Review: Singer 160 Limited Edition sewing machine

Note: Although Singer sent me a free Singer 160 Limited Edition so I could write this review, opinions in this review are 100% mine.  Singer did not request a good review in return for the machine.   

Singer 160 Limited Edition

This is a longish review so I’ve broken it into two parts.  Hang with me through the whole thing because at the end of part 2 (to be published tomorrow), I’ve got an awesome surprise for you that I know you won’t want to miss!

Several weeks ago, the folks at Singer sent me a Singer 160 Limited Edition sewing machine to use and review.  It was designed to celebrate 160 years of Singer sewing machines.  The Singer 160 retails for $499.  You can find it at JoAnn Fabrics (online and in their brick-and-mortar stores).  

Looks

They say looks don’t matter, but really that’s the first thing you notice about this sewing machine.  That’s because most sewing machines are designed almost entirely around function.  The Singer 160, on the other hand, has good looks to go along with its sewing capabilities.

The design lines are reminiscent of the antique black and gold sewing machines, but with modern styling.  The black case combined with the curves creates a silhouette that calls attention to its unique shape.  It’s sleek and curvy and … sexy. 

Did I really just say that this machine is sexy?  Yep!  Seriously, while I’ve had this machine sitting out on my table for the past three weeks testing it out for this review, I’ve had at least two people use exactly that word to describe it.

 

 Look!  Even the hand wheel is shiny and pretty.  The silver tone mimics the old-timey metal hand wheels.  And check out the gold detailing.  I told you this machine is pretty!!

Functionality

So…it’s a very pretty machine.  But what can it do? 

The Singer website bills the 160 as their “simplest and most easy to use machine available.”  I’ve used this machine fairly extensively in the last three weeks, making at least 10 different projects on it.  It has every bit of functionality that I’ve needed to complete my projects successfully, but without extraneous bells and whistles that often make a machine more complicated to use. 

Here’s a rundown of 160’s stitches and functionality, blatantly cribbed from the Singer website:

-24 Built-In Stitches with stitch guide included in the manual

-SwiftSmart Threading System with automatic needle threader

-OneTouch Stitch Selection – easy to select, easy to personalize

-Simple Stitch Adjustment keeps seams strong and prevents bunching

-Quick View Stitch Setting displays optimal stitch size for sewing ease

-Drop & Sew Bobbin System – automatic bobbin thread pick up for quicker threading

-Presser Foot Sensor ensures the presser foot is in the correct position for an easy start

-Extra-Large Sewing Space allows you to easily manage quilts and large projects

-Drop Feed for free motion sewing and creative topstitching

There’s also an intro DVD to get you started, though I’ve had enough experience with sewing machines that I didn’t watch it. 

The Singer 160 comes with a selection of the most commonly used presser feet, including:

-All-Purpose Foot

-Zipper Foot

-Buttonhole Foot (with underplate)

-Blind Hem Foot

-Satin Stitch Foot

The one foot that I use frequently that wasn’t included is a free motion foot. 

Other standard accessories include:  pack of needles, bobbins (class 15J, you can aso buy them at JoAnn Fabrics), thread spool caps, extra spool pin, spool pin felt, needle plate screwdriver, seam ripper, and a dust cover.

You can read more about the Singer 160 Limited Edition at the Singer website.

Check back tomorrow for part 2 of this review, where I give my thoughts on the features and ease of use.  I’ll also be spilling the news on my surprise, so you don’t want to miss it!

Comments

  1. Sarah says

    I LOVE the look of this machine — I pinned it the moment I saw it! I’m (very slowly) saving up for this one!!

  2. says

    I have to admit that this thing caught my eye in JoAnns a few weeks ago, I am still using my moms sturdy Elna from the 60′s and a early 50′s machine Grandmother used – I am thinking it’s time to upgrade and I loved the look of this!

  3. Jen says

    I fell in love with this machine the first time I laid eyes on it. I would love to own one. Unfortunately, the budget is extremely tight and I already have a working sewing machine…

  4. Betty says

    I own this machine and I love it. I fell in love with it the moment I seen it. Everyone who has seen it say what a beautiful machine.

  5. rosa parks says

    I’ve seen this machine in Jo ann’s yes it is a realy nice looking machine I wouldn’t mind owning that and the easy way you can do things is great

  6. SharonT says

    Beautiful machine, just curious how it handles heavy fabric… unless I missed it I didn’t see anything mentioned..

  7. Linda Seay says

    OH! How adorable is this???? Love it, want it. Would make such a nice addition to my sewing room. What a beaut!

