Friday, 7 October 2011

Mrs Singer has a test drive!

I thought it was high time that this dear lady could show me what she was made of and so yesterday I put her through her paces. I thought you might like to see how she got on.

Being 'a lady of  a certain age' (and I include myself in this category) she commanded a certain amount of respect and so accordingly she was carefully lifted onto the work table and placed in postion. It was then that I noticed she was carrying a little extra weight, but thats to be expected, as I say, for 'a lady of a certain age.'

So with great trepidation and excitement I sat in my chair, plugged her in and then turned to consult my manual. Now this, I think, is a useful piece of information for all those of you that have bought or are thinking of buying an older sewing machine (mine's about 45 years old) there is a useful little website called  where you can download a manual for the make and model of your machine no matter what it's age. That's where I got mine from.

Singer 317 manual - prized possession

So after winding on a bobbin and threading her up successfully we made a start, grabbing the nearest scrap, she produced this.

Not bad, I hear your cry, a good example of what she can do on the straight stitch and zig zag, quite impressed with the satin stitch actually.  But then I knew she was ready for some fun, she threw off her presser foot with gay abandon and quivered with excitement as I reached for the embroidery foot (sorry this has suddenly turned into a Mills and Boon novel)

Shall we.....?


Let's go......!

These are the results of her efforts. Using a variegated coloured thread produced some nice effects.

Lets have a closer look.......

Things were going so well and so I asked if she fancied trying a little raw edge? "Oh I thought you'd never ask!" she gasped......

Good girl!

At this point, I decided to take off the embroidery foot and proceeded to stitch without it. My stitching went very loopy but I worked out this was because I had forgotten to push down the presser lever (you should do this even if the foot isn't attached) and also because I wasn't going fast enough. As soon as I rectified these, the results were better.

So on the whole I'm very pleased with her first outing and can see many an occasion when I will be in need of her help. Yes she's a little clunky and heavy but she's solid and sews like a dream and that's what counts.

I'd love to hear if any of you have reliable 'ladies of a certain age' that help you out with your sewing.
Have a good weekend.


  1. I think it's a bonus that she performs so well as she's beautiful too look at. Really gorgeous - worth having just for show but she produces fantastic results!

    Nicki x

  2. Well. I would never ha ve believed it. I have inheritted an Elna Lotus, beautiful little Swiss machine that shuts away in its own attached box but no instructions or extra kit. I have now downloaded all 74 pages of the manual and can't wait to get it sorted. Many many thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I will let you know how I get on.

  3. Yes I couldn't agree more Nicki and Carol I'm thrilled for you, have fun!

  4. I love this post, you're a great story teller, I was giggling all the way through! Beautiful work too!

  5. Not only are you a brilliant creator of stunning handmade items but you are a superb narrator too - reading this has been the highlight of my day so far - and it's been a good day! Vx

  6. What a fun time you have had with Mrs Singer... I love seeing what you have doodled... I think I need to drop the dogs on my machine again and just let rip!

  7. Thanks so much for that link - am away to drag out my old 'Newhome' to see if I can get a manual for it and maybe find out about tension (thread keeps breaking) Mich x

  8. Heavens Caroline, you do keep very busy! Mrs Singer is a very grand lady and isn't she clever just like Mrs Redneedle! It all looks very technical to me but the results are amazing.x

  9. This post has made me chuckle! Looks like great fun was had Caroline!

  10. the machine stitch doodles - oh wow! wish i was a sewimg machine goddess myself :) great stitches!