My flock

Meet the ladies!

Grace, Singer 201 (1948)

My first antique Singer! This is Grace, a Singer 201 made in 1948. Some say this is the best sewing machine ever made. One of these beauties was even presented to Queen Elizabeth II as a wedding gift. This 201 sewed ok at first, but after some research I took apart her tension assembly and put it back together the correct way and now she sews like a dream!

Polly, Singer 221 (1948)

After watching a few videos on how to clean and service my 201, I was hooked. I decided I also wanted one of those cute little featherweights that everyone seemed to be so excited about. So I walked into my local thrift store and picked this one right up off the shelf. $50. And I HESITATED. Can you believe it? But it seemed too easy and I worried I was overpaying. Yeah, the ultimate beginners luck. This was like 3 years ago now and I haven’t seen one since. Unless you count the ones going for $500 online, which I don’t. But this is Polly (also from 1948). And she is mine.

Roxie, Singer 500a (1961)

In my search for old sewing machines, the Singer 400s and 500s were near the top of my list. I’ve often read that for a zigzag/decorative stitch machine, the 401s can’t be beat. But there’s no denying the top spot for retro styling to the “Rocketeer”, the Singer 500a. Supposedly the functionality in the 400s and 500s is virtually the same, but some of the showier bits on the 500 are prone to breakage. I got “Roxie” here in excellent shape and with most of the cams from a guy on Craigslist that couldn’t get her to move. I was fully prepared to take her apart, but after following some random tip I read online with a single drop of motor oil she was humming right along the next day. I do not rule out the possibility of adding a 400 to our crew someday.

Rosie, Kenmore 158.353 (1959-60)

So aside from a few hard to find models, I declared myself done shopping for sewing machines. UNLESS of course I ever saw a pink one. So guess who showed up on Craigslist the next day? Meet Rosie! I haven’t sewn with her, but she runs just fine. In her previous home her cord was stored pinched in the table so it’s a little sketchy. I just haven’t ordered the replacement.

Most of these vintage machines were made to sit inside of a specially-designed table, but that’s not really practical even for my small collection. So did you notice the beautiful wooden boxes I have for my machines? Handmade for me in Papa’s workshop! I’m a lucky gal.

Singer 66 (1946)

Through no fault of mine, I also own this Singer 66. She was $15 at my local thrift shop. How could I not? The years were not kind to the disintegrating cord on this machine so I chose to remove it. ONE DAY I will learn how to rewire it. Otherwise she is in really great shape with a beautiful crinkle finish and an engraved nose plate.

But not all of my machines are vintage! For my 40th birthday I got a new sewing machine. It was the year of the pandemic so it was remarkable that I was able to get any machine, let alone the one I really wanted. This is my Husqvarna Jade. We’ve learned a lot together.

Husqvarna Jade 30

I think she has super cute styling and excellent throat space for a machine in this price range. It didn’t hurt that she matched the color I had just painted Papa’s old dresser turned new sewing table. Priorities.

I haven’t done a lot of machine quilting yet, but for our anniversary my hubby got me the Grace Cutie quilting frame and I found a Nolting 14” midarm to really step up my game. It’s all a bit intimidating, but I love it! And the fact that I can fit it all in my laundry room turned craft room is nothing short of amazing.

Maggie, the midarm

And before there was quilting, there was spinning! I adore my little Kiwi spinning wheel. Slow crafting is apparently my jam. Because if you thought knitting was slow, you should try spinning your own yarn first.


Not shown here, but not to be forgotten are a Janome embroidery machine from the 90s (still super cool!) AND a classic Singer from the early 2000s. It was our household sewing machine for years and then Josie and I made over 100 masks on it during the early months of the pandemic. We cleaned it up and spruced it up with a few cricut decals and now it’s Josie’s machine.


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