Recently, I had an opportunity to review the Singer Esteem II 2273. It’s a pleasure to share my findings with you here today. Singer sewing machines have gone through several ups and downs in the more than 160 years since the first Singer hit the market.
The Singer Esteem II 2273 is, in my opinion, a signal that Singer sewing machines are once again on the way up in the sewing machine market.
At A Glance
I was pleasantly surprised to see a six inch ruler etched on the very front of the machine, just beneath the needle. The green decals, unlike others I had seen on Singer sewing machines were an eye appealing add on that sort of invited me to look further.
There are four dials… one for stitch selection, one to adjust stitch length, one for stitch width adjustment and the fourth to adjust the tension. The bobbin winder is on top of the machine and the threading guide is clearly easy to understand and follow.
The standard features available on the Singer Esteem II 2274 are, to put it honestly, basic. The most outstanding features are is that it is built on a heavy duty metal frame and it comes with an instructional quick start DVD.
The other features of note are:
- 23 built in stitch options – including one automatic one step buttonhole
- An automatic needle threader
- On board thread cutter
- A free arm, accessible by removing the on board accessories case
- Front loading bobbin
Working on the Singer Esteem II 2273
Winding the bobbin and threading the Singer Esteem II 2273 are a breeze. No doubt, anyone, even a child as young as 10 or 12 would be able to accomplish these tasks with a minimum amount of supervision the very first time.
The front loading bobbin, however, could be a bit of a challenge for the novice since it is necessary to first remove the on board accessories case in order to gain access to the bobbin housing mechanism.
In addition, I encountered a bit of a challenge with the automatic needle threader. It took more than one attempt to get it to work as described in the instruction manual, but it did eventually work.
Identifying and selecting stitches is even easier than threading the machine. A graphic on the stitch selection dial clearly shows each stitch option.
All it takes is to simply dial up the stitch and set the desired length and width. I sampled all 23 of the available stitch options. Changing stitch options and executing them was as easy as turning the appropriate dial.
To achieve stitches indicated in blue on the dial, the stitch length dial must be turned to the ‘S1’ setting. If the user wants to adjust the sizes of the stitches, it would be necessary to make adjustments to the stitch width dial only.
The stitches themselves are acceptable. They are secure, stable and somewhat well defined, but not what I would call ‘perfect’.
There is a lever behind the needle assembly that must be engaged prior to making buttonholes. I’m not altogether certain why this is necessary. It is not addressed in the manual.
My best guess is that this feature enables the buttonholes to be sewn automatically, much the way old buttonhole makers used to function before zigzag sewing machines were commonplace in the home sewing room.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
The list of standard accessories included with the Singer Esteem II 2273 is not extensive, but includes everything any home sewer would consider to be absolutely essential.
- Four snap on presser feet
- Standard/multipurpose foot
- Buttonhole foot
- Zipper foot
- Button foot
- Four class 15 bobbins
- Darning plate
- Seam ripper/lint brush
- Quilting guide
- Spool caps (2 – one large and one small)
- Instructional manual
- Quick start guide
- Instructional DVD
NOTE: The Singer website lists an oil dispenser bottle among the included accessories; however, for some reason unknown to me, this item was not included with the machine I reviewed.
According to the instruction manual, however, it is recommended that the race hook assembly be lubricated as needed. My best guess is that the oil dispenser was inadvertently omitted from the accessories kit that was packed with this particular machine.
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean race hook and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Tying Off The Loose Ends
All of the stitches, regardless of the selection, are secure, but not as well defined as the stitches on perhaps other machines in the same category.
Having said that, I would not use this assessment as a final determining factor in choosing this machine over another sewing machine in its class or vice versa.
The Singer Esteem II 2273 is slower than some other machines in its class and vibrates if you push it to sew at maximum speed. It is a little noisier than some other machines, but not such that it is an annoyance.
This sewing machine has a lot of plusses in its favor. In my opinion, the Singer Esteem II 2273 is an ideal choice for a beginner, especially one who is not altogether certain about their level of long term commitment to sewing.
The very reasonable MSRP puts the Singer Esteem II 2273 within reach of many more household budgets than many other sewing machines in the same category.
In addition, the materials packed along with the machine I reviewed included a brochure promoting the Singer Sewing Library. This is a series of about 15 books that many, including myself, consider to be the definitive encyclopedia for the home sewer.
Several years ago, I donated mine to a school. It is something that I am glad I did, but sometimes wish I’d hung onto it a little longer.
In addition to the owner’s instruction manual, the Singer Esteem II 2273 also comes with a quick start chart, which summarizes all of the key information contained in the owner’s manual as well as an instructional DVD for those who learn better by having an actual visual demonstration of the techniques being discussed in a manual.
All of these components combine to make this an excellent choice for someone who has very little or no sewing experience. The Singer Esteem II 2273 is also a viable choice for the intermediate or advanced home sewer who is on the go and looking for a sewing machine that they can travel.
The downside, however, is that you would have to purchase or make a carrying case since no case or dust cover comes with the machine as a standard accessory item. I am not at all pleased with the fact that you must remove the accessories case in order to get to the bobbin housing.
True enough, the little box slides on and off very easily, but when you’re in the middle of a big sewing project, having to take this off and put it back every time you change the bobbin is in my opinion a major waste of time.
The Singer Esteem II 2273 is far from the fastest sewing machine I have worked on. When I attempted to push it to sew faster, it started to vibrate … not enough to create a problem with the task at hand, but certainly noticeable.
I find it interesting that one vital piece of information – the maximum number of stitches per minute – is not included on the product specification sheet that comes with the machine or on the website.
A slower machine, however, is a plus for a beginner. A machine that races along at 1,000 stitches per minute or more could prove to be too much for a beginner, especially a young one.
The Singer Esteem II 2273 is very light, making it easy to carry to class, travel to and from college dorms or even to take on vacation. Because it is so light, I hesitate to recommend this machine for heavy fabrics.
Although it comes with a quilting guide, I do not think it would be a good idea to try to make a large wall hanging or quilt with this one.
However, if your sewing is limited mainly to light to medium weight fabrics, and you are in the market for an affordable, small, portable sewing machine that is good for the sewing student as well as the seasoned home sewer, then this one might be a viable option for you.
- Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
- Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
- Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
- Good for beginners of all ages
- Tutorial DVD
- No dust cover or carrying case
- No access to bobbin housing without first removing the accessories case