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!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 41

Thread: Featherweights--Does anyone NOT love them?

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

    Question Featherweights--Does anyone NOT love them?

    I have never heard anyone say one negative thing about Featherweights. Are they that fantastic?

    Are there any downsides to sewing on one? Anyone not like them (and why)?

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    8,592
    Blog Entries
    14
    I dont want one, they are cute. If i traveled oor attended class they. Would be nice but for use at home? I dont know why.... now, if someone gave me one with the attachments and case I wouldnt say no, but Id display it.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    124
    I was given my mother's 1945 FW. I learned to sew on it and it has always had tension issues. Like it, but LOVE my new LBOW 301A!!! So fast, smooth, and powerful! Just my two cents...

  4. #4
    Super Member cwessel47's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Windham, Maine
    Posts
    1,301
    I love my 1936 Featherweight. I don't believe I could live without it. Then again, it is the only machine that I use. The only downside I can see is that you will not be able to machine quilt large pieces as the throat of mine measures only 5". But that's why I hand quilt which is my favorite part. Anyone who has tension issues should refer to the manual and fix it - once! After that - you are golden. I have been using mine since the 70's - when my nanny gave it to me. ( Her brand new purchase back then to sew my mom's and her sisters clothes!) I do my own maintenance - rarely, except for the time that it had a short in the wiring and gave me some "Shock therapy" till I had the one ancient wire replaced. I can not sing the praises of my baby enough. And - no - she does not have a name but she is female. I can sew anything with it. Beautiful quilts, flannel jamas, denim knee patches, drapes, upholstery, bags - a workhorse. Love my machine. Since I plan to be cremated - I can't have the kids bury me with it. Better teach someone else in the family to sew so it has a good home!

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Chula Vista CA
    Posts
    5,984
    I love my little Featherwieghts, but I am not wild about the case. I prefer to put it in my case with the wheels and pack it along. I have my Janome 6600P set up all the time at home, so I rarely use the FW's at home. But they are perfect for travel. If you have limited space and only want to do straight stitching it is an ideal machine - great for teaching a child to sew also. (There is a button hole attachment and a zig-zag attachment and even a blind stitch attachment available.) I bought a walking foot to use with it, but so far have not tried to use it.

  6. #6
    Junior Member RavenLunaStitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    133
    Thanks cwessel47 for your opinion--I really appreciate the information. I have a new "plastic" computerized machine but it doesn't compare with my old Singer that bit the dust a few years ago. I know that if anything happens to my new one I will not be able to fix it myself. I could sew anything on my old Singer too without any problems, and was surprised to be quilting through several layers with my new machine and it started smelling "hot"! I can see that it will probably not stand up to the sewing I do. A 5" throat on your featherweight is only an inch smaller than the one on my new machine, believe it or not! So I've been thinking really hard about getting a featherweight to have something portable to take with me to sew with friends, which I like to do. I just find it odd that I never hear anything bad about them, which is why I'm asking for the negatives before I spend the money on one (although I think it would be perfect for what I want to do).

  7. #7
    Super Member LAQUITA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    DFW / Texas
    Posts
    1,163
    I will chime in here. I have a janome 6600wich is a big machine, too big to haul around to classes. So, I began the hunt for a FW. I found one, purchased it had her serviced, even bought the 1/4 foot for quilting. then i took her out for a spin at out local quilt a shop for a sit n sew on day. Thats wheni discover,,,,,,i don't like using her! Really. (1) First of all I can't run her as fast as I do my janome on chain piecing. (2) I sooooo miss the bigger throat & (3) my thread cutters. (4) I don't like the fact that she doesn't feed the same as my Janme does, it's almost like you have to gently guide / pull the fabric through (5) I also am used to sewing with an extension table on (now I know you can but one for the FW but that's more $). (6) I have almost forgotten how to adjust the speed and all using a pedal! Lol

    Now for the good things, (1) she is small and very portable (2) no much to go wrong with her (3) she does sew a beautiful stitch!

    BTW : her name is Lucy, she is black, and I will be selling her

    Good luck on you're decision
    LaQuita (aka) - Yai-Yai to the most precious grandbaby around of course I'm partial! LOL

    HAPPY QUILTING!
    www.caringbridge.org/visit/shea

  8. #8
    Junior Member Scotlass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    NW Oregon, in the valley
    Posts
    270
    I purchased my FW about a year ago and have only taken it to one class.....I was seated beside a lady with a big old Brother machine that she ran 100 miles an hour and she bounced my little machine all over the place (plastic table). I managed to get my points to come out, but was the last one finished with my project. If you are used to all the bells and whistles of an electronic machine.....you may not be happy not being able to reverse on the fly, have a thread cutter etc. That being said I still like my little "mini mi" and will take it again to my next quilt retreat...just be careful where I sit! On the plus side I find that those little singer machines have more power to move thru several layers of fabric where my electronic stalled. Good luck with your decision.
    Penny (Scotlass)

  9. #9
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outer Space
    Posts
    9,839
    I'm one of those that doesn't love them:> I find them a bit wimpy to work on, a bit slower than other machines with a small motor and output. Cute? Yes, but I too prefer my 301's. And the 301's are not much heavier. So, unless a FW falls into my lap for very little money, I won't be owning one.

  10. #10
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    18,361
    I have 6. I just love the little guys!

  11. #11
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    8,105
    We have one. My wife told me years ago she'd always wanted a FW. So year before last I got her one. Cute, easy to pack around, handy, but .... she's not used it once. I have used it several times and it's a good sewing machine for small stuff.
    Love it, no. Dislike it, no. Would I buy another one, no. Well, maybe if it was cheep enough.

    Joe

  12. #12
    Super Member ArizonaKAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    1,371
    Blog Entries
    1
    I used to have two until my granddaughter, who would never go near a sewing machine, sat down and starting sewing on one of them. She has finished her first quit and I wanted to show her how to quit it on my 201 but she chose to tie it off. The big machines must scare her. So needless to say, I'm losing one of my twins to my granddaughter.

    I've never sewn on anything newer than a 401 so I can't speak to the speed but the twins do a great job piecing for me. I do have them in a FW table which may be a help.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    37
    Hi: I am considering purchasing a FW a 221 1940, the year I was born. I machine piece and hand quilt, live in a flat that doesn't have very much room, and want something lightweight. I have seen some in excellent condition for about $400-450 from Twice as Nice in Fremont, CA. Would this be a fair price?
    Tomodachi

  14. #14
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    oregon
    Posts
    1,253
    Blog Entries
    1
    I love my FW . I grew up sewing on it,so it has good feelings that come with it. We are on a long RV trip; it's great..doesn't take up much space,doesn't get disturbed by motion,like one with lots of electronics might. It's not 1000 stitches per minute,but I'm retired now and speed is no longer an issue. It's quite a conversation piece for other quilters on the road,as I often sew outside on the picnic table. I sew tops while traveling ,then quilt them on the " big J" when I get home.
    Life may not be the party we planned for,but while we are here we should dance!

  15. #15
    Super Member BuzzinBumble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    near Niagara Falls, NY
    Posts
    3,065
    I thought they were so cute and of course portable, so I bought one. It sews beautifully, but well it's a bit too small for my taste. I ended up loving my 301 so much more than the FW. Like a few of the folks who posted here, I will probably end up selling my FW.

  16. #16
    Super Member Belfrybat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    West Central Texas
    Posts
    2,098
    I just purchased a Featherweight and really like her. She won't replace my Janome for the majority of piecing and garment sewing, but can't be beat for taking to class or putting on the TV tray and piecing while watching a video. I use a Brother 1500S for FMQ and a Singer 15-91 for quilting with a walking foot, so the Featherweight is only for portable work. Yes, she is slower than the larger machines, but so is the Janome Jem that folks really like.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Sandrea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Fort Myers, Florida
    Posts
    578
    Blog Entries
    1
    I love my FW. It was manufactured in the l940's. They are very popular among quilters. Have heard from many that the reason is, that since it has no play in the shaft to sew zig zag stitching, that it was constructed with the straightest line of "straight stitching", best for sewing quilt pieces together. (piecing) The "newer" machines that make the beautiful decorative stitches and zig zag....there is a little bit of play in the shaft in order to accomodate the dec. stitches.....so the FW, designed for just straight stitch, is the best for straight quilting seams. I love my newer models - 4 Janome top of the lines, and 3 Husq. Vikings top or the line, but I also LOVE my little FW....Love to travel with it, and go to classes with it. I wouldn't part with it.......I would sort of predict that one day when they become scarce they may be very valuable. At at time a few years ago, quilters everywhere were scarfing them up and you could hardly find one for sale anywhere. If you have one and don't have to sell it, I would hang on to it.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Sally J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    366
    tomotachi1- At that price it should be in excellent condition with little or no wear to the gold accents and come with a lot of attachments and a really good case. I live in your area and things are more expensive here. If you look online there are people who only sell featherweights and they would be a place to look. You need to decide if you want all those extra things and are willing the pay for them. I learned how to sew on a FW so 2 years ago I purchased one. I got mine from Featherweight Poppy on line. I contacted him and told him what type of condition I wanted and what (if any attachments and case I wanted) I ended up with one without any attachments and I certainly didn't want that heavy case. It cost me $250 came in exact as described condition and ran like a top. I bought a soft case on line for $30 but some people use bowling cases. Whatever you do the most important thing is that is has been serviced, has a good motor,new belt as these rings will cost you after the purchase. Since you live near that store I would test drive it and ask lots of questions. Hope this helps. Yes I love my FW, great for classes and does sew a perfectly straight stitch. I have 5 other machines, 4 Vikings and a new Janome 8200 with all the bells and whistles but for piecing I love the FW.

