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Sewing Machine Reviews> Singer> 500A

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Reviewed by:PattiAnnJ
About PattiAnnJstar
United States
Member since: 12/3/06
Reviews written: 45
Sewing skills:Advanced
Favored by: 2 people
sewing machines reviewed: 3
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Posted on:3/27/14 3:26 PM
(Updated: 3/27/14 3:32 PM)
Approx price paid:$5
Had this machine for:5 years
Recommended? Yes
Singer 500AFeatures
  • Embroidery Stitches
  • Drop-In bobbin
  • Adjustable Stitch Length and Width
  • Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure
  • Adjustable Needle Position
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Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 7 people   
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This is a vintage sewing machine, circa 1962.

I was looking for a sewing machine cabinet to convert for a newer machine.

My neighbor knew about this and called my attention to a local estate sale that included a sewing machine and cabinet.

Went to the sale early to scope out the cabinet (not the machine - clueless at this time).

Asked the auctioneer when it would go up for bidding and he told me if I was interested he would move it up to the front of the bidding.

When it came time for the "sewing machine cabinet" to be offered, the first price was $5.00...I was the only one to raise my hand (my first auction and still clueless). Price was raised and no one was interested.

The "sewing machine cabinet" came home with me and sat in the garage for a couple days as we contemplated the finish...still clueless. Then my husband opened it, said it looked like a good machine and gave me the model number so I could look for a bobbin tire (the only thing it needed other than a lube job).

When I started searching the Internet, I almost fell off my chair. This machine was called a "Rocketeer" and at this time $350 was not an unheard of price, just for the sewing machine!

I decided really quick that this was going to be a machine that would remain in it's cabinet and be used!

Original sales slip, all the manuals, accessories (including cams) were with the machine...another bonus!

I bought a walking foot and a found a few metal bobbin spools that would fit on the bobbin winder as well as work in the bobbin case .... that is all I've needed.

The power pedal can sit on the floor for operating with the foot, or placed in the holdier inside the cabinet for operating with the knee. This is the only feature I have to consentrate on as my other "go to" machine has a knee operated presser foot lift. Big difference in the action this motion can produce!

If you find a Rocketeer, it is worth bring home, in a cabinet or not. For nothing else (?) it is fun to say "Rocketeer".

PS: This machine does not have all the features shown above. I selected what it does have and that did not seem to work????


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Mufffet said...
:) Nice review! WOW...what a find! Good for you. Yes, it *IS* fun to say "Rocketeer." :) I don't have any of these older Singers at all, but admire them. Happy sewing!
3/27/14 3:33 PM
MartiP said...
Awesome! I have been looking for one at resale shops and rummage sales. One day I will find one!
3/27/14 4:16 PM
RadarRadiance said...
You did score big, this is a great little machine. I have one my girlfriend gave me to keep at my Dad's for when I would go and stay with him. It was froze up but with TLC she is a charm to sew on. One time I even ran fishing line though the top and bobbin for heavy sewing and it took it! My Dad is no longer with me but the machine is! I would love to find a cabinet for it so you did fantastic. I'm confused on your comment saying it doesn't have all the functions stated above, mine does? Embroidery stitches with this one are the cams. Fun review...thanks!
3/27/14 5:09 PM
SewLibra said...
Oh wow, what a steal for only $5! It's a beauty, too. I had to laugh when you talked about the knee lever. For the first time I have knee operated presser foot lift. I haven't used a knee lever to operate a machine for a bazillion years, when I used mom's Singer back in the day. Yet, my first instinct is to move my knee to that lever and expect the machine to sew. LOL.
3/27/14 5:31 PM
PattiAnnJ said...
I do not consider decorative stitches created with the cams to be the same as machine embroidery.
3/27/14 11:48 PM
speattle said...
Nice find! Same type of thing happened to my son's girlfriend. She bought a cabinet to use as a bedside table and inside is a 500A! She paid $25.00. Now, she doesn't even sew, but my son has started to a bit.
3/28/14 3:05 PM
Nancy Rhodes said...
Fun story… thank you for sharing & hopefully inspiring others to hang on to / find / save and enjoy vintage machines. I like to call them heritage machines.
3/29/14 7:44 AM
tgm and Kittys said...
Thank you for a good review.
4/3/14 3:17 PM
smockinmom said...
I have several sewing machines and the old Singers are the best. I learned to sew on my mother's Singer 306K from about 1957 (older than I am) and didn't get a new machine until 1994 when I bought a Bernina 1630. The Singer is not temperamental like the electronic machines & will sew through anything. The machine & parts are all metal and will be here when all the electronic ones are in the dump. These old machines sell for nothing and they are great quality products. When I bought the Bernina, I thought I would have something *magic* on my hands, and even though it is a great machine, my Singer sews that same stitches and works the same for general sewing, just without a computer screen. Hang onto that machine and enjoy it!
4/10/14 11:11 PM
PattiAnnJ said...
Sockinmom, I thought the same when I went from my first purchased machine in the mid-late sixties(Singer Golden T&S). It sewed everything I threw at it from auto upholstery to delicates. I thought I should get a Bernina as that what was being used on the TV sewing shows - dumb idea, they get those free. Got the 1130 and no love lost when it got traded for a BL many years later (still had the T&S and the last thing it sewed before being donated - another dumb idea - was canvas valances for the front porch).
4/11/14 2:37 PM
Lanoll said...
Don't be afraid to open the bottom cover and get the dirt out! I have five of these I have been restoring and the most common issue is the dirt inside. Open the tension all the way and slide a folded paper towel covered in a bit of oil or wd40 between the disks. Lift the black spring and slide to the right to remove the bobbin case and clean the case and the bed of the hook.loosen the bobbin spring to get threads and lint out from under the spring. ( don't take it off- that screw is so tiny!) if you can clean it, it will be the best machine you've ever used!
5/4/14 8:37 AM
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