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Thread: Got 2 Singer Featherweights and Now What Do I Do ???

  1. #1
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    Got 2 Singer Featherweights and Now What Do I Do ???

    Well last Saturday while at sewing store hubby saw a Singer featherweight and was intrigued by it. So since past this Saturday he has purchased 2 on eBay. They are suppose to be in good working condition and were made in 1937 and 1949. They are the 221 model. As I have only been able to sew on computerized sewing machines in the past 10 years (I kinda "stunk" at threading and tensions on mechanical ones).
    So am I in BIG trouble ?????? I have no idea if I am even going to be able to thread thiese things (they both do have manuals). Where on earth am I going to start on these? Are these machines easy or hard to use?
    Thanks for any help.
    Karen

  2. #2
    Junior Member hybearn8er's Avatar
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    Wonderful lucky you! I love my feather weight. You have to thread it from right to left is the thing I had trouble remembering. I just cleaned, oiled and timed mine and she sews wonderfully

  3. #3
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Karen,

    First, do a happy dance. Woooo Hoooo!!


    Then when the machines get here repeat this OUTLOUD ... "I am smarter than this machine." Repeat it until you believe it. Read The Manuals. Read them again. Follow the pictures. Do exactly how the instructions say.

    These machines are a piece of cake to operate. Seriously, and I mean what I just said. They are easy, just different from the modern computerized ones.

    Joe

  4. #4
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    You'll need to use a 15x1 needle system (easy enough to find, as it's still in common usage) and don't forget to insert the needle "NFL," or Needle Flat to the Left. As another poster mentioned, the thread then goes through the needle from right to left.

    Congrats on the machines, I'm sure you'll love them!
    - Rain

    Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Blog
    http://vssmb.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
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    You are sew going to love these machines. So easy to operate. Also, very portable. Enjoy and do the happy dance.
    sew1

  6. #6
    Super Member valleyquiltermo's Avatar
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    Your well on your way to a love afair. Hubby gets a really nice treat for getting them for you. If they don't have the manuals you can them from the singer site.

    Afew links for you, I hope they help.

    http://www.ismacs.net/free-sewing-ma...uals-list.html

    http://www.sewingmachineparts.net/motors_parts.html

    http://www.april1930s.com/

    http://singeroriginalvintageproducts.com/default.aspx
    They are easy to maintain.
    Last edited by valleyquiltermo; 03-07-2012 at 05:23 PM.
    http://www.skillpages.com/DonnaValleyquiltermo
    Sweet Dreams come from under Cozy Quilts made with love.
    Life is short, take time to enjoy it. Play with your kids and g-kids,
    and do what you can for others.

  7. #7
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance!!

    Sew, sew, sew!!!

  8. #8
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance!!

    Sew, sew, sew!!!

  9. #9
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    I bought mine on EBay and it workds great. We replaced the belt, bulb and green drip pad inside. I recently had trouble with my "real"machine so I have been using the Featherweight for everything. It sews like a trooper. I love it. It is from 1937 also. They come with the book. Not too hard to thread or wind bobbin.

  10. #10
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    Thanks to both of you for telling me this - I had no idea of flat slide to the left and never even thought of different needles.
    The first one is to be here by Friday and the other one next Monday. AND, I can't believe how he's on a roll, he just bought another one last night - he liked the box/case it came in (has a dome like lid - to me looks like a coffin), I think he bought this one because he wants to refinish the case. And he's already told me to make sure that these machines work when they get here -- boy do I need luck. Sure hope the tension is correct because I could never figure out how to adjust that in my 30 year old Kenmore that I traded in for computerized one years back.
    Karen


    Quote Originally Posted by Vintage.Singers.NYC View Post
    You'll need to use a 15x1 needle system (easy enough to find, as it's still in common usage) and don't forget to insert the needle "NFL," or Needle Flat to the Left. As another poster mentioned, the thread then goes through the needle from right to left.

    Congrats on the machines, I'm sure you'll love them!

  11. #11
    Senior Member pinkberrykay's Avatar
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    Your going to love your featherweight!! Once threaded she purrs like a kitten and is really easy to use.

