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Thread: Funny coincidences--thrift store 401a!

  1. #1
    Junior Member Brynn's Avatar
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    Funny coincidences--thrift store 401a!

    So I went shopping over the weekend, and stopped by the local thrift shop on a whim. They had yet another red eye (very sad shape) for their silent auction, with a painted cabinet. I let her be though, she had plenty of bidders and I have no room for a full blown treadle.

    For fun I stopped by the electronic appliances section, because they sometimes have neat things squirrelled away there. Well, I just about bowled over a young couple looking at toaster ovens when I spotted this baby!



    Ain't she a beaut? I didn't take her home at first, because I knew my boyfriend would kill me if I did, but when I got home I realized, "Hey, my repair guy would love this machine!" So a quick call and confirmation later I burned rubber getting back to the store with a coupon in hand and walked out with this monster.

    Oh, and did I mention it came with attachments?



    Anyone care to guess how much I paid?

    How about $19.35. To top it all off, this machine is actually the one my mom learned how to sew on, so she's going to buy it from my repair guy once he's worked his magic on it. How neat is that?

  2. #2
    Super Member abdconsultant's Avatar
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    great machine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111
    Just passing through!

  3. #3
    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
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    Looks like it's in terrific shape, and attachments to boot! I love my 401A, it's my fave!

  4. #4
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    What a great deal!
    What is that attachment to the far right on the bottom row?
    Dayle

  5. #5
    Super Member kitsykeel's Avatar
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    Great machine and price. I found mine at local Goodwill in a beautiful cabinet for $30.00. Dad was visiting and bought her for me. Sounds like I am a young kid but am 71 years old. Am currently quilting a queen bed quilt on her. She is great and makes beautiful decorative stitches and uses dual needles also. So much fun and ease of use.
    Kitsy

  6. #6
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Awesome!!!!!!!!!

  7. #7
    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    You did good, girl! Congratulations!
    Make it a scrappy happy day!

  8. #8
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    good grief....why can't I find one at that price...sigh...GOOD job!

  9. #9
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    good grief....why can't I find one at that price...sigh...GOOD job!
    notice she is having to pay for repairs as well.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  10. #10
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    Wow, great price and so happy you rescued her
    ♥ Craftybear♥ Google Goddess Surfing Queen of Links ♥
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  11. #11
    Super Member Grace MooreLinker's Avatar
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    Looks like my 1959 Singer. I bought new in 1959.
    Freedom is costly and quilting keeps us busy...

  12. #12
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    That is great steal. When I'm at Great Lakes Naval Air Station and in Chicago, hopefully that's when I get my great find. Nothing like that here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

  13. #13
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    Wonderful! Score!!!!

  14. #14
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    Congrats on the great find!!
    Be a blessing to others, as you may entertain angels unaware!

  15. #15
    Senior Member RUSewing's Avatar
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    This looks identical to the machine my mother had. It was bought new in 1955 or 56, was in a standing cabinet with a wood stool that the lid lifted up fo storing notions. What a workhorse! Made oue school clothes, prom dresses, and even my wedding dress in 1971. After we graduated and married, she made charity dolls and doll clothes, but eventually sold dolls and put herself through college. Got her Master's Degree in about 1986 and IT STILL WORKED! From that point on, I don't know, but sure wish I had it.
    ~~ Butterflies can't see their wings.
    They can't see how truly beautiful they are,
    but everyone else can. People are kinda like that. ~~

  16. #16
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Very cool...put the pics in the Vintage SM Photos thread. Are you sure it needs repair?

  17. #17
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    I have this machine in a cabinet. I'd love to sell it to any Atlanta area buyers. PM me if you are interested.
    We would worry less about what others think of us if we realized how seldom they do.

  18. #18
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I bought one just like it a couple of weeks ago at a Goodwill in Michigan. It is clean and sews like a dream. Didn't come with any attachments though Paid $15!!!!
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  19. #19
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    Wow! Great deal! I'm on the lookout forgone of these for my aunt and another for my cousin. So neat that your mom will get it.

  20. #20
    Super Member jeaninmaine's Avatar
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    The 401a is still my favorite machine, runs smooth and sews like a charm.

  21. #21
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    My favorites are the 403 and the 503 - not as complicated
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  22. #22
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    I don't know anything about vintage machines. What is so special about this one? When I'm out and about thrift shopping is there anything special I should be looking for?

  23. #23
    Junior Member Brynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindynvb View Post
    I don't know anything about vintage machines. What is so special about this one? When I'm out and about thrift shopping is there anything special I should be looking for?
    The nice thing about this machine, and the vintage machines in general, is that they're all metal. No plastic gears or anything. That means they won't break from normal usage, and even abnormal usage; it would take an epic amount of force to break the gears on one of these monsters.

    In addition, they tend to be more accurate and regular in their stitches. They're often more powerful, and cheaper than their modern equivalents because no one wants to bother with them or learn to use them. You can also perform most if not all maintenance yourself, with no need for a professional visit (though it's good to do checkups!).

    Basically, they're a great way to 'get in touch' with your quilting, and to reflect on the amount of craftsmanship and work that went into these machines before they switched to plastic everything. They're beautiful even when not in use.

  24. #24
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    These were the top of the line in their day and I think they are still way on the top. The needle was made on a slant which moved it about an inch forward so you can see what you are doing and less strain on your neck. They are made out of metal instead of plastic. There is plenty of stitch selection. They are fairly easy to maintain. You can find them in thrift stores occasionally, ebay or CL for about $150 plus or minus - fairly good price considering they were $500 - $600 when they were new - and it's been a while. Worth every penny if you can find one in good shape or one that has been refurbished.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  25. #25
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Very pretty machine, I have my first a Singer 328K with the fashion discs. Everything is metal and it still works like a charm.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

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