Adding to the Fleet..another 15.

Remember I told you about meeting up with Mary Jo and going to the quilt shop?  (Read it here if you missed it)  I had purposely left the house early for our meet up so I could hit up the thrift store before we met.

I got a couple things….
…a box of attachments and a Soup and Stew cookbook.  Kramer never liked soup and stew.  I did.  I guess now I can make it.

But the thing I’m most excited about it this….
Any guesses on what it is???


If you guessed an old sewing machine in the ugliest cabinet ever, you are right!!

The cabinet is really ugly but we’ll get to that in a minute.  First…check out that shiney black goodness.


I love her already.  I named her too…Mary Jo…after my friend, Mary Jo, who I met for lunch that day.

So here’s the problem with buying a machine like this…even though it’s very cheap…  $25…
1.  You have to ask family member to help you carry it upstairs
2.  They realize you have no space for it
3.  You then have to ask them to help you rearrange the other machine so there is space for it
4.  They realize you have an addiction


See the ugly wicker on the front??


BUT…this is a 15-91.  It’s a 15-91.  Yes.  I already have one but it’s my VERY favorite machine ever and this one is WONDERFUL condition.  SEE??


I love the decals.


It took a lot of work but I finally got her running.  There was no needle in the machine.  The tension was terrible.   I oiled her up then I tried this and that and finally after working a lot with the bottom tension, I got her to go.


She’s a little loud yet.  15-91s are notoriously loud but right now it’s particularly loud.  I think after she runs for about an hour, I’ll oil her up a second time.  I often do this with old machines when I first get them.  They are always so dry.

It had a great little accessory kit.


I looked her up to get a date on her…she was manufactured in June of 1955.  My other machine has Canada stamped on the top of her…this one doesn’t.

NO I didn’t need another machine.  I don’t need one at all.  I definitely didn’t need one in this super ugly cabinet…but what can say?  I have a weakness.  I’m going to try to get myself to ward off all other thoughts of sewing machines..that is except cabinets.  This one needs a nicer cabinet.  Right??  I can look for cabinets.  But only cabinets.  BUT WHAT IF A MACHINE COMES IN THE PERFECT CABINET??  AHHH!!!!  This is so tough ladies.  The struggle is REAL!!

All joking aside, I can’t buy another machine unless I get rid of one I already have…or I put an addition on the house.

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19 thoughts on “Adding to the Fleet..another 15.

  1. Lorraine

    Congratulations! She’s a beauty! Of course you need another cabinet!

    One of our favorite suppers is beef stew. Enjoy!

  2. Diana

    I like the sewing machine just as it is. Ugly cabinet and all. The finish is still really good on it. It would loose it’s value if you change the cabinet.

  3. Judy in MO

    I totally understand the vintage machine addiction. And love my 15-91 too. And my featherweights (yes, plural) and my 301 and my Pink Atlas and my hand-crank. It’s a sickness.

  4. Sandra B

    At the price you paid for a great machine, I wouldn’t worry about an ugly cabinet… To find a machine in the condition this one seems to be in is amazing….You were meant to find it!! Enjoy!!

  5. Teresa Stonecypher

    Hey Jo, Congratulations on the “new” to you machine. I love the machine AND the cabinet. Enjoy!! :-)

  6. Cindy F

    I don’t have a Singer 15 yet and am thinking I need one. (I really don’t as I have 15-20 machines and the fact that I don’t know the exact number is a problem.) I think for that price I would have brought her home too! I understand the looking for a cabinet. I have 2 pink Atlas machines. One came in a moldy case and the other came in a treadle cabinet with the flywheel and pedal missing. That is a real problem because now I need the cabinet for the Atlas and would love to find the parts for the treadle cabinet and then that means I need a machine for it too! It’s a sickness indeed!

  7. Cathy

    Jo, You can use one for an end table, and one for a night stand, and ……. lol. Enjoy your new, to you, machine.

  8. Suzy R.

    Congratulations on your beautiful new machine! I can’t wait to follow your search for a new cabinet. Enjoy getting to sew with Mary Jo.

  9. Penny Holliday

    Congratulations Jo on your wonderful find! I understand & I too love sewing on the old sewing machines! t They are the best ~ great work horses especially for piecing a quilt top! I have several & a great collection of Singer Featherweights including several commerative ones that my husband & family members have found for me during their travels. I don’t have a Singer 15 but have only just recently discovered that model & have begun searching for one. I also would like to find an Elna “Grasshopper” So no judgement from me re: too many machines. You go girl & enjoy your machines!

  10. Candi

    I too vote for the addition to the house. Congratulations and no way could you walk away from that machine. Sew in good health.
    Love, hugs and prayers coming your way.

  11. Ruth

    I sew all the time on my mother’s Singer 15-91, bought in 1953. I just oiled it yesterday, and it runs so smoothly and silently. I do know NOT to use the Singer needles though. That brazilian company making the needles reduced the thickness of the needle shaft the tiniest amount and now the needles slip right out of the screw holder. I broke 4 needles on one twin topper, then found out why at a Featherweight maintenance class by Nova Montgomery. She recommends Schmetz needles instead.
    P.S. I have 6 machines, one in the garage that I can’t get to to fix up because my husband has so much stuff stacked around and on it.

  12. Mary Jo B.

    Thank you for naming the sewing machine after me. I think it is interesting that I love the wicker/rattan front on the machine. I have lots of wicker chairs in my house. I like the look of wicker, plus they are so easy to move around. Another interesting coincidence is that I was born in October 1955. So the machine and I are almost the same age. :>)

  13. Cathy

    I too love the old sewing machines!
    So pretty and made to last forever.
    I currently have 26, so it will happen again to you!
    My favorites are the hand cranks which I have 5 of-no need for hydro! They truly are workhorses and have a perfect tensioned stitch.

  14. Carla

    Oh Jo…. if I had an inch more room in my house I would have already added at least 3 more machines! I already have 6, but only three are truly heirloom, 2 are 1980s and above, and one is more vintage 1960s. If you ever figure out why we feel compelled to keep adding more, do let me know lol

  15. Roberta Campbell

    Love your find! I think this is a perfect “divine” find. I came across a 185k the other week and was smitten.
    It’s a little green machine and of course I didn’t even know they were out there but said yes with hardly a thought. I’m not a thrift store browser or I probably would have a group of machines also. From what I saw on Youtube the 185k has the same workings as a 99k. I don’t have any except the Featherweight so no way to compare. It had a lovely case which I accidently dropped and broke. But what a cutie! Keep on enjoying your thrift excursions!

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