Those Old Singers!

No . . not those singers!  These Singers!

Old Singers

I love these old workhorses for so many reasons.  The stitches are so perfect, no matter what thread, no matter how thick or thin the pieces I’m sewing through . . they are just my favorite machines.  The main thing I like about these is that there’s nothing Vince can’t fix.  Truth is . . Vince can fix almost everything that goes wrong in my little world but he cannot (nor would I let him try) fix my Berninas.

Many years ago, one of my Featherweights was very slow . . just crept along.  I took in to the old Singer guy in town and it took him about 5 minutes to clean out a bunch of built up grease that had hardened inside the machine.  He didn’t even charge me for fixing it.

A week or so ago, I noticed the 301 I was using seemed slow.  I would start sewing in the mornings sometimes before the room was heated up and the machine just seemed to get slower and slower so I asked Vince if he would see if it wasn’t full of grease that was getting hard when it sat up overnight in this cold weather.  Yes, that was it.  Five minutes later he brought her back to me and she was zipping right along, as expected.

Hey, Vince . . while you’re at it . . This is my favorite quarter inch foot for the 301.

Quarter Inch Foot

It has the knife edge and the 1/4″ is perfect with this foot and this machine.  But, where it screws onto the machine, it’s metal against metal and without exaggeration, I was having that foot fall off probably 10 or more times per day.  I had come up with all kinds of ideas as to how to solve this and had not ruled out gluing the foot onto the machine.

Quarter Inch Foot

This foot is my second choice quarter inch foot and since it’s plastic at the top, I was able to screw it on tightly and it never fell off so I had resorted to using it.

Vince looked at the foot, looked at how it attached to the machine, and put something . . either tape or white “goop” on the first foot and it works perfectly!  I’ve used it for a couple of weeks now and it hasn’t fallen off once.

Solved the Loose Foot

You can see the little bit of white around where the screw attaches the foot to the machine.  I knew there was a simple fix.  Husbands can be so useful . . sometimes.


  1. 1

    Roberta says

    Yup, they can but hubby hasn’t been able to fix the stitch length on my treadle yet. sigh….. Guess he will have a go at it again soon. Give Vince a pat on the back for job well done!!!!!

  2. 5

    kimpaventy says

    I’m lucky also, my husband can fix about anything as well. It sure has saved us a TON of money over the years.

  3. 6


    I’m with you Judy, love the old Singers, for all the same reasons. I just bought new bobbin winder tires for mine. I’m going to have to check my feet for that foot!

  4. 7

    Myra McFarland says

    I have a circa 1955 Singer 306W. I love it. It was a $25 find at Salvation Army. It included the original cabinet with matching chair, all the feet and accessories, owner’s manual, 12-14 fashion disks (aka cams), and even some needles.

  5. 8

    Ava says

    Thanks for the info about the dried grease. My sister was just telling me her old Singer was creeping along. I’ll pass that info on to her and maybe one of her sons can look at it for her.

  6. 9


    I laughed while reading your post about hubbies. You are right, sometimes they do manage to come in handy.
    Have a great weekend!!

  7. 10

    Denise ~ Justquiltin says

    I had to do something similar to one of my machine feet I was having the same problem with. It would fall, I wouldn’t notice and then a needle would go boing! I used that white tape that you wrap around faucet ends to get a tight seal when screwing plumbing ends together. I have no idea what it’s called other than my highly technical term for it — “white plumbing tape.” LOL but it worked.

  8. 11


    I would say “Thank God for husbands!” but I don’t have one. lol I’m doing OK without – I fixed a slow flushing toilet tonight!

    I got a 301A the Saturday before New Year’s and I LOVE it! She is wonderful! In a beautiful cabinet! I’m looking for more! I would love to have one of the 2 tone ones. 🙂

  9. 12

    Pat C in Washington says

    You ladies with husbands are lucky. I joke about how, since my husband passed away a few years ago, I have had to develop a “stable of men” to meet my needs 😀 …. I have a carpenter, a plumber, an electrician, a general handyman, and a lawn-care guy! I took a class on how to maintain my Singer Featherweight, and my CPA is a lady.

  10. 13

    Diann says

    I had heard that putting a blow dryer on the “grease” in a machine would loosen it up when it hardened and slowed the machine down. Guess that DOES work. I’ve heard a lot of good about the 301 but have never sewed on one.

  11. 14

    Carol says

    I have the same problem with my 301. Could you post Vince’s solution? I’ve used teflon tape to keep a rake handle from loosening. But I hadn’t considered it to keep the foot on. I’ll have to experiment with it.

  12. 15

    Terri says

    Sometimes they can aggravate the heck out of us, they can do things we just don’t understand, but we “deal” with it since we do like to “use” their cotton pickin’ brains and brute strength when it serves us to. But, they in turn take in stride our issues and just grin and shake their heads.

  13. 16

    Joan says

    I agree with you all about the older singers. I have several – a treadle,, a featherweight, a black one that looks like a featherweight but it is much heavier and I use them all. I love to take the featherweight to my classes and qulting groups as it is very easy to carry and set up. I like that my hubbie can usually fix what ails them without having to take them out to be serviced. They sure don’t make things like they used to, eh?

  14. 17

    patti says

    another fix for this problem is to put a drop of clear (or any if cosmetics isn’t an issue) fingernail polish on the thread end of the screw. it’s easy to get to from the right side. once it”s dried it works as a glue to hold the screw in place, yet will break easily if you need to remove the foot at a later time.

  15. 18

    Becky in VA says

    I love my 301 – have used it since my mother handed it down to me in 1968. Like you said, it makes a PERFECT stitch and mine has never needed any repairs. I use it almost daily and keep it clean, oiled and greased. I wouldn’t trade it for a brand new top of the line Bernina!