Compared to Vigorelli Fantasy, Maxi 3000 is completely sane, normal even. Compared to every other sewing machine, it is barking mad.
Vigorelli’s sideways movement of the needle plate is out of this world, and is certainly not something you see every day. The first model to have this feature was Fantasy, and I dubbed it “The Mad Hatter”. Well then, Maxi 3000 is then its pal The March Hare! 😆 Not sure who is the snoozing dormouse here, but it must be around here somewhere, in one of those teapots…
Here is a short video of the needle plate movement.
Maxi 3000 is a forward-facing vertical rotary machine similar in construction to the original Fantasy. It is a much later model, although I am not sure of the date.
The rotary hook and bobbin case are of the Pfaff type, but the machine is still fully gear-driven. Although those are synthetic gears, not steel. This is worrying, however even much older Fantasy seems to fare quite well with its synthetic gears, so may be this particular material ages better than the dreaded crumbling type. Fingers crossed!
Except for the gears, everything else in this machine is metal, including the cam stack and the body (so why not the gears? 😒).
It also has teflon washers in just about every major joint, so movement is smooth and does not require much oiling. Not “no oiling” – why would teflon parts have oiling holes if no oiling was required? Think about it.
The selection of stitches on Maxi 3000 is a mix of utility and decorative stitches. Some come from Fantasy and were specifically designed for the sideways movement of the needle plate creating wide patterns, but other stitches are actually utility stitches, but still making for interesting wavy designs. I like this assortment: straight stitch, zig-zag, utility, buttonhole and fancy stitches with stretch stitch and wide undulating ribbons superimposed on the basic selection.
The stitches are shown on the top lid.
Primary stitches are numbered 1 through 13 and shown in the bottom row. Stitches 8, 9 and 10 are shown doubled up – a suggestion to sew them with a twin needle. They also work with a single needle though. 😉
The top row shows the corresponding stitches with the stretch stitch engaged, marked with a star.
Another diagram on the lid shows what these stitches look like with the sideways movement engaged, with and without stretch stitch.
And here are the controls:
The stitch selector is at the top. Depress the lever and move it left or right to select a stitch. Below it there are two knobs: zig-zag width on the left and buttonhole steps on the right. Keep the buttonhole knob in the “normal” position (steps 2 and 4) for general sewing.
The big knob below that is the stitch length knob which also engages and disengages stretch stitch. Since it is not possible to regulate stitch length for stretch stitch in the usual way, this is a perfectly good solution. Use numbers to set stitch length for regular sewing, or set it to star to switch to stretch stitch.
The little lever below the stitch length knob is the reverse for backtacking.
The lever to the right of the stitch length knob regulates pattern density when stretch stitch is engaged. It has no effect on regular sewing. The normal setting is close to the “+” sign. Pushing the lever up makes the machine practically sew in place for most stitches. However, it depends on the material being sewn, so here adjustment is possible.
Finally, the round knob on the bed of the machine engages and disengages sideways movement of the needle plate. Set it to green for normal sewing and to red for wavy ribbons.
Now go play! 😃
Compared to Fantasy, sideways and reverse feed movement is simplified: there is only one pattern of each. Sideways movement makes a regular undulating wave and reverse feed movement makes the common two steps forward, one step back pattern known as the stretch stitch. This simplifies both the controls and the internal construction, as you now just have on/off switches without special pattern cams. Fancy stitches are driven by simple counted stitch cams that make those sharp utility patterns, but that doesn’t work with elongation, so that’s been dropped.
This machine has a zig-zag width knob, yet there is also a separate cam for straight stitch. Plus, you can disengage the cams altogether with the buttonhole knob. I am not entirely sure what would be the point of that, but there you go.
The feed cannot be dropped, but there is a cover plate. There is seemingly no foot pressure adjuster, but actually it’s just hidden under the top lid – not for idle hands, that.
This machine came to me in a reasonably good condition, just needing oiling, oiling and more oiling, Teflon washers notwithstanding. Everything works, although I plan to do a few minor adjustments. I’ll need to take her for a spin and see how she does on a real project! For some reason it always turns out different from sewing samples.
And of course she’s green! Did you notice? 😄