SINGER 1234 Portable Sewing Machine with Free Online Owner's Class and Tote Bag Project, White/Teal
- Online machine owner's class showing you how to use your new machine with a teacher available at your fingertips
- Bonus tote bag project sheet and decals so you can customize your sewing machine
- Easy Threading system with instructions printed right on the sewing machine
- Simple stitch selection allows you to change the stitch in one easy step
- Free arm. Heavy duty metal frame. Automatic Bobbin winding system. 110 volt sewing machine designed for United States and Canadian use only
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The SINGER 1234 portable sewing machine is a great choice for the beginner! be ready to sew in no time with quick and easy threading. The built-in stitches have pre-set length and width settings, making stitch selection a breeze. There's even an automatic 4-step buttonhole feature. Accessories include the all-purpose foot, zipper foot and buttonhole foot, as well as extra needles, extra bobbins, lint brush with seam ripper, Darning plate and more. In addition to the instruction manual and quick start guide, you get a bonus tote bag project sheet and decals so you can customize your machine. You'll also get access to an online machine owner's class showing you how to use your new machine with a teacher available at your fingertips
From the manufacturer
Singer 1304 Start Free ArmHandy Sewing Machine with 6 Built-In Stitches
Whether you're looking to make garment alterations or to start a new project from scratch, the heavy duty Singer 1304 Start Free Arm Portable Sewing Machine with 6 Built-In Stitchesand its sewing accessories are an easy-to-use and versatile products. Its automatic needle Threaded is sewing's biggest timesaver, and the machine's 1, 100-stitches-per-minute speed allows you to bring your creative ideas to life quickly.
Singer 1304 Start Basic Everyday Free Arm Sewing Machine
Quick & Easy Threading
Threading diagrams are printed right on the machine so you can be set-up in no time.
Automatic 4-Step Buttonhole
Make beautiful buttonholes automatically in 4 easy steps.
Dual Spool Pins for Twin Needle Sewing
Parallel rows of stitching are perfect for hemming or adding a decorative touch.
6 Built-In Stitches
Straight. Satin. ZigZag. Blind Hem. Scallop. 4-Step Buttonhole.
Heavy Duty Metal Frame
For skip-free sewing and overall durability.
Three Presser Feet Included
Buttonhole foot. Zipper foot. All-purpose foot.
Preset Stitch Length and Width
Getting started sewing is easy. There's no need to make stitch length and width adjustments.
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If you have experience with sewing machines already, you could probably open the box, get the machine hooked up (there is one cord that connects the machine to power, and also connects the foot pedal to the machine, so it's a quick-and-easy setup), and start powering away. If this is your very first machine, I would recommend reading the enclosed manual first (of course, I'm generally of the opinion to always read the manual, anyway). The machine comes with a small bag of accessories neatly tucked away into the accessory tray compartment (that little box at the front of the machine that you remove to access the bobbin compartment). There's one bobbin already in the bobbin compartment, plus an additional 3 bobbins (4 total). Also included are 3 extra needles (in addition to the one already installed), 3 total feet (the "all-purpose" foot is already attached, plus there is a buttonhole foot and a zipper foot), a darning plate, 2 spool pin felts, a needle plate screwdriver, and a small lint brush with a mini seam ripper hidden inside the handle. All of the accessories fit neatly into the compartment with room to spare.
The first thing I did was wind a bobbin. There are diagrams on the top of the machine that show you how to run the thread from the spool to the bobbin winder. The bobbin wound quickly, and the winder simply stopped winding once it was full, even if I kept my foot on the pedal. More diagrams on the top and front of the machine walk you through threading it, and the process is similar to every other sewing machine I've used. It lacks a needle threader, which is handy to have, but I suppose not necessary. If you have issues with threading the needle, a hand-held needle threader (http://www.amazon.com/CottageCutz-CNT1-2-in-1-Needle-Threader/dp/B000YZ462E/ for example) can still be used to help get the thread through the eye.
Lead-footed drivers beware: the machine goes FAST. I'm accustomed to the speed control on my mom's machines, where you can set a top speed and, no matter how much you put the pedal to the metal (or carpet, wood, tile, whatever your flooring is), it won't exceed it. The only speed control on this machine comes from how much pressure you apply to the foot pedal, so definitely take it easy! I'm not deducting any stars from the machine for the lack of speed control, because it's not a "missing feature," since nowhere does the information on the machine suggest it has this feature, it's simply something I'm used to from higher-end machines. If this is an issue for you, you may want to consider looking at a different machine.
