Classic Singer 201-2 Vintage Sewing Machine Review

All Rights Reserved Copright 2008-2009 -What does this mean?  (NOTE: you may NOT use my photos or text to sell your stuff!)
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 The Singer 201-2 sewing machine is a true a classic! In fact, it’s Sew-Classic! Three words come to mind immediately with this machine- quality, beauty and durability. This model is an enduring favorite among, sewing hobbyists, tailors, seamstresses, dressmakers, and collectors alike. It is considered to be one of Singer's best machines ever! (I happen to be partial to it myself)

This review will cover the technical features, advantages, disadvantages (yes, every model has them, even this one), accessories, and common problems or issues found on ‘attic fresh”, unrefurbished machines.  (Free 201-2 manual download at the bottom of the page)


Specifications for the 201-2:

 

  • Cast iron body with an overall weight of about 30 pounds
  • Straight stitch only with full reverse feed and adjustable stitch length
  • Low-shank, screw-on feet
  • Uses standard, home sewing machine needles (15x1, 130/705H, HA-1, etc.. needle system)
  • Drop-in bobbin, class 66
  • Full rotary horizontal hook
  • Feed dogs drop for darning & free-motion work
  • Gear driven- no belt, motor usually rated at about 0.6 amps
  • Numbered tension dial
  • Large harp area (approx. 8 ¼” wide by 5 ¾” high)
  • Built on light

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The Singer 201-2 was first introduced in the mid 1930’s. At the time, it was the top of the line model for Singer and continued in production for about 20 years. The earlier models have the delicate scroll work on the face plate (see above)and access cover, while later models have the more “modern” looking striated design (below).

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One of the features that made the 201-2 so advanced for it’s day was the gear driven motor. You’ll notice the ‘pot’ hanging off the back of the machine by the hand wheel. This is actually the motor. Because the motor looks like a pot, they are often referred to as a “potted motor”. with the gear drive, there is never any worries about a slipping, worn or mal-adjusted belt.

Feet and attachments for the 201-2 are very easy to find. Just look for standard, low shank, screw-on feet. I have used vintage Pfaff feet, and new generic feet with success on the 201.

 


In fact, my favorite walking foot for the low shank, straight stitch machines is a Straight Stitch walking foot. No, it’s not the same as the $500 vintage Singer “black penguin” (as it is called) walking foot, but I have had the best results with this foot over any other modern walking foot on the straight stitch machines. In fact, I rather like it, and it’s price of about $20-$25. 

Notice how the needle opening on the foot is a small round hole and the walking mechanism on the bottom of the foot is narrow- just like the feed dogs on the 201 and other low shank, straight stitch machines.


As a side note,: No walking foot attachment actually “feeds” the fabric. What it does do is reduce/remove the friction and resistance of the solid presser foot on the top layer of fabric. This helps keep the top layer from stretching or shifting and promotes even feeding. 

 

Sew-Classic

This walking foot installed on a Singer 201

  

 

Alright, back to the 201-2 now. On the thumbnails below, you will see all of the attachments that came with the 201-2 when it was sold new placed on the page of the manual with the direction for each corresponding foot. These feet include the ruffler, the gathering/shirring foot, the binder, edge stitcher, adjustable hemmer and the foot hemmer/narrow hemmer.

 

 

 

 




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There are many other attachments available for the 201-2, including the zigzag attachment shown below.  It works best with fabrics that have more body and substance.  The results are less than ideal with the attachment when using lighter weight fabrics.


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We can’t talk about great attachments for the Singer 201-2 without mentioning the buttonholer. The vintage Singer automatic buttonhole attachments make the most gorgeous buttonholes, time after time.
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For free motion work or darning, the Singer 201-2 isn’t always the first choice for many quilters. The horizontal bobbin orientation requires the thread to make a 90 degree bend that doesn’t occur with vertical bobbin machines. But, I personally have had good results doing some darning and free motion work with my 201 and a modern darning foot . However, I’m not an avid quilter.


 

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 The harp size on a 201 is extremely generous, and as with most straight stitch only machines, there is tons of room in the needle bar area. This is great for visibility and for bulky or larger projects.

