"Resign yourself, Catherine! Shops must be visited! Money must be spent! Do you think you could bear it?" - Northanger Abbey

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Singer ONE Sewing Machine - Review

Review of singer 'One' anniversary model in white. This machine was gifted to me.

The Spec

  • ONE TOUCH™ Stitch Selection with 24 Built-In Stitches
  • 2 Fully Automatic 1-Step Buttonholes
  • SWIFTSMART™ Threading System with Automatic Needle Threader
  • QuickView Stitch Setting & Simple Stitch Adjustment
  • DROP & SEW™ Bobbin System
  • Presser Foot Sensor
  • Feed Dog Control
  • Extra-Large Sewing Space (374 mm/14.7”)
  • Extra High Presser Foot Lift
  • Automatic Reverse
  • Free Arm

Included Accessories
All-Purpose Foot, Blind Hem Foot, Satin Stitch Foot, One-step Buttonhole Foot, Zipper Foot, Needles, Bobbins, Spool Pin Felt, Auxiliary Spool Pin, Thread Spool Caps, Needle Plate Screwdriver, Lint Brush/ Seam Ripper and Soft-Sided Cover.

I'm primarily a garment sewer so I was impressed by the number of stitches on offer (My Janome J8-13 only has a few) and the ability to adjust length AND width. I was happy to find the decorative stiches in particular as I usually have to embroider by hand. There's also stretch stitches and overcasting.
I used the auto setting on the tension initially but I'll soon branch out to setting my own tension manually. The stitches seemed even but when using some of the stitches on thin polycotton I had problem with the fabric bunching up.

example of the auto tension giving me the wrong tension

I'm used to a side loading bobbin so having a top loading is something new to me. It all seems rather enclosed so I'm worried about how to clean the machine sufficiantly.
The top bobbin threading confused me with is simplicty. It was when it got to the bit near the needle that (without help of the DVD which I didn't get) and the most ambiguous diagram in the manual that it all went wrong. I kept thinking it'll never stay in the hook when I start sewing it must attach somewhere else. But no it IS that basic. I used the autothreader too. Which only seems to work with the 'official singer needles' that came with the machine. The lower bobbing 'drop in and sew' also threw me, I kept wanting to do the usual pull up the thread thing.
Let me say I've only just got the hang of threading the machine and not having it jam/thread snap/random error message and shouting at it.

The printed manual appears to say to thread the machine like this.
but as you can see from the online diagram below.
it says to thread it like this
When I thread the second way I get an error message/thread keeps snapping. And when I thread the first way its fine?

The machine came with a standard foot, satin stitch, buttonhole (the kind that calculates the button hole size for you...you won't belive how happy I am about this. *shakes fist at 4 step buttonholes*) and zipper.
So far I've only tried standard, satin and buttonhole. Need to test the zipper one next. I didn't understand what the felt disks were for though?!
The pedal seemed a little flimsy compared to my janome one.

This is quite a noisy machine for an electric one. It does a chugging grunt rather than a nice hum.

The machine manual
Was fairly good, but could have been set out in a more logical manner. The threading diagram is appauling...a dashed line?! what does that mean next to a solid line?

What would you change?
I'm not a fan of the auto needle up and the weird reverse button...still not figured out the coordination with that one. I would have liked to have the required foot for each of the stitches offered.

This is a Diva of a machine. She likes to be given the official singer stuff and to be treated gently. If you don't take your time she'll throw a strop *shakes fist at C6 error message* and can take a little adjusting to.
I still have my janome as back up if she decides to throw a diva strop at least. ;)


  1. Getting to know a new machine is always a bit of a learning curve. The little felt disks are to put under your spool of thread on the top of the machine.. I have a modern Singer but never use it and 2 vintage ones that are my favourite machines. Hope you tame yours soon. :)

  2. One of my students just got this machine. Of all of the new machines out there that are reasonably prices, this is the best.

    Don't worry, you can still thread it like normal. I'll be damned if I'll let my student do some wonky "don't worry the machine will handle it" sewing. That being said, I was equally terrified at how few curves the threading of the top thread made.

    But it worked straight out of the box. Which is more than I can say for the Brother POSes some of my other students have. It's also nice and heavy, so it's solid. I also like how the drawer is button release instead of "haul on the plastic and it totes won't break wink wink"

    That being said, it's clearly for an amateur. If you knew what you're doing, you'd not want this machine for long.\

    -- Tegan

  3. That silly C6 error message. after getting it the third or fourth time I finally turned to google, and thankfully here you were. I will try to ignore the diagram and thread the machine the way that seems natural. She is definately a diva. Thanks for the post!

  4. I spent 5 hours trying to thread my machine. But kept receiving the C6 message. No where in the manual told me what it meant. But with your review I have figured it out. Thank you.

  5. In the manual, C6 is top thread broken. This can also be read as a threading error. After opening the top of the machine, I understood the problem. When threading, you must 1. Raise the pressure foot to open the tension disks and 2. Keep tension on the thread when pulling it through the slot on the face of the machine. Around the tension disk is a wire. By keeping the thread tight, this wire is pulled down, the thread sits properly in the tension disks AND routes through a guide between the tension disks and the wire. This is completely invisible from the outside. Thread the machine using these hints and the C6 error should go away.

  6. Thank you sooo much for the advice Cindy! I was getting incredibly frustrated with this machine. It was a Christmas gift from my husband last year and I have just had a chance to use it and I was about ready to take a hammer to it! :(