Another feature from higher-end machines that I noticed was not included on this machine was a button to set the needle so that it stops either down or up. Of course, there's a knob on the right side of the machine that raises and lowers the needle, but it can sometimes be handy to have the needle stop down, without trying to time taking your foot off the pedal just right. Again, not worthy of a star deduction, because this is a basic machine, but something to consider. After all, if the needle stops in a position different than what you need (up, down, or anywhere in between), you can simply turn the knob and put the needle where you need it.
The lever to raise & lower the presser foot is easy to manage with just a finger, and it can lift the presser foot a fairly decent height, beyond the raised "resting" position. There is a thread-cutter located on the left side of the machine. A lever on the front right of the machine allows for easy back-stitching. The big round dial at the top front of the machine (with the blue S in the center) is your stitch-selector: line up the stitch you want with the little marking at the top center, and you're good to go. It includes 3 lengths of straight stitch, 3 zig-zag widths, satin-stitch, blind hem, scallop, and the three parts to the four-step buttonhole stitch (steps 2 & 4 use the same part). There is also a dial a bit to the left of the stitch selector where you can adjust the tension of the stitching, but you'll probably want to leave it on "4" for a good majority of your straight stitching, and the manual succinctly covers how to check if the tension is "good" for what you're doing, as well as how to adjust it.
Overall, it is a nice little machine, great for beginners and those who don't really need all the bells and whistles that come with higher-end machines. I tested it out on both muslin and flannel (the fabrics I had available scraps of), and it held up well on both. If you want to work on heavy-duty fabrics (corduroy, denim, upholstery fabric, etc), you will need to buy the appropriate needles, likewise for the "wispier" fabrics such as chiffon. When buying the fabric, an employee should be able to help you find the appropriate needles for your machine and fabric. I give this machine 5 stars because it does what it says it does: it gives beginners a nice little launching pad without overwhelming them with extra features.
I wrapped it in a bathrobe and put it in my standard size carry-on (22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches). I still had plenty of room to stuff in clothes all around it. I had to gate check in on one leg of the trip, and I put it in the overhead bin on the other. It came through with flying colors! There are very few things that stick out (and could break off) - and what does stick out is very sturdy.
When sewing, the Singer Start feels just like a full size sewing machine. It's fairly quiet, especially for a mechanical machine. I sat at the kitchen table and sewed and barely noticed the machine noise while I chatted with my friends. It's got a built-in LED light (which is essential, in my opinion) and a built-in thread cutter (also a MUST for sewing quilt blocks).
As for the bobbin jamming, it is a vertical bobbin. Vertical bobbins occasionally jam, especially if you turn the wheel the wrong way. ALWAYS turn the wheel toward you! DO NOT turn the wheel away you while you are sewing - this is guaranteed to jam the machine. (I'm talking about the wheel on the right that makes the needle move up and down.) If you do get a jam, don't panic! Turn the machine OFF - and just work the needle gently up and down until the fabric is freed enough to clip the threads. Remove the fabric. Take out the bobbin and put it back in. Good to go! And BTW, this machine DOES NOT jam any more than any other vertical bobbin machine - so don't worry that its smaller size makes it somehow inferior to a full-size machine with a vertical bobbin!
On my last trip, I made two entire quilts with this machine! That includes piecing the quilt, machine quilting, and sewing through many layers for the binding. The Start performed perfectly with plenty of power!!!!!
I should also mention that this is a twin-needle machine. It has a "regular" bobbin winder and threads just like any other full size machine. Most of the machine parts are metal. The few that are plastic are sturdy and well-built. One reviewer expressed concern about the foot lifter being plastic. I'm not concerned about that at all. My fancy, full size machine have plastic needle lifters, too, and I've never had a problem with any of them.
There is an accessory storage compartment in front of the bobbin compartment just like the big machines. The Start comes with all of the accessories you need. It threads just like a big machine, too. I had the machine out of the box and set up to sew in less than five minutes! (That includes winding the bobbin :-)
As for being a beginner machine, it would work well for an older child who can handle the vertical bobbin. (For a younger child, I'd go with the Janome 1/2 size series. I have a Janome Graceful Gray machine. It would be a bit better for a very first machine because it's even smaller and lighter and it has a drop-in bobbin. It also has a safety feature on the foot to keep little fingers away from the needle. It only has one fairly slow speed, controlled by the foot pedal. The Janome sews well, but is too small for what I need.)
I should mention, too, that the Singer Start has a full-size pedal and power cord combination. The speed is controlled by the foot pedal, and it goes anywhere from zero to really fast! It's fold down carry handle is handy as heck!
The Singer Start machine in an INCREDIBLE DEAL!!!!! I can't believe that such a good quality machine comes in a size that's perfect for travel, classes, craft shows, wherever. It's perfect for putting on a card table in front of the TV. I even take mine camping! (I camp in a cabin :-) I can't say enough good things about this machine and Amazon's price. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!