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Forum > Sewing Machines > singer 27 ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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singer 27
my neighbors mom is selling hers
divabeadz
divabeadz
Member since 2/11/12
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Date: 9/26/12 1:40 PM

My neighbor is trying to sell her mom's old singer, which based on a quick google search, appears to be model 27. I wasn't interested by DH is questioning whether I should snag it to either keep in case I have an interest in antique machines in the future or to resell. She's asking $125 for it and her mother says it works. Her mom only lives about a mile from me so I'd be able to see it in person. Based on the photos she posted on her fb page, it appears to be in good condition with the paint intact except on the machine bed it appears to be worn off and 3 of the drawer knobs to the table seem to be missing. Anything I should know if I go look at it...what to look for, what is a fair price, etc.

Jennifer Hill
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Jennifer Hill
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Alberta CANADA
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In reply to divabeadz <<


Date: 9/26/12 6:06 PM

The 27 was a low end machine, and extremely common. So, for $125, pretty much the entire value should be in the cabinet. With 3 missing knobs, it ain't sounding good. IF the wood is sound, and relatively pretty, and IF you don't mind finishing with unauthentic knobs, it might be a good enough deal. As for the machine, make sure there is a shuttle, at least one bobbin, and both slide plates.

I bought my 27 16 yrs ago. It was a bare head, with bobbin + shuttle, and poor decals. I paid $20, and many would say that I got took, although the seller was a charity, and in such cases, I don't mind being more generous. It's been my most used machine since then, although I have many others of which I'm equally fond.

Jennifer in Calgary

divabeadz
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Date: 9/26/12 8:57 PM

great info, thank you so much. I think I will go with my initial gut instinct and pass on it. Thanks for your help!

mssewcrazy
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mssewcrazy  Friend of PR
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Mississippi USA
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In reply to Jennifer Hill <<


Date: 9/28/12 8:30 AM

Jennifer I have been debating as to whether I should replace the 127 treadle head in my singer cabinet with a class 66 type with the round bobbin since that is what I am familiar with. Since you say it is your most used machine I take it you think I should try to learn to use it. The bobbin system is so foreign to me. I'd appreciate your thoughts comparing the vs and how it compares to the other types of singer heads in use. Mine is supposedly in good shape and was serviced last year. I need to get a belt on it and learn to use the bobbin system. I bought it in the 1980s and never did anything with it. At that time I didn't have a manual and there was a broken tension spring so couldn't get it to stitch right. I have been giving some thought to just replacing the head but sort of hate to do that. Any advice would be appreciated on the 127.

mssewcrazy
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Date: 9/28/12 8:32 AM

Jennifer if I should decide to get a different head which would you suggest to sit in my 4 drawer cabinet?

jzygail
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jzygail  Friend of PR
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In reply to mssewcrazy <<


Date: 9/28/12 11:29 AM

The long bobbins aren't difficult to use. the most difficult part is putting them in the shuttle and running the thread through it and that's pretty simply after a try or two. You'll probably have some missteps, like putting the bobbin in so it unwinds in the wrong direction--everybody does.

The bobbins don't hold as much thread as you're used to, but I just got used to winding 2 or 3 at a time to cut down on interrupted sewing.

If you're going to go with a drop in bobbin, though, I'd look for a 201, rather than a 66. The 201s run much more smoothly.

mssewcrazy
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In reply to jzygail <<


Date: 9/28/12 5:12 PM

I guess I need to sew on the thing and get some more of the vintage bobbins. I have some replacements but so many times people say the older ones are better so I will see about finding a good supply. My other big objection is I got a nice bobbin winder which I do the class 66 bobbins on and I really prefer doing them on it so the bullet I will have to wind some and see how I feel about them. I was sort of thinking of using a treadle in the event of a long power outage and that I could use the round bobbins from the electric models here. I have a 201 that is electric but not sure if it would fit this cabinet. I really hate to take the vs from its cabinet so will try again with the bullet bobbins. I did get an original manual for it the other day so at least I have some guidance handy. I got to thinking that a pdf manual probably wouldn't be of much use if the power if out so once dh puts the treadle belt back on it I will try again. Stupidly I was going to show the machine to someone that came here and forgot the belt was on when I was putting it away and broke it. I guess I should learn to put the belt on myself and I have bought extra belts in case the worst should happen during a power outage. I guess it is really stupid but most people have no idea or have never seen the old vs treadles so if they do a nice job I will rethink separating it from its cabinet. I do need to learn to use it. Since I am comfortable now with the vintage straight stitchers I will try again. I just thought it wouldn't be as intimidating to treadle a model I am comfortable sewing on. Maybe the vs is not as big a deal as I am thinking. So many here tossed these things out and still do. They think they don't even sew. Thanks for the encouragement as I need it on the treadle and its funny bobbin system.

