Pink Atlas Deluxe Straight Stitch Sewing Machine – A Review

Features:

  • All Metal Gears
  • Side Loading Bobbin
  • Reverse Stitch Lever
  • Built-in Front Beam Light
  • Telescopic Spool Pin (Top)
  • 1.2 Amp Motor
  • Pretty Milkshake, Mid-Century Pink Color
  • Low Shank Foot
  • Drop Feed Knob
  • Self-Adjusting Automatic Bobbin Winder

The pink Atlas straight stitch sewing machine is one of my favorite machines in my collection.  These sewing machines were built in Japan by Brother Sewing Machine Company and sold in the states as a badged sewing machine.  This means they arrived here without a name and who ever sold the machine put their name (badge) on it.

Atlas nationally advertised guaranteed quality on their products and their sewing machines were advertised in Good Housekeeping Magazine.  The “Guaranteed by Good Housekeeping” badge guaranteed that if a product was not as advertised in the magazine, legitimate complaints would be taken care of by replacement of the product or refund of the purchase price to the consumer.

If you google an image of a Brother Citation you will see great similarities with the exception of the bobbin winder which is on the top on the Citation.  Another machine almost identical to the pink Atlas is the Brother Deluxe Sewing Machine; the difference with this one is the tension unit which is on the side instead of on the front like the Atlas.  I believe the pink Atlas series came on the scene as early as 1956 and my machine might date to 1957.

My machine came with its original pink foot control and with its original case but the case was destroyed in transit during shipping.  This was the fault of the seller and their flimsy packaging but more on that in a future post.  Luckily the sewing machine survived but it still makes me angry that I do not have the original case.  If anyone out there has one, I would love to have it, please e-mail me.  I found the pink base on ebay.

This is an all-metal gear driven, straight stitch mechanical sewing machine.  The Atlas is very simple to operate with its straight forward design, minimal knobs, and levers it is great for beginner sewists.

My machine came with its original pink foot controller; here is a photo of it if you are looking for one for your pink machine.

The feed dogs on this machine can be dropped for free-motion sewing or drawing.  This machine  has a reverse stitch lever; handy for fastening a seam.  You just lift it up all the way for reverse stitching.  It uses Class 15 bobbins and Standard 15×1 needles sizes 11 through 21.  To replace the needle, you slide it up as far as it will go with the flat side toward the balance wheel.

The stitching on this pink beauty is very nice and consistent.  I apologize for the lack of a photo of the stitches but I will have to update this review with one very soon.

I came across a machine like this one from a seller who was the original owner and was selling all the original goodies that accompanied her sewing machine.  Her listing included a box of Greist attachments with its manual, a sewing machine manual, foot controller, and the carrying case.

The box of attachments included:

  • a cloth guide
  • zipper foot
  • cording foot
  • scissors cutting gauge
  • gathering foot
  • quilting foot
  • narrow hemmer foot
  • edgestitcher foot
  • binder foot
  • ruffler foot
Since low shank machines are very common, feet and accessories can be easily obtained.  If you already have a low shank sewing machine, you could use those accessories on this machine.  I have used feet from other machines such as a roller or teflon foot and they worked just fine.
Here are some close-up photos of some of the machines features.

The built-in light is a front beam light that illuminates the work at the stitching point only which reduces shadows while stitching.  The Atlas has a telescopic spool pin which can be lowered when not in use.  No more broken, bent, or lost spool pins!

A good, strong motor is best especially for sewing heavier fabrics.  The Atlas has a 1.2 amp motor which can handle sewing silk to denim fabric and even plastic.  I have sewn lighter weight leather on this machine a few times and the machine did not miss a beat.  I just made sure to use the correct foot, thread, foot pressure and stitch length.

I have also sewn cotton, wool, and voile without any trouble.

According to Atlas, the machine has a specially engineered hook and race for “Jam-Proof” central bobbin action. This just means that when thread gets into the race assembly, the thread will simply break and not jam.  The thread should be swept out of the race by turning the balance wheel.

Like many vintage sewing machines with all-metal gears, this machine is weighty; 30 pounds plus.  This is a full-sized machine; take a look at the following photos to get an idea of the dimensions.

The size of the bed of the machine is approximately fourteen and 1/2 (14.5) inches.

As mentioned on the features list above, this is a straight stitch machine so if you are looking for decorative or buttonhole stitching this machine does not do either.

I have mentioned in other reviews that a vintage low shank buttonholer attachment could work just as well on this low shank machine.  There are also vintage zig zag attachments out there on the web for sale that may be used.  I have a small collection that can be viewed here on my Vintage Sewing Machine Attachments page.

Look at the neat decals on the machine!  The decals spell Atlas on the machine, notice the S?

If you had purchased this machine in the mid 1950′s, you would have paid $219.50 for it and I am unsure if this price included taxes.  Probably not.

I think this is a beautiful sewing machine worth picking up if you can find it at a reasonable price.  There are other really great straight stitch only sewing machines out there by Kenmore, Singer, and many other brands I do not currently own but why not have one that is pretty enough to always have out on display?!  ♥

42 thoughts on “Pink Atlas Deluxe Straight Stitch Sewing Machine – A Review

  1. Did you see the “Great American Race” last week? —I really only caught a glimpse but they had to sew something in Africa where they had a line up of Singer Treadle machines. How much would it cost today today to get a machine that even somewhat matches the Atlas machine. I keep looking at your profile pic and thing that is who is posting about all these machines. Maybe I have to read more of your posts to find out.

