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Thread: Are Singer Feather Weights Really That Great?

  1. #51
    Junior Member Briarberry's Avatar
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    I have been looking for a FW for months but they are very expensive around here. While looking for the FW I have purchased a Singer 185J which is a nice 3/4 machine, I bought it because it was cheap and green. I also found a lovely 99K which is the same size as the 185J, I love how it purrs when I use it. Just this weekend I brought home a tan 301a which I can see becoming my favourite machine. It is called the FW's big sister sometimes. It is full sized but only weighs 16 lbs. Mine came in a lovely cabinet and it pops out easily for when I need to use it for a class. So what I am saying is, you can find lots of nice machines besides the FW. If I do find one for a reasonable price I may buy it but I am very pleased with the stitches the 301a makes and I like the look of the 301a too.

  2. #52
    Senior Member collady's Avatar
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    OH YES!!!!! I love mine, and feel so thankful that my sister-in-law didn't want it as it was her mother's and now mine!

  3. #53
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    I have a Bernina 930 and an Activa 135 and bought a cheap Brother because it was light weight and I go to a sewing group every Tuesday and my Berninas are way too heavy. I do not love the Brother so was wishing for a FW after doing some research on this site. Lo and behold, my sister still had my mother's FW and it is to be mine as soon as I go back to the states and pick it up. I am so excited to be getting a FW and the fact that it made all of my clothes for the first 16 years of my life is an extra hug!

  4. #54
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    I inherited a FW and I love it for piecing. The stitches are so even and the feed dogs feed the fabric very evenly, something one of my newer machines does not do. So, yes, I love it.

  5. #55
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    Elna quilting

    Quote Originally Posted by irishrose View Post
    Interesting points. A FW heavy? 12 pounds?? The 301 at 16 pounds is my choice for the reasons given above. Trene, I'm surprised your Elna wlll quilt. Mine won't which is why I have the 301. That auto adjusting presser foot and the zigzag plate are two of the reasons she doesn't quilt well. I do love that machine and have used it for almost 40 years for everything imaginable, but the 301 is my piecer, my FMQer and my class machine.

    FWs are adorable, that's for sure. What does the 'new' anniversary one weigh?
    You said that you couldn't quilt on your Elna because of the zigzag plate. You can get a little snap on plate that covers the hole to allow for free motion quilting. Have you tried using a walking foot for regular, not free motion, quilting? You can get an open toe foot so that it is easier to see what you are doing. This allows you to use the built in stitches. The wavy zigzag or serpentine makes a wonderful design. Give it a try. I use both my Elna Super 62C and 64 for
    quilting.

  6. #56
    Super Member patdesign's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=AZ Jane;5163812]LOL, I'm new to quilting but have managed to collect 5 machines so far, only one with auto-threader. I found a serger threader at Jo-Ann's. It is like a regular needle threader but way longer and it makes it much easier to thread all my machines. If you are having trouble seeing that tiny, tiny hole I highly recommend them. Here is a picture but I have seen them in other colors.
    Attachment 329943


    Butler Floss Threaders also work
    pat design

  7. #57
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    I love my FW and I take it out once in awhile. It has a nice stitch, but for classes I take my Singer 301 or my Singer 99K. Not afraid to leave when we break for lunch.

  8. #58
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    I have several and they are great. Depends on what you want. If you like the look, the feel, and the fun of having one, buy it, if you don't buy a new one.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  9. #59
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    I had a FW that I sold 2 years ago. Don't miss it. I love my Viking Sapphire 875. Up/down needle, cuts thread, cruise control... I'll take that any day over a FW.

  10. #60
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    After having a Viking Designer (1, then SE, now Diamond) I couldn't amagine sewing without all the bells and whistles, especially the thread cutter. Go with whatever you are comfortable with.
    Vickie 1976
    The Lord blesses the hands that create.

  11. #61
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliKat View Post
    I love mine. I carry it in a tote bag to keep the weight light. the downsides aren't usually that important for a class" no needle down, no moving the needle position, no fancy stitches. but just perfect for a class.

