Featherweight Fanatics Archives

July 1997

Sunday, July 13 - Saturday, July 19

Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 01:14:24 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 7/10/97

Hi Feathers,
I just spotted a model 15 with a striated face plate in a cloth covered
carring case in decent condition. I am not interested in it.  It is
missing the needle holding screw and has no attachments or manual.  The
price tag was obviously written by a person who does not sew.  It said "
$100, it works, would make a nice lamp base or night light".  The s/n is
AL511364.  I don't know the value of model 15's, but it seemed
overpriced to me, especially with the comments on the price tag.

Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 06:09:33 -0500
Subject: WANTED

I'm looking for a Service Manual or photocopy for a White Family Rotary
circa 1930.  At this point it doesn't matter which model - I'm hoping most
things I need are similar.  I've called the White Company and they don't
have any.
TIA.                                            Judy
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 07:12:56 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 7/10/97

Hi feathers, While sm hunting with my eldest son,(who called me on a 
rainy day from an hour away, and said mom it's your lucky day I don't 
have to work today -come up and spend the day with me and we'll go to 
the shops and look for TSM and FW---is this son great...he is just one 
of 3). Anyway we went to several shops and in one found a Wilcox- Gibbs 
a sweet little sm circular like the pony it had gold leafing not perfect 
a 6-7 wanted $175 for her.Can anyone tell me what she's worth and the 
age? I really need to get some more resource books. I also acquired a 
White treadle machine--it was my great grandma Sylvia's whom I'm named 
after.the last patent date on her is 1884.  My sister saved her years 
ago from the dumpster and with my recent interest in fw's and TSm's she 
thought I should have her. It's in rough shape I tryed to clean the head 
yesterday and I couldn't tell if the gold paint was already damamged 
under the dirt  and grease or I was taking it off...I tryed to be very 
gentle.  The cabinet has 4 drawers and the word White is carved right 
into the center front of the cabinet serial no. is 7333021.  Can any one 
give me any info on this ?  Also a big Thanks to several of you who 
wrote with suggestions for getting my fw bobbin problem fixed I think 
several things were wrong and you all helped. Sylvia in mid mich where 
we're making hay while the sun shines...down on the farm... my DH will 
ck out a tractor in southern mi near Elkhart and I'll ride along with an 
eye out for shop with fw and tsm.
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 09:34:22 -0400
Subject: MANGLES

Hello everyone.  I'd like to know exactly what a mangle is.  I've never
heard of it until it was mentioned here, which is not surprising as
there are a lot of things I never heard of until I read it here.  Such a
wealth of information.  I've been looking for the "Goofoff"  product for
removing paint stains etc., have not been able to find it yet.  But I
will.  Thanks for the suggestion.  Will let everyone know how my cabinet
turns out.

Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 10:03:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 115

I've read several references to Singer model 115's being rare. Is that 
true? I recently saw one that is available for $75 dollars. It APPEARS to 
be in pretty good shape with the exception that the "S" in Singer has 
obviously been rubbed off by fabric that was wrapped around the arm and 
used as a pincushion. The rest of the gold is pretty much intact. The 
Singer 800 number dates it it 1913. I'm pretty sure it had a removable 
bobbin case. Does this info compute?
Ann Landau.....which reminds me....Is anyone in the 
group going to be at "Quilt by the Lake" next week? If so, let's get 
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 10:19:41 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Singer 185J

I'm been on travel for awhile recently so have stacks of FWF digests to
digest!  But want to write requesting a manual for a Singer 195J.  If anyone
has one they would be willing to share, I will gladly pay for your copying
costs and postage.
While stopping in Lakeview, OR, on a recent trip, I went through a "junk"
store.  The owner was trying to get rid of everything in order to permanently
close the store.  I saw a little green plastic case and opened it up and
there was a cute little machine in it.  It is a 185J made in Canada (maybe
they all are, I don't know).  I took it to the counter and asked him if it
worked.  He didn't know so we tried it.  The cute, pudgy, little light went
on but we couldn't get the machine to run when pressing the foot peddle.  So
he told me if I wanted the machine to just take it--free.  I'm not stupid, so
I did!  When I got home I tightened the screw under the base of the peddle
and tried it again.  It runs!  BUT, rather intermitently and in spurts.  The
stitch isn't perfect either.  The top looks great but underneath it is just a
little loose.  
I think it is worth getting fixed but would like to have a manual for it just
for general use.  There were no attachments with it but would only use it for
straight sewing anyway.
(Kolleen, Tammie, and Betty--I will write to you all later about the trip and
the quilt shop stops.)
Evie P
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 15:36:37 -0400
Subject: Help!

Hi guys!
I know this is the place to go for help on repairing a FW - so here
Suddenly while sewing along, my FW seemed to jam - when I tried to
remove the work, two bottom threads pulled out rather than one - had to
cut the threads to remove the work.  Then, when I removed all the
threads, and re-threaded the machine from scrath the machine wouldn't
sew.  So, upon investigation, I noticed a common complaint I've heard on
this digest before, a thread in under the bobbin casing area, you could
just see it sticking out.  DH to the rescue - he did some minor work on
it - which only took a few minutes, brought it back to me from the
workbench and proclaimed it "fixed".  Now, even with the tension all the
way to a 9, the thread is "laying" on the bottom of the work. This is
ever so slightly, but just the same not a perfect stitch.  Luckily, I
just bought the White FW and have four other machines threaded and ready
to sew, so am not in a big hurry - but this is my Centenial - my "baby"
and I want it perfect.  Any help would be appreciated.  Please post to
the digest so others can learn too, unless it's just to complex an
issue.  DH is sheepish, and a bit clueless as to what he/I have done to
Thanks - I know someone will have the answer!
Linda H
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 7/10/97
Date:	Sun, 13 Jul 1997 23:12:42 +0100

A warning -- cross posted to ISMACS, FWF and Toy Digests

Time was that auction houses were relatively honest about the condition of
machines that they had available for sales.

Not any more, if Phillips of London is any criteria.

Maggie has just been to view a sale there. Quite a few machines had
problems but no mention in the catalogue of missing parts (esentials like a
shuttle) and the fact that at least one machine was in such bad condition
that the hand crank wouldn't even turn. We are talking multi-hundred
dollars models here.

Maggie pointed out the problems and was told that the auctioneer  would
announce the faults during the sale -- not much use if you have bid by post
and taken the catalouge  description at face value. In fairness it should
be pointed out that our good friends at Christie's are a lot more
disclosing in their catalogues

So be aware and do not trust descriptions given by Phillips. If you are
tempted to bid for anything at this one-time prestigious auction house,
contact Maggie  at maggie@ismacs.u-net.com first. She views all the sales
and will give a free-of charge assesment to all collectors whether ISMACS
members or not.

This message, which will also appear in the ISMACS News report may well
cost us Phillips advertising in the future  but  auction houses have an
easy run and there should be no need for dirty pool.

Re auction prices

Very tempted to get into this discussion but am aware that the written word
on a computer screen does not carry the inflection of a personal
conversation, thus the need for our "g"-type shorthand and smiley faces.
This being the case, the written word, especially  when condensed for an
e-mail or digest message can often give a heavier impression than is
How about we all call a truce on this one -- far better that we police
ourselves rather than dumping this job on Sue.

Graham F
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 1997 22:45:59 -0500
Subject: Card table springs

Hi all, 
Here's a question I've not seen before:  Anyone know a source or good
substitute for the wire that acts as the spring on the card table leg
brackets?  I have several FW and 301 card tables and each of them has at
least one broken or missing wire, and the legs don't really lock without
them.  While we're on such trivia, I'd also like to know if it's feasible
to straighten a bent bracket (by this I mean the slotted flat silverish
piece where the leg slides as it opens or closes.)  

Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 15:49:24 -0700
Subject:  Lotus SP by ELNA

Betty S wrote:

Am interested in finding information regarding a SM I have heard
mentioned as "Lotus SP by ELNA".

As I bought a used Lotus SP a few months ago, I'll be happy to share what I
learned. This machine (when closed) looks like a small cream-colored
lunchbox. Three sides fold down to form a sewing surface. Under the top
cover is room for a few feet, and accessories. The machine is light-weight,
and made with the small quality as the old Elna Supers; classic sewing
machines still going strong in many homes.

The Lotus was sold from the early 70's through the early 80's. There were 4
different models. The EC was straight stitch only. The ZZ was straight
stitch, zig-zag, and buttonhole. The SP had those features, with the
addition of a blind hem stitch, and a 3-step zig zag. The TSP added 4 more
stitches. (These were basically the same stitches, but with a reverse cycle
added; i.e. a re-inforced, , straight stitch, a re-inforced  zig zag, an overcasting stitch, and a honeycomb/type stitch.)

The sewing machine Blue Book values these machines around $100 -- but good
luck finding one at that price! Here in So. Cal. dealers want at least $400
for a reconditioned one; if you can find one, that is. It's my
understanding that when new, the Lotus sold for around $1000. You can find
more information on the Sewing World site. (look under Elna)

I think the Lotus is a great class machine -- even more useful than the
featherweight, because of the added features. Its only drawback is the lack
of a free-arm. But then, our beloved featherweight doesn't have a free-arm,
either...(maybe I'm getting too modern in my thinking)

Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 19:25:36 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: finding a FW

I still haven't found a Featherweight yet, (not one I can afford anyway, I
actually have found 7 of them here) but my sister came to visit me 2 weeks
ago and I showed her one at a thrift store. She just called me today because
she just bought one at a garage sale for $25. It has it's case and
attachments but no manual. The man said that it had been in the flood
(Central CA) and he had hosed (!!) it off. She said that it runs but she is
going to bring it over here and have me help her clean and lube etc. before
she runs it anymore. 
It's almost as exciting as finding one myself. It is an AJ357507.

Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 18:32:49 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: mangles

Hi All: I have a mangle story. I, too, have thought about all that ironing
of all those miles of yardage. So, I decided (about a year ago) that a
mangle would be just the ticket. Would solve all my problems. Found one at a
thrift store for $20. Had them plug it in - it heated right up, and the
wheel spun around. Goodie, goodie. Hauled that puppy home, no easy task. I
knew that it would be real hot to use it in the house in the middle of
summer, so I moved things (sm) around in the garage and made room for my new
toy. Piled up a few hundred feet of cotton flat goods. Plugged that sucker
in - and blew out the entire circitry in my garage. I still do not have
electricity in the there. It's going to cost over $150 to get everything
working again. I've spent the money on sm. So that idea fizzled, so to
speak. I guess what happened was, the mangle is supposed to have some kind
of regulator on it so it doesn't get too hot. Not mine. It was already shot.
If they had left it on long enough while testing at the thrift shop, it
would have blew there. Instead, well, read the above. To make room in my
garage for more sm I donated that mangle to a thrift store. And, BTW - I see
mangles all the time in my haunts - and I walk real fast past them. I've
even seen the one I donated back - now it's $79. Beware. Shannon
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 21:56:30 -0400
Subject: 301-a Table

We just got a 301-a table that we have had sights on for some time -
very reasonable.

Have seen multiple descriptions of the FW table, but none of the 301-a,
other than occasional mention.  Because of the design of the machine,
the table is more simply constructed than the FW table, but I can't find
SIMANCO markings as on the FW table we have.

