Singer 201 Attachments revisited

As I have been sewing quite a lot recently, I thought it was time to revisit all those lovely attachments that came with my Singer sewing machine. It’s the first time since I first got it, that I’ve been using my treadle sewing machine properly. And to my surprise, I have some attachments that I would’ve used if I had realised I had them. You may remember from my woollen trousers post, that I basted every single seam; partly because I didn’t want the hassle of taking out pins, but also because my sewing machine doesn’t have seam allowance indicators on the plate.

May I introduce to you the seam guide:

SSeamAllowanceStraight

 

As you can see, it simply screws into place, and you can move it around to get the EXACT seam allowance you want. Simply hold the edge of the fabric against the plate. What about sewing curves, you might ask? Well, luckily the Singer manual explains how to put this guide at an angle, so that the side is at the right position:

SSeamAllowanceAngled

 

Next up, I’d like to introduce to you the seam binder:

SBinderAttachment

 

It looks a bit complicated, but it is, in fact, really easy to use. First, insert the tape you want to use to bind your seams, this is much easier to do before attaching it to the needle bar. Here it is already attached:

SBinderTapeOnly

 

Next slide the fabric in the slot, put the foot down and start stitching. All you have to do is gently guide the tape into its slot, the fluted attachment will take care of the rest:

SBinderTapeFabric

 

Voilá! Tape bound seams without any bother:

SBoundSeam

 

Anybody want to hazard a guess as to what this little contraption is used for? I originally thought it was part of something else.

 

SThreader

 

But no, it is a needle threader! Carefully clip it on the sewing needle, and the wee hook will go through the eye of the needle. The clamp will keep the threader in place so you use both hands to hook the thread around the hook and then pull it off:

SThreaderInSitu

 

There was one thing that annoyed me from day one of using the stitch length selector:

StitchLengthBefore

 

As you can see, the numbers are engraved in the selector plate, but they are really hard to see without a bright light. Luckily I found the Vintage Singer Sewing Machine blog. Nicholas Rain Noe who writes it, is a vintage Singer enthousiast and he has very good and clear instructions on almost anything. Although he seems to have a particular interest in the potted motorised models, many tips and tricks can be used on any vintage Singer sewing machine. Through his blog I managed to fix my issue with the needle bar continuing to move whilst winding bobbins. Now, the needle bar doesn’t even twitch when I release stop-motion wheel. I finally found out how to clean underneath the bobbin case. But he also has a very simple fix to get those numbers looking as new, and visible. He explains in very clear language with great pictures on how to do this, so I will just show you the end result:

SStitchLengthAfter

 

Honestly, it took me less than 15 minutes to make it look like this.

I also wanted to take this opportunity as an excuse to mention Peter Lappin’s Male Pattern Boldness blog (I found Nicholas’s blog through his.) I have been reading Peter’s blog for a long time now, as, even though I have only recently started to sew in earnest, Peter welcomes all “to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, and more!” Peter loves sewing men’s and women’s garments, and like me and my knitting, he is self-taught and enthousiastic about all things sewing – I cannot recommend it highly enough.

DEAR READERS, PLEASE NOTE THAT I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HELP YOU WITH ANY ENQUIRIES ABOUT SOURCING SPARE PARTS, OR PUTTING A VALUE ON YOUR OLD SEWING MACHINES. I WILL ALSO HAVE TO DELETE ANY COMMENTS BY PEOPLE TRYING TO ADVERTISE A VINTAGE SEWING MACHINE FOR SALE.

6 Replies to “Singer 201 Attachments revisited”

  1. I’m glad you found a seam guide! I’ll have to check out the Vintage Singer blog, it sounds interesting. I find Male Pattern Boldness really fun and funny too. I’m glad more men are getting into the sewing act, really, making your own clothes should be for everyone. 🙂

  2. Tom! How you make me wish I had an old, handsome Singer to work with. My newish Elna is functional and fairly reliable. To give it a sense of interest, charm, any true poetic framework, would require the most rigorous, pop culture, ironic stance…alas, I’m no Thomas Pynchon.

    By the way, happy holidays!

  3. I just got a Singer 201K (looks almost the same as yours, cabinet and all) and there were a couple of these needle threader things in the drawer…I had no idea what they were! Do you have a link to how you fixed your ‘needle going up and down when bobbin winding’ issue? It’s happening on mine too! thanks!

  4. Buenas tardes durante mucho tiempo no sabia como se ponía el guía de costura en la maquina gracias por ayudarme saludos desde Guayaquil, Ecuador

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