Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Singer 500a, and the toys that go with it :)

Ok, so I bought the buttonholer attachement. I hate making button holes, and cringe at the thought of having to use a button hole foot, so I figured this was the thing to try.... I LOVE IT!!!

I may actually start making clothes with buttons on now lol

There are lots of buttonholers available for the singer slant needle machines. I bought the pretty one lol. Ok. so the buttonholer is much the same as others that are out there, except it comes in a pink plastic clam shaped box, often refered to as a jetson because of its futuristic shape.

It comes with 5 different templates for different buttonhole sizes, including a keyhole buttonhole, and additional templates are available. I will upload some pictures of finished buttonholes in the very near future :)

The 'Jetson' buttonholer (part number 489500) comes in 2 colors. Pink, for slant shaft machines and Green for standard straight shaft machines.

Its going to take a couple of runs to get perfection, but I have plenty time and lots of scrap fabric. One thing I can say for certain is, if I'd had one of these years ago I would have been adding button fasteners to EVERYTHING.... lol

The other totally AWSOME toy I've bought to go with the 500a is a ruffler attachment. At first glance the ruffler is a daunting contraption, infact its scary as hell lol, looking like some minature medieval torture device, but, like most of the attachments with a little bit of practice this thing is amazing..... no more hand gathing for me!!

Not only does this amazing gadget gather, but it makes perfect pleats too and in various sizes..... what a bonus!!! I am going to be such a busy girl lol..... I can picture lots of little dresses with pleats and ruffles and buttonholes. Not to mention binding (Yes I have invested in a binding foot... review to come soon) and lots of decorative stitching.... The 500a has 24 cams for decorative stitiching. I'm now just missing 3 from a full set. The elusive #17, #22 which comes with an overcast foot, and #23 which is a basting stitch..... I'll keep looking. I've seen them, but they've been listed at $20 each or something equally stupid. I dont mind waiting until they turn up at a reasonable price :)

Next thing I want is a hemming foot... not a rolled hem foot, but one that will fold a nice hem.. again in varying depth.

I will upload lots of pics soon to show all the amazing things that can be acheived with this fantastic machine. I know the modern ones are touch button or a quick turn of a dial, but they dont hold a light to this wonderful vintage old lady...... And they wear out a lot quicker too!!!!

More accessory reveiws coming soon (as soon as I've played with them lol)

Looking for sewing machine parts and accessories??? why not check out Jaki's Attic

Monday, July 20, 2009

OMG I'm in LOVE... with the singer 500a slant shank

This machine, the Singer 500a Rocketeer, is THE best thing since they invented the wheel, and its only taken me 49 years to discover it LOL

I love just about everything about it................
  • Its quite. The quietest sewing machine I've EVER used
  • The stitch quality is absolutely amazing
  • The drop in bobbin is ultra simple to use
  • The light actually lights up the whole work area, not just the needle (what a bonus!)
  • The button hole attachement I just bought make fantastic button holes with ease
  • It has loads of built in stitches
  • Stitch selection guide conveniently located in hinged lid of machine
  • Multi position needle, not just left and center.
  • It has drop in cams for even more decorative stitches
  • Did I mention it was QUIET lol
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure
  • Its double needle capable (2 seperate needles at same time) or you can use a twin needle
  • Threading guide located inside hinged nose plate.. super convenient
  • It sews anything I put under the presser foot. On my other machine I have trouble sewing elastic. The singer 500a loves it.
  • There are oodles of extra gadgets to add to it, including a really great ruffler/pleater and a monogramer (I can feel my credt card melting as I type lol)
  • Its just an absolutely beautiful machine to look at.

The only thing I've found so far that I DONT like is the rather strange foot peddle. It isnt like the standard peddles you get with modern sewing machines, infact, in all my years of sewing I havent seen one like it. Its the same sort of shape as a regular peddle, but instead of the whole of the top going down when you press your foot on it there is just a big button on the peddle that you press with the ball of your foot........ its a strange to say the least, and I cannot deny I much prefer the conventional peddle..... ahhh well.... if thats the only fault this amazing singer 500a has then I dont have much to complain about :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Singer 500a Slant Shank "Rocketeer"

I dropped on the BIGGEST bargain last weekend.....

A Singer 500a "Rocketeer" sewing machine.

These fantastic machines were made between 1960 and 1963 (mines a 1960 model) They are amazing machines and currently selling on ebay for around $300... yes a 50 yr old sewing machine is getting top dollar, and it deserves it.

They are inarguably one of THE top machines ever made by singer. Even now the stitch quality on the one I've just bought is amazing. The machine is the quietist I've EVER owned (and I've owned a fair number of machines over the years) and they have some super add ons.

This one only had 1 foot with it, only one of the spool pins were intact, and there was only 1 bobbin, so I'm going to have to buy a few things to go with it. That doesnt matter tho... seeing them on ebay at $300 with next to nothing with them convinces me that I have the bargain of the year. This fantastic machine cost me THREE dollars, yep, just $3... no zeros on the end........

Just think what profit I could make if I was ever crazy enough to sell it. I'm not going to tho. I sew for a living at Jaki's Attic and the quality of sewing I can produce with this machine is far superior to anything I've been able to do with the new ones. The singer 500a was the rolls royce of singer sewing machines in its time, selling for around $150 when new. In 1960 that was a LOT of money , but these machines are built to last. My modern machine clunks along quite noisily, and refuses to sew elastic properly, the 500a whirrs along quietly sewing anything I give it.

Its supposed to be able to sew through several layers of denim, and leather etc, but I havent tried it on that yet.... I'll let you know how I get on when I put it to the test.

I'm now on the outlook for attachments, I've just bought a button holer... it looks like a great little tool. I HATE making button holes, so hopefully this little gadget will cure me of that. I cant wait for it to arrive :) I was also looking at a monogrammer, but I think I might hold off on that for just a little while until I get a good collection of feet and some cams..... it has a good collection of built in stitches, probably more than I'll ever actually use, but it also takes cams for additional decorative stitches. Its not so much a case of needing them, its a case of ' I Want them because they're there lol (I'm not a spoiled brat honestly!!!)