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Thread: Why is everyone buying the old sewing machines?

  1. #1

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    First, I mean NO offense to anyone. I'm just curious as to what the draw is to the old sewing machines. I think they are being called "featherweights."

    While I love antiques and find them beautiful I don't understand what people are using them for. Many are missing parts and I've never seen one that I considered easily portable...

    What am I missing?

    (Again, I'm not trying to offend anyone - I'm just clueless.)

  2. #2
    Super Member jmabby's Avatar
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    I don't think I have ever seen a featherweight??

  3. #3
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    I got a featherweight because I learned to sew on a Singer a long time ago. It wasn't a Featherweight, but it had the same humm that a FW has in a much smaller size. No other machine sews such a straight line with such ease.

  4. #4
    Super Member KatFish's Avatar
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    I LOVE my old Singers. They sew a perfect strait stitch, are easy to maintain myself and the Feather Weight weighs 10lbs. It is very light take to class machine. I also like sewing with a machine that is much, much, older than I am and still is a real work horse.

  5. #5
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    Light and easy to take to a class and very reliable with a nice straight stitch :)

  6. #6
    sewTinker's Avatar
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    I got mine to have a 2nd one for both home and for taking to classes. It only weighs about 10 lbs, and yet it doesn't feel light-weight when I'm using it. all metal, and it sews beautifully.

  7. #7
    Super Member magpie's Avatar
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    http://www.tennesseequilts.com/cgi-b...Featherweights

    Here they are, but don't be scared by these prices. There are better deals elsewhere.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SnowQuilt's Avatar
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    I have one I found at a yard sale a couple of years ago for $10.00 and it runs like a gem. They are sew light, and sew cute. Very portable.
    :)

  9. #9
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    Just curious... do they say 'Feather Weight' on the machine??

  10. #10
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divokittysmom
    Just curious... do they say 'Feather Weight' on the machine??
    No. Is a Singer 221. I don't find mine light as a feather at all, but is sooooo cute.

  11. #11
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    They're cute, less than 12lbs (which is as light as the plastic prtables of today), sew a perfect straight stitch, can be serviced and maintained by the owner, have MANY attachments both vintage and modern for a myriad of applications including ruffles and buttonholes, they are cute, they represent an era of quality American and (Scottish) craftsmanship, they are reliable and can be repaired just about forever, and did I mention that they are cute? I don't mind folks who don't like them, more for me....

  12. #12
    Super Member hobbykat1955's Avatar
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    Thanks for asking the question I was wondering the samething. Though, I have my old Singer in cabinet that was my grandmothers it's all rusty and I'm sure not working. Maybe I'll take a second look and rescue it and tkae it for refurbish...

  13. #13
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    FWs only weigh 11 lbs and they sew beautifully. If you find one (or more) in pristine condition, as I was lucky enough to do, they will last forever. As the saying goes, they don't make them like that anymore!

  14. #14
    Super Member TexasSunshine's Avatar
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    I paid $50 for mine, had to do some cleanup on it, sews great and is so cute.

  15. #15
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    I don't have a Featherweight, although I would like to have one in my collection, one of these days.

    I buy the old sewing machines because they sew like can't believe until you've tried it. :)

    A big old tank of a Kenmore or Singer in a solid cabinet is pure stability when you're wrestling with a king-size quilt and trying to get it quilted.

    So smooth - because they're so heavy! Think about how a Cadillac or a Grand Marquis just sails along and glides down the road. That's what the old sewing machines do.

    I learned how to sew on a 1956 Singer and trying to find its twin is what got me started on collecting the old machines.

    I've been learning how to refubish them myself and I only rarely have to resort to a repair shop - as when replacing the two internal belts inside my Kenmores - that's not a job for a home hobbyist without special tools.

