Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Featherweight -- What year to look for?

  1. #1
    Junior Member RavenLunaStitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    133

    Question Featherweight -- What year to look for?

    Are all 221's basically equal or are there some years and/or places that they were made with different/improved mechanics? I'm looking for one and would like to narrow it down to a model/year for searching purposes so I can get the best machine I can for the $$. I will wait for the "perfect" one for me but it would be helpful to look for the best model I can afford. Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,946
    Black Featherweights are basically the same but there were small changes through the years. Light switches can be in different places (right side, base of machine or up on the end of the light itself), the face plates (Egyptian scroll in earlier models, striated after 1952 or so). Later models also had a different style of decals on the base and the accessory trays and cases have several variations. The white and tan ones are different again, shorter fold up base, no decals, painted metal face plate and a wired in cord that directly attaches to the foot controller. It really depends on what you want, overall condition and whether any of these small differences matter to you.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  3. #3
    Junior Member RavenLunaStitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    133
    Thank you Shelbie -- I appreciate the detailed answer. Basically, cosmetic changes, even the light position doesn't matter to me as much as the mechanics of the models. Like cars, I would like to know if there are particular years where manufacturing was better (or worse!) than others. The shorter fold up bed might also be something I would consider a factor, but wiring would be much more important to me. I would like to invest in a machine that is in the best condition possible so I can keep and use it for a long time. I'm a "user" rather than a "collector"!

  4. #4
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    1,262
    The search for the right machine is half the fun! Let us know which year you decide to get, I'd love to see a picture.
    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

  5. #5
    Junior Member RavenLunaStitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    133
    I'll keep you posted! I am heading down to the lower 48 in a month or so, and what do you think I'll be looking for while I'm down there? There certainly isn't anything to be found in MY remote neck of the woods in the way of vintage machines! I'm looking forward to just being ABLE to look at some and searching for THE ONE! I'd love to get a treadle too (ha ha!) but I'd never be able to afford to get it back home!!! At least the featherweight will fit under the seat in front of me on the plane!

  6. #6
    Super Member kitsykeel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Salisbury, North Carolina
    Posts
    1,018
    I wish you so much luck. Just finished cleaning, oiling and adjusting a 1951 black featherweight for our Habitat for Humanity Restore. It is in excellent condition now. I also own one. Such a great little machine, have had mine since 1959 and believe me it has been used over the years, from slipcovers to curtains to clothing. You will never be sorry you bought one and they are so easy to keep clean and fix by yourself. No service charges, whoopee!!
    Kitsy

  7. #7
    Junior Member RavenLunaStitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    133
    I did some volunteer work for Habitat years ago in Appalachia but I'm not familiar with the Habitat for Humanity "Restore." What is that, if you don't mind me asking? (and thanks for the luck finding my new machine!)

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    127
    I've narrowed my search down to ones made in 1951 - the year I was born.
    Deb

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Durand, MI
    Posts
    724
    Here is what is one their website:
    Sells used and surplus building materials at a fraction of retail prices. This raises money and diverts materials away from landfills.
    They advertise on CL in my area. Went there to look at what was called a sewing cabinet. It was office furniture. Even so, there are lots of things to look at. I'm going back to look for a cabinet for the rental house.
    "Proud Parent of an American Airman"

  10. #10
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    2,103
    Blog Entries
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by RavenLunaStitch View Post
    Are all 221's basically equal or are there some years and/or places that they were made with different/improved mechanics? I'm looking for one and would like to narrow it down to a model/year for searching purposes so I can get the best machine I can for the $$. I will wait for the "perfect" one for me but it would be helpful to look for the best model I can afford. Thanks for your help!
    The FWs made up through 1936 or 1937 do not have numbers on the tension dials, later models do. I have never found this to be a problem, though. I think the main "mechanical" changes came with the white FWs. I have heard others comment that the white ones are not as good as the black ones - something about the way the belt is driven or something like that. Someone more knowledgable could tell you the difference between the black/white ones and I hope someone will jump in here with more accurate info. I just returned from a 4 day trip with 10 teenagers and I seem to having a major senior moment.... Or maybe a nervous breakdown...
    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

  11. #11
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Southeast Georgia
    Posts
    2,526
    I have a 1939 and a 1947 and love them both. I am looking for a '51 (centennial) and a '53 (like me). I have friends who have various years and they all seem to be pretty much the same. Most of the changes are cosmetic, so I think it just depends on what you're looking for. Good luck!

