Singer 201K Treadle C1947
Hello Dear Friends and Readers. To my mind, there is no doubt that the 201K Singers are beautifully built machines. All I can say to you is, that if you find one of these machines, they are well worth saving and having. They were very expensive machines to manufacture.
I must admit that the 201K has been the catalyst for my love of VSMs. The 201K is the machine that made me realize how wonderful they are. Once I started sewing on a 201K it certainly became a favorite. It just feels that good.
At the moment of course, they are of no great monetary value. You can buy a cheap new plastic machine, for about the same price and of course, they will do the job and offer a few fancy stitches. However it’s unlikely that they will last terribly long and they are certainly not designed for any heavy duty sewing. Recently, I tried to do a bit of free motion quilting on one of the cheap plastic machines. It worked, but the motor was beginning to smell and strain. There’s no way it would do a big project.
Getting back to the 201K, sure, it’s an older machine, but the stitching is wonderful. It handles thick fabric like a dream and sews through thick layers like butter. It’s decades old and no doubt will last many decades more. This is how the machine looked when I found it.
To date, I have never found an older machine which was fully working. All of them have required some level of repair or refurbishment – except for this one. With this one, it just really needed a clean and oil.
This machine is of a very simple style. She is not ornate. The decals are of the simple paper clip variety. The machine is quite plain, as is the the cabinet. However, it has been very well cared for. The cabinet has a little wear damage at the front, but it’s minimal. The cabinet contained a box of spare parts and also the manual for the 201K, beautifully wrapped in paper to keep it clean and undamaged. The previous owner had even left a little note in the draw about caring for the machine which was rather lovely.
This is a treadle machine, which I love. The advantages are that no power outlet is required. It’s not necessary to be concerned about rewiring, or the electrics of the machine, as there are none. It’s nice for keeping legs and feet warm and active with the treadling motion.
She cleaned up very nicely, don’t you think? Of course they are heavy. It’s not a transportable machine. However, the weight of the irons and machine in a cabinet creates great stability when sewing. The machine in a cabinet is a flatbed. I find this is very advantageous for quilting and piecing.
A treadle machine, affords a beautiful control of the forming of stitches. This machine can sew fine seams, quietly, in awkard places, though thick layers, with ease and without frustration.
As I mentioned earlier, this may be a plain looking machine, but don’t let that be your only guide, as the sewing experience is just so good. It’s not difficult to treadle. Learn to treadle in the link below.
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Have a great day!
6 thoughts on “Singer 201K Treadle C1947”
What a lovely machine. It’s beauty lies in its simplicity and my how well those machines were manufactured. They were made to last. I learned to sew on a similar one which was my Nanna’s and remember Granddad stapling the belt together when it snapped.
I was lucky enough to get one of the lovely Singer 338 machines, with all metal gears and aluminium frame. Another of the Singer workhorses as it’s 56 years old now and has sewn all kinds wedding & bridesmaid dresses, baby clothes, bags even a wigwam. Now being used for quilting with its lovely stitches. I’m leaving it to my granddaughter who loves to use it.
I have one of these but the belt was missing when I bought it. do you know which belt I need to order? Thankyou!!
Thank you for your email. If you have a local sewing centre, they should have them on the shelf. You will need one suitable for a domestic machine. Or you can order one on line. You will need the 183cm or 72″ length. Best of luck. Enjoy your beautiful treadle.
Can someone PLEASE tell me where to find one of these machines? I grew up learning to sew on one. But when mom passed, my brother gave it to his daughter-in-law. (she doesn’t even sew) It broke my heart and I have spent years trying to find one like it. These new machines are ridiculous. So if anyone can give me a lead, it would be GREATLY appreciated.
Thank you and stay safe.
Just bought one of these work horses and apart from having to clean and oil her she works just fine. What an amazing piece of machinery. Just love it, brings back memories as I learnt to sew on one of these machines. Fully intend to use this too.
Adelaide South Australia
I agree totally with your assessment of the 201K. Buy’em when you find’em! I looked for years and then finally found a 1948 model (head only) on Craig’s List in Mesquite Texas back in 2011, drove down from Oklahoma to buy it in a Walmart parking lot, and am now using it as a 201K4 (handcrank) in a portable case. It would slide nicely into a treadle if or when the need arises. Right now, it’s the backup straight stitch machine at our sewing shop for when the electricity goes out. It has wonderful stitches, and has seen some use over the years, although not near enough for the quality of machine that it is.
CD in Oklahoma