Vintage Singer Automatic Zigzagger 160985


I just put this US-made black zigzagger up for sale on the Accessories page together with a couple of spare cams, and that’s reminded me to post this commercial for it from 1956 …


Note how the zigzagger’s first of all demonstrated on a Model 15 but at 2.20 it changes to a Featherweight (before it changes again to a Slant-o-Matic).  I wonder if even back then they kept getting FW-owners asking if it was too big to go on their machine, as they still do nowadays?

Whatever, that’s how Singer set about convincing the women of America that their lives could hardly be complete without this new toy, although quite what he with the accent is all about at the end, I can’t imagine …


14 responses

  1. The Singer of today has absolutely nothing to due with the Singer Co. of 1956. In short, the company as been sold, resold and yet sold many many times to so many different companies i can’t keep track. It’s really a very sad tale of a once proud company that sold it’s soul to be a multi product, international bigwig. It started in the mid 1960’s when they put out far too many models without proper testing and started using Nylon parts instead of metal. It’s a textbook example of stupidly and corporate greed gone amok. And why most collectors won’t buy a Singer made post 1963.

  2. Hmmm … I don’t understand that, and Elsie’s used a lot of these. If you fit and remove it with due care and you don’t run the machine without fabric under the attachment, how does it “chew up the finish”?

  3. The zigzag attachment can also do a very nice job of chewing up the finish on the bed of your shiny black Singer. Beware!

  4. Not to hog comments but thank you, that eases my mind greatly, now I can look for parts without worry. I also found that the locks are intact, but the plates they lock into are missing on the bottom of the case that the machine sits in, now I will start the hunt for a suitable key to grind down and the lock plates, I don’t know if that’s what they are called or not. Now my poor husband will never get a break, while I look for an old machine for parts at every flea market we come too, poor, poor man! Oh well, he wants to spend the weekends looking at guitars, now he’ll have to share the time.

  5. Linda,
    It moves the fabric back and forth instead of the needle, but as Sid says some work better than others….mine must be others!~Diana in CNY

  6. There at least a dozen different zigzag attachments which will work with a 99, some better than others. Try searching the blog with the term “zigzagger” …


  7. Hi! Sid, I do have one question, that is really important, I don’t want to buy any attachments for my machine that don’t fit or might do any damage. Is there an attachment that will make a straight stitch only 99 do zig zag? I found one for sale on the internet, and I am having trouble wrapping my head around how it would work. The plate on my machine only has a tiny hole for the needle to go up and down. How would such a thing work or did the seller make a mistake on which machines it can be used on?

  8. Hi LInda

    Featherweight? Pah! 😉

    With the right needle and thread, your 99 will sew pretty much all normal domestic fabrics and some abnormal ones too, and it takes all standard low-shank side-fastening feet and attachments. You’ll see a lot of those on our Accessories page, and if any modification is needed to use any of them, it’s that you take your thread cutter off (if somebody didn’t already do that years ago!).


  9. Hi! Sid and Elsie too, I’m a new reader to your blog, was doing a search for information and instructions for my Singer 99 and found your blog. I have one of the newer machines a Pfaff as well, but I am particularly fond of the Singer, it’s my backup machine right now, but I may go back to using it a lot more. I was hoping that you’d do a series of posts on the capabilities of the 99 and what attachments will work on it. I can see some of the things I need to know in the instruction book I downloaded, but there are no part numbers and I am clueless on what to look for in the way of attachments for it. It only does straight stitch, though I did find out how to thread it for free-style embroidery too. I’m here in the US and most people are more interested in the Feather Weight but I like my old 99. I did check out the wiring (using your information) and whoever cleaned and rewired it apparently knew what they were doing. I loved reading about all the machines, I’ve never seen some of the older models you have, we don’t have many of the really beautiful decal patterns here it seems, on the older machines.

  10. You took me right back. One of my memories was of going into my local Singer shop on Tooting High Street back in the early 70’s. I’m pretty sure I don’t remember them looking like he with the accent!

  11. Gosh Diana, what kept you? I put that post up nearly two hours ago!

    Seriously, thank you for the information – and I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  12. “he with the accent ” is actor Charles Boyer and that is how he spoke. One of the four stars of “Four Star Playhouse” closed out the program each week….I assume David Niven closed the following week since it says he will star in the next week’s production and that is usually how it was done. And BTW thanks for the clip.