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Thread: Singer 301a - Does any one have this machine?

  1. #1
    Senior Member barbo117's Avatar
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    Hi and good morning to everyone. This is such a wonderful and informed group, I thought perhaps you could help me. I am considering purchasing a Singer model 301a. This is what is called the "big sister" to the 201 featherweight. I want a little heavier machine and have an opportunity to get what looks like a nice one. If anyone has this machine can you tell me how you like it? Also, since I know nothing about these vintage machines, will I be able to do FMQ on this machine? Can you even purchase a FMQ foot for it? It is supposed to have a long bed on it which I like and the seller says there is no rust and it has been recently serviced. Any comments or opinions would be very helpful. Also, I would like to thank everyone that participates in keeping this forum going. Like a lot of other people, I so look forward each day to reading the posts and viewing the wonderful pictures of the quilts. Although I don't post often, I feel very comfortable here!

  2. #2
    Super Member Scrap Happy's Avatar
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    Can you look at it in person and take her for a Ďtest run?í How much are they asking?

    Have you seen the thread here ĎVintage Sewing Machines?í Hereís the link http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-43881-1.htm Vintage sewing machine lovers (and Billy who has a ton of knowledge about vintage sewing machines) participate in this thread. You could also post a question on that thread directly to those who collect, use and love these vintage machines.

    I have a FW 221 and would like to get the 301 also. My little FW is not made for heavy fabrics like denim although she would probably do it. Iíve read that you can FMQ with the FW but havenít done any FMQ yet. Both machines are similar but the 301ís motor is about 4 lbs. heavier than the FWís so Iím guessing but donít want to give you the wrong advice.

    Good luck and please keep us posted on how this goes. If you do get this machine share a pic with us.

  3. #3
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    Do I? I have two! Just recently purchased them. They are awesome! I do know the feed dogs drop on them. It would depend on how much they are asking, what kind of condition it is in. Does it come with a book?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Numa's Avatar
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    Love my 301s. Much better than a FW in my opinion. They are gear driven rather than belt driven, so they are more powerful. The handle on the top makes them easy to transport. The dogs drop for FMQ and the harp is a little larger.

  5. #5
    Senior Member barbo117's Avatar
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    Thanks Scrap Happy and deedum. The machine is currently on ebay as a buy it now for $200 and $40 shipping. The pictures that are posted look very nice and I have asked the seller several questions. Yes it does come with a lot of accessories and the book and it is in a case that looks great. I did a lot of reading about this machine last night on the internet. It is quite impressive and I love the fact that it is heavy duty. I can remember my mother had a 301 in the tan color when I was just a kid. She was a seamstress and made her living sewing. She put many a mile on that machine. She simply loved her Singers and would have nothing else. I have asked the seller one more question and am waiting for an answer from him now, then will make my decision. I will keep you informed. Thanks, Barbo

  6. #6
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Your Mom was a smart lady. They are wonderful machines!!
    The 301 is starting to go up in price I noticed. I got one on ebay too but a lot cheaper.

    Still, if you can afford it go for it, you won't be sorry.

  7. #7
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    I recently bought mine from craigslist for $125 with the cabinet, original chair, and 4 of the expensive attachments plus the regular set of attachments. I know that I got a great deal, but when I looked on my craigslist today, there were at least 2 more of the things for sale under $200, and one for $400 with the cabinet, so try looking there.
    I love this machine for FMQ! I bought the foot for it and it works really well. I also have a featherweight, and the 301 feels just like it.
    You wont regret getting this machine, it is a workhorse, mine is a 1951 mocha short bed 301.

  8. #8
    Senior Member quilter711's Avatar
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    I have three 301's that I recently purchased. The black 301's cost more than the other ones. You can adjust, clean, and maintain yourself. Great feature and saves money to spend on fabric! I have only practiced FMQ with it. I loved it!! I got the FMQ foot from April 1930's. Nice foot. I just purchased the even feed foot that fits this machine. I also purchased the instruction and maintenance booklets. Well worth the money. Good luck!

    Nancy
    Quilter711

  9. #9
    Member lynsews's Avatar
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    The 301 is a wonderful machine and a real workhorse. Mine is tan with cream in nearly perfect condition. I found it on Ebay for just $80, plus shipping, a couple of years ago ... a lucky find! The prices are going up on them, so waiting will probably just get more expensive! You will love it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member barbo117's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! I just purchased the 301a and I am so excited. I don't know how I am going to be able to function until it gets here. LOL. I am already shopping for the free motion, walking and 1/4" foot. Just can't wait to get my hands on "Agnes". That was my mom's name and that is going to be the name of my new girl. Proper tribute to the woman who "made" me learn how to sew. She would be so "tickled" about my passion for sewing and this Singer 301a. I will post pics. Barbo

  11. #11
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Barbo, so glad you got it!!! I agree with the other poster- the prices are just going to keep going up.
    You will LOVE it!! :D:D
    PLEASE post pics when you get it.
    And Agnes is the perfect name!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D:D
    Sue

  12. #12
    Senior Member Numa's Avatar
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    That's one of the other things I love about the 301. So far the prices aren't out of sight, but they are moving up as people discover them.

