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Thread: What do I look for in a Singer Featherweight?

  1. #1
    Super Member Joeysnana's Avatar
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    All you vintage machine owners: Ebay has quite a few Featherweight machines but I am clueless. What should come with the machine? e.g. pedal, manual......

  2. #2
    Pam
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    You do not need the manual, you can download that. See if the cords are frayed or taped, are the decals nice? IF attachments are there, that is good, if not, they are easy to find. You can purchase cords and foot pedals separately if you need to.

    You want to see the bobbin casing, ect to make sure it is not rusty. Look at the carrying case, does it look nice? The machine was probably stored in a closet somewhere. If it looks musty and gray, it will small bad, and so will the machine and you may find rust on the inside workings of the machine. The carrying case tells ALOT about how the machine was cared for.

    Once you get your machine home, if there is some unpleasant odor, (mine was a little stinky) put a boxed bar of Irish Spring soap inside the carrying case and close it up. After a couple of weeks you may find the soap absorbed the nasty smell.

    I have not done it yet, but I am planning on taking some old faashioned black shoe polish and shining that case right up! Works great on my boots and I am thinking it will make the case look even better.

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    Super Member Joeysnana's Avatar
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    Thanks, Pam for all the info. I will email the seller if I find a machine I like and ask them about the condition of the bobbin case..... You have been a big help. Much appreciation!

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Condition means a lot for price. A machine with intact decals and not a lot of scratches from pins will be worth more. Avoid those that have tape on the bed as a seam allowance guide; you won't be able to get the tape off without damaging the finish.

    It is *very* important that the seller understands how to pack the machine for shipping. Many machines are damaged because of improper packing. Knowledgeable sellers will describe their packing technique in the listing. If at all unsure about packing, email the seller before bidding. Machine and case should be shipped in separate packages. Double boxing is good.

    Also, pay for insurance (most sellers do not provide insurance) so you can recover from any damage in shipping.

  5. #5
    Super Member Joeysnana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Condition means a lot for price. A machine with intact decals and not a lot of scratches from pins will be worth more. Avoid those that have tape on the bed as a seam allowance guide; you won't be able to get the tape off without damaging the finish.

    It is *very* important that the seller understands how to pack the machine for shipping. Many machines are damaged because of improper packing. Knowledgeable sellers will describe their packing technique in the listing. If at all unsure about packing, email the seller before bidding. Machine and case should be shipped in separate packages. Double boxing is good.

    Also, pay for insurance (most sellers do not provide insurance) so you can recover from any damage in shipping.
    Thanks. More important info for me to keep in mind. I am just getting back into sewing and quilting and we are turning the master bedroom into a sewing room. Now that I have seen some of the Featherweights on this forum, I am considering adding one to my new room!

  6. #6
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    "What do you look for in a singer Featherweight"

    finding one you can afford. They are work horses. Best sewing stitch ever. The only problem I have is readjusting myself and sewing when I get home and use another machine.
    You need to adjust your settings, seams etc to make sure the piecing is consistent.

    Just had to add this to it. But seriously it is the best machine made for straight sewing. You can learn to clean and adjust yourself. It is light weight, etc etc etc.

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    Keep an eye out at local garage/estate sale for the little "suitcase"...most people never think to open that case to see what a treasure is inside....and most estate sales simply want everything Gone, and don't know the value of these gems! Just don't show your GLEE when you stumble across one,and you might get out really cheap! Even if the case is not in the best of shape, the machine is a workhorse, and you will not be disappointed with the purchase! As always, the condition of decals may be important to you, but will not alter the workings of the machine! These things were manufactured back when America still took pride in what we built! I sew on a Singer 201, and she ain't too pretty, but hubby refinished the cabinet, and she sews till the cows come home! (It just is not portable to classes, but the Featherweight is!) So keep your eye out for one at a sale where the owner is probably not aware of what a great item they are parting with...remember to look for the little suitcase....you will not be disappointed!

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    Super Member Joeysnana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy323
    Keep an eye out at local garage/estate sale for the little "suitcase"...most people never think to open that case to see what a treasure is inside....and most estate sales simply want everything Gone, and don't know the value of these gems! Just don't show your GLEE when you stumble across one,and you might get out really cheap! Even if the case is not in the best of shape, the machine is a workhorse, and you will not be disappointed with the purchase! As always, the condition of decals may be important to you, but will not alter the workings of the machine! These things were manufactured back when America still took pride in what we built! I sew on a Singer 201, and she ain't too pretty, but hubby refinished the cabinet, and she sews till the cows come home! (It just is not portable to classes, but the Featherweight is!) So keep your eye out for one at a sale where the owner is probably not aware of what a great item they are parting with...remember to look for the little suitcase....you will not be disappointed!
    Thanks for the advice. I will be going to estate sales this summer and now I will be on the lookout for one of these!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Condition means a lot for price. A machine with intact decals and not a lot of scratches from pins will be worth more. Avoid those that have tape on the bed as a seam allowance guide; you won't be able to get the tape off without damaging the finish.

    It is *very* important that the seller understands how to pack the machine for shipping. Many machines are damaged because of improper packing. Knowledgeable sellers will describe their packing technique in the listing. If at all unsure about packing, email the seller before bidding. Machine and case should be shipped in separate packages. Double boxing is good.

    Also, pay for insurance (most sellers do not provide insurance) so you can recover from any damage in shipping.
    Amen ! more good machines are ruined by bad packing than anything. Really question them on packing. try to find a machine locally that you see & touch before you resort to eBay. we repair, buy, & sell 221's & about 50/50 good to bad on eBay. and we know what questions to ask. this is a huge market & some will
    try to take advantage.the "I don't sew, so don't know much about the machine" is usually sure sign they are hiding something.
    Good Luck !

  10. #10
    Super Member Joeysnana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smitty
    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Condition means a lot for price. A machine with intact decals and not a lot of scratches from pins will be worth more. Avoid those that have tape on the bed as a seam allowance guide; you won't be able to get the tape off without damaging the finish.

    It is *very* important that the seller understands how to pack the machine for shipping. Many machines are damaged because of improper packing. Knowledgeable sellers will describe their packing technique in the listing. If at all unsure about packing, email the seller before bidding. Machine and case should be shipped in separate packages. Double boxing is good.

    Also, pay for insurance (most sellers do not provide insurance) so you can recover from any damage in shipping.
    Amen ! more good machines are ruined by bad packing than anything. Really question them on packing. try to find a machine locally that you see & touch before you resort to eBay. we repair, buy, & sell 221's & about 50/50 good to bad on eBay. and we know what questions to ask. this is a huge market & some will
    try to take advantage.the "I don't sew, so don't know much about the machine" is usually sure sign they are hiding something.
    Good Luck !
    Thanks very much for the informative input.

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