Singer 15-91

June 25, 2011

Fair warning: spending time Michelle  will make you want to rescue sewing machines. 

Case in point...Russ found this little lady was at Goodwill the other night with a price tag of $15. After a wee bit of research, Russ and I discovered we found a Singer 15-91. 15-91's are gear driven and not belt driven. She has what is called a "potted motor." This particular machine was born in 1949. More information on the SInger 15-91's can be found on Sew Classic Blog

As you can see, the cord was in terrible shape. Not too surprising with it being over 60 years old. I confess, I did plug it in to see if the machine worked. It ran beautifully. When I went to unplug it, the sparks flew from the plug and exploded. I never claimed to have common sense and am grateful my house didn't catch fire. Lesson learned....

During the cleaning time, the black plastic that was on the wires crumbled off and made a huge black mess. Clearly, the whole thing needed to be rewired. 

This is where Russ, my personal electrical tech comes in the picture. 

He began some work on it last night and is making more progress today. It will be a sweet machine when it's all fixed up and oiled. 

And, no, I am not going to begin collecting machines. 

Although, a featherweight would be sweet....



  1. Too late! You may be in the beginning stages of S.M.A.D. Sewing Machine Addiction Disorder. I collected three treadle machines in 4 weeks last year. I won't say how many machines I now have. I'm afraid to count them all. I'm still in the early stages. Good luck.

  2. Sweet! Mt post this weekend will have my 15-91 too! But, yours is in MUCH better shape than mine, and I payed $20. Congratulations on a great find!

  3. Nice find...and it must be great to have a hubby that can repair for you! What will you find next??

  4. This will be almost as good as a featherweight. It will sew a great stitch and will dependable. Have fun with it. Chris

  5. Lucky is a beauty!!!

  6. ...."And, no, I am not going to begin collecting machines."

    UH HUH!! LOL!!! I think it's too late honey! They are like puppies and kittens and all things cute and cuddly. We just can't leave them unwanted and neglected! THEY MUST BE RESCUED AND LOVED!!!

    Looks like you have your 15-91 cleaned up nicely. I might have to unearth mine (from under the toaster) polish the cabinet, clean and oil the machine again, and sew some stitches before I put her back to bed. Maybe mine will be on my blog post tomorrow...who knows?

    Your Russ is such a sweetie. I know someone else like him too! ;-) You and me,....we's blessed!

    Have a wonderful Sunday!

  7. Nice deal you got! Looks to be in great shape. I haven't had time to research mine, though one blogger did say it was a red eye...that of course went over my head.

    It really isn't collecting. Its beening practical. Just think of all the sewing we couldn't get done if we only had one machine and it needed repairs.

    blessings, jilly

  8. Awesome find! I'm in the beginning stages, too...just collecting from family so far - but someone told me about a featherweight...(grin).
    Jacque in SC

  9. i have one that needs to be re wired!!! 15 is such a great price. i found one over a year ago now that was just too pretty to pass up.

  10. @Snoodles: Let me know if you find one! =)

  11. A month and a half ago, I had no vintage Singer machines. Now I have three. I bought a 15-91 off ebay on Mother's Day and that's when the adventure began. I now also own a 201 and a 201-2. DH is cleaning those last two and rewiring them. The 15-91 had already been refurbished. He's also refinished two cabinets in the last month and a half as well.

    He groans when I mention seeing another machine, but he's enjoyed working on the machines and the cabinets, so I think he may have caught the bug too.

  12. Michelle is always finding old machines! Now you've joined her. :) I've looked at the Goodwills down here where I am right now but...nothing. :( blessings, marlene

  13. Just found this post in your "link-within". These are fantastic machines--and the feed dogs can be lowered, which, in my experience, makes quilting so much easier. (A dear friend gave me her 1952 15-91 that she bought in 1962 to make her wedding dress. We just celebrated her 50th anniversary, and the machine still works great.)

  14. I just found a 15-91 in AMAZING shape at an antique mall for $100. The table is the Queen Ann style and it has the matching stool plus an assortment of accessories inside the stool. I feel like I struck gold! The condition of the table and the machine were unbelievable. It looked like it had been used a hand full of times and then left to look pretty as furniture in the house, not in the garage or attic. Clearly someone didn't know what they had and I snatched it up so fast even though I didn't know how in the world I would transport it. After inspecting it, it doesn't look like it will need re-wired or a new cord. Everything is in mint condition. How lucky am I?!

  15. Yes you are So Very Lucky! I just caught the bug myself after using a new, modern computerized machine and hating the way it sounds! When I started to sew on the BL (my '82 178 Kenmore is being cleaned by a pro for the first time (it just seemed time :). I thought I had broken the BL when I turned it on and it made crunching sounds, like a laser printer when you put a new cartridge in. I did sew, but within a week made the long drive to a quilt shop that sells the same brand and asked for a demonstration of the machine and paid close attention to the sounds the machine made, all normal for the machine, and the same sounds as the one at home! So I started reading about machines that hum instead of clatter. I found some info about the harp size of the 15-91 and was sold. Rather-I went searching on eBay, and bought one after a few days of checking for local machines. So-SOLD. The machine isn't here yet-but I'm beginning a search for a cabinet, they are pricey to ship, and when I do see one, it is usually for local pick-up...and far away. I'll be more patient for the cabinet-have to be! I will probably keep my modern machine for all the stitches, until I need shopping money for more vintage machines. I wonder which machine will end up getting the most use, old or new? And then there is the Kenmore, the only machine I've sewed on for 33 years and so dependable. I can't see parting with it...guess I'm hooked!!


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