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My other Classic / Vintage Obsession... Sewing Machines.

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My other Classic / Vintage Obsession... Sewing Machines.

Old 12-29-14, 06:09 PM
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I used to have a Singer that had the screw-adjust stitch length like your "Egyptian"

never should have given it away.....
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Old 12-29-14, 06:23 PM
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Holy smokes, Hoss. I love it. Egyptian motif was hot in that era. Those Sphinx decals are way cool. What model number is that machine? And your model 29 is fantastic too, tk1971. An extremely handy machine.

This thread has gotten me thinking about what I could use my old 201-2 for. And I had an epiphany while listening to tunes in my man-lounge- room in the basement. I have three cool heavy chrome arm chairs from the 50/60's down there and one could really do with new cushions. Hmmmm. Upholstery work. Never tried that before....
The perfect task for the 201.
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Old 12-29-14, 06:41 PM
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This was my mother's childhood sewing machine. She is now 91 years old. Unfortunately it requires a needle with a very skinny shank and I have no idea where to get one.
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Old 12-29-14, 06:45 PM
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Okay, great um, discussion.

I've tried for some time to get info on repairing and maintaining sewing machines to no avail. What's a good source of information?
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Old 12-29-14, 07:09 PM
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If it happens to be a Singer, there is loads of information on the net. I learned how to completely overhaul mine on some guy's blog. Maybe vintage Singers, or something. There must be thirty or more videos on youtube alone. But you have to wade through the dross to find the best ones.
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Old 12-29-14, 07:12 PM
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Check out,

"The vintage singer sewing machine blog".
Tons of info.
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Old 12-29-14, 07:36 PM
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Thanks for those pointers!
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Old 12-29-14, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
Every farmhouse in America must have had one of those foot powered Singers.
Simpson Sears actually got their start in the mail order business selling sewing machines for less than the competition and used a number of manufacturers who could sell more machines via Sears than they could under their own name by virtue of a well organized distribution network. They sold millions of machines and became a fairly significant distributor of machines even though they did not manufacture them. National and Domestic were some of those companies that were absorbed by White Sewing Machine who then became Sear's primary supplier.

Those first hand cranked Sears machines cost $12.00 and the treadle table cost an extra $5.00... consider that the average day's wage was .80 and you were still looking at quite an investment but a Singer machine cost more than this and Singer introduced a hire / purchase or buy now / pay later program that let families acquire machines and pay them off over a period of time.

Sears used White as a supplier from the early 1930's until the 1950's and White relied on Sears... these tend to be really excellent machines and when Sears went to using Japanese manufacturers this killed off White who could not compete with lower cost machines from Japan.
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Old 12-30-14, 12:01 AM
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I have a Singer15 - something treadle machine that I special ordered, new, from Singer, waaaaayyyyyy back in 1993. I bought it with the treadle cabinet, portable case, and a hand crank. My favorite machine. I've also owned antique Singer treadle machines and a New Home treadle machine. I like treadle machines - no 'lectricity needed, and you are less likely to sew your thumb and/or fingers to your work.
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Old 12-30-14, 06:42 AM
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Found one of these in a different storage area...

Singer Model 50, no clue how well it sews... or not.

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Old 12-30-14, 07:59 AM
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My first vintage machine is a 1958 Singer 403a, it came with everything you see here and runs like a top.



Getting it home was a bit of an epic haul...



Next to a Kenmore 1030 machine we bought a few years ago, it is a 1972 model and a brilliant 3/4 sized machine.

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Old 12-30-14, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
Holy smokes, Hoss. I love it. Egyptian motif was hot in that era. Those Sphinx decals are way cool. What model number is that machine?
Model number R145540

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Old 12-30-14, 02:18 PM
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So is $50 a good price for a Singer 201 with accessories and a cabinet?

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Old 12-30-14, 03:36 PM
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I have that very same sewing machine in my menagerie of 10 machines. It is my go to machine for all my light to mid-heavy weight sewing. It has one rare feature. You can take two machines needle and fit them side by side in the needle clamp to do double needle sewing. These machines usually sell for about $200. The best machine in the world!
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Old 12-30-14, 03:45 PM
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I learned to sew at an early age, my mother made clothes from four sacks. She at one time was the seamstress at a Playboy Club. They didn't use flour sacks! I have done lots of mending over the years. Always looking at machines in second hand stores. Would never have room for a collection, I could get my Zippo collection in one of those cases!
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Old 12-30-14, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SJX426
So is $50 a good price for a Singer 201 with accessories and a cabinet?
Spectacular deal.
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Old 12-30-14, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by madras13
I have that very same sewing machine in my menagerie of 10 machines. It is my go to machine for all my light to mid-heavy weight sewing. It has one rare feature. You can take two machines needle and fit them side by side in the needle clamp to do double needle sewing. These machines usually sell for about $200. The best machine in the world!
Double needle capability is a good feature and a time saver... Singer had a great system for using 2 single needles while other companies had special double needles.