  12. #12
    Junior Member RavenLunaStitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    133
    All of your comments are SO helpful. It definitely helps to have a little knowledge before looking. I need all the info I can get because I only have a small window of time during my trip to find one, buy it, have it serviced, all this before bringing it back. Once I get home my chance is over -- shipping costs to Alaska are ridiculous! Gotta find and get my machine while I'm down south or wait until my next trip outta here, and who know when that will be! :

  13. #13
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Owensboro, KY
    Posts
    1,420
    Linda, my dealer told me the same thing about the white ones not being made as well as the black ones. I love the Egyptian scroll faceplate best too. However, I HAD to have a 1949 one because it's my birth year!
    Karen in Kentucky

  14. #14
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    2,103
    Blog Entries
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by KyKaren1949 View Post
    Linda, my dealer told me the same thing about the white ones not being made as well as the black ones. I love the Egyptian scroll faceplate best too. However, I HAD to have a 1949 one because it's my birth year!
    I have a 1936 and a 1948, but I would still love a white one to add to my collection. Since I was born in 1951, the ones from my birth year are just too expensive!
    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

  15. #15
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    middle TN
    Posts
    1,105
    I have several - all different years - all sew great!

  16. #16
    Junior Member quiltgal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    247
    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbie View Post
    Black Featherweights are basically the same but there were small changes through the years. Light switches can be in different places (right side, base of machine or up on the end of the light itself), the face plates (Egyptian scroll in earlier models, striated after 1952 or so). Later models also had a different style of decals on the base and the accessory trays and cases have several variations. The white and tan ones are different again, shorter fold up base, no decals, painted metal face plate and a wired in cord that directly attaches to the foot controller. It really depends on what you want, overall condition and whether any of these small differences matter to you.
    Egyptian scroll silver color face plate from Oct 1933 until 1946 or 1947. 1948 and later are all striated silver color face plate until you get into the pale turquoise (white) and tan machines that have a molded face plate the same color as the machine and as you said no decals. The pale turquoise are run with a belt inside while the black and the tan machines have gears inside. The pale turquoise has a shorter fold up bed extension, but the tan machine is the same size as the black machines.
    Some of the older machines 33-say 1940s may need to be rewired, but I have not seen any in the late 1940s or later that needed rewiring unless not stored well.
    Kathleen Clendennen
    www.thequiltgal.com

  17. #17
    Junior Member quiltgal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    247
    Quote Originally Posted by KyKaren1949 View Post
    Linda, my dealer told me the same thing about the white ones not being made as well as the black ones. I love the Egyptian scroll faceplate best too. However, I HAD to have a 1949 one because it's my birth year!
    It is the belt inside instead of the gears that have given the pale turquoise (white) machines the bad rap.
    Kathleen Clendennen
    www.thequiltgal.com

  18. #18
    Super Member Lyncat's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Buckeye AZ
    Posts
    1,225
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrappy Gram View Post
    I've narrowed my search down to ones made in 1951 - the year I was born.
    Deb
    Mine was made in 1956, the same year I was born.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    North country Wisc.
    Posts
    303
    Quote Originally Posted by lovelyl View Post
    The FWs made up through 1936 or 1937 do not have numbers on the tension dials, later models do. I have never found this to be a problem, though. I think the main "mechanical" changes came with the white FWs. I have heard others comment that the white ones are not as good as the black ones - something about the way the belt is driven or something like that. Someone more knowledgable could tell you the difference between the black/white ones and I hope someone will jump in here with more accurate info. I just returned from a 4 day trip with 10 teenagers and I seem to having a major senior moment.... Or maybe a nervous breakdown...
    My YOU are a brave soul!!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.