Vintage Singer Machines

This site concentrates on my favorite vintage Singer models still suitable for everyday use. During the golden era of 1880 to 1950 (with electric machines appearing around 1920), Singer put years of development into each design before production, models changed very little for decades at a time, and machines were built to last indefinitely. Every home machine from this time period is sturdy, well designed, and a pleasure to use. There's no worry of trying to discern the good models or good years from the bad, as is often the case with machines made after the 1950s.

P.S.: Most of the articles are still "Coming Soon"

Getting started

These background articles apply to all the vintage Singers in general. Most answer the simple questions that I had starting out and I was surprised to find much of it was useful to a few folks who have been sewing on vintage machines all their lives! If you're new to vintage Singers, it's especially worth going over some background that might not be obvious to someone who's only ever used a contemporary machine.

Machine care and maintenance

Although the old black Singers are nearly indestructible, that doesn't mean they're entirely maintenance free. A small amount of regular care is necessary to keep a vinatge machine running like the day it was made. With that care, it will run for practically forever.

It's also true that old machines that have been sitting unused in an attic for 50 years will need a little more up-front care than a machine that's been in continuous use. Belts crack and crumble, damp environments promote rust, and the oldest rubber insulation can rot away. None of this is necessarily cause for alarm; even machines that have frozen from rust can often be put in good working order.

Using vintage machines

Using a vintage machine is really no different from using a modern machine. However, just like with the modern models, vintage machines have their own unique traits, quirks and strengths. Also, some sewing techniques aren't necessarily specific to vintage machines, but they may be more important to pay attention to on an older machine.

List of Models

All the models here are low shank and work with any low shank accessories unless otherwise noted. Most are straight-stitch; There are a couple of reasons why a straight-stitch machine is often a better primary choice than an all-in-one machine. All these models appeared before 1950 except for the 306 and 319 Swing Needle machines, which are personal favorites despite being 'transitional' machines from a few years later. They're probably the toughest low-shank zigzaggers Singer ever made, and desirable despite a few minor design flaws that invariably cropped up in post-vintage Singers.