Here's another contribution from guest blogger Anne Graham.
You too could be a guest blogger. Write about your vintage sewing machines and send pictures. It really is just that easy! You KNOW you have a lot to say about your machines, why not share?
I have finally gotten to the final test of the series. This one
included two known favorites of mine, the Singer 201 and the Pfaff
131. Both machines were made approximately the same time and for the
same purpose. The countries are different and the condition they came
to me are also different. Each one was a freebie.
The Singer 201 was along for the ride when I bought the cabinet it came in. It was inoperable and very very dirty. Because of the fine reputation this model has I took it and spent some serious time in cleaning. I bought some parts to replace worn and missing ones. All the while I wondered if I had truly lost my mind. It was so enjoyable. I do not know why I am compelled to do this. After a while I did get it to turn and eventually run nicely. There is more work to be done but it is up to the test.
I am now at a point in the sewing of my project where quilting is all that is left. Each machine needs to be able to use a walking foot or feed the fabric and batting through evenly. Each machine will have to
be able to use clear nylon quilting thread easily.
Singer 201 Pro's: She took to the walking foot like it was made special for this machine. It is not the special strait stitch kind either, just a common Alphasew model. It pulled the fabric through and stitched with no tangles underneath or pulling off center. No problem with clear thread and held tension in bobbin too. The light placement is nice - in front of the machine. I prefer this to the back. It is fairly quiet considering the strength it has. On a side note, Because it is in a case I can take it's powerful sewing ability wherever I want. It just needs a luggage carrier.
Cons: The machine's motor still needs some work so it is a little slow. It will improve with more work. This machine is a biggie, so to use it in a case means you have to raise your arms to sew with it.
The height is inconvenient when on a table and if you are doing quilting it is a lot of time in that position.
Pfaff 131 Pro's: This baby is smooth. It is beautiful, powerful and fast, fast, fast. The manual it says it is a lightweight high speed machine for corset and shirt production. It may have been intended to be a home machine only. One thing for sure, it is not lightweight in the literal sense. It is so heavy I could not use it in a case, it had to go in a cabinet. It sews perfectly with the quilting thread. I like that I can open the cabinet and let the quilt lay flat while working on it. That helps me a novice quilter by keeping it all
smooth and not bunched up. It is a low shank like the Singer 201 and also takes a walking foot nicely.
Cons: I have no idea why, but the Pfaff has the dumbest bobbin access of any machine. Unless I am doing it wrong, you have to tilt the machine up each time you change a bobbin. There is an access plate for the bobbin area but I can not get my hand down there far enough to replace one. It's hook is vertical just like the 201, by the way.
Very very close in this segment. They are almost exactly alike but...........the winner is the Pfaff 131.
Cheryl at DragonPoodle comments:
Anne wonders if she has lost her mind. Many of us wonder the same thing. Why is it so satisfying to work on these machines? There are a million reasons, what are yours? I love bringing them back to life by revealing their beauty and restoring them to operating condition. But it goes much deeper than that, doesn't it?
and about that Pfaff bobbin set up. The Singer 306 is the same, you have to tilt the machine back to change the bobbin. You get used to it---unless you treadle it. Then it is a real pain because you have to release the belt to do it.