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Thread: Please forgive my ignorance...

  1. #1

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    but how do I know a featherweight when I see one? I've never seen one in person, and the pics from the board look a lot like pics of other old singers to me. Is there an easy way to tell the difference? I visit antique malls a lot, and would buy a featherweight in a second if I ran across a cheap one, but I'm not sure I'll know one when I see it.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    I would love to find a featherweight also to buy

  3. #3
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    I know someone will let you know. They are lightweight of course and small and so cute. You can look it up on google too but hang on, I bet lots will answer here shortly. I want one too.

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    on the left side of the machine is a hinged platform too :D:D:D

  5. #5
    Super Member magpie's Avatar
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    I googled images and typed in featherweight sewing machines. here'http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&s...&oq=&gs_rfai=s the link, lots of pics.

  6. #6
    Super Member leaha's Avatar
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    first the FW have either the #221 0r 222 right on the front of themunder the gold signer seal. the left side of the bed folds up, two ways to tell if it is a FW, and they are about 1/2 the size of our big machines today, and they are so cute

    and remember NO question is dumb, we all have so much to learn, and none of us knows every thing, we learn by asking.

  7. #7
    Super Member SuziC's Avatar
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    According to Ask.com a featherweight is a Singer portable sewing machine that was made between 1933 and 1964 and weighs about 11 pounds. That's all i know about them. I don't quite understand the lure of these machines. I am sure someone here can fill us in.

  8. #8
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    Featherweights have several distinctive features. The first is their size and weight. A featherweight isn't that much larger than a child's machine and only weighs 11 lbs. It is usually black but a few tan ones were built in Canada and some of the latest models were white. A featherweight will only sew forwards and backwards. There are no other stitches. The bed of the machine has a flip up part that is used in the up position to access the bobbin or to pack it away in the small rectangular black case. Some featherweights came with cabinets (extremely rare or folding card tables) If you Google featherweight or Singer 221 you'll see some pictures of the machine and distinctive case. The shiny metal faceplate may have a striped pattern (striated) or a more elaborate Egyptian scroll plate. Featherweights were made from the 1930's until about 1970 and small changes occurred during those years. The light switch may be on the light or on the base in the bottom right corner. Earlier featherweights had plain silver feed dog plates while ones from the 50's may have the seam line marked on the plate. The bobbin case (make sure the machine has it as it is expensive to replace)is round with a little spring loaded lever used to insert it and the bobbin is narrower and flatter than a class 66 bobbin. The electrical cords attach to a plug and are removable for storage and the original food pedal has two buttons of which only one can be depressed. Only white featherweights have electrical cords that were wired directly into the machine (cost cutting measure). The black case has distinctive suitcase looking locking hinges and has a tray (various styles) to hold the attachments. The number 221 does not appear on the front of my machine.

  9. #9
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    They are quiet and sew like a dream, beautiful stitches. You can take care of it yourself, no expensive repair bills on these and they never wear out.

  10. #10
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    Thanks, this good info.

  11. #11
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I want one too!

  12. #12

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    Go to a local machine shop, some carry used swing machines and may have one to sell. And may have a picture to show you.
    Also a person that just repairs machines may have one and a picture. Always check to make certain the the shuttle is in the sewing machine. Sometimes stickey fingers will take them. They
    are $100. to replace. Go on ebay and check and bid or go to
    Craigs List and post what you want and someone may have one and is willing to sale it. You may get a real bargain on Craigs List. I understand Singer came out with a new one because they are so popular but I am not certain. I have one I don't use but it was my mothers, so it is a keeper for now.

  13. #13
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    FW are wonderful for going to classes as they are light to transport. They are also easy to clean and service yourself. The easiest way to spot one is that the table folds up and they are very protable. Good hunting!

  14. #14
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    When I got my FW my sister thought it was a toy!!! She is not a sewer by any stretch. We had a good laugh about it and I'm sure she couldn't wait to change the subject after I went on and on about it LOL
    You got good advice from the others. I love mine so much!

  15. #15

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    My local quilt shop has a number of them for sale. They even have a gorgeous red one! They are pricey - somewhere in the $500 range, but they sure are cute.She carries the ones who probably have been refurbished as they look like new ones which accounts for the high price.

