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 27

Thread: Help with identifying, threading and using what could be a FW?

  1. #1
    Member kkpc_gaelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    5

    Help with identifying, threading and using what could be a FW?

    I have wanted to play with a Featherweight ever since I read about their wonderful straight stitching abilities as a young quilter. I was surfing craigslist and found what could be a FW machine at a price I could afford (around $100). The seller had used the machine as a display piece in his living room and did not sew. He had however been told from the couple who sold it to him, that it stitched very well. I was able to negotiate the price down, not knowing whether I could actually use the machine, and brought it home tonight. I knew I was taking a gamble but was hopeful I could have it running within a few hours time!

    I downloaded the manual, followed the steps for threading and using the bobbin, and every single time I was unsuccessful. I looked online and none of the suggestions I found had any impact. It's as if the thread from the needle was not able to pick up the thread from the bobbin. Either the top thread tangles massively around the bobbin case (that's when I thread the needle from left to right), either it simply does not catch the bobbin thread at all (when I thread the needle from right to left, in the manner one should). I tried both ways, that's how desperate I am....

    I am thinking I am not dealing with the bobbin thread right. Actually I am not even sure the bobbin case looks like the one pictured in the manual, or like the other ones I can see online. This makes me wonder whether I actually purchased a FW or another type of vintage machine.

    I took pictures of the machine I purchased and downloaded them onto an album on this site, under my forum name.

    I feel quite defeated and would love some help from quilters who might know more than I do about these machines. Is my machine an actual FW, despite its off-looking bobbin case? How do I thread my machine properly? Also, how do I clean and oil it, I am thinking that my current issues may have to do with the machine being dirty (which it really is!)?...

    Thank you so much for any help you may provide! I look forward to reading your helpful suggestions.

  2. #2
    Junior Member JMCDA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Perth County, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    285
    Definitely looks like the featherweight I got 2 days ago for Christmas :-) as to the problems you are having, I just don't have enough experience with mine yet to help you but someone will jump in here soon!

    Joann

    ...looking at the pic of the bobbin case, not sure if that is the correct case or not, if it isn't you can purchase one easy enough...and I love your kitty too!
    Last edited by JMCDA; 12-27-2011 at 06:40 PM.

  3. #3
    Member kkpc_gaelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    5
    Thank you for commenting on our kitty His name is Vil and he is your typical orange cat -- a total showoff!

  4. #4
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    20,411
    Blog Entries
    10
    It is a Featherweight - Score As for helping with the thread problems I don't have one so I can't help with that sorry- hope you can get it fixed
    To keep your mind fresh- learn one new thing a day !

  5. #5
    Senior Member cmrenno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    432
    Is your needle in there correctly??? the flat side of the needle goes to the left instead of to back that you are probably used to.
    Is the bobbin case in correctly??? If the throat plate has been taken off and not put back properly, the "finger" should be at the top not spinning around.
    Hope this helps. I can only imagine how frustrated you must be!

  6. #6
    Member kkpc_gaelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    5
    The needle seems to be placed correctly, it is not threaded from front to back but from left to right... and right now the thread seems to run smootly, as far as the top thread is concerned...

    When I pull the wheel towards me, the bobbin case rotates towards me pretty smoothly too. Only the top thread gets tangled around the bobbin and the bobbin case instead of picking up the bobbin thread. Gah.

    Yup, it is rather frustrating! I hope to find a solution and to turn this machine into something I can use.

  7. #7
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Round Rock,Texas
    Posts
    6,156
    Quote Originally Posted by kkpc_gaelle View Post
    The needle seems to be placed correctly, it is not threaded from front to back but from left to right... and right now the thread seems to run smootly, as far as the top thread is concerned...

    When I pull the wheel towards me, the bobbin case rotates towards me pretty smoothly too. Only the top thread gets tangled around the bobbin and the bobbin case instead of picking up the bobbin thread. Gah.