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The full rotary hook makes the 201 SMOOOTH and a relatively fast stitcher. I like to sew fast, so this really appeals to me. If you prefer to sew slowly, it will do that as well. If you do a lot of slow speed sewing, you might want to consider putting an electronic controller on your machine rather than the original, carbon pile, button controller. When sewing at less than full speed, the carbon based controller takes the energy not flowing to the motor and converts it into heat. An electronic controller operates differently, so heat build up with extended slow speed sewing is not an issue. On any Sew-Classic machine, the buyer can upgrade to an electronic controller as an option.
 

 

Another upgrade that I like to make to the Singer 201-2 is adding a marked needle plate. Originally, the 201-2 (& others) came with an unmarked, plain needle plate, and this is why thrift store machines often come with gobs of tape on the surface of the bed. After 50 years in one spot, this stuff isn’t coming off easily!

The marked needle plate makes for quick & easy reference, accurate seam allowances and can be installed for you on any Sew-Classic Singer 201-2.

 

I have no trouble what-so-ever hemming jeans and sewing silk with the Singer 201-2. In fact the small needle hole opening offers great support for delicate fabrics and along with the correct needle, eliminates puckered seams, even on silky polyester fabrics.

Speaking of needles, the Singer 201-2 happily uses any quality home sewing machine needle, except you will want to avoid using any sort of stretch needle on your vintage straight stitch machine. Due to the close tolerances between the hook and needle on these vintage machines, the offset blade on the stretch needle can actually damage the hook. Besides, since the tolerance is so close, you will find that you don’t even need to use a stretch needle. For sewing knits with a vintage straight stitch machine like the 201-2, either use a ball point or an universal point needle.

Refurbishing a Vintage Sewing Machine- What's That?

Common Issues:
One of the most common and easily solved problems people have the 201 is that the needle is inserted incorrectly. The needle must be inserted with the FLAT SIDE TO THE LEFT, and threaded from the right to the left.

DETERIORATED ELECTRICAL WIRES are very common - How to inspect the wires on a vintage/ classic sewing machine 

 


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When it comes to the motor on the 201-2, they are prone to having problems. Overheated wiring and damaged motors in need of replacement or repair are not at all uncommon on an unrefurbished 201-2. When servicing the 201-2 ,or any potted motor Singer, it is imperative not to overlook the motor , bearings, worm gear or grease pots. As you can see in the before photo, the grease gets really cruddy after 50 or 60 years. To properly service these motors, the motor must be removed from the machine, and the armature removed from the motor. This allows the worm gear, motor bearings, grease posts and wicks to be thoroughly cleaned. It also means that the carbon brushes will be removed, checked & cleaned along with the armature itself. Let me tell you the difference between how these machines run before and after this intensive servicing is nearly night and day.

 

The other important thing not to neglect when servicing a vintage 201-2 is to remove the bobbin case to clean out underneath it. If this hasn’t been done in a few years (and it probably hasn’t), they can be all manner of lint and cement like substances under there. Be forewarned, removing and replacing the bobbin case for the first time can be a real test of you patience and mechanical ability. Even so, this is not something that should be neglected.

More common issues on “attic fresh” Singer 201-2 machines are:

  • Dirty, corroded or missing tension parts
  • Bent. Broken or missing spool pins
  • Broken bobbin wider spring
  • Deteriorated bobbin wider tires
  • Deteriorated wires to the motor, foot controller, outlet plug and sometimes the light fixture .  Dangerous wiring is extremely common.  In order to properly inspect the wires, one must remove the terminal from the back of the machine and inspect all the wires and connections.  Bend, squeeze and examine the wires coming out of the motor very closely.  If one portion of the wire has brittle, gumy, stiff or crmbling insulation, the complete wire NEEDS to be replaced. These are all signs of age related deteroration, and the whole wire is the same age. Over 90% of the 201-2's that cross my work bench need to have these wires replaced.  Leaving the old, deteroriated wires in place is hazardous.  How to inspect the electrical wires on a vintage machine
  • Maladjusted button controller
  • Seized or rusted parts
  • Missing parts

Is the Singer 201-2 industrial strength?? I must point out that Singer made a machine nearly identical to the 201-2 which was marketed to tailors, seamstresses another cottage type business applications. This was the Singer model 1200. This model is simply a Singer 201-2 with an added knee lifter for the presser foot. which was mounted in a commercial table. This was not for sewing heavy fabrics on any sort of routine basis, nor was it intended for high speed, high volume industrial use. In fact, both the Singer 15-91 and the Singer 201-2 have often been favored by tailors & such for there quality stitch and durable reliability. However, there is still nothing truly industrial about them in any way. I highly suggest that you read this eBay Sewing Machine Buying Guide  and the Industrial, Commercial Grade, Professional, Industrial Strength & More- Sewing Machine Buying Guide to learn the truth about “industrial strength” and other misleading marketing terms.

