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Thread: Singer 185K

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Davis, CA

    Singer 185K

    Yesterday morning I'd never heard of those numbers, merely dabbling in old machines. I frequently get subliminal messages from thrift stores calling my name and the one just down the road was calling me, I knew not why, but succomed to the siren's call. Just as I was ready to leave the store, I spotted a cute little green box and opened it and found this very nicely preserved machine.

    Since it was Tuesday and I could use my 10% "Senior Citizen" discount, any financial negatives associated with buying it were negligible. And I'd just had some crazy family issues and felt a little retail therapy was in order. So $44 later, I brought home what I'm calling "Simple Green".

    Everything I've learned about this machine has come in the last 12 hours so if anyone wants to enlighten me some more, I'd be grateful. I've learned it's from Scotland, born in 1959 and about 5 months younger than I am, it sews pretty well although needs some tension adjustment, the box is cracked/repaired on the bottom and the light is functional and while not a great deal, not too bad either (opinions on that?).

    I get these old machine for entertainment (or apparently for the pretty colors; sigh!), know enough to be dangerous, but not enough to do any big fixes/repairs without some major guidance. This machine has joined my mini herd including an old Sewmor, a Bernette, a Kenmore mini Ultra, and my regular machine, a Pfaff 7510.

    Would love to hear anyone's thoughts on any aspect of this machine. I'm also interested in hearing about how it compares to a featherweight and why it was so much cheaper than the FW's I've seen advertized around here.
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  2. #2
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    San Lorenzo, CA
    Welcome from a fellow Bay Area person!!

    I collect MUCH older machines than this but I have heard a lot of good things about these 185's Sounds like a decent deal to me, and I'd guess you've already had $40 worth of joy in it's ownership!


  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Central IL
    The Singer 185s are an updat of the 99s. Same internal mechanics, just a newer exterior. They are 3/4 sized machines and do sew quite well.

    There is nothing exotic or complex about them.

    I got one a couple years ago in trade. As I was cleaning and fixing it up I kept seeing my wife eye balling it. Once I was done, she tested it and declared it .... hers. Oh well.

    I love the old iron and wood machines. They're solid and reliable.
    Founder of IAAA - I Am An Anachronism .

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    So Cal
    Looks pretty! I know nothing about the machine, just think you got a good bargain.

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Sonoma County, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    The Singer 185s are an updat of the 99s. Same internal mechanics, just a newer exterior.
    Oh! I never knew that! I adore my 99K's and I've seen these little green machines around every now and then and wondered about them. I learn so much here!

    It's a cutie, clevermom, I think you got a good machine there!

  6. #6
    Super Member jrhboxers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Lexington Park, Maryland
    I actually have two of these now. This is the machine that mom taught me how to sew on when I was 6. I had tried to find out what the machine was. All I could remember was that it was small, simple and green. I would one on line, and then my second one came from a flea market. The first one is in mad shape as far as her paint job. I think I am going to have her repainted. Certain parts to stay green, and the rest a rosy pink. And I think I have seen pretty rose/flower decals. She sews perfectly with no issues, but she has had a hard life. I am trying to save the money to let her have a spa day with a color and style.
    Physically in Maryland but heart is in Indianapolis.

    Rescued Boxers are adoptable love. Please consider a homeless/rescued pet when adding to your family.

  7. #7
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Blog Entries
    Excellent machine
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by miriam View Post
    Excellent machine
    Love mine.Sews well and really like that green! I call mine the emerald girl

  9. #9
    Super Member nwm50's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    I seen this at my local flea market, asking $25. Didn't really know anything about it si I passed it up. It's a cute heavy green machine in a case like this one. I've recently traded my 401A for an 99K in a cabinet and love it!
    take plenty of pic of family & friends, keep tabs on loved ones but make time for yourself !

  10. #10
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Centralia, WA, USA
    The difference between a 185 and a featherweight? The featherweight is a 1/2 size machine. I had to see one in person to understand just how small they really are-bordering on toy territory to me. Don't get me wrong, they're a high quality machine or they wouldn't be so popular no matter how cute they are, they're just tiny. The featherweight also is aluminum and only weighs about 11 lbs. Your machine is a 3/4 size machine and is going to weigh closer to 25lbs due to being bigger and cast iron. Featherweights do have a cute factor that other machines simply don't have but IMO yours is actually a more useful machine due to it's larger size.
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

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