Featherweight Fanatics Archives


Thursday, January 1

Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 23:22:36 -0500
Subject: 201 bobbins

Hello, my name is Aaron. I have already recieved alot of help from
members of this group. I was hoping that someone in here might have some
extra bobbins that they could sell me. My father says that they have to
be the ones that only have one hole other than the hole in the middle. I
have no idea why, but you all might. Thank you very much.
Date: Thu, 1 Jan 1998 00:47:34 EST
Subject: Happy New Year

Not all problems on here pertain to machines.   How do you get an iguana (tree
Chicken) out of a toaster?  Ponder on that one.  House sitting for next door
and the TC got out and for three days no sign of him.  Then I see the tail in
the toaster.  Cannot pull him out...under the heating elements.  My solution
was to put the TC and the toaster in the cage.  Problem solved. 

Subject: New Year's
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 22:59:43 -0800

Hello to all;

May the New Year keep you in good health, provide satisfactions, and offer

Most of my New Year's resolutions I will keep... to myself.   However, this
one I will share:  "In the new year, Captain Dick will try not to commit to
so many projects they become burdens, rather than joys, and will take more
time to smell more flowers..."

Captain Dick
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 10:41:35 -0800
Subject: Oiling advice wanted;plus a true story

Hello "Fanatics,"

The FW (circa 1948-52) that I purchased just before Christmas is in
wonderful shape.Clearly always well-cared. Has been recently cleaned and
overhauled and sews perfectly. The price was fair, and  as New Year's
passes I will start a new sewing project after a seven month lay-off.

My FW came with a case in excellent condition, all the attachments listed
in "Nancy's" book, but only one screwdriver (large) and NO oil can.

I am looking for advice on what to get to keep my machine properly oiled.
Can anyone recommend what oil can and what oil brand to purchase? Where I
live, there is NO Singer store or recommended service place, but available
service and sales of other brands of SMs, plus an A1 quilt store staffed by
knowledgeable people.
Your help would be greatly appreciated.

--------------------A true story follows-------------

Would you like to hear about sychronicity? My aged mother's friend, who
happens to own 2 FW's, lent me a card table before Christmas to use under
my computer, as I have just completeed a cross-Canada move, and had to live
for six weeks with virtually no furniture [long story] before finally
getting settled. After hearing about my FW purchase, this lady last week
volunteered to lend me her original manual for her 221K FW (so I could
photocopy it) On the back of the manual she had long ago written the date
of purchase (1950) original price ($149.95) (expensive, back then) and the
price of her table ($28.50)

When I commented with amazement that she had actually purchsed the table
back in 1950, and asked what happened to it, she informed me that it's the
table she  lent to me for my temporary computer station! (I had never even
looked under the plastic bridge cloth that covered it.) Even at this moment
as I write you, it is under my computer. Now I will try to buy it from her,
so wish me luck.

........Another odd FW story....Isn't life strange!
Subject: Re:  Singer 201
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 09:38:53 -0800

Congratulations to Carol G. on your 201.  They are a wonderful machine and
it is great that yours came in such nice condition.  By all means get some
new Singer oil for your machine.  The oil for your Bernina 1230 is thinner
than what your 201 needs.

I too have a Queen Anne cabinet and stool with the cracked vinyl cover.  I
bought some White upholstery fabric and covered the cracked vinyl.  I just
covered it up, did not bother to try and remove it or the padding.  Just
added a 1/2" layer of foam and the new cover.  Looks lots better.  I
polished my cabinet with Howard's and it restored the finish.

The old oil tends to thicken and get sticky with age, so you might want to
clean up with WD40 before applying new oil, but since your machine moves
freely and sews nicely, I would imagine that just oiling will be
sufficient.  There are some places to apply Singer lubricant also.  Check
your manual for the exact spots.

Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 00:35:41 -0500
Subject: sewing machine condition

I hope you can help me. I want to collect antique sewing machines and I
want to jump in somewhere. I saw an old Singer machine in very good
condition, in a wooden case with a rounded cover. The number on it was
They were asking $80.00. The problem is that someone had etched in their
drivers license number right under the Singer name. None of the paint is
removed, but if you look close, you can see the indentation in the
machine where they put their "identifying mark"

Forget it, or go for it?
Like I said, the machine is in otherwise mint condition.