  19. #19
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    SW Washington USA
    Posts
    2,244
    I wouldn't pay more than 300 bucks for one tomodachi1. they were made literally by the millions. that price is probably 300-ish bucks and then marked up to cover overhead and income. There are dozens on ebay at any one time and lots come up at www.shopgoodwill.com

    I had a celery which I sold and still have my black one which I want to sell. Like some of the people above, I just don't care to sew on them although they are truly cute as a button. But I can't see that button when it is underneath and back of my sewing table. I've made room to actually use my treadle and Singer 15 clone, and hand crank. Our differences are what make us interesting.

  20. #20
    Senior Member vanginney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Saskatchewan
    Posts
    351
    Blog Entries
    11
    I like my FW but I love my Singer 201 more. Still wouldn't get rid of it. And if you don't have one - they are fun. Taken the FW ---rving this summer.

  21. #21
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Not Here
    Posts
    3,795
    Quote Originally Posted by tomodachi1 View Post
    Hi: I am considering purchasing a FW a 221 1940, the year I was born. I machine piece and hand quilt, live in a flat that doesn't have very much room, and want something lightweight. I have seen some in excellent condition for about $400-450 from Twice as Nice in Fremont, CA. Would this be a fair price?
    Tomodachi
    I think it's too high. I picked one up for $75 and here in Canada, and the further north you go, it seems the worse it is, we typically pay much more for machines than in the states. It needed very little work. (Someone had adjusted the pedal improperly so it fizzed and popped and the machine ran on its own, needed a part for the bobbin winder, and bed feet and a belt.) It's not perfect as far as the appearance, but it's still very good (Decals are a little bit worn).

    Expect all but a fully serviced machine to need bed feet and a belt. Make sure the bobbin case is there, it's one of the most expensive "parts" you'll have to buy, and watch for ads that say something like "Old Singer Sewing machine" or "Small Singer Sewing Machine" sometimes they even omit the "Singer" from the ad. Both of my sub $100 machines have been from ads that didn't say 221 or featherweight in them.

    If you plan to carry it in a different case (like the soft ones discussed above) consider getting one with the case latches cut off. You don't need the key, and the latches won't matter. It seems to really lower the resale value so you can get them for a good deal.
    Last edited by ArchaicArcane; 04-12-2013 at 12:38 PM.

  22. #22
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    middle TN
    Posts
    1,105
    Love, love, love mine!

  23. #23
    Super Member liking quilting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Southern Minnesota
    Posts
    3,253
    Blog Entries
    2
    Won two bids the same week on e-bay. One was my f.w. and one was the "big sister"-- Singer 301A. I have to admit I like the extra power & speed of the 301A as well as it's great visibility due to the slant shank design. Makes seeing where you're sewing while fmq so much better. I do not dislike the feather weight; can't beat it's cute look, just haven't put enough hrs. sewing on it to know it as well as the 301A.
    Mavis

  24. #24
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Eastern Washington
    Posts
    26,789
    I love my FW, and my 301A too!
    Be a blessing to others, as you may entertain angels unaware!

  25. #25
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    7,743
    Blog Entries
    47
    I certainly love my featherweight. And so do my young grandchildren. http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...w-t218966.html

    Pretty sure there isn't anything not to like about them!!!!

    Linda

    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.
    [John Newton (1725-1807)]

    http://sewextremeseams.blogspot.com/

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

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.