Singer 221 Sewing Machine New Purchase

hollysgammaDecember 14, 2006

I said a new purchase because I have wanted one for so long that because I have waited they have gone up in price. I haven't received yet, but I do have the serial number of AL164139. I did go the site that will give you the year of birth, but it says that the records for A have been destroyed. Can anyone help me in checking on the year of the sewing machine, I need to get an instruction booklet because it didn't come with one. Any information will be appreciated.

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kathi_mdgd

If you Google singer 221 sewing machines,all kinds of information comes up,including how to get a manual.
Kathi

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 3:25PM
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keepeminstitches

Singer Featherweight 221's with serial number AL were manufactured between Mid-1952 and Early 1955. If you call Singer at 1-800-4-Singer and tell them the serial number, they will give you a more precise "birth date" (be prepared to be on "hold" for awhile, tho). Mine was born 08/11/52, and I am absolutely smitten! Just won 6 attachments on ebay, too, because my machine came with the case, manual and some bobbins only. Would like to find the oil can at a reasonable price, but it is hard to find. How did you find your FW?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 10:18PM
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Laura_IA

According to the Singer web site, your machine was born on 12/12/1952. Of course, that isn't really the date the machine was finished, it's the date that lot of serial numbers was issued. Your Featherweight was part of a lot of 50,000 commissioned that day. Enjoy her!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 3:30PM
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hollysgamma

Thank you all for your information. I'm so glad that it was made in the month of my birthday. I've been bidding on the FW machines for a couple of years now on EBAY.Have always been outbid. So I thought during this busy Christmas season I'd have a better chance. My highest bid was 250.00 and I won it for 245.50. I will probably receive it by the end of next week. Will let you know the condition, as it is always hard to tell by picture. I will look into getting the instruction manual for it. Thanks a bunch gals.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 8:12PM
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colleenny

http://www.singerco.com/support/serial_1letter.html
This is the website for machine birthdates. Good luck with your machine. You got it for a good price. I had been also bidding and losing for a long time and finally won and auction last month. Happy sewing on your new baby. Colleen

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 8:09AM
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teresa_nc7

There is a wonderful book on the Featherweight called "Featherweight 221 The Perfect Portable" by Nancy Johnson-Srebro. This book gives you lots of history and information about the machine and it includes a reprint of the manual with all the most pertinent information you will need.

We've had a number on the Quilting forum who have recently purchased their first 221. I found my "Gracie" several years ago through a dealer in Canada. She was "born" in Elizabeth NJ in June of 1947.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 1:35PM
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keepeminstitches

She's a beauty, Teresa! I have posted a pic of my baby in the Gallery. I think it's there, anyway. I actually found myself caressing it today! There's something about a FW, isn't there?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 9:04PM
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hollysgamma

Teresa, your Gracie is a beauty. I'll have to give mine a name also, can't wait till I see her. Can you imagine a machine 50 to 70 years old getting this much affection. Singer will never do it again. Their parts are plastic now, not metal. My grandaughter is just learning to sew with me, I hope that she will appreciate the FW as I will be giving it to her in my later years when my eyes fail to see the stitches. Merry Christmas

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 12:54PM
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annsc

does anyone know where I could get my FW painted with automotive paint?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 2:10PM
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keepeminstitches

I am by no means an expert on Featherweights, but I have a great book about them written by Nancy Johnson-Srebro. It's called "Featherweight 221: The Perfect Portable And Its Stitches Across History" (expanded third edition). In it she says, "Someone wrote a while back for my opinion on having a machine repainted at the local auto body repair shop. My (Nancy's) advice: don't do it, no matter how badly the machine is worn!...remember you own a classic machine that has significant value now, and is likely to escalate even higher in years to come. But it must be "original" to command such values. Let me also say that a professional (underlined) refurbishing is a bit different. I have mixed feelings in this regard. Here you have someone who knows what they're doing go ahead to repaint and re-decal the machine....But the professional identifies the machine as a rework so a potential customer isn't deceived and history isn't falsified."

Sorry for the long quote. It should also be noted that the original finish of the FW is called japaned which is the hard, brilliant black finish used by Singer. There is a FW Yahoo group that you might consider joining (it's free). There are several experts there who can certainly address the issue of refurbishing your machine. One is Graham Forsdyke who created the condition grading scale for FW's that is universally accepted and used.
Good luck!
Mary

Here is a link that might be useful: Graham Forsdyke's FW website

    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 10:14PM
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colleenny

There is a forum for featherweight users. Graham is one of the moderators I think. I don't think that you should paint a machine. It is an antique and painting will destroy any value that is has. Here is the site for the forum. Colleen

Here is a link that might be useful: FW Forum

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 9:14AM
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FlamingO in AR

I've seen this service offered on Ebay, I believe. Right before Christmas they were showing them in several different colors and with the decals on top, they looked amazing. It was pricey, though.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2007 at 9:21AM
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pattico_gw

I wonder if there are enough FWs to supply all of us that would like to have one.

I have a Singer black head portable...sigh....not a FW but I love it anyway....next year it will be 100 (if I remember the date right) and it still works great.

And then I bought a new Singer , paid a lot of money for it...and it's darn "plastic" parts broke...and cost 250.00 to fix...THE FIRST TIME....Yes, there was a second time and it broke again. I refused to fix it again. I believe it went to the goodwill.

patti

    Bookmark   February 3, 2007 at 12:52PM
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kathi_mdgd

What's the big deal with the FW's anyway? They only do a straight stitch,don't they?? Just curious!!
Kathi

    Bookmark   February 3, 2007 at 2:21PM
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keepeminstitches

They're just "sew" durned cute! They also sew like a dream and are light-weight and handy to take to sewing/quilting guild, classes, etc. Mine only does a straight stitch and reverse (I've heard there's a zig-zag attachment but have never seen it). I don't really use my FW much, but she's still the centerpiece of my sewing room, and I love her! I love the vintage-ness of her and often wonder who sewed on her in the past. Whoever she was, she took wonderful care of my "Suzie".

Mary

    Bookmark   February 3, 2007 at 4:22PM
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kathi_mdgd

I always thought they were cute as well,just never knew why they were such a "hot commodity".LOL I saw a couple at this sewing machine repair/rental place when DS and i went to rent me a commercial machine to do some sewing for his shop.I didn't price them,as i'm trying to downsize all my stuff,so don't need another toy!!
Kathi

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 4:00PM
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virago1

I just brought a new (old) one home tonight and i love her. I need a name for my new baby
She is perfect, all accessories including the oil can and all the feet and 5 bobbins
The case is perfect too
I got lucky

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 11:25PM
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damascusannie

Good for you! I name my machines, too. Sometimes after the person I got them from, sometimes just whatever seems to fit.

Annie

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 12:02AM
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teresa_nc7

Is there a favorite female in your family to name your FW after? I always think of sewing machines as being female, but maybe some think they can be male also.

My Gracie was named after a second cousin and because I just liked the name. My 15-91 is named Vera Vivian after my mom because it is/was her machine. She is happy that I cared enough to get it tuned-up and bring it home with me.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 5:48PM
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