 

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The bottom line is that the Singer 201-2 is a very high quality machine that will sew for generations with just a little TLC once it’s been fully refurbished. You simply cannot buy a new machine, at any price, anywhere near the overall quality of the 201-2. When the 201-2 was sold new, it’s price was about $1600 to $2000 in 2008 dollars after adjusted for inflation. For a 60 year old machine, that works out to be about 9 cents per day. What a great deal!

Singer Brochure from 1951:

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Varieties of the Singer 201 machine:

  • 201-1 - natrual born treadle
  • 201-2 - potted motor (gear driven) machine
  • 201-3 - solid hand wheel with external belt driven motor
  • 201-4 - natural born hand crank
  • 1200-1 -  same as the 201-2 but with a knee activated presser foot lifter and born in a commercial type table

For futher Reading- Comparing the Singer 201-2 and the 15-91

LINK TO FREE SINGER 201-2 SEWING MACHINE MANUAL and FREE BUTTONHOLER MANUAL

 



More info on an INSTANT marked needle plate for any vintage machine!

Sew-Classic.com

 

 

 

 

 
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Comments
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  • Wednesday, November 12. 2008 Karendee wrote:
    Thanks for this interesting article on the 201. Each time I read one of your reviews, I immediately want that specific machine. LOL!

    Karendee
  • Friday, November 28. 2008 APeters wrote:
    Thanks so very much for the truly informative info and especially for the pictures. I had no clue about the attachments till I found your page. Thanks again, APeters
  • Tuesday, December 09. 2008 Frank Poirrier wrote:
    I am in the process of restoring my sister's 1951 201-2. She bought it just before she was married. It was used to make and repair clothes for her 7 children. She put into semi-retirement in 1980, after the purchase of a newer Singer. Then came hurricane Katrina. Her house was under 7 feet of foul, funky water. The 201 sat under water for a month. It wasn't touched for another month after that. Local repairmen said it was junk. Then she asked me if I could just make it look pretty because it had sentimental value. I took up the challenge and sprayed it with WD 40 every day for 2 years. I completely dissembled it and cleaned and polished every part. IT NOW WORKS ! I'm just fine tuning it. Only a few minor parts were replaced. Mostly small springs and the motor brushes (they were worn out before Katrina). The gold leaf is gone but the original paint still shines. I have before and after pictures. This is truly a remarkable machine. I'm sure it will remain in the future generations of her children.
    Frank Poirrier
    1. Tuesday, August 24. 2010 Donna Mann wrote:
      I have a Singer table model, "born" April 25th 1951. Is this a 201-2. What does the 2 mean? Is there a 201-1. I just want to know if this is the one all of you are talking about! It probably needs refurbishing. It has sat for 20 years with no use. Wires are a mess and it works hard to do a stitch!
      Thanks for all of the info. it is a neat site! Donna in Ohio
      1. Tuesday, August 24. 2010 Sew-Classic wrote:
        Ummmmm......that information is in the bog entry/ review where you posted this question........
  • Thursday, January 15. 2009 Robin wrote:
    That is a yummy sewing machine! I love all the pictures and details.
  • Sunday, January 18. 2009 Rina Slayter wrote:
    Thank you so very much for your very detailed and informative post. I came here in search of the part number for a walking foot. I found that and a whole lot more!

    I inherited my 201-2 from my grandmother. It sat unused for 20 years+ before I got it and another 5 years while I had it. I didn't know how awesome it was until my home machine broke and I really needed to sew something, so I plugged in Grandma's machine and not only did it work great, it worked a million times faster, better, stronger than any other machine I'd used. It's now my primary machine unless I need to zigzag.

