my precious

One of my dear friends telephoned me yesterday (when I was out buying new shoes, no less – it’s great being sample size) to see if she could meet me at my house because she had something for me.  I wasn’t expecting this!

Vintage Singer 201K sewing machine in Bentwood case

Oh my – a vintage “portable” Singer in a Bentwood case! When she delivered it to me she didn’t have the key with her. Luckily google came to the rescue – would you have believed that there are youtube videos and blog posts about how to open these cases without damaging them if you don’t have the key available? Basically, all you need is a teeny tiny screwdriver with a flat head. And inside, was this:

Singer 201K knee operated electric sewing machine, manufactured 1954

I am inordinately excited about this vintage straight stitching machine! It’s a Singer 201K, manufactured at the Kilbowie factory in Scotland in 1954, one of 20,000 machines made at the time. It has an external belt-driven electric motor, with a knee control. And today, my friend also gave me the extension table, the key, some spare needles, and the instruction manuals. They are all in excellent condition. I am in bliss! There is even the original receipt. It was bought by Miss Dawson of Alphington, from the Collins Street store on July 16, 1955 for the sum of ten pounds.

I am SO looking forward to plugging it in and giving it a try. It had only one owner, a now elderly lady from our church who passed it to my friend to give to the op shop. Luckily, my friend thought that I would be more interested in it than the oppy! After a couple more hours of googling I have discovered that this was and still is an incredibly popular model of vintage Singer sewing machine – apparently one of the best ever made. I feel so privileged to have this one in my possession – and I’m looking forward to letting the original owner know how happy I am to have it.


18 thoughts on “my precious

  1. Great score! I have a 201k and love it. It was my Granma’s and it’s my main machine (along with an over locker). One of the fantastic things about them is that they sew through heavy weight fabrics and many thicknesses. And how fabulous that you know it’s history! Enjoy.

  2. What a brillant friend you have! I’m going to keep an eye on what you get up to with your new machine. I have my aunt’s old singer and it seems very similar to yours – mine is a 1956 one i think but its in desperate need of looking at as it runs on its own! I have no idea where to take it though to get looked at. i think i will try and do a bit more googling.

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