Featherweight Fanatics Archives


Monday, January 5

Subject: Using Vintage Machines
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 1998 09:34:54 +0100

Someone asked about actually using these old machines. I recently moved to France and the newest machine I brought with me dates to the 50s. I use my FW, 301s, and 201 for piecing, and the 201 for free motion machine quilting. I also brought my 401 for hemming and machine applique. The kids use the 99 handcrank a lot for piecing and craft projects. I put my "new" machine in storage and left it in the States. Granted, it is an ealy 80s Singer and not a Bernina or anything but I love the older machines and love using them. Back home I used nearly all of them at one time or another.

This does lead me to a question, my 401 is very noisy compared to my other machines. Do I have to live with this because it is a zigzag or is there something I can do to help?  Thanks, Katy
Date: Mon, 05 Jan 1998 11:54:47 -0700
Subject: needle hitting the throat plate

Last week somebody asked what to do when the needle hits the throat
plate on your lovely FW.  I, too, would like the answer to that.  I
bought a FW on eBay and it was supposedly in great condition.  Well, I
learned that there are many variations of "great," and the needle hits
the throat plate and so it won't sew at all!  The motor is loose from
its mounts, and on and on...if there's a relatively easy fix I'd like to
know about it.  I haven't had much time to really go through the machine
-- I was bummed since I thought I was getting one I could sew on right
away.  Live and learn, huh?

Anyway, any help anybody has would be appreciated!

Date: Mon, 05 Jan 1998 16:32:53 -0800
Subject: Singer Sewing Thread

I came across a box of Singer Sewing Machine Cotton Embroidery Thread.
There are ten spools of thread with 150 yards embroidery cotton which
says Made in Great Britain.  None of the spools have been used - no
holes broken on the labels.  Does anyone know how old or when these
were produced by Singer.  I've never seen any before so of course, had
to make the purchase.

Date: Mon, 5 Jan 1998 21:09:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Tiny Singer Heavyweight - home brewed.

   Bought a 192K for $15- at the Farm Mission Store
     in Boynton Beach Fla. Put on a new belt and 
   changed the bobbin winder to the larger spooling 
type with the big 'ol spoked bal. wheel from a mod. 66.

  Added a clip on accessory lamp from an electified
  VS2 and it took on that great antique Singer look.
      - If you've got the parts lying around -
             * Try it you'll like it *

    A small 25 lbs fits right into a plaid zipper 
    $1- yard sale bowling bag. Just the thing for 
       a grown man to lug to a quilting class.
          Q: "What is it ?"  
              A: "An hurly SPARTAN !
                  Made in England 
                  Don't-cha know."

Date: Mon, 5 Jan 1998 18:42:52 -0800
Subject: actually sewing on these things!!

I'm probably one of the few who does a LOT of sewing on the vintage models,
and  who does not use a "modern" machine (I have a Baby Lock 4000 machine
only for when I need a zig-zag).  I work at a historic site, wear full 19th
century clothing to work and make all my clothes on the old machines.  I'm
currently making chemises on the 1870 model 12 treadle, tuckers and cuffs
on the 1885 model 12 handcrank (that way I can avoid changing the thread in
the boat shuttle; something to avoid if possible),  I'm hemming one of my
wool winter dresses on the model 15 (newly fitted out with a repro
handcrank mechanism from Stepping Stones, thanks Chris), I'm quilting a
quilt for one son on the 201, and I'll be starting to piece another top for
the other son's quilt (he wants a reproduction of a U.S. Civil War Sanitary
Commission soldier's quilt) on the 99, now that the kneebar I got from Bob
Bannen arrived (YIPPEE!!  thanks, Bob).  One of the advantages to using the
old machines is that they were designed to sew the garments and other
textiles of the time, so they actually are more efficient at it than the
newer machines.  I do less ripping when sewing on a treadle or handcrank
than when I use a faster electric machine, so it's actually faster in the
long run.

Date: Mon, 05 Jan 1998 18:34:29 -0800
Subject: Attention Graham

Hi Graham,
I recently purchased a Willcox and Gibbs head.   
I've determined that the machine is hitting - I just hope I can explain
this so it can be understood.  On the front of the machine to the left
side the Needle bar that has the needle bar screw - that black bar that
makes the needle bar go up and down is hitting the black part that the
needle bar slides up and down on.  It's hitting that black bar you see
on the front that is just above the needle bar.  Is there an adjustment
somewhere to fix this?  I've never owned one of these machines so this
is all new to me.  That bar just needs to be adjusted up slightly and
it should work just fine.

Once I get her working properly I was going to put kerosene in the oil
holes, then re-oil  I usually do this with my featherweights - will
this be ok on this machine?

I've got the head all cleaned up and she's nice, I just need to get
her working properly.  Any help you can give me would be appreciated.

Date: Mon, 5 Jan 1998 22:21:25 EST
Subject: Little Kenmore Machine Manual?

I recently bought some friends a nice little sewing machine that I figure was
Kenmore's answer to the featherweight---a sturdy, lightweight, olive green
machine that fits in a beige plastic case (covered with psychedelic flowers).
It's made in Japan, and the model  # is 158-0200. It makes a nice straight and
zig zag stitch, and it had a date of 1975 stamped on it (in ink, so I'm not
sure that's the manufacture year.) My problem: I don't have a manual for it,
and the friends I gave it too aren't very experienced with sewing machines.
Does anyone have a manual for this machine that they'd be willing to copy for
me? I'd be happy to pay for your time, copying costs, mailing, etc. Please
email! TIA for any advice! Cathy

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