This table is light brownish, and the top is entirely wood, with metal
tan legs.  The knockout is reinforced to support the 301-a weight

Anyone have a description of the 301-a table and a word about SIMANCO
markings?  For the price, even a repoduction is acceptable - and the SM
fits perfectly!

Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 21:50:38 -0400
Subject: Re: Black or "blued" sewing machine parts

Rose  wrote on 7 July about black or "blued" sewing
machine parts.

Daughter has a godzilla Centennial 128 with those same features.  That
was some time after the war, and you would think any shortages would
have been made up by then.

By the way, we need a blued front slide plate for that 128.  Anyone out
there have one?  Would really hate to mix chrome and blued, particularly
on a Centennial.


Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 21:55:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: (SHORT) Stems & Pieces

Hi All!  I am running out of time on freenet this evening, so I plan to
type fast!

To Joyce : Someone was asking the other day what the big deal
was about the Mary Brooks Pickens book.  IMHO, one of if not the biggest
deal is that it describes well, with many illustrations, how to use most
of the attachments that were available at the time the book was written,
including the Singercraft.  If you don't get info from anyone else, e-mail
me privately and I'll copy those pages & mail them out to you.

To Joanne :  My mom didn't have mangle, but her sister my Aunt
Vicki did.  I remember two things about it: 1) She absolutely whizzed
through all sorts of ironing on it.  2)As a child I kept a nice,
respectful distance from it -- it didn't strike me as exactly a friendly

A Thought for the Group: Maybe in addition to a FWForSale page we need a
group "Wish List" page.  I say this because I don't feel I can be
bothered with checking e-bay from home, by rights I shouldn't be doing it
from work, and besides, I found it hard to check on the items I was
interested in because the "page" they were listed on kept changing as new
items were listed.  I say all of this because I'm pretty sure I have a set
of White Rotary attachments, and I doubt I'd ask $50 for them.  [NOTE:
Since the seller has stated that she's happy with what she got, I think
the rest of us should let it go.]  Having said this, I need to add two things:
1) I do not have a personal Home Page.  I have one associated
with my job, but most of you couldn't get to it anyway (and like I said, I
shouldn't be doing this sort of thing at work) so I can't volunteer to do
this.  2) Under no circumstances do I think Sue should do this (unless she
says she wants to).  SHe's done and continues to do more than enough for
all of us just by maintaining this list and the FWForSale utility.  So
what do you all think of this idea?

Happy stitching!
                  _   _
Lydia P
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 21:59:50 -0600
Subject: Raymond SM


I was out visiting a dear friend this morning and, knowing my preoccupation
with sewing paraphernalia, she showed me her GMIL's sewing machine.  It's a
Raymond treadle in a gorgeous solid oak (no veneer here) library cabinet.
It's one of those cabinets that raises the machine head with a bicycle
chain gizmo when you lift the top.  The machine is probably only about a 6,
with lots of wear on the bed, but it has the cutest red, green, and gold
beaver decals on the arm.  It has an arc shuttle mechanism, and the most
primitive tension assembly I've ever seen (no discs).  She had the original
manual and set of top clamping accessories.   Next time we get together
we're going to try to clean it up and do some real sewing.

A few questions.  Can anyone help us date this machine?  We couldn't find a
SN anywhere but I suspect Raymond was never a big producer.  Did they
produce many models?  My mom recalls her mom having one once, but that was
definitely before my time.  Does mike h know anything about them?  I
understand they were made in Guelph, which is closer to you than it is to
me.  Also, can a machine like this take modern needles?  The ones that were
with it were a bit longer than what we use now, but the shape of the shaft
was similar.  I'm not going to ask how much is it worth.  My friend has no
intention of augmenting my collection anytime soon.  Besides, I saw what a
local dealer was asking for a similar one and I can't afford it.

Date: 14 Jul 97 00:58:31 EDT
Subject: Singer 191 B & other finds

I found a Singer 191 B today. It was made in France. It's a straight stitch
machine with a class 15 bobbin case. It has a unusual carrying case, which
is why I bought it. The machine sits in a wooden base that has a flip up table
(out of wood) like the 221. It has a top that clips onto the wooden base.
The top is made out of some heavy plastic coated material, similar to

The machine also has an interesting light. It is on a metal rod that can be
adjusted many ways. All in all it's a very interesting machine. The machine
threads from right to left like the 221 and uses standard short shank
attachments. There was no foot control or attachments with the machine. My FW
controller works fine.

Also today I bought some Butterick home catalogs from the early '60's. Not much
advertising,*but* on the inside of the back cover  of each one are full page
adds of Singer machines. A "Slant-O-Matic" and another, don't have it in front
of me right now. Interesting fashions too.

Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 03:55:39 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: My $.02 

Godzilla finishes:
I remember that when my mom got a new sewing machine in 1953 (or so) she was
very proud of the Godzilla finish.  Black was old and not modern as this.  It
was on a lot of things at that time.  After all we were living in a new
modern age and did not want the old fashioned.....

Using Simple Green:
I am not a chemist but in my reading I have noticed that the older machines
are finished with a jappaned or lacquer finish. (I can not spell so please
bear with me, I am a mechanical engineer not a english major.)  The newer
ones are a baked on enamel. 

To test for a finish such as lacquer or schallac you use rubbing alcohol.  It
will disolve it but not any other paint that is oiled based.  It will also do
a number on water base paints.  To repair a small scratch I have used alcohol
and gently rubbed the spot on the furniture to spread the paint and then let
it dry. 

My point is this.  If it is a baked on enamel, Simple Green is OK.  IF not.....  So match the cleaner with the time the machine was made.  I have
yet to find a non-black 1950 and younger  Singer that is damaged by it.  I am
willing to bet that it is alcohol, ammonia or a related solvent based.

We are putting some $$ in to these so why risk it?  Flip up the machine and
try it on a spot that is not visible to the viewer on the top.  If you rub
the spot and a lot of dirt comes off then buff it with a dry cloth and try
again...it could be the paint.  You will know when you hit metal.  This way
you have no excitment when you clean the top.

Use a gentle soap on the old beauties.  I use murphy's oil soap on those from
1930 to the baked enamel ones.  On those that are older or in question, Ivory
BAR soap that I grated into a little water and then used the blender to mix
it.  Ivory flakes did work but I think the formular has changed.  If there is
a little dirt here and there,  it is an old machine.  Spotless may never be
possible and not damage the finish.

Blessed Be
Date: 14 Jul 97 09:54:13 EDT
Subject: New Machine

Good Morning All:
After reading of the successess some of you have had after placing ads in your
local newspapers, I thought I'd give it a try.  I ran my ad two successive
Thursday's and I had a total of 5 phone calls.  I did hit the jackpot on one
call however!  A young man called and said he found a black box in his mom's
basement when he cleaned out her house.  That's all I needed to hear-off I went.

I found a Centennial FW in a terrific case with original manual, lubricant, full
box of attachments, two packages of Singer needles AND the oil can.  The machine
is very dusy and dirty, but works good.  It sat in the basement for 30 years.
The young man used it one time  and unfortunately he put some tape on it as a
seam guide, and left the tape on.  It has the sticky residue which I need to get
off.  Other than that residue, it doesn't have a mark on it.  The time finally
came, I asked ,"how much?"   He wondered if $75 was too much.  I said no, I
thought that would be just fine, packed everything up and ran out the door doing
a jig.  Based on the serial # I think it's from one of the first batches of
centennials.  I'll call Singer and find out.

I seem to remember a discussion not long ago about something that worked really
well at removing the sticky tape residue.  If anyone remembers that discussion,
could you let me know what the cleaning agent was.  TIA

Kitty C
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 10:33:47 EDT
Subject: What Manner of SM is this??

Found a No. 50 Singer Cabinet at a local antique show which is in tolerable
(love that word which was used often in 'Pride & Prejudice'.  Also like "vexed"
from that movie) condition, and just what I needed for a recently acquired
201K.  Well, the Singer SM in the cabinet is one strange SM.  Has a goodly
sized flying bird, with outstretched wings, maybe an eagle? on the bed, and
lightning bolts on each corner and on the arm, with golden scallops, for pity
sakes, around the edges.  Serial No. is AE570619.  Anyone have any idea what
type of creature this is????
Thanks to everyone who answered my request for a FW table.  Such a great bunch
of FWFs.

Perplexed (and tolerably vexed) Connie 
Subject: Singer Iron
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 10:44:48 -0400

Feathers, at the flea market in Savannah yesterday, I saw a first for me--a
Singer Sewing Machine iron.  It was so cute--travel size, but quite heavy. 
The iron itself was in good condition, but the fabric cord was in bad
shape, as was the plug.  Dealer was asking $22 and came down to $20, but
because of the cord, I decided against it.  Did I pass  up a super deal?

Since I was out of town did not get to check on the 500a but hope to this
weekend.  Thanks to many of you who wrote me personal notes about that
machine and also about the Elna Supermatic.  I had several kind offers for
manuals, and did get one.  So as everyone says, this group is made up of
such nice people.  Also, got notes about the blue/black machines and parts.
 I am old enough to remember the shortages of WWII (alas), so the
explanations of metal shortages all make sense to me.
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 11:03:22 EDT
Subject: Singer Hotline

Just tried to reach Singer Consumer Affairs - woman who answered said they had
relocated from NY to TN over the weekend and all their manuals were still on
the trucks!  Boy, that was sneaky of them!  She asked that I wait a few days
while they get settled in.

Vexed Connie
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 11:12:37 EDT
Subject: Mangles

For you mangle lovers, if anyone is looking for one in KY, I saw a mangle all
set up at the Versailles Flea Mall, Versailles, KY, about a week ago.
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 18:14:42 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Wanted: FW Case

Hi,  I've been lurking for awhile, but I finally have something to post.
 This weekend I became a FW collector (i.e. someone who owns more than 1)
instead of just a FW owner.  I found a FW at an antique show in Mi.
 Unfortunately, it's jsut the machine and foot pedal - no case or
attachments, but it's in WONDERFUL shape - IMO a 9 on the scale.  So now I'm
looking for a case.  If anyone has a case (reasonable price, I can't afford
much after buying the machine ).  I was out on the Auction Web today
and found some attachments I'm hoping to win (again, if the bidding doesn't
go too high).  Anyway, e-mail me privately if you have any leads on a case -

I also found a whole bunch of puzzle boxes, and bought a few (okay, 3!).  My
DH actually pointed most of them out to me.  1 doesn't have any attachments,
so I'll be in the market for some goodies to put into there also.  The others
all appear to be mostly full.  My request is - does anyone have a PICTURE of
what is supposed to go into the box and how it's arranged????  If you just
gave me a list of attachments, I'd still be lost because I have no idea of
what most of them look like (I have never done much sewing.....can you

Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 18:14:51 -0500
Subject: machines

i have a blue colored sewing machine.  it has these words on it.
B&B Sewing Machine Co USA
60 presicionsDeLuxe
made in Japan
it has it's bobbin with it.
i would like to know anything you can tell about it including buying
price and what it is worth now.
thank you
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 21:28:58 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: mangles

To the person who was looking for a mangle.  On my last trip to JoAnns
Fabrics I saw something called a steamer.  This may be the mangle idea
coming back into fashion.  Sorry, I didn't stop to look at it.  I was
heading for the fabric which is hard enough to find amidst all the silk
flowers, craft stuff, and garden gizmos.

Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 20:47:24 -0700
Subject: Antique Shops

I know that this is the place to ask for help.  This is directed to those of
you that live or are familiar with the Portland, Oregon area.  I will be in
the Portland area on July 20th (next Sunday).  Does anyone know if the
antiques shops in the Sellwood ( I think that is the name of the little town
that is mostly antique shops) area are open on Sunday?  I will be within an
hour of the area and want to know if I should drive there to check out for
sewing machine paraphanalia (how is that spelled anyway?)???  Last time I
was there (over a year ago) I bought an oak (puzzle) attachment box for $20
and a nice little 128 in a bentwood case for $50.  Kept the puzzle box and
gave the sewing machine to my mother for Mother's Day (I know, it was a weak
        Thanks for any info any of you can provide?
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 02:43:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: New Featherweights

Does the Featherweight fanaticism extend to the new featherweight SM?  I'm
intriguued by the new machines.  Need to take a SM to class and frankly they
are really lightweight,  maybe too lightweight, I don't know.  Has anyone had
any experience with these new babies? Would appreciate hearing your comments.
Subject: Sisters, Portland show, W&G
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 00:52:19 -0700

Hi Feathers,

I'm back from a busy weekend with very tired feet.  I spent Friday and
Saturday in Sisters, OR at the quilt show there.  Sharon Reese was in my
group and we ran into Kathy Goldsworthy from FWF there at The Stitching
Post shopping for fabric.  We had met her for the first time at Captain
Dick's.  Sharon and I looked in the antique and thrift stores there with no
luck.  Prices were high, maybe just for quilt show week.

I came home Saturday for the humungous antique show in Portland.  I had
much better luck there.  
Of course, a machine came home with me.  It's a Willcox and Gibbs, electric
version.  It came in the large wooden box with manual, attachments in box
and foot control.  The head has its gold decals almost totally intact but
the motor and base have sections of paint missing. So far, the motor
doesn't work.  Without the motor the wheel moves freely.  The dealer was
asking $150, got it for $125.  There's no date on the manual.  Graham, can
these be dated from the serial number?  It's A725476.  .

I also bought an ad from a March 1953 Ladies Home Journal.  It's for the
new 301 with "never-before" features such as the marked throatplate.  It
also says that it comes in the "lovely" new soft beige (the picture shows
what we call tan) or in "traditional" black.

All the toys I saw seemed very high priced, but I got to see some great
machines I had seen only in books before.  It was the last day of the show
so maybe only the higher priced ones were left.  

Good hunting to all,
Velma F
Subject: Re: Orvus Paste
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 97 06:18:30 -0500

S W said:

>I too love this product. So it is with
>some alarm that Proctor & Gamble is planning to discontinue it. The
>following is a exerpt reprinted from the "Southern California Council of
>Quilt Guilds (SCCQG)" newsletter.
>(etc...major snip)

This topic showed up on another group I participate in.  I believe that 
since the original concern, P&G has decided NOT to discontinue it.  I am 
not absolutely positive.  Sue, can you confirm? I recall this 
from Quiltlist, I think.

To Cindy:  I too, am working on a vintage quilt.  Wallhanging size, since 
that's about the biggest item I seem to be able to get finished.  I 
called a halt to construction back in March when my mother got sick, but 
I'm ready to get back to it. All I have left, actually, is the layering, 
quilting and binding.

Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 08:33:11 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Simple Green, Singer & other stuff...

Ruth said:

> Susan, I saw your message about using Simple Green on your 66 Red Eye
> and later using it on your Godzilla.  It almost makes me wonder if
> perhaps the labels on the 66 Red Eye you got were ALREADY silverish
> BEFORE you used the Simple Green on it.  Could it be? 

I'm not Susan, and I suppose it's possible, but it's also likely that the
Simple Green removed the color from the decals.  Some people have good
luck using Simple Green -- and I believe that luck does have something to
do with it.  It doesn't matter whether you use Simple Green or WD-40 or
Howard's Orange Oil or whatever -- sometimes, when the clear coat that
protects the decals has been damaged or compromised somehow, whatever
cleaner you use will remove the color along with the layer of grime you're
trying to get to.  The stronger the cleaner, the faster you're going to
remove it.  Rubbing the surface to remove the cleaner and the loosened
grime probably plays a part as well.

I notice that a lot of the success stories of using Simple Green concern
machines that aren't very old (say, 1930's and later.)  Those machines are
a lot safer to use cleaners like Simple Green on.  If you're cleaning an
older machine, I would test an inconspicuous spot first, preferably on the
bed or the back of the arm (whichever looks like it might have the most
damage, or at least the most grime to get through) since those areas seem
to show damage soonest.  If you remove some of the decal with cleaning,
I'd consider scaling back the strength of the cleaner, or possibly not
using a chemical agent at all.

About the black FEatherweight attachments/bobbins:  I recently came into
possession of a set of 301 attachments (sans machine.)  The set wasn't
complete, but what attachments were there were part black.  So it wasn't
just the FW that had some black parts...

Also, I have an update on the Singer machine dating service:  There have
been persistent rumors that it will be shutting down sometime this summer.
That's only partly true -- Singer is moving its headquarters to Tennessee,
and the office that does the date lookups is part of that move.  All of
the people who worked in that office were given notice that their jobs
were ending, and some of them have been gone for a couple of weeks now.

But the move should have been accomplished over the weekend, and while the
service wasn't available Friday or MOnday, if you call today (Tuesday the
15th) it should be up and running again.  Singer has no plans to terminate
the service, according to the person I talked to.  Which is probably a
good thing, considering the number of calls they get...

And, about the Singer Recognition Guide that ISMACS has made available:  I
now have a good copy of the original in hand, and I'll be getting copies
made this week.  Since the guide was put together by Singer UK for people
working on Singer machines there, it is missing a few of the machines we
run across frequently in the US, so I am also adding a small supplement,
put together with the help of several kind people, that will some have
machines missed by the Singer UK guide.  Later this week or early next
week, I"ll be able to let you know when and how it will be available.  If
you have sent me a notice (either through the ISMACS web page or by
private e-mail) that you are interested in the guide, you're on my list
and will receive e-mail about it.  If not, you can e-mail me (or visit the
ISMACS web page) to let me know you're interested. 

I've been on vacation -- saw some neat machines in an antique mall in
Independence, MO (including a W&W 8 and a Wilcox & Gibbs -- both a little
too pricey for my tastes, but not way out of line) and came home with DH's
grandmother's 201 to rewire.  She used it for a number of years, and made
a lot of wedding gowns on it for girls at the nearby college (the last one
for her daughter in the 1950's) but it's in terrific condition, and she
has just about every attachment you can imagine.  (When I was going
through them, she pulled out the tucker, and said that when she taught
sewing classes locally, there was one woman who wanted to know exactly how
to use all the most difficult attachments, so she had spent hours learning
how to use the tucker effortlessly so she didn't embarass herself!)
Didn't get to do as much looking as I wanted -- my 4-year-old broke out
with chicken pox halfway through, of all things! -- but I have hopes for 
my next trip, in a couple of weeks...

Subject: RE: FW Fanatics 7/13/97
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 10:03:03 -0400

It was "mangle day" at our house on Saturday when I was little.  Boy did
that thing get hot.  My sister and I would get to iron the sheets,
pillow cases and towels.  "Does anyone still do that sort of thing....I
hope not?".  I don't ever remember it shorting out the basement.  The
only place in the house where it could be used was in the basement and
it was cool down there (even in Virginia).  I guess over time, either my
mother got too busy or the thought that it really wasn't important to
iron all that stuff that just wrinkled the first time you used it.  Or
my sister and I lost interest in the clothes eating machine.  Anyway, it
sat alone in the corner of the basement for years....I went to
college.....got married.....moved away....my mother doesn't have it
anymore.  Gee....where could it be?  Personally, I'd stay far away from
those things if I were you.
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 10:24:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 7/13/97

Dear friends,

   I have a friend who found a BEAUTIFUL New Home Machine.  It has beautiful
flowers and gold scrolling on a black machine.  It uses the Knee lever.
 There was no book with it and she has some questions.  Do any of you have a
book that goes with a New Home Machine?  Please e-mail me if you do
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 09:29:24 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: What is a mangle

Hi: A mangle is an ironing machine. It is a large appliance - usually white,
made out of the same siding as a refrigerator, washer or dryer. It is about
as tall as a washing machine (when it's lid is closed), but it is wider and
narrower. Takes up quite a bit of space. It rolls on wheels. Has a box-type
lid that covers the irong wheel. The lid usually tilts back to reveal the
wheel and presser arm inside. But the lid remains attached by hinges.
Sometimes the lid lifts off. There is a metal shelf that folds up to make an
extention table on the left, and sometimes one on the right.

To use this machine, which I have very short experience with, you know mine
burned up in about 5 minutes. Anyway, there is a padded roller about 8-10"
in diameter, about 2 1/2 feet long that is padded with cotton batting, and
covered with a heavy muslin that spins around when you press a knee lever.
(You sit down in front of a mangle to use it, unlike standing to use today's
household iron.) There is a long, curved "presser" that moves down onto the
roller that has the heat in it. You put your yardage between the wheel and
the presser, and when you push the knee lever the wheel rolls, the presser
comes down and presses heat against the fabric, and the turning of the
roller movesw your yardage through the machine and out the back side -
ironed and flat....in a big hurry, and what a good invention!!! Was used a
long time ago - before permanent press fabrics, in households where they
used lots of linens - sheets, tablecloths, etc. The women even became adept
at irong shirts and other non-flat items with this big machine.

Hope this helps. So if you never saw one or heard of one before, you would
be scratching your head. Now you know as much as I do - which really isn't a
lot in the big scheme of things. Shannon
Subject: RE: FW Fanatics 7/13/97
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 11:53:52 -0400

Just want to say "Thank you" to Bob, who is the owner of Anastasia's
Sewing Shoppe, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Bob has been a great help to me
in solving my SM woes and finding missing sm pieces for me.  It's nice
to know that there is a SM repair person out there that is willing to
help.  Sometimes he's not making a lot of money off me....but you never
know.  I may have to trade in my Viking 500 some day for a Singer.
So...Bob thanks for your help and I'll see you soon.
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 7/13/97
Date:	Tue, 15 Jul 1997 18:13:58 +0100

To Linda re tension

My bet is that there is still some thread around the bobbin case -- either
that or you are exiting the thread wrongly and causing a massive build up
in tension which even the top set to 9 won't counteract.

Joy re wire spring

Best bet is your friendly local piano repairer.

Graham F
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 08:46:03 -0700
Subject: e-Bay Auction Comment

Hey there!
I've been lurking for a couple of months, and I have to say I agree with
Graham and Lydia...let's just let it lie.  Evidently, the person who
bought the attachments is happy with her purchase, so be it. Auctions
are a great place to find things you're looking for, or in my case,
things you're not, but end up with anyways. I love auctions, haven't
checked out e-Bay yet, but will.  As with everything in life, buyer

I'm a new FWF'er, I guess...was given a 221 by my fiance's mother, and
when I took it to a quilt workshop and asked the other ladies present
not to "laugh at my old black machine," one member offered me $350.00
for it! Just about fell off my chair!  Since then, I been bitten by the
bug.  The other day I remembered I bought a old Singer at an auction
when I was 16 years old (I buy pretty, old things...I guess that could
be a collection?), and it's been in my parent's rafters for 14 years. 
Got to get over there and see exactly what I bought...

