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Thread: Do any of today's machine makers offer something similar to the featherweight?

  1. #1
    Super Member Rachelcb80's Avatar
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    My husband travels quite a bit for work and the kids and I often go with him. We spend a lot of time in the mornings in the hotel while he works and I've often wished I could continue working on my projects while away from the house. I currently have a Bernina 820 and portable is just not a word used to describe that machine! I'm just wanting to do some piecing while away, not any quilting. I know the featherweights are excellent for being toted around but I was wondering if there were currently any models on the market that were also great for on the go work.

    I've looked at the new Bernina 3 series but their still a little bigger than I want to tote around, and their price is more than I'd like to spend for an occasional travel machine. All I plan on doing is a basic 1/4" piecing stitch so the more basic the machine, the better.

    Anyone have recommendations or advice?

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    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    Hi Rachel! :lol: I thought the Bernina 200 series were the lightweight machines? I have a Janome Jem Platinum that's 12 lbs and perfect for traveling with. They're very easy to use, very affordable and sounds just like what you're looking for. Good luck! :thumbup:

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    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Janome makes a machine called the 760 Platinum that is very portable. It weighs 11 pounds and has an automatic needle down function an a fair amount of stitches for the size of the machine. Babylock also has a machine callled the Little Audrey that does pretty much the same thing as the Platinum and I think is less expensive.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Boopers's Avatar
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    Check out the Brother machines at Wal-Mart. They are not costly and light-weight. I have one that I use when I don't want to take my FW>

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachelcb80
    I was wondering if there were currently any models on the market that were also great for on the go work.
    Anyone have recommendations or advice?
    Here's a link to a Brother sold at Walmart and here are the parts you might want to consider:
    Shipping Weight (in pounds): 14.9
    Product in Inches (L x W x H): 14.8 x 6.1 x 11.5

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Brother-LS...chine/15126418
    Would this work for you?

    [I see Boopers and I had the same idea :-) ]

  7. #7
    Super Member Rachelcb80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilter7x
    Hi Rachel! :lol: I thought the Bernina 200 series were the lightweight machines? I have a Janome Jem Platinum that's 12 lbs and perfect for traveling with. They're very easy to use, very affordable and sounds just like what you're looking for. Good luck! :thumbup:
    I hadn't even looked at the Activas but I'm pretty sure they're even more expensive than the 300 series, or at least comparable in cost.

    Since I have zero experience with other machine brands I knew I could find some help here! Both the Janome Jem and Babylock Audrey look like exactly what I'm looking for! I guess I'll have to go look at the dealer in town that sells Janome, Vikings and a few other brands.

  8. #8
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    A used Jem Platinum would be very affordable, but the one that replaced it last May has more features. I believe the new one is about $800. It's the Janome 3160. http://content.janome.com/index.cfm/...ilting/3160QDC

  9. #9
    Super Member missgigglewings's Avatar
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    Check out Hancock Fabrics. I have a little sew mini that I paid 39.99 for and use it when I travel. I think it is a childs machine, but it works great for making blocks!

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Actually, I was looking at this one... it has fewer stitches but has a snap-on foot feature, whereas the other one is described as a manual foot.
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Brother-14...ndingMethod=rr

  11. #11
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    The Janome Hello Kitty is a cute 3/4 size machine with a surprising amount of features. $114 at Target. http://content.janome.com/index.cfm/...ng/Hello_Kitty

  12. #12
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    The negative about piecing on a different machine while you're away is that you'll find your 1/4" will vary by machine and manufacturer. I tend to keep all my piecing projects on one machine only so that there isn't this variance in the final product. So, I guess what I'm saying is that if you work on one project on a small, travel machine you should probably keep that project for that machine only. I travel with my Janome 9000. Not a light machine but much lighter than my Bernina 830. That being said, I only use my travel machine for projects that won't be affected by the different 1/4" seam. Everyone I know, loves the travel Janomes like the Gems.

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    The Activas-210, 220, 230, 240 are being discontinued. They are/were less expensive than the 3series. The cheapest I've seen the 210 fir us $649, pricey for a travel/occasional use machine, IMO. I'd second a Brother machine for this purpose, if you don't want an actual Singer Featherweight. Brother CS6000i is around $160 and has many fans. Comes with a lots of goodies for quilters.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Katia's Avatar
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    I was telling my Bernina dealer, also a friend, that I was looking for a Featherweight a while back and she showed be one she had there that I think was made by Bernina and was basically a copy of the Featherwieght. It was cute, but I told her I wanted the real thing.

    After getting mine and sewing on it, I don't know why anyone would want anythng else. I have had other smaller machines, Singer and other brands and I always end up giving them away. Once you have sewn on a good machine, the other feel like a toy to me. They are noisy and some bounce all over the table. I have never had that problem with my FW. She is little, but feels like a big machine when you are sewing.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Numa's Avatar
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    Check out the Singer 301. They are slightly heavier than the FW (without the case), sew like a FW, are gear driven not belt driven, dogs drop for free motion quilting and have a handle built in, but aren't as expensive as a FW. Great machine!

