Saturday, March 12, 2016

FREE X 2 = Happy!

Yes, that's right... free! One day when driving my son to school I saw the unmistakable shape of the sewing machine cover on the footpath. It was an old one....I dropped him off and hastily made my way back to the main road I saw it on. Phew... still there... I waited for the traffic and crossed and picked up this Singer 201P.  

It looks in excellent condition but the electrical foot pedal needs to be rewired ... it's not going because of this so technically, I'm not sure it works but I'm confident!

Interestingly, I looked it up on a a Singer info site in the UK interestingly called Singer Sewing Info, and this is what it said about the 201P's....

201P models were the same as 201K23’s but they were assembled in Penrith, Australia from parts made in the Kilbowie factory in the UK. The bases and cases for 201P models were made locally in Australia and are different to those for UK built machines.

A few weeks before that, I was driving up a street I regularly pass and saw this machine, the Brother NS10 on the street too. There was a tin with really poor quality threads in it of every colour and a tomato pin cushion. There was the foot pedal but not the power cord. Bonus, I had a spare one from some appliance no longer living. The only thing that was wrong with it was the shank that the feet connect to was broken, and the bobbin plastic cover was missing.

This morning I went to Elna Mt Gravatt Sewing Centre and got the two pieces for $20 and some orange lycra for $2 per metre. It's not a neat shop in any sense of the word, but there is a terrific number of old sewing machines on display (haphazardly on shelves around the shop) that were distracting me from speaking with the sales person! I have gone there before when I needed a foot for an Elna I also found, now since sold. If you need any feet, they have heaps and a lot are 2nd hand and usually about $5 each. The technician knew exactly which shank and  bobbin cover I needed immediately.. the bobbin cover was new and the shank was 2nd hand. Bargain. I said I didn't know anything about Brother machines as I had mostly Janomes and interestingly the woman who was there too, said this Brother model was a terrific machine and she thought Brother was a better machine than Janome.

This is a stitch sample... not bad. See the bottom two rows of zig zag, they are slightly angled and the top zig zag's are the normal ones. I haven't seen that before. Pretty good considering I haven't even taken the bobbin plate off to clean it yet. I can tell it had not been used much and that it was probably causing thread issues with that cheap thread and so it was discarded. So glad I picked this up as my 8 year old newest machine's pedal is playing up. I can see the contacts are getting a bit worn so at least I have a back up machine. I did use my old, very first machine to sew up the aqua and white togs the other day. Boy I still love using that machine... it still runs beautifully.

This is the amazing number of feet that came with the machine... all there too. Notice also the needles, including a twin needle!!! I have yet to check what they all do apart from the obvious ones like zip and buttonhole.  I downloaded the manual and will read up on it tonight hopefully.

So have you ever found machines on the street (other than Peter from Male Pattern Boldness - we all know he has found many).  I think these two make it 5 that I've picked up. Normally I get them serviced and then sell them for a smidge more than the service to cover running around. It gets them off the street and landfill and back into service. I just can't leave them.....


  1. Free motion foot for quilting. M foot on mine is for holding on buttons, but that one looks different to the one mine came with. I wonder how new that brother is? I've never seen a machine on the side of the road, but I have an old 3 thread overlocker in my storage room with a busted tension disc. I've been wondering if anyone would still want one - 4 threads are so much better!

  2. Oh thanks Collette, maybe I should try some quilting, but I don't know I have that kind of patience. I think your overlocker is still useful for tidy seams as opposed to garment construction where the 4 thread is better. Someone will want it!

  3. I have never found a machine on the street but have had some old ones passed to me. What I find fascinating is the history. Often with the manual is old paperwork from the purchase or servicing with the original owners name. The overlocker I recently bought second hand has a receipt and warranty card from its purchase in Maryborough in 1991 for $1169. A lot of money back then. An old Husqvarna machine I was given had the original warranty card valid for 25 years and it was just out of warranty by a few years. There aren't many things made these days that you would get a 25 year warranty on.
    I love a machine with a speed and needle/up down control. Great for curves and applique when you want the needle down to pivot often. It's amazing what some people will throw away.

  4. Hi Evelyn! Yes I have found many and most have been completely useable. This Brother one, I just took the bobbin cover over today to clean it out, and just as expected it was perfectly pristine inside. I think this person had no idea and gave up too quickly. I think it retailed for about $400 and it's a shame that for an extra $100 they could have had some lessons and gone on to better sewing things. How amazing to think that there was a 25 year warranty! And it is still going. What a great score too. I have to agree with the needle up/down control.... that's a great feature and the only one I really miss when using my old machine. Nice to see you the other day through the window!

  5. Totally green with envy especially the beautiful old singer. I want one to decorate my hall table with.


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