≡ Menu

Brother Select-o-matic Update and FAQs

Hello blog land!

So I had another unplanned blogging hiatus. Whoops. I assure you that I’m still sewing up a storm. If you miss my ramblings, please come join me on instagram! I’m so much better about sticking photos up there!

Last night I sat down to sew on my Brother Select-o-matic, and I was reminded how much I adore this machine. Every time I use it I fall more in love with it. It is smooth, consistent and reliable — every damn time. It doesn’t throw fits. And it makes the most charming and satisfying purr when its running. Seriously, it’s my sewing nirvana. I also get a fair number of emails about this gem of a machine, so I think it’s time for a little update.

The most common question I get about this machine is “hey, how can I take the darn top off?” Such a good question. The machine is sort of a puzzle box, so let’s start with a diagram:

Now the trick:

  1. Set the Indexer Knob to zero (do this by turning and holding the Switch Over Knob to the right while you manipulate the Indexer Knob)
  2. I also think it helps to put the Stitch Selector Knob at #1, but perhaps I’m superstitious.
  3. Once those knobs are set, the Indexer Knob will release itself so it can be removed
  4. Twist the top of the Indexer Knob while holding the bottom/flatter part still. It should screw right off.
  5. Now unscrew the top screws which are holding the top on. It should look something like the photo to the right. –>
  6. Now lift the top up. How about that?! Now you can clean the cams and make everything spiffy and new! And here’s a sneak-peak at what you’ll find under the hood…

Next most common question: where can I find replacement parts? Good news here, folks. This machine was based on the patents for a Singer 15 so it’s super easy to find reproduction parts. Happy little list with links below: 

And the best part about publishing my dorkiness for all to see? Readers are kind enough to send me photos of their machines! Thank you for sending your photos and letting me share them!

This is Lindsey’s beautiful Brother Select-o-matic HZ3-B1 in beige/pink and gunmetal gray.   

Allison from https://www.allisondillard.com/ shared these photos of her Riviera branded machine:


If you have a photo you’d like to add, please send me an email or post a comment. I’d love to share more of these beauties!

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Susan Eves December 6, 2017, 4:18 pm


    I ordered a doll dress from you and it just came…it is darling but too small1 i guess I measured my grandaughter’s doll incorrectly. I would like to return the 12 doll dress if I can and order 2 more in a size 13-14 inch doll. Do need to go back to etsy to do that ?

    i loved your little enclosure card…very nice. And your clothes are sooo well made!


  • Sue Kuipers December 12, 2017, 3:53 pm

    So glad to have found your blog. I am pretty sure my machine is like yours. I cannot seem to find the needles for it. They load from side to side. Any ideas?
    Thanks much. If you have a way to appraise this machine I would like more info on that too!

    • Jen December 13, 2017, 3:26 pm

      Hi Sue! This machine just takes a standard needle. Any universal needle (15×1) will work, though I use Organ needles on amazon. When you put the needle in, put the flat side to the right. If you have any photos of your machine I would love to see them! Happy sewing!

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: