Tuesday, June 2, 2009

sewing machine shop talk

The ladies at Sew Mama Sew have started a sewing machine meme.  I don't talk much about my sewing machine, but I guess it is kind of unusual.

What brand and model do you have?

I have a workhorse-- a Singer 201 from the 1940s.   It only does a straight stitch, but it will sew through a zillion layers without complaint.  It's also practically silent.  I adore it.
How long have you had it?

I've had it for about a year and a half now.  Previously, I was sewing on a terrible Brother machine that my husband bought me for a birthday.  It was refurbished and never filled a bobbin completely (among other problems).  It would've been sufficient if I was only using it occasionally.  Neither one of us thought sewing would become so important to me!

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?

This was a lucky Craigslist find-- I got it for $40 in a cabinet, with a bench seat. 

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?

All of the above.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?

I sew daily, and I think the machine likes that it gets a good workout.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?

The machine doesn't have a name, but maybe it should.  I love it-- especially for the cost.  I also like that it has a long history, and will probably be mine forever.

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

It has an absolutely giant space under the throat.  I can put a king size quilt to the right of the needle with little problem.  I also love the knee lift.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

I wish I could zigzag.  Also, the feed dogs are able to be lowered, but I think mine are stuck (no matter, I just cover them instead).

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!

$40 on Craigslist makes it my find of the year.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?

Yes.  It's all metal, not fussy, and beautiful to look at, too. 

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?

Just because it's new doesn't mean it's better.  I'm happy without decorative stitches because it does one thing, really really well.

Do you have a dream machine?

A longarm-- when I win the lottery and have a huge quilting space!


  1. I totally agree with you about newer machines versus the older ones. I had a friend who was the service technician at a place I used to teach, and he says the same thing about the newer machines not being built as well. I have one machine that is 14 years old, and it has given me very little trouble and been a work horse. Although I also love my newer Babylock. I have the Voyager 17, but still don't have it up in running.

  2. I'm pretty jealous that your machine has THAT MUCH SPACE under the neck. Mine has enough, but its not even close to that generous!