    A month ago, I happened upon another one at a thrift store and bought it immediately. The only thing better than a 201-2 is TWO 201-2's!
  • Monday, February 16. 2009 Jennylou wrote:
    I just got a Singer 201. Her story was that she was picked up by a construction worker after she was abandoned in a foreclosed house a couple of years back. She appears to be alright in everyway, running and all, but will be taking it in for a checkup/refurbishing. I looked it up via Singer's site and it is a 201 born Sept 25, 1938 in A. But my question is, is this the stronger/1200/industrial one based on it being in a table with a knee press? I hope so because I do prefer the stronger one. But even if she isn't, it would be an amazing start to my collection. She is my first machine.
    1. Monday, February 16. 2009 Sew-Classic wrote:
      A check up or maintenance  tune-up  is not the same as a refurbishing.

      Refurbishing a Vintage Sewing Machine- What's That?

      From 1938 - there's a 99.9% chance that it needs new wires from the motor and to the power cord and controller.

      Inspecting Electrical Wires on a Classic, Vintage Sewing Machine

      The 1200 and the 201 are equal machines as far as "strength".  In fact they are indenitcal apart from the knee lift and the table they are mounted in.   There is no "stronger one" of the two.
  • Saturday, February 28. 2009 jennylou wrote:
    thank you so much for all this information. you inspire me and if not for you i would be at a loss. i brought the machine to an actual Singer shop and he says he will have it like new again. I told him to please check all the wires. He says it will be $50 for perfect condition. Does that sound right? I wish i could do it myself but trust "professionals". I just got a 15-91 yesterday. So is this practically identical to the 201-2?
    1. Saturday, February 28. 2009 Sew-Classic wrote:

      A "professional" just means that they do there work for money.  Some are good, some aren't.

      Generally speaking, the average cost for a "tune-up" type of service at most shops is $60 to $120 depending upon your area and they type of machine (computerized ones cost more).  This wouldn't include re-wiring.  Most shops charge 1.5 to 2 hours labor to do a complete re-wire. That would put it in the $100 to $180 range.

      Your repair guy could be a bargain or he could be a hack- price is not the barometer to measure that, IMHO. 


  • Saturday, April 18. 2009 Cap Horning wrote:
    I have a mint condition 201-2 circa 1944. I recently had this machine refurbished. I read the instructions carefully and it sews perfectly (I've never sewed before). My questions are: 1) How can I obtain a marked needle plate? 2) Can you still find size 21 needles? 3) What type of needle do I need for sewing med to heavy cotton webbing. 4) How do I match the thread size and type of thread to the correct needle for this type of sewing (webbing)? THANK YOU, Cap Horning
  • Monday, April 20. 2009 JoJo wrote:
    Dear Jenny...Thank you so much for this blog! I own a 201 and it's my baby! The best machine I ever used. I love that you have shared your tips for cleaning and maintainance..I was wondering though....my girl started to hesitate..I need to move the wheel every so often to get it started. I keep my baby clean, oiled and lubed, so I was wondering...is the motor going on me??? Thanks!!!!
    JoJo
    1. Monday, April 20. 2009 Sew-Classic wrote:
      JoJo,

      Although I can't accurately diagnose your machine over the internet, I can tell you that servicing the motor can really improve performance.  When I service the motor, I remove the complete assembly  from the machine, remove the brushes, bearing grease wicks and the armature.  I clean out the bearing grease pots, hand wheel and any old grease around the hand wheel gears.  I also remove and clean the worm gear, and where the worm gear sits.  I clean & inspect the brushes, clean the brush holders, clean and polish the communicator.  New grease gets placed into the grease pots and everything gets put back together.  In this entry, there is a stark before and after photo of the motor area.  If the machine needs new wires (most do) I take care of that while the motor is apart.

      Also, when you stop sewing, always do so with the take up lever at or just slightly past the highest point.  It's easier for the machine to re-start when you do that.

      There are a multitude of things that could casue the machine to strain when starting up.  All you need to do is miss one lubrication point or have one spot that has some hardned oil or grease gumming hiding and gumming up the works.

      Good luck, I'm sure you'll sort it out.


      1. Thursday, April 23. 2009 JoJo wrote:
        Thank you so very much! You're wonderful!
  • Sunday, May 17. 2009 Victoria wrote:
    First off, I think your website is a great resource, thank you!

    I inherited my 201-2 from my grandmother. It's the table-mounted model from the 60's, and she also had the buttonholer. I had not realized what a treasure this was until I did some investigating. The thing is, I've never used a sewing machine, and I can't get mine to work!

