Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I went off to Pittsburgh on Friday of last week.  Since the Ray White class was cancelled Andrea invited me for a visit.  I think she invited me.  I may have invited myself.  In any case,  we spent Saturday, Sunday and Monday doing what any self respecting sewing machine addicts would do.  We sewed, played with sewing machines and hit the Goodwill stores.  It was a most satisfying time for me.  I only wish Pittsburgh were closer. 

  On Sunday, before our little trip to Falling Water,  we worked on the pajamas.  After our little trip to Falling Water we chased down a 201-2. Centennial.

"The guy said it has been in the family."

"Sure, I'll bet.  Ever since he bought it at an Estate sale last week."

"Wasn't the listed price 60 bucks yesterday? It's at 65 now."

"Oh, do you think he raised the price after you called?"

"Well, there is no way he is getting  his asking price.  Not now...."

Well, we could tell over the phone that the sellers were smokers.  You know, the raspy voice, the rattly laugh.   So if it had truly been in the family we knew it would be stinky.

"Oh, this might be in a crappy neighborhood" Andrea informed me as we exited the highway.

"OK so if it is, then we just keep driving and go on home."

 We were relieved to see that  the neighborhood was not "crappy" but it had seen better days, back when Pittsburgh was thriving with steel industry money.  Now, it was a sad memory of better times.  Even so, the house in question was well kept with lovely fall flowers out front.

"I'll bet you are coming to look at a sewing machine." said a guy, in jeans, with a hunting cap and cigarette, as we got out of the car.  "Come on in.  We are down back.  Want a glass of wine?  We have some home made wine."

It was a bit disconcerting to be greeted immediately in the street.  But heck, probably everyone knows everyone in that neighborhood.

We went to the back yard and  found three more folks.  A friendly, easy going crowd.    More offers of wine.  Gee Whiz.  Don't they know?  All we want is to SEE THE MACHINE.  It was in the garden shed. 

"Oh yeah, it works, just fine.  Here plug it in.  Just needs some oil."

Ok, some oil, some grease, some cleaner, new wires.

"It's nothing I am at all interested in." declared Andrea as she completed her inspection.

" Would you take 25 bucks? "  I chimed in. 

"Fifty" was his counter offer.

"Nope."  Me, the rapid, response team.

 "Well, let me ask my buddy. I really am selling it for him."

(Oh, sure, right..mmm hmm.  I believe that.  They were working us like we were working them.)

" Hey D..!  Would you take 25 bucks?"

D.. tapped his foot, squirmed in his chair,studied me as I studied him right back, not letting go of his stare.  I was just about to drop to 20 bucks when he said:
"It's up to you R.."

"Thirty bucks."  again a counter offer. 

"Nope."  (Keep this up and we will just head up that hill).

"OK , 25 it is."

Well poor D.. was pretty bummed, I think.  He went on and on how the motor was worth more than the 25 bucks we were giving him.  Not in the shape its in now, I tried to tell him.  He wouldn't listen.

So we got out of there, away from the four cigarettes all burning at the same time.  No more offers of wine... No sir.  They wanted us GONE.

This is the photo after I pulled the motor and checked the wires.  Yup.  Needs new ones all the way to the field core.  Luckily I have done this before.  I also have a great reference.

So that was the adventure of Andrea and Elizabeth fetching a 201-2.  We went back to her house to sew some pajamas but before bed we played with the 201 a little bit.  You know, I took the motor off, Andrea cleaned the face plate and back cover.  She also cleaned the bed a little bit (not shown) and got it shiny.  Sort of...  It may stitch.  I hope so. 


  1. Like I have said before, you are BRAVE. My sewing machine 'fixing' is just the simple stuff. So who does this machine belong to? You, or Andrea? :)

  2. Elizabeth neglects to mention the bobbin filled with mono-filament line. Not as thick as fishing line, but probably very near the upper limits of a domestic machine. That was the bigger kicker for me.