meet my (new) singer 15-91!


i’m the new owner of a fabulous old dame of a sewing machine, a 1930s singer 15-91! i purchased it last weekend from a dear new friend i met through the chicago modern quilt guild, erika of miss sews it all! she’s a collector of old sewing machines and somehow i managed to get her to sell one of them to me. thanks again, a million times over, erika!

i sat down and spent some quality time with her tuesday and wednesday and got the hang of how to use her whilst making a simple peasant top from some navy wax printed voile i picked up at vogue fabrics here in chicago a couple weeks back. the pattern is from the 1970s, just your basic boxy long sleeved peasant style with voluminous long sleeves. see above, underneath the denim jumper. πŸ™‚

after using it for a bit, i must say: i love the way old machines sew; their stitch quality is so amazing and regular. i love how simple vintage machines are in general; they have a singularity of purpose and if they are in good working order they do what they do very very well. and if something goes wrong it can be easier to fix them than modern machines, many of which are packed to the gills with computerized functions. don’t get me wrong; i LOVE my newer machines, especially my dear bernina, but when they go to pot it’s sometimes tough to service them yourself and repairs can be costly.

this isn’t my first vintage machine, but it is the first one I’ve had that actually works, and works fairly well. couldn’t be happier with my new sewing machine! this now brings my total of sewing machines up to 4, not including the serger. it’s a sickness! oy.

anyone else get bitten by the (vintage) sewing machine bug? do you actually use yours (or just keep it around so you can admire its beauty)? πŸ™‚



  1. mjb

    I’m accumulating quite a collection – my now main machine is a vintage Bernina. From the 70’s, so not as special to look at, but she’s a beaut for stitching! I also have a 1961 Pfaff straight stitch that I used for the last year as my main machine, and a beautiful turquoise post-war machine that has its own table and needs a tune-up so it doesn’t smell like burnt rubber when it’s stitching. That one may go to a new sewist if we fix it up. I’m still searching for a featherweight, though, so I can have a good portable machine!

  2. Cameron

    My grandmother used such a Singer. Your example remains as proof of what engineers like to say: “If it looks right, it is right”. Planned obsolescence was a distant, future concept when someone drew those lovely lines.

  3. sharon

    i have a featherweight, a couple of mid-size machines and even an elna grasshopper (the elna featherweight equivilent) google it its cool! enjoy your new machine and you new addiction!

  4. allison

    My primary machine is my late mom’s 1960’s Sears Kenmore. I love this machine, and picked up a second just like the neighbor who was going to send to the scrap man. I kept it a backup/for parts.

    Now your motivating me to dig out my grandma or great-grandma’s (so sad, I don’t know whose it was) machine that looks a lot like the one you have pictured!

  5. Sherri ~ daintytime

    I have one that is powered by a foot treadle. It’s not working but I have a friend in my knitting group that repairs old machines as a hobby. I hope to get it working soon. Very nice peasant blouse!

  6. Tammy

    I have a 1915 Singer treadle model 66 red-eye that is great.. Pieced and quilted a quilt for my granddaughter this past year.. Working on some rugs right now.. It has been my primary machine for the last year.. My husband picked up a Singer 15-91 at an auction this past week.. Can’t wait to get her cleaned up and see what she can do.. They were built to last.. I have a couple electric machines (Singer & New Home) from the 1970s also.. Love them all.. Enjoy your addiction and all the wonderful things you make..

  7. CJ

    I’m going backwards… from TOL Berninas to vintage Singers… and loving them! I have a Featherweight 222k (the free-arm version), a mint condition 401a and a mint condition 301… a 201-2 in very good condition, and 15-91 I just splurged on for my birthday! I can’t wait until it arrives! It’s been an adjustment from the fully computerized whiz bang do it all machines, but I doubt I will ever buy another “new” machine. Love the vintage machines!