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  • Does the Featherweight run or Work?

  • Does the Featherweight run or Work?

    Old 03-26-2022, 08:54 AM
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    Default Does the Featherweight run or Work?

    About 7-8 years ago I moved. I now live in a remote area with limited internet access. My visits to the forum are few and far between. Still, I have found lots of things to keep me busy. I attempted to rebuild my favorite activities in my new homeland. It worked. I got so busy rebuilding in one area, other areas were lost. Quilting was one of those lost areas.

    The home sewing studio was set-up and always ready to go, but by the time I was done with my volunteer hours, there was no energy left to quilt. The solution was to bring quilting into the volunteer time. I was working at a children’ museum. They have summer camps. It was a logical union.

    Although I don’t “collect” vintage machines, I have amassed quite a few. I began the “collection” at the former abode 20 something years ago. When I discovered the compactness and durability of the Featherweights, I snapped them up. I’d take 4-H sewing and quilting classes on the road. The featherweights were easy to transport and maintain. I supplemented with whatever machines were donated so that I could teach a class size of about 25.

    The other machines were real headaches. There were knobs and leavers to be twisted and pushed. I spent more class time troubleshooting those new machines than teaching. With the featherweights there were few thing the kidos could do to stop the class. I had a few 301s in the mix. At least they used the same bulbs and bobbins. The troubles were the same too. The hand wheel had been turned away from the body, thread tails were not held, and needles and machines were threaded incorrectly. All easy fixes.

    Then camps were canceled because the world went on hold. Personal sewing pleasures re-sparked, I found a quilt guild, and restrictions began to lift. Through the guild I found more people, children and adults, who need to learn how to sew and want to quilt. People have found me through the museum for private lessons and after school programs. Life is good. I realized I needed more machines. So now I have 22 Featherweights and 5 301's. The museum has scheduled me for an Introduction to Textile Arts, Introduction to Sewing Machines, Quilting Fever, and a craft camp in their summer camps program. The university has set me up with 4-H and adult classes in the mornings and afternoons, and I hold private lessons.

    However strange it may seem, I still want more sewing machines. I will cap at 25 featherweights. Not too far to go. (Actually, 26 - I’m not sure I want to let kids learn on my 222.) Most of the machines have come from locations other than auctions. Recently when I mentioned having a Featherweight spa day at a guild meeting, one of the members asked if I could get her machine. As luck would have it, I found one on eBay which seemed like a pretty good deal. Surprisingly, I won the bid. The transaction was good, so was the machine. Lady Luck was with me.

    I was fortunate to get the same results a couple more times. The forth time was a less than favorable experience. The description listed the machine as one which WORKED. There were photos of bare wares on the foot petal, and a plug without a wire. Wiring is not a problem. I recently replaced a motor. In order to know that a machine worked, the seller may have used a foot controller from another machine, or so I thought. That is how I planned to test it before sending feedback.

    When the carefully packaged machine arrived, I found that it had no bobbin case. In order for a sewing machine to work, it needs to be able to sew. There was no mention of the shortcoming, nor a picture of the empty space. A sewing machine requires a bobbin case to sew. If it cannot sew, it does not work. It may run, but it does not work. English is a difficult language. I worked with the seller and eBay, without a resolution, to get either a bobbin case, or compensation for a case.

    Oh well. The body is nice, fairly clean, good decals. The plug will be easy enough to repair. I got a reproduction bobbin case which works. The stitch is good. Now I need to troubleshoot the electrical drain which goes through the body of the machine. I believe I still came out ahead.

    The bottom line is that we do make distinctions with our words. Most languages do. We are an international forum. Sharing a story about the differences between works and runs is important to me, because if someone learns something, it may help avoid hours of grief. An analogy I used is that a lawn mower can run, but without blades it will not work.
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    Old 03-26-2022, 09:35 AM
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    Interesting story for sure!
    About the missing bobbin- I've been selling on eBay for years and am an occasional buyer as well. If it came w/o a bobbin you need to be reimbursed for that. eBay is a buyers market and they do anything and everything to satisfy the buyer.
    I wouldn't back down on that one but I just realized you didn't specifically ask about that. Still, I would hold the seller responsible for it.
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    Old 03-26-2022, 09:46 AM
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    Exactly what I thought Susie. I went back & fourth for multiple days. I had to open a return order, even though I didn't want a return. At one point they said I needed to return the machine, even had a print label. Within a couple of hours another notice came in saying case closed. As I mentioned, I am in a remote area. I can't just run down to the post office or UPS store. EBay made it difficult to talk with anyone, or even explain my side. They showed me their ugly side I'll need a long cool down before they get any more of my business.
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    Old 03-26-2022, 04:39 PM
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    Oh, I'm sorry you got the runaround. I don't blame you one bit in your thinking. I have a love/hate relationship with that site!
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    Old 03-27-2022, 10:45 AM
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    for future reference, contact the seller first if you have any questions/problems at all., that is how most problems are worked out and ebay says this when you open a return request..."have you contacted the seller?" Maybe you did, doesn't sound like it.
    You have now committed to return the machine, ebay did exactly as you requested.

