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Thread: Question about Singer Featherweight Centennial Model

  1. #1
    HopeToLearn's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if the Centennial model is made as well as the older models? I read somewhere on here there are featherweight models that have all metal parts and some that have plastic parts. I want to get one that has a strong motor and metal parts capable of sewing heavy duty jobs such as denim, canvas or leather occasionally. Anyone have advice on particular models or years that you have experienced or heard of being better than another? Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    I would recommend a 301 for canvas and leather. I don't sew that heavy of stuff with any of my Featherweights. They are great for quilting and very light for taking to classes.

  3. #3
    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    The heaviest dutiest is not portable! Look for a Singer 15-91. This was the best advice I ever got. They are out there and not expensive- I found one locally in a nice cabinet for $60. (a 1953) Check out the vintage machine shop thread here and see what advice you find. I think that the old Featherweights, up until about '61 were all metal, but they are still 3/4 machines.

  4. #4
    HopeToLearn's Avatar
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    I really need/want the lightweight portable use of the featherweight machine. But I did read somewhere that they are strong enough to even sew leather because the motor is so strong and they will stay put without moving around. I just thought if I get a featherweight I might as well get one that is all metal parts.
    do you know if the Centennial is still all metal working parts inside?

  5. #5
    HopeToLearn's Avatar
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    I wonder about the quality of a machine made around 1900-1935 compared to one from the 1950-65 range, simply because of the amount of use they may have seen. Any thoughts on this? Are they truly user friendly enough that I can do almost all servicing they need? I know I can clean, oil and adjust it. But what about the belt? Or bobbin winder? IS there a bobbin winder?

  6. #6
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HopeToLearn
    I really need/want the lightweight portable use of the featherweight machine. But I did read somewhere that they are strong enough to even sew leather because the motor is so strong and they will stay put without moving around. I just thought if I get a featherweight I might as well get one that is all metal parts.
    do you know if the Centennial is still all metal working parts inside?
    They do not stay still when you are sewing. They do move around. They have a strong motor but I still wouldn't sew through leather with it!!!

  7. #7
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    To my understanding, the Centennial is really a badge. That is, not a distinct model, but 221s that were the same as the others, but badged with the Centennial badge. The serial numbers on Centennials can be pre-1951. There are also other special event badges, like for state fairs, etc. I have a Centennial, and it appears to me to be identical to my 1952 & 1953 models, except the faceplate, scroll pre-1951, mostly striated after, though there are legitimate reasons why a machine might have the "wrong" faceplate for it's age.

  8. #8
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    They are all pretty much alike. The Centennial model is the 100 year machine. 1851 to 1951. There are several different faceplates and the decals are somewhat different on the new ones. Other then that they are identical.

  9. #9
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    The 301 is pretty lightweight, sort of the big sister of the Featherweight, but probably more suited to the thicker fabrics and leather. I LOVE my 301's and they are pretty easy to take care of yourself.

  10. #10
    HopeToLearn's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for all the information. I appreciate the help.
    How do I wind a bobbin on it?...Or for it?

  11. #11
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    Which machine do you have? It's easy to wind the bobbin on the 301's. There are some online manuals showing how to do it. You can also check out YouTube. There are quite a few video tutorials on the different models of sewing machines.

  12. #12
    HopeToLearn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabbagepatchkid
    Which machine do you have? It's easy to wind the bobbin on the 301's. There are some online manuals showing how to do it. You can also check out YouTube. There are quite a few video tutorials on the different models of sewing machines.
    I don't have any vintage sewing machine at the moment but have been reading about the old Singers. In my original post I inquired about the Singer Featherweight. 'hazeljane' recommended the Singer 15-91. Both you and 'featherweight' recommended the Singer 301. In further reading online I read none of them have an automatic bobbin winder (naturally) so I was curious how the bobbins are wound? Thanks for the You Tube suggestion. Thanks everyone for the info on the 301 and the 15-91. They both also sound like awesome machines. Now I have more to think about and check on.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    They have a winder sort of built in. It is located just to the front of the main wheel. You locate the bobbin on it, threaded through a couple of thread guides, and then push the winder's little wheel so that it is touching the main wheel. As the main wheel goes round, it rotates the winder's little wheel, and the bobbin turns and gets wound.

    Sorry, not good with technical terms, but I hope you get the picture.

  14. #14
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    Here is a Youtube video showing how to wind the bobbin, load the bobbin into the machine and also how to thread the machine on a Singer 301.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFTjH2R8mTg

    Here is a link to more videos on the 301:

    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...ne%2C+301&aq=f

    I really love the 301's....it's such a simple and basic machine. It only sews a straight stitch so if you wanted to do zig zag stitching you would need the attachment for that or get a different model.

  15. #15
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lacelady
    They have a winder sort of built in. It is located just to the front of the main wheel. You locate the bobbin on it, threaded through a couple of thread guides, and then push the winder's little wheel so that it is touching the main wheel. As the main wheel goes round, it rotates the winder's little wheel, and the bobbin turns and gets wound.

    Sorry, not good with technical terms, but I hope you get the picture.
    Sounds good to me. That is exactly how I do it! Can't picture a machine without a bobbin winder!!!

  16. #16
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    I don't know abt your machine models, but I own a Viking, bought it in 1974, runs like a champ. if it goes under the needle, I can sew it. I have a second gear to slow it down. Make a lot of Denim quilts and never broke a needle. I sure would like to be able to afford a light weight.... :)I know there are a lot of great machines out there, but I have what I have and at my age don't forsee a new one with the fancy designs. :(

  17. #17
    HopeToLearn's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the kind help and information!

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