Featherweight Fanatics Archives


Wednesday, January 7

Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 01:36:55 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/2/98

I have never seen a needle bar move enought to hit the throat plate.  I looked
at my books and at several machines and do not see how that could be adjusted.
Up and Down but not side to side or front to back.  I think the needle is in
wrong or bent.  They will beat the hole full of burrs if that happens.  

The only other thing that I see that would give you that is that the tension
is really tight on the top or the spool area has stop letting the thread flow
off the spool.  The nick on the spool that holds the thread when we purchase
it will do that if you do not thread the machine with the nick up on the pin.
Take the spool off, get a good grade of thread like C/C and thread the machine
again with the new needle and it in the correct position.

The tension is loose if the foot is up.  To check it, put a piece of fabric
under the foot and sit the foot on it.  Sew slowly if you can.  Move the
tension + or - if needed until the stitch looks better.

E-mail me if you need to and I can send you diagrams.

Subject: Green vans
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 16:42:37 -0000

My DH bought me 2 Singer vans  (models) the other day. They are new: the
first, is a normal small green panel truck but with the name in German "
Singer Nahmaschen" on the side; the other, an old -fashioned square type 
green car with Singer Sewing Machine Co.,Inc. on the side. They are made in
the "Days Gone" series by Lledo Plc. 

Date: Mon, 5 Jan 1998 23:02:51 -0800

All fellow feathers:

	I also sew mainly on a Bernina 1130, have since 1991 and love it, but I am
mainly a dress maker, not a craafter or quilter.  THis is my favorite.  I
do however, own 4 featherweights including a 1951 centenial, so please
don't booh me too much!!

  I am still looking for a plug for my Singer model 24, it's the one with 2
independent plug connectors & also a knee (?) controller.  ANy help would
be appreciated.

Talk with you soon!

Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/1/98
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 13:56:39 +0000


A dealer friend of mine phoned the other day wanting the complete  bobbin
assembly (less cover) for a FW. I just didn't have a spare and refered him
to his local parts distributor.
He came bace to me to say that they had just one in stock priced at  175
pounds sterling -- that's $295.  Kinda makes a complete machine sound

To Kathy re Boye case

This is screen-printed and should be cleaned with a household detergent
followed by a waxing to protect the finish.

Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 09:14:33 -0500
Subject: Any info on White's?


  My brother gave me a machine that he had sitting around in his house. It is a
white rotary series 77. It is in a beautiful art deco-type cabinet, with a pulley string that raises up the machine when you flip open the top . The finish on the machine is a bit strange, it has a black crinkle mat like finish. Maybe because it is was manufactured during the war?? I called White and they said it was made in 1942. It has the original manual, but no attatchments. The wiring is shot, so it needs a trip to my SMR guy. I am sure that will be a few bucks, and I am wondering if this is a good machine that is worth the investment??? I searched the web, but was unable to find any info on anyone's sites.
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 19:17:20 -0800
Subject: Singer New Family


The serial number for the NF machine is on the base near the pillar.  On
the older ones, there will be two series of numbers side by side under the
screw which slides back and forth to adjust the stitch length.  On the
later ones, the two numbers are one over the other, in the same place on
the bed.  The numbers are often rather spaced out, giving the impression
that they are markings for the stitch length adjustment. Only when you
really look at the numbers and realize that the digits are not in numerical
order do you realise that they aren't. In either case, it is the LARGER of
the two numbers which is the serial number.  The smaller number is a
manufacturing number which has nothing to do with dating the machine.

I have two (slightly different) manuals for the Model 12/New Family
machine, as well as practical experience in actually sewing on them. I have
two, a handcrank and a treadle, as well as a German made clone.  If you
need help in getting it set up to sew, just drop me a note.  I'm doing a
research project on the NF, so once you've had a chance to play with the
machine, it would be a big help if you could answer my survey questions.

Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 10:06:53 -0500
Subject: FW, Kenmore & Bernina

In reply to the FW, Bernina Kenmore question. I sew on all three. My FW is
set up near the pressing table & I use it for doing seams. I was making
Hong Kong binding & got lazy & decided to stitch in the ditch instead of
slip stitching. The stitch was so pretty it IMHO added to the work instead
of detracting.

I have a Bernina 1130 I also use often. I love the Bernina feet, of which I
have most all of them. 

I regularly sew on a tiny Kenmore 158-103010013432. It weighs about the
same as the FW, but has zigzag, 3 step zigzag, blind hem & a built in
buttonholer. The accessory box swings out in front to expand the work area
& in addition it has a flip up table in front like the FW. It's a wonderful
little machine. It's set up in the living room on the coffee table. I sit
on the floor and press the foot control with my thigh. The Foot controller
is clam shell type. The machine was made by Jaguar for Sears & is 2 tone
slate green. I've seen other versions of this Kenmore with straight stitch
place & stretch stitches as well. This series Kenmore takes a class 15
bobbin case & standard short shank feet. It 's so easy to carry around from
place to place I love it. I was going to sell it, but after sewing with it,
I find it so convenient it'll be impossible to let go.

At a store I worked in they had one....but was sold to a lady quilter who
who well deserves it & will take care of it, I'm sure. I'd love to find
another one with the multiple plates & stretch stitches.

I also have a Pfaff 7570 I keep by the PC & use regularly. It interfaces
with the PC.  I like designing my own stitches or using Public Domain
stitches for Crazy Quilting.

