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Thread: Featherweight Do's & Don'ts????

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jazzmyn's Avatar
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    Featherweight Do's & Don'ts????

    I purchased a featherweight to give to my daughter for Christmas and I am wondering is there a list somewhere of Do's & Don'ts for this machine? Mostly Don'ts would be a Huge help. From a few comments on this board I understand the Featherweight can be pickey at times?

    Thank You for your help.....Jazzmyn (Roseanna)
    Got-to Love those Dachshunds!!!!!


    Quilters STITCH Together!!

  2. #2
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    Such a nice gift. Have her sign up at novamontgomery.com, the ultimate featherweight tips site. Hopefully the machine has an instruction manual with it that shows all the places to oil and grease. Might want to purchase the correct oil and grease that is recommended for the machine.
    jackie

  3. #3
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I go to Nova's site too. She is an expert on the FW. Most repair people have no idea what should or should not be done to a FW .
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  4. #4
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    I'm a bit of a newbie, and I love Nova's site too...April 1930s is a great resource also http://april1930s.com/
    and this fb page has lots of "files" and videos that are super helpful, Carmon Henry will answer any questions you have.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/SingerFWGroup/files/

    The biggest tip I would give is that the take up lever has to be in the upper most position in order to remove the fabric, don't pull if it doesn't pull out easily, just move the handwheel slightly until the threads pull out easily.

  5. #5
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    Can't believe this is the first I've learned about Nova Montgomery but I don't get to Rockport much. Only 45 minute to an hour drive and a beautiful drive at that. She looks familiar.

  6. #6
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    The main don't I can think of is DON'T be afraid to use the FW. Too many of them are purchased and never used, and they really are happier if they're oiled and used frequently. In fact I need to remember to use mine more often.

  7. #7
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    Quite right! Use those babies...I have 3 and LOVE them

  8. #8
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Don't place anything adhesive on the machine and do not use cleaners on it. The old style of finish on the machine can be damaged, for example, by placing adhesive tape on the machine (or any other adhesive to use as a guide for seam allowances). New cleaners can damage the finish and remove or change the color of the decals. If the machine needs cleaning, one of the best ways to do it is to use sewing machine on a soft cloth and just wipe the machine down. Soften heavier dirt by leaving the oil on for a day or so before wiping off.

    Since you purchased the machine, I would also highly recommend purchasing a manual for it. Does not have to be an original; can be one of the newer care guide manuals. These provide lots of instructions and pictures for care and maintenance purposes.

    Edit: Here are free manuals you can download and print:
    http://thefeatherweight221factory.com/page7.php

  9. #9
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    I totally agree with Dunster- don't be afraid to use it. I have two, a 1935 and 1937 I need to check the wiring on one, but just haven't taken the time to do so, I love my 1935 FW, and use it all the time. I just finished piecing a Christmas quilt for my DD on it- using Missouri Star's tute "Illusion", and quilted it on my Bernina 930- I don't have a LG and don't want to send my quits out for others to quilt. I take mine to quilting group each month. I have made almost all of my quilts on my FW since I bought it about 5 yrs ago. I try to oil it after every project and sometimes while working on one and I let it sit overnight, and place a piece of cloth under the needle to absorb any oil drips . If your DD sews she will absolutely love it. I think the FW's are just jewels. I always list on my labels the model of machine (s) I used to make and quilt my projects and the year the machine was made, just for info for the recipient.

  10. #10
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    I have learned, since owning one, that less is best. I oil gently per instructions in my downloaded manual, about every 8 hours of use. My 'machine guy' says a drop of oil means a drop of oil. I'm going to let him lube my motor, as I take my machines in once a year for their annual checkups. Featherweights are so simple, yet so accurate in their beautiful stitches. I just finished a queen size Bonnie Hunter scrappy on mine (not the quilting though).

  11. #11
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    Hold the thread tails each time you start a seam! Prevents the dreaded thread jam!
    Linda
    There may be times we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. - Elie Wiesel

  12. #12
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    I think I've caught the Featherweight "bug" - would really like one. Am teaching my oldest Granddaughter to sew (quilt) and think it would be good for her to learn on just a basic good machine. I know where I can get one in mint condition with everything that goes with it but am not quite sure I want to spend that much. I'll be patient and; of course, Christmas is coming. ----------

  13. #13
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    Bought one for taking to class, LOVE it, USE it, OIL it!!
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  14. #14
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    When I inherited my FW, it was stuck in place and would not move. After oiling and wiping several times, she now runs beautifully.