Many thanks to Sue for this wonderful newsletter; I've learned so much! 
And thanks to everyone who is willing to share their knowledge!

Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 11:02:06 EDT
Subject: Odds 'n Ends

Would like a Singer sewing stool - the one with storage under the seat.  Can
anyone out there help me?

Andrea, knew someone would ask about our Kentucky burgoo.  Welllll, seems that
in early times, hunters would get together around a campfire at night and toss
whatever they had killed that day into a pot - don't know why they called it
burgoo - maybe cause it sometimes contain bear (bur) meat and they cooked it to
a fine goo?  Anyway, burgoo did and still does contain a variety of meats -
some unkind folk from other states call it 'road-kill stew'.

Quilt challenge: What's that???

Capt. Dick re. FW block pattern:  How do I get this pattern?  If I could have a
copy then I could make myself a freearm FW and a tan FW, albeit only in a quilt!

Mangles:  As a child, can recall watching neighbor women use their mangles -
one of the great advantages was that no one had home air conditioning in those
days and standing over a hot ironing board (permapress hadn't been invented) in
torrid summertime Oklahoma  was not a piece of cake but a mangle was table
level so a person could sit while 'mangling' their laundry.

LaVon:  Gookoff, or is it Goopoff, or Goooff, can be found at fabric shops.
Both our JoAnn and Piece Goods shops here in Lexington, have it.  It really

Linda H:   FW stitch tension acting up after cleaning bobbin jam-up -
this happened to me twice this past weekend while I was piecing a quilt - both
times I discovered that somehow the thread between spool and needle had managed
to mess up, like one time it had come out of one of the guides and the other
time it was around the needle screw.  Sooooo, check the thread path.

Cheryl re. Mercury Electric foot control:  My 221K had this control when I
bought it which certainly wasn't standard equipment.  Capt. Dick had an extra
authentic control and was kind enough to send same to me.
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 10:12:57 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Orvus & other stuff

S W said:

> Have seen the many postings about Orvus Paste or Soap. As a Fabric as
> well as Featherweight Fanatic, I too love this product. So it is with
> some alarm that Proctor & Gamble is planning to discontinue it. The
> following is a exerpt reprinted from the "Southern California Council of
> Quilt Guilds (SCCQG)" newsletter.

This rumor was going around one of the newsgroups lately, too, so someone
actually contacted P&G to find out what was up -- and P&G deny any plans
to discontinue the product.  (If you want to see details, do a search on
Deja News  and narrow your search to the
rec.crafts.textiles.needlework newsgroup.)  So I don't think we're in any
danger of losing access to the product.

I have to agree it's useful -- I bought a big jug of it from a
feed/fertilizer store here in Houston, and I use it for everything that
requires delicate handling.  I wash quilts and other kinds of needlework
with it (including delicate stuff done with silk thread on linen) and I
even wash lingerie in the washer with it.  Technically, it's not a
soap -- it's a very mild, pure detergent that rinses out easily, leaving
little to no residue, with no added scents, dyes, etc.  I've even used it
on a cat with eczema with good effects... but haven't tried it out on any
sewing machines yet.

and Kris said:

>     Orvus Paste:  Has anyone had trouble with theirs separating in the
> hot weather, (becomes real clear w/white flakes on the bottom), and is
> it still good after it cools down, (back to the white cloudy color)?

The container should mention this:  mine says that it will change
appearance (with heat becoming liquid, and perhaps even turning amber)
but that the change has no effect on its ability to clean.  My laundry
room is in a hallway where the temperature fluctuates a lot, so I see this
change occur at least a couple of times a year.  I do stir it, though,
when it's part solid/part liquid -- don't know if it's necessary, just
seems like a good idea...

Sandra said:

> and especially a treadle Singer that has a sphinx decal , bullet shuttle
> and seems complete with the exception of the loop (?) running from the
> footpiece to the wheel  --serial numberG2598897

Call Singer's 800-number with the serial number, and ask them -- or, if
you don't have access because you're out of the US, go to the ISMACS web
page and submit the serial number for dating that way.  (I call the
Singer number for anyone outside the US, if they submit the numbers
via the web page.)  The "loop" that is missing is a treadle belt 
-- a leather belt fastened with a piece of wire -- easily replaceable for
as little as $5.  The belt is generic -- you cut it to fit the machine
you're installing it on.

Pati said:
> ... Needless to say I am in need of a key for my great new
> machine in a bentwood case. 

Someone gave Gene Baker's address a few days ago on this list -- 
he has keys that will work.  But until you get the key, try a slim
screwdriver -- the key is a flat one, and a small screwdriver will
work just fine.

Subject: July 15
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 16:16:17 -0700


Got the GE Sew Handy off of the list.  Had one and let it get away,
but this one is more complete, so I'm pleased.  Put a picture of my
newest quilt up on the special postings page.  Nothing to get excited
about, but the concept filled a need:  a quilt in a hurry that would
be pleasing to an 88 year old woman with poor eyesight who liked
cats.  The idea of a collection of theme blocks alternated with a
simple pattern fabric gives you a simple one patch quilt in a hurry. 
Blocks are 5.5" finished (roller cut with a 6" plastic square rule). 
Finished quilt is about 43" x 59" after shrinkage, etc.

Say, does anyone on the list use MSN and know if they support web
sites?  I need to change servers sooner or later and I'm thinking of
MSN.  AOL won't let me be Captain Dick, so they're out.  "I gotta be

Captain Dick
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 20:35:13 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: spotted a 301

Hello, Fellow Feathers!  Spent a couple of days with DH and one kid in a
hotel room while DH attended a convention...took along a FW and stack of
blocks to put sashing on...presto!  no poolside boredom!!  Also took my
annual trip to Vogie's in Dodge--if you're a quilter, this is a blast!  At
the sewing machine dealer, found a bunch of oldies he'd have loved for me
to take off his hands...a 66 w/motor & light in nice case ($40), an old
White with the designs molded into the bed, a couple of 99's, etc.
Someone might be interested in the tan 301 (301A?) in a small cabinet for
$100...let me know and I'll supply the phone #.  The only FW he had was
one he was checking out before making an offer on, a white one that had
its bobbin winder removed and its cords clipped off.  :/

Thanks for the help with my friend's FW flickering-light problem...she's
still working on it, but now we know the problem is in the cord assembly
rather than the machine itself.

Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 22:27:59 -0400
Subject: Black Touch-Up Paint

I am still trying to locate the info on the item number of the GM black
touch-up paint (that has been used on FWs) mentioned on FWF a few days
ago.  I surely thought I copied and printed the info, but still can't
find it.  I have had some private e-mails from others who are intereted
in the info also.  If you sent the original message, please send it again
to FWF - I will be sure to save it this time.

Thanks much.
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 21:35:22 -0700
Subject: Maple Table

I saw a table last weekend that I think is the hard to find maple table
for the featherweight.  The one with the round top and the doors that
open at the bottom.  How would I know if this is the real thing?  The
only thing is the opening for the machine seemed quite large.  Where
could I find a picture of it?  Please respond to my e-mail address
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 22:33:31 -0500
Subject: Mangles, oil cans, and more

Hi to all... My husband and I spent most of last week in antique haunts looking 
for an oil can for my FW.  I'm still looking!  Did find a 30 cent green oval can that is 
of the vintage of one I currently have.  That one is the one I had been using to oil my 
machine until I found the FWF on the internet. Now its sitting on a shelf for display 
purposes only.  (Had to go buy a new bottle of oil.) The search will continue for my FW 
oil can. Help me!
	Saw two mangles at an antique mall and seriously thought about the smaller one 
seriously.  However I haven't room.  But found some interesting information from a SM 
guy that I didn't know.  Did you know that you can still buy a bentwood case from 
Singer?  He showed me his supply catalog and said it cost about $50 new.  Also still 
available is a singer treadle cabinet and treadle machine head.  You don't think he was 
just trying to fool me do you?  
	Finally, I found a #24 Singer chain stitch machine in a shop for $150.  I 
haven't heard anyone recently mention such a singer. Would this be a good price?  It 
looked to be one that had been converted to electric use at some point long ago.  The 
bentwood case had a rather elaborate singer decal.  It was cute.
	Laura B
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 22:43:53 +0000
Subject: nasty tape residue

to Kitty Cole:  I learned a trick from another FWF for removing nasty 
tape residue.  Direct the air from a blow dryer to it to soften it and 
then rub with WD-40 or your preferred cleaner.  This saves hours of 

Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 02:05:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: White Featherweight

Hello fellow Fanatics,

   I have been on the list now for about a week and have enjoyed reading
everyone's letters.  I have been collecting old sewing machines for a little
over a year now.  That first Featherweight my wife brought home is what
started it all and now it's my main hobby.  I keep five nice FW's in my
display case and have cleaned, serviced and sold many others in the last
   Yesterday I bought a white FW from a guy I know that found it at a garage
sale.  The machine  is in nice condition but no book or attachments.  What is
unusual about it is the carrying case.  It is not the usual green and white
hard case but a white soft case like a bowling ball comes in.  I know it is
original because it says Singer on the outside and has a zippered pocket plus
elastic straps inside to hold the foot peddle and other items.  I have never
heard mention of a carrying case like this.  If anyone knows anything about
it let me know.  

Till next time
Roy S
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 16:29:16 -0700
Subject: Singer in Mali

The LA Times Calendar section this Sunday (7/10) ran a photo from a 
local exhibition, "Photographs from Mali." The photo they choose to 
illustrate the B/W collection is "Woman with a Singer" taken by Seydou 
Keita.  The carefully coifed and dressed woman is proudly posed seated 
behind her Singer, one hand on the hand-crank and one hand laying on 
the print fabric she is supposed to be sewing.  Great photo, even if 
it weren't of a SM! The exhibit is at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly 
Hills, though I haven't been by to see it.  A different photo 
illustrated a review in the NY Times of this show, BTW; the show is 
probably worth checking out since it was reviewed on both coasts.
Sandy L
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 18:15:20 -0700
Subject: FW table parts

A recent online contact asked me to ask you all if you have any parts
for a FW table. Believe it or not, he collects FW's but is not a member
of this digest!!  But I am twisting his arm!  (Maybe I should post his
email and you can all join in the fun!) Thanks, Millie
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 97 01:51:47 UT
Subject: Drawing room cabinet & White bobbin case

Saw a gorgeous drawing room cabinet, in an antique mall today, but someone had 
taken the machine & guts out of it.  This cabinet is beautifully carved, and 
is the same one as my mother gave my brother (his still has the machine in 
it), and I would love to have one the same.  Captain, or Graham, do you know 
how a person would go about putting a machine back into one of these beauties? 
 Are there instructions anywhere?  The cabinet looks narrower than a treadle, 
so there must be different mechanisms (everytime I ask my brother about his, 
he's sure I'm trying to nab it from him ).
Also, this week, I broke my vow to only collect Singers, and brought home a 
nice New Williams with a box top, and a GORGEOUS White treadle, all carved, 
and with four regular drawers, and two secret drawers. It also had all the 
attachments, numerous bobbins, and lots of goodies.  I only vaguly admired it, 
and the dealer dropped his price in half, and offered to deliver it (it didn't 
fit into his military motif).  How could I resist?  The only problem is that 
it is missing the bobbin case (I think).  The bobbin  is very large, and seems 
to fit into the hole quite snuggly, but I'm sure it must need a case or 
something.  Does anyone know anything about this, or have a case they could 
part with, if it does need one?
Also, is there anyway of dating these beauties, or is Singer the only company 
that does that?