  13. #13
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    Just saw this post, sorry I am late putting my two-cents in. I have 2 of the 301's and LOVE them to death! I don't free motion quilt on mine, no feet for that, never knew they had them, but I piece quilts like crazy on both of them! One is the cabinet model with cabinet and the other portable in what looks like an old time "suitcase"...I am so attached to BOTH, they will be with me till I die...you are going to love it!

    I free motion quilt all my quilts on my old Kenmore, but never liked piecing on that one, so SINGER 301's forever is my motto! P.S. I have two friends that own them too and will never let them go!

  14. #14
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    I have a 301A and love it. I just bought a 1/4 in foot from April's 1930 shop on Ebay. It was $19.95 and had free shipping. It only took a few days for me to get it. I can't wait to try it after hubby goes to work tonight.

  15. #15
    Senior Member barbo117's Avatar
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    Guys thanks so much for all the positive information. I am just totally in love right now. I have been looking at Featherweights and 301's for over a year. I got a new Janome for Christmas and thought maybe that would quell my thirst so to speak for a vintage Singer, but NO! I just could not stop wanting one of these old gems. Every couple of days I look at them on ebay and last night saw this 301s that was beautiful. Of all the machines I have looked at this one spoke to me. I know that sounds weird, but it's true. Talked it over with DH and he said go for it. Slept on it overnite and now it is mine. Life is good! Barbo

  16. #16
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    Wonderful! You will love it! Nothing like an old singer! I have 4 vintage singers and two janomes! Happy with all!

  17. #17
    Super Member Scrap Happy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbo117
    Guys thanks so much for all the positive information. I am just totally in love right now. I have been looking at Featherweights and 301's for over a year. I got a new Janome for Christmas and thought maybe that would quell my thirst so to speak for a vintage Singer, but NO! I just could not stop wanting one of these old gems. Every couple of days I look at them on ebay and last night saw this 301s that was beautiful. Of all the machines I have looked at this one spoke to me. I know that sounds weird, but it's true. Talked it over with DH and he said go for it. Slept on it overnite and now it is mine. Life is good! Barbo
    Woo Hoo! Congratulations! Iím happy for you. You wonít regret the wise decision you just made. Love that you named her after your Mom. I understand about the wait for her to arrive. I went to see & pick up my FW but didnít have the cash with me and had to go back the next day. Oh the anticipation of it all!! Canít wait to see a picture.

    Not weird at all that Ďshe spoke to youí I always thank my girl for sewing so beautifully before tucking her in for the night. I also remind her that sheís not just a pretty face LOL! :-P

  18. #18
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Barbo, not at all weird!!
    My Bernina has been neglected lately. I'm in love with my old Singers :D:D
    Never thought I'd be saying this!

  19. #19
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    I HAVE A301 AND WOULD NEVER PART WITH IT ITS A 1951 LOVE IT LOVE IT

  20. #20
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    My mother was also an "Agnes" and she made most of my clothes on a 301, a tan one! I don't have one, but the memories are there. Oh for the good old days! :-D

  21. #21
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    My 301A was purchased especially for FMQ. She does a wonderful job. Any problems are with the operator, not the machine. AnnieRose also pieces much better than my 'good' machine. I have purchased the FM foot, a 1/4" foot, a SITD foot, bobbins and a new bobbin winder wheel from April1930s shoppe. Great service with no shipping.

  22. #22
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    I have one and I really like it. My 10 year old grandson loves to make his quilt squares on it

  23. #23
    Senior Member barbo117's Avatar
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    Hi mommaB. Oh yes, I can remember my mom bent over that singer sewing machine turning out the most wonderful things. I was probably around 10 years old when Barbie dolls came out. I was very lucky to have a doll but there was little money for the store bought doll clothes. Since my mom sewed for a living, doing repairs and alterations and sometimes making gowns and dresses she always had an abundance of leftover fabrics. She always saved every bit of material and then she would design and sew fancy clothes for our dolls out of the scraps. My best momory was the real mink coat that she made my Barbie out of the collar that a customer has her remove from a coat. I was the envy of all my little friends because of the wonderful clothes my dolls had. Mom was a smart woman too. There was a man that was a president of a large shoe manufacturing plant located near our home. He always bought silk pajamas and brought them to my mom to alter. He always insisted in trying on the pj bottoms and having her pin baste them as he wore them so the fit would be just right. My mom hated it when he came and she always made sure all of us kids were there in her sewing room while he was there. Didn't understand it when I was 10 but I do now. When I look back, they were certainly special times. We were poor in a lot of ways but so rich in the memories that my mom made for us. Barbo

  24. #24
    Member iluvmycats's Avatar
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    I recently purchased a 301A Shortbed and I love it. It is a little heavier then the 221's, but it is all gear driven as opposed to the belt on the Featherweight. It handles the fabric so well, especially when you are going over those intersections. I have a Bernina, that is now put away and I am using the 301.I purchased mine from "Duanes Singer Original Vintage Product Parts". He is just great. He guarantees the machine and even has a 60 day layaway program with 1/2 down. If you're looking for anything Singer Vintage,either he has it or can get it. And if you are looking for a particular machine, he will contact you when he gets one in. I can't say enough nice things about him. :)

  25. #25
    Senior Member pennijanine's Avatar
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    I just have to join in too! I have three 301 machines. Two black and one beige. All are the long beds and I would not part with one of them. My son asks me how many machines I can use at one time!!! I tell him to just don't worry about it! Absolutely the best machines.

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