One of the many joys of working in this industry is the opportunity to commune with folks who love the history and legacy of machine sewing as much as we do. On Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 of November we were joined in store by such a one, the lovely Gracie Matthews, when she called on us as part of her role representing the Singer brand of sewing machines.
Gracie is one of those inspiring people whose enthusiasm is infectious. She started her visit by taking us through some of her favourite features of Singer’s current range of domestic sewing machines, and it was so encouraging for us to realise that those aspects that we love about these machines are exactly what she looks to as well: the ease of threading, the simple functionality of both the mechanical and electronic machines, and the flexibility of material options were all stand-out features.
The remainder of Wednesday was spent on a subject very dear to our hearts, a discussion of the history of Singer sewing machines. The Singer Corporation was first established in 1851, and according to our research this makes it the oldest sewing machine manufacturer to still be active and making machines today. It’s certainly the most ubiquitous, and the graceful shape of the early singer machines, their solid form moulded from black cast iron and silver steel, and their enamelled decoration, have become synonymous with the image of sewing machines ever since.
If you’re a fan of the graceful shapes of the traditional Singer machines but are looking for a compact, entry-level option, you can’t go past the Singer Simple 3221: a great range of basic stitches, customisable stitch length, width and tension, and one-step buttonhole sewing all wrapped up in a user-friendly mechanical system.
And if you're after a more robust option, the top choice would be one of the machines in the Singer Heavy Duty range: the 4411 or the 4432. These are reliable mechanical machines that are great for dress making and can also assist you in more complex projects from time to time.
Whilst Gracie was here, she showed us how you can use the older traditional Singer foot attachments on the Heavy Duty range, and it was so fascinating to see how as modern Singer sewists we can use older and newer features alongside each other.
On Day Two of Gracie’s visit she spent valuable one-on-one time with some of our customers and their modern Singer machines, including the top-of-the-range Singer Quantum Stylist, as well as sharing more of her extensive knowledge with our staff, in particular regarding the Singer overlockers that we stock, the 14SH754 and the Heavy Duty 14HD854.
While our staff are very experienced at threading and maintaining these machines, Gracie gave us a detailed insight into how she uses the advanced features, including:
- Applications for 4-thread and 3-thread overlocking
- Adjusting the width of the finished edge
- Engaging the differential feed for gathering and flaring
- Removing the blade and creating beautiful rolled hems on lightweight fabrics.
It was so fantastic to learn more about these popular machines, and we’re really looking forward to passing on our new-found knowledge to our customers. Thank you to Gracie and Singer New Zealand, and if you’d like to know more about any of the Singer machines in our range, please contact us for a chat.