Thanks to everyone for all their info.  
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 08:55:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: FW White motor, FW cabinet

Hi all--

   I posted this earlier but haven't seen it come through yet--if it is
redundant, I apologize.

   Friday, I found another FW--AF serial number, machine (with bobbin case)
and foot controller only, (no case, attachments, manual) but the price was
okay so it came home.  The machine cleaned up well and will be a good machine
to really use as it's already missing gold along the front edge and has
numerous pin scratches.  However, at some time in the past, the black motor
was replaced with a white FW motor.  To make the machine look a little
better, I would like to replace the white motor with a black one--does anyone
have a black motor they'd be willing to trade?  The white motor on this
machine is in good condition and runs well.  Please email me privately if
you're interested in swapping motors.

   Saturday, I went to one of our local SM repair shops and during the course
of conversation found that the owner has for sale several centennial machines
(201, 99, 128, 66, and 15) , a handcrank Model 15 dating from about 1912, a
66 head only (non-electrified) with the phoenix or peacock decals, and an
oval maple FW cabinet.  His name is Rick and he runs Jerry's Sewing and
Vacuum in Janesville, WI.  His phone number is (608) 754-7979.  I have no
financial interest in this and haven't really discussed price with him.  I do
know that he knows how much the FW cabinet is worth but he told me he's
decided to sell off some of his SM accumulation.

    I'm still looking to trade a FW table for a long bed 301 table if anybody
is interested.

Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 08:55:12 -0400
Subject: update

Hi all:
Just an update, I didn't realize that there was a photo available on the
ISMACS web site of a Slant Needle 404 machine.  I posted one for sale
this week, and would have referred to this photo!  Sorry!
It's http://www.ismacs.net/singer/p404.html
Linda H
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 08:36:45 -0400
Subject: Fw Repairs

Hi all!
Thanks to all who made suggestions on repairing the tension on my FW! 
Dh read everybody's comments, sat down and within 10 minutes it was
creating a perfect stitch again - that's all it took!  I love my DH and
my FW!!!  All are in perfect working order : ) 

BTW, I'll be leaving for NH on July 21st and will return on Aug. 3rd,
Y'all have a nice couple of weeks!  I'll think of you when I'm 
swimming, boating, fishing or otherwise goofing off.  Maybe I'll have a
few "finds" to report when I get home!  Enjoy!  I'm sure this isn't the
last post before I leave, but you never know!

Take care all!
Linda H
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 09:27:07 EDT
Subject: Godzilla Finish

The Singer dealer here in Lexington has been in the business for over 40 years
and yesterday he told me that during the WWII era, machines were made up of
'raw' parts (i.e., dull, crinkle) and not finished out with the japan finish
which wasn't available due to the War.  Interesting, yes?  My Godzilla-finish
128 was manufactured in 1951 so possibly fits into the timeframe.
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 06:44:05 +0000
Subject: quilt show and card tables

This weekend I went with Velma (Hi!) to a huge quilt show in Sisters. 
 It was really amazing.  Every building in town had several quilts 
hanging from it and inside it (small town).  I'll put pictures on my 
web page after I get them developed. : )  There, I met a new FWF, 
Kathy, who was staying in the cabin where I stayed (along with 10+ 
other women).  Velma and I also saw Kathy G. (sunsilence) in the very 
crowded quilt store.  In the store, the three of us saw sitting on 
the floor a Singer in bentwood case with a decal I had never seen 
before.  Also, the motor was silver in color instead of black.  We 
looked it over very carefully until a store clerk asked if we needed 
help. : )  (It wasn't for sale.)

On Sunday, I went to a huge antique show in Portland.  I stayed until 
closing and had trouble remembering which entrance I took to get in!  
While wandering around (and shopping still a little), I saw a dealer 
who had 4 FW tables and a 301 table she was using for display tables! 
 She had just taken the padding off the tops.  I said, "Do you know 
that those are SM tables?"  She said, "Yes."  I said, "Would you sell 
one?"  She asked if I knew that they were worth a lot of $.  I said, 
"Yes."  It turns out that she knows exactly what they sell for, but she 
won't sell any of them!  She said that they make great display tables 
because they're so strong.  She also had duct tape running down the 
sides of the cutouts to keep them in place.  I can't understand 
doing that when you know what these are worth.  I also can't 
understand having $900+ sitting there in display tables instead of 
buying something else to put your stuff on and selling the card tables.

Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 09:47:05 -040
Subject: Hello, FW speed, 1/4 inch foot, etc

Hello fellow feathers,

I haven't written in awhile so I thought I would let everyone know about a
few things I learned over the last week or so while using my FW at quilt
camp.  Quilt camp for me is at Paul Smith's College near Saranac Lake NY.
It is a place that holds a special 3 days for quilters, where one price
covers meals, lodging, and classes.  They also have a small quilt show,
vendors and a sewing machine guru on duty for those of us who encounter
problems or need more fabric :")

About a month ago, a friend did me the honor of lubing the motor on my 1954
FW.  This is the machine I use constantly and have used exclusively since
1993 when I started quilting.  I always keep it clean and oiled but have
never lubed the motor per my Singer man's instructions.  Why this friend of
mine desired to do so is beyond me - but it was the beginning of trouble.
I brought the machine home and just could not get any speed out of it at
all.  It chugged along slowly and contentedly and just would not speed up
no matter how much the foot control was pressed.  Well, to make a long
story short, we checked the foot control, we put on a new belt and still -
no speed.  I got disgusted with it at quilt camp and had the resident guru
check it out - his opinion is also that one NEVER lubes the motor - BUT -
if you do - you must take out the old grease first!!!!  So that is what he
did, he took out the old grease but in some new and VOILA - my machine is
back to her old self.

The second thing I learned is something I pretty much already knew.  Many
times it is not convenient to use the 1/4 inch guide on a sewing machine
especially when one needs the 1/4 inch to be on the left side of the
needle.  Now I have always pretty much eyeballed the 1/4 inch by using the
left side of the presser foot as a guide and have had no problems with
seams that way.  But I got to talking to another FW Fanatic at quilt camp
and we measured it and LO and BEHOLD, the left side of a regular FW presser
foot is 1/4 inch from the needle and the right side is exactly 1/8 inch
from the needle.  It just goes to show that an experienced FW Fanatic like
me can still learn something new.

I am now up to 7 FW's.  Another followed me home last week, and just has
everything with it including the small simanco screwdriver that fits the
bobbin case screw.  The case, manual and attachments are all in mint shape
but this machine has been well used.  There are many many scratches on the
bed and the gold is worn off from use in the front but this person kept it
clean and together.  Her name and address were even in the case and she was
from a farm in Bombay NY.  It is a scroll face AG 1941 - and I hate to say
it - but I guess I have to keep her :")  I have my daughter's white FW sold
and will deliver that to VQF in Northfield Vt on Friday.  She decided she
would rather have a black one and to tell you the truth, it doesn't hurt my
feelings one bit - I secretly have never liked the white ones all that much

Well, I have probably bored you all silly by now.  Happy FW hunting one and
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 11:40:28 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Singer285k manual wanted

Does anyone have a manual or copy for a Singer 285k? I recently found one at
a thrift store and would like to have a copy of the manual.

Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 10:45:36 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: How I Got Started

Hi Feathers,
I have been lurking long enough.  I wanted to share how my collection got
started.  DH and I were talking about it recently.  DH's Mom started
collecting toy machines.  She has been an avid quilter and sews from morn
'til night daily. 

My in laws visit us here in So. Cal. each Winter. MIL asked DH to be on the
look out at swap meets, thrift stores, antique shops, etc. which he already
frequented hunting his own obsession, records.  All she told him was a light
weight Singer also known as a featherweight.  She wanted one to take to
quilt classes.  The search began the very next day.  It was'nt long before
he came in one Sunday after going alone to the swap meet.  I decided to
sleep in this particular morning.  Since neither one of us has seen a FW he
didn't know if he had a machine that would be intereting to his Mom or me.
He had paid $60 and when he said it was white, I didn't bother to get out of
bed to go out to the garage to see his find.
Later in the day, I ambled out to see what he had bought.  Lo and behold, it
was a white featherweight!  It wasn't long 'til mother's day.  I told him he
could give it to me instead of his Mom.  He didn't have much of a choice at
that point.;-)  As soon as I laid eyes on it, I HAD to have it.  One
problem. The bobbin case was rusted into the base.  He pulled it off with
pliers after soaking it with WD-40 and trying fingernail polish remover (for
the acetone in it).  The finger of the bobbin case base broke off with the
To make what is turning into a long story short, we traveled from CA to IL
that summer for vacation and asked at EVERY sewing shop that crossed our
path only to come home and go to MIL's sewing machine guy (60miles away)to
replace the bobbin case base.  It ended up costing us $220 after all was
said and done.  
My collection has grown from that but that's another story.  Now, DH wants
to give it to MIL for X-mas this year.  Since he has found me another white one
($25) I am considering passing the 1st white FW to her.  She has around 100
machines but hasn't found a white FW.  I have 10 machines and 2 are white FW.
  Go figure.    I know this is long.  I so enjoy all of your tales and
adventures shared about aquiring those illusive,
out-there-everywhere-just-waiting-to-be-found  beauties we know as FWs.

Happy Hunting,
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 18:17:52 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: A bargain?  I think so....

Hi Feathers!  I haven't posted for a long, long time.  Now I am delurking to
tell you of a recent find. But first.....
A big public "Thanks" to Captain Dick for hosting The Gathering.  It was so
much fun meeting folks face-to-face.  A 185K came home with me (thanks
Sharon!), in addition to a few odds and ends.  That make 3 machines total for
the month of June.  The others were the "pink" Precision (looks like a 15
clone) that June M bought me for my birthday, and a 401A that I purchased
from Kathy G.  Yes, the Precision is *pink,* with a grey case.  *Very* 50's.
 My MIL cracks up every time she sees the color scheme. And the 401A is so
FUN!!! I love sewing on it!
On to The Find......Last weekend a friend called me, to tell me that she knew
of a garage sale where there was an old sewing machine, for sale at only
$3.00.  She didn't know much about it, just that it was big, black, and there
was a patent date on it of 1949 (turns out it was pat date for the motor).  I
decided to head to town and look at it.  Out on the front lawn was a horribly
filthy 66, AK s/n,  sitting on an equally filthy and badly damaged cabinet.
 I couldn't leave this poor baby to its fate as another piece of landfill, so
I bought her - $2.00 (only because I didn't have 3 $1's and she didn't want
to get up and go to the house for change).  I drove around the corner
(literally!) to June M's house to show her my latest find.  She loves the
cabinets, I prefer portables (and know *nothing* about refinishing), so we
worked out a trade - a 401 case for the cabinet.  
I started cleaning her out last night.  She was covered with grime, and was
really gummed up with sawdust and spider webs.  There was even a worm inside
it! YUCK!!  So now she is almost clean, and absolutely beautiful!!   The gold
must be 99%++, with a beautiful shiny finish, which is dulled only where the
motor was mounted.  I can't believe how gorgeous she is!  She still has some
grime in hard-to-reach places, but a little persistance will take care of
So now for the problems:  It seems that there are pieces missing from the
tension assembly. I have access to a manual, so if the info I need is in
there I'll be ok.  In the meantime, does anyone have a tension assembly that
they would be willing to part with?  I'm pretty sure that I am going to need
to replace this, so I am on the hunt now.
Also, there was no power cord with this.  It is the 3-prong type, but not
wired to the foot pedal like my FW cord.  Does anyone have one of these?   I
really hate to call around to local sm shops for these items. I also don't
know if the motor will work.  As filthy as it was, even tho'  I cleaned it
inside and out I'm afraid to power it up.  Any suggestions?
BTW, the slide plate IS there!  Yippie!
Oh, and one more thing.  The friend who told me about the garage sale
mentioned to me a while ago that she had a little sm that she didn't know
what to do with.   I *demanded* that she show it to me.  After digging around
the bottom of her closet, out she comes with a pretty little toy.  I cleaned
it up a little, and how it shines!  We got into Bob Campbell's web site
(thanks Bob!) and identified it as a Mueller #5, with the decorations on the
base legs.  It now has a place of prominence in her home.    Another rescue!!
Please forgive the length of this post.  I get excited over the strangest
things, don't I?? 
I hope you are all enjoying the summer!
Susan B
Subject: Orvus Paste
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 97 16:35:00 PDT

Procter & Gamble is not discontinuing Orvus Paste! They are discontinuing 
the small 4 or 8 oz. bottles that were available for sale at your local 
quilt shop. Orvus Paste continues to be sold in large 7 pound tubs at feed 
and grain stores everywhere. The price by buying the larger quantity is much 
cheaper than the small bottle.