mssewcrazy
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In reply to Jennifer Hill <<
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Date: 9/28/12 5:25 PM

I guess I got taken as well. I gave $50 at an estate sale in town in the 1980s where the machine had been since it was made in 1929 and sold to this family. It has the 4 drawer cabinet and had all the attachments and little wooden spools of thread. I never was able to get a stitch from the thing until the machine man redid the tension balancing and replaced a spring and something else this past year. I think when the tension needed repair the lady had gone to an electric portable and it was just a side table. It now holds the various sized dog treats by my back french door. I have decided since I have developed a love for the vintage machines I either will learn to use it and love it like the others or it will get replaced with a round bobbin model like the 66 or a 201 that I know how to use and like sewing on. I feel like a red eye 66 would fit in it and look nice. I know where there is an electric one here but don't know how much trouble it is to remove the motor and fit it into the cabinet I have.

Jennifer Hill
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Jennifer Hill
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Date: 9/28/12 6:47 PM

Any full sized black Singer head will fit in your cabinet, but which one is a matter of personal preference. Hard though it may be to believe, up here in Canada, 66s are RARE! They were never made, nor marketed here. The only one I have seen was the total junker I bought for its case ($22), and stripped as many useful parts off it before re-purposing it as a doorstop. I'm not a real fan of drop-in bobbins anyway, so I haven't tried very hard to get another prettier one just to have in my collection....

So, my personal recommendation, if 27s/127s don't do it for you, would be a class 15. 15-88s were the designated "modern" treadle head, but a 15-90 with a belt-driven motor is the same machine, except for its solid hand wheel. Both these sub-models are the same as the potted motor 15-91, which isn't a convenient candidate for treadling, and all have the same operational features. Older 15s, like 15-30s, -80s, -96/-97s etc do not have reverse, nor dropping feed dogs, if those features matter to you.

But 15s have removable bobbin cases, and vertical oscillating hooks. I find vertical hooks a bit more forgiving of odd threads, and their tensions are somewhat less wonky. I don't see why folks have problems with removable bobbin cases - they certainly make it easier to change a bobbin without removing your work from under the needle.

201s are also very nice to treadle, but you have to find one without a potted motor, which is apparently not easy in the USA. Here in Canada, the 201Ks made in Gt Britain (external motor or handcrank or treadle) seem to have been sold in greater numbers than the potted motor ones.


Jennifer in Calgary
-- Edited on 9/28/12 6:50 PM --

mssewcrazy
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In reply to Jennifer Hill <<


Date: 9/28/12 8:33 PM

Oh dear I would be back to a different bobbin than all the class 66 machines here I am going to try to feel the love for the 127 before doing anything. So many here don't care for the lowly 66 machines but it started me on this vintage machine collecting. I think mine does an amazing job and really do like sewing on it. That's one reason I was thinking of one and I think the red eye ones are pretty (always an excuse to bring home another machine). I love the 201 I have but it and its cabinet are almost too pretty to use so I try to be particular with it which doesn't always jive with dragging pins over the surface or making it work hard. I'm not sure what was my line of thought getting one so perfect. I really need to just get over that and realize it was made to work and be used. If I swap heads I may just get over the same bobbin thing and try a 15 per your suggestion. I had no idea to avoid the potted motor for a treadle set up or if one of the 15 or 201s would fit in this 127 cabinet. Maybe I should try a 15 since you prefer that bobbin style and I haven't tried one of those yet. I like trying the different models to see how they compare. One fellow told me the reason the imports had class 15 bobbins is singer still had the patent on the horizontal bobbin system so I am wondering if that had anything to do with the absence of the 66 in Canada. Are the 201s with the potted motors scarce or do they mostly have the external motors in Canada when found? A Canadian friend said her grandmother had a 99K but they came from England so she could have brought it there with her. Interesting about no 66s much in Canada. In my area 66s and the 99s are a lot of the common ones. I had my 201 and cabinet shipped from a wealthy area on the east coast. You don't see that many of them in my area as they mostly bought the lower end singers and if a cabinet the cheaper ones.

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