Thanking you in advance for any help.
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 08:45:52 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/29/97

Sue  wondered about Kenmores, Berninas and FW and who has had which
or both or all three (etc.... )

Well, I first sewed on my mother's machine, a Vigorelli (whose little domed
oil can is now part of my collection).  The first sewing machine I bought
for myself was a Singer 327 (I think... or maybe 357?  It was a FashionMate,
purchased in 1971 or 1972).  I used it for 5 or 6 years and then bought a
Kenmore, which was an excellent machine and never gave me any trouble.
But..... I began quilting and many of my quilting buddies had Berninas, so
nothing would do BUT a Bernina, and in 1990 I bought an 1130, which I love.

I passed my first Singer on to my mother (whose Vigorelli, purchased in the
early 50s with cigarette coupons, had finally given up the ghost), and sold
my Kenmore to my aunt.

I bought my first FW almost 2 years ago, a second sometime early last year
(March?  April?), and an aunt gave me my third, one she'd found for $5 at a
garage sale (and which doesn't work; I've had some suggestions from fellow
FWFs, but haven't taken the time to really work on it).  I also have two
128s, and a toy Singer.  Plus a serger, but that doesn't really count. :)

Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 09:50:32 -0800
Subject: using old sewing machines

To answer Sue  questions on using these old machines.  I do
most of my sewing on my Bernina 930. I do a lot of machine applique and
it has the prettiest stitch for that. It is a true joy to sew on.  I
like to piece on my 301's. Machine quilting is done on my 201.  It has a
lot of room to get the bulk of fabric in.   This may not be the right
thing to say here, but I don't do a lot of sewing on my Featherweights.
I do enjoy their beauty and the memory of my grandmother's machine and
4-H classes, but 301's stole my heart away from them.  So far as Sears
machines go, I wish I had a nickel for every one I see! I Got a tol
machine from them in '76.  Had a lot of trouble, finally got rid of it
and havn't been in a Sears store since.  Lots of folks like them though. 
I enjoy collecting the beautiful old Singers and like that you can make
almost any of them work if you try enough!   Happy New Year to all the
FWF's out there.  You are all a terrific bunch of folks and have been a
joy to be a part of.  Taria
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 12:41:17 -0500
Subject: two pronged plugs

To Judy :
Don't be to confused, I'm the one who has the 201 that takes the two
pronged plug, borrowed from my old fashioned waffle iron.  My 201 is
European manufactured, has a spoked wheel and an add-on German motor.  I
don't think it's the common, everyday variety of 201 you'd find! : )  We
went to a Singer Dealer with the machine, hoping he would sell us an
appropriate plug, as the machine did not come with one.  He was
perplexed and said he'd never seen anything like it before.  As he
poured all over the machine, he commented that the only plug he could
envision using with the German motor (it is 110 V) is an old fashioned
appliance plug, such as the ones that come with old coffee percolators
and the like.  Sure enough, when we got the machine home, my REALLY OLD
sandwich grill/waffle iron plug did the trick.  So, your machine is a
very normal one, and would certainly only require the usual three
pronged one that you are using.  Not to worry!  I'm the one with the
weird machine, not you!
Subject: Re: Sewing Machines
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 10:13:44 -0800

Sue wrote:  >>But that brings up another question: how many of you
actually USE your old machines for regular sewing? I know that when I'm at
home most of the time I turn to my wonderful Bernina - but I'm very glad to
have the others for classes>>

I started off sewing on my mother's Singer 1200.  When I bought my first
sewing machine, naturally it was a Singer!  I used it for years and years,
tho I always remembered the knee lift feature on my mother's 1200.  That is
what encouraged me to get my first Bernina.  Suzy like you I had a 1230
soon after they came out, traded it for a 1630 and did not want to take it
to classes.  Too heavy, and I always worried about moving it around.  That
led me to look for a lighter weight machine.

First one I bought was a new Singer Featherweight.  What a piece of junk! 
I admired the REAL featherweights that others brought to classes, so
decided that I had to have one.  After much searching, bought one, then
another, and so on.  This has led to collecting sewing machines, guess I
caught the disease.  

I have a sewing machine that practically thinks for me, in fact my
embroidery machine sews independently.  I need only  to change the threads.
 This kinda removes the challenge from sewing.  I enjoy sewing on my White
treadle, there is a satisfaction in knowing that I am the power behind the
needle, and it does require some skill to operate.  When I am in a hurry or
for just general sewing I do turn to my wonderful Bernina's.

