Oh man, these are cute - have you seen them? Retro Singer sewing machines

10:01:00 AM

Okay so let it be known that I have two addictions in life:

1. Pinterest.

2. Window shopping on Amazon.

I am forever in search of a fantastic deal for something that's been sitting on my (or someone in my family or my household's) wishlist (because yes, I have multiple Amazon wishlists [at present, count: 8]). Anywho.

Couple these two addictions with the advent of smart phones and my chronic insomnia and you have the perfect storm. So this morning at 5:32am when I found these little sewing machines (it really was 5:32am) I was so freaking excited, I had to share. Then I started thinking - how could I justify picking up one of these little beauts?? They'd be great for sew-ins and retreats, RIGHT?? Blerg.

I keep hoping I'll magically find my Singer Featherweight at a fantastical garage sale where the person selling has no idea the gem they have and sell it to me for, oh, like, $20. Wouldn't that be nice? Never happens.

I digress! Aren't these cute? (and I added Amazon.com affiliate links below for your reference and pajammy-shopping pleasure)

Aqua, pink and butter yellow retro sewing machines for under $100 by Singer sewing machines

They appear to be a special edition of sorts of their "Simple" line of machines (model numbers are the same), and perhaps their (full sized) answer to Janome's Derby machines? (pure speculation here on my part)
Janome's Derby line of pint-sized colorful sewing machines
image from International Housewares Association

I do like the Singer machines. And the price point similar to that of the Janome makes me think again, they're trying to compete with Janome in the colorful portable machine market.

The 23 stitches on the Singer 3223 including button holes makes it a pretty viable little machine.

The fact it has a free arm is a bonus, too - (one of the only things I miss on my big Janome)

cute new aqua teal retro sewing machines: new colorful retro style sewing machines by singer for under $100. An aqua, pink or butter yellow sewing machine!
And the metal body is something I like, too -
Normally I'd gravitate to the Petrol (aqua) color but they're all cute. Who am I kidding. They're selling it as an entry-level, beginners sewing machine but really I see it just as much a secondary travel/portable machine for the accomplished sewist/quilter. (or maybe I'm trying to justify adding it to my wishlist, right? Oy.)

So, after reading a few of the comments below regarding the tiny Janome machines (of which I've never driven, but have driven a Singer Simple model (just not this retro model one)), I thought I'd do a comparison run-down of the two machines - especially since I was the one who went and compared or at least inferred a potential parallel between the two in the first place above.

And because I tend to geek out with stuff like this, I made a handy-dandy chart. Seriously.
The most glaring differences in the two machines are the weight (with the Singer weighing in at more than double), the sizes (again, the Singer is a larger, full-sized machine) and the frame composition (metal vs. plastic).

The Singer has a higher rating on sites like Amazon and Joann, but has been reviewed by less people so is not as statistically significant - but - that said - the complaints on the Janome machine are pretty consistent and almost always the same.

Anyway! I'm seriously digressing now with all of these charty shenanigans BUT your comments were totally valid, and, for the record, I had not seriously considered the Janome Derby machines before (except for my little one) but this Singer machine, it'd be a definite contender for a travel machine.

Honestly though, what I DO love is that sewing machine companies are starting to come out with more colors and facades and special editions, making our machines a bit more fun. Have you seen the new rose gold Bernina special edition? I don't know what it does - probably everything and all of the dishes in the kitchen sink - but damn, it looks pretty (...and damn, I wish I had that kind of money...)

These colorful machines are fun. They're not for everyone. But they sure make this quilter smile.

Happy weekend, everyone!

*this post contains affiliate links to Amazon at no additional cost to you. For more information, please visit my Disclosure Statement and Advertising Policies page.

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  1. I've been eyeing the Janome mini for a long time, since first they came out with the Hello Kitty one! Of course, the dealer doesn't want you to buy something they make no money on! Someone at one of the retreats had one. I forgot who. Someday I will get one for fun!

  2. I own a Janome Sew-Mini, which I bought new at a big-box shop for $79 about two years ago. It only does straight stitch and zig-zag (I think). It only has one speed, medium fast, and is quite noisy, very light weight, and comes with a tiny little plastic foot pedal on a short cord. It ais completely plastic with nowhere to oil the parts short of disassembling the whole thing. Also, has one permanent plastic presser foot. It is okay for paper piecing blocks units, or it would be good for a paper crafter.

    I also own a Featherweight. There is really no comparison between these machines; they are in two completely different leagues. If you buy a mini plastic machine, it will not satisfy your longing for the real, true all-metal, sew-just-about-anything Featherweight.

    I don't mean to be Debbie Downer. I just want to give you a truthful review before you spend your $$.

  3. not coms accross either of these here in the UK but I do have a featherwieght (Pearl) born 27 sept 1948 and it is a dream, I picked it up for £60, love the fact it only has a straight stitch it is so much straighter than a machine with the options of other stitches, hope you find one soon

  4. I finally found my Featherweight when I was traveling. I looked in the local Craigslist and there she was... waiting for me to purchase her. Of course there is no comparison to the Featherweight is there? Btw there was a Featherweight being sold for $20 (on Craigslist) that was missing most of the paint. The seller got 100's of calls and it was sold right away of course. Keep looking and be willing to drive a few miles to find your Featherweight.

    On the colorful machines, I would buy one for my sister who I taught to sew last summer. I gave her a Singer Simple ($20 on Craigslist) to learn on and I think she would enjoy the one with color. Not sure as a seasoned quilter I would enjoy one of these machines. But with 7 vintage machines and one brand new Baby Lock I certainly am not in need of another machine. I do love sewing on my vintage machines. The straight stitch quality is excellent.

  5. We ended up with 3 antique machines this year by a very circuitous route. There was a local guy who was selling off his Mom's 1941 Singer (complete with the original table and owners manual) for $20. When we went to pick it up he offered us (free) a 2nd machine that his daughter had found at a roadside yard sale that she had bought him in case he needed "spare parts". It is a 1911 Singer. So for $20 we got two old Singers.

    Then last month our neighbor down the street was helping a friend empty out an old cottage he had bought and he was going to throw out a 1946 Featherweight. Luckily the neighbor thought of me and said "hey, I know someone who would like it". So for free I got it.

    So now for $20 I have 3 beautiful antique machines.


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