Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lovely surprise

Maybe, you'd hope to see photos of the quilt I was finishing yesterday?  It's done and I was all excited to show you... but, the weather here isn't the best for photos at the moment.  It's dark, overcast and we've had rain through the night, so photos of that quilt will have to wait until we have some sunshine.  So, instead of a quilt, I have a new vintage find to share with you.

 Would you like to see what I found just before the weekend?

Check out this lovely, walnut table and bench.  Almost looks familiar, doesn't it? ;o)

 Oh, wait!  This isn't just any old table... this is a sewing cabinet (act like you're surprised, okay? ;o)

Ta-da!  It seems I have brought home a vintage Singer sewing machine.

 Hidden inside, covered in what appeared to be several decades of dust, was this beautiful (once I cleaned her up...), vintage Singer 201.  The serial number dates her as being made in 1947.

She's the largest of the four Singers I now own and she was the best deal out of them all.   When I saw the ad for her, there was only a picture of the cabinet, which is the exact style of the cabinet my Singer 15-91 came with.   No mention of the machine was made in the ad, so I thought I would get the cabinet to have for my portable Singer 99k.

Once I contacted the seller, she informed me that the cabinet also came with a 45 year old machineOkay, I thought, it will likely not be as vintage as I like, but no worries, because I could always pass the machine on and keep the cabinet.   Now imagine my delight when we arrived to look at the cabinet, to see this fancy girl.  Immediately, I knew she was older than the supposed 45 years and that I had found another gem!  Included with her are a box full of her original attachments plus the owner found a vintage Singer buttonholer to go with her.

 The owner said that she had never sewn with this machine, as it had belonged to her mother.  Her mother bought it, barely used the machine and then only kept the machine around to use the cabinet as a  side table.  Needless to say, other than the dust and grime on Miss Fancy, the machine is in beautiful shape.  The cabinet and bench could use some refinishing though.   My sons said the first thing I should do is change the bench cover, like I did for Belle.

Oh, did I mention that I only paid $25? Yeah, kinda blew me away, too.  I'm calling this machine "Fancy".

To prove that not all these Singers are exactly alike,  here's an overhead shot of the 201 alongside the 99k.  Hopefully, you can see the size comparison? The 201 is a bigger machine, with more throat space than the 99k.  The 99k was made as a 3/4 size version of a Singer model 66 (a model I don't own, but you never know, with the way I'm going...lol).  Both machines are belt driven, unlike my Singer 15-91 (Belle is gear driven).  Let me tell you, I'm learning lots about vintage Singers since I started!

A different angle of the 201 and 99k.  Both have drop in bobbins, unlike my Featherweight and 15-91.  Oh, and these two models actually use the same bobbins - which is nice because it's been interesting that I can't swap bobbins with any of the others.  Kinda crazy that Singer made several different bobbin styles - it would be handy if the bobbins were interchangeable from model to model.

How about a size comparison between my Featherweight 221J and the 201?

Doesn't the Featherweight look like a toy? ;o)  She's just so little, that it's hard to believe she's a real sewing machine, but she stitches as beautifully as her big sisters (albeit in a very quiet voice).

I would never have guessed that a little over a year ago, the purchase of one vintage Singer would lead to me owning four!  They've been one lovely surprise after another.


  1. Congratulations on your great find. I haven't found anything that old yet. I'm still looking though.

  2. Lovely machines!! And your 'sexy Singer' - she's amazing!!

  3. What a score! My 201 is my


  4. Sweeeeet.
    And I'm smiling at your calling your machine "she"- did you know that in German, all sewing machines (actually, all machines, period) are feminine: "die Nähmaschine"?

  5. I for one am pleased that you haven't posted photos of the quilt, I'm looking forward to it being a surprise when it arrives in the post/on my wedding night... (that will confuse other commenters!). I'm very jealous of the Singer. I feel it's something you should gift to your son and his wife on their wedding day.

  6. Hi Katherine! Also in Greek all the machines are 'female' and sewing machine is η ραπτομιχανη! You made a really great find, wow that beautiful machine with the table! You have now fantastic collection! x Teje

  7. Hi, I have a weakness for old Singers too. My fist was a 201-2, and then I accumulated a few since. I have lately learned quite a bit about them, and leaned that not all 201s are gear driven as I once had thought since mine was. I have 2 of the 201-2s, had 3 but sold one. I also have a couple of 15-91s, and a 66 made in 1952. I like the top changing bobbins like the 99, 66 and 201s have. I kinda would like to find parts to change one of my 201s to a belt driven 201 like yours so I could put it in a treadle table. I've learned they made a few models of the 15 series that are also belt or treadle driven.

  8. I forgot to mention several years ago, I found a sweet little 99k in similar condition to yours for a whole $12.50 at a thrift store. I bought it for our daughter.


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