Saturday, December 06, 2008

Tour of the Rocketeer

Loving my new machine so much!

Haven't had a chance to sew too much on her yet, but what I've done so far has been utterly beautiful.

Things I love:

1. Two spool locations. You can perch a spool on a removable pin on top, like in the picture above. Or you can open up the top and two more pins pop up just waiting for spools. The removable pin stores neatly to the left of those two pins - you can just see it in this picture. Little details like that just make my day.

2. Adjustable presser foot. Very, very helpful. My old machine lacks this feature and believe me, I've felt that lack. Plus hidden inside that flip panel is a very clear threading diagram. Great little extra.

3. Lots of room under the presser foot. This picture taken with the presser foot dial on 0 - and see how much room there is under there? And yes, it can (just barely) sew through that large a stack of denim. Not sure how, but it can.

4. Beautiful stitch length lever. It actually twists so that the little metal "wings" clamp onto the machine, keeping the lever from moving as you stitch. Or at least that's how it works in theory. I haven't had any trouble with it slipping without the clamping so not sure how useful it is, but it's a good though. And you can do some very fine adjustments with it. To backstitch? Just move the lever up to above the fine stitching area! Very, very simple.

5. The left/right/middle needle position option. Yes, I know that most people can get through a lifetime of sewing without this option. I, however, learned on a machine with it so I've come to use it in all sorts of ways. Fantastic for edge stitching, flatfelling, and a lot of other things that I'm not remembering right now but I'm sure I've done. :) It's just one of those features I really, really like. I did discover that, when there's no cam in the machine, the stitch width lever moves the needle over to the far right so that's good if I want a bit finer adjusting as an option. Still very happy that the needle position is an option.

7. Feet! From left to right, the feet this machine came with: Binding foot (never used on of those!), zipper foot, mystery foot (i.d. anyone?). rolled hem foot, button foot, and gathering foot. I'm really looking forwards to playing with all of these (and the many others that I'm sure I'll collect over the years). Not shown is the standard zig-zag foot - it's on the machine.

8. The other little extras! Little brush, straight stitch needle plate, and needles. Ok, admittedly I'm NOT loving that this takes different needles from my other machines but those can't be TOO hard to find - after all, there's lots of people who use these older Singers, right?

9. The decorative cams. I love the idea of having a bunch of decorative stitches that you can switch in and out like disks. There's something so wonderfully tactile about it. This machine came with 9 - standard zig-zag, three step zig-zag, icicles, blind hem, arrows, jagged line, swags, sound-waves, and ribbon. And yes, those are my names for them, not the technical names. I need to get a nice sampler made with the different stitches ... I had the beginnings of one and it got thrown out in the race to clean up for company last night. Oops.

10. The sleek, sleek looks!

Some of her features I'm still adjusting to, like her drop-in bobbin (I've always had vertical before this), her lack of a free arm (but that's what the other two machines are for), and the odd foot pedal with it's heal button for speed control. So far I'm proficient at off and full speed. Getting between the two is hard with a foot that's more used to precision control with the toe-end. Oh, well, just gives me a little room to grow with this new machine!


Corvus said...

Is your mystery foot by chance on this link: ? Scroll down for pictures.

Sara said...

Special Purpose Foot? The manual says it's for: Buttonholes, Applique, Monograms, Decorative Stitching, Couching and Motifs. I just got the 500A and it is beautiful! The binder foot is so handy. Just cut your bias tape and slide it into the slot and away you go. I still need some practice with the hemmer foot, but with this machine I'm excited to practice. I miss mine, I took it into the shop for cleaning, oiling and tuning. Congrats!

Sara said...

Oh, and it should take regular needles.

Heather said...

I love this machine. . . it is the same one I learned on and that my mother uses as he workhorse. So fun to see it.