When It Rains It Pours…

…but this time in an absolutely FABULOUS way 🙂

Because I have a new addition to the sewing family.  Meet “The Rocketeer”!  Also known as the Singer 500A Slant-O-matic!!  This machine is not just a sewing machine to me but a piece of beauty.


I came to own my Slant-O-matic through my sewing class friend Rochelle.  She is the best for showing me new things and sharing with me her amazing love of gadgetry and sewing…two weakness of mine.   Every time I see her I always wonder what new thing I will just have to own or can’t live without.  The Slant-O-matic was the latest of those oh so wonderful discoveries.  See, my friend collects vintage sewing machines and she wanted this machine to find a good home.  I was hesitant to look at it as I just bought my “new to me” Brother machine which bringing my household number up to 2 machines.  However, when she brought it down it was love at first sight.  When I saw the sleek design of the machine and just how super unique it looked I had to have it.  Don’t get me wrong, I tried to fight against my urge to buy it but I HAD to have it.  The absolute selling point in the design area was the stitch selector switch.


It reminded me so much of one of those old Cadillac or jaguar emblem.  The ones you see and know that that car is a beauty – drives like a charm and has an engine that purrs.  This sewing machine was all of that.  She is my equivalent to a new vintage caddy 😀  Vroom Vroom baby!

Now outside of needing to won this machine for just it aesthetic appeal, there were a few practical points to my purchase as well.  First, this machine is heavy duty, at least more so than my Brother, therefore it had the potential of handling thicker and more unruly materials than my newer lighter plastic sewing machine.  It also has has a larger throat for quilting – 4.25″ versus 5″.


The slanting angle of the needle gives more visibility to the sewing and the bed of the machine just seems larger and more airy.  I didn’t realize how claustrophobic my Brother or older Singer made me until I started sewing on The Rocketeer.


The machine also has a variety of embroidery stitches and the ability to handle double needle sewing.  Oh yeah did I tell you how much I love that flip top?!  Unfortunately I don’t have a picture with the hood down but it just adds to the sleekness.  So cool!


I also justified my decision my reducing my existing machine number at home by giving my niece my old Singer Prelude in order to accommodate “The Rocketeer”.  Now I have two Brothers and one Singer.  A little over the normal nuclear crafty gadget family number.


Things that will take some getting use to are the screw on feet as I have been pretty spoiled by the quick switch snap-on feet of my new model sewing machines.  There is a adapter that will allow for the use of snap on feet but I am waiting a bit before I dive further in to the gadget collecting.


Second is the threading of the machine which takes a bit of time as you have to go through a few more levers and also thread it through and around some holes.  Reminds me a bit of serger machine threading but with practice I should be able to get over this.

A few other karmic facts about this machine that just go to show you have destine I was to own it:

  • During my last vacation I picked up a Professional Buttonholer for a zig zag slant machine thinking it would fit my Brother.  Now I own a slant needle machine to go with my new buttonholer.
  • I have been itching to make a quilt.  Rochelle told me that the previous owner who she bought it from was an excellent quilter and used this very machine for her artistry.

So there you go complete justification for my new vintage addition.  But really this machine needs no justification because it is Fraking BEAUTIFUL! 🙂


Keegan approved!

24 thoughts on “When It Rains It Pours…

  1. I so love sewing machines and am tempted to collect them but luckily for those who live with me, I am limited by space but one day, one day.

    Lovely machine!

  2. WOW that is one gorgeous machine! You’re so right about it being the sexy chrome equivalent to a vintage car. It’s going to feel so luxurious sewing on it. Great find!!

  3. I got mine in january this year and I love it. It is very easy to thread and it sew like a dream. The machine love to sew thick fabric. Sometimes I just reach for the Singer 500 and not my Brother 600NX. I also have a black cat, is name is Satan. Happy sewing.

  4. OH MY i am so jealous!!!! This is a really cool looking machine, in addition to all the awesome features. Me and my little cheap plastic bodied Brother are super jealous.

  5. There is something cosmically beautiful about that machine… I have never been one for collecting ‘vintage’ machines like that (I’m always looking at the newest, most tech’ed up ones,) but I don’t think I would have been able to resist that one!

    Please hear the Black Crowes when I sing…
    Jealous…. Jealous again!

  6. Your photos are amazing! I’ve sewn on the Rocketeer before and it’s a great machine. You’re going to love your little stable there 🙂

  7. Pretty cool post. I just came by your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your posts.

    Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon!

  8. my grandmother had that machine and I wanted it badly. I don’t know what happened to it. I got her old boat anchor Pfaff. Beautiful and sews so lovely. g

  9. Oooo, I am so jealous! I have been watching eBay for one that I could afford for a couple of months. It’s great to hear from yet another seamstress that it it totally worth the hunt. Enjoy her, she’s a beauty!

  10. A Rocketeer?! I am totally jealous.

    Last spring I bought the Rocketeer’s frumpy sister, the 403. For the last month I’ve been in full-on gadget mode… I’ve bought extra cams and a bunch of feet, and a book by Gladys Cunningham which includes a section on how to use the foot attachments. (Available on http://www.abebooks.com .) The main upside to the 403 is that it has double needles, but it just isn’t as amazingly cool-looking as the Rocketeer.

    Now your machine will look as good as the clothes you are sewing!

    • Hello, First of all, I learned to sew on that machine in 1961 ( my Grandmother
      bought it and allowed me to use it ). It makes the best buttonholes…Now for
      your question regarding “free motion” quilting. Lower the presser foot lever
      and turn the “foot pressure” knob to “D”-for darn. If you are sewing in thinner fabrics you may experiment with the lever on the right and put that in the “darn” position.
      The symbol looks like a # . This places the feed dogs out of the way. Always lower the presser foot when you make adjustments to the pressure. Next, you should use a “slant needle” quilting foot- You can find them at hancock fabrics or on E-bay.
      By the way, I have found these machines do very well with Schmetz needles. I
      “stock up on them” when they are on sale….
      Best Regards, Richard Beman

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