    Yup, it is rather frustrating! I hope to find a solution and to turn this machine into something I can use.
    Where can I see a picture of the machine that you're talking about?
    Sharon

  8. #8
    Super Member Lucky Patsy's's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    1,253
    You do have a featherweight, but your bobbin case does not look like mine. The bobbin case on both of mine is stamped with the word: SIMANCO U.S.A. and the part number 45750. Maybe you can order that part from someplace like Sew Classic and see if that solves your problem?

  9. #9
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Owensboro, KY
    Posts
    1,420
    I just looked up bobbin cases on ebay last night. You can find one for $35 and up. I would definitely buy one of the original SIMANCO ones though and not a modern replacement for them. I've found the featherweights to be sensitive to reproductions. Mine do much better with the original bobbins, attachments etc. You might also Google Featherweight service and find someone who has an original bobbin case they can sell to you. My white FW will not even sew unless the bobbins are the antique ones. She tangles up every time!
    Karen in Kentucky

  10. #10
    Super Member janiesews's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Iola KS
    Posts
    2,841
    The Featherweight threads from right to left I believe. I can't find the album with photos-but glad that others have and have said it is indeed a Featherweight. Good luck. You will love it.
    This too shall pass.
    Janie

  11. #11
    Junior Member Diamondrose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Bluegrass State
    Posts
    194
    Just wondering if the timing might be off.

  12. #12
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,943
    Blog Entries
    1
    If its not picking up the thread go to your manual and check and see if the "arm" on the bobbin case is lined up with the needle plate...clear as mudd huh? when someone takes the needle plate off the arm falls to the bottom and needs to be aligned with the two bars on the bottom of the needle plate...its explained fairly well in the manual...hope this helps
    Retired and living in NE Michigan

  13. #13
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    7,160
    Blog Entries
    3
    It's definitely a featherweight. The bobbin case looks different than mine. There could be a thread caught inside or even as simple as being threaded wrong. Here's a link that has some troubleshooting tips.

    http://singerfeatherweight221.blogspot.com/

    Also, this one:
    http://www.april1930s.com/

  14. #14
    Super Member quilt addict's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,677
    I hope I can help. It looks to me like that is not the correct bobbin case. It should not move when you are sewing. They are thinner then most modern ones and so are the bobbins.

    One note is there is one more thread guide at the top of the needle that you missed. One of mine is picky that it doesn't want to miss that one.

    Also, you may need to clean in the bobbin area. I would suggest taking off the needle plate and clean and oil the race.

    Good luck. Vil looks like a charmer.
    Lisa

  15. #15
    Junior Member quiltgal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    247
    The flat side of the needle goes on the left side. The thread goes from the right to the left. Hold it when you get the bobbin thread to pull through to the top. Make sure that you have the thread in the bobbin correct as well
    Kathleen Clendennen
    www.thequiltgal.com

  16. #16
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    middle TN
    Posts
    1,105
    Congratulations on your good buy! You will be glad you found one once you get it up and running. I just sold 3 this week that I bought which had been in attics and who knows where and cleaned them all up. I'm keeping my other 3 for myself but have enjoyed learning about them. I had never seen one until I bought the first one, but found so much info online and had help from members of this board. Don't give up and enjoy!

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    western NC
    Posts
    491
    I agree, the bobbin case does not look like the correct one. Hopefully you have found a picture of a featherweight bobbin case so you can compare. The needle does go in with the flat side to the left and threads from right to left. I am pretty sure that your problem lies with the bobbin case. Good luck and happy sewing.

    Pat

  18. #18
    Member kkpc_gaelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    5
    Thank you all so much for your input. Indeed it appears that a non-original bobbin case is to blame for my currently unusable FW. I have looked for parts online and will order a proper bobbin case shortly. Can't wait for it to be delivered! In the meantime I will thoroughly clean my machine as it appears to be quite dirty -- it smells eww and the thread comes up rusty from traveling through the thread guides. I have looked through the forums for hints regarding such a cleaning process. This is such a helpful place, I am so glad to have found it!

