Saturday, January 9, 2010

Can This Sewing Machine Be Saved?

My son has gotten hooked on prowling thrift stores lately. He loves the randomness and allowance-friendly pricing. And maybe the casual attitude. Heck, the stuff is pre-broken. Touching is allowed.

I love it too, but gosh, it's dangerous. Here I go, peering hopefully around the Goodwill. I spy a sewing machine! I close in, a Morse Zigzag. Very cool but terribly rusted, missing parts, not a good candidate. Sigh of relief. Wait, over there, in that darling (delapidated) treadle cabinet, what's that?

A Singer 201, that's what.

I got confused. I know that some 201s can be treadled and some cannot. I was just so wowed that this machine was in a treadle cabinet that I leapt to the conclusion it must be one. Yes, I saw that there was a motor and a foot control, but I was somehow thinking these were later additions.

I tell my husband I'm buying this sewing machine. He sighs and looks resigned. I pay, hound the employees about being super-careful with this item that no one else wants and we take her home.

Internet research ensues. This is a 201-2. Potted motor. Not treadle-friendly. Probably will need rewiring. Rewiring! Yikes.

So I'm thinking this all over. Thinking, rather than dousing with kerosene, because it's been just too darn cold even for the obsessed among us to be puttering about with broken-down sewing machines outside or in the basement.

The machine is now in the halfway disassembled state. The only part that is missing is the cover to the rotary bobbin area.

Can this sewing machine be saved?

I'll post about the treadle in a day or so.


  1. Well, I knit, sew, embroider, crochet - but I have found I actually like fixing and restoring sewing machines more than sewing - who'd have known! My neighbor is an electrician and showed me how to rewire too.
    I'd love to find one of those to fix up for my daughters, 8 and 10, who love to sew too. My 8 year old also loves helping me clean up an old machine. ~Page

  2. I found your site last week and you came up on my bloglines and I saw this post again and looked closer - this has been stripped quite a bit unfortuantely - it is missing the handwheel, needle plate, bobbin, face plate, back plate cover and handwheel. But I am horrible - I save every machine I find. I am bringing back 2 201's right now. I also have a horrible 27 and I do mean horrible that I am working on too. I never met a singer I didn't love. (: