Singer – The 115

Produced between 1912 and 1923, The Singer model 115 was closely related to the Singer 15 but differed in that it used a rotary hook and industrial class 20 bobbin system instead of the oscillating hook of the 15 and class 15 bobbin. It is a straight stitch machine with no reverse, which does not really pose a problem, especially if you are quilting or doing free motion work, or thread painting.

They are most often found with the “Wings” decals shown here, although they also came with a Gingerbread decal in the United States.

At a glance the machines look identical but upon closer inspection one will see that the 115 has three holes next to the needle plate instead of two, and when you look underneath the machines look different.

Singer 115 under bed
Singer 15, under bed.

In 1906 Singer bought Wheeler and Wilson, using the proven strategy of “if you can’t beat them, buy them out” and it was from Wheeler and Wilson they acquired the proven rotary hook design of the superlative D9.

The bobbin case and bobbin from a 115, the L type bobbin has a higher capacity than a 15 and is also used in many Singer industrial machines like the 20U.

Singer 115 bobbin case, 20U bobbin (L type)

One of my beloved 115’s is scruffy, worn, chipped, and bears the marks of nearly 100 years of use but still runs like a buttered kitten on glass and makes a perfect stitch. I don’t plan to change a thing save for doing a little more polishing to see if I can clean up the old clear coat, all these marks bear witness to her history and the millions of stitches she must have sewn.

She still stitches beautifully and is a wonderful machine for free motion work.

Happy sewing.

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18 Replies to “Singer – The 115”

  1. A couple years ago I was given a beautiful 115 with an early friction wheel motor but no foot pedal. Just the other day, I took the motor off and put on a hand crank. I just love this machine. She sews a beautiful stitch! I’ll keep the motor because it’s really pretty but I love that she’s more useful now.

  2. Been Given this beauty, with the wing decals, but unfortunately the bobbin case is missing. It was barely hanging on by one hinge in the cabinet and no screws at all! It’s free in all respects, needle goes up and down, feed dogs working, even the wheel stop undoes to wind your bobbin!!! I have searched and searched for a bobbin case as I’d love to sew with this beauty. Any ideas? Thanks so much for your time, I can see why you love yours so much!

      1. I cleaned and oiled a friends ‘new’ 115 today that needs a bobbin case, and I have 2 of the 115s myself. Have had them for years so took a look at them, too — and guess what? Yup, both are missing their bobbin cases as well! If you still have the cases available could you please let me know? One of mine is going to my brother in Alaska, he’s been waiting not so patiently for me to get it out, cleaned/oiled and shipped to him. There is a premium on both treadles and hand cranks in AK if you can even find them. I saw your picture and it looks just like the BC in the 115 manual. Please keep posting about these great machines, I have vintage and antique hand cranks, treadles, straight stitchers and a 70s little Kenmore that also does zigzag (that one is my newest machine). I have the Singer 66 treadle that my folks got for me when I was 10, and that was 58 years ago. She’s not a show-stopper, but I learned to sew on her and used her exclusively for about 15 years. What fine memories!

    1. you can still get one…it uses the same bobbin case as teh 20U a parts center for industrial machines

  3. I’m having trouble with my 115 skipping stitches. It will sew a few good ones and than skip. I changed my needle and oiled her good. Any ideas. She usually runs fairly well.

  4. My 115 bobbin thread won’t come up to meet the needle thread. I want to sew vinyl and am using nylon thread. Bobbin tension was too tight so loosened it. Any suggestions are welcome. thank you

    1. Pamela,

      Does the machine sew well on cotton and regular fabrics ? If so you may need to change your needle (if you have not already done so) as it may not be appropriate for the vinyl and thread you are using.

  5. I have the original
    Instruction book for this. All pages. Cover and back page off but intact. Any Idea what this could be worth . Anyone interested in it. My grandmothers I’ve been holding onto since 1983 when she passed.

  6. Hello, I read in a previous post that you may have some 115 bobbin cases. It was an old post so you may be out of stock now. I have a beautiful 115 treadle that I am getting ready to clean up. She is over 100 years old and runs as smooth as silk……. The bobbin is damaged, looks like the needle hit and broke some of the casing, must not have been inserted properly. I sincerely hope that you either have a bobbin case or may know of someone or somewhere that I may be able to hunt one down. Looking forward to hearing some good news……. thank you for your time, Arlyne

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