    The issue is with the bobbin. The machine will not thread from below. (Is the bobbin case supposed to move? Mine isn't.) I place the bobbin, put the thread in the correct place and hit the foot pedal but the thread won't come up.
    Would you be as so kind as to send me links with some information or give me some tips? It'd be a great shame to let the machine sit in the corner of the basement!
    1. Tuesday, May 19. 2009 Sew-Classic wrote:
      To begin with make certain that you have a new, quality needle in the machine and that it is inserted correctly and threaded correctly.  This information is in the manual.

      To pick up the bobbin thread, turn the handwheel by hand.

      The bobbin case does not move.  The hook moves.  There are several blog entries on the sew-classic blog, in the sewing machine repair section that have animated illustrations of how this works.

      You may benefit from having an experience sewiist to spend some time helping you get to know the basics of sewing machine operation. These days, many people are often looking to make a few extra dollars, and I'm sure you could find someone to help you if you are willing to offer them something in return. - if not money, perhaps you could barter services.
  • Friday, May 22. 2009 Cheryl Yingst Bartel wrote:
    Thank you so much for all of this info. I have three 201's and I am trying to learn how to refurbish them myself (one is strictly for practice!). I have a problem - I have lost 2 bobbin tension screws (the teeny weeny ones). Can you replace? I don't want to have to buy the entire bobbin assembly for a tiny screw! Thanks so much.
    Cheryl
  • Thursday, June 04. 2009 Cathy wrote:
    I'm considering buying a 201-2. I sew as a hobby making home decor projects. My old portable just gave out on me and I want a better machine. Are there any others I should consider?
    1. Friday, June 05. 2009 Sew-Classic wrote:
      You might find some of the other reviews on this blog helpful.   Sew-Classic sewing machine reviews
  • Wednesday, June 10. 2009 Maryanne wrote:
    This website is fantastic! I am writing from Cleveland, Ohio. I recently received a 201-2 from a friend. I have taught myself how to sew on a machine so I am NOT a world-class sewing enthusiast but I have a deep respect for good workmanship and this machine is a beauty.

    I seem to have attachments which are not shown above and I would love to be able to send pictures along to you to help identify what I have. I have all the ones shown plus more. I have all the original boxes everything came in.

    In addition, I have the zig zag, blindstitch and pinking attachments. I have a buttonholer also but this looks like an add on many years later. The original manual is last dated in 1938 for the copyright.

    The wires all look good and it runs easily. The cabinet it is in has many signs of wear and tear but the overall condition of the machine appears very good. It is clean and polished. I can tell it was put to good use because the scrolling on the face plate is worn. I don't seem to have a foot pedal, there is knee plate to run the machine.

    I probably won't be keeping this machine. I have a small house and I doubt that I will become an expert on the sewing machine.

    Please tell me how I can send some pictures of the attachments I can't seem to place.

    Thanks for all the information on this website.
    1. Wednesday, June 10. 2009 Sew-Classic wrote:
      Contact Sew-Classic
      1. Saturday, June 20. 2009 Rayna wrote:
        Hi, I've found your blog very interesting helpful! I offer sewing machines on ebay myself. I guess maybe I should stop giving the cabinets to the local sewing shop! Great site, I've marked you in my favorites!
        1. Saturday, June 20. 2009 Sew-Classic wrote:
          Thanks Rayna! Just a gentle reminder that all of the content on my blog & website (text and photos) is copyrighted, so please don't use them on your listings.  Thanks for stopping by!
    2. Friday, September 25. 2009 karen wrote:
      i live in cleveland as well and have a really small house and my 201-2 has a prominent place in my living rm. you can im me thru yahell at undereveryrock2x if you like, i can help you identify the attachments and teach you to service your machine yourself. karen
  • Saturday, June 20. 2009 Susan wrote:
    I just found the old machine my mother bought at a yard sale years ago (just to get the hemstitcher attachment) is a 201. I want to be able to work on it myself, so my dad showed me all the parts--gears and all and explained them. They're in good working order but need a little cleaning.

