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Featherweight shopping and education.

Featherweight shopping and education.

Old 12-12-2019, 05:10 PM
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Default Featherweight shopping and education.

I have recently started to learn more about featherweight machines and think I would like to save up and get one. Iím trying to learn all I can. My main reason for purchasing one will be to have something lightweight to take to classes with me. I am enamored with how beautiful they are too though. So far Iíve learned a little about them. There are 2 different models the 221 and 222 correct? And so far as I can tell they range from about 400-2400 dollars. What are the main features/factors I should cover in my research and make sure a machine has? For instance Iím seeing that some of them are wired for the European market and are not plug compatible here in the US. Also Iíve read that I should make sure a machine has an original bobbin case?

any and all info/opinions/education is/are welcome, thanks!
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Old 12-12-2019, 05:24 PM
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They are fabulous little machines. Great for classes or everyday sewing. The 222 is a free arm version and much harder to come by. I was very fortunate that a friend found one for me and I was able to get mine for $40. They can be had very reasonably if you are willing to wait and hunt.

Yes, an original bobbin case is something to be mindful of but replacements can be had at reasonable cost. One of the main issues I've heard/read about are the cases being stinky from sitting. Getting the smell out can be a process. Otherwise, as long as it turns on and runs, you should be good. They are quite simple machines and easily serviced/maintained yourself.

I believe the white/celery models (also not very common similar to the 222 model) I think are the ones most likely to be Euro wired. I'm sure that can be changed. I've seen several of them for sale in this area but way more $$ than I am willing to spend. If I got the right deal...???

Troll craigslist; facebook sale pages. Let all of your yard/garage sale friends know what you are looking for. Show them a picture. Good deals are out there if you have the patience.

And I'm sure others will be along soon to give you more/better info on the mechanics/wiring questions.
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Old 12-12-2019, 05:36 PM
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I'm looking for one too. I had two, both stunk like my Grandmothers house only worse. One did not run that well and I was offered good money for them as a set, when I needed the $$ and I let them go.

Have you looked at The Featherweight Shop? They are giving a pink one away this year. I have signed up. I think we will go looking tomorow. Marcia
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Old 12-12-2019, 05:54 PM
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I did enter the drawing! Lol, It’s part of what got me started on this. I have a juki for taking to classes but it’s pretty heavy for me to get in and out of the car. Plus it’s not near as cute. Wouldn’t that little pink one be fabulous to have? I hope one of us wins it.
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Old 12-12-2019, 05:57 PM
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There are bargains sometimes at yard sales and estate sales, also sometimes at thrift stores. I bought my first one at a thrift store for $200, then about a month later I was at an estate sale and got 2 of them for $70.00, at another estate sale soon after those, I got one for $20.00. So, those are some options I would also suggest the possibilities of a good deal.
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Old 12-12-2019, 07:32 PM
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Pamela, they are really fun to sew with. I bought a black one and a white one on Ebay, both around $200 each but it was several years ago.
It can be hit or miss, even on Ebay. The 222 is so expensive that I have no desire to get one. I don't do garment sewing so the appeal isn't there for that kind of money.
I agree that Craig's list is a good place to look, you just never know.
My brother lives in NY and I've looked where he lives but so far haven't snagged one.
Maybe it's just mine but I like the black one better than the white. The black one just "feels" better to me. The white one may need some work though. But overall it's in good shape. Maybe this winter I'll play with it.
They are very easy to maintain.
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:08 PM
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They're great machines. I have 2. One black, one white. Don't get hung up on the price. They can still be found at reasonable prices especially if they need a bit of work. About a year ago, I bought my white one at an estate sale for $50. It was not running but I plugged it in, loosened the belt and ascertained that the motor ran just fine so I figured it just needed cleaning and oiling. It took me all of a day to get it running. If you take some time and look, you can find them reasonably priced. It took me almost a year to find this one.

I used EstateSales.net. You can sign up to be notified of estate sales in your area and also set up what they call the "Treasure Tracker" where you enter things you are specifically looking for. They will send you emails when your items come up at a sale in your area.

Last edited by cashs_mom; 12-12-2019 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 12-13-2019, 06:27 AM
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Take your time and be patient. You may find one, like I did, for a very reasonable price. I got mine for $125. I keep my eyes open for another one that may be even less. I love it. She is a 221 and very precious. I have a different machine that I have been using for group sewing projects to date but look forward to taking her out with me soon. There are many FW user here that will be able to advise you on purchasing one and caring for one. She is a lovely little machine.
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Old 12-13-2019, 06:57 AM
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I agree with all the above. I have a black one and i have had it for several years. Last year I bought a 1941 model painted ....my favorite color and my birth year. I love both of them and I love to listen to them. They literally hum. I bought them on eBay and the black one was $125 several years ago. The red one was a splurge and a special present to me from me. It was $1000. I have used it and she sews so sweetly. Her name is “Ruby”. My black one is named “Aunt Gertie” after a favorite aunt. I was going to sell the black one but it seems after they have a name I can’t part with them. I don’t have a white one but I have been told by several people they have more problems than the black ones. Is that true? I really don’t know.

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 12-13-2019 at 07:18 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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Old 12-13-2019, 07:51 AM
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There aren't a whole lot of choice with FW

The older ones (221) came in black and light tan, and the 222 Open arm version came in black. In the later production Singer came out with the white (or celery) version and a main difference is the foot pedal and cord are hard wired. I would agree that it's not made as robust as the earlier version. Don't confuse the older tan model with the newer white model.

Besides making sure you can plug it in where you live, you'll want to make sure it's got the bobbin case. For a while there was an aftermarket source, then it went away and I don't know if another has popped up.

Don't worry about attachments as it takes the same short shank attachments as all the other Singer short shank machines. Sellers will list attachments as "for featherweight" as if it took special ones (and they'll ask twice as much too). There are only a few that are specific to the FW and that is because they mount to the bed or use the needle plate. Those are specific to the FW. Two would be the attachment plate for the hemstitcher, and the darning plate.
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