1961 Singer 500A

Brand new to my collection is this pretty Singer 500A that I thrifted earlier this week! Okay, so I did own one of these previously, but it wasn't in great shape, the thing didn't sew great, and I just didn't enjoy using it (and so I got rid of it).

However - I've seen many people rave on about this model - and so when I found this little Rocketeer in a thrift store for a great price, it seemed like the right time to give the 500A another try.

It certainly helped that this 500A is portable in the original carry case. My first Rocketeer was in a totally craptastically worn out cabinet, and I never found a case that worked well for it. So it kind of just banged around in my sewing space.

The original case has a niche sized perfectly for the accessory box, nice!

And the case contained all the original cams, feet, and accessories. Double plus-good.

The foot control and cords came in this funny little bag with a snap, which I've never seen, but looks like it could be original to the machine since it is a portable model.

It keeps the foot control and cords from banging around and scratching the bed of the machine, and keeps the cords from getting caught in the top of the case.

The side cover opens to show a threading diagram, which is great because there are lots of extra thread guides on this model (and missing any one of them can affect your stitches!).

The top flips open to reveal a stitch guide, spool pins, bobbin winder, and a place to use stitch pattern cams. It really is a good looking machine!

First stitches with the Rocketeer were not great. Lots of tension issues with the stitches and the stitch selection knobs were very stiff. Not to mention how LOUD the machine was! Yikes!

Time for a little TLC, and I spent a few nights cleaning and oiling the Rocketeer after putting Fidget to bed.

When out of the base, I found this on the front edge of the machine. I've never seen a serial number sticker like this before - have you? I wondered if this was possibly a school machine, or issued to some other type of organization. It's a mystery!

Finally, the machine started to purr, and the stitch quality was looking much better. It DOES sew nicely, and it isn't much louder than my 301. Here's a few snippets of my Rocketeer in action...

This one is definitely a keeper, welcome to the family little Rocketeer!


Anonymous said…
The extra thread guide on the front of the machine just above the tension dials should be skipped. This was a service bulletin issued by Singer not long after this model was introduced. Yes, the plastic snap case is original. Enjoy! This is a wonderful machine!
Erika Mulvenna said…
Hey, thanks for the tip Anonymous! I'll skip that part next time I'm sewing. Cheers! - Erika
Deborah said…
That's a very nice machine and so clean! Your videos are good, too.
Brenda Grimm said…
She is lovely and purrs. Not just a pretty face.
I'd love to find a Rocketeer in a case like that. Have fun with it.

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