Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It just won't stitch right

Something happened to my 201.  I don't know what happened, but something happened.  It has gradually been stitching more and more poorly.   I have tried changing the tension assembly, no better.  I tried switching the bobbin case for a different one.  I even purchased a new, unbent position bracket.
Nothing is helping.  I finally pulled the hook and cleaned all around it.  It seemed better, but then when I put a newly wound bobbin in, it went all to pieces again.  After dinner I read the adjuster's manual and read that one must position the position bracket with enough room for thread to pass.  So I adjusted that, messed with the tension and got a decent stitch, with white thread, on two layers of muslin with the dial set at 9.  I just moved the numbers to 5 so that it would not drive me so nuts.  There does seem to be an abundance of "play" in the bobbin case and I can see that the escapement between the bobbin case finger and the position bracket could tighten up if the machine runs fast.  Which is when I have the issue.  If I were not an obsessive, I would have ditched this machine long ago.  But I am attached to it.  So I will persevere.  Maybe.

The motor seems sluggish as well.  So I pulled the motor and checked it all out.  Everything seems to be in order.   I lubed the grease tubes, but didn't check the commutator.  Should have.  But the motor zooms when in bobbin winding mode.  So then I oiled the whole machine again and gave up.

I have another 201.  The light needs rewiring.  The switch is bad and it needs a new motor.  Fortunately I have a parts 15-91 that will donate a motor.  I took a look at the light tonight.  Oh boy.  there will be a job.  Rewiring it.  And the switch.  Gee Whiz. 

Then, all of a sudden, I remembered !!  I bought some 201-2 parts a while back.  Sho nuff!  There is a switch and a light .  CELEBRATE ! So maybe I will be able to get a decent 201-2 together.  I sure hope so.  I love the way it sounds.  And looks.  Such a pretty machine.

Some folks prefer the 15-91.  I can understand that.  A vertical bobbin and a class 15 bobbin.  But somehow I think it looks stubby and aesthetically I find the 201 to be a more handsome and classy looking machine.
 Singer 15-91
So I will get at one of my 15-91s soon and service it so that I can just see if I could learn to love it.


  1. Hmmm...never heard of that. Have you tried changing the needle? I know you will figure this out...I know you will!

    1. I changed the needle a gazillion times

  2. One of these is on my wish list. I need to get rid of a bunch of my duplicates first-no more room for sewing machines.

  3. I do think the 201's are classy looking machines, but personally, I'm in love with the 15-91 clones. I have two - a Remington that I've fully restored and an R.H. Macey that I'm currently restoring. They're really sturdy, quiet, and smooth little stitchers.
    Needless to say, I do hope you're able to figure out the problem with your 201 - I've never encountered something that sounds like that, but I imagine it must be frustrating.

  4. The motor is good, so we know it isn't the brushes or the grease tubes. Check for a tiny thread stuck, in there and swelling up or getting stuck with the heat of use, maybe wound around motor or machine shaft acting like a brake.
    Also check for a too-tight belt, or an age-hardened belt. If that isn't it, check for too little end play on main shaft or other clearance not properly set. (You already know about the clearance on the drop-in bobbin.) Lastly, it might be a mis-adjusted foot control. All ideas from old posts on wefixit, vintagesingers, and featherweight yahoo groups.

  5. Tamar,
    The 201 is a gear driven machine, so it will not have a belt that is too tight.
    The motor sounds great when it is in bobbin winding mode.
    I will check those other things. Thanks

  6. Elizabeth,
    My 201 would occasionally do this to me and it also gave me fits. I finally figured out that it didn't like a few of my new bobbins(don't know if it has anything to do with having a replacement slide plate) and it doesn't like full bobbins. I just make sure I only fill the bobbins to about 80-90 percent full. Kind of a pain since class 66 bobbins don't hold a lot of thread anyway, but it solved my stitch problems.