Dear Sewing Machine


Dear Singer Touch & Sew Model 600 (1964),

I’m sorry for all the time that we have spent apart. I know that it’s been a long time and that you have been lonely. I appreciate that you kept a light on for me after all these years.
I think that I left you threaded, but I understand if in a fit of temper you pulled it out.
I appreciate that in a moment of remorse, you saved the instruction manual so I could learn how to thread you again.
I know that you still care or you would not have also saved the box of attachments and special discs that you used to wear when you were feeling fancy.
I know that sometimes you must miss the Homemaking Department at the High School of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina where you got your start. And you must miss Rebecca Bailey, too. I know you must have loved her since you let her sign your box,
I know you miss all the students at the Murray Vocational School.
And maybe you even miss Performance Quality Tester Number 23.
But I hope that most of all, you have missed me. I hope that you remember the two crib bedding sets we made together. The Halloween costumes, the crafts, the dolls, the curtains, and, yes, even that one particularly tragic shirt.
I promise not to leave you for so long ever again.


P.S. I hope you like your new (old) sewing cabinet. I got it just for you.

P.P.S. You could really use to clean up a little bit, you know? (Don’t be mad! Take some pride in yourself!)


  1. Cathy says:

    Wow, I was never good at sewing but seeing that old machine reminds me of the old machine my mom always had out. Thanks for brining back a piece of my childhood!

  2. Susanne says:

    Oh my goodness! I just got a whiff of sewing machine oil.

  3. Jayme aka The Coop Keeper says:

    I could just smell the old sewing machine too! Mine keeps giving me puppy eyes when I pass it. I have to look away. I’ve already told it it’ll be a while before I can play with it again!

  4. Diane says:

    I am cleaning up so I can use my sewing machine more also. It looks very sad sitting there unused. Going to get it going again here soon as well. I have the fabric to use, patterns. Just need time and space. lol.

  5. Dawn says:

    Have fun getting back into stitching! I’ve been sewing lots more since I made our extra bedroom ‘my’ room!

    • Connie in Texas says:

      I think the old machines sew better than the new ones! Mine is a bit newer than that but an oldie but a goodie too! Just basic. I have mine sitting out right beside me on my craft table. I have had her for years! Have fun sewing! What ya going to make first?

  6. Dawn says:

    And I forgot to comment yesterday–I figured you were probably on dial-up and you have my sincere sympathies. I rejoiced and was glad the day we went to DSL! You are an amazingly patient person!

  7. Judy says:

    I remember those old machines that we used to use in High School…What I would give to have one now.

  8. m says:

    Wow! 😮 That’s my Mom’s ‘new’ machine … but I think she bought it a little after 1964. Same layout with all the switches and the box of tools is the same shape with different cover art (ha ha).
    I will have to check and see if it is a 600 or a 601. I think she bought it in ’68 and told me I could have the Singer 300 when I turned 12.

    Hint: open the hinged cover on the left side of the machine … it opens from front to back so that you can see the piston(?) that drives the needle. My mother’s machine has the threading diagram printed on the inside of the cover. This cover opens so that you can lubricate the gearing and the piston.

    By the way, we still have both machines 🙂

  9. Christine says:

    Oooh, I love it. I’ll bet that thing will run for 100 years. They sure don’t make ’em like that anymore. It’s a keeper for sure.

  10. mmHoney says:


  11. Kathryn says:

    Hooray! There is your good friend, already to play. Remember to cut up some old t-shirts to use as fabric after you oil it. Let the oil sit for awhile, then just sew with the t-scraps. Keep a piece under the needle overnight to catch any errant drips.

    Have a wonderful time! I do so love to sew. The Girlies have informed me that they are NEEDING some sewn things when they are here. So, we will be sewing.

  12. Keeper of our Home says:

    What a fun post. That is a beauty of a machine. Who says new is better!?!

  13. Mary says:

    :sun: Yeah!! I’m sure he is so happy you brought him back to life!! What fun you’ll have with your old friend! Happy sewing!! :purpleflower: :yes:

  14. Jean says:

    I had a sewing machine almost exactly like this one! I used it a lot!

