Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Singer Fashion Mate 257

I recently acquired a new-to-me sewing machine (rounding out a string of used sewing machines given to me by family members simply because they thought I'd enjoy them.  Aren't I spoiled? :P) from my lovely grandparents.  It's a Singer Fashion Mate 257 and as far as I can tell it was manufactured in 1971. It's a heavy, sturdy beast of a thing that has absolutely no trouble zooming over the sometimes absurd number of layers I chose to sew.  I have yet to decide on a name for this beauty.  I am taking suggestions though!

It also came along with the original instruction booklet still in great condition!

Groovy flowers, man!

One of the most interesting parts of the mechanics of the Fashion Mate 257 is the stitch length screw.  It's on the right side of the front of the machine where you might normally find the reverse lever.  To change the stitch length on the Fashion Mate 257, you start by unscrewing the thumb screw until you can freely move it up and down. Select your stitch length (raise it for a shorter stitch length and lower it for long, basting stitches) and hold the thumb screw over your chosen stitch length and slowly tighten the thumb screw until it can't fall any lower.  You're still able to lift the lever up to stitch in reverse, but you retain your choice of stitch length.  Pretty cool, huh?

I got a little snap-happy when I went to photograph this beauty, so please enjoy!

How cute is this logo?  Sometimes I just stare lovingly at it (when I should be sewing!).

Hallmark designed and sold the sewing cabinet to the original owner.  I was simply amazed how the machine "disappeared" into the table and how the cabinet folded up.  Apparently I'm easy to amaze :P.

And, as an added bonus, the new-to-me machine came with a bag full of mystery presser feet.  Some I could identify, and some I could not.  Be on the lookout for a post with the research I've done about these presser feet.

Feel free to comment below with name ideas!

So long!


  1. Rebecca! I just found your blog while looking for a solution to a problem with Fashion Mate 257. My sister purchased one for $5, yes, $5 at a carport sale. She asked me to check over, clean and oil for her as I am exploring how to do that on different machines. It looked to have almost never been used! Everything is good but the stitch length. I have manual, I have oiled, I have adjusted/played with it, but I can't get that mechanism to work. It won't reverse except by hand. It won't stay on the length chosen as it 'rides' up the numbers. Any suggestions?
    TIA, jb

    1. Hi jb! Thanks for commenting! Although I've looking over my Instruction Manual for my Fashion Mate 257, but I'm afraid I probably won't be much help with your problem. The only thing I can think to suggest for your stitch length problem would be to make sure the screw is fully tightened on the length you want. It is a little tricky though, when I first tried it, I would tighten it and tighten it until it was all the way to the shortest stitch length. But if I start at the bottom with the screw completely loose and then tightening it until you've reached the desired length, I works beautifully. I hope that was at least mildly helpful! :P

  2. Hey im having a hard time winding the bobbin help!!! Please