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Apr 10, 2010

WE HAVE A WINNER: The Official MPB Sewing Machine!

What do you mean, you didn't know there was a competition.

The Official Sewing Machine of Male Pattern Boldness is.....

The Singer Genie!

Genie's visual assets are obvious -- I mean, talk about pattern boldness -- but she's also a solidly built and versatile zigzagger. 

Genie has needle position adjustment, a small-but-adequate menu of stitches for the garment sewer, and droppable feed dogs.

Her case has compartments for her foot pedal as well as for a manual and various attachments.

Genie came out in the early Seventies and was Singer's answer to some of the lighter, portable, self-contained (meaning the case was part of the design) machines like the Elna Lotus.  She may not be as refined as the Lotus, but I think she's just as loveable. Perhaps more a Camaro than a Porsche.

The Genie was actually made in France, and has a .95 amp motor -- very powerful.  In some markets, she was alternatively named the "Starlet" or the "Mon Ami."  Interesting, right?

As you can see, she stitches beautifully, but one would expect no less of a Singer of this period.


Today, when most sewing machines look oh-so-similar (if not outright bland), it's nice to remember the days when machines were designed to be not only functional but also fun.

Congratulations, Genie!

Do you own any sewing machines you love as much for how they look as for how they sew?  (I know a few of you are storing some Fifties-era pink and blue numbers in your basements.)  Confess!

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. Love your Genie! I saw one of those at the thrift store the other day, and thought about buying it (um... for a friends, I swear!) I agree, machines today all look very bland. I just bought a Singer 500A, "The Rocketeer" from 1961 and posted about it on my blog. I must confess, I bought it because I both wanted a vintage singer, and I wanted one that was cute. It's too bad that everything has to be so utilitarian today!

  2. I purchased on ebay an aqua Janome New Home from the 1950's, (spurred on by your vintage machine posts.) It is adorable, and I love the way it looks. But, I must confess that I haven't even used it yet and it arrived almost a month ago! How lame am I?! I need to get over my fear and take that thing for a spin.

    And I love the Genie — perfect for MPB!

  3. I just received a Viking 6010 I bought on Ebay. As I noted on my blog, I love the simple curves of this 60s/70s Swedish machine, as well as the curvy shapes of my Singer 66 treadle and Featherweight. I don't tend to be attracted to the more angular, boxy shaped machines. I've been away from the 70s (my kid years) long enough now that your Genie's looks now appeal as retro instead of just old. ;-) What a fun machine to have.

  4. I think my favorite is my Singer Touch and Sew 628. It's stitching is fabulous and I love being able to fill a bobbin without unthreading!

  5. My mom just found this beautiful vintage Singer 66 treadle (I guess the same one Debbie mentions above, though mine was converted to electric motor at some point) machine in her basement--it is so pretty and she stitches just fine.

    I love it as much for its history as its looks, though--it was made in 1914, belonged to my great-grandparents, and later to my grandmother, who learned to sew on it in the 50s. I wish I had the space for it!

  6. I have a 1938 Singer - a vision in all her black and gold finery and beautiful wooden case. She's in perfect working order, but I haven't yet tried sewing with her.

    Your Genie is really cute. You couldn't help but be cheerful using it.

  7. Is it me, or does your Genie match your yellow-flowered sheet shirt? Slick machine.

  8. i have a genie! a sad little genie who sits unused because i failed to inspect him. i need a fix-it shop!

  9. Love the Hawaiian feel of that name plate.

  10. Yeah, I was thinking about the colors matching one of your vintage sheet shirts, too. I have a Bernina, the boxy look is bland, but it sews well. My old 70's Kenmore is cooler looking and has some good stitches, like overcast that resembles a serger, but needs a good working over. I also have a Necchi BF Mira and Wizard that need some work.

  11. What a great machine--I love the flower power decor on the machine, but the stitches are the real enticement! What a little power house!

    Lynda in LV

  12. Fantastic! I HAD one of these machines. My first machine of my very own. My husband bought it for me for Christmas the first year we were married in 1976. I should have kept it!

  13. This industrial design is PHENOMENAL! Tonight, for my daughter's birthday, friends of ours gave her her first sewing machine - a new singer. It's totally adorable.

  14. My fav is my 354, too! (Don't tell the 201-2 that came home w/ me yesterday, she might get *upset*!)

  15. That is a fabulous Singer, I've never seen one like it before!

    Yes, I love my turquoise Japanese made machine:
    I have one tagged as a "Morse" and another exactly like it tagged as a "Brother." I think these were sold as basic machines wholesale from Japan and other companies would slap thier own company name on them. Regardless - it's a great little machine!

  16. Slaps head! NOW I know why your masthead is so familiar. My very first machine that was my own was a Genie! I got it when I was maybe 15 or 16, when I needed a machine of my own, and could no longer share the Featherweight with Mom. I loved it because it was self contained (and MOD). I did like the portability. It went to college with me, and got married with me, but then I moved the Singer Athena 2000, which was way ahead of it's time. It did things that my TOL Bernina doesn't do today! But man, Singers were crap about stitch quality at that time. But I loved my Genie. The one pictured looks in perfect shape.

  17. I would be a sucka for any new machine that came out that had cute graphics... they just are not doing quirky-looking machines anymore! I think the most interesting one I have seen in awhile was the Hello Kitty machines. Also a few years back Singer came out with a machine 'Izek' which you could hook up to your Gameboy and program stitches into that way. It may have been ahead of its time though, it kinda disappeared without a trace. Imagine if someone came up with a sewing machine that hooked up to an iPhone!!
    Anyway, the Genie, yes... I love mine so much. I love her little wraparound case, so clever. I am addicted to taking it off, putting it on... never gets old LOL! I'm so jealous yours came with all her little accessories intact, I am searching the internet for that little shim that is supposed to be used for free-motion embroidery.

  18. Those flowers are so fun!

    It's funny, there is a Janome Threadbanger machine that my local sewing shop sells that has a strip of black and white funky designs at the top.
    There was a girl testing it out that had a ton of tattoos and a sewing instructor and I both commented that it seemed like that machine, visually anyways, was begging to go home with her. It just suited her asthetic and look so well. She smiled and said she thought the same thing.

    I was drawn to my Brother machine initially because of the pink face plate. Yes, it had great reviews and has turned out to be a fabulous machine, but it was that initial bit of color that sparked my interest. It's a shame that more machines don't come with personality today. Plain white is so very boring.

  19. What a beautiful Singer your Genie is. I have several vintage machines but my fav is my jadite green Riccar, it sews through a thick stack of fabric like buttah.
    xo, suzy

  20. Love the machine!

    This is my baby - - bought for nothing from a second hand store primarily as an ornament. When I found out the old girl still worked, I started to sew and haven't stopped since! It's funny how beautiful machines can steal your heart!

  21. I have the same machine that I purchased brand new in 1976. I LOVE IT!!!! To this day it sews great.

  22. Just thought I'd let you know that you are completely and totally responsible for this -

    Thank you so much!

  23. I love my Genie! I feel as if I can take it anywhere! But lately it has been having a tension problem I cant figure out :(


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