|Singer 301, black, longbed|
I've taken more than one photography-for-absolute-beginners course over the last 40 years, to no noticeable effect. I have learned a few things though.
Rule #1: Take skillions of photos and throw most of them away.
I took about 10 photos of the front of this machine, and none of them were much good. I do like the shadow effect on this one though.
I especially want to show the surface of this machine, which has some issues, before someone drives an hour to see it. This was a well used and well maintained machine. The paint still has some gloss, but also has patina.
Rule #2: Crop.
I think of my photographs as information rather than as art. No one would think of my photos as art! Ruthlessly crop that photo right down to the relevant information.
|worn clear coat, but not rough to the touch (or the fabric)|
You may have to look closely, but this is an amazing photograph. If only I knew how I achieved it.
It shows the areas of the bed where the clear coat has worn away, as well as the worn decals in the front. I think it looks better than this is real life, but my purpose here, the information I needed to convey, was the condition of that clear coat.
I use PhotoScape, a free image processing program similar to Photoshop. Or, to be more accurate, similar to Photoshop Express. There are tons of image processing programs out there. Your digital camera undoubtedly came with one. They all include auto-fix features. The ones I use in PhotoScape are auto level, auto contrast, and backlight. I click each one on and then off again if it doesn't help.
And now you know everything I know about photography. And as I fully expected, getting a better camera did not make me a better photographer. At least Santa did not go all out (the DH and I always pick out our own presents. One of the great thing about being married for decades is that you work all that stuff out). It's a step up from the least expensive 14 megapixel one. But it looks (to my uneducated eye) like the $900 ones. It's the same shape anyhow. I feel all empowered by it. My last camera was a tiny flat one. Are you convinced by now that I am not a person whose advice about photography should be taken seriously?
Getting back to the most important things in life, sewing machines and their accessories: this one comes with lots of lovely toys.
|That familiar green Singer attachments box, with a better-than-usual assortment of vintage presser feet.|
Automatic zig-zagger with seven cams.
|The zig-zagger, the original 4 cams, and 3 out of 4 of an additional set.|
It works in much the same way as the buttonholer: arm up over the needlebar screw, attaches just like any presser foot. The motion of the needle up and down makes it go. It moves the fabric back and forth, again in the same way as the buttonholer. Unlike the buttonholer (feed dogs down), you leave the feed dogs up, which means that you can control the stitch density with the stitch length lever on the sewing machine. You can also control stitch width with a setting on the side of the attachment--yet another similarity with the buttonholer.
|Functional stitches (zig-zag, blind hem): just fine. Decorative stitches, not so much. But I ran these up in a hurry.|
|Flip the bed extension up and you have access to the bobbin. Turn the knob to the right to raise or lower the feed dogs.|
A slant shank Singer buttonholer, affectionately nicknamed the Pink Jetson for obvious reasons. Obvious to anyone of ripe and mature years anyway.
There is a Green Jetson also---that one is for low shank machines.
Most of the cam buttonholers are mechanically identical, and most of them, of most brands, were made by Greist. You do need to have the right shank style.
|Five cams make five different sizes of buttonhole|
It's original case, funky vintage charm.
Sturdy case, handle and latches seem secure. The rule of thumb about vintage cases (never, ever trust them as carrying cases) probably does not apply in this case. First of all, this is a seriously sturdy suitcase-type case. Mostly though its because the 301 is aluminum (16 pounds) rather than the cast iron of other vintage machines (40 pounds).
|Entirely functional, but certainly not in mint condition|
I always glance over the suitcases in thrift shops, hoping to spot this trapezoidal shape. No luck so far.
There is a bracket inside for the motor controller. It's identical to the brackets in Singer cabinets.
|I think the bracket in the upper right is for an oil can. If you know, drop a line below.|
The machine fits neatly into the case. Note the wooden piece bottom right that holds it in place. It won't slide around in there.
The space above that wooden brace is just right for the attachments box. And since it does not have an oil can, the zigzagger fits in there also.
This machine, the case and all the goodies except the buttonholer (I added that) had one previous owner. I bought it from her daughter, and I don't really consider myself an owner. I'm just the spa treatment before it moves on to a new owner.
The daughter told me that this machine was her mom's pride and joy and that she took good care of it. It has obviously been well used (see the bed wear) but was also obviously well maintained--very clean inside. It had been sitting unused for decades, but it has now been cleaned, oiled and lubed and turns very smoothly and makes the beautiful stitch that this model is known for.
I love all of the all-metal vintage and antique sewing machines that pass through my hands. I want them all to go to good homes, but really what I want is for each person to have the sewing machine that is the perfect machine for her or him.
The 301 is very popular among vintage-sewing-machine-loving quilters for its beautiful straight stitch and its portability. Just a few pounds more than that adorable but oh-too-trendy half size machine but the 301 has a full size bed. So this machine would be perfect for a quilter looking for complete functionality and lots of original vintage goodies but who does not care about cosmetic perfection. And who wants to be on the cutting edge of vintage: 301 aficionados claim that this is the next big thing. If only they had that cuteness factor...