Singer 160th Anniversary Machine

K8OrlandoMay 5, 2012

It's been out since January but I just saw the Singer machine they've introduced to celebrate their 160th anniversary. On sale for $350, it's tempting as a back-up and "companion" to my 12 year old Elna. I admit my reaction to it is purely emotional, having learned on a 1924 Singer. This one is black with gold decals, like the originals. I'm constantly re-threading my machine, moving from one purpose to another, so having a second machine that does free motion, adjustable needle position, etc for this price is... did I already say 'tempting'?

I have my little featherweight for travel and it would do in an emergency if I couldn't use the Elna, so am I crazy to want another machine? Am I asking the wrong group?!?

Kate

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msmeow

You can never have too many machines! LOL

Donna

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 10:28AM
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colleenny

Too many machines? What is that? I have 8 at last count. Colleen

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 10:51AM
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teresa_nc7

The machines seem to know which people to follow home....I've got 5.

Teresa

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:26AM
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calliope

From personal experience, my only suggestion is to buy it from a place you can 'test drive' it first.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 12:11PM
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mary_c_gw

Yes, you are asking the wrong group, LOL.

That said, I did Goodwill 3 machines I never used. They all worked, but were not pleasant to sew on. That leaves me with 2 regular sewing machines (one with embroidery), 1 industrial machine and 2 sergers.

The Singer is cute! But I agree with Calliope, test drive it first. Two of the machines I got rid of were Singers, and they were a PITA.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 12:23PM
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sunnycentralFL

Sorry to sound so negative, but: They are playing the nostalgia card. Read any reviews on it?
I agree with Mary�if it is not fun to work on�it�s not fun to own.

Hope you get a machine that is just right for you!
Gwen

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 12:47PM
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K8Orlando

I was only able to find 2 reviews. Both were complimentary; one very enthusiastic and one who initially had problems with tension but worked t out.

I was able to play with the floor model at Joann and liked it. I was able to walk away but I keep thinking about it.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 1:52PM
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new2quilting

I think it was Home Shopping Network that had a package on this when it first came out and I liked the looks of it. But the throat space seems small for any FM quilting and I already have a 3/4 machine so I need something with a bigger throat space if I'm getting another machine.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 3:03PM
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ritaweeda

I think it's the vintage look that's got you, it would entice me, too if I was looking for another back-up machine. Since you've tried and like it I say go for it. I agree about the throat space for FM quilting, though. Does it have the feet needed or are they separate? But anyway I love the look of it. Makes me think of my grandma. There was a woman at the local fair demonstrating on old treadle machines here and she was doing free-motion quilting and you name it on them.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 3:17PM
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minnie_tx

I didn't realize that the Singer has been around that long There is an interesting read about the history of the sewing machine on Wiki
Worth a read I never had a Singer well maybe used the old Treadle in high school sewing classes and my Aunts .

Here is a link that might be useful: Sewing machine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 5:02PM
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msmeow

Minnie, some years ago we visited an exhibit of quilts made during the Civil War at the Smithsonian in DC and I was really surprised to see that many of them were machine pieced! Many were also made by soldiers. I also didn't realize sewing machines had been around that long.

Donna

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 6:10PM
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vacuumfreak

I saw that a couple weeks ago and really like the looks of it, but have read quite a few negative reviews of it. It is loud and lacks needle up down, speed control, and thread trimmer! Not great for a full sized computerized machine!

I wonder if the presser foot pressure is adjustable.... I asked the lady at Joannes about them and she said they are closing them out and that she loved how smoothly it sewed!

Not only does it look cool but I like the slanted flatbed part!

It is adorable! There are a few youtube videos of it.

The reviews for modern Singers are negative across the board generally speaking.... It's hard to think that they are owned by the same company as Viking!

New machines are always fun though, so I think we'd all be happy for you :o)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 6:36PM
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K8Orlando

Vac, can you email (or post) any links to those reviews? I searched and didn't find them. I don't expect a 400 dollar machine to perform like a 1200 dollar machine but I do want it to be good value for the money.

