Date: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 11:31:35 +0500
From: Elizabeth & Steven Myer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Singer Touch and Sew models
Hello Feathers - Many of you have contacted me saying that you would like
more information on the Touch and Sew models and I think it only fair that I
share what information I've gotten. Like it or not, the Touch and Sew
models are a part of vintage sewing machine history and Singer did have some
very innovative ideas in creating them...I think we should know about them
even if we personally do not choose to add one to our collection. But, I
will leave that decision up to you.
In responses I've received, yea or nay, it runs neck and neck. About the
same number of people love them as condemn them....same as in my quilt
group. There seems to be no middle ground where they are concerned...either
you love them or hate them. To that end, I leave opinions to those who have
them because the debate will probably continue to seesaw this way and that
indefinitely depending on what experiences individual sewers have had with
the various models.
Here are some Facts:
1. Touch and Sew is a designation given to all the Singer 600 and 700
series machines that filled the bobbin in place.
2. All Touch and Sew models were slant needle machines and all the machines
use the same attachments....with the exception of the cams. All 600 series
machines used only black cams...The 700 series used the black and the white
(stretch stitch - called "flexi-stitch") cams.
3. The first models were the 600, 603 and 604. These were problem machines
mostly because a wind in place bobbin was a new concept and sewers would not
remember to release a button on the bed of the machine when the bobbin
winding was completed...and this caused problems.
4. Next models made were the 600e, 603e and 604e. On these models, the
bobbin winder was released by simply closing the side plate and thus
eliminated the previous problem.
5. Sometime around 1965, Singer replaced the metal gears with plastic ones
which turned out to be a big mistake because the gears would perform well
for quite a while, but as they wore down, they caused trouble.
Models 630, 640 and the 700s have these plastic gears. The older models,
600 through the 620 series have metal gears.
6. In 1970, Singer introduced the first machine in their history that had
"stretch stitches." This was the 700 series. In this series, timing gears
were replaced with belts and the tension on the top thread had to be exactly
correct or the machine would jam and cause problems.
7. "Golden" Touch and Sew models were the top of the line in the 620s,
630s, 640s series and on into the 750 model. Says "Golden Touch and Sew" on
the side panel.
8. Touch and Sew models were replaced by the Futura which, in turn, was
replaced by the Creative Touch series.
9. There are different panel colors...it denotes the different models.
10. There were identical Singer sewing machines made that looked like the
Touch and Sew, but they did not have the wind in place bobbins - These were
not Touch and Sew models.
Some info from manuals on particular models - features:
1. 750 - Top of the Line - called Golden Touch and Sew. Has built in
stitches plus many cams to do fancy stitches (uses both black cams and white
"flexi-stitch" cams.) Has rubber feed dogs.
2. 758 - Came out around 1970 - Have to add cams for all stitches except
for the straight stitch. Much like the Golden Touch and Sew 750 in all
3. 770 - Touch and Sew II - Approximately 1976 - Has a free arm feature.
No built-in self-threader. Has rubber feed dogs which will disintegrate in
time and expecially if the presser foot is placed down directly on the feed
dogs without any fabric in between.
4. 771 - Another Touch and Sew II - Approximately 1977 - Has a free arm.
No cams but all the stitches are built in - 6 built-in regular stitches and
4 built-in flexi-stitches.
Based on feedback I received concerning these machines....
The Touch and Sew models were developed with a wind in place bobbin feature
that was unheard of in other sewing machines, and even today, is a feature
that only Singer attempted. Unfortunately, the consumer, the machine, and
the Singer Company came together at a time when none of them were in top
form......the Singer Company was in financial straits and they cut corners
where they shouldn't have in an attempt to cut costs....thereby more
"lemons" were on the market than ordinarily would have been. The machine
was different than other sewing machines that had been on the market - it
was not a machine for the beginner seamstress. The Singer Company offered
free training classes on these machines but few people took the time to
properly learn all the aspects of this new machine. The Singer Company also
made a huge mistake in allowing this kind of machine to ever enter schools
as part of the education of young sewers. It was not the kind of machine
that could stand up to that kind of careless or untrained handling.
Admittedly, many people reported that Touch and Sew machines skipped
stitches on tricot; broke needles over heavy seams and tangled the bobbin
when filling....but many were wonderful workhorses and are still out there
performing well for their owners. Many of the complaints that I have
received about Touch and Sew machines centered around the 700 series. The
early 600 series get many more positive comments. But, remember too, that
quilting in the 1970s was on the wane and sewing with knits, especially
"bonded knits" in clothing was the main thing....and Singer attempted to
make a machine that sewed these fine, stretchy, and sometimes "crawly" knits...
I leave the final analysis to you as to the merit of the Touch and Sew
machines. After doing this research, I am a lot smarter now and have more
of an idea of what to look for when and if I run across one in my outings
....and I hope after reading this, you find it helpful as well. Frankly,
I'm glad I did this research into these interesting machines. At this point
in time, I do not own a Touch and Sew ... but who knows what tomorrow brings?
Many thanks to Jim, Mort, Carol and all the others who responded to my
request and took the time to talk to me and share their knowledge of Singer
Touch and Sew machines. I appreciate it very, very much. You are wonderful
Please continue to share information and personal experiences you've had
about a particular series or model on this digest ...that way we all learn.
And, please, be sure to read (and I'm going to keep!) Moonsage's comments
about the Touch and Sews - especially concerning the bobbins and their
tendencies. (FWFanatics digest 2/5/99). (And, by the way, I noticed the
other day that JoAnn Fabrics - at least in Indianapolis) carries Touch and
Good Luck to you all - Fellow Feather - Elizabeth in Indiana >^..^<
600 Story Lamx
(53/M/Southern Maryland) Mar 30 1999
Saturday, my daughter brought me a 600 she picked up in a thrift store. It was frozen solid, but only took a few minutes to break it loose and get it running again. After run-in, I reassembled to check the stitching and couldn't get the bobbin case in place. I worked a half hour on that thing and it just wouldn't slide into place. What I found was that you can't reinstall the BC on a Touch & Sew with the bottom plate off because the weight of the head presses down on the bobbin winder mechanism and causes it to pop up, and then there is not enough room for the BC to fit into the race. Lesson learned.
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 19:56:42 -0500
Subject: some interesting discussions lately!
For all the questions about the touch and sew type singer machines, here
are a few answers.
The first touch and sews were made with 6 steel gears. Good, but noisy
when they wore from no grease and require just about perfect balancing
to keep quiet.
The second wave of the touch and sews were made with 6 plastic gears.
The life span is up on the plastic that was used in the 5 gears
EXcluding the white arm shaft gear. So if you have one with the original
gears still intact you can expect one or all of them to break at any
It is almost NEVER necessary to change the white arm shaft gear. Don't
be sold on that if you see that there are no teeth no missing on it.
The third wave of touch and sews and the spanish, Singer 'Bobbina
Magica', used a cogged timing belt as do just about all sewing machines
An experienced technician can change a 750, 758, 756 etc timing belt,
re-time and sew-in, in approximately 30 minutes. The same time for
changing all 5 gears in an older touch and sew.