Featherweight 221

keepeminstitchesNovember 16, 2006

I got a Featherweight 221 yesterday!! I'm so thrilled that I don't quite know what to do. I happened to mention to the woman who owns the fabric store where I just started work that I've been lusting after one for ages. She said her sewing machine tech had one he wanted to sell. So she called him Tuesday, and he sent it to our sales meeting yesterday with an attendee from another fabric store who, I guess, lives near him. It purrs like a kitten, does a fabulous stitch and is in great shape for a machine that was probably made mid 1952 to early 1955. Case smells a little musty, but not bad. I have fabric softener sheets and a package of desiccant (like you sometimes find in shoe, camera or computer boxes) in the case which should help. It came with some bobbins and what looks like the original instruction booklet, but no extra accessories, so I'll be prowling ebay some more, I guess. I've put a pic in the Gallery. Such bliss!

Sorry this is a duplicate...I thought I was in the Sewing Forum but I was in the Embroidery Forum. Ooops.

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The machine I have that I always thought was a feather weight , sadly is not one...But that is okay...I still like it...

It is a Singer portable. A black one with the gold trim.

I went to that site where you can give them your machine number and they tell you when it was made. My was made in April of 1909...so a little over two years it will be 100 years old. And it still works great. When any of my machines break down I always get that one out to use. But I use the zig zag stitch so much that I always have to get my machine up and running as quickly as possible.

I'd still like to have the feather weight.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 12:07AM
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I am so jealous. I could never afford a featherweight. I do have a Singer 301 which is its cousin and I love it. Colleen

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 8:12AM
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my comment is only this hahahaha! told you so....
Rene PS, lucky you..

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 9:56AM
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Congrats!!! I don't use mine much, but sometimes just having something in my grubby little hands is good enough, LOL.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 3:19PM
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You can call Singer and give them the serial number and they will give you what they call the "birthdate" for the machine. You can get the machine checked out at your local sewing machine repair shop and if the electrical cable or wheel band, etc., needs to be replaced they can do that. They can look at the motor, etc. and give the machine a cleaning if needed. Our local shop does that for a reasonable price. I ordered the repair manual for the featherweights for my husband since he is an engineer and he wanted to have it. One of the things mentioned by the techs is that the smell in the cases are often caused by the "oil filter" so to speak in the bottom tray of the machine. It is tacky and it normally is the source of a lot of that smell. A replacement can be ordered. Some people take the machine out of the box and put something like cat litter container or something in the box open and close it up and let it absorb the smell for a week or so.

Some of the small scrapbook totes on wheels are the perfect size for the featherweights.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 12:05AM
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I think only the Featherweight and the 301 have the sewing table on the left side that folds up. If the table doesn't fold up, that's one way to tell an old Singer is not a Featherweight.

For my featherweight case, what worked absolutely the best for the musty smell was adding in an "Odor Eater" shoe insert. Not only did it get rid of the smell, but it added some padding where I wanted it. Hated the smell that the softener sheets added, as it seemed to simply add another smell to the musty one rather than eliminate the mustiness.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 11:54AM
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Frequently Featherweights are avaible on the shopgoodwill.com auction site. Click the search buttton and type 'featherweight' in the 'Search for' box.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 12:43AM
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Here is a website to date your sewing machine. http://www.singerco.com/support/serial_1letter.html

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 4:22PM
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FlamingO in AR

I'm currently reading a great little book called "Featherweight 221 The Perfect Portable And It's Stitches Across History" by Nancy Johnson-Srebro. It's green and not really large, and full of fascinating tidbits about the machines. It includes dating guides, too.

I have a 221 that my MIL gave me, it's been sitting in the closet next to the Bernina that I've not used yet, either. So many machines, so little time. lol I saw the book sitting there the other day and picked it up and now I have the urge to pull it out and see if it's in good working order. It should, she bought it from a sewing center and I think she paid too much for it.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 6:46PM
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I have my mother's 1939 FW (my birth year). I think she sewed with a hatched as it is cosmetically in bad condition. I would like to have it painted with automotive paint. Does anyone have any info on where I could get this done? Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 2:15PM
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I just pulled out my grandmother's 1947 Featherweight that had been setting in the back of a closet for 35 years. I'm looking for repair and parts manuals before I try to turn the machine on so I do as little damage as posible. The travel box also contained several attachments that I would like to know how to refurbish and use. Can anyone help me with this? If so please e-mail me, but put Featherweight in the subject box as I tend to delete mail I don't recognise. Thanks

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 4:57PM
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inatoy, we do not have access to email you from your My Page.

There is a Yahoo Group for Featherweight owners that can help you with questions you might have on refurbishing and using the machine. It's not permitted to link to another forum such as a Yahoo Group on these forums.

Here is an excellent site with a known expert. There may be a downloadable manual for the Featherweight here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Graham Forsdyke's excellent Featherweight Site

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 7:31PM
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Contact Cindy Peters at stitchesintime@earthlink.net for a manual for your Featherweight.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 9:13PM
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My father got me a featherweight portable from a pawn shop 50 years ago for my 17th birthday. I was disappointed at the time, but I have learned what a prize it is and so great to sew with. My sister was given one about four years later from the same source. She put hers in the damp basement for 3-4 years and it is rusted here and there. She gave it to me because it wouldn't work when she got it out. Gee, I wonder why. I cleaned it up the best I can and have it sewing again for a backup. Sister isn't the type to take much care of things.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 8:03PM
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