Saturday, February 3, 2018

FAQs on Vintage Singers with Helpful Links


How do I  identify the model of my old Singer?

Go to this link and you will see a pictorial flow chart to help you identify what model you have:  Sandman Collectibles

How do I find out the age of my machine?

One of the best resources available is ISMACS.  To date your machine with the serial number go here: ISMACS serial number data base

Where can I find a manual for my old Singer?

Again, ISMACS has many free manual downloads.  (If you want an original manual, check eBay.)
ISMACS free sewing machine manual downloads.

Where can I get parts for my vintage machine?

There are lots of resources, but here are three I've used frequently.  They are all reputable dealers and carry most parts you will need to fix up your machine.  However, for parts like missing slide plates or face plates or any other ORIGINAL parts you need, go to eBay.  People part out machines all the time, and that is where you will find an original replacement (rather than a reproduction.)

Sew-Classic sewing machine parts.

T and T Repair - vintage Singer machines.

Sewing Parts Online.

What are these attachments, and how do I use them?

I have a post about most of the attachments in the LITTLE GREEN BOX.  Also, all the old manuals will illustrate and explain each one.  If you don't have a manual, there are free downloads available (see above.)

How do you use the Singer Automatic Buttonholer and which one is right for my machine?

I have a post about the SINGER BUTTONHOLER which explains slant shank versions versus low shank versions.  These are easy to find on eBay, and not too expensive.  If you have a vintage Singer, you really must get one of these!

What is the Automatic Zigzagger and how does it work? 

Check out my post on the SINGER ZIGZAGGER.  This is a gadget that will make zigzag stitches on your straight stitch machines and comes in both low shank and slant shank versions - they are available on eBay.

I'm looking for a vintage Singer, which is the best one for me?

I have a post covering some of the popular mid-century Singer models (15, 201, 221, 301, 400s/500s)  Of course there are many more, these are just some of the common ones you are likely to find.   A GUIDE TO SOME POPULAR VINTAGE SINGERS

What is My Machine Worth?
The one question I can't/won't answer is "how much is this machine worth?"  That is too subjective to give an answer, and it changes frequently according to popularity, supply and demand at any given time.  Look at eBay to see completed listings to get an idea.  Look at other sites like Craiglist to see what they're asking, but if the price seems very high, it probably is - asking price doesn't mean selling price! Whatever the machine is worth to you, that is the value of it. (Keep in mind, though, that your sentimental attachment to a machine doesn't add a monetary value to anybody else. It might be "worth" more to you because your grandma made your wedding dress on it, but that doesn't mean anything to a prospective buyer.)

More Questions?  Please let me know any other questions that I should cover here if you are a new vintage Singer owner.  And I may come back and add more as needed.


  1. Fred Sanford on Facebook is a great resource for parts!

  2. Thanks for all the interesting links. I used my buttonholer just yesterday, and it was fun. It's amazing what nice buttonholes they make. One topic I can't find much info on is the old folding wooden boxes with attachments. I bought two of them at TOGA last year and I don't know if they are complete. Since doing a little bit of research, I found that they were issued for several years, and they don't all have the same attachments. And I'm not sure what machines they are for.

  3. Thanks for the great site. I've just spent a delightful hour exploring your blog. I too collect Singers but limit myself to 300-400-500 series. Cheers,
    Roberta Jones, Sacramento, CA

    Enter your model number and get a free downloadable manual