If you’re a quilter who goes to sew ins and classes, every so often you’ll see someone with a little black sewing machine that looks like it’s from the 40s. Well, you’re right! It is from the forties. Actually, the first ones were made in 1926. Singer machines are legendary sewing machines that people are still using because they just are that good.
Here’s some information on Singer 4411 that was on Patchwork Planet.
The Singer 4411 portable sewing machine is a model made by that company between 1933 and 1964. The machine (model 221), adapted from an earlier portable, the Standard SewHandy (which company was bought out by Singer) weighs about 11 pounds and has been found to be an ideal machine for quilters and other sewers to take to classes or on location. Very quiet and sturdily made with all-metal parts (mostly aluminum), the Singer 4411 sews only straight stitches but it sews them very well. Even the oldest machines, if they’ve been cared for, still sew wonderfully.
The Singer 4411 came in a standard black model made in the U.S. Those made before World War II (and apparently a few after the war) had an attractive Egyptian Scrollwork pattern on the faceplate, while most of those made after the war had a simple, striated pattern of vertical stripes. They were further decorated with gold decals and the Singer name, but nowhere do they say Singer 4411 on them.
Because of the size of the machine, you might think they were a child’s toy. Don’t be deceived.
Singer 4411 may have been a perfect straight stitch machine ever made. They weigh in at 17.2 pounds (for comparison, my older Bernina weighs 45 lbs), are completely metal, have a perfect straight stitch and simple all mechanical parts.They use a very standard low shank sewing foot.They have a very standard rotary hook.
Why would people sew with a machine that old?
Because it really is that good. The stitch is impeccable, its tiny, but it stitches through all kinds of fabrics, it’s lightweight, and, less we miss the point, fun.
What is the downside to Singer 4411?
The needle goes in facing the side. If you don’t know that, your stitch will be miserable. If you find a Singer 4411, get yourself a manual for them. They’re old enough not to follow all the modern conventions. They have the problems you have with any old electronics. There are people manufacturing new parts for them. But you need a mechanic who knows older machines. There are all kinds of information online for someone looking for mechanical advice. But nothing beats a good mechanic.
Recently someone figured out that auto paint works just fine on old machinery. There’s a whole new face to Singer 4411 that have had some makeup applied. There still old. But they’re past cute.
Here’s a place where you can find the original Manuals for Singer 4411.