This subject was brought up several months ago on a quilters mailing list. 
E-mails to Procter & Gamble established that the information in the former 
paragraph is correct.

Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 19:55:22 -0400
Subject: singer featherweights

hi, I am the lucky new owner of a 1950 Featherweight.  About 6 weeks ago
I was 
at an outdoor antique flea market in NH and
saw a fw at a lady's booth.  When I inquired I 
was disappointed to learn that it had already been sold.  The lady said
she had another as she had just cleaned out a house and they had 
2.  It had the case, the manual, and 5 attachments.  I have her my card
(I buy and sell
dolls as a hobby too) and she said she would 
call.  After several weeks I gave up hoping and
figured she had sold it to someone else.
Well, Saturday night she called and said she was bringing it the next
day to the flea market so I met her there and purchased it. 
It is in exc cond.  When I got it home I couldn't 
get it to sew properly.  After searching Gailee's
page, the archives, and different bulletin boards
I realized I was threading it left to right instead of right to left as
the manual said. (old habits are hard to break) It still wouldn't sew.
I then read on one of the sites about picturing how the needle thread
must pass around the bobbin
thread to interlock.  I saw that my bobbin case was just spinning around
freely and knew that wasn't right.  With the help of the manual. I took
it all apart, lined it up properly, put it back together and it is
working like a charm.
I had Emailed Gailee and she offered her Dad's phone #, which I thought
was so nice.  But by then I was sewing up a storm!
What a delight!  I always name my things that I

like, all my dolls, plants, etc.  so of course had
to name my fw.  I call her Rosie!!
Happy Sewing,
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 23:05:39 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 7/14/97

Hi Feathers, I just received my oldest SM. It is a New Family born in 1872.
It has Mother of Pearl set into the paint and is beautiful. I was the
successful bidder on ebay at a reasonable price, IMHO. I am looking for slide
plates and shuttle. I can always use more bobbins, too, they are the long
ones. If anybody has these items at a reasonable price, please email me. TIA
	I also picked up a White Rotary for  $25 at an estate sale. It is in good
condition, c7 under the dust, I think. I talked them down because it does not
have a cabinet, but I do. I will play with it when I get time. Meanwhile,
about the challenge, I have all the squares done and am assembling the rows.
I hope to finish the quilt challenge in a couple of weeks. It is nice to hear
about all the others working on their challenges. Keep up the good work. I am
really looking forward to seeing them online.
Happy Collecting and Quilting
Cathy A
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 22:03:28 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: San Francisco fabric shops

My niece is going to SF next week and HAS to stay over the weekend.  :-)
 She'll be doing the fabric stores, among other things.  I told her about
Kasuri and New Pieces.  I couldn't remember the name of the GREAT store
that's downtown.  HELP.  Any other stores that I can tell her about?  She
quilts, does her own clothing, and does 'dressy' men's jackets.  (Is there
such an animal?)  Anyway I'd surely appreciate any suggestions.
TIA, Edith
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 00:50:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 'the Singer' solved--almost

Hello everyone,
Remember the electrified, ugly, fiddle based machine with "The Singer"
decaled on it and a very rough black finish?  Well, yesterday we went back to
the St. Vinny's and bought it.  On the way home we stopped at an old Singer
store and showed it to him.  He didn't comment on it one way or another
except to say that during the war people couldn't get machines and that it
was common when they were converted that they would be repainted with a
crinkle paint to 'modernize' them.  Regarding the  'The Singer' decal he said
that "a lot of guys did that".
Anyhow, when we got home DH went at it carefully with carburator cleaner on a
paper towel & careful elbow grease and was able to get through the wrinkled
paint and Voila! DECALS began to appear!  In retrospect he wished that he had
tried water to get the newer decal off first (before removing the paint),
because, oddly, much of it remains mixed in with the original decal! Now he's
afraid to try it for fear of removing the original ones.

The machine looks like the one in the Carter Bays book on the bottom of page
174, but the decals are different. In the center of a grouping of leaves,
etc. there is a circle design with flowers between 2 diagonal lines in the
middle of the circle design.  They are worn, but in very good shape
considering what it's been through.

The machine in the book has 2 spool pins, but this one has just one.  It also
has the bullet style bobbin  with thread in it.  I'm afraid to take it out,
because I have no idea how to rethread it--or the top either.

Since it had been electrified the original flywheel was replaced with a solid
wheel.  He took that and the motor off.  We'd like to get a more appropriate
flywheel for it.  Does anyone have one they want to part with?

The serial no. is 8647859.  I haven't been able to connect with Singer yet
because of the move.  The last patent date on the slide plate is 1887.

So what was a real sow's ear turned out to be a silk purse--almost.
Gail R. 
Subject: FW Block
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 12:35:08 +0100

Is there a featherweight block available - Capt. Dick? Where? I'd love to
have it (but not for the big contest).
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 07:09:39 -0400

Hello everyone.  Connie, thanks for the info about the stuff I need for
my cabinet(paint spots).  I'll be checking it out later this week.  
Now I need some help on replacing the rubber? round feet that are 
deteriorating on a Willcox&Gibbs electric portable I have.  I eventually
want to sell this machine(I have W&G treadle that is my pride and joy)
and in checking it to make sure it sews/works, I noticed the feet are in
pretty bad shape.  My DH said the Featherweight feet won't fit as the
screws are much bigger(machine is really heavy), but otherwise, sews
wonderful.  Can someone help?  

Also, think I will call P&G today as I live right next door,
practically, and ask about the Orvus paste.  My son has accepted a 
position with them, starts, in 2 weeks, so maybe I'll get to hear a few
things from the 'source'.  

Thanks for any help.  Look forward to this digest everyday.

Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 08:03:53 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re:Puzzle Box

Just wanted to thank everyone for their wonderful feedback on the puzzle
boxes!  I got lots of reply's, and even found 2 other FWF in the Lansing
area.  If anyone lese is interested in the Web page that shows the puzzle box
opened, or needs a copy of the picture, just send me a note.


Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 09:23:45 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 7/14/97

Hello!  To the person trying to get sticky residue off a machine, peanut
butter works wonders.  Depending on where the sticky stuff is on your
machine, it may not be a good solution, but I have found peanut butter does
wonders on sticky stuff.  Just rub it on the spot and let it soak for a while
and then wipe the area clean.

I also have a couple questions.  

I was talking to someone who purchased a FW in the '60's.  Hers is a white
FW.  She says FW's didn't come with attachments.  Just the foot that came on
the machine.  If that is the case, why do we all run around looking for
attachments for our FW's?  Does anyone have insight on this?

My other question is about sewing gadgets.  I'm getting into collecting pin
cushions and have seen several that are rocking chairs about 8-10 inches
high.  The cushions on the chair are for the pins of course and there is a
place on the back for your scissors, a place for spools of thread, and some
have a little drawer under the seat.  They all seem to be made of 1/4'
plywood and not necessarily well made but interesting gadgets anyway.  Does
anyone know anthing about these chairs?  I have a sewing gadgets book, but
there is no mention of the chairs in there.  I am curious to know if these
chairs were just a local fad in my area and what year(s) they were made.  My
guess is the 50's or 60's.  Can anyone help?

Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 08:37:28 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: New Singer "bentwood" cases & treadle cabinets

Laura said:

> Did you know that you can still buy a bentwood case from Singer?  He
> showed me his supply catalog and said it cost about $50 new.  Also still
> available is a singer treadle cabinet and treadle machine head.  You
> don't think he was just trying to fool me do you? 

I think these are the repro items you may have seen mentioned here before.
I've seen them at a Singer dealer in Houston, and the "bentwood" case
does not appear to be wood.  (It's a glossy wood-like laminate of some
sort.)  And the "wood" on the treadle base is particle board.  So if 
you're interested in one, be sure you get a chance to look at it first and
see if you really want it.

And thanks to the person who pointed out that original model 15s with the
Sphinx decal set have stitch length levers.  I should have been more
specific:  the new model 15's (made in Asia using original Singer
castings)  have stitch length/REVERSE levers -- something I've never seen
on an original model 15 with the Sphinx decal.  I did mention the other
ways you can tell they're not the real thing, like the gaudy decal set...

Subject: Kenmore SM
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 10:02:52 -0400

Just finally read all posts I missed while on vacation and read message
from "Faeb" about the Kenmore 117.95.  That reminded me I had seen one of
those this past weekend at a friend's house.  It belonged to his father,
who was a tailor.  Does anyone know if this was an industrial/commercial
machine?  He said that his father thought well of the machine and used it
for years.  How old is that model?  Any ideas about value?  Any information
would be appreciated.    It was in a rather modern looking desk style
table, with drawers down right hand side.  He still had the original
manual, and in the drawer were two lovely carved pearl buttons.  He gave me
one of them as button collecting is another hobby.

My mangle story:  My MIL gave me hers about 20 years ago--I can't decide if
that was a loving gift or not!!  I kept it several years and couldn't wait
to get rid of it, but DH didn't want to give away.  So I took it to a
consignment shop where it sat for months and no one was interested.  I
never picked it up, and would see it there in a corner for some time after
I had "abandoned" it.  Don't know what they finally did with it.  The
demise of mangles tells us a lot about how synthetic fabrics have changed
our lives!

Date: 17 Jul 97 12:33:41 EDT
Subject: FW meet/care SF Bay Area/

 I'm opening a little sewing studio in Alameda CA. I'll be teaching sewing in
 the shop & selling some sewing notions & related things. Mostly vintage. The
 main objective of my place is educational. Before it's totally set up I think
 would be nice to have a FW care workshop/gathering, while there is still empty

 I'm taking possession on Friday 7/18 & will be getting it ready for
 business for the next few weeks. There really isn't much to do, it's very
 clean, but small.