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    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    The issue with a FW for a transported machine is that you are limited to a straight stitch only! Now, that may be o.k for those of you who only do piecing, but I need applique stitches, zig zag etc. and the ability to quilt. And FW are not meant to do quilting as the speed of quilting and constant use can burn out the motors. Plus the harp size is um, small:> So...as cute as they are, they'd never fit my needs. Something to consider before buying is the use. If piecing is all fine, but I wouldn't want to limit what I could do.

  17. #17
    Senior Member emmah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose
    The Janome Hello Kitty is a cute 3/4 size machine with a surprising amount of features. $114 at Target. http://content.janome.com/index.cfm/...ng/Hello_Kitty
    Sears Kenmore has the same machine from Janome minus the blue color and the Kitty emblem for a lot less money. Check it out online, it is a 3/4 size and lightweight.

  18. #18
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Those with the bigger machines have been getting the mini-Janome one ... I think it's 3/4 size, weighs 12 lbs, and does a a lot more than straight stitchings.

    While they can take their big computer machines, these are a lot more convenient to move around ... and a lot less risk in damaging it as they move it around.

  19. #19
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilter7x
    A used Jem Platinum would be very affordable, but the one that replaced it last May has more features. I believe the new one is about $800. It's the Janome 3160. http://content.janome.com/index.cfm/...ilting/3160QDC
    Wow, I bought my 2nd generation JemGold around 11 years ago(?) for $249 including case and extra feet. It's a great little machine, but unlike the FW, I don't anticipate it being around in 50 years. ;-)

  20. #20
    Super Member Rachelcb80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTS
    Quote Originally Posted by Quilter7x
    A used Jem Platinum would be very affordable, but the one that replaced it last May has more features. I believe the new one is about $800. It's the Janome 3160. http://content.janome.com/index.cfm/...ilting/3160QDC
    Wow, I bought my 2nd generation JemGold around 11 years ago(?) for $249 including case and extra feet. It's a great little machine, but unlike the FW, I don't anticipate it being around in 50 years. ;-)
    I must be looking at the wrong Janome Jems. There are several on eBay listed as Janome Jem Gold 660, brand new and their price is in the $200 range. Diane you're saying Platinum, so maybe it's the wrong model I'm seeing?

    I've considered an actual Featherweight, I'm just iffy on buying a vintage machine. I have several vintage Singers but haven't used them, haven't learned to oil them or do anything else for them. I'm just more comfortable with newer machines.

    I really don't need anything other than a straight stitch machine though. If I need a fancy stitch or need to do applique work, I'll use my 820.

    Maybe I just need to start a Grandmother's Flower Garden and have a hand project to take on the go. :)

  21. #21
    Junior Member neenee586's Avatar
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    My vote is for the black Featherweight. My mom gave me my aunts in 1970, I have sewn miles and miles on it. They are easy to maintain, you will never be sorry for buying it. I have other machines, including the Janome Jem, HK Janome for our GD. The FW is just a gem! My .02 worth, good luck!

  22. #22
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
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    I've seen a Singer Featherweight on HSN:

    http://crafts-sewing.hsn.com/singer-...85525&ocm=sekw|best_sellers

    I'm sure the purists will disagree that this is NOT a featherweight. :)

  23. #23
    Super Member QuiltnCowgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmw0829
    I've seen a Singer Featherweight on HSN:

    http://crafts-sewing.hsn.com/singer-...85525&ocm=sekw|best_sellers

    I'm sure the purists will disagree that this is NOT a featherweight. :)
    Ouch! Not a purist...just recognize the difference between the 1st generation Featherweight & the 2nd generation Featherweight. And prefer the 1st generation because it is a sound little machine that will work for you forever & ever. And 2nd generation machines are unfortunately not the dependable machine of the 1st generation. So, yes, it is labeled "Featherweight", but it is just a label & the 2 generations are light years apart in quality, dependability & function.

  24. #24
    Super Member Lindsey's Avatar
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    I have heard that there are machines that look like the old feather weight. I don't know who makes them but I am going to look into getting one. They sell them at the sew and vac in SE PA... thats all I know..

  25. #25
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnCowgirl
    Quote Originally Posted by cmw0829
    I'm sure the purists will disagree that this is NOT a featherweight. :)
    Ouch! Not a purist...just recognize the difference between the 1st generation Featherweight & the 2nd generation Featherweight. And prefer the 1st generation because it is a sound little machine that will work for you forever & ever. And 2nd generation machines are unfortunately not the dependable machine of the 1st generation. So, yes, it is labeled "Featherweight", but it is just a label & the 2 generations are light years apart in quality, dependability & function.
    Apologies, did not mean to offend by the term "purists." I didn't mean it in a negative way.

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