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Thread: old black sewing machines

  1. #51
    Super Member montanajan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tappedants
    It IS a Featherweight. I guess I'll ask Mama to send it homw with me next time I visit. She has a white one too.
    You are blessed, & I'm jealous. The old featherweights are in demand by quilters everywhere for their durability, ease of transport, great straight stitch, ...the list goes on. Once you use one, you'll probably see why other quilters treasure their featherweights.

  2. #52
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    Wish I had one!

  3. #53
    Super Member misseva's Avatar
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    My daughter just gave me a FW for Mother's Day - in perfect working order. She also bought herself one - a 222 free arm with all the attachments and had it shipped from England. It looks brand new. It also has the converter so she can use it in US. I named mine Lynn (it's her middle name). I just LOVE HER!!

    FW Front
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  4. #54
    Senior Member cabinfever's Avatar
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    tappedants, get that FW, you'll thank her over & over for the gift! You will have a little of grandma's experience, at marveling at what the old guys created before computers. Someone's wife undoubtedly said "Can't you make something lighter-weight?".
    I love my FW, 301, 401, 403, & 404! If anyone offered me an old Singer I would not hesitate a moment to take it. I use my FW for classes, the 301 for FMQ, the 400 series just set up with different threads & purposes; the 404 is my quick mending machine. At first I thought the tan & cream was ugly, but as time went on I realized it was much easier to see what I was sewing than on the black machines. Just a little less contrast for those with low vision issues...more noticeable now than it used to be;)

    "The 403 is exactly like the 401, EXCEPT it doesn't have a built-in cam stack. In order to produce a zigzag or decorative stitch, the machine relies upon an insertable cam. It uses the exact same cams as the 401." The cams are the little sturdy black discs inserted in the top- they are all over ebay. The 404 "is just like the 403, EXCEPT that it is a straight stitch only model. So, you canít use a twin or double needle. The 404ís were often used in school home education programs because of their sturdy build and ease of use. The 404 is a bit lighter than the other models as well."
    Best just to read here if want to know more: http://blog.sew-classic.com/2008/10/...ne-review.aspx

    Read up on this blog while you still can; you will find it wonderful for any classic machine: FW, 301, 400's & later as well as some treadles, 66, 201 etc.! She still has all the links there for so many manuals you might be missing. She doesn't post as often as she used to; don't know why, but this horrible economy has affected so many people's lives in the last 3 years. How can people continue when losing their homes & everything in it! Sorry for the soapbox, but we are losing so many great "people resources" in this, as well as homes & businesses.

    BTW, one thing you classic sewing machine fans might really appreciate is that Jenny will sell you an "electronic foot pedal" to work with your classic machine...this means you can now sew very slowly (or as fast as you like) without the hazard of overheating the foot pedal & get great control at the same time when doing delicate work. Read more about it here: http://shop.sew-classic.com/Foot-Con...M-SCE01EFC.htm Other foot controllers: http://shop.sew-classic.com/Foot-Con...s-Parts_c9.htm
    She also has all kinds of parts for vintage machines & everything I've ordered has been 100% accurate & on time. Her site alone can educate you on most classic machines.
    All machines she has reviewed with links: http://blog.sew-classic.com/categori...20Reviews.aspx

    BTW, I have 3 newer (expensive)machines, but don't find I like them as well, & have had issues going over seams on jeans or any thick seam, even slowly.

    Someone mentioned the newer machines were plastic or aluminum...not likely aluminum, it costs dearly now. Many old singers have an aluminum body (can't rust!), that's what helps them to be lightweight (301 & FW). Do realize though that the inner parts are not aluminum and can rust if left sitting outdoors or on the ground. Nothing saying those old aluminum bodies aren't great for repainting though. You could soak them in paint thinner (just the body, no other internal parts), but would probably have to take the lacquer finish off first (the clear coat). I wouldn't do this unless it was in terrible paint condition, but some FW specialty shops sell them repainted in wild colors for $1000.

  5. #55
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    ok, ok. save one for me please. I'm just staring out and I am so jealous...Any one want pass on their FW I am available as a caregiver. 8-)

  6. #56
    Super Member montanajan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitza
    ok, ok. save one for me please. I'm just staring out and I am so jealous...Any one want pass on their FW I am available as a caregiver. 8-)
    Not just starting out, but I am also a good caregiver - esp featherweights!!

