Member since 1/1/09
Skill: Advanced Beginner
Date: 2/8/11 4:21 PM
Computerized machines have alphabets in them, but they're not really quality monograms. I use the alphabet in my machine to put sizes on bias tape, then sew them into my son's clothes (so I don't forget what size I made).
Singer, Kenmore, and some other brands had monogram attachments, much like buttonhole attachments, that make a nice monogram from what I've seen. I remember seeing a few threads about monogram attachments, maybe a quick search of the site would help you out!
Member since 3/26/10
1 member likes this.
Date: 2/9/11 11:43 AM
Having my original now-vintage Kenmore machine, and recently acquiring another, I too thought that monogramming was the only embroidery feature I really wanted, and I started looking into this. There are some PR threads on monogrammers, and you can also check the old and vintage Kenmore and Singer Vintage attachment Yahoo groups, but I think this summarizes what I have learned there, Googling, and on Ebay. (I'm a novice, so I can't vouch for how it all works.)
My Kenmore 158.1914 came with a monogrammer with all the letters, which monograms in 2 sizes. According to ads in old Sears catalogs (which are fascinating, by the way), there are other Kenmores of that period that came with the attachment, which was also sold separately. Mine is a super-high shank machine, but they may have made that attachment in various shank types. You can often find these on Ebay, but I don't know if the attachment works on all machines because it has a type of gear on the plate. These cams are the "ruler" type, and are all the same length.
The Janome attachment seems similar to the often-seen Singer slant-needle one (occasionally also for vertical), which takes round cams. I don't know if the Janome and Singer cams are interchangeable. I think I once saw on Ebay some small letter cams for the Singer, but only once. It looks like a buttonholer attachment, and I think I've read that the needle cover plate (for machines that don't drop feed dogs) is machine-specific but may be interchangeable with the buttonholer plate. These should work on modern machines if the shank and the clamp are correct, as they hook on like buttonholers.
I have also gotten the attachment that usually came with 3 letters and a flower cam (or a larger version, I think with the Kenmores, that apparently could embellish buttonholes). The Singer version is called the DeLuxe Monogrammer. There is also a Greist Designer for Montgomery Wards machines. These came in short and high shank versions, as well as slant needle ones for Singers. The clamp may fit on the side differently on the Montgomery Wards and I think fits behind for Singer and Kenmores, but I'm not sure about this. The letters are larger than the 1914's. It should work on modern machines if you get the right shank type. I think the letters are interchangeable. These are "ruler" style cams too, but they vary in length according to the letter. I don't know if you need a specific needle plate for various Singers, or if that is only if you can't drop the feed dogs.
Getting all the letters, or at least those you want, for this type of monogrammer is the trick, since many people did not get complete cam sets and ordered only the 3 that came free or a few others. The attachments and various letter combinations are often on Ebay. The cams are interchangeable among the brands, I think. I have seen a set of all of them go for as much as $250, and I think one set that looked like everything originally came together with the attachment, all the letters , and a pad of tissue paper for backing (used in the pre-stabilizer era) just went for (gulp) $500! After attempting for a while to get the letters piece by piece, and getting many duplicates, I one day was inspired to look on ShopGoodwill. Lo and behold - a complete set of letters for a very low price. I think the title on these is Monogram Cam Set, but if you search for the monogrammer attachment, put in the word "monogrammer," and you might want to exclude "golf" and "ball" and "golfball," to avoid unnecessary results. As one poster told me (just before I went on ShopGoodwill), if you're persistent, you'll eventually find the cam set.
Good luck - and thanks to all the PR posters from whom I've learned so much.