Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I grew up making things.  I grew up sewing.   I grew up sewing on a Singer 401:

Mom got her machine back in 1960 and she still has it!  She sews on her Bernina now, when she sews (as do I), but she still has this beauty all tucked safely away in its cabinet.

At the time she got this sewing machine, she and Dad were living in Boise, Idaho and I was just a toddler.  Mom was sewing on a portable Singer which simply went forward and backward in a straight stitch and was quite adequate for her whilst my older brother was her only child.  But I came along and she was wishing for a fancier tool to make fancier things.  Mom and Dad were walking around town one day and came across a Pfaff dealer demonstrating their latest and greatest.  Dad wanted to buy her a better machine so she suggested they see what Singer had to offer since, to her, Singer was synonymous with sewing. 

Dad was one of those who bought the best if he was going to buy anything.  The Singer 401 was the best Singer had to offer at that time and she remembers it was around $400.  That was a whopping sum of money back in those days … they actually had to finance the thing!  But Mom tells me the machine paid for itself and then some.  Even now, she could get around $150 for it.  

Do the “adjusted for inflation” math and one realizes my Dad made a solidly good purchase.  
I just did the math, (well, to be honest, I used a free on-line calculator) and choked! :o)


TJ said...

Singers, one would have to wonder just how many of those gems are stuck away. I have one in a closet, one from the early 70's. I have bought another Singer in the 90's...a fancy one as I had once thought. Now I have a Baby Locks....I LOVE the baby! Great post Hilary....thanks for sharing.

Hilary Johnson said...

Yup, Baby Locks are good machines! Actually, just about every brand has some seriously good machines in their line up. :o)

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