    For those wondering where the pics are: here's the link, hopefully it works: http://www.quiltingboard.com/members...bums13593.html
    Last edited by kkpc_gaelle; 12-28-2011 at 06:16 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Linda - K.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Washington State summer, Sun City AZ winter
    Posts
    707
    I went and looked at your pics and I agree that is not the right bobbin case. One thing to definitely replace is the felt oil mat when you take the bottom off. Those that are in the machine when you get them are old and very smelly. You can order a new one on a lot of the featherweight sites. What Dave McCallum told us in one of his FW classes to do is copy the pattern for the pad and buy stiff felt at the craft store and cut out your own. Worked just fine! His book "The Featherweight and I" is a great book with great illustrations. He also has a disk out about caring for your FW. Their site is www.Featherweight221.com and I've bought from him at quilt shows in the area and also ordered on line. He's very knowledgeable and I'm very lucky that he lives only about 40 mi from me and I had the opportunity to take his class.
    She who dies with the most fabric didn't sew fast enough!

  20. #20
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Bacliff, TX on Galveston Bay
    Posts
    1,168
    I have a white (celery green, actually) FW, and have had the same problem you do. The owner of the LQS is very familiar with FWs and said if I come in with it, she will make sure the bobbin case goes in properly. She said there is only one way to put them in where they will work. I haven't yet, but plan on taking it by soon. And, the needle threads from rt to left.

    Kathy

  21. #21
    Member kkpc_gaelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    5
    Linda K, you are so right about being lucky to have knowledgeable experts around you. I would love to learn from ppl local to me. I feel I am already learning so much from what is available online. If anyone happens to know of such a person or group of people in the Montreal, QC area, please let me know.

  22. #22
    Super Member QultingaddictUK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    North Wales UK
    Posts
    2,035
    I did a search for you and found a really useful site: http://www.singer-featherweight.com/ and one of the tips he states, and I use and teach my pupils to do is to use a "thread catcher"

    Q: How can I avoid thread jams around the bobbin area?

    A: Best prevention is to use a 'thread catcher' or 'anchor cloth'. It is called by different names. It is just the practice of always running off onto a scrap of cloth when you finish a seam and then start the next seam from the scrap. The practice saves thread as well as frustration. It takes a little while to get used to always running off onto the scrap but well worth the effort."

    This page tells you all about them, and how useful they are! http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/...-and-hows.html I love Bonnie Hunters site and she gives such wonderful advice and patterns all FREE!

    I adore your machine and am green with envy, do let us know how you get on.

  23. #23
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Round Rock,Texas
    Posts
    6,156
    "Q: How can I avoid thread jams around the bobbin area?"

    NEVER turn the hand wheel backwards, that's what causes the thread jams in the bobbin area. They are a chore to get all the thread out. I have a black Singer 301 and I got a thread out from behind the bobbin case base and it was about 2" long; my machine works so much better now.

  24. #24
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mena, Arkansas
    Posts
    1,355
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by kkpc_gaelle View Post
    The needle seems to be placed correctly, it is not threaded from front to back but from left to right... and right now the thread seems to run smootly, as far as the top thread is concerned...

    When I pull the wheel towards me, the bobbin case rotates towards me pretty smoothly too. Only the top thread gets tangled around the bobbin and the bobbin case instead of picking up the bobbin thread. Gah.

    Yup, it is rather frustrating! I hope to find a solution and to turn this machine into something I can use.
    A FW threads from right to left. Be sure the flat side of the needle faces left.
    Stephanie in Mena

  25. #25
    Junior Member neenee586's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Oxford, Wi.
    Posts
    160
    Congrats on the FW purchase! Make sure you also have the correct bobbin before you order the bobbin holder.
    Neenee

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.