My Sewing Machine

Dear Constant Reader,

Yesterday you saw my sewing room and there in my sewing machine. My friend Lucianus got very excited about my vintage machine, having one much like it, so I thought I’d share a little more about it.

It’s a late ’50’s Singer Slant-O-Matic 403 and I adore it. Some parts have worn out and been replaced over the years, like the belt, light, spool holders, but for the most part it’s all original. When my mother had it, it was mounted in a table. I was still in college when she gave it to me, so she had it converted to a “portable” (it’s quite heavy). Now, of course, that I’m settled at Stately Babydoll Manor I wish the table still existed…

I’ve still got the original instruction manual (©1958)

and the box of attachments

This little delight contains all sorts of goodies, like the feet: general purpose foot, straight stitch foot, seam guide, zipper foot, hemming foot, button sewing foot, multi-slotted binder, and ruffler.

It also contains the “fashion disks“. These are cams you drop in the top of the machine to make fancy stitches. Without any, you can only straight stitch. I always have #0 in place, for basic zigzag. I’ll be honest –I’ve never used any other the others. It was only last night that I realized that I had all the original disks, less #9. One wayward part after 55 years — not too bad.

As I mentioned, the one thing I don’t love about this machine is making buttonholes. It’s a complicated process involving repeatedly changing the needle position and the stitch length. I’ve never been able to successfully make nice buttonholes. It’s easier to make them by hand.

Lucianus opened my eyes to the fact that there a buttonholer for my machine! And someone was selling a complete set on eBay. Needless to say I jumped at the opportunity. I’ll let you know how it works out.


Published in: on 30 May 2013 at 11:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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