Saturday, June 4, 2016

Good deals are still out there. Singer 403A "Slant-O-Matic Special".

Ok, so maybe one man's junk is another man's treasure, and thus many may not consider five bucks for a 55-year-old sewing machine a "good deal". I, however, do. Take for instance this fine Singer 403A I picked up yesterday. Apparently the thrift store had been storing it long enough that they decided it needed to be in the half-off section of the store. And fortunately for me a friend was watching out for my best interest (debatable?), and emailed me a photo of four sewing machines at a particular thrift store 20 miles away. Here's the one that caught my eye, and it was the cheapest of the lot.

Yes, there's a sewing machine in there somewhere.

After getting it all home, I wiped it down with a damp rag, and it cleaned up quite nicely.

Light Beige / Oyster White are the official colors of this little gem.

Singer's literature at the time called this the "brilliant straight-stitching member of the Slant Needle family", the family being the 401, 403 and 404. But we all know this 403 takes cams (don't we?), and that the 404 was the true straight-stitch member of the family. The literature does mention later that the 403 takes cams, but I just thought it interesting they called it a straight-stitch machine.

Hmm, what's up with the "Curled Horse Mane" stuffed into the seat cushion? If that wasn't shocking enough, let's add in some "Curled Hog" hair and "Palm Fibre". I guess that's what they used back then to stuff a cushion. I just wish they'd filled in the Date field on the card....

A bunch of "stuff".

... and an Owner's Manual for a Singer 237. Too bad it wasn't for a 403.

Someone sure did a lot of repairs to pockets...

 ... and britches. I love the vintage packaging that I find in these sewing machines. I may have to actually use some of the patches for my work jeans. Darning can only repair so much...

Two pairs of pinking shears.


  1. What a great find! Nice cabinet too. I don't have a 403A but I've got a nice 401 - it's a great machine.

  2. Have you ever sewn on a Singer 237? I think they were Singer's low end or budget model machine in 1968, but they're very smooth and quiet machines. It's just a basic zig zag machine but I like that it can handle multiple layers of fabric. They're very heavy. I think the body of the machine is cast iron.

    1. I do have a 237 but it has been quite a while since I've had it running. They are very quiet. And yes, I do seem to recall they are cast iron.