  12. #12
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    I have 3 different machines and I find the FW works best except for fancy stitches. It sews straight and true everytime!!!!
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karensue View Post
    Thanks to both of you for telling me this - I had no idea of flat slide to the left and never even thought of different needles.
    The first one is to be here by Friday and the other one next Monday. AND, I can't believe how he's on a roll, he just bought another one last night - he liked the box/case it came in (has a dome like lid - to me looks like a coffin), I think he bought this one because he wants to refinish the case. And he's already told me to make sure that these machines work when they get here -- boy do I need luck. Sure hope the tension is correct because I could never figure out how to adjust that in my 30 year old Kenmore that I traded in for computerized one years back.
    Karen
    Oh Lucky you. You will just love these machines. I have two and also my Bernina and other machines. I didn't think I would enjoy sewing on anything other than my Bernina until I purchased the FW's. Yesterday I just finished sewing a queen size quilt top completely on my 1937 FW. I made my DH a queen size quilt for Christmas on this little jewel and have made several other quilts. I love mine. They are so easy to use, sew just great and easy to thread, wind bobbins, oil and care for. If you are leary, just read your manual. They are regular troopers. You may be like me, I tend to head for my FW. now when I want to piece things or just sew. I take mine to quilt club each month. Just ENJOY. Glad your DH is so enthralled by these little darlings.

  14. #14
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Relax, they are pretty easy!!! I love mine. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Just consider yourself a "lucky"duck. I have two featherweights and I won't trade them for the world. My youngest daughter took my cream one to college with her for 4 years. As soon as she graduated I told her to bring it back. I keep one in our RV along with a small quilting project. The other one is at home and travels with me when we just go by car. I've decided that the featherweights are my security blanket. I took the car one with me to a quilt retreat in Louisiana last year as a back up machine and the first day one of the sewers "brand new" machine would not keep the tension right and after having a repair guy try to get it corrected all day, I brought out my trusty traveler and she sewer the next 5 days on my featherweight The stich is perfect and the machine is just about industrucible....and you can sew anywhere ....even on a TV tray.

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    Karen, I have been looking for a 1949 model because it is my birth year. Would you sell it?

  17. #17
    Super Member BarbaraSue's Avatar
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    You will enjoy them and you can sew whatever you like on them. Likely more different kinds of things than on your computerized machines. These babies are work horses for the sewing room so I've been told. My 15-91 and 301 are too.
    To make lots of quilts, is to have lots of scraps, and I do, and I do.
    BarbaraSue

  18. #18
    Super Member Glenda m's Avatar
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    All I can add...ENJOY!!!
    You can get older, but you never have to grow up! Tomorrow's just a future yesterday!-Greg Fergerson

  19. #19
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanamoms View Post
    Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance!!

    Sew, sew, sew!!!

    Ditto Ditto Ditto!! You are a lucky lucky girl! They are so fun to sew on....little ticky noises they make are just so charming. They are so basic and do such a wonderful straight seam you will just fall in love with piecing on them.

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    Can the Featherweight be used for free motion quilting? I just purchased one and make quilt tops for a charity group. The group has asked that I learn free motion quilting, so I can start putting the quilts together. We make lap quilts, so they are not too big. I did purchase a walking foot that will fit both my Singer 201 and the Featherweight. Thanks for responding.

  21. #21
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kepeters7 View Post
    Can the Featherweight be used for free motion quilting? ...Thanks for responding.
    I don't recommend the featherweight for one reason only: it's so small there isn't much room for maneuvering the fabric around.
    jlm5419-an Okie back in Oklahoma!
    http://according-to-ginger.blogspot.com/

  22. #22
    Senior Member pippi65's Avatar
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    You will LOVE these machines!! I have many and have one that travels and one that stays and the others are on display. I also have a Elna Lotus SP that is just the greatest thing next to the featherweight. HAPPY DANCE!!!
    Be kinder than necessary,everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

  23. #23
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    Now all you need is the celery green one and the 222. The 222 is the free arm and I bet you will love that one too. they are so cute, but they do one heck of a job on sewing and easy to take care of.

  24. #24
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    Dont be surprised if they have a bad odor when you first get them, especially if they havent been restored. The cases usually smell horrible. There are many things you can do and you will find all the answers here.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Grannyh67's Avatar
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    Wish I was there to help you. Or better yet wish I was the one getting all these little Jewel's, lol...........enjoy your treasure and your DH is a keeper. Joy
    Life is SEW great!!!!!!

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