    take your own photos before you return it, and how you packed it. They might blame damage on you... Also save photos from their listing for comparison if there are problems.

    The seller maybe sold the bobbin case separately, they can make a lot of money that way. Sorry for your disappointment.
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    Old 03-27-2022, 07:33 PM
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    Default Does the Featherw÷ight Run or Work?

    Thanks guys. Contacting the seller was the absolute first thing I did. He responded by contacting eBay, and reported to me that he was correct, eBay sided with him, and he owed me nothing. I then contacted eBay, not an easy task They seem to make contact almost impossible. I read many unhelpful articles, chatted with well meaning but agents who didn't have a clue, and chats with expirenced sellers. I felt as though there were two people working my case, and they were not talking to each other.

    You all have read through my lines. With 22 featherweights, I have extra bobbin cases and foot controllers. That was not the point. There was a misrepresentation of the sale item. I often write to a seller to point out that they are calling a vintage machine a Featherweight when it obviously is not. I try to be helpful because I know many sellers haven't got any idea what they have.. they pick up something at an estate sale and they want to unload it as soon as possible without researching. Some may call something a FW to add a keyword for filter exposure. There may be many reasons. I make observations to the seller and do not gripe to the company.

    This was a time when I needed to ventilate. By gum, I know I am right. My beef is that there is not an easy way to tell the story to the company. However, I know when it is no longer worth the fight. It was like the time the VA stalled appointments to the pain and suffering of the patients. We felt like that they were waiting for us to die so they wouldn't have to treat us. EBay runs us around the bush waiting for us to give up. I did. For $20 I got 20 bobbins and 2 bobbin cases on a Chineese web site, with free shipping. Mr. Seller has had a good laugh. Perhaps next time the table will be turmed.


    Originally Posted by olebat
    About 7-8 years ago I moved. I now live in a remote area with limited internet access. My visits to the forum are few and far between. Still, I have found lots of things to keep me busy. I attempted to rebuild my favorite activities in my new homeland. It worked. I got so busy rebuilding in one area, other areas were lost. Quilting was one of those lost areas.

    The home sewing studio was set-up and always ready to go, but by the time I was done with my volunteer hours, there was no energy left to quilt. The solution was to bring quilting into the volunteer time. I was working at a children’ museum. They have summer camps. It was a logical union.

    Although I don’t “collect” vintage machines, I have amassed quite a few. I began the “collection” at the former abode 20 something years ago. When I discovered the compactness and durability of the Featherweights, I snapped them up. I’d take 4-H sewing and quilting classes on the road. The featherweights were easy to transport and maintain. I supplemented with whatever machines were donated so that I could teach a class size of about 25.

    The other machines were real headaches. There were knobs and leavers to be twisted and pushed. I spent more class time troubleshooting those new machines than teaching. With the featherweights there were few thing the kidos could do to stop the class. I had a few 301s in the mix. At least they used the same bulbs and bobbins. The troubles were the same too. The hand wheel had been turned away from the body, thread tails were not held, and needles and machines were threaded incorrectly. All easy fixes.

    Then camps were canceled because the world went on hold. Personal sewing pleasures re-sparked, I found a quilt guild, and restrictions began to lift. Through the guild I found more people, children and adults, who need to learn how to sew and want to quilt. People have found me through the museum for private lessons and after school programs. Life is good. I realized I needed more machines. So now I have 22 Featherweights and 5 301's. The museum has scheduled me for an Introduction to Textile Arts, Introduction to Sewing Machines, Quilting Fever, and a craft camp in their summer camps program. The university has set me up with 4-H and adult classes in the mornings and afternoons, and I hold private lessons.