  15. Kacey says:

    I had an old Singer machine like that, that used the cogs to choose the stitch patterns. Fun. Now I have a quilting Bernina, but I do miss the old machine.

  16. Shelly says:

    You may inspire me to sew again, I have a machine I bought a couple years ago and I haven’t used it yet. Yours may need a little oil to get it running smoothly. I hope you make something so we can all see it!

  17. Angie says:

    What sewing projects have inspired you to bring her out and get her ready again?

  18. Claudia W. says:

    What a great old machine. I got a Kenmore for my sixteenth birthday, and that thing went for.ever. I did buy a new one with more bells and whistles and donated my old Kenmore. I don’t know what I would do without my machine.

  19. shirley says:

    I have always wanted a sewing machine, but somehow never managed to buy one.Thanks to you, my mind is on it now and I’m determined to buy one and sew stuff for Christmas presents.
    Suzanne, you inspire us all.Thank you for your dedication to this blog even though you have to put up with the “internet imp”.
    P.S. I use your pics for my desktops and change them daily.

  20. trish says:

    I want to make a quilt for my grandaughter. I just sold my sewing machine at a yard sale however, so I guess I will hand sew it.

    We are raising money for when my daughter goes back into the hospital for either a heart transplant or to get the VAD machine that is pumping her heart right now out.

    We did well at the yard sale. We made over $1000. People are so generous.

    I love your machine Suzanne. it reminds me of home ec in high school.

  21. B. Ruth says:

    Singer touch and sew…..looks like my old one, keep’er oiled and cleaned…

    This is the machine that my husband traded my old Featherweight for in the 60’s…to upgrade me to a fancy, multi-stitch machine. I took it in for maintenance thinking I had “boogered” up the tensions. The Singer “fixer-upper” man said “rubber feed dogs” (put on some machines back then) was the problem. They deteriorate over time, they replaced them for free. I made lots of garments and crafts on this old machine but each fancy stitch had to be changed with the discs…cogs…
    I am lucky enough to have a machine today that literally touch and it sews…touch the screen and it will change to a decorative stitch, utility stitch, touch go back, touch go forward and you can touch and just guide your material without pressing a foot, who’d a “thunk it“…It is also a simple embroidery machine…
    I don’t know how long it will last as it was a cheap machine…but it is fun to play with…and the kids love the little duckies, birds, doggies…that “grandma” sews….ha
    I still have my old Singer Touch and Sew that is mounted in its original Early American style cabinet with two side drawers. It also came with a matching chair, when the padded seat lifted you could store extra sewing supplies…I am saving it for my granddaughter….but by the time she is old enough to sew , it will be a 50 year old antique….
    PS…who knows what “Touch and Sew” will mean in her lifetime….
    PS….Still would love to have my original Singer Featherweight back…in its’ original case… made a beautiful simple forward/backward stitch…and with the buttonhole attachment a beautiful buttonhole…

  22. Rene says:

    Oh, now I feel guilty. My machine is in the attic, probably cursing me out. For years now I’ve been on a quest for the perfect sewing machine cabinet so I have a place to use it.

  23. Kym says:

    Hello. I just found your blog, and so enjoyed reading about your Singer. I learned to sew on a machine just like this, and found the trip down memory lane to be just what I needed today! Thanks!

  24. Robin G. says:

    Oooohhh…. considering I will be moving into a new place soon, I could get my sewing machine out of storage… I must say, though, that it has its issues, being a new one. An old school, sturdy machine is always the way to go.

  25. Nita in South Carolina says:

    HEY!! My Dad went to Murray!! It and Charleston High School are long since closed. I think your first project should be a hat for Clover. Or a tie for Spartacus.

  26. Marlene says:

    They sure don’t make machines like that anymore. What a gem you have in her and yes, I am sure she will forgive you!

  27. Lisa says:

    I LOVE my old Singer that I got for high school graduation almost 30 years ago. It has only been worked on twice, once to replace the plug end of the cord, and most recently to replace the transmission. It was worth the $90 I spent on it because it is a gem. You cannot find good machines now a days with all metal parts! Hope you enjoy!