  7. #57
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Once machines gained the ability to zigzag, they lost the ability to sew a perfectly straight stitch. It usually doesn't make a lot of difference, but it can when accuracy is important.

    BTW, the consensus on the vintage machine site is that pre 1975 is vintage. That means all my machines except the Singer serger are vintage. Want to guess which one of six machines is a piece of ?????

  8. #58
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    I have a featherweight and 2 301's....If you are going to be
    taking it to quilt club or sewing group, you might prefer the
    featherweight....but don't pass up looking at the 301's...I think
    I am leaning more toward the 301....I really like sewing on them and the stitch is just like the featherweight ....sometimes
    you can find them cheaper.

  9. #59
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    There was a time in the nation when people understood the value in something that was simple, straightforward, durable, designed and built to outlive the person who created it.
    There was a time in our nation when our citizens believed in thrift, self-reliance, personal accountability for their use of limited resources, diligence, and integrity.
    None of those concepts are built into the products (or most of the products) we purchase today.
    Today, when you buy a new gadget, there has been a study done to see how many times a dial can be turned before it wears out ... and, it is designed to fail after a certain amount of time ... and our citizens have purchased "throw away" items for generations, now, in the belief that we have moved beyond the need to be "old-fashioned", traditional, so backward as to think that it is possible to own something that is more capable than me in enduring the silliness of owner error ...
    that, my dear, is why old black singer sewing machines are sought. Because the seeker has figured out - - durability and simplicity of repair will take a quilter further in this world than all the digital whatchamaycallits the "designers" will ever come up with.
    And, maybe it is because the older we get ;-) the more we realize - - basic are NOT a bad word! <wave>

  10. #60
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    I would buy another old singer before I would buy a new computerized machine today! I have both!

  11. #61
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omak
    There was a time in the nation when people understood the value in something that was simple, straightforward, durable, designed and built to outlive the person who created it.
    There was a time in our nation when our citizens believed in thrift, self-reliance, personal accountability for their use of limited resources, diligence, and integrity.
    None of those concepts are built into the products (or most of the products) we purchase today.
    Today, when you buy a new gadget, there has been a study done to see how many times a dial can be turned before it wears out ... and, it is designed to fail after a certain amount of time ... and our citizens have purchased "throw away" items for generations, now, in the belief that we have moved beyond the need to be "old-fashioned", traditional, so backward as to think that it is possible to own something that is more capable than me in enduring the silliness of owner error ...
    that, my dear, is why old black singer sewing machines are sought. Because the seeker has figured out - - durability and simplicity of repair will take a quilter further in this world than all the digital whatchamaycallits the "designers" will ever come up with.
    And, maybe it is because the older we get ;-) the more we realize - - basic are NOT a bad word! <wave>
    Wow, Omak, I couldn't have said this better if I tried... I too feel a certain connection to a better time in America when I use these lovely old pieces of fine workmanship. It was a time when people had values we so desperately need to get back to, today. That's a part of why I love the old machines. I could care less if they can't thread themselves! That's what I'm for...

  12. #62
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    I don't have a singer feather weight but have an old singer industrial sewing machine. It is plain jane but I just love how the stitches look. It sews thru heavy denim like butter.

  13. #63
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Just look INSIDE or UNDER any of the old machines - they are machined opposed to stamped metal or plastic. Omark you said it well. So much has been lost in this country.

    The Singer 404 is a very forgotten machine. It weighs about the same as a 301. It sews about the same. The quality of the machine is the same. They are about the same size. It is MUCH cheaper to buy a Singer 404. I gave one to my grand daughter and one to my great niece to learn on. Watch your local Craig's List - they do come up.

  14. #64
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    I realize this is an old thread, but can I add my .02?

    These last few weeks I've been cleaning and restoring 3+ machines. Got the first two running just this week. I was amazed at how something built in 1918 & 1922 can be purring like a kitten all these years later.

    They were built to last and I'm totally sold on them. Singer built quality back then. The stitches are perfect, the machines are user friendly, no fuss no muss.

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