Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sewing Machine For Upholstery and Enclosure Canvas

A few years back,my girlfriend and I purchased a 1962 Singer Fashion Mate 237 from my aunt for a song.Soon after,I located an owners manual for the sewing machine on Ebay.Reading through it,I have found that the sewing machine is capable of doing upholstery and canvas sail cloth work.I was a bit surprised that the sewing machine is rated for canvas sailcloth.The sewing machine is heavy,around 80 pounds.I believe the body is cast steel.I know the internals are high quality precision machined steel,possibly hardened.I worked for a friend that did auto,rv,and marine upholstery.His father also owned a household upholstery shop.I worked for him when we didn't have work.At those two shops,I used a Pfaff and a Consew.I briefly had an auto upholstery shop where I leased some off brand sewing machine.It was a horible machine that wouldn't hold it's timing and constantly bent or broke needles.It's not fun having a needle fly past your eye at sub light speed.Always wear safety glasses.Sounds goof,I know,but flying needles can be dangerous.Some of the newer industrial commercial machines have clear plastic glass guards to protect the operator.I don't need,nor can I afford,to go with an industrial sewing machine.

Recently,I had been looking into Sailrite sewing machines.I know that when I build my boat,I will want to do all the work I can myself.After viewing some of their sewing machines,I feel confident that my sewing machine will handle the job.I am not knocking Sailrite sewing machines.They are quality.My sewing machine may not have all the options and accessories as a Sailrite,but it is more than enough for the simplistic interior and canvas work that will be on my boat.I will have a few seat cushions,interior,and exterior window coverings.I won't have a flybridge to deal with covering and/or enclosing.I will enclose my rear deck.I will have a rack over my rear deck to carry my dinghy.My plan is to hang my canvas from the rack like the old external frame tents used in the 1950's and 60's.It will seal to the back of the cabin with a belt rail system similar to those used on Jeep CJs and Wranglers.All in all,there won't be as much sewing on my boat compared to something like a Bayliner of comparable dimensions.

Here are some pictures of my sewing machine.It came with a beat up cheapo cabinet.I will build a small table to set it in when I get ready to do the upholstery for my boat.

Photobucket Here is the cabinet open.The sewing machine nestles down inside of it. Photobucket Lifting the stand allows the sewing machine to rotate up and out of the cabinet. Photobucket Here is the speed control(gas) pedal.It is aluminum with a plastic pedal. Photobucket Here is the machine rotated up out of the cabinet.You can see all the precision steel machine work.Also visible is the date stamp,8162 or August 1,1962. Photobucket This machine has a lot more options than first appears.About 60 different ways to set up for sewing.It will even do embroidery and buttons.That's gotta be useful. Photobucket Here is a picture of the built in light and the motor.Don't be fooled by the motors compact size,it got some power. Photobucket


  1. Ben, does that machine have reverse capability?


  2. Looks a lot like a Sailrite machine.

    1. It's a 1962 Singer Fashion Mate 237.Very popular machine because they were built similar to commercial units.No plastic in the machine,all steel.Very heavy at about 25-30lbs.