Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Beauties and The Beasts - Singer 221 and 503

Okay, this is where I left it last time, trying to choose a keeper.  The more beautiful machine -the Centennial 221 - which sews more slowly?  Or the nice, but not quite as snazzy 1956 model that sews much faster?  It would be so much easier if the beautiful machine was the superior one, but it just never works out that way for me.

Its not just the Featherweights that have presented me this dilemma.  I had the same situation with two 503 Rocketeers:

Left is the Beauty, Right is the Beast (with a duller finish and many more nicks and dings)

In both these situations the shabbier model sewed so much better that it left me with a true dilemma (a slight difference wouldn't have mattered and I'd have kept the pretty machine.)

So in both cases, I made the same decision:  I sold the beautiful machine.  They both performed adequately, and without the other machines to compare them to, I might not have even realized that they weren't running as well as they could (the new owners got nice machines for fair prices.)

With the Featherweights, I figured that I would be happier sewing on the model that was less cosmetically perfect anyway, because I wouldn't be worried about marring the finish.  Its for Sew rather than just Show.  The Rocketeers don't really have the same collector value, so cosmetic condition is only something that matters to the owner.  Since this is a machine I really do depend on, I need the best possible performance.

I now have the "second-best" looking machines, but I am content to know that they are tops in performance. And after all, that's what a sewing machine is really for.