    Many friends only use their FW's to quilt.

    ali
    I'm one of those who only sews on my beloved FW (that my Mother bought in the 60's to use just for mending, hemming, etc). My DH keeps wanting to buy me a new "fancy" machine but I don't want it. I wouldn't part with my FW if my life depended on it. It's one of the first things I'd grab in a fire. Get one! An original one... not one of the plastic reproductions on the market now -- IMHO.
    (`v)
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    (.(. (..`..♥ rebecca

  12. #62
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    I also have the celery-colored FW and really like it for straight stitching and to take to classes. I did not know that it is smaller than the black ones!
    My husband has a black one at our other house where our kids live now. We haven't put them together.


    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    Consider this. If your Bernina decides to 'take an extended break', would you be happy with the limitations of a Featherweight for more than just a class? There are many lightweight, inexpensive, very capable sewing machines on the market with way more functions than a Featherweight. Personally, cute, nostalgic, vintage, and hype are not what I look for in a sewing machine investment.

  13. #63
    Junior Member krisgray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daylesewblessed View Post
    I like my FW a lot, but I love my 301. It is just a little bit heavier, quite a bit less expensive, and the slant needle gives me much more visibility. Unless I put the FW on a phone book, my line of vision to the needle is blocked by the tension dial.

    Dayle
    I borrowed a 301 from my mom and I liked it better than my featherweight. That was the best straight stitch I ever sewed! I only quilt and rarely use anything other than a straight stitch so the FW is great for taking to sew days and classes. 221parts.com has a great carrying case with a shoulder strap (and hand held handles) - it is so cool to carry my machine over my shoulder.

  14. #64
    Junior Member mlt150's Avatar
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    I have never had a featherweight, but I do love my Janome 3160. Many people at my LQS bought this model for classes (12 lb machine) and I bought it as an upgrade because of it's automatic cutting, needle down and variety of stitches. I now have the Janome 12,000, and definitively appreciate the lightness of my 3160 for classes.
    Dianne

  15. #65
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    No advice, but good luck!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  16. #66
    Super Member Divokittysmom's Avatar
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    I am so grateful this question was asked!! I have been pining away over a FW. I have done alot of Ebay & Craigs List searching for months. I love the size and weight of the FW as it would fit perfectly in my RV. Howeover, after reading some of the postings here it is echoing alot of my thoughts about doing only straight stitching. I fought so hard to get my two top of the line machines with all the bells and whistles I think I might be really disappointed. I do a lot of applique work and while I am sure with the zig zag attachment would be great,.. I think that I might be much happier just trying to find a better place to put one of my normal sized machines. I will always love the FW and if I could ever find one, in person w/o having to go thru Ebay or Craigs List I might get one just for the fun of it. I absolutely adore the FW's but I might just be happier with my machines I have. I have enjoyed reading each and every posting!Thanks for your thoughts!!
    ~Sheriann~💖 BabyLock Ellisimo 💖 Husqvarna Viking Designet 1ESS 💖 BabyLock Imagine 💖 Janome Jem Platinum 760 ♥ Beloved Gram's 1924 Singer Treadle 💖 1937 & 1953 Singer Featherweights #IAMSEWBLESSED ♥

  17. #67
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    what you are saying makes a lot of sense to me. I understand the quality of the FW straight stitch but remember, our mothers and grandmothers upgraded for a reason-they wanted something that could do more. I worked and saved for a long, long time to get my TOL machine-it's the first and last one i will ever have. I still have my old Kenmore(40 y.o.) for a backup and while it sews great, it cannot compare to my "new" machine.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valerie Ann View Post
    I have a birthday promise of a new machine to take with me to class as my Bernina is just too heavy. I continue to read about all the hype surrounding featherweights, but really, are they that great? Or, should I consider another machine (light and portable) for class use? Help! Seeking Advice...
    I love my 2 featherweights. I am taking a class on monday, but will need my fancy stitches so won't be able to take my FW.Boo, Hoo.