    When we checked the wiring it fell apart in the terminal box. The cord from the machine to the outlet is new but the rest is original. Dad opened the motor and the wiring fell apart there too. He says he will have to solder the new wiring. He said it looked like size 18 and wants to see if he can get it with the end connectors--I don't know if this is the technical term; I don't know much about wiring--yet. I saw one internet site that sold the wiring for connecting the machine to the foot pedal. I haven't seen anywhere that sells it for the motor. Dad said it shouldn't be a problem--I'm sure he knows what to buy and where to get it since he's been repairing appliances for 50 years. But do you have any information for rewiring? Thanks
    1. Saturday, June 20. 2009 Sew-Classic wrote:
      Try this for more information:

      Refurbishing a Vintage Sewing Machine, Whhat's That?
  • Monday, June 22. 2009 Alvin wrote:
    Hi I just purchased a 201-2 machine. I'm thinking of purchasing a vintage case. Does anyone know if this one on ebay fits the 201-2. Thanks!

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=250446184660
    1. Monday, June 22. 2009 Sew-Classic wrote:
      For a case or table to fit the 201-2, you need an opening size of  approximantely 14-7/8"  long and about 7 3/8" wide(deep) with a center to center hinge spacing of about 9 3/4".  As far as any information about a particular ebay listing, it's best to contact the seller directly for details.  
      1. Monday, June 22. 2009 Alvin wrote:
        Thank you. This will help.
  • Sunday, June 28. 2009 fran lorz wrote:
    Hello, Out of 4 sewing machines and 3 embroidery machines, this model is my favorite.....thank you for your site.
    Fran from CA
  • Saturday, July 11. 2009 Scott wrote:
    I needed a high quality backup for my 206A, and my 500A. I tripped over a little 201-2 in Saint Vinneys. After a little oil and cleanup, figured out that the needle was in wrong, and now have a great machine! I love it! Peace out folks!
  • Monday, July 13. 2009 Sarah Skeels Tuck wrote:
    I have a 201-2 in cabinet style and I know it works. I went to a yard sale and fell in love with the cabinet. My sewing capibilities are such that the machine itself for age is lovely but I need the high grade quality that technology offers. I started sanding the cabinet down and trying to restore, but after looking at my machine I have a quality piece that is so minimal in restoration that that is why I decided to look it up to see if others had enjoyed the piece as much as I. I am going to continue to look for reference material to its origin but I am interested more in knowing the wood used for the cabinet. The orinal books in the drawersa stated the button portion was from 1947 I believe and the other book with the machine I think was 1952. I am sorry I am not looking at the time of these comments. But anyways, good to hear from folks that like the machine.
    1. Wednesday, February 17. 2010 L J Parker wrote:
      I am restoring a 201-2 in a Queen Anne cabinet. The basic wood is Black Walnut. The table part is a composit of probably boxwood for strength and walnut veneer both sides with the top being four panels of walnut burl, matched grain. This machine was treated to a roof leak for many years so I am having fun relaying the veneer and getting it flat. Just sanding only works on solid wood. The legs are solid. I use Stripease and leave it on sufficiently long. I wipe this off with stainless steel wool and then clean with ammonia and the steel wool. A very quick and light water wash gets the ammonia off followed by immediately drying with an old towel. Keep it out of the sun or from hot dry areas until it dryes. A light sanding and it is ready for stain. Mine will be Min-Wax Special Walnut applied to a panel at a time and excess wiped off. Two days to dry and then a first coat of Min-Wax Poly with a foam brush. When dry take most off with 3O steelwool. A final coat again with foam brush barely wetting the wood. I use satin-finish on restored stuff. Good luck on your cabinet. I would love to see pictures of the original cabinet workers doint their thing if anyone has some. Ole L J
  • Sunday, August 30. 2009 Stacy wrote:
    Where can you get a bobbin for this machine?
    1. Sunday, August 30. 2009 Sew-Classic wrote:
      Well, you are going to want more than one.  I sell them ( $3.99 a dozen), and you can get them at your local sewing shop as well.
  • Thursday, September 10. 2009 Julie Ousley wrote:
    This article is an answer to prayer. Now I know where to start, once I find a replacement cord for my 201-2.
  • Saturday, September 19. 2009 Lauren wrote:
    Hi Jenny,

    Your site is great! Made all the better by the excellent photography. I am new to vintage Singer's and after seeing so many in rough shape it is amazing to look at yours, many of which are frozen in time.

