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Thread: Featherweight

  1. #1
    Junior Member Happiness is...'s Avatar
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    Would you pay $400 for a featherweight, in good condition (so it's advertised)? The very first machine I bought was a 15 year old White, and I used it for 35 years. At the end it just wouldn't do the job - bobbin continually got messed up, had to pull the fabric through, etc. I'm a little leary of older machines. There seem to be a lot of used Kenmores. Are they worth anything?

  2. #2
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    Nope

  3. #3
    Junior Member Happiness is...'s Avatar
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    Seems kinda high to me.

  4. #4
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    Nope I don't see the appeal. I borrowed a friends (she collects so has several) for a few months when my "take to class machine" broke. It was nice and lightweight to tote back and forth but if I drop or slam on the brakes or etc. I'm out $300+ for a 50-60 year old machine. I think the old singers and kenmores sew just as well and I'll tote my $49 old (I'm sorry vintage) viking to classes. Little heavier but it's in a rolling bag I can live better if it breaks.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Happiness is...'s Avatar
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    Good points. I'm considering finding an older and more portable machine that I can take to Guild. My Bernina is SOOOOO heavy to tote around.

  6. #6
    Senior Member kraftykimberly's Avatar
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    No way, there are much better deals to be had out there.

  7. #7
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    Nope! Way to much even in excellant condition.

    I found one the other day that is a 1954 that still looks like it did the day it came off the assembly line plus the case was immaculate and did not have an odor. So far it is missing all the attachments and the manual, but even if they were all there I would not even consider this amount. They want $525 for it. Yep, that's right! I told him his price was way too high and if he came down to $225 I would buy it.
    He went into this speal about how the decals could not be duplicated or the paint job ever be as nice as the factory. We had a nice chat about repainting, decals are still available, etc. I enlightened this antique dealer aboput FW's.
    Another one in town is not nearly in as good a shape and priced at $550. So, NO I would not.

  8. #8
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    try shopgoodwill.com. There are a couple there with $150 bids ending in the next day or 2.

  9. #9
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    No.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Happiness is...'s Avatar
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    Thanks :)

  11. #11
    Super Member QBeth's Avatar
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    No, way over priced!

  12. #12
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    I have 3 featherweights - I paid $325.00 for my first one and the other 2 were around $200.00. But the lowest priced one I had to replace the foot pedal & cord (that is one piece) because the original owner had lost it, but everything else was there.

    It all depends on what you want to do with it. They are very reliable, very portable and cute. You won't find a lighter vintage machine. The stitches are limited. Some do not do a reverse stitch, not sure when they introduced it.

    For some odd reason they are very addictive. Don't know why, maybe it is like the beanie baby craze, or maybe because they have some hypnotic sound when you sew on them. Not sure what it is, but it does appear you can't own just one.

  13. #13
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    The price for the featherweight seems high. As for Kenmores, I bought mine new in the late 70s and it has sewn shirts, jeans, drapes, sofa covers, you name it. It still sews great. The older Kenmores were good, solid machines.

  14. #14
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    that is too much for now they used to go for that but not for several years

  15. #15
    Junior Member Happiness is...'s Avatar
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    OK. That setttles it. Not getting it. Thanks.

  16. #16
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    no way, you'll find one for less

  17. #17

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    Yes, if it had all the accessories and the book. If the decals and case were in good condition. If it had a musty antique odor..not a smoker or cat pissy smell. Yes, I would if I saw it and inspected it in person. Get the serial number and find out it's birthday.
    If cost is a concern, then may I recommend Singer 4166 66 Stitch from AllBrands.com to take in your motor home or to class. The stitches are pleasantly, surprisingly beautiful and it is light. Not a big out of pocket investment, a computer machine light and practical. The small Janomes are all wonderful.
    I do have a $425.00 1946 Featherweight which I adore and it sews beautifully. It was love at first sight! I had to have it! I didn't even question. It is like owning a classic antique car. It is a privilege and special. I have owned a Viking 1100 which I wore out, a Morse and Kenmores.... but I am a die hard Janome fan. About 25 years ago my friend and I decided to take quilting classes. We went to the big city Sears and bought their $99 on sale Kenmore. We were thrilled until we got to the class. There were just some things our machines would not do. Like drop the feed dogs or do an appliqué stitch. Plus women actually were machine snobs. We were definitely treated like low class encroachers. (the instructor was patient and nice though)I thought they must have paid $500.00 for their machines! Ha! More like $1500 to $3500..... Now I understand the pride and appreciation of those who are fortunate to own a lovely Featherweight or top of your budget machine of quality. I never take my expensive machine out of my sewing room.
    All that said, If that featherweight has a scroll face plate, has all the bells and whistles, and smells like an antique and not an ashtray or litter box..consider it. $400 can buy a nice light Janome. Pass on the old Kenmores. You may want to look for a nice Singer 66 or Singer 301. They are the berries (..but heavy.) and you may be able to get it in a nice wooden cabinet and stool. Good luck!

  18. #18
    Junior Member Happiness is...'s Avatar
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    Thanks. A BUNCH of useful info :)

  19. #19
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    The prices are starting to come back down to earth on Featherweights. They are nice to have as a portable to take with you, but they aren't all that. Mine sews well but not as fast as I'd like, and the throat space is only big enough to piece, not quilt. There are other great vintage Singers you could get for about $50, including nice cabinet, which can do a whole lot more.

    Featherweights are cute and WAY hyped, which is why the price is so much more than other Singers of the same time period.

    Just keep looking...

  20. #20

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    Nice treadle! Your baby?

  21. #21
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dianalee
    Nice treadle! Your baby?
    Thanks... yes, my favorite of my vintage machines. :mrgreen:

  22. #22
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terri Morin
    Would you pay $400 for a featherweight, in good condition (so it's advertised)? The very first machine I bought was a 15 year old White, and I used it for 35 years. At the end it just wouldn't do the job - bobbin continually got messed up, had to pull the fabric through, etc. I'm a little leary of older machines. There seem to be a lot of used Kenmores. Are they worth anything?
    I'd love to see if I could get the old white to work. Does it have any plastic parts? If no plastic parts I bet we can get it to work. send a pm

  23. #23
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    I have used my Featherweight for over a year on a daily basis. I have done FMQ on smaller projects and have found they seldom break. It has such a nice stitch and is very easily taken back and forth to classes and retreats. However $400 is a lot higher than I would pay for one. The one I use is a 1950 and I paid $157 on E-Bay with the case and accessories. It is in nice shape. Just look around and check Craigs List also.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhillslady
    Nope I don't see the appeal. I borrowed a friends (she collects so has several) for a few months when my "take to class machine" broke. It was nice and lightweight to tote back and forth but if I drop or slam on the brakes or etc. I'm out $300+ for a 50-60 year old machine. I think the old singers and kenmores sew just as well and I'll tote my $49 old (I'm sorry vintage) viking to classes. Little heavier but it's in a rolling bag I can live better if it breaks.

  24. #24
    Super Member southernmema's Avatar
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    A little pricey to me.

  25. #25
    Junior Member countryblocks's Avatar
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    I paid $300 for a 221- Featherweight

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