Thursday, 17 July 2014

Happy Birthday Singer EJ678871

This year is my lovely sewing machine's 60th birthday.

For a long time I sewed on a Husqvarna Viking machine, bought when I was a machine embroiderer and perfectly adequate unto the day.  Its biggest limitation was that it wasn't really designed to have great swathes of fabric shoved about in it, and although I don't machine quilt, even piecing a biggish top takes up a fair old amount of space.  

So when it died, I looked briefly at lots of shiny, fancy machines - you know the ones, all the bells and whistles and more.  But, to be frank the idea of spending all that money made me feel kind of queasy.  What if I chose the wrong one?  What if it was horrid to use, temperamental, unforgiving? What if next week I saw something I wanted more?  What if I didn't LOVE it? (it's not like you buy a sewing machine every week, so I wanted one I could form a satisfying long term relationship with - and yes, I have given less thought to men I liked on some occasions...)  It was all a bit overwhelming . 

Then I had to admit that  all I really do is sew in straight lines and there's a limit to what I would pay to do that. 

I don't remember what made me think of looking at old machines, probably something I read online, but I ended up with this:


This is a Singer 201, made in 1954, often billed as the finest machine Singer ever made and I have to tell you I love, love, love it.  It is the smoothest, quietest thing I have ever sewn on, it goes and goes - it's all metal parts and no computer, so there's not much to go wrong, and all it needs is regular oiling.  I'm kind of hooked and have even been known to browse ebay and compile fantasy lists of which machine I want next.  There's hundreds of them out there.  

Now, I know lots of people have Pfaffs or Jukis or Brothers or Berninas and love them, and maybe I would have found one that worked for me, if I had persisted.  But I wonder how many of the new machines will still be around and going strong in 60 years time.

7 comments:

  1. A beautiful machine, you are lucky to have found her! It's 40 years younger than my Singer- but what's amazing is how similar they look. Hope you have many more years together.

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  2. I guess Singer worked on the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' principle.

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  3. You are one smart girl! Those old machines can go on forever. And imagine how much the earth appreciates you.....good karma, my friend, good karma.

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  4. It will probably outlast me!!!

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  5. Oh Kaja, I couldn't have said that better myself! There is nothing like the sound of an old sewing machine tick, tick, ticking faithfully along. I have a Singer 301A and love it way beyond my modern sewing machine. I gave both my girls vintage machines too: one a Rocketeer and the other a Featherweight.

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  6. Oh, I would love a 301A (and a Rocketeer, and a Featherweight, come to that) but I'm pretty sure they were only made in the US, so they don't turn up here very often.

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  7. Lovely machine. I'm a lover of old machines. I rescue them and clean them up until they hum again. Most of mine are Singers . I Never met one I didn't want to adopt.

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