The Sewing Place

Singer 401 near Bristol

BrendaP

Re: Singer 401 near Bristol
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2018, 22:09:19 PM »
I still don`t really understand what these buttonholers are.

A buttonholer clamps onto the needle bar and it has a fork which has to be positioned so that it goes above and below the screw which holds the needle in place.  It also incorporates a large foot which is ridged to grip the fabric.

With feed dogs dropped, or covered on older machines, the foot grips onto the top surface of the fabric but the fabric is free to slide about over the surface of the machine bed. 

As the machine is operated the needle goes up and down as normal and it also moves the fork up and down.  That in turn moves the innards of the buttonholer and causes the foot to move the fabric a little - side to side and backwards or forwards.   There are knobs on the buttonholer to set the length and bight (width) or it uses drop in cams to set the length and shape.  Once set up just wind the buttonholer to the furthest forward position, drop the foot and away you go.  Good, identical buttonholes each time (unless you alter the settings or change the cam)
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

Roger

Re: Singer 401 near Bristol
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2018, 22:59:40 PM »
Thanks Brenda!
A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132

sewingj

Re: Singer 401 near Bristol
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2018, 08:12:44 AM »
Thanks to Brenda from me too

If I decided to go down this route approximately how much would an old Singer and a buttonholder cost - and how easy are they to get hold of?

Roger

Re: Singer 401 near Bristol
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2018, 08:21:49 AM »
Cam driven buttonholers usually sell at £10-25+ PnP. I actually have a spare one I got recently to clean up and test... I put them in the for sale section sometimes. From memory it’s complete, has a manual feed plate, screws, and the standard templates but the box is really fragile. Its a Greist one they made most of them.

I can put up some pics later.
A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132

SkoutSews

Re: Singer 401 near Bristol
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2018, 09:17:44 AM »
Roger and Arrow gave me a lot of useful advice on these a few months back when I was looking for one for my 401g. 
 Buttonholer advice

I eventually found exactly what I was looking for on eBay. It was in the USA, but the total price including P&P came to only £26.50.  It did take a while to find the exact thing in good condition.

BrendaP

Re: Singer 401 near Bristol
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2018, 10:01:00 AM »
Helen Howes usually has buttonholers in stock, and they will be oiled, tested and ready to go.
http://www.helenhowes-sewingmachines.co.uk/bigatts.html#buttonholers

BH007 and BH006 are 'ordinary' Singer buttonholers, BH035 is a cam version.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

sewingj

Re: Singer 401 near Bristol
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2018, 10:36:22 AM »
Sorry - still being thick - if I bought one of those buttonholers would I need an old Singer machine too?

Roger

Re: Singer 401 near Bristol
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2018, 13:04:19 PM »
It’s not a clear cut answer because all the manufacturers have made tweaks and changes to differentiate themselves, (like slant shanks) so while most buttonholers are design to fit a domestic straight shank, there maybe some differences in shank shape, or fixing screw.

An old singer can be very inexpensive depending on what you fancy. The standard is a 201k I bought on for a £10 but they can go up to £100s depending on condition, or a 99k is very easily available.

I’m happy to help you with this  sewingj if you want.
A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132

sewingj

Re: Singer 401 near Bristol
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2018, 15:26:48 PM »
Thanks Roger - I will ponder it for a while
I have got an old Riccar machine that does 4-step buttonholes which I haven`t used for ages.  I might get that out and see how it compares with the Janome "automatic" buttonhole

Roger

Re: Singer 401 near Bristol
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2018, 18:15:43 PM »
No worries, we’re always happy to help with vintage machine shopping if you decide you want one.
A bit of a vintage sewing machine nut! Singers: 500a, 401g, 48k Elnas: lotus SP & grasshopper, Bernina 530-2 F+R 504, Pfaff 30, Cresta T-132