Friday, November 7, 2014

Spooky Basket: Blasting Off With The Singer Rocketeer. (Image Level:Extreme)

Oh dear readers, it has finally happened for me.

I recently acquired a vintage Singer.
Bam! To the point.

Yess'm, this is a momentous occasion... so big, that I was/am heavily debating creating a Youtube channel based on this latest and greatest endeavor of mine. I don't know why, it's just a very loud and not easily ignored inclination that likely won't come to fruition due to my lack of confidence.

The first photo on the first day it set foot into my sewing room

Meet my newest obsession and love affair, the Singer 503A Slant-o-matic (also known as the Rocketeer).
My hubs purchased it for me after I was having a bout of the blues for having no way of finishing my projects while my Brother SE400 is away for repairs. He called it my late Hallowe'en/early Christmas present.

Some of you may remember me making a wishlist on my blog some time ago, and it included the Singer Featherweight. Well, a close runner up in popularity to the featherweight are the machines in the 500 series. These, the featherweights, and the 400's rank as some of the best Singer ever had to offer in function and aesthetic.

You can clearly see why, for the looks portion anyway... I read that it gets the Rocketeer nickname for it's "futuristic vintage" sleekness; the Jetsons comes to mind, hehe.

I remember seeing it at an antique shop in town and mistaking it for the 401A-- the older sister. I didn't take a closer look, because it would've just left with me that day... but it stuck in my head since then.

My hubby and I went back a few days ago, and there it still was, as if it was just waiting for me to finally come pick it up. It was destiny. The owner included the wood cabinet, and various original accessories.

Even the box they came in was original. The manual was an original-- everything was pretty much pristine! It filled my stitched heart with so much joy.

The only disappointing thing is that this one had its general purpose foot lost in the waves of time spent in that antique shop. Luckily, it was that one and not one of the ones shown in the photo... a slant general purpose foot is really easily located on Ebay, and I did... along with a couple other little trinkets for this machine...

I know, I'm crazy. It has just barely been a complete week since first receiving this machine, and already I am going loco with the extra trimmings.

Other things that were included in my nice little bundle are things like an extremely intimidating looking buttonholer.

I haven't even begun to read the manual on how to operate this... looks a lot like my mom's old electric razor... heh. It seems to be missing one of those plates, but I can't be entirely certain.

This Singer is all metal, and is strictly gear driven; not a single belt in there. As these things tend to go, they require an extra step in maintenance; whoever owned this in the past must've loved it deeply, there doesn't seem to be anything even superficially wrong with this machine. Even as it sat in the antique shop for god knows how long, it was still running.

It came with an original can and tube of lubricant and oil; yes, this machine does require both, for the very reason it's gear driven. I didn't want to use anymore of the old stuff, because it's a really cute display on my shelf... I'm a vintage sewing addict, what can I say?

I bought a tube and bottle of the new stuff... my how the times have changed the packaging...
I wouldn't know if it's any different in quality... but it doesn't look, sound or smell different; I mean, how much change can be done in a petroleum product? <insert naivety>

After some tune up done by yours truly, it runs like a dream. It doesn't even clank loudly as someone might expect a brute like this to do-- perhaps that's the gears?

Because of the nature of the mechanics, this machine utilizes these things called fashion discs (or cams) to create the different kinds of stitches, including a zig zag

You snap one into the top and set the width. Without one of these cams, this machine will only give you a straight stitch. The different patterns on the rims of these cams forces the inner mechanics to form the stitch. No programming in this machine, and I find that soooo cool.

Pops into this hole at the top

It came with its original 9 cams, but there are additional ones that, of course, I already purchased on ebay and eagerly await their arrival-- there's a total of 21 cams to this machine and they're all mine! All mine... Muahahah!

I haven't completed any projects on it... yet, but that will quickly change.

This won't be just another pretty face in my sewing room. 
It'll be used as it was always intended to be.


  1. It's gorgeous! I once saw a Japanese sewing machine from the 50's that was atomic blue, I so regret not buying it.

    1. That sounds like a most exquisite machine! I was thinking if I ever have the money, I would like to find someone to custom paint this one to look way more retro-- seafoam sounds like a pretty good choice, what do you think?

  2. Wow, congratulations on your new sewing machine! How exciting to have a working Singer!

    1. Thanks! I am one proud owner, that's for sure... and it runs like a dream! I've already been sewing like a mad woman on it lol

  3. Replies
    1. Right?! I keep saying it; it's the best thing ever to grace my sewing room. Where has it been all my life...

  4. Congrats on the new addition to the sewing room. I see it's already even been customized with a bat. :) That machine looks like it will last forever. And I love that you have to use gears to change the stitches!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you noticed, hehe nothing ever comes into my room without being touched by my spooky tastes =P

      It has already lasted decades thanks to its previous owner, and I hope in my hands it sees another several decades before it gets passed down yet again.

  5. It is very Jetsons-y. I love it. I would be too intimidated to use it though.

    1. Hehe! I'm just in love with it. I was intimidated at first, it's not as easy, per se, as my brother... but honestly, it feels as though there's nothing short of taking a hammer to it that would do any damage. It would probably just sew right through my finger if I wasn't paying attention-- whereas my brother has automated shutdowns during a jam that take a little going around if they ever come on.


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