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Thread: Singer 201 vs Singer 301 - which to buy? (no pics)

  1. #1
    Super Member montanajan's Avatar
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    I recently satisfied my wish for a treadle, got Singer 66 "Red Eye", made in 1922 for a bargain in great shape & am now looking for just 1 more machine.

    I want to put a Singer - same or similar to Mom's old 201-2 - into her art deco cabinet that I have. I've been researching each, & know the 301 is a slant needle & has a carrying handle built in. Handle is a mute point, since I will not be using it as a take-along.

    I'll get a black one, to more closely replicate Mom's than the tan 301's. But aside from that, I really don't know which to search. Ebay & Craig's list offer both.

    Any suggestions on pros & cons of each will be much appreciated. The more I read, the more confused I get - 1 day I want a 15-90, the next a 201 -2, the next a 301. I've already asked re: 15-90 vs 201. Now I'm hearing I should get a 301.

    Each one I pass on ebay makes me think I better hurry & decide. Please Help!

    Thanks to the well-informed people on this site, I hope to receive info to make a sensible choice.
    Happy stitchig,
    Jan
    montanajan

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    First thing is to check to see whether the 301 will fit in your cabinet. Don't worry about them all disappearing - there are plenty available. Black 301's are harder to find, and you also have to consider whether it's a short bed or long bed. The 301's require a cradle for mounting into a cabinet; the 201 doesn't. They're both very good machines.

  3. #3
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    The 301 with a short extension will fit into any cabinet that the other mentioned machines will fit into - but you will need a cradle and two latches to attach to the cabinet, first.

    The 301, being slant-needle, will not have the piercing power of a straight-needle machine. It has a vertical bobbin for FMQ, but the bobbin holds much less thread than the class 15 bobbin.

    I love my 301 for portability, but if I could only have one machine of those that you've mentioned, it would be the 15-91, hands down. (The 15-91 is the potted motor version, but the 15-90 that you mentioned is a very close second - it's the same except it's belt-driven and has a bolted-on motor)

  4. #4
    Super Member montanajan's Avatar
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    OK, the quandry is over. I have purchased a nice Singer 201-2. It was 'born' the same year I was, only 1 of the deciding factors in my purchase. It will fit into Mom's old cabinet & is the same model on which I learned to sew as a child. It will arrive in a couple weeks. My sis & I are refinishing the art deco sewing cabinet/writing desk I have that was Mom's. Maybe once the cabinet is finished, I can post a pic. Its going to be fun to sew on an old mechanical machine again, though I will still also use my Babylock Quilter's Choice (nice win at LQS grand opening when they moved to new location). The treadle , Lady Albertina, a 1922 model 66 Red Eye, deserves some time as well - why did I ever think I needed more than one sewing machine?
    How many machines do others of you have in your collection?
    Mine is done growing!
    Jan

  5. #5
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Congrats on your 201-2. It is the last vintage machine I am still looking for in my collection.

  6. #6
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    All of the machines you mentioned are part of the list of classics. They are all wonderful machines in their own right and all a little different. I suppose it comes down to what you plan to do with it and how much space you have. If $ and space are no problem then collect one of each and play and enjoy your collection! If you want to actually quilt on it either the 201 or the 15-91 have a bigger harp and would probably handle FM quilting much better than a 301. The 301 is a great machine to stitch on but you will have to have the feet and attachments to fit it as it is a high shank slant needle machine and regular feet won't fit. Lots of decisions for you.

  7. #7
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Hi Jan,
    Okay here's the deal with me:

    Before I joined the board- my Bernina and my old Kenmore

    Now- The above :) PLUS 2 FW's, 15, 66 Redeye, 201,301 !!!
    Can you tell I'm having fun????

    I never realized how wonderful the old machines are!!
    I want to make my 15 a treadle. That's the only thing I want to buy. (famous last words)
    Have fun with your new girl!!! :D:D

  8. #8
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    That's wonderful - congratulations! :)

    You will love piecing with your new 201 - and it does decent free-motion quilting too, so you'll have fun practicing that as well. :thumbup:

  9. #9
    Super Member montanajan's Avatar
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    Yes, I'm having fun going back to the oldies.
    I realize Mom wanted a machine with more functions built in, though she did have many of the Singer optionals (buttonholer, zig zag attachment, zipper foot, hemming feet of various widths, pinking attachment, etc). So she traded away her 201-2 for what she thought was an upgrade to a zig zagging Singer Stylist, & was never as satisfied as she was with the previous old black Singer.
    Mom died 1 1/2 years ago, but I hope she can see me from Heaven & is happy I'll be sewing on a machine again like we grew up using.

  10. #10
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Jan, I'm sure she is :thumbup:

    I have heard this a lot from other people. My own Mom wasn't much of a sewer and didn't use those attachments much but seems like other people ended up liking their old ones better.
    Have fun :D

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