Thanks to all who have commented!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 7:09PM
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calliope

singerco.com has honest reviews right at the company website. Believe me, if the reviewers don't like it, they say so, and Singer prints it. The reviews on this model are exceptionally good. I don't like to dis any manufacturer online, and the model I bought has all the features I wanted, and is designed well but I'm not convinced the QC on the manufacturing end does the design justice.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 8:16PM
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K8Orlando

Thanks for the link!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 8:32PM
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vacuumfreak

Kate

I meant to say "a few negative reviews" not "quite a few"... I was at work typing on my phone and well you know how it is :o)

I'll put some links to the reviews I've read... more people seem to like it than not, so that's a good thing!

I like that the buttons light up when you select a stitch... the harp area does seem a bit small though...

You'll have to copy and paste... there seems to be a lot of reviews at hsn....

http://www.hsn.com/crafts-sewing/singer-160-anniversary-edition-sewing-machine_p-6584295_xp.aspx#pdReviewsHeader

http://www.amazon.com/SINGER-160-Anniversary-Limited-Computerized/dp/B007CPG43I

http://www.joann.com/singer-160th-anniversary-sewing-machine-/zprd_11457413a/

http://sewing.patternreview.com/SewingMachine/Review/1/4518

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 9:30PM
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K8Orlando

Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 10:31PM
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vacuumfreak

Kate, I know when I was looking at machines, the reviews really helped! Of course they were all positive, there's a few negative ones about it now, but I wrote a few reviews and did two youtube videos of it (one is 40 minutes!) in an effort to help other people...

The biggest complaint that I read about the one you're considering was that it can be loud, but if men can have throaty sounding cars, why not have a sewing machine that has a little growl to it? :o)

I know you've fallen in love with this machine because of the way it looks and it is a beauty, but if you decide not to get it for some reason, I'd heartily recommend the Brother PC 420 as a back up/companion machine... it's not as cute, more utilitarian/plain, but it has all the bells and whistles most people could possibly want and it's on Amazon for 418 now! I paid 500 for mine!

Good luck with your decision... I know you'll let us know if you get this as a little sister to your other machines :o)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 2:41AM
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vacuumfreak

Kate, I don't want to be an enabler, but did you see this on Craig's List? If only I didn't have a one bedroom apartment!

Here is a link that might be useful: Quilt frame and Juki machine on Orlando C/L

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 2:45AM
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geezerfolks_SharonG_FL

Kate, I love having a second machine set up. Because I'm one of those people who cannot complete a quilt without working on something else, too, I have one machine with light thread and the other with dark thread. Works for me!Except that Baby Grace doesn't have the presssure foot option (which I miss), they both have pretty much the same perks, and I like that!

SharonG/FL

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 5:43AM
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faytay

I just saw this machine for the first time today and popped over here to see if anyone had heard of it. Guess I'm just a bit behind. ;) I'll be checking out the reviews and YouTubes now. ^_^

Faye

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 5:57AM
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calliope

That's what I noticed about my new singer, the loud noise. When I first bought it, I thought something was amiss, but find out the model I bought has an internal belt and my old machine was gear and shaft driven. My model's hand wheel is very tight, as well and you must press a button to sew reverse, can't back up with the wheel or it can muck up the timing. I don't like that.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 7:58AM
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calliope

You know, if I were going to get a back-up machine and loved that black old-fashioned style....... with that money you could really buy an all-metal, heavily built and reconditioned vintage machine.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 8:00AM
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mcpeg

Is this another plastic sewing machine? I hate plastic sewing machines...which is why I love the older vintage models. My present workhorse Janome is plastic and soon to be retired since getting a older vintage singer. As soon as I can afford it I'm having it tuned up and going to use it. I'm only keeping the Janome because of its stitches that are sometimes handy - otherwise I just do basic sewing.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 8:35AM
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K8Orlando

Faye - it was released in Australia (and maybe other places?) last year, but just released in the US in January. Apparently the Joann stores have only had it for a couple months. I think many of us are seeing it for the first time and it's having the emotional reaction Singer was hoping for!

Vac - I've looked at the Juki and for a while seriously considered it. You can do a frame set up for such a reasonable price! But now that I've shopped around and played with several machines, I KNOW I want either a George or a HandiQuilter on a table. No frames for me. I just want a great FM machine on a table. Perfect size, perfect for the type of quilting I like to do. But those are definitely not in my budget right now.

Metal or plastic? That's an interesting issue but not one that concerns me much. I have a couple vintage machines and I'm happy to have them, but they don't have the features that help make sewing fun for me. I don't use many different stitches, but being able to change the needle position is a requirement.

