I won’t be buying any more Vintage Sewing Machines. That’s it. I’m done. Why? Well, because I have my Rocketeer! My Singer Slant-o-Matic 500. “Barbie”, as I call her, was born in 1961. Look at this ad someone shared on FaceBook – look at those prices. Quite steep for the 60’s, I think!
Barbie, my Rocketeer, is similar to “Amber”, my Singer 421G. She does the same straight stitch, reverse and zig zag. She uses the same top hat cams, has the same horizontal rotary hook, Stitch Length Regulator, Stitch Width Selector and “all metal” gears … Well, just like my 421G, my Rocketeer has all metal gears except the one Textolite gear inside by the hand wheel. My Rocketeer has the same number of built in stitches, comes with the same 5 Special Discs and can use the same additional Fashion Discs.
If you take her apart, inside my Rocketeer is identical to my 421G, … cam stack, cam follower fingers, bobbin winder.
The Cam stack and Cam follower fingers operate the same on my Rocketeer as on my 421G. Although on my Rocketeer, the Stitch Pattern Selector is so much more COOL!
As is the same with both machines, push for A to J …
pull for K through S … Dialling different combinations and using different discs gives you numerous stitch patterns.
My Rocketeer hides her bobbin winder, special discs and cam stack and her three spindles under her top cover. My 421G only has the special discs and the cam stack under her top cover, the rest are on top of the machine. The Rocketeer’s top cover is one of the parts that usually gets broken at the hinges over time, but I have read it is fixable. I was lucky, my Rocketeer’s top cover wasn’t broken off.
The side face cover is also a part that gets broken off on most Rocketeers. My Rocketeer’s was broken when I found her, unfortunately, but I’ve found a web site with instructions for a fix. When I get around to it, I will share it with you. In the meantime, if I’m careful, it doesn’t fall off or interfere with my Rocketeer’s operation.
The Rocketeer also has a Pressure Adjustment dial under her side face cover, different from the 421G.
My Rocketeer was well taken care of. She ran just fine when I got her and I didn’t have to clean her up much, just a bit of oiling just in case. The only stubborn stain on her was at the bottom of the column. I managed to get most of it off with sewing machine oil and a bit of muscle. I’m going to try “DAWN” on the remaining stain – which actually is kind of hard to see in the other photo.
As you can see my Rocketeer has a Throat Plate Positioning lever. My 421G does not, instead you have to change to a different throat plate for darning.
I was amazed to find the extra hinge in this Rocketeer’s cabinet. I have seen so many of these leafs sag with improper use and time. I wish they put this extra hinge in all their cabinets.
A few vanity shots of Barbie!
A beautiful stitch right from the start!
Barbie came with:
- many bobbins – the original metal and some modern plastic ones that seem to work too
- a Singer walking foot
- original Manual
- original Accessories box with 5 Special Discs and 8 feet and 2 throat plates
- Buttonholer for Slant Needle Zig Zag Sewing Machines, with original Manual
- Singer Sewing Machine Oil and Lubricant
- original Sewing Machine needles of various kinds and prices (45 cents, 60 cents, 90 cents a package – love those prices!)
I’m done buying. I am happy with what I have. Besides, I still have a two more Vintage Sewing Machines, wrapped in old sheets, that I have to clean, oil and try out!
Now back to my last Jungle January garment, which I have finally wrestled into submission. I might not make the deadline, even though I’m so close to finishing, but I will show you my finished JJ garment no matter what.
I’ve decided that with this New Year, I am going to take turns sewing projects on my various machines, vintage or not. When I share what I’ve made with you, I’ll be sure to share who gave me a hand – perhaps Barbie … or Amber … or Winnie … or Ilona … or ? After all I think it’s about time my modern Janome had a “Spa Day” herself.