  16. #16
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    i don't have a fw,but my bf bought me a beautiful 1909 singer w/treadle base[tho it's electrifid now.it is like brand new ,all decals great,iwas SO thrilled that i called my daughters,BOTH of them came upw/what's that ?!!!
    dar

  17. #17

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    Thanks. Is the signer seal the "Singer" written on front?

    Quote Originally Posted by leaha
    first the FW have either the #221 0r 222 right on the front of themunder the gold signer seal. the left side of the bed folds up, two ways to tell if it is a FW, and they are about 1/2 the size of our big machines today, and they are so cute

    and remember NO question is dumb, we all have so much to learn, and none of us knows every thing, we learn by asking.

  18. #18
    Super Member mar32428's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattee
    but how do I know a featherweight when I see one? I've never seen one in person, and the pics from the board look a lot like pics of other old singers to me. Is there an easy way to tell the difference? I visit antique malls a lot, and would buy a featherweight in a second if I ran across a cheap one, but I'm not sure I'll know one when I see it.

    Thanks!
    My dear friend and I do lots of bus tours all over the US. We get the chance to isit some lovely historical homes. Being a sewer and a camera buff, I take loads of pics of old sewing machines. And I have seen some beauties. But here's the surprise. I hae never seen a featherweight anywhere. I have one so would recognize it. From what I read here, I think we own all of them.

  19. #19
    Super Member BettyGee's Avatar
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    There is no question that can't be asked. I've learned so much from the wonderful folks on the Board and each day brings a new surprise. I've even learned new tricks from the retailers that I've purchased fabric from; Nancy at favoritefabrics.com is great and the ladies at my local Jo-Ann's are always ready to help.

  20. #20
    Junior Member PatinAtlanta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sueisallaboutquilts
    When I got my FW my sister thought it was a toy!!! She is not a sewer by any stretch. We had a good laugh about it and I'm sure she couldn't wait to change the subject after I went on and on about it LOL
    You got good advice from the others. I love mine so much!
    My son came over a few months ago and was very upset when he saw my Featherweight. "We have to get you a good sewing machine, Mom", was his comment. I love my featherweight -- it is a 1948.

  21. #21
    Junior Member gangles's Avatar
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    go to this web site for a photo http://www.featherweight-poppy.com/john_002.htm

  22. #22
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Funny, I went into the sewing machine shop today to pick up my order and what do you think walked through the door? A lady struggling with sewing machine. The young clerk ran to her assistance. Heaved it up on the counter and said "they call it a featherweight but its really a heavy weight" I too was unsure what exactly a featherwieght was and looked like. So I asked and she showed me the markings and what to look for besides its small size and heavy load. It looked so dainty so light,so pretty but was like lifting a baby elephant. Dont think I would want one to pack back and forth to a sewing class.

  23. #23
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    To get a good view of different colored ones, that he does go to Desk Dave.com and look at all of his featherweights. The original colors by Singer were black,white tan and a minty green. Those were all that Singer made as far as I know. Now however, people are painting them in so many different colors, I love the lavendar and purple ones, but mine is black and I'm not going to repaint it. Nor can I aford those that have been repainted and I really don't need another one, at least that's what I keep telling myself.
    You might also click on ebay.com and in search type in Singer featherweight, and there will be a lot of them. There will most likely be other machines on the different pages. The featherweights will be listed as such and you can tell by looking at them in relation to the other machines. Many of them have a case that comes with them, just check out all the ones on ebay and then go to Desk Daves and drool. Have fun!!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by leatheflea
    Funny, I went into the sewing machine shop today to pick up my order and what do you think walked through the door? A lady struggling with sewing machine. The young clerk ran to her assistance. Heaved it up on the counter and said "they call it a featherweight but its really a heavy weight" I too was unsure what exactly a featherwieght was and looked like. So I asked and she showed me the markings and what to look for besides its small size and heavy load. It looked so dainty so light,so pretty but was like lifting a baby elephant. Dont think I would want one to pack back and forth to a sewing class.
    A real featherweight only weighs 11 pounds. That isn't but a pound heavier than a 10 # bag of potatoes, and doesn't seem nearly that heavy when you carry it. In the case with the foot peddle, attachments and machine, I think it only weighs around 20#. My Bernina must weigh at least 30 or more. But then it's the older series and is all metal.

  25. #25

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    Search the internet, I'm sure there is plenty of info available.

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