  15. #15
    Junior Member KenZ's Avatar
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    This is the list that I give to new Featherweight owners that I meet. Many items on the list have been mentioned already.

    Featherweight 221 Reminders


    • Do not use chemical cleaners on the machine or case.
    • Unplug machine from wall when machine is not in use. (Do not leave plugged in wall overnight.)
    • When pulling plug out of machine or wall, pull plug straight out.
    • Oil when machine sound changes or every eight hours of running.
    • Use only sewing machine oil.
    • When replacing needle, flat side of needle goes to the left.
    • Do not use ball point or utility needles.
    • Thread machine from the right to left.
    • Do not sew without fabric under the needle.
    • Do not turn wheel backwards when machine is threaded.
    • Hold both thread tails to start sewing.
    • Starts best if started with needle down.
    • Do not run off fabric, run off onto a scrap.
    • Do not lift extension table when needle plate is only part way in.
    • Clean under needle plate after every eight hours of sewing.
    • When replacing needle plate, the finger on the hook assembly must be between the two blocks on the bottom of the needle plate.
    • Keep belt tension as loose as possible. Place rag over screwdriver shaft when adjusting belt tension to protect machines paint.
    • Use good quality thread.

    If fabric should get jammed in machine. Do not pull hard to clear jam. Pulling hard can break the tip off of the hook.
    Ken

  16. #16
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone's advice, especially holding on to both threads while making the first stitches AND sew, sew, sew with it. My grandchildren started sewing on mine when they were 3 and 4 years old. They, too, love it.

    Linda

    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.
    [John Newton (1725-1807)]

    http://sewextremeseams.blogspot.com/

  17. #17
    Senior Member Jazzmyn's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for all the info about the featherweight. I did go to Nova's website and signed up for her newsletter..Great site with lots of info.

    Ken Thank You for the info, I am wondering though why one can't use ball point or utility needles? I have sewed for years and I don't know what utility needles are....I may call them something else??

    Thanks again, Roseanna (Jazzmyn)
    Got-to Love those Dachshunds!!!!!


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  18. #18
    Senior Member Clmay's Avatar
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    I just love my FW. I finished a wall hanging for my mom in Florida. She just loves it!Name:  IMG_0014.JPG
Views: 170
Size:  119.5 KB
    Never put off what you can do today, because tomorrow may never come.

  19. #19
    Junior Member KenZ's Avatar
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    Oops! I used the wrong word, should be universal not utility. A Featherweight should be ok with most 15x1 needles. If your machine sews ok with ball point and universal needles it should be alright to use them. I do not recommend them however.
    Ken

  20. #20
    Super Member WMUTeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    The main don't I can think of is DON'T be afraid to use the FW. Too many of them are purchased and never used, and they really are happier if they're oiled and used frequently. In fact I need to remember to use mine more often.
    When I read this question, this was my first thought. Ditto, Ditto to Dunster! Don't be afraid to use the cute little machine. So simple, so exact, so easy and of course so light. I love mine. It has almost replaced my faithful Viking for regular use. So .... use and astound others with what that little gem can produce!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karamarie View Post
    I think I've caught the Featherweight "bug" - would really like one. Am teaching my oldest Granddaughter to sew (quilt) and think it would be good for her to learn on just a basic good machine. I know where I can get one in mint condition with everything that goes with it but am not quite sure I want to spend that much. I'll be patient and; of course, Christmas is coming. ----------
    I personally don't think you should teach a child on a FW......get a modern inexpensive basic machine...this could just be a passing thing with her.....btw...too bad you r not closer..I have one I am more than willing to sell!!,,,,

  22. #22
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    When checking the brushes on the motor, remember that those screws are bakelite. Press DOWN as you unscrew - it's counter-intuitive but will help keep you from sheering the screw head off. Also, make sure you're using a screwdriver that fills the slot completely, from edge to edge. Using a too-small screwdriver head can cause the slot to chip.

  23. #23
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    I would include a copy of this book http://www.amazon.com/Featherweight-.../dp/1607052636 It also fits beautifully in the case, slid down between the accessories box and the upright plate

    be sure what you order if you do, is the most recent edition, the third I believe

  24. #24
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Don't turn the hand wheel backwards on the featherweight or you'll get thread caught behind the bobbin case base. It often requires surgery to get all that thread out of there.

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