    However strange it may seem, I still want more sewing machines. I will cap at 25 featherweights. Not too far to go. (Actually, 26 - I’m not sure I want to let kids learn on my 222.) Most of the machines have come from locations other than auctions. Recently when I mentioned having a Featherweight spa day at a guild meeting, one of the members asked if I could get her machine. As luck would have it, I found one on eBay which seemed like a pretty good deal. Surprisingly, I won the bid. The transaction was good, so was the machine. Lady Luck was with me.

    I was fortunate to get the same results a couple more times. The forth time was a less than favorable experience. The description listed the machine as one which WORKED. There were photos of bare wares on the foot petal, and a plug without a wire. Wiring is not a problem. I recently replaced a motor. In order to know that a machine worked, the seller may have used a foot controller from another machine, or so I thought. That is how I planned to test it before sending feedback.

    When the carefully packaged machine arrived, I found that it had no bobbin case. In order for a sewing machine to work, it needs to be able to sew. There was no mention of the shortcoming, nor a picture of the empty space. A sewing machine requires a bobbin case to sew. If it cannot sew, it does not work. It may run, but it does not work. English is a difficult language. I worked with the seller and eBay, without a resolution, to get either a bobbin case, or compensation for a case.

    Oh well. The body is nice, fairly clean, good decals. The plug will be easy enough to repair. I got a reproduction bobbin case which works. The stitch is good. Now I need to troubleshoot the electrical drain which goes through the body of the machine. I believe I still came out ahead.

    The bottom line is that we do make distinctions with our words. Most languages do. We are an international forum. Sharing a story about the differences between works and runs is important to me, because if someone learns something, it may help avoid hours of grief. An analogy I used is that a lawn mower can run, but without blades it will not work.
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    Old 03-28-2022, 05:18 AM
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    I did get your original point. But it bothered me that you were out the very thing that makes it work.
    And actually, Kalama is right. I didn't think of that. I didn't think a case would be closed until you sent the machine back or whatever the product was.
    I have a question for you. Where did you find a bobbin case? The only place I know is the Featherweight Shop. I have 3 FW's but only 2 cases. Thanks!
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    Old 03-28-2022, 06:04 AM
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    Default Does the Featherweight Run of Work?

    No. They slapped the duct tape across my keyboard, basically saying that I was stuck with what I got. I am upset, but I got a nice machine for a nice price. It required a tiny bit of work. I had to swap out the foot controller, pull a bobbin case from the parts stash, add bobbins and thread, then routine cleaning, oil & lube. It sews great. Now it Works.

    Because I am not a vintage purist, I don't mind having new parts. I order lots of "stuff" from AliExpress. Because it is coming from some place in China, it takes a while. If you can afford to wait about 4-6 weeks it can be a real good deal. I have gotten things in two weeks, but I think that just came in a padded envelope. From the seller, (Ali Express is more like an Amazon distributer,) it goes through customs, then into a container, across the water, and in my case, one of the East Coast ports, then to a carrier for local delivery. They do send regular notifications so you won't forget about your purchase. Just keep in mind to check for sizes and quantity. If you are ordering what you may think is a package of fat quarters, you may only be getting two, and they are measured in meters. There are many stores carrying the same things, and each seller may market it differently. Some charge for shipping, some do not. Right now I am waiting for hardware to refinish FW cases. When I need multiple items, (25 or more) for classes, I shop Ali. Though I have to wait, prices are often better than Oriental Express. I'm talking things like paint and aprons for the kids here.


    Originally Posted by SusieQOH
    I did get your original point. But it bothered me that you were out the very thing that makes it work.

    And actually, Kalama is right. I didn't think of that. I didn't think a case would be closed until you sent the machine back or whatever the product was.

    I have a question for you. Where did you find a bobbin case? The only place I know is the Featherweight Shop. I have 3 FW's but only 2 cases. Thanks!
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    Old 03-28-2022, 06:30 AM
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    Though you went through a great deal of grief with this last machine it sounds so far like most of the fixes are easy. I just hope it stays that way. Welcome back to quilting too. I am almost envious of all your FW's. I have 2 and feel blessed. One is in constant use for everything. You should be so proud of your accomplishments in your new surrounding. Congratulations. Best of luck with the classes you are teaching.
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    Old 03-28-2022, 10:31 AM
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    Thanks Julia. Although I left some great quilters in Georgia, there are some fantastic folks here. I miss the sewing lab I built for 4-H there, but am starting over with the same need here. It's too bad sewing has been taken out of the school systems. I'm filling a void, but having the extra quilting time would be fun too.
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