Friday, November 29, 2013

Dressmaker 650 - built Ford tough

These old sewing machines are nearly indestructible. Take this cast iron Dressmaker 650. I could probably run over this thing with my 6,600 pound Ford F250 4x4 and it would still work. Little bits might snap off or bend and it wouldn't look pretty but it is so beefy that it would probably still work.

I just got done cleaning and oiling this one. It works as well now as the day it was made. Simple controls, easy to use, straight and zig zag. It will sew through 8 layers of denim like it wasn't there. Ok, so maybe it knows it's there but it doesn't break a sweat doing it.

This machine takes high shank feet, which usually gives me an indication that it was meant for a little heavier duty usage than a machine with low shank feet. I don't know if that's true or not, but that's my thinking. Here are a few more photos.

The shuttle hook carrier assembly translates left and right with the needle when doing zig zag stitches. I think this is a better setup than the fixed hook carrier that front loading machines have.

Four layers of denim. Nice looking stitches.


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  2. Just purchased a Dressmaker 650 and cannot seem to get it to stitch. What type needle does it use? Where can I find a manual?

    1. The machine takes a standard 15x1 needle. Make sure you put the needle's groove to the left and the needle's flat side to the right, since the bobbin is an end-loader. The link below is for a page on my Google Site that talks a bit about needles and other subjects that might be helpful:

  3. I just inherited one of these but it is missing the bobbin. Does anyone know what kind of bobbin it takes?

    1. This machine should take a Class 15 bobbin which any sewing supply store will carry. If you also need the bobbin case (carrier), you should also be able to find one either online or at some of the local sewing machine stores. Just make sure you get the proper orientation of the finger poking out the side of the case. Some bend to the right and some bend to the left. You shouldn't have any problems finding either one.

  4. I just purchased a Dress Maker KAB-M at an estate sale for $7.50
    Got it home cleand it up, oiled my first DM machine I have not figured out how to a)thread it b)wind the bobbin.
    My other machines are vintage Singers...
    Would love to acquire a manual...
    Can you help?
    You have an impressive collection:)