 I made a living in NYC on a treadle for 15 years. You know NYC has more
 blackouts & brownouts than you ever hear about. Working with a treadle was
 one way to get the work done......as long as the machine was near the

 How would you feel about having a FWF meeting in my new place? We could
 show & tell....& trade or whatever. I've got some interesting machines & 2
 mangles to show to whoever wonders what they are.

 I'm not only into Singer machines, I like unusual interesting machines....like
 has anyone ever seen the Necchi Mirella? It's from the late 50's looks like
 something Picasso might have designed.  It works hand crank or with a motor.
 Certainly one of the oddest machines I've ever seen. No I'm not selling it....
 not now anyway. I'm still too intrigued by it. Also, I teach children & find
 they love handcranks.

 If interested let me know. It's time we in the SF East Bay got together don't
 you think?

 I want to bring Jim Sorrell down to teach a FW care class too....trying to get
 it together with him. Jim also has some interesting things & parts. Jim's class
 is around 4 hours. He tells me we should come out of it with a tuned up FW &
 know how to do it ourselves when we're done. Those who want to take his class
 could come early, for just meeting & greeting seeing could come later. Jim
 charges $40 for his class. A good deal IMHO seeing as taking your machine in
 costs much more. If you need more info on Jim's class you should Email him.

 Jim's email address >----->   sewman@sunset.net

 If interested please Email me. The shop is not large....so I need to organize
 it carefully. If this works out, perhaps we could have a meeting on some sort
 of regular basis.


Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 09:57:51 -0700 (MST)
Subject: Tiny Tailor and Stylist 457

Hi Gang

Will I have heard some great stories on this list and never thought I would
have one to tell too.  I was at a local thrift store and I saw a Tiny Tailor
for $9.98.  It was cute so I put it my shoping cart and turned   around only
to see an employee carrying an sm and putting it on a shelf.  So I asked him
about it and he said " It doesn't work, so the price is $6.98". Well I could
see that it was a Singer Stylist. So asked if there were plugs so I could
plug in the Tiny Tailor. I wanted to be sure it worked.  Well, you guessed
it, I also plugged in the Stylist and it worked.
It is in great shape, no scratches.  Nearly fell over to think I could get a
good machine for only $6.98.

So now I need a manual for the Tiny Tailor.  And can anyone tell me about
this machine?  Is it a toy?  

Also, does anyone have a manual for  the Singer Stylist 457? 

Graham:  I even bought a typewriter. It is an Underwood Universal, krinkle
finish, lever for touch, a lever for 3 colors.  It was $9.99 with a great
black case.  I thought it was a FW.  Anyway, I wanted it because it reminds
me of my old typing days. Is there a place for the serial number? It is
black and the keys are round. Looks very old to me, anyway.

If only my other machines could be this cheap, huh?

Take care

Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 16:46:10 -0700
Subject: Sewmore Sewing Machine

While searching for a good bargain on a featherweight I recently came
across a machine that I could not identifiy or find information on
anywhere on the net.  It is metallic and black with the name SEWMORE and
lots of gold leaf and looks alot like an old singer.  It is an electric
machine with a foot pedal that looks just like a singer featherweight
pedal.  The case was cloth and leather and had a 1950's look about it. 
Also written in gold lettering was "Made in Japan".  Does anyone out
there know what I may have found and is it worth anything.
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 12:38:18 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: FW table

Hi All: Where is the serial number on the FW tables? What is it supposed to
look like? I know I have a FW table - but I don't see a serial number. Do I?
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 16:34:00 EDT
Subject: 301A

Well, I seem to have a case of the 'wants' this month.  Thank the feathers who
have helped me find the FW table and SM stool.   Now I'm trying to locate the
'cradle' for a 301 in order for it to fit into a cabinet.  Also, am looking for
an original 301 case.
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 12:38:05 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Get Down FWF gathering in San Diego

S W suggested a So.Cal feather gathering - I agree - let's do it - so
listen to this:

Hi All - The REALLY BIG San Diego Quilt Show is coming up Aug 8, 9, 10 at
the San Diego Convention Center on the Harbor. I happen to know people who
gave me good info about where the Feathers could "GET DOWN" - so here's a
plan: Let's meet at the back of the big hall where the stage is. There are
lots of chairs surrounding the stage because there is going to be an event
on the stage on Fri & Sat from 1 to 2 pm. One day is the fashion show, and
one day is an auction. That large area, full of chairs and lots of space is
not being used any other time - so we can gather and "GET DOWN". Why don't
we plan to meet at 11:00 am on Saturday the 9th of August, at the stage. Why
don't we wear a feather to recognize each other - in our hair, the
front/back of shirt, on a stick or flag. We'll figure it out. If any SoCal
feathers want to do this thing, maybe you should email me directly so we
don't bore everyone else - wouldn't want to ruffle any feathers out there.

Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 18:18:49 EST5EDT4,M4.1.0,M10.5.0
Subject: RE: FW Fanatics 7/15/97

I believe that ORVUS paste or its equivalent is available from the Vermont
Country Store which has all sorts of "farm" and old fashioned goodies (at very
newfangled prices!!). In fact, if you go to your local "Farm store" (places run
by your state Department of Agriculture which sells farm stuff in bulk for farmers and also provides all sorts of advice etc. and they should sell ORVUS or equiv. to wash cow udders which are delicate. Regards to Sue and all others who keep goingSK
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 21:24:01 -0500
Subject: Handcrank, anyone?

I'm looking for a handcrank my 6-year-old daughter can use
for her teddy-bear dressmaking adventures.  If someone has
one for sale that might be appropriate, please email me at
jyohn@pclink.com.  (She's tried my electric machines, but
they scare her.  And, since she's surprisingly innovative
with her clothing designs, I'd like to encourage her to
continue her explorations -- but I just can't spend entire
days at her beck and call for seams!) 

Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 22:30:10 -0400
Subject: Surprise!

Hi All!

This past weekend was a Snoopy AND Woodstock happy dance!! We were
celebrating b'days & my graduation at DB's house on Sat. (Actually
graduated in Dec. after 13 yrs, working, children & house restoration!)
DB says, well if we're doing graduation presents then.... and goes into
his bedroom & brings out the little black box wrapped with a yellow
bow!! I just about went into shock! Through the tears & trembling
fingers I opened it up & pulled out a GORGEOUS AL FW! It has a side tray
& controller that goes on the lid. Case is in pretty decent shape too.
Unfortunately, I've been so busy with my sister visiting from FL I
haven't had a chance to play!

Knew DB couldn't have paid the going price for a FW, no matter how long
it took me to get through college ;), so he tells me the rest of the
story which is the other half of the present. He's a cable guy & thus
gets to see a lot of garage sales. Stopped at one & saw the FW...marked
$30! Got to talking to the lady & said he usually picks up SM's for his
sister for $10-$15 (no lie there ). Lady asks how much he'll give
her for the machine & he says $15! She took it!! DM says he's been
bursting for the 3 weeks since he's had it & couldn't decide whether to
wait or give it to me right away.

So now I have 2! Hmmm....they're snuggling on an extra dresser right
now....in the dark...hmmmmmm...think they'll spontaneously multiply? :o

What a DB, eh?

Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 08:11:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Boye Shuttle and Needle Case

Yesterday I went to an auction in a firehouse in SE PA.  It was an ungodly
hot day and the air conditioner in the firehouse was broken and I was there
from 8:30 am to 4:00pm but it was worth it!!!!!!!  I walked away with one of
those large round metal Boye cases that hold all of the shuttles, needles and
bobbins  that had one or more of every type of needle and shuttle for 75% of
the types mentioned.  It was knocked down to me for $85.  I would like to
fill in the ones that are missing.  If you are familiar with this object you
will know that the shuttles and needles come in wooden tubes and the bobbins
fit in little racks in the holder.  I know that it is too much to hope that I
would be able to find full tubes but maybe some one has saved some of the
empty wooden tubes.  I need tubes 14, 15, 20, 20 1/2, 21, and 22.  If you
have any that you would like to sell Please e-mail me.  Yes, there was also a
FW at this auction, a particularly fine AM with a perfect case.  It went for
$200 to someone else.
I have noticed that a lot of auctioneers in Lancaster County, PA refer to the
FW in their adds as a Feather Lite.  I wonder how that got started.

Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 08:54:17 -0400
Subject: what else...featherweight find!

Just had to share my good fortune with those who understand.  I've been lurking 
for several months.  Picked up lots of info from all you good folks.  I gave up 
on finding a featherweight..can not afford the prices for which they are 
selling.  Went to one of my favorite thrift shops on my lunch break yesterday.
Have never seen a sewing machine in this shop.  I spotted a little case on the 
floor in front of the counter.  Someone had just dropped it off.  At first 
without even thinking I thought it was an old cosmetic case.  When I opened it 
my eyes must have popped out of my head.  It was a little white SINGER 
featherweight.  I didn't have any cash on me and I left my MAC card at home so 
I wouldn't be tempted to use it.  There was another lady in the store at the 
time eyeing collectibles.  I tried to act cool.  I was due back at work in 10 
minutes and didn't want to chance losing this baby.  I drove home, got my mac 
card, hit up the ATM and got back to the store in half an hour.  I calmly??? 
picked up the case and placed it on the counter and asked how much?  The store 
manager said she had to look at it, wasn't even sure if it worked.  She took it 
back and plugged it in and the light lit and the little motor ran.  She came 
back and told me I could have it for $5 (yes five dollars) but she wouldn't 
guarantee it.  Needless to say I gave her my money and floated out of there.  
Brought it in to show my boss, who fortunately is a shopaholic, so she 
understood why I was a 45 minutes late getting back.  

Took it home...announced that the Featherweight Fairy had visited me and my 
husband said, "Another Machine!" ...When I pulled it out and showed him he said
"OH IT'S A LITTLE SINGER" (like isn't that cute..much to my surprise).  Spent 
last night cleaning it up.  It was cruddy.  Cleaned right up.  The SEAL is 
missing and it has to very little nicks on the bed that go through the paint.
It sews a beautiful stitch.  Now I know why everyone is crazy about these 
little babies.  I know the inside is pretty crummy.  It must have been sitting 
in an attic with the case open for 20 years.  I'm debating on taking it to a 
shop to be serviced or getting brave and doing it myself.  

PS...thanks for hearing me.  It did not come with any accessories but I've been 
picking up attachments when I see them for cheap at flea markets.  I will be 
playing with these this weekend.  

Subject: Appraisal wanted
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 97 08:56:12 -0400

No, I'm not a collector, but I would appreciate some information. My 
 mother owns a Singer Model 15, from 1922, mounted in a dark wood 
 cabinet. Since she is moving soon, she would like to sell it. I would 
 like some idea of (1) what it is worth, and (2) how I can locate 
 collectors in the Long Island, NY area who might give her a good price 
 for it. Please reply , as soon as possible.  
 Thank you.
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 7/16/97
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 10:59:42 -0500

This is my first post to FwF but read the information  emailed everyday.

found my Fw last summer just 1 street over at a garage sale. 
About had a fit when I lifted the case top and saw a price of $25.
It is a sure 8 to 9 and has green box with all attachments ,oil can etc.
After reading about other machines found, I must admit Im going to 
appear stupid as I am curious as to all the numbers of the machine 
models  and where to look for them. Overt the wkend I found several
old singers at antique shops in portable cases but didnt know what 
I was looking at. Is there a book  someone can suggest that will
give me this information?
Thanks Pat
Subject: finds
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 11:11:20 -0700

Went out hunting this morning.  Found a White #8.  Unfortunately,
while the machine was nice, the cabinet was missing one drawer and
the side supports for the drawers on the other side, and the treadle
pedal had one corner broken off (seems to be not uncommon on the
White treadles... have seen this four times now).  I was still toying
with it and decided to lower the machine so I could study the front
panel.  Shock time!   someone had tiled the top!  Oh, well.

