Singer Stylist Sewing Machine Maintenance - Ongoing

I also joined Mark today for a lil sewing machine maintenance. I worked on the Singer Stylist 478 which is an old machine - but it’s a good one. Manual here and exploded parts list here (PDF)

I did the following:

  • cleaned it out in general
  • cleand out thread jammed up inside (may have been causing tension issues)
  • cleaned and greased appropriate gears and oiled oil points
  • checked belt/bobbin area, still need to check timing
  • collected up a few loose parts and reattached them

Findings so far:

  1. New Belt Needed. approx cost: 10bux
  2. New Foot Needed - 5-10bux (current foot is wrong one and full of needle strikes)
  3. May need new tension unit - 20bux (tension unit may still be salvaged - another possibility is taking the unit off the other old singer and using that)
  4. Cool Decorative Stitch Options! Machine is a cam machine and accepts 15 different cams for a wide variety of stitches, including decorative ones. Likely we don’t have the cams however voila - they can all be printed! here they are.

Pic of stitches that should be possible by swapping in cams:


I took the machine home to finish maintenance (hope that’s okay as tools do not usually leave the space to be used at home). This is for maintenance tho. Normally I would check first, but since I was there and had an Evo it made sense in the moment to take it home where I could spend more time working on it. I left a note on the sewing table.

I will post final recommendations when I’m finished checking out the tension unit and timing. Overall tho I think this is a good machine and with a few parts will be great as a basic sewing machine. One possiblity to reduce costs is to use the other old broken Singer (the 656) for parts.

Here are some pics:


Finding those cams for 3D printing is awesome! Nice work on the documentation.

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Thanks so much, you guys are awesome!


Just documenting this ongoing singer sewing machine 478 repair in case it helps anyone else. I ordered a replacement gear which should arrive next week. Singer gears are pretty specific but often look very similiar so this handy chart is very helpful for some of the older machines. The specific gear needed is the 155891.


Part has arrived and will be installed this weekend.

  1. Horizontal drive gear has been replaced.
  2. Timing belt has been tightened.
  3. Hand-wheel damage has been repaired.
  4. New motor belt installed.
  5. Motor belt has been tensioned
  6. Fixed the feed throw out system. It was seized up so I’ve lubed it and reinstalled. Details here: The Feed Throw-out System of the Singer Model 457 Sewing Machine - YouTube

Next: setting the feed dog height


sorry for the delay - was wrestling with covid part deux…good times. Tonight I:

  • set the feed dog height
  • reset the presser foot pressure bar

That’s all mechanical fixes and it’s on to timing and testing next.


@Davonna FYI this is what’s happening with the 4th machine

Oh wow! Glad on road to recovery!

This has taken me a while - it’s not time-consuming, I’m just swamped with work! I got back to it last night and it now sews well and holds tension. See below. I am still troubleshooting a skipped stitch issue which only happens occasionally. So will fine tune that. It might just need a new needle or the stitch position area (that holds the disk) adjusted.


Well - longest maintenance ever. I’ve had to order a new bobbin case for this which was very affordable…on aliexpress. It should be here in a few weeks.