  8. Vanessa says

    When I saw the picture you’ve posted I immediately thought of my mom’s machine. It IS very pretty – thanks for the chance to win!!

  9. Jo Hannna says

    Hi! I love the looks of this machine– it looks like my Grandma’s machine that I learned how to sew on–(with a whole lotta help from Grandma!) This machine sounds as tho it is really easy to use- my machine now is so complicated that I have to get out the manual each time I want to sew- it’s a real pain!!!

  10. Paul Hrdlicka says

    Well, we were very happy to get this new Singer but what a disappointment! It is huge and nothing special about it and the plastic ( There is a lots of it!!) looks very cheap and after about 10 minutes we decided to return back to the store. Very disappointing!!!! We think, as a 160th anniversary product, Singer should do way better!!! Do not be fooled by nice pictures and videos, this machine is a cheap and huge monster and You can do much better for better price!!!

  11. says

    This caught my eye yesterday when I was dreaming about a new sewing machine. It has style as well as function!

    Mine bit the dust a few years ago and I’ve been borrowing my daughter’s whenever I can get my hands on it. Frustrating!

  12. says

    I got this machine a couple of days ago. I do love it. I have always used a singer. My father sold singer machines when the sales men went door to door, back in the late forties early fiftiies. I do have a question? I know the 160 is suppose to be easy to thread, but I”m having a lot of problems with the threading.if someone could send me a better guide then the book show. Help, help, help.

  13. Tony Le says

    I saw this machine Costco online and want to buy it. On the description details
    24 built-in stitches, 6 essential, 4 stretch, 12 decorative and 2 fully automatic 1-step buttonholes . I’m not a great sewer and still learning . I’m trying to make some short but the material is stretch. My current machine doesn’t work. if I use the zigzag stitch. It doesn’t look very good:-(. . Do u know this machine will work on stretch fabrics ? Since it mention 4 stretch stitch option. Thank you so much for any infos. Tony.

  14. says

    I read lots of comments. Is the machine actually made of plastic? Does it scratch easily. I have had a lady Kenmore for the last 45 years it has no scratches. It is also metal. As you can tell I sew each and every day. My machine is used for many hours on end. It would be great to have a good looking machine as is the Singer 160. But don’t want junk. My present machine is in side of an old treadle machine cabinet, my husband repurposed for me. I could put the 160 on top of the cabinet…What a great look that would be.

  15. Roxanne says

    I’ve been in love with this machine since it was first adverised and am now proud to say I own it as of 4 days ago. I was picking out a pattern at Jo Ann’s and over heard a sales person say they had just one left in stock and that there will not be any re-orders as this is a special Limited Edition Anniversary machine. I just could not resist the tempation to ask for a demonstration. I was impressed with the simplicity of the use of this machine. Obviously, I was sold. While I have had but just a few days to play with it I have thoroughly enjoyed sewing on it. I will say though, the machine is a little loud and tricky to thread but I am sure that this is because I am still adjusting to using a different machine. Besides, I do have a video that came with it that I could glance at. I now own 3 sewing machines and by far this is the prettiest. I am about to start a quilt and will be sewing it on this machine because it has a nice large sewing surface. ( Larger than my other 2 machines.) While not in use I am displaying it on top of my older Singer machine cabinet. It’s a show piece, for sure. I am a happy camper!

  16. Jennifer Kandy says

    After looking at all the reviews I’ve decided to get this machine, was going to get a Brother as I already have one and wanted another to carry around, (don’t know if it’s light enough), but it’s so pretty I couldn’t resist. Last Singer I bought had a side bobbin, and I just could not get on with it, on hearing that this one is top loading bobbin, that sold me.

  17. juanita says

    hubby just bought me one for xmas…its still sitting in the box…so tempted to break it out and make a quilt….i dont know if ill make it to xmas:)

  18. NJ says

    I have the machine and love it. I am trying to find the case or case that it will fit in, so I can put it away when I do not need it. I cannot not locate one anywhere.

  19. says

    Bellissima macchina . Sono convinto che è un ottimo prodoto . Il design retro incanta l’occhio più esigente . Se avesse avuto il chassis in metallo l’avrei comperata subito.

