Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Big Sisters (and Little Sisters)

One of the best things about finding a new hobby is finding those who love the same things. I have sold many sewing machines, and given a few away, to people I have never met and have never heard from again. I hope this means they are happy customers! Then there are people who come back to share our mutual enjoyment of vintage sewing machines. That's how I met Cheri, who bought a gold colored White sewing machine:


She was as captivated by the gold color and then to sew with it...it's like a fine old car that just hums along. Now the gold colored White is named Judy Jetson and hopes to visit Cheri's cabin up north.You can read Cheri's blog Cheri Chatter: Let's Quilt to get to know how she's using her sewing skills. Cheri has come back to have me take a look at a Singer 201 and 99, to give them a spa treatment and update whatever they might need. How delightful to bring these excellent sewing machines into better condition. Here they are together, posing on another cabinet with a White embossed sewing machine inside:


The Singer 99 is getting in shape for her niece and is going into a cabinet of her choosing. I think I might be getting the cabinet that doesn't get chosen! The Singer 201 was a very lucky find when a friend called Cheri to let her know she found a 201 at an estate/garage sale and they were only asking $10. She could hardly drive there soon enough or fast enough. SOLD! If you haven't tried either of these sewing machines please do so if you get the chance. Rather than compare them, which isn't fair, I will describe now they feel, sound, and work.

The Singer 201 is a fairly large sewing machine, just a straight stitch and back-tack (reverse) but it is oh so powerful. The large harp, that's the space between the needle bar and the right side pillar, seems quite large so might be extra nice for quilting. I like the feeling of power you get with this machine, not unlike a Singer 15, yet different, too. It doesn't have a belt but is gear driven with a potted motor. What's that? When you look down from the top you can see the motor is high on the back side, not down low near the bed. They are not heavily decorated with decals like a Singer 66 Red Eye or any others with the various decals, but it's rather simply done with an outline design and a center decal on the bed. A drop-in bobbin makes it easier to change the bobbin and the light in the front of the sewing machine is usually a dead giveaway that it's a 201. One way you can check to see which Singer  machine you have or are looking at is Sandman Collectibles where you can go through various features to find out if you have a 66 or 15 or 127. This has been a wonderful site to learn all the differences just by sight.

The Singer 99 is actually the little sister of the 66, a scaled back model 3/4 the size of the 66. Drop in bobbin, light along the back of the sewing machine, a belt, no handy opening in the back to check out the insides, but you can tip the machine back and see some of the works through the opening on the bottom. You can also take the hand wheel off and look from the right side. It's has simple decals like the 201 with an outline around the edge and an "eye" in the center. Because it's a smaller sewing machine this seems like a good design. Singer 127/128's have more decals and it's pretty fancy so there is something for every taste, it seems. One final look at the Singer 201 and 99:


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