  19. #69
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    I have 2 featherweights and love them. I like a rolling tote for them and the regular sewing machine rolling tote is too big for them. Michaels has a rolling yarn tote that is just the right size for the featherweight machines. Each of my machines has her own tote and some accessories with her so they both are ready to go anywhere with me. I just have to grab a tote and go...... I didn't know that there were special needles for the featherweight machines nor that the white one was supposed to be smaller than the black ones. I was told by a sewing machine repair man that the black ones were better made and stronger than the white ones.

  20. #70
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    I don't have a FW, maybe someday I will. I take the Janome jem to classes and retreats. It has the needle down and extra stitches if needed. Quite happy with that, although the FW you can clean and maintain yourself unlike the Janome, something to think about. I also have the 301, which I will take with me next. A good hardy machine that is super duper.

  21. #71
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janis View Post
    I have 2 featherweights and love them. I like a rolling tote for them and the regular sewing machine rolling tote is too big for them. Michaels has a rolling yarn tote that is just the right size for the featherweight machines. Each of my machines has her own tote and some accessories with her so they both are ready to go anywhere with me. I just have to grab a tote and go...... I didn't know that there were special needles for the featherweight machines nor that the white one was supposed to be smaller than the black ones. I was told by a sewing machine repair man that the black ones were better made and stronger than the white ones.
    I have had my Fw for about 3 years and this is the first I have heard about there being special needles for them. Anyone have more info on this?
    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

  22. #72
    Senior Member Honeynga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valerie Ann View Post
    I have a birthday promise of a new machine to take with me to class as my Bernina is just too heavy. I continue to read about all the hype surrounding featherweights, but really, are they that great? Or, should I consider another machine (light and portable) for class use? Help! Seeking Advice...


    My FW, Miss Jimmie Lee, is absolutely awesome; whether she does the sewing that I need at the moment or not ! I grew up in a foster home in the 50's and early 60's and my foster mother, Jimmie Lee, made just about ALL of my clothes on a FW; up to and including a winter coat and my wedding dress ! When she passed on her shady half brother made off with all her belongings and I never had a chance to recover her FW; HOWEVER, I was at a yard sale last summer and happened upon on; couldn't write $25 check fast enough...when I got in the car with my new baby, I cried !

    I've used it a great deal since I purchased it and it does sew awesome straight stitch seams; however, I do have other machines that do the fancy pancy stuff but without sentiment ! SO, to answer your question, my FW is my pride and joy within my sewing machine family !

  23. #73
    Super Member nstitches4u's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honeynga View Post
    My FW, Miss Jimmie Lee, is absolutely awesome; whether she does the sewing that I need at the moment or not ! I grew up in a foster home in the 50's and early 60's and my foster mother, Jimmie Lee, made just about ALL of my clothes on a FW; up to and including a winter coat and my wedding dress ! When she passed on her shady half brother made off with all her belongings and I never had a chance to recover her FW; HOWEVER, I was at a yard sale last summer and happened upon on; couldn't write $25 check fast enough...when I got in the car with my new baby, I cried !

    I've used it a great deal since I purchased it and it does sew awesome straight stitch seams; however, I do have other machines that do the fancy pancy stuff but without sentiment ! SO, to answer your question, my FW is my pride and joy within my sewing machine family !
    Wow! You got a real deal! I have a collection of sewing machines from antique treadle to computerized sewing/embroidery. My baby featherweight is still my favorite.

  24. #74
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    Thank you. i will do that.

  25. #75
    Senior Member Katia's Avatar
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    I haven't read all the posts here, but I had to say I am a big FW fan. I have three and would buy another if I saw it at a good price. I love sewing on them. I have other more high end machines, a couple of Vikings and Bernina's, among others. But you just can not beat the FW straight stitch. It is precise every time. I have done comparisons and the FW will always win.

    Another thing that amazes be about it is how even though it is light weight, it does not feel like you are sewing on a light weight machine. I have used a few of the lighter weight Singers and others and they feel like they will bounce off the table or they rattle and whine. Not the FW. When it is running like it should it should purr like a kitten.

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