Thank you all for the great response to my question and for all the information and opinions. I LOVE THIS FORUM!!!

Kate

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 10:44AM
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magothyrivergirl

It is a great marketing campaigned tugging on your emotional heartstrings, and those of all sewers everywhere, because Singer has been a part of our lives one way or another.

I haven't seen it in person, only here and online. My opinion is - it is too expensive if you want to buy it as a back up machine or to use daily. I think the throat is small - that's why the literature describes the size of the entire sewing surface left to right, not the dimension of the throat. It has been produced to be mass marketed and hawked on the shopping networks, which immediately lowers its desirability for me. From a practical point of view, for $150-$250 you can buy a plastic machine with a major name on it that would be a great back up or travel machine. But, it wouldn't be black and cute :)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 12:37PM
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K8Orlando

I think this discussion has convinced me that a second machine - one that does the things I want - is not a bad or unreasonable idea. Whether it's this machine or another, I don't know yet. Maybe any machine would do, with a can of black spray paint and some stick-on gold decals!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 12:58PM
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calliope

rofl............

I fixed my old machine and shall use it for my back-up, and then again I have the treadles and a hand-crank. For quilting, I am not in love with the plastic machines. The old, metal ones, especially if in a cabinet do not move around on me with quilts or large pieces of heavy material. My last new one has metal guts (frame) and is much better than my old el cheapo about dancing when I quilt. Mine is supposed to fit in a cabinet (one reason I bought it, but Singer's literature is minimilist to say the least. Nowhere in the instructions or on-line does it say how to do that. I also read that the anniversary model has a plastic wheel, painted chrome. Uhmmmmmmmmmmmmm like modern car bumpers. I am just O/C enough, if it started peeling, I'd hate it.

I don't have the need for anything but straight stitch on a back-up, but yeah needle positioning is nice as is zig-zag. You are right, it all very much depends on what you sew.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 1:41PM
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faytay

I have a feeling that after the initial... awwww reaction, most people are listening to their logical side of the brain and passing on this. Looks like the original price was $650 and now it is $350 so that tells me they didn't 'fly off the shelves'. I guess I'm just going to be happy with the 'few' backups I already have. (for now anyway;)

I too love how I can come here and get such a varied reaction to this type of thing. And no one is wrong. :)

Faye

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 5:05PM
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lafonda_ranch

It's beautiful! Like a classic car in shiny black.

Robbi

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:31AM
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K8Orlando

I've decided not to get it and save my pennies instead for that sit-down George or HandiQuilter that I may never be able to afford.

But I've continued to read reviews and I'll be watching this machine and Singer's progress. I remember very well when Harley Davidson - a venerated old American company - was on it's last legs and quality control was an issue. They fixed their problems and have become an industry leader. Singer seems to have recognized their problems and I do believe, based on the reviews, they have made every effort to produce a machine that's significantly better than what they've been putting out in recent years. This is an important machine for them and I hope people give it a chance and give Singer a chance. There's so much history tied up in this company (SEWN up in this company?) that I want them to succeed.

Kate

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:03AM
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nanajayne

After reading this thread I decided to read the history of the Singer. I agree that it is sad their quality deminished through the years and hope they do make a comeback.
What I found interesting was the fact that the 1st. Mr. Singer wasn't a very nice person and his success was due to other people that he treated poorly.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 1:05PM
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vacuumfreak

Kate, I'm glad you decided to wait for something that will suit your needs better. I briefly considered a Singer Futura embroidery machine, but all the reviews say the thread breaks like no tomorrow and I don't like the idea of it requiring me to hook my computer up to embroider... plus no thread trimmer... Brother has spoiled me and I'm looking at their embroidery machines now...

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:07PM
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teresa_nc7

I think you made a good decision, Kate. I was going to suggest that you buy a vintage Featherweight, but then I saw you already have one. I checked out the prices of FWs at Paducah and they weren't much more than the price of this machine.

For some reason, this Singer 160 Limited Edition machine just doesn't sing to me. It looks to sleek and "plastic" to appeal to me. If I'm going to buy yet another machine, it not only has to look good but it has to perform well also and if it is a modern new machine, it should be fairly quiet. Guess I've been spoiled from sewing on my vintage Singers and modern Vikings. I love them all for different reasons.

Teresa

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 8:24AM
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