Sewing With my Singer 301A

Singer 301AIf you remember, I purchased a Singer 301A this past fall for $25. This was at my mom’s insistence for she has one and loves it. The 301A is supposedly very similar to the Singer Featherweight, which quilters just go ga-ga over.

Since I’m not very involved in sewing I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to have a back-up machine.

Singer 301A Shiny BobbinsFor Christmas I gave Jay a list of accessories that I would need for this new machine. Of the utmost importance was a power cord since the woman from whom I had purchased the machine couldn’t find the original. On my list was a new O-ring for the bobbin winder (Jay had noticed that mine was cracked) and some shiny new bobbins.

The jewelry box that he made me is now my 301A accessory box. 🙂

 

Singer 301A Foot PedalI also asked for a new foot pedal because the original Singer foot pedals don’t inspire much confidence in me. To be completely honest I’ve never tried one like this (on the left), but I have giant feet and I didn’t think that I would be able to easily control the speed of the machine with that tiny little button.

 

Singer 301A in PlaceLast week I finally had some time to play with the machine! I found a copy of the manual online so that I could correctly wind my bobbins and thread the machine.

I have decided that I will continue to use my current sewing table, but as you can see I needed to add some helpers to bring the machine up level with the table top. I have asked Jay to make me a slightly prettier base for this to sit on.

Singer 301A BobbinHere is where the bobbin lives. My current machine, a Singer Merritt 2404,  has the bobbin that drops in on the top in front of the needle plate.

I’ve heard that the vertical bobbins like this actually make a more consistent stitch, but who knows. I do remember that my mom’s old Kenmore had a front load bobbin like this, too, and it really intimidated me!

 

Singer 301A Side-Threading NeedleOne other thing that I found to be interesting on this machine was that the needles sits with the eye facing the side, not the front. I haven’t done any research to figure out why this is the case and if there’s any benefits to having a needle placed in such a way. I do know that it will take me a while to not automatically try threading it from the front!

 

 

Singer 301A StitchingOnce everything was in place and tested I decided to go ahead and trim out a dress. I wasn’t sure what stitch length setting to go with, but I chose one that looked to be around the same length as what I typically use on my other machine.

This machine whirs through the task like a hot knife through butter! It is much quieter and doesn’t jump around like my Merritt. The pedal is a little stiff, but it’s also brand new, so I’ll have to get used to it.

Singer 301A in PlaceThe only thing that I need to change is the light bulb. I’m right handed so when I go to monkey with the fabric or pull my thread out I reach through the machine… right under where the bulb resides. From experience I can tell you that it gets quite warm! The website where we’ve purchased the other parts for this machine has an LED replacement bulb, though, that I will order. If you’ve never used a LED bulb I highly recommend them! I am slowly replacing all of the incandescent bulbs in our house with LED bulbs. LED bulbs need very little  energy to power up and they come in all different strengths. I use a 100 watt-equivalent bright white bulb in my cross stitching lamp, but in the regular table lamps I use a 60-watt equivalent warm white. The bright white is more like a daylight bulb with a very crisp whiteness whereas the warm white has a bit of yellow mixed in to give it a softness.

As for sewing machine parts, I HIGHLY recommend Sew-Classic. That’s where we’ve been purchasing all of the parts for my 301A. The prices are reasonable and the service is outstanding. When I ordered the power cord I placed the order Saturday morning and it arrived on my doorstep on Monday. Granted I only live one state away, but that was the fastest that I’ve ever received anything that I’ve ordered online!

 

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