Singer 201K Treadle C1947
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.
Have a great day!