  20. says

    I don’t have a cabinet for my machine. I just keep in on the shelf and then pull it to my worktable or dining table when I’m ready to sew. Wish I could help. –Anne

  21. marg says

    could you please tellme if the case isw metal ? and does it have the slant -o needle like the other Singers i havehad over the last 55 years please? i wish to replace. do not require so many functions new though. just would wish it to have the slant needle and self wind bobbin. thankyou for your advice marg. {:0)

  22. says

    The case is actually plastic. I don’t know about whether it has a slant -o needle or not. I do know that I was able to use an old ruffler foot on it. –Anne

  23. Dee says

    I bought this machine some months ago from HSN . I have to admit mainly for the nostalgic look. I have decided to get back into sewing as a hobby so I pulled it out over a month ago to start sewing again. I am not a dummy but it has taken me this long to figure out how to thread this machine . Maybe I was looking for it to be more difficult than it actually is. The instruction booklet is not clear at all and mine did not come with a DVD …that would be a great idea though. I was about to put it away and pull my Janome out but then got the idea to try to Google how to thread this machine. With the combo of 3 different vids and reading I was finally able to figure out how to thread this thing. Hopefully, the sewing experience will be worth the trouble .

  24. says

    Dee, the threading confused me at first, too. But only because it’s actually a simpler threading path than most other machines. Instead of over, down, up, down and THEN through the needle it’s just over, down and through the needle. When you do the “down” part just make sure that the thread is going between the tension disks. (If you pull back on the thread you should feel some tension.) –Anne

  25. says

    I have had this machine for over a year now. Here is my opinion as a quilter/crafter/sewing person.

    PROS:
    1- I use this machine almost every day and the finish while it does have some surface scratches is still shiny and new.
    2-Easy to clean.
    3- Quiet and smooth running

    Cons:
    1- Access to drop the feed dogs is easy, but the tiny button and way it works is clunky!
    2- Constantly having to turn the machine off because I get a C6 (broken thread error) several times an hour and nothing is broke or in the wrong place!
    3-NO matter what I am sewing, type of thread, tension adjustment, the top thread seems to always somehow wrap itself around the spindle and break.
    4- The automatic threader has never worked and I have had several more skilled quilters try it as well as myself!
    5- The throat is extremely narrow for quilting!

    I am really sad that Singer did away with their Singer stores, it was nice when I first learned to sew to be able to go to them for an answer to a question. Now I have to hope I can find the answer on line.

    While I love the look of this machine, I wish I would have saved my money and purchased one that was more geared towards quilting with a shop I could get real one on one help from!

    Sadly on this one,

  26. Gary says

    There was so much buzz about this machine that I just had to have one. It’s a beautiful machine! It has a high gloss black mirror finish. You can see your teeth in the finish when you smile. The styling is gorgeous, but that’s all ithas in common with an antique Singer Sewing Machine.

    I own several and by several I mean dozens of antique Singer Sewing Machines. I pick up one a month (or more) at thrift stores and I can get them for 20 bucks or less. They all work and many can be brought back to the living with just a new belt and some oil. They cannot be be beat by any home sewing machine on the market today. They are work horses who only demand a little oil now and again. Their gears are all metal and the housing has no plastic. Maybe a little bake lite, but no plastic. They will outlive any new machine I own today.

  27. Laura says

    Hi! I was intrigued by the design of this machine and when my 24 year old Singer started giving me fits I ordered one. Got it today. Now I’m not sure. It’s a lot of plastic! It’s big and black – which makes it kind of hard to see what you’re doing! I like the idea of a modern machine with a retro look, but now I’m thinking maybe I should get a really old – all metal – machine. Is that really practical? I think I’m gonna try it… as Gary says they’re not expensive. Any tips? I do mostly light work like dresses and pillows, but occasionally heavier draperies.

  28. MARIE AAUSTIN says

    ITS THE GREATEST. LOVE IT. NEVER HAVE TO KEEP RETHREADING THE MACHINE.I DON”T USE AUTO THREADER,IT’S MARKED FOR A QUARTER INCH, SO I JUST ORDERED A QUARTER INCH FOOT. MY MACHINE COST 199.95 NEW AT JO ANNS ON SALE IN DOVER DE.THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE SELLING SOMETHING..LOOK ON EBAY.I CAN’T FIND ANYTHING ABOUT IT THAT I DON’T LIKE.BOBBINS ARE EASY TO WIND, THO I DO USE A BOBBIN WINDER AND DO 25 OR 30 BOBBINS AT ONCE. IF YOU WANT ONE, GO FOR IT. WHEN YOU’RE DEAD, YOU ARE DEAD FOR A LONG WHILE, SO ENJOY SEWING WHILE YOU CAN.

  29. nancy morrison says

    this is the worst machine i have ever used!!!! I own several singer machines and this is surely at the bottom of the list. the plastic scratches easily, gets bunched up all the time, it is so finicky i cant stand to use it anymore. if this had not been a gift i would have returned the stupid thing. wont ever buy another singer product, their quality sure has gone to the pits.

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