Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Guest Blogger Pits a Spartan against a 15-91.

No blogging in quite a while now.  It's that darn Life acting up again.  Oh, well.  
Fortunately we have another posting from our special correspondent Anne Graham.
Anne writes:

Here is the second part of the challenge.  I thought this would be an
easy one but was a closer round than I expected.
The machines:
Singer Spartan vs the Singer 15-91

Both Singer machines this time.  One is a very low end model and the
other a mid range one.

Singer Spartan: 
 Made in 1960, this a small and very simple machine.
It does weigh what feels like a ton.  Not a feather weight....

Sewing:  It does sew very well.  I use this when I want a simple non fussy machine either for me or for a new seamstress to borrow.  It is hard to mess it up.

The stitches were great.  The threading, tension
and bobbin all are easy.   It takes all low shank attachments so the
1/4" foot works great on this.
Cons:  It is loud and rattles in it's case.  The machine definitely
outlasted it and a replacement is not possible.  The bed is small so
for larger quilts it would not be be practical

Singer 15-91 
This was made in 1949 and sits in a case.
Sewing:  It does an excellent job with stitch quality.  It has a smooth solid feel making sewing with it a pleasure.  It is quiet to operate.  The free motion work is excellent though I did not test it this time, know this to be true from other projects.  It takes a quilting foot and walking foot attachments making the job easier too.

Cons:  It is a fussy machine.  I forget between sessions that it likes
thread on the spool pin just so and the bobbin set just right.  It
like new needles and to be oiled each time.  That said, these are
small things and if done, it works like a charm.  I just get annoyed
with poor performance until I recall these things and do them.

Winner:  Singer 15-91

Cheryl at DragonPoodle concludes:
I've got a 15-91 that I'll be reviewing soon.  I wish mine was born in 1949 though, like Anne's.  Then we would be the same age (me and the 15-91, not me and Anne).


  1. I'd take my 15-91 anyday before a Sparan (I don't own one but have worked on a good many and sold quite a few. I guess I lucked out my 15-91 is a delight to sew on and not fussy at all. It free motions just as good if not better than my 201-2. This is kind of a neat thing your doing pitting the machines against each other! Great Blog.

  2. This is so funny - I got to the end of the post and thought "so the Spartan won then," and got a surprise when it was the 15! (I'm all for smooth and quiet, but I HATE fussy so, for me, the Spartan would've been the winner on that one.) LOL

    Please keep the smackdowns coming - this is awesome!!! Thanks for taking the time to share these wonderful posts with us. :)


  3. Thanks! I should explain myself about the winner. I thought this was to be a very easy and clear win by the 15-91. It was closer than I expected with the Spartan doing a very respectable job. It just doesn't do quite as well. It lacks some versatility because of the lack of any features except stitch length, it's small size and it's unstable case. All in all though, it's not a bad machine. The 15-91 is of the highest quality and functions perfectly when her few necessary conditions are met. I like tho think I am much like this too.


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