Am going later today to pick up what is described as "a truckload" of
sewing machine parts, in old treadle drawers and "3 or 4 of "those
spools cabinet things".  The cabinets are described as being in real
bad shape, but one never knows.  An elderly retired dealer with a
basement full of stuff had a stroke.  Not sure about the arrangements
yet, but seems as if it's being given to me if I'll haul it up from
the basement.  We shall see.  Further reports tomorrow.

Captain Dick
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 15:36:47 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re:Sisters

Just back from a fabulous trip to Sisters, Oregon. We went early and I had a
chance to visit a few thrift shops. No machines of interest, but did buy some
buttons, a new fascination for me. 
I took three days of quilting classes and on Saturday I would estimate there
were at least 800 quilts hung all outdoors. It was fabulous!!
Sharon and Velma, both have already mentioned seeing me and it was a delight
to run into them in the Stitchin' Post. I have to say when the sales clerk
asked if she could help us when we were inspecting the machine that was not
for sale I felt like it was said with a little wonder in her tone; like what
in the world are these three women doing huddled around the sewing machine?
They also had several nice spool cabinets in the store too.
Anyway, no new machines since my Pfaff 130-6 industrial, so I have to keep
looking. Best, Kathy G
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 13:48:49 GMT
Subject: reply for Kitty

to Kitty:  I learned a trick from my grandfather for removing nasty
tape residue.  Dabbing on Wesson Cooking Oil with a Q-tip on the residue.
Wait 5 minutes to an hour and wipe off with dry towel.

Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 12:39:32 -0700
Subject: hand crank sewing machines

how do I get a catalog for hand crank sewing machines.
please email me.
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 16:55:31 -0700

There are scores, and there are scores...  today I got a Singer New
Family portable in case with the base that fits a treadle.  This
piece is an easy 8 on Graham's scale, and somewhere beyond "Oh, my
God!" on mine.  complete decaling, even mellow finish on the case,
with complete decaling on the case as well.  All complete, working
beautifully.  WOW!  Will get pictures up next week.  Because of
getting it with special consideration from a friend I don't want to
go into what it cost.  Suffice to say I got it very comfortable.

Will be listing my previous New Family, which is somewhere in the 5 -
6 area.

Captain Dick
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 97 23:41:56 UT
Subject: RE: FW Fanatics 7/16/97

hi all,
I thought I had two FW tables.  I took both tables out, set them up and the 
FWSM only fit into the space on one  of the tables.  The table it fit into has 
black lets and black metal sides with a wood tabletop.  Does anyone know what 
the other table might be for?  It is prettier than the FW table, beige side, 
beige legs and a maplewood top.  It must fit some machine out there.
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 97 02:24:28 UT
Subject: Finds

Hi feathers, I have been lurking for a while enjoying everyones treasures and 
today I found one of my own.  A small (10"x9") Wilcox & Gibbs witht he serial 
number A7477118.  The plate says made in america by Wilcox & gibbs sewing 
machine company.  I took it home and could not figure out what makes it 
run...obviously part of it is missing, mainly the belt, but what was the belt 
hooked to?  My dh thinks it might have had a small outside motor, but what 
does he know.  The head is two pieces and arched with what looks like an 
automatic oiler.  Does anyone know what I have?  Age, value?  Any help would 
be appreciated.

I also recently found a 99K that is in far shape reasonably priced but no 
book.  does anyone out there have a book.   I cannot figure out how it is 
supposed to be threaded, too many guides.  I will gradly pay for copying and 
shipping charges.

One more thing, Tabics a large sewing machine repair place here in Las Vegas 
has the largest collection of old sewing machines I have ever seen.  the lady 
there told me someone from England had been there and tagged them but they had 
never sent her a list so she does not know the value or anything else about 
them.  If you ever get to Vegas, go look at them, it is amazing.

Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 16:39:27 -0700
Subject: Featherweight case

I just wanted to thank the person who said use a blow dryer to remove
masking tape from the featherweight case.  It works wonderful!  Now
that I have the tape removed, I'd like to know if there's any filler
that can be used to fill in any small dented spots?  ALso, is there
a certain kind of glue to use on the corners to fix any stray threads?

Once I get in condition, I know someone who used black shoe dye on their
case and it turned out beautifully - looks like new.  Has anyone done

I've just started receiving the daily digests and can't wait to read
them!!!   Good hunting....Kay
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 16:42:27 -0700
Subject: Singer treadle model 27


I have a Singer treadle model 27.  I recently purchased an attachment
booklet for a 27-4 in great condition.  Can anyone tell me the
difference between a 27 and a 27-4?  

ALso, if there is a Featherweight Block for quilting I would love to
get a copy.  Anyone know how it can be ordered?  

Happy collecting....Kay
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 01:14:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Meeting at a quilt show

There is to be a quilt show in Orlando in mid september.  Is anyone else
going to be there.  I would love to meet and talk with some other FWF.  Of
course I cannot decide which feather will go with me.  

Hmmmm do I take Maggie as she is the worker and all her gold is gone.  Or AJ
who has it all and the oil can too.  Jenny has been already as I got her
while I was down there.  Sound a little nutty?  DH agrees that I am.  

Anyone know how to get the bobbin case out of a 101-2?  First one that has
stymied me.  I am going to get a note off to Stepping Stones for a service
manual but I just cannot wait to see how it sews.  Right now it is bottoming
out before it makes a complete stitch.  You know...."the clunk" problem.  

As for "dressy men's" jackets,  I still see them.  I do a few alterations for
a small client base.  This is one of the things that an alteration service is
having a problem getting it done right.  I have gotten 2 guys who let no one
touch their suits but me.  And they buy more than my daughter.  I just
finished altering a tux that was over 400.  Next time I am taking the tag off
and not looking at it.  I do better when I don't know the price.  Wish I had
the physical ability to have a real alteration business.  Perhaps in the

I have a Stylist that I am parting out as I do not collect a machine unless
it is black.  (with the exception of the FW).  

I noticed in an earlier letter about cleaning out the lub cups on the motor.
 I use a kabob skewer to get the bulk out and then a q-tip with a little WD
on it that has been dried on a paper towel.  I do not want to leave a
residue.  I then use a clean Q tip.  If there is any felt, springs or wicks
they need to be cleaned or replaced.  Not a good idea to leave them out.

Blessed Be
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 7/17/97 - ORVUS quilt wash
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 01:42:24 -0700

Many of the quilting stores carry it, and I've seen it locally at the Joann
Fabric store.  Small bottles, about 8 oz., and in the $6-$7 range.  Wanda
Subject: FW Block
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 22:52:31 -0700

Help!  someone mentioned a FW block about a week ago and gave web
address where it was.  I thanked them for doing so, thinking it was a
free pattern.  When I went to the web site I discovered it was
someone offering the pattern for sale.  There was a picture there,
which really looked good.  It's a pieced block, and very complex. 
Once I realized it was being offered, I did not print out the
picture, figuring on buying the pattern if I wanted to use it. 
However, I lost the address and name of the site.  Now I'm getting
emails from folks who read my "thanks for the block reference"
message and want more info, and I can't help them.  would whoever
sent that original message, or anyone who did a better job of keeping
it than I, please repeat it for us?

Captain Dick
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 15:21:07 -0400
Subject: Great Finds

Hi everybody, I just had to write and tell you all about my great finds
this morning at the flea market. I dragged hubby out of bed at 7:00 and
went to the flea market I bought an Oak puzzle attachment box for 5.00
and with only one isle left to walk there was a featherweight. A little
old lady was selling it. I said how much she said 100.00. Its a 1938
condition a deffinit 9 NO pin scratches even had the oil can and keys
all the attachments but no book. Well anyway I had 39.00 cash and a
dollar's worth of quarters and asked if she would take a personal check.
Well she hesitated and said a man was coming back with his wife to see
it, but she also said "I told him I wasn't holding it" I kept saying my
check is good, my check is good!! Finally she agreed I pratically ran
back to the van thinking she was gonna change her mind and run after me.
My husband deffinitly thinks I finally went off the deep end. I knew all
you would understand. Now I'm selling my other 1938 to keep this one
anyone interested? 350.00 includes shipping    hey I have to make a
living too.    frish
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 15:05:41 -0400
Subject: Last posting before vacation!!!!!

Hi all:
Couldn't resist comment after I read Jody in PA's posting!
I think attachments may have always been available for FW's, but maybe
cost extra.  That might have been the buyer's option?  My White FW has a
full set of attachments, and the manual has full instructions on how
they were used!  So, your friend's machine may not have attachments, but
perhaps they just weren't purchased as an "option", same as if I didn't
want to get power windows when purchasing a car or something.  Make

Also, your comment on the rocking chair pin cushions was of interest.  I
almost bought one at an antique shop in NH a few weeks ago, so they
exist in allot of places!  I just thought they wanted allot of money for
it and passed on it, but it was kinda cute!
Linda H
Subject: finds
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 16:39:29 +0000

Today I stumbled onto a small shop in an alley in York.  Never noticed it
before.  I came out with a copy of the Student's Manual of Machine Sewing.
The shopkeeper seemed to feel that it belonged to the $500 FW she had for
sale.  But I pointed out that it wasn't in the case, but in a stack of
sewing magazines.  Also that it certainly wasn't a featherweight manual.
She relented and I got it for 3 dollars.  
I also got two 3.5" square black glass pin trays.  At least, that's what she
called them.  These have in silhoutte the 401a.  the legend reads "The new
Slant-o-Matic.  In addition to the outline and the Singer name, it also has
pix of a pincushion, needles, pins, tapemeasure and a button.  I would guess
that these were an advertising gimmick when the 401 was introduced.  If
anyone has info about these, I'd like to have it.

Subject: Free No. 5, Model 401
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 17:43:01 -0400

Two sightings today:

A Free No. 5 treadle. Last patent date 1910. Decals: gold and green
doves, with a moderate amount of wear. Rust on handwheel, but not much
elsewhere. I'd say c6-7. Cabinet is very nice: 6 drawers and "automatic"
machine lift-up when you open the cabinet (at least according to the manual).
Includes manual, shuttle, and attachments. At first the wheel didn't
turn, because the needle was hitting the shuttle. I re-seated the
shuttle and now it seems to work fine. They were asking $400, which
seemed high to me, but said they'd be willing to dicker on it. Opinions?
If anyone's interested, it's in an antique mall in Lambertville, NJ. Email me
for the seller's phone#.

A model 401, with cabinet, chair, attachments. The paper had advertised
a "1950's Singer," and I was hoping for a 201. Since I already have a
401, I let it go. When I went to see it, I was knocked to the floor by
the seller's friendly St. Bernard "puppy."  The top plate was loose, but
probably fixable. They were asking $50. Located in Lawrenceville, NJ.
Email if you want the seller's number.

 World Wide Quilting Page * Featherweight Fanatics Page