    I can strip the machines and clean them and put them back together and they're beautiful and nostalgic... and they sew! Oh, do they sew! And a few of them sing you a happy little song while they do it! :)

  16. #16
    Senior Member quilter711's Avatar
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    I wanted my Singer 301 after sewing with an old Singer and saw the perfect stitch. The Singer 301 has no belt ~ gear driven ~ feed dogs drop for FMQ ~ is portable ~ no computer ~ you can maintain and fix yourself (this is the best feature)! What more could you ask for?

    Happy Quilting!

  17. #17
    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    For me, the reason is the same one for my new machine being a Juki- all metal parts, you can clean and oil yourself, and if you care for them, they never die, unlike the newer computerized machines.

    Featherweights, (Singer 221s) people like to take to classes. Most of the older machines are too heavy to lift easily. I am buying a 301, which is slightly bigger than a featherweight, but still portable. And my 15-91 will sew through absolutely anything without slowing down.

    The old machines were designed for heavy use, and designed to last forever, unlike the newer machines. My Juki remains my go to machine, because I am spoiled by the thread cutter, but well made, easy to repair, and easy to operate are all worth having.

  18. #18
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I dont have a FW, but I do have some vintage machines. I just think they are so neat looking, and I have gotten them for so cheap at rummage sales!

  19. #19
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I have the white color Featherweight. It's so cute and sews a perfect stitch. It's a little smaller then the black Featherweights. I take it to classes and can easily sit it about anywhere and sew. Easy to maintain, just clean and oil, nothing to get out of whack and dependable. I have a Singer 301 and it's a workhorse. No tension problems, no stitch problems, sews with any type of thread, it sews smooth is how I describe it. I read and heard from many machine dealers the machine that get the title of the best machine ever made is given to the Singer Rocketeer model. It was the one I really wanted but in my search I was GIVEN the FW and 301 and don't need the Rockeeter, want one but don't need it. LOL.

  20. #20
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    now you know...when it comes to the famous singer FW it is more about style, portability and a bit of vanity...when it comes to other makes of machines is more about durability, ease of repairs, and affordability.

    which leads me to another good thought/thread!

  21. #21
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    I don't have a featherweight and probably won't get one, unless I find one at an incredible price. That said, I do have some older machines. I wanted to find a treadle like my Mom and Mamaw used. Both of these precious ladies are gone and finding a machine was kind of like link to them.

    The other old machines just drew me to them. I loved the look of a Rocketeer and found one in a cabinet in excellent condition for only $10.00. And my 301A is to use for FMQ. It has wonderful reviews and I hope to try it when I feel more comfortable with my quilting.

  22. #22
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I bought my FW because it is so lightweight and portable. It was too much to lug my everyday machine to weekly quilting group. Also, I can do my own maintenance and have a lot of help in that area here.

    I plan on what I take to the weekly group so I only have to straight sew while there ... or do some hand work type thing like trimming blocks or tracing patterns or such.

    ali

  23. #23
    Super Member karate lady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatFish
    I LOVE my old Singers. They sew a perfect strait stitch, are easy to maintain myself and the Feather Weight weighs 10lbs. It is very light take to class machine. I also like sewing with a machine that is much, much, older than I am and still is a real work horse.
    i don't have a featherwgt, but I learned on an old singer. sadly the singer of today is not the same. the old singers lasted and lasted . miss my old one and regret getting rid of it.

  24. #24
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    The old machines are work horses and much easier to maintain. If my old 306W ever gives up ... I will try to replace with the same if I can find one. It handles whatever I want to put thought it and I have always prefered the knee control over the foot petal.
    The old featherweights are legondary for there perfect straight stitch.
    They really just don't make them like they use to !

  25. #25
    Senior Member quilter1943's Avatar
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    Is one year any better than another?
    Quote Originally Posted by Maia B
    They're cute, less than 12lbs (which is as light as the plastic prtables of today), sew a perfect straight stitch, can be serviced and maintained by the owner, have MANY attachments both vintage and modern for a myriad of applications including ruffles and buttonholes, they are cute, they represent an era of quality American and (Scottish) craftsmanship, they are reliable and can be repaired just about forever, and did I mention that they are cute? I don't mind folks who don't like them, more for me....

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