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Thread: What to look for in a Featherweight?

  1. #1
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    What to look for in a Featherweight?

    Tomorrow I am going to look at a featherweight. Do you have any advice on what I should look for or look out for?


    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    Just look for what you would look for in any sewing machine. The main things are the wiring and how well it stitches.

  3. #3
    Super Member decky's Avatar
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    Make sure the wiring is good, the bobbin case is there and how does it sew? I have 3 featherweights and a 301 that I use all the time.

    Pat in MN

  4. #4
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Wiring, bobbin case, how it sews! They are wonderful little machines!!

  5. #5
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Wiring, will it sew if it is 222 will it zigzag. I have the machine love it. It ha debentures well looked after and loved before. Would like a zipper foot for it and see what other feet they do.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  6. #6
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    A 222 Featherweight will not zig-zag. The 222's were only made for a couple of years, are relatively rare and hard to find and have the free arm option (the metal flat bed pulls off to reveal the open arm). I'd check to see that the bobbin case is there (expensive if not), overall condition (pin scratches, chipped paint, worn off decals, rusty, aluminum break down, smelly?, broken or rubbery wiring (one of the cheaper repairs). Does the machine actually stitch or is it just the light coming on? Often these machines are sold because they won't sew when the problem is the needle is in backwards, thread is caught in the bobbin case, or the little finger on the bobbin case is not in the notch allowing the bobbin case to swing around and not engage. Happy Featherweight buying.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  7. #7
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    Check the belts, bring a piece of denim like material. And sew on it. the motor should easily go through 2 or 3 layers of denim. Make sure the bobbin assembly has no rust, check out any odors in the case. check out the underside for the serial number and print out and bring info to tell you what year it was born. I have 8 featherweights, one from every decade plus a couple extras, and each works wonderfully. One machine needed lots of work, but they are easy to work on (Little stinker, as she was balky and needed lots of care, but my DH spent some time with her and now she purrs beautifullly). I love my featherweights, Little Lula, Goldie, Sexy, Little Stinker, Lucy, Della, and my aniversary present (july 10 this year) was a 1934 beautify with all attachments, her name is June Bug (born around June 1934). Finally, Sissy lives at my daughter's house.
    Last edited by nhweaver; 07-13-2013 at 04:17 AM.
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  8. #8
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    Also look at the back and see if the motor smokes at all. Try the bobbin winder out. Look the wiring over carefully. Even the one that goes to the foot pedal. You don't want to see any checking in the rubber covering the wiring. Don't just look for bare wires. Does it have marks for stitch widths on needle plate? If not would you be happy marking 1/4" w tape or something. A 1/4" foot for it can add $20+ to the price. What is the condition of the feet under the machine? What is the condition of the feet under the foot pedal? Does it include the original manual? DH sells & repairs FW so I know all these things are fixable but they will add to the price and can help you get the price down. Also a lot of the price is based on the condition of the decals. If that is not important to you, you could get a great sewing machine for a low price.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  9. #9
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    FWs are very sturdy machines but they will not sew if the needle is threaded backwards (they thread from right to left) or if the hook is not properly in the bobbin area. I would want the bobbin to be there as they are expensive to replace. It would be nice if there were extra bobbins because the ones you get at JoAnns or walmart don't always work. You can get them from Sewclassic.

    One FW I purchased was very fussy about the bobbin case fitting in..... you need to make sure you hear the 'click'.

    Good luck and finding the perfect FW for YOU!. And, if you need help, the vintage section always has people very happy to give advise..... good advise, by the way.

  10. #10
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    be sure the bobbin hook is there...if that part is missing it is expensive to buy a replacement.

  11. #11
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    Sew on the machine. If the stitch is good, everything else can be replaced or repaired. I have 2 FW, a well-worn black one from 1939, and a white one from the 60's. Just love "my girls". welcome to the FW club.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbie View Post
    are relatively rare and hard to find and have the free arm option (the metal flat bed pulls off to reveal the open arm).
    I've had my 222 for several years. I wasn't looking when I happened across it. It was pretty expensive but it looks like new. I love the little free arm.

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