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Thread: Found Singer 401A - Vintage?

  1. #1
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    Found Singer 401A - Vintage?

    Helping a neighbor clean our his mother's sewing room! Quilt guild will be receiving 15 bins for charity quilts. This machine looks in working order, but has a place for "cams" for the decorative stitches. Never did find the cams. Does this machine have any value as is?

  2. #2
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I have one and many swear by them - are they worth as much as a featherweight, probably not- but they are work horses , easy to maintain . Mine does not have the cams- is it in a case ?
    To keep your mind fresh- learn one new thing a day !

  3. #3
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Vintage for sure! Nice machines, and like Miz Sharon said, workhorses! Value is subjective. It's worth more if it has cams and attachments...doesn't sound like this one does.
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    The 401 should have about 5 cams or disks with it. Great machine. There is a lot of information on QB about them. Just type Singer 401 up at the top left of this page then push search. If search gets too overwhelmed you can go to advanced search and look at just the post titles. There should be plenty of good information.

  5. #5
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    I bought mine new in 1958, it came with 5 cam's. You can do a lot of pretty stitches without the cam's. It sews thick fabrics like a dream. I use mine a lot more than my new one. I would never let mine get away from me.

  6. #6
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    You really don't "need" cams with a 401. A good amount of stitches have built in cams. They are great machines.

  7. #7
    Super Member jeaninmaine's Avatar
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    You can find the cams on ebay and the manual is available free online. The 401 is a terrific machine.

  8. #8
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    My first machine was a 411 (the one with the chain stitch) bought in 1963. It is a workhorse and is now in the hands of my nonsewer daughter, But when I am there I use it and she still runs like before. It never ever needed service - NOT ONCE EVER!

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glorcour View Post
    My first machine was a 411 (the one with the chain stitch) bought in 1963. It is a workhorse and is now in the hands of my nonsewer daughter, But when I am there I use it and she still runs like before. It never ever needed service - NOT ONCE EVER!
    Did you manage to make your Singer 411 go on a treadle? They were made to do electric or treadle. Check the owner's manual.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    good mothers let you lick the beaters - great mothers turn it off first

  10. #10
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    Those are good machines. Don't let the nay sayers slow you down. Yes, it does have value. Cams are sold on Ebay, but beware of less than experienced sellers. Be sure they gurantee they will fit your machine. Don't hesitate to ask questions. You probably won't need them, but in case you do, go for it. A good cleaning is recommended. That is part of our obligation to our faithful sewing machines. We're all they have. You will havemany happy hours. By the way, I have a couple of machines that are worth less than the going rate for cleaning now. Unfortunate buy true for a lot of older machines 50 and newer. We are all waiting for the market to come back, but it probably won't. In the meantime we can just sew, sew, sew.
    Donna Quilts
    We help the wounded soldiers.

  11. #11
    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
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    I have 4 sewing machines, but the 401A is my favorite. It's my go-to machine, the one I use most often. The only cam I have is #1, but never use it. There are so many stitches built in already, and I'm not much of a decorative stitcher anyway...

  12. #12
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    I got my cams and slant attachments from mizkaki (Cathy) at an EXCELLENT price! (Especially compared to ebay)
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    I have the 401A and I love it. Use it all the time.

  14. #14
    Member pamg's Avatar
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    Ok I have said it before....I have my Mom's 401A she got new and it has sewed many garment and now it is happy making quilts.....have 2 others but she is my favorite

  15. #15
    Senior Member Sewze's Avatar
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    I, too, have my Mom's 401A ( which I bought for her in 1955) complete with 5 cams and a lot of feet. I paid more for the cherrywood cabinet than I did for the machine. LOL. I learned how to sew on that machine and made many Prom dresses for myself. It has been in storage since 1993 when Mom passed away. I had it cleaned and serviced 2 yrs. ago, but have yet to use it; yesterday I stupidly did a number on my Viking SE and jammed (or froze up) the motor and now am taking it into the dealer for repair tomorrow! So, I dragged the 401A out of the closet this a.m. to refresh
    my memory and will give her a spin later today. Of course I have 4 different projects going and I have to work on at least one of them while the SE is in for repairs. Boy, is my stupidity going to cost me $$$.
    Jinnie

  16. #16
    Super Member Rumbols's Avatar
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    Congrats on your new toy. You will have lots of fun sewing on her. I have one and I just adore sewing with her.

  17. #17
    Super Member patdesign's Avatar
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    Yes indeed, and the cams can be found all over ebay, they are called top hat cams. The 401 originally came with 5, there are many more (22 in all) out there, but a lot of the stitches can be done by the settings on the dials and the combinations printed in the top of the machine.LOVE a 401!!!!
    pat design

  18. #18
    Super Member dublb's Avatar
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    My 401A is my favorite machine, bar none!! The only thing she doesn't do is FMQ!!!! She sews through denim like it is butter, & just as easily sews satin! I use the walking foot & quilt up a storm on it! Again she doesn't like to FMQ but does every thing else! I've just got ta learn to FMQ on something else. I got her for $22.50 but when I go looking for one for my friend they are all $100 - $200. I hope ta find one that I don't have ta have shipped to me.
    Bev
    My initials are BB, so dublb is double B.

  19. #19
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    it is a great machine.

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