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Singer Touch and Sew model 720

JunkQueen | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I am on a little mini-vacation for the Independence Day holidays here in the US.  Ran across a Singer Touch and Sew model 720 at an estate sale.  It appears to be in perfect working order with the table and chair as well as all the attachments.  I passed it up because of the $200 price tag, but then I had second thoughts. 

Do any of you have any thoughts about the machine/price — pro or con? 





  1. Ckbklady | | #1


    I collect machines and have several Singers from the era. All I can tell you is that the 'street name" for the Touch & Sew machine is "Touch & Scream" because the timing of the upper and lower threads is tenuous at best and can require frequent repairs. I suggest you call your closest Singer repair shop and talk to the Singer Guru Guy there and ask his advice (there may be a woman, but in the 30 years I've been doing this, I've never come across one).

    Even if the machine works, the price seems very high. I'm in the Seattle area and see them on Craigslist and in thrift shops for about $40. Consider that you may have to get it serviced. Our local Singer shop charges $90 to service a zigzag machine, $80 to service a straight stitch.

    The only nice thing I've heard about the T&S is that it has a easy-pull-to-remove chainstitch feature for basting seams. If you can get it to work, that is!

    If it were me, I'd pass up the T&S and troll Craigslist for a Singer Slant-o-matic Rocketeer (model 503 or 503a. The 501 doesn't zigzag). It has drop-in cams for decorative stitches and is built like a tank. It's all metal parts that last forever and  never falls out of timing. I accidentally dropped one off a pick-up truck bed and it was undamaged and the timing was fine, but the plant underneath it was toast!

    Good luck and happy machine buying!

    :) Mary

    Edited 7/4/2008 1:28 pm by Ckbklady

    1. User avater
      JunkQueen | | #3

      Thanks so much.  It seemed a bit pricey to me, too.   I here on a holiday and don't have a lot of computer access, so I can't do a lot of research, so I do so appreciate your comment.  I'm just looking for a solid machine as a backup.  Think I'll keep looking for a White for parts to repair my old workhorse.  This new combo machine with plastic parts just is not going to hold up to some of the type sewing I've been accustomed to doing. 



    2. GailAnn | | #5

      Slant-o-Matic Rocketeer, thanks, I'll have to remember that, for a durable and useful spare.  Gail

      1. Ckbklady | | #6

        The Rocketeer is not only durable, it looks really, really cool - it has side "fins" like cars of the era and looks overall like the Starship Enterprise (which is why I call mine Mr. Spock! :)

        :) Mary

        Edited 7/6/2008 6:30 pm by Ckbklady

  2. Pattiann42 | | #2

    Hi JunkQueen!  As a young boy my husband's nickname was Junkyard J........(last name).  Although, now I am the one looking for recyclables.

    Try for a lower price.  If the machine does not pan out at least you have a table that can be reconfigured for another machine.

    I still have the cabinet/console that my Singer Golden Touch N' Sew came in 40+ plus years ago.  Chair too, but it is not on casters like the new ones and now resides in the master bath for sitting down to put on our shoes. Storage under the seat is handy, but I don't remember what I put in there........guess it is not too important!

    A shelf was added inside the old singer cabinet and it has held a Bernina and now an Elna. 

    We spotted another console as we were driving by a yard sale one day and decided we would stop on the way back home to look at it.  By that time the sale was over and the sewing machine and cabinet were free for the taking. 

    My husband discarded the old machine and refinished the cabinet.  Using it now to hold a small embroidery machine.

    Good luck and have fun treasure hunting!

    1. User avater
      JunkQueen | | #4

      My name is the one my husband coined for me and describes my house.  Well, not really, but close.  I love to go junking.

      I think I'll pass on this machine.  I MAY run by there and insult her with a lower price -- you know th old real estate investor saying -- if you aren't embarrassed by your offer, you've offered too much.  One never knows what might shake out, though.

      Thanks so much for your help. 

      I'll let y'all know what transpires when I get back home in a few days.




    2. User avater
      JunkQueen | | #9

      I went back and offered a lower price for that T&S thinking the table could be recycled if the machine cratered. She declined. That's okay. I'll find a good machine or a White for parts for mine. Thank all of you for your quick responses and help. And it's good to be home.

  3. B | | #7

    I have heard the T&S is also called the Touch and Swear.

    After reading recommendations for  the great Singer 401 and 500 slant-needles, I happened onto a local 500 (Rocketeer) in a lovely cabinet for $40!  They are indeed great at sewing, and have built-in zig-zag stitches and additional cams for more stitches.  They are the same basic machine as the 401, but different styling and some slight problems (hinges and bobbin winder.)    The 403 and 503 need cams for any and all zig-zag stitches.

    I had (still have) a 328K Singer that is worth at most  $10, but still sews after 45+ years with never a stop at repair shop.  So I believe the older Singers (pre-1963 or so) are good machines but the quality and long-term durability since has deteriorated.  So I would choose a different brand for the later time period.

    1. User avater
      JunkQueen | | #8

      "Touch and Swear" ---- now that's funny, I don't care who you are. I have added the Rocketeer to my 'watch' list. Sounds like a real jewel. I absolutely love my old White Model 793, but alas, after 35 years of distinguished service there is a broken part, caused by my carelessness, and replacement parts are unavailable. I am searching for one on the net to use for parts.

      1. damascusannie | | #10

        Join the Yahoo group WeFixIt and tell them what you need. Someone there may have the part. This is group of sewing machine repairmen/women and talented amateurs that specialize in vintage machines.

        1. User avater
          JunkQueen | | #11

          Thank you. I shall do that. By the way, I plan to post this to Katina, but I just ran across a hand cranked Singer on eBay. Don't know if you are interested in it or not. The shipping may be too much for Katina's purposes. I know nothing, nada, zilch about hand cranked machines, so this could be a dud. The eBay seller is not so far from me. 175/200 miles +/- .... http://tiny.cc/tNuA5

          1. damascusannie | | #12

            Oooo! That's a LOVELY machine! I wish I was in Texas!

          2. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #13

            The shipping is not out of line. Probably cheaper than the gasoline to go get it! I think it is really lovely. Here are a couple machines I came across on my trip to South Texas this past week.

          3. damascusannie | | #14

            Those are both nice, too, and both a bit unusual. The first is a common decal pattern, but not usually seen on that particular model, the second is in a neat cabinet that is also not very common.

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