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Thread: Singer 201K - What are they like?

  1. #1
    Senior Member frudemoo's Avatar
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    Singer 201K - What are they like?

    Hi all
    I've just seen a 201K listed for sale and I am interested to know what the features are and whether it's a good one to sew with.
    TIA!
    Amelia

  2. #2
    Senior Member frudemoo's Avatar
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    Hmmm... having done a search it looks like a 201K could be many different machines! Sorry for the silly question!

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    Super Member ArizonaKAT's Avatar
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    From what little I know, I believe the K behind the number means the machine was made in Scotland (like the white featherweights . . . I believe)? What I do know is I have a 201 and it's my go to machine unless I need to zig zag. It would be the first machine I save . . . if I had to choose.

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    201's are great machines. One of the largest throats of the type. It's drop in, horizontal bobbin is regarded as the only negative on the machine by many quilters. Some like it, some prefer the vertical type bobbin assembly for better tension during Free Motion quilting. If you can buy it for a decent price, you should.

  5. #5
    Senior Member vanginney's Avatar
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    I love my 201 - it just purrs, I prefer it to the 15 class and FW. It is my go to machine. If you can get on for a decent price - go for it. And show us pics!

  6. #6
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    If you get a 201 you will love it. They are such nice stitching sewing machine. I agree with Vanginney, they do purr. I also did an Internet search for 201K. Interesting to find that there are two models. Perhaps the K models were a British or Australian only model. I am sure either model would be an awesome sewing machine.
    Sweet Caroline

  7. #7
    Senior Member frudemoo's Avatar
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    This is what I'm looking at http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/warrn...ine/1013658168

    Sigh. There are so many "just want it gone" listings in my area of treadle machines. There's a woman I was talking to about another Phoenix like my 250 (was interested in her instruction book) and she has TWO treadles. A Phoenix 81 and a Gladiola.... She said if she can't sell, they're going to the tip! (rubbish dump). It's a depressing world we live in....

  8. #8
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    201's are super machines. A Google search of Singer 201 reviews will show how many devoted owners there are out there. There are not many machines for sale in my area and often they are very overpriced; treadles and vintage. E.g.: On Sunday I went to an estate sale and saw a Singer mocha 301 in a nasty, non-trapezoid cabinet and they wanted $400 for it. They said one guy offered $350 for it. Whew! Way more than I would have offered. You are lucky to have so many reasonably priced machines to choose from. Enjoy!!!!

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    I LOVE my 201 (actually I have 2)...one for white thread and one for black thread. They are my GO TO machines...Best straight stitch and very powerful and fast. Highly recommend.

  10. #10
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    I specifically looked for a 201-3, these were made only in the UK. And they're the only 201 that has the light attached at the back of the machine instead of the front. I bought mine on ebay and had to replace all the wiring but now it's good as new and stitches flawlessly. I was using it just today! I highly recommend a 201.
    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

  11. #11
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frudemoo View Post
    This is what I'm looking at http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/warrn...ine/1013658168

    Sigh. There are so many "just want it gone" listings in my area of treadle machines. There's a woman I was talking to about another Phoenix like my 250 (was interested in her instruction book) and she has TWO treadles. A Phoenix 81 and a Gladiola.... She said if she can't sell, they're going to the tip! (rubbish dump). It's a depressing world we live in....
    Oh, wow! I would snatch that one up in a heartbeat! I have a 201 hand crank that I love. I would also have to rescue the other treadles from the dump! I wish she would donate them rather than trash them....
    Linda
    There may be times we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. - Elie Wiesel

  12. #12
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frudemoo View Post
    Wow, I would grab that one if I was on your side of the globe! Beautiful cabinet!
    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace View Post
    201's are great machines. One of the largest throats of the type. It's drop in, horizontal bobbin is regarded as the only negative on the machine by many quilters. Some like it, some prefer the vertical type bobbin assembly for better tension during Free Motion quilting. If you can buy it for a decent price, you should.
    And the K does does identify it as having been made in the Kilbowie plant outside of Glasgow, Scotland.
    I do not have a 201 but I do have a 99 K and love it...

  14. #14
    Super Member Lyncat's Avatar
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    My 201 is my favorite straight stitch machine. Purrs like a kitten and sews a fine seam.

  15. #15
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    The stitch quality is the best I've ever seen, I love my 201-3. I used her yesterday and today. Let us know if you get one?
    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

  16. #16
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    I love my 1936 Singer 201K, originally a hand crank from the Kilbowie, Scotland factory. I prefer to treadle it, lovely machine to sew with and very quiet. I think it was one of the finest machines that Singer made.
    Sharon

  17. #17
    Muv
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    Senior Member Muv's Avatar
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    Hello Frudemoo, 201Ks are really nice to sew with. I got a treadle a fortnight ago (pics on my blog, link below) so I haven't had the chance to use it much yet. It has a very smooth movement, and does reverse.

    The one you show listed looks as though the spool pin is missing - or is it just a bad photo?

    Are the other treadles listed overpriced by any chance?

  18. #18
    Senior Member frudemoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muv View Post
    The one you show listed looks as though the spool pin is missing - or is it just a bad photo?

    Are the other treadles listed overpriced by any chance?
    You're right, I think it is missing Muv! Thanks for pointing that out. It's really strange, in Australia it seems that any of the treadles in decorative tables or with decorative decals on the machine are mostly really overpriced (which I didn't realise because I was looking for the smaller style of cabinet like the one in the link) but these smaller and plainer cabinets and machines are really cheap and often don't get sold, even if they're good machines.

    I really can't decide on my next purchase!

    I'm interested in the 201K
    Also, there is a magnificent old Singer treadle with the sphynx decals available but it's $250 vs. another treadle which I find really intriguing that's badged as a "Improved Nirvana" with NIRVANA on the table irons (machine looks like an Improved Eldredge B machine), decals also in very good condition - $275. Neither of these are particularly close by to go and look at
    The third is a free arm motorised machine, another Phoenix by Baer & Rempel. It's the amazing looking one with the curved wooden flat bed/tray thing (forget the name of this thing all the time!!). This one is a random diversion from 'Operation: Treadle'.

    Which would you choose? And what am I to do about these prices??

    Muv, I followed your fabulous clean & polish instructions for getting my Phoenix 250 moving again and it was the most fun I've had in ages, but the cabinet is warped and has peeling veneer and the machine is of limited use to me as it's a straight sewer with no instructions that I have no idea about the quality of the stitching and whether it's worth putting bucketloads more work into it. I desperately want to get treadling with a machine that's both beautiful and practical, but I'm paralysed by the idea of investing so heavily in something that may not be a good sewer. I'd love some advice if anyone has any?

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