In fact I love Bernina's so much that I just added an early Bernina to my
collection, a Nova, which is a smaller lighter machine.  I plan to take it
to classes in the future.  So frequently, I have found that instructors
prefer students bring zigzag machines to classes and the Nova is a zigzag.

The Nova is no where as cute as a REAL Singer featherweight however!	

Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 09:51:15 -0600 (CST)
Subject: bobbin case thread problems

FW advise, never sew without any material in your fw.
Maybe this makes sense to everyone, but at the end
of making a seam I sometimes go beyond the material.

Why?  Oh this will clobber up your bobbin and bobbin
case with thread, and you will find that you will not
be able to make your sewing machine sew at all.  There
is a description in the old Nancy Johnson-Srebro book
about taking the thread fuzz out, but it is difficult
to describe.  There have been people who have "lost"
the little screw that fits into the bobbin casement
assembly, and who have broken off the "arm"...thus making
the FW un-sewable...costing up to $150 for parts,
not to say for the labor costs.  

Thanks!!  Gail 
Subject: Kenmore, Bernina, FW
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 07:58:09 -0500

Re Previous and current machines, yes I have had all three and have sewn
with each of them for quite a spell, although I do tend to just admire my
FW. I am acquiring a Bernina 1130 as I have decided that the 1630 is way
more machine than I need. I am partial to the ones with a knee lift a good
satin stitch which is great on most Bernina SM and a blanket stitch which
is on just some of the more upscale ones. The Bernina line is great for any
quilting job and many others besides.
 Now that I have said that about the more modern machines it does take me
back to my first quilting project that I did on a White treadle. I am
anxious to use more of the older machines this year, but will probably
always go back to my first loves the FW and Bernina. Hmm does this make me
fickle? Nancy
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 09:15:03 -0500
Subject: Re: Sewing Machines

Sue  asked:

>I've also wondered how many people who own FWs also own Berninas? 

Bernina 1080 that I wouldn't trade for anything.

>how many of you actually USE your old machines for regular sewing? 

I use the Bernina for all my clothing and "precision" quiltmaking.  I use
my 1955 FW in my quilt shop.  It's a little beat up, so I don't mind using
it everyday.  I don't find the FW's as acurate, but then I sew like a demon.

My husband only uses his 1927 99--he loves the knee lever and says that
machine is as accurate as the Bernina.  He mostly makes minis and really
needs that precision.

I just cleaned up a 301 in a cabinet and I may bring that into the shop as
my work machine.  

I have a condition 9 Centennial FW and a 15-91 in a pristine cabinet that I
will only use on "special" projects.  

I like the feeling of all the different machines, and I have quilt projects
planned for individual ones.  For instance I have a wool Burgoyne
Surrounded quilt that I want to piece entirely on the 15-91 (I don't know
why).  I RARELY machine quilt (unless it's really small and then I use the
Bernina.)  I hand quilt all my things and it's my favorite part of the
entire quiltmaking process.

People ask me all the time in my shop if I dislike new machines, and I
always say the ONLY new machine I would even look at is Bernina.  My
Bernina guy has made a lot of sales off the customers I send up to him, and
he's madly in love with the old Singers too!

Happy New Year to everyone, and let's hope we all find lots of machines to
adopt in 1998!

Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 07:30:19 -0500
Subject: knee controls?

This is probably a silly question, but I have 2 machines with pedals
that look like they would be knee pedals. but I can't figure out what
you would attach them to so they would work with your knee.  One is in a
15-90 cabinet.  The other is identical and it is a 128 bentwood
portable.  I have just been using them as foot pedals, and perhaps thats
what they are.
I guess my question is, especially on a portable,- What do you attach
the knee pedal to?
Thanks and Happy New Year!
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 14:30:55 -0800
Subject: Boye needle case

For Christmas my wonderful husband gave me a beautiful Boye needle case
intact with its wood base!  I am so thrilled!  Can anyone advise me as to
its approximate worth? It has the original metal label on the wood base,
drawer in good condition and the needle case is in pretty good shape.  The
writing on the metal case is all intact and very legible.  There are some
dirty areas and I think some grease stains on it.  I would like to clean it
up but am afraid that I will remove the intact lettering and destroy it.
Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated!  You can e-mail me
directly.  TIA!  Kathy
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 20:42:01
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/29/97

Capt. DIck wrote:
>Also had a bobbin winding mechanism I had not seen before.   Actually looked 
>like it might have been something someone just fitted onto it.   You had to 
>physically hold the rubber bobbin wheel, which was unusually large,
against the 
>handwheel to wind the bobbin, which pressure fit onto the other end of the 
>winding shaft, much like a FW.>>

Could you scan in a picture of this bobbin winder onto you web page so we
could take a peek at it? Sounds interesting.

Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 22:00:55, -0500
Subject: FW pattern

Does anyone know the whereabouts of Christene?  She has some 
neat quilting patterns that I am interested in and have placed my 
order for the FW one. In fact, I have tried several times to contact 
her (she replied twice) and have never received the pattern.  Has 
something happened to her?  
I would appreciate any information on her or where I may get a quilt 
pattern for the FW.
Date: Thu, 1 Jan 1998 03:36:32 EST
Subject: Musings

Not all 201 has the 2 pin connectors or you would not have one!   Not all 2
pin connectors were on 201 ( mine is 1925) and I have a 1929 99 that has the 2
pins and a kneebar.  Nothing is set in stone as they are made at different
times, plants and motors.  That makes it fun to collect.  Easy thing to
remember is that if it has a 2 pin or 3 pin it does not matter.  The important
things is that they are both beauties.

Thank you for pointing that out.  I own a 28,27, 128,127 and should have
noticed what I was typing....one of my brain fog days.

What a lovely gift for the season.....too bad the kneebar was missing.  I have
2 suggestions for that.  Contact the vendors on this line and get on a waiting
list.  Some are trying to get them made as one is easy to reproduce.  There
are 2 types of kneebars; one is a flat piece or metal shaped like "?" upside
down,  the other has a round "open socket"that fits the hole.  Neither can be
used on the other.  Until I found one of each (I have 4 machines that use
kneebars) I wired the machine to a regular foot feed system.  Then I could
work on them until I got one.  The kneebar is one of the hardest parts to
locate (slide plate for the older modles, 221/301 bobbin case and gib screw
are the others)

To all
I hope the new year brings you great joy and happy hunting with the sewing

Blessed Be
Subject:  Wanted
Date: Thu, 1 Jan 1998 10:01:32 -0000

Hi,   Happy new Year for all !!!                   
I am lookink for Singer Attachment:        
Hemstitcher: 121392 This accessories makes decorative holes in fabrics
(picot).  If any body has one for sale, please E-mail me 
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 20:04:12 -0800
Subject: Sewing machines

Sue was asking about those of us who own Featherweights and Berninas.	
I own both and the reason is that I'm a quilter and like to take
If you've ever lugged one of the new computerized machines to a class
then you know why quilters want featherweights for classes.  They're
lightweight, easy to haul and they get the job done every time.

I use my Bernina at home but wouldn't think of taking it to a class
anymore since I now have featherweights.  

I also started on a Kenmore machine many years ago.  It did the job
then but after researching the newer machines would never go back.

Haven't done a full quilt on any one machine, guess I jump between
machines and do the thing that machine does best.  I used my treadle
to piece some blocks for my quilt guild and had a great time doing it.
Hope some day to do a whole quilt but that will be sometime in the
future.   Kay
Date:	Wed, 31 Dec 1997 22:10:31 -1000
Subject: Wanted

I am currently interested in buying any Singer fiddle-base machines
(Models 12, 13, IF, VS1, and VS2) in any condition (from 1-10).  I'd be
interested in bare heads, portables, treadles, convered electrics, hacks,
junkers, etc.  If you have one for sale, please email 
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/29/97
Date: Thu, 1 Jan 1998 08:59:06 -0000

For Captain Dick re his class 15,  No R435466.

Our lists indicate a manufacturing batch from Jan 1902 to Dec 1903.

Hope that helps. Happy New Year to all.

