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:
- 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)
- I also think it helps to put the Stitch Selector Knob at #1, but perhaps I’m superstitious.
- Once those knobs are set, the Indexer Knob will release itself so it can be removed
- Twist the top of the Indexer Knob while holding the bottom/flatter part still. It should screw right off.
- Now unscrew the top screws which are holding the top on. It should look something like the photo to the right. –>
- 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:
- Bobbins. Any class 15 bobbin will do, though the ones I’ve found from Sew Classic are a little higher quality than those in the big box stores. Link http://shop.sew-classic.com/Bobbins-Class-15-Metal-10-pack-read-details-2518-A.htm
- Presser Feet. Any low shank presser foot will do, zigzag compatible preferred. I prefer reproductions and avoid adapters for “snap on” feet. The snap-ons aren’t a perfect fit IMO. http://shop.sew-classic.com/Low-Shank-Feet_c5.htm.
- Belt: I’m pretty sure it’s a 15″ actual/15.5″ nominal lug belt that fit, link here: http://shop.sew-classic.com/Belt-1512-15-V-belt-lug-1512.htm. I did buy a second one that was 14.5″ actual/15″ nominal here: http://shop.sew-classic.com/Belt-15-1475-V-belt-lug-type-1500-SCB1500.htm though I think that ended up going elsewhere.
- Light bulb: 7/16″ LED replacement from the fabulous Brad of Stitch All The Things here: https://stitchallthethings.com/screw-base-led/ This bulb is a great upgrade. It’s bright and it won’t burn the hell out of your hand!
- Cord block: http://shop.sew-classic.com/Cord-Set-Block-Style-700-143-SCE143.htm
- Foot Control: Personal preference, but an electronic type is so such an improvement over pedals with a rheostat. Love this one: http://shop.sew-classic.com/Foot-Control-Electronic-2-Wire-Type-UL-12-amp-SCE168FC.htm
- Bobbin case. Ok this is important. My machine is side loading – that means my bobbin slide plates goes to the SIDE, not the FRONT. If yours is SIDE LOADING like mine, I’ve tested this part and it works: http://shop.sew-classic.com/Bobbin-Case-Class-15-Side-Loading-1-OClock-finger-JO1313.htm. Some Select-o-matics were FRONT loading, meaning the slide plates opens to the FRONT. If yours is FRONT loading (unlike mine!) this might work, but I can’t personally vouch for it : http://shop.sew-classic.com/Bobbin-Case-Class-15-ZIGZAG-Front-Loading-JO1313Z-J.htm
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!