it is somehow related to a 301 because of the number.  But this is a different machine entirely. (Although they riffed off the name, calling this a "Style-o-Matic.")

 This is from the early-mid 1960s, and I'm assuming was a budget model.  It actually weighs more than the Slant-o-Matics of the same era, but is not the same quality.  That is not to say this isn't a good machine - it is - but once you've sewn with one of Singer's contemporary TOL models you can really tell the difference.

Singer 328k takes flat cams 

 Rather than built in stitches, zigzag and other decorative stitches are made with cams.  These are flat discs instead of the top hat cams that go in the 403 and 503.

A low-budget feature is the power cord that is hard-wired into the machine rather than plugged into a terminal.  There is also no on/off switch for the light.  So there is no way around it, you must crawl down on the floor to plug/unplug this machine every time you use it.

feed dog disengagement system
*The strangest thing I found was that flat black plate shown above. When I first tried to sew with this machine, the feed dogs weren't engaged.  I couldn't figure it out, because I couldn't see where they could be lowered manually, and there isn't an elevated throat plate system either.

Well I removed the throat plate and saw this black piece situated beneath it.  This raises up the throat plate just enough to bypass the feed dogs.  Interesting...

The typical accessories

This machine has an oscillating hook, and also has a belt (running off an enclosed motor) rather than a direct gear drive.  But while that means the 328k doesn't run quite as smoothly as its TOL cousins, the stitch quality is good.

This isn't going to be your "fun" machine - it won't make your vintage loving heart sing. It's not a collector's item.  But it is utilitarian, it is solid, and it works perfectly.

And of course, I always supply my little clip of the machine in action.  It sews nicely, and it is in great condition - ready to give a new owner years of good, reliable service.