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Thread: Featherweight machines

  1. #1
    Super Member MaryKatherine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Guelph, On. -
    I see a lot of mention on this board but I don't understand what the attraction is for the feather weights. I understand the collecting of antiques machines but I assumed they weren't primarily purchased for actual use. I have my mother's old hand cranked Singer but I never use it. It just a momento.
    I must confess I do have 4 machines. My Janome 6260, the work horse in my stable, A juki, my longarm and a serger.
    Mary Katherine

  2. #2
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Nothing will sew a straight stitch like a vintage machine. Featherweights are cute, easy and lightweight enough to carry to classes, and just plain fun. Handcranks are a little trickier to get used to although there are handcrank clubs in some places that require owning and using that particular machine. The sound that vintage machines make is so much different than the machines of today--a more metalic sound--that some of us find soothing. Vintage machines will usually sew much faster too. I have new machines, in fact, I just won a Janome 3160 and love it but I still use a vintage Singer a lot when I sew at home.

    to clarify the first sentence: If a machine will zig zag it won't sew a perfectly straight seam. Sew a seam on your hand crank then sew one right next to it on one of your newer machines. You'll see the difference right away.

  3. #3
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Pacific NW USA
    They are simple to operate, simple to maintain, simple to repair. Their gears are all metal and so will last actually forever. They produce a stitch which is straighter than any modern machine because they have NO side to side motion at all. They weigh about 10 pounds so taking them anywhere is easy...AND they are CUTE, CUTE, CUTE.

  4. #4
    JJs is offline
    Join Date
    May 2009
    LA - Lower Alabama
    and they are fast...
    I HATE, Loathe and Despise the new 'features' of today's machines that go soooooooooooooooooooooooo sloooooooooooooow...
    You can even get a treadle going faster than some of these new machines..
    for instance, my Singer XL1000 supposedly sews at something like 1600 spm - but thats' doing embroidery, and forget reverse sewing - stitch..........stitch......... stitch...
    so I use the 301s or 319 or, or...

    speaking of simple to repair, I just got a 'klunker' from Billy and used it and another broken FW that I got for $25 - put the two together and came up with a working machine!!
    I've worked on my old Singers all along but this is the first time I've actually repaired a machine .... fun

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Western Wisconsin
    Blog Entries
    I have a featherweight and other vintage machines, but I prefer to sew on my Bernina 1230. I do not like lugging the Bernina to classes, though, so the featherweight comes in handy then.

  6. #6
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Whitewater, WI
    I don have one yet, but I would LOVE to find an aforable one! I just think they are SO pretty!

  7. #7
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    I grew up using a full size Singer. The Featherweight is partly a 'trip down memory lane', but mostly a dependable delight to use.

  8. #8
    okiepastor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    SO right about the straight stitching on the oldies---I am working on getting the old treadle going, and the other "antiques" I have! HUGE difference..

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Chicago, IL
    FWs are compact, lightweight BUT all metal and durable, adorable, and reliable. I haven't tried yet, but apparently owners can learn to service them, saving $$ and hassles. They can be repaired and refurbished, while machines of today are built to be disposable. The stitch is really amazing. Plus there are special badges for the Singer Centennial and other events. The faceplates changed over time, too, so we have excuses to have more than one. I have 3 and that's NOTHING, there are folks with dozens of them.

  10. #10
    Junior Member jkwynn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    My MIL had 3, and when she died one came to my husband.

    I had been sewing on a cheapy machine b/c I only knew how to sew one thing, that I took a class for (when my 9 year old was a baby, I'd make jon-jons for him.)

    Now that my cheapy died, I'm on the Featherweight. It took me a while to get used to it, and I have to ask questions about it all the time (this would be the case no matter what I sewed on) - but now that I've warmed up to it, I like it a lot. I think I like that it doesn't have all the dials and computers and fancy stuff. While I'm learning, that would just confuse me, I bet, hehe.

    I was scared to touch it at first, since I'm so good at breaking things, but DH pushed me until I did. Thankfully.

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