The Singer 403 is one of my all time favourites, the top of the line 401 had a lot of built in stitches like the later 500 but the 403 and 503 use cams to add stitches... the stitch selectors on the 401 and 500 can get a little sticky with disuse but they rarely ever fail. These are gear driven machines and even with a smaller motor (.72 amp) they are very capable of doing heavy duty sewing and they are a great all round machine that will probably last forever.

I paid $100.00 for mine 5 years ago... it would be very hard to find another machine like this, in this shape, with all it's accessories at that price anymore. These are considered to be the finest machines Singer made and were made at their peak and most of them are still out there sewing away as they just don't wear out.

I think the base machine was $200.00 new in 1958 when the average wage was 2.40 / hr... when my mom saw this machine she was gobsmacked and said she had never owned a machine this nice although I don't think she realized how incredibly well made her Bernina was and how expensive this machine was when it was new.
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Old 12-31-14, 12:43 PM
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My wife has a Singer Featherweight with the San Francisco Golden Gate Exposition badge that is pretty rare. She was going to sell it a couple years ago but didn't.
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Old 12-31-14, 05:21 PM
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The love of vintage machinery.

I really like this thread and had to join in. Here are some shots of my 1929 Singer. I don't know the model but the Serial number is AC672797 and it's beautiful. The engraving alone is amazing enough. I kind of like the provision for a work light too. I've included the obligatory drive-side pic as well.

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Old 12-31-14, 06:01 PM
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Antique Singer sewing machine model 15. Electric sewing machine is listed as being made December 18, 1940. Machine is in good working condition. Will fit into a table or portable sewing box- not included.

​Is this worth $50?
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Old 12-31-14, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by The ******
I really like this thread and had to join in. Here are some shots of my 1929 Singer. I don't know the model but the Serial number is AC672797 and it's beautiful. The engraving alone is amazing enough. I kind of like the provision for a work light too. I've included the obligatory drive-side pic as well.
That is a 99k, the downsized version of the 66... they are excellent machines albeit a little simple with no reverse and a screw to set the stitch length. There were made into the 1950's as they were so popular which gives them a production run of over 40 years.

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Old 12-31-14, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Midtown


Antique Singer sewing machine model 15. Electric sewing machine is listed as being made December 18, 1940. Machine is in good working condition. Will fit into a table or portable sewing box- not included.

​Is this worth $50?
Model 15-91 with a gear driven motor... it will sew through anything.

If it runs well $50.00 is a decent price.
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Old 12-31-14, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by LeicaLad
Rootboy,

You remain a rock star of this forum. It merely begins with your taste in bikes, but runs across an amazing spectrum of interests. Even better, you share those interests in such fun and informative ways. This has been a consistent trait over the years Iíve been here. My continued thanks.

This was the momís final machine. It dates from the mid-2000s, but I donít know the model nor its rank among models.



The women of my extended clan have owned all the major Singer specimens shown throughout this thread. I wish I knew where some of those machines were now. These machines bring back such great memories! What a great thread.

Somewhere, I have a Japan-market, all-metal Brother. A requested gift to the wife in the mid-90s. It was shipped into Burma, where we were at the time. Next to zero use in the years since. Oh, well. She does other things. . .

Those small lathes are fascinating to me, because they seem so small. Looking closer, they are not really THAT small. I guess I only remember my dadís quite large lathe. So utterly cool to see these.
The Bernina Record (model 930) is the holy grail for a lot of people as it is simply one of the finest machines ever made, they can fetch $500.00 to $800.00 on the used market and are nearly indestructible.

I set up my Singer 328 for sewing denim and heavy cotton last night... it went through 8 layers without a stutter. Although it is not as refined as a 201 it is a great workhorse that will handle heavier work.



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Old 12-31-14, 07:25 PM
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I don't know how to sew, but learning how has been an idea of mine for a while. Nice machines.

It seems to me that a used machine for between $500 and $800 doesn't seem like a bad idea, compared with today's new offerings.
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Old 12-31-14, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
I don't know how to sew, but learning how has been an idea of mine for a while. Nice machines.

It seems to me that a used machine for between $500 and $800 doesn't seem like a bad idea, compared with today's new offerings.
You can get a great used machine for less than $50.00.

We acquired all our machines for less than $500.00 total; the $50.00 I spent on my 1976 Kenmore was more than worth it as these Japanese made machines are exceptional in every respect and it is the machine I use the most.

Singer 403 - 100.00 (mint condition)
Singer 500 - 150.00 (mint condition)
Kenmore 1931 - 50.00
Kenmore 1030 - 60.00
Singer 328 - $21.00
Bernina 717 - Priceless.

I saw a lady buy a new entry level Bernina at the shop the other day for $699.00, top of the line machines can cost as much as $12,000 now.

My grail is a Singer 411G or 431G, these were German made Singers that are quite rare and if I found either I could part with our Singer 403 and 500 with no problem as it would do everything they do plus more.

The German 4xx series machines have a few extra features that were not available on domestic machines and were also exceptionally well made.
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