  2. Just bought Pink Atlas Deluxe Straight Stitch Sewing Machine from add on Creg’s list. I was so excited and worried it would be sold before I got call that it was mine. My husband and I rushed over to pick it up, after paying for to the man said we also found these parts for it and instruction books.

    • thats great. I just found one at the thrift store, in its own cabinet!! It works just like my old Pfaff. What an iron horse this is. Love it!

  3. beautiful machine! I own the exact same kind. I am having problems just recently, though before I had been sewing with it, just fine.. Maybe you could give a suggestion about what its doing… and great post!!

    _Liz

      • hello again! I believe I have found the culprit- my dial that changes the number of stitches turns, but the window does not! I am seeming to have problems with finding the right tension consistently, and haven’t been able to find or “guess” the right way to turn it, without the stitches underneath my fabric not actually stitch, but simply bunch up in clusters of threads :( . would there be another way to find the right balance?

  4. Hi Liz,

    Here is a list of some things I would do:

    Make sure that you have threaded the machine properly, there is a threading guide for this machine on the tab above (Vintage Sewing Machine Threading Guides).

    Check the tension discs as sometimes small fibers or pieces of threads get lodged in there, make sure the path is clear. Another thing to avoid doing is pulling the thread backwards through those tension discs, doing so can disrupt the alignment of the discs.

    Remove dust and lint from your machine (under the machine and between tension discs) with a small brush (sewing machine brush or small paint brush).

    Use the correct needle size and thread weight for the fabric you are sewing.

    You should set/change the tension on the machine only after the presser foot is down.

    Let me know if this helps.

    • thanks for your feedback! I happily learned how to clean the tension disks/remove and replace the racer properly. I am positive I am threaded right, but have noticed that my needles ( I have just tried tree diff.ones) become bent at the tip almost instantly, as soon as I try t start sewing. I never noticed this before- I am hoping thatmaybe I am simply using the wrong needle size..

  5. I was so glad to find your review of the pink Atlas! I have an almost identical machine, except it is called “Edison Deluxe”, and the tension control winder is on the side. Do you think it could be one of the Brother machines you mentioned in your article? I love Love LOVE this machine!! It is so smooth and easy to use!! I never have to fight with it like I do with my Singer Heavy Duty and Sailrite Industrial. I bought it on eBay, and the machine arrived in perfect condition, but it’s original case disintegrated on me almost immediately!! I built it a new one, though, and it works just fine. Thanks again for the review!!

  6. Hey Martha,

    You’re welcome.

    If your machine has one of the following numbers on the bottom of it then it most likely was made by Brother: JA-1, JA-107, JC-15, or JC-18.

  7. I have recently acquired a Pink Atlas which indicates it was made by Brother in Japan. The case covering is in poor condition but the wood case is still sound. The handle is missing any ideas regarding a replacement handle. I found the serial number and it is 20411. Any idea as to when it was manufactured?

    • Hi Tom,

      That is correct, the Pink Atlas was made by Brother in Japan. I have been unable to determine the exact built date but I am 99% sure it was between the mid 1950′s to early 1960′s. I have a Pink Atlas Zig Zag which was most likely built in the early 1960′s estimated by comparing it to an almost identical Brother Zig Zag sewing machine.

      About the carrying case, I am afraid I cannot direct you to where you could find a replacement handle. You are lucky to have the case though; I am sure you read about my case which was destroyed in transit. :(

      Sonia.

  8. We got a atlas and it was in dirty shape. Got it cleaned up and put a tension and belt on it. Tried to sew and couldn’t get to sew right found out the needle was in wrong. Changed the needle and she sews a good stitch. Her is her Serial # S133302. Checked and it will fit in a singer treadle base. She is pink. So I guess she will be a keeper to go with the rest of our vintage machines.

  9. I purchased one of hese a year or so ago. I opened it for the first time Today. it is in nice wooden case, handle and all. it looks tobe in really good shape.. About what would be the price range if I were to sell it?

    • Hi,
      I really do not know what price range you could list nor at what price it would sell. I would list it for the minimum I would be willing to accept (if auction).

    • Hi Ann,

      Bobbins are sold online just search for standard 15×1 Bobbins. Locally you may be able to purchase them at Target, Walmart, or local fabric shop.

  10. I have a pink atlas zigzag select-o-matic in working condition i would like to sell to anyone who would like to sell. If you know on anyone interested in buying one please let me know

  11. I have a pink atlas zigzag select-o-matic in working condition i would like to sell to anyone who would like to sell. If you know on anyone interested in buying one please let me know. Also have instruction manual in white case original parts

    • I wish I had an instruction manual for the one I just found at a thrift store. Can I buy a copy of it from you?

  12. This machine looks dreamy. I doubt I will ever come across one because I live in Australia but if I do I will snap it up. Ive only just become aware these type of machines exist and I want to start collecting them but felt guilty about embarking on that, I mean, I can only sew on one at a time, how many do I need?
    But then I look at your beautiful collection of machines and it makes me think Nah, it’s not a bad thing if I buy a few sewing machines.

  13. Do you have a copy of the owners/instruction manual?I would buy a photocopies edition for my machine.Just bought the pink atlas myself.Thx Tom

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