Hello again! I'm back from camp and have a fun find to share with you all. Isn't she a beauty!
I found her at a normally ridiculously overpriced consignment shop in town. The place is packed to the gills with tonnes of overpriced (and often broken) furniture and all sorts of do-dads and treasures. I literally tripped over one of three sewing machines tucked in the back, and after disregarding the other two, found this little girl!
And it not only worked (so far as I could test at the shop without any fabric and thread), but it was only priced at $45! I had to get her to repeat it because I thought she must've for sure meant $145. But nope. I bought it on the spot and brought her home to clean up.
She's a Singer Genie Model 354, made around 1974 in France. There's been some great write up's on her, in particular Sally Ann's review and even Peter of Male Pattern Boldness, who owned one before he started blogging (see his pic series here).
I'm not ashamed to admit it took me about 10 minutes to figure out how to open her:
Sneaky! And even sneakier is where the cable and pedal is hidden:
Apparently not a few people have gotten good deals on these because the seller thought the cable was missing!
Despite first impressions, she's the same size as Maggie Kenmore! I really thought she was smaller. She's definitely lighter, being made of plastic instead of metal. Definitely more transportable than Maggie. BTW, I've named her Genie Singer. I know, bask in my creativity.
As you can see above, there's a bit of damage on the faceplate itself. The needle seems to be moving into the slot fine, so I'm not sure how this happened. I gave Genie a good cleaning and oiling. She was actually in pretty good shape, a bit of fluff in the feed dogs and a bit of old grease. Took me less than 10 minutes, and only that because I had to figure out how to remove the faceplate. And then I realized it's been a really long time since I've cleaned and oiled poor neglected Maggie. THAT took me nearly an hour, she was in a shameful state. I apologized profusely to her, but considering that I then immediately put her away to play with Genie, I'm sure she'll never forgive me. Poor thing.
Off the hop, I'm having trouble with straight stitching with Genie. The stitch lines are looking a little drunk, but I suspect that it's more of a tension issue than anything else. But what I really wanted to try was all of her zigzag options. Look at them all:
Maggie can only do the standard zigzag (and then do some fancy stitches that Genie can't do, so she's still a few up on Genie). Genie can do the standard zigzag, a blindstitch, a funky heart monitor-like zigzag which is apparently better for sewing elastic, satin-stitch, and a multi-stitch zigzag - which I've coveted in other machines! And boy do these stitches look gorgeous (although again, the multi-stitch zigzags look a big drunk because of my wonky straight stitch).
I'm pretty excited about them!
It didn't come with the originally included accessory bag, nor the manual. Luckily you can either order a paper manual or download a free PDF version of it here at the Singer website. I'm also really lucky because many of the feet I use most often on Maggie will fit on Genie. I liked to pick up the lifter piece that allows the faceplate to be raised above the feeddogs for free-motion sewing (the feed dogs on it don't drop down), but honestly, I can do that on Maggie, and I'm happier with her straight stitching.
Genie does have a drop-in bobbin set-up and uses smaller plastic bobbins, but luckily I was able to find them at Wally-World, so that's less hassel than I thought it'd be.
Anywho, that was a looong blog post, but I'm pretty stoked about the new addition to my sewing room (if you couldn't tell). I'm planning on spending the day sewing, so I'm going to get on that. Two things though:
- I know my photos are bigger than usual. Flickr has changed thing (again), and this is how they're showing up on here. I might have to switch to a different photo hosting site, because I'm unhappy with the process right now, but we'll see.
- Does anyone have any suggestions for fixing Genie's straight stitches? I'm going to play with tension and stitch length, but input from you smart folks would be appreciated!