Margaret and Martin 
Subject: Kenmores
Date: Thu, 1 Jan 1998 10:23:18 -0500

I was pleased to hear that there are a few others out there who started off
with a Kenmore like mine and was wondering if anyone knew who made these
machines for Sears back in the early 70s? I think the bobbin design in my
Kenmore was very similar to that on my Bernina 1230 - might account for it
being such a good machine? I do hope that those who wrote me personally will
also share their stories with the rest of the group - I know in many other
mailing lists I receive, people will often send a cc to the digest as well
as answering privately - since often the answers are of interest to the
whole group! Sue
Date: Thu, 01 Jan 1998 09:40:48 -0500
Subject: Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everyone,
   I had a good Christmas with DH, DD and our extended families. DH gave me a Howe (not the one on eBay) in a beautiful cabinet with attachments and even the key for the cabinet; my inlaws gave me a Fuji Cherry TSM, and I bought a mystery German handcrank machine that I'm hoping Graham can identify. The latter machine has an inlaid design on both the base and lid of the walnut case. Used Kotton Kleaner to clean the case and it really looks good. I'm still working on the machine.
   I recently bought two handcrank pinkers on eBay (one from Gretchen, who I highly recommend) to add to my pinker collection and each one is different. Two have the krinkle finish, the other has a smooth, shiney surface. The smooth one and one krinkle finish pinker are shaped like the one shown in the instructions, while the other one doesn't angle above the shaft. Both the smooth surface one and the krinkle one that doesn't have an angle came with 1935 instructions, which shows the other pinker. Does anyone have any info or insight into which of these pinkers came first? I didn't realize that there were several different shapes and finishes. The others that I've seen are identical to the one in the instructions.
   About eBay...I've bought and sold. Read the feedback on the person that who is listing and also who is buying. I rarely have a picture when I list (working on getting a camera) but I do my best to describe the item and all its flaws.  I seldom use a rating number on a machine, because your idea of an "8" and mine may (will) be different. I've been able to buy items on eBay that I haven't seen around here, or in some cases cheaper than local antique shops.  A few times I've been disappointed when I received the item, but usually a little cleaning takes care of it. I'm amazed that some people don't take the time to clean an item before selling - it can makes the biggest difference. By selling items I can help support this habit!!! 
Subject: 401A
Date: Thu, 1 Jan 1998 10:56:32 -0600

This machine is still in use, bought in 1959. Am looking for some of the
decorative type feet that will fit this old slant needle, have found one
at Nancy's Notions that sews lace together but her pin tuck foot would
not work.  Do you have any sources.
Date: Thu, 1 Jan 98 19:03:59 UT
Subject: FW cardtable repairs needed, Wisconsin

Hello to all!   
	My sister brought me my Mom's Featherweight card table this Christmas! All 
these years since my Mom died, I had thought that the card table was traded in 
with her first Featherweight. I bought her another Featherweight, after 
hearing how unhappy she was with the new machine she had gotten, and inherited 
it later. My sister inherited the other machine, and recently took me into her 
storage room to ask me why that machine didn't fit the table! Unfortunately, 
the insert, though present, was missing some part to hold it on, and has been 
held in place with clear packaging tape for an unknown number of years. How 
can I get the tape off without destroying the table finish? Is there anyone 
within an hour or two of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, who could be recommended for 
fixing the table? I think it only needs some wing nuts or small metal bars to 
hold the front of the insert in place, the back (st the table edge) seems 
solid. Could I trust a local "antique furniture refinisher" with this sort of 
job? I am afraid to even try to pull the tape off! 
Date: Thu, 1 Jan 1998 14:14:02 EST
Subject: Case Needed

I'm still looking for the case that the white featherweights came in
originally (the green one).  Anyone out there have an extra that they'd like
to sell?  TIA, Marilyn
Date: Thu, 01 Jan 1998 15:08:59 -0500
Subject: old calendars

i just so happened to get a book for xmas that has a 200 yr calendar in
it and ther are some years that match
1998=1903;1914;1925,1931;1942;1953,1953;1970;1981;1987.hope this is of
some help'seasons greetings to all and thanks sue for all the work you
put into the digest evelene
Date: Thu, 1 Jan 1998 15:24:55 -0800
Subject: Cats

If anyone still has the recent digest that has the message about the cat
insisting on sitting on the quilt that was laid out on the living room
floor to be basted, could you send a copy to me? I lost it in the midst of
trying to print it, and it describes the EXACT situation that I just went


Date: Thu, 01 Jan 1998 22:50:58 +0100
Subject: New webpages.

 I have started a homepage with sewing machines.
The page is not yet in English but it will be son.
I have pictures of some of my machines ther (a lot of singer`s and
some Husqvarna(singer salong),and some german machines(Carl Schmidt.osv)
The adresse is.

Date: Thu, 1 Jan 1998 19:58:50 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Worn decals and sightings

Hi Feathers...

In my search for just the right Singer treadle, I keep running into the same
machine with the same problem.  The Egyptian decals are silvered and worn.
Are there replacement decals available? 

Also I found a Spartan that is in pristine condition with only  the bobbin
cover was missing ( next to the throat plate)  The shop wants $65.00, is
this fair?  Can I find this missing piece?  

Thanks for any advice...


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