Saturday, May 26, 2012

Singer Genie 354

My Genie was manufactured in France in 1974.  There is a price sticker on the bottom that reads $355. I bought it for $45 CAD from ebrandon classifieds.  This machine only weighs about 16 pounds or 7.27 kilograms.
 
The carrying case just slides onto the flatbed, then snaps into place.  There is a push button right above word "Singer" to close it up or open it.  The button operates the little door hinges that cover the tension disk, tension dial, stitch width, needle position and stitch selector levers.
The slide on cover holds the foot pedal and power cords as well as a plastic envelope with the accessories and  operator's manual.  Everything is stored neatly in the cover.
How cool is that?  It only came with three feet, a blind hem guide and device to raise the needle plate for darning or free motion quilting.  The Singer Genie uses standard low shank feet.  It has a top loading bobbin and uses Singer plastic bobbins.
After a thorough cleaning and oiling, my little Genie was ready to sew.  The green thread is the top side.
Blue thread is the bottom side.  Tension was excellent, the Genie sews good stitches.
It is easy and fun to operate.
Not only is Genie a functional sewing machine, it is also eye candy with lovely deco flowers.
This machine was really squeaky clean, only a few minor scuffs on the outside of the body and the case.  There was very little lint inside the bobbin case area and feed dogs.
 
The manual is well written and has good illustrations.
I restocked the accessories with a full pack of universal needles, seam ripper and pair of thread snips.
Even though, this machine does not have a ton of fancy stitches or even a free arm.  It is so cute and compact I can see myself using it for travel.  It is small enough to be taken on an airplane as a carry on.  I think  this was Singer's 1970s version of the featherweight, the design is also similar to the Elna Lotus and Stella.  I love to sew at home with my heavy weight Bernina 930 or large harp Pfaff Creative 2, but these machines are no fun at all to transport.
Readers do you have a portable, compact sewing machine?  If yes, what kind?  If no, do you ever take a full size sewing machine out to class?

23 comments:

  1. Oh, I have two of these, and love them both. They are fun, and sew cute!!!

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  2. I have this same exact sewing machine. It was a graduation gift from my parents in 1977. I love this machine!

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  3. That's a fun coloured machine, it reminds me so much of the wall paper I had in my bedroom in the 1970's! Super trendy for its day with the orange and yellows bouncing off eachother.

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  4. Now that is a buy...I had a singer when I graduated and back then those singers really sung to you....

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  5. I received the Singer Genie as a graduation gift in 1976. Then I bought a few other high end machines but always kept this. I had trouble finding bobbins for this machine for a while. I think at one point some one told me that the bobbins were no longer being made so I put the machine in storage. It is a lovely reminder of the 70s trendy style.

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  6. I also received one for high school graduation in 1975. My dad squawked at the $100 price tag. Still have this machine & wouldn't trade it for anything.

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  7. Would anyone be able to tell me where I can get spare parts please. Mine has a broken slide block:(

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    1. DUCK...I happened to mention to a good friend that I was interested in sewing and she walks out with a Genie. I am just now trying to figure it all out. My Grandmother and Mother were both very good seamstress. I can only hope I paid enough attention.

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  8. Hi there, I have this machine as well and need it to do free motion sewing but don't have the handy book and accessories you have. I was wondering if you might take a min to explain how free motion is to be achieved with this machine? I have searched everywhere and can't find the information because of the age of this machine. I love my Genie! it's so portable but I would really like to be able to use it for my art quilts so I need free motion, lol. Any help would be very much appreciated. Hugs! Thespa

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    1. Hi Thespa, The manual for the Singer Genie is available as a pdf for free here:
      http://www.singerco.com/uploads/download/698_354.pdf The Singer Genie feed-dogs cannot be dropped, instead the needle plate is raised with the device (raising plate) marked UP in the photo of the manual for this machine on my blog post above. If you don't have this part, you might try just covering your feed dogs and setting the stitch length as short as possible.

      Hope this helps, happy stitching.

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  9. have loved this machine and I do everything with it..don't want to break into a new one..."creature of habit I am"..but the sliding door which hides the bobbin will no longer stay in while I sew..slips out..any ideas?

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    1. I'll post your question to a vintage sewing group in facebook and get back to you asap.

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  10. I just bought this machine this morning and I LOVE IT! What kind of bobbins do you use with it?

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  11. I bought mine in 1977 for $99 and it still runs today! It has never been repaired and it has traveled with me to many states!

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  12. Hi! I just got this machine from a local resale shop and plan to use it in my 4-H sewing classes. I found where you posted the link to the manual and got that (THANK YOU!!) Now I need a power cord/foot pedal and the bobbin cover plate. Any ideas where I can find them for a reasonable price?

    Robbie
    www.robbiesews.blogspot.com

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  13. What did you do to clean and oil? I have never attempted that before but am quite certain it is needed on the one I just found at a thrift shop.

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  14. My Genie 354 I've had since early seventies. Love it but where can I get a quilting foot? Deborah, you can pull up the manual and instructions online.

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  15. This is such a clever little machine. I have an opportunity to buy one. Does the case double as a sewing table? It almost looks like it could, like the vintage Elna Super Matic cases do.

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    1. No. the case does not double as a sewing table.

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  16. I bought my Singer Starlet 354 while living on a military base in Germany in 1974, the plug was wired for the European voltage, but when I came back to the states in 77, my dad changed out the plug, which has worked great ever since. Today however I was sewing something and finished it thank goodness, because all of a sudden the machine started sewing like crazy without me touching the foot peddle or anything, so I unplugged it and there was a burning wire smell, that I tracked to the power cord. My question is does anyone know if I can replace the cord with peddle? will generic work? I love this sewing machine!

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    1. A Singer sewing machine retailer should be able to replace the foot pedal and cord. Beware that prices vary from dealer to dealer. A foot pedal for a Husqvarna cost $45 in Brandon, Manitoba where I live and $170 in Trenton Ontario where my daughter lives. I bought hers in Brandon, it was shipped to her. Or try Sew Classic online http://shop.sew-classic.com/Foot-Controls-Foot-Pedals-Parts_c9.htm

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    2. I had the same problem where my Singer Starlet 534 was sewing by itself, shortly followed by a horrible smell of electrical burning! Turned out to be the capacitor in the foot pedal. You might not need a new one. My local sewing machine repairman took the foot pedal apart, removed the capacitor (not needed these days) and all's well now. He to!d me it was like new and will go on forever! Good luck

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  17. I used to use a treadle machine because I loved the fact I could sew just about anything and the stitches were neat and even. now I am unable to do it any more so I bought a brand new portable machine... and hated it. went through 2 more brand new ones and hated them as well. then my sister-in-law gave me this machine and I absolutely love it. I don't do a lot of fancy stuff, mostly household things like curtains or clothing so the fact it's a basic machine is great in my book. it's light weight which is essential for me with my disability now, and it stores so nicely! it's not as fast as some I've used but that's ok by me.
    unfortunately, just before Christmas, when I was working on putting the blanket binding on a baby blanket I was working on the bobbin winder stopped working... I borrowed another machine to use the bobbin winder (set it up next to my machine to keep sewing on mine) and finished the jobs, but now I'm trying to find someone to repair it for a reasonable price locally... not an easy thing to do where I live... it's very rural and not really close to a "city" lol. but I found someone tonight that I am hopeful will be able to help me, lol. I sure do hope so. I want my little Genie back! :)

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