    I have on question - the stitches-per-inch lever, how accurate should it be? On "6" I am getting 13 stitches. But they are a very good 13

    PS: Julie (above), I found a cord at a nearby sew shop/Singer shop. They had both single and double lead. Also Ebay has them.
  • Monday, October 05. 2009 Jennifer Pipe wrote:
    I have a vintage 201 (electric and, I believe, belt-driven). It was left to me by my great-aunt and, other than being cleaned and overhauled about 10 years ago, has sat virtually untouched. It is very clean, runs well, and has the button-hole and one other attachment. Not being a sewer myself, I don't know what this other attachment is. It is not in a cabinet, but looks like it may have been in one at one time.
    Can anyone tell me what it is worth? I've found pictures online, but nothing that would give even a ballpark idea of the machine's value. Any assistance on this would be appreciated! :0)
    Thanks!
  • Friday, October 16. 2009 Diane Davidson wrote:
    I have inherited a 201-2 from my grandmother that my grandfather bought for her during the re-session so she could sew my mothers and my aunts clothes. I have all the original parts, manual's and oil and attachments. Everything that came with the machine in 1947. It is a cabinet one. can anyone tell me the value of it? I need to know for home owners insurance reasons. To me its priceless, but I need a value. Please if anyone can help I would be grateful. Thanks
    1. Friday, October 16. 2009 Sew-Classic wrote:
      There is an article on my blog that will help you determine a value. 

      http://blog.sew-classic.com/2009/06/05/6-steps-of-how-much-is-a-sewing-machine-worth.aspx

  • Friday, October 23. 2009 Joyce Lazok wrote:
    Please help! I just got a Singer sewing machine. It has a front plate attached tension gage, not an attached to the iron structure of the machine. It is attached to the removeable plate at the left of the head end. I have a book that doesn't match anything, so I need help to get more info. I haven't seen a machine like this one. There is no Off/ON switch either. It is in a art deco cabinet, Not sure of the age. I desperately need information on this machine. Thanks, Joyce
  • Wednesday, December 16. 2009 Audrey wrote:
    Hello Jenny,
    I just wanted to thank you for all the great information you have provided for which is now my all time favorite machine the Singer 201. You gave my the unbelievable fantastic idea to put the machine into a Seven drawer cabinet which formerly held a treadle machine now I have the best of both worlds.
  • Monday, December 28. 2009 Seb Clement wrote:
    Very informative info about the 201-2.
    Was wondering about the zig zag attachment. Havent been able to find one. What would be the part number for the attachment?
    thanks!
    1. Tuesday, December 29. 2009 Sew-Classic wrote:
      Off the top of my head, I wouldn't know the part number.  I'd have to look it up. I have my zigzag attachment put away, because I just don't use it much. 
  • Tuesday, December 29. 2009 Audrey wrote:
    Hi I just bought a Zig Zag Attachment for the 201 on E Bay but I haven't tried it out yet. The seller told me it was for that machine. I will look up the part number for it as soon as I get home ( I am at work )
  • Tuesday, December 29. 2009 Julie wrote:
    My mother recently gave me her 201-2, and it has an automatic zigzagger (that's what it says on the box) and the part number is 160985. I have never used it (and I don't remember her ever using it, but she stopped sewing many many years ago) so I don't know if it works, but it is quite an intimidating heavy thing.
  • Thursday, December 31. 2009 Audrey wrote:
    I was a little worried that I had purchased the wrong Zigzagger on ebay until I looked at the Instruction booklet that came with it. The Booklet reads Singer Automatic ZigZagger
    No. 161102 on Singer sewing machines of Classes 15, 191, 201, 221, 222 and 1200
    and No. 161103 on machines of Class 301.
    I know some Zigzaggers are available on Ebay happy bidding! Happy New Year!!
  • Friday, February 26. 2010 patricia liverman wrote:
    Thank you soo much for this invaluable article. I have had my late aunts 201 from 1938 sitting in my darghters room for 15 years and have thought of fetting rid of it. Recently, I have begun designing cloth handbags using a singer of my moms from the 1980s. I decided to check out my aunts machine{I still have a jacket she made on it} I am now grateful that I still have it.I am now planning on refurbishing it and your article has convinced me that i can probably maintain it after that.

    again thank you so much

    patricia

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