If 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.
For 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. 🙂
I 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.
Last 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.
Here 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!
One 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!
Once 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.
The 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!
Hello, I have a “new to me” 301a zinger long bed sewing machine. The light is burned out, I bought a new LED bulb and the person who sold it to me says “you don’t need a screw driver to take the cover off, the protective see their shield just slides off”. Well it’s not sliding and I live an hour away from the store that sold me the bulb. Have you changed the bulb yet? Where did you fins the “online manual” for the 301a? Hope to hear from you soon,
Kelda – I sent you some information via email. Please let me know if you never received it. Thanks!