  28. Susie says:

    Your sewing machine looks like the one I learned on in Home Ec back in 1967! Wow that was a long time ago huh? I have a site for you that I just saw for you all to make easy stuff like basket liners.
    I plan on making some. I love baskets. I’m thinking of bringing my sewing machine out here next to my computer desk. Maybe I will sew more. there is more natural light in here. :heart: Susie

  29. =Tamar says:

    Oh, all of you who have the old sewing machine stored away – I advise you to get it out and oil it up now. Stored machines are much better off for being cleaned and oiled at least once a year.
    And by the way, Featherweights are still around – keep an eye out at thrift shops, or search online.

  30. Lois Klein says:

    I also have a used Singer Scholastic school machine and it has sewed miles. It’s in the original cabinet and I just had it reconditioned to sew smoothly. What a jewel! I’ve just added another used machine for quilting/crafts, but the old Singer is a sturdy favorite. There is a tremendous value in the old “Mechanical” machines, once lubricated and cleaned.

  31. Cindy says:

    I just had my machine tuned up and cleaned in preparation for sewing for my first grandchild due in Decemeber. I used the same machine to sew for both my girls thirty years ago. I can’t wait to get started!
    Thanks for the wonderful resources provided in your website! You have been added to my Favorites! :chicken:

  32. BobbiSue says:

    Hello Suzanne and all ya WV Folks on site. I really love this site. For a non-original country girl, you have a marvelous sense of “Country”. I donnnn’t do much anymore dude to the oxygen and the electroc scooter but I love to do crafts. Thank you SOOOOOO much for showing the cornhusk doll pattern. I tried a time or two but it just didn’t work out! I mainly do sewing…not by machine…but the old fashioned stitching by hand with needle, thread and material! 🙂 I normally do crib and baby /toddler quilts and wall hangings. I occassionally do a bed quilt but that takes sooo long. I want to start one this winter for my grandaughter. She will turn 14 on the 5th Dec and that will give me time to have it completed by her 15th birthday. I made her one for her 15th birthday made from her baby clothes anda clothes she wore up thru the years. That’s her pride and joy. I want this one to be more “Grown up” in style. Haven’t decided on a pattern yet but am considering a couple. LOL I haven’t used a sewing machine since I was in Home Ec at N ormantown High School way back when…..We all had to make aprons as some of you probably remember. Somehow, I managed to run the needle thru my left thumb nal, clear thru my thumb and thru the attachments. The needle got stuck and the teacher had to send someone to find the janitor… Maybr you think that wasn’t fun getting removed!!!!! I’d love to start a site like this to teach quilting and show off some of my work.
    Have a great day…BobbiSue From Fairmont< WV

  33. Jeannie says:

    What a great blog… No telling what will get made with this inspiration. My family sews for a living on vintage Singers, and they are the most dependable. I have many machines and even a computerized embroidery machine, but there will never be a workhorse like the 500-600 series of Singers.
    For those of you that have stored them… OIL OIL OIL! Nothing will kill a sewing machine like being dry. 3 in 1 oil is NOT a fine enough grade for sewing machines. It will cause more problems with gumminess and gear degrading than any other oil. Ebay has lots of parts and attachments.

  34. Karen B says:

    Boy was this a blast from the past. I still have my Singer Golden Touch and Sew that I got for my sixteenth birthday 40 years ago.(All metal, no plastic) It still sews well but using the fancier stitches are cumbersome – having to insert separate large disks into machine. I now have a new Singer Scholastic that makes those same fancy stitches with the turn of a dial. However I have a lot of trouble with the bobbin tension. The bobbin thread refuses to stay in the proscribed path through the mechanism. Any suggestions, anyone?
    Karen [email protected]

  35. Mary Hall says:

    :shocked: Hey, I just had the same conversation with my Singer 503 slant-o-matic. I was my grammas. I has been stored in my grage since 1990 (yes that is 20 years), and thank GOD it only had to be rebuilt….

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