Category Archives: Attachments & Accessories

The Singer Buttonholer Attachment 86718


Picture of vintage Singer Buttonhole Attachment 86718

Another picture of Singer Buttonhole Attachment 86718

Picture of Singer Buttonholer 86718

I just added a Singer Buttonhole Attachment 86718 to the goodies for sale on the Accessories page, which until last week was called the Attachments page.  Hey, that’s progress for you!

This is one of the two vintage Singer non-template buttonholers i.e. the type on which the length, bight and spacing of your buttonhole is set by means of adjustments rather than by changing templates.  OK, you can’t do keyhole buttonholes with a non-template buttonholer, but if your buttonholer doesn’t use templates, that’s one less thing to disappear down a black hole at the back of a drawer as soon as you look the other way.

Like many of these vintage attachments, it seems a bit clunky and agricultural when you first start playing with one, but you soon realise how versatile the thing is – and it certainly makes a lovely buttonhole, particularly if you keep sewing and go round twice.

Here’s a brief video of this one on test on Elsie’s 201K Mk2 treadle machine earlier today …

Singer Automatic Zigzagger 161157


Here’s a picture of a Singer Automatic Zigzagger 161157 ready for action yesterday on Elsie’s treadle 201K Mk2.  Check out how it clamps to the bottom of the presser bar just like any presser foot does, and how it’s driven by that chromed arm which comes forward and slots round the needle clamp …

Picture of Singer Automatic Zigzagger 161157 fitted to Singer 201K

So how, you ask, does this marvellous all-metal, all-mechanical device make a straight-stitch machine do a zigzag stitch?  Easy – the needle stays put and the work zigzags.  No, seriously, that’s how it does it, and it works a whole lot better than you’re thinking it will.  Admittedly it does take a bit of faffing about to get your tension and presser foot pressure spot on, but that’s really just fine-tuning the stitch it makes straight out the box.  Here’s a quick video taken while Elsie was testing one on her 201K Mk2 treadle machine …

The stitch length control on your machine works as normal to set how many zigs ‘n’ zags to the inch, bight (width of zigzag) is set and locked on the attachment itself, and once you get the hang of it, you can go at quite a pace

The nature of the stitch it makes is determined by a cam, the red knob of which can be seen in the picture above. The attachment was sold with a set of four of those red top cams, which make an ordinary zigzag stitch and what Singer called a blind stitch, a domino stitch and an arrowhead stitch.

Three other cam sets were also available, the knobs of which are coloured blue, yellow and white, and each of these sets produces four different decorative stitches of the kind you might find useful if you’re making a cute little retro frock for your first grand-daughter and you’re in a silly mood.  But gosh, you should see the prices those cam sets go for!

Anyhow, here’s some more pictures.  Both these and that video are actually of the one I’ve just listed for sale on the accessories page, and hopefully this marks the start of me finally getting that page organised …

Picture of Singer Automatic Zigzagger 161157 with cams in box

Picture of Singer Automatic Zigzagger 161157

Different picture of Singer Automatic Zigzagger 161157

Picture of Singer Automatic Zigzagger 161157 with cam removed

Vintage Singer sewing machine attachments


Picture of collection of sewing machine attachments

Lots of them, ranging from boxed sets of attachments as supplied with most pre-1965 Singer machines through to Singer buttonholers  and Singer-fit buttonholers.  Zigzaggers too.  Some in better condition than others, but none of them rusty and all of them well usable for their intended purpose.  And that’s just the ones in boxes.  There’s also a 2-litre icecream tub somewhere in The Sewing Room which is full of individual attachments in ziplock bags …

And they’re all waiting for Elsie to have a sort-out, so we know what stays in our collection and what we can let go.

But right now there’s the pears to pick and get ripening before we bottle ’em, the brambles to pick, and the last of the damson jam to make. The first of the sweetcorn’s not far off, there’s garlic to harvest and beans to pick for drying, as well as the rest of the spuds to dig up.  I’ve got a wayward rose hip bush to demolish and some major organising of log piles to do before much longer too, so I can get some more sawn up and stacked under cover.  Then before we know it, it’ll be time to pick the apples, and I really should think about finishing off the decorating of the bathroom which sort of got put on hold at Easter. Or maybe it was in February …

All things considered, I really can’t see the Great Attachment Sort-Out happening any time soon, so until it does, if you’re after any attachments for a vintage Singer sewing machine, just drop an email to sidandelsie @ without the spaces and we’ll happily help you out if we can.