Before I got into Pfaffs I was a Bernina fanatic, but after using the
Pfaff's dual feed I'm hooked on it. It really works pfabulously. I know
there are ways around using the walking foot, but it's great to just flip
it down. I'm also hooked on the PC interface.

If I did a lot of heavy close machne quilting, I'd use a treadle. In fact
I'm in the process of getting a Bernina 640 set up for treadling or
motoring. The 640 has all the stitches the 830 does, but it's a flat bed
with a rotary shuttle & was designed to work motor or treadle. It'll take
all the feet I've aquired already. Those feet were a significant

When it's done I plan on using it for freemotion work. I've working on
designing a large table for it. Something like a pilot's station, with me
in the middle of it treadleing... Now I'm looking for wood for it now.
It would be nice to find a wood tabletop already routed. I have a non
Singer treadle base for it & 4 nice drawers.

FWIW since I haven't been working on a treadle I've noticed the muscles in
my calves changing. I love the flat beds & I'm always tapping my feet
anyway. Treadling is my style aerobics.

Someone wrote here about an elderly lady who's Dr suggested she work her
treadle for her aerobic excercise.

Subject: ...smell the flowers...
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 06:53:57 -0600

I heartily concur with your resolution and hope that I may keep that one!! 
Why is it my mouth opens and says "oh, I'll do it"  while my brain is
saying "No, No, No".

Received your identification manual on Saturday and am very pleased with
it.  Especially like the size so it can go in my purse (which may need
wheels soon)

Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/2/98
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 18:10:24 +0000

To all re needle problem

I've just had a close look at the needlebar design on the FW and it would
be pretty difficult to bend the bar by  even dropping the machine in a way
that would affect the needle end. My guess is a rogue needle.

Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/4/98
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 18:10:27 +0000

To Mary re Free

There was a company history of the Free Sewing Machine Co published in
ISMACS News some time ago. This will eventually make it to the website.

Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/3/98
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 18:10:20 +0000

To Mike re Greist

To my knowledge this company only made attachments , not actual machines.
Guess you are getting the name from of of these. You'll need to find some
clues on the machine itself to help us identify it.

To Kay re Singer NF numbers.

Nusbers are usually by the stitch adjuster at the bottom of the main
upright -- over on the right. If there are two numbers, it's the largest
one you should consider

To Kathy re cleaning Boye case

This is screen printed and plain old soap and water with, perhaps,
detergent will clean off all the grime and grease that you can remove
without endangering the paint work.

To Gloria re Singer trade cards

The different national users series was Singer's most popular trade card.
Quite a number of different sets were produced. I believe dates fron from
1900 to 1928.

To Gai re Singer 99

Your machine was made in 1947 at Clydebank, Scotland. You could bet a more
exact date via the ISMACS web site at http://www.ismacs.net

To all quilters/embroiders etc

Just a reminder that entry forms for the Ultimate Featherweight  contest
will go out with the January issue of ISMACS News. More information from me
Subject: FW Sighting
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 20:08:10 -0500

I had been watching a FW at an antique mall and decided as time went on
that maybe the $250 they're asking was not a bad price.  So I checked
bobbin case, and sure enough, it was gone.  Went to the desk to ask if
being kept there, but alas it was not. I don't think the seller has any
idea of how this devalues the machine.

Today went into a SM/vacuum cleaner shop and he had one FW for sale for
$350.  I mentioned the case of the missing bobbin case and he said he had
one for $110.  I told him I would never think of paying that much for one,
and he quickly said  "I'll let you have it for $75."  Well, I am still
hoping for a better deal for my third FW.   But while we were talking, he
told me that the 301 bobbin case could be used, which I knew from reading
the digest.  But then he told me that the parts behind the bobbin case in
the 301 would not work with the FW.  I am curious if he is right about
this--I don't have a 301, but always thought everything was
interchangeable.  Does anyone know what he meant or if he is right?  Sorry,
I didn't get the term/name he used for the part.  May have been gib.

Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 19:05:50 -0600

Hi Everyone. 

    I also own 2 FW and a Bernina 1260. I love both and have one of my FW's
at work , in my office so on my lunch hours I can  get some piecing done.
It's neat cuz the machine fits under my desk and I just pull it out and
sew! At home I use my Bernina for Everything, and have lugged the Bernina
to classes, but since I have my 2nd FW, that will go to classes with me
from now on !  I'm ready to get my 3rd. featherweight and have been caught
by the bug of collecting. I love this post and reading info. from everyone.

Date: Tue, 06 Jan 1998 23:47:17 -0500
Subject: Using old machines

	Someone was asking whether we who collect the old machines actually use
them.  My answer is an emphatic yes!  I got rid of my "new" sm, which
was about 13 years old.  I hated it anyway.  When I first started
collecting machines, I only wanted a FW for piecing.  I can piece much
more accurately with a FW.  I had never been able to keep a consistent
1/4" seam before, so my quilting improved.  And I'm much happier, since
I don't rip out as many seams!  Then I tried using one of the Singer
treadles (a 1904 model).  I love using it because it is so easy to
control the needle position, and it's so quiet and smooth.  Recently, I
began using one of my FWs for some heirloom type sewing.  I did puffing,
stitched lace to lace, did narrow hems, and other stuff, just trying out
the different presser feet.  I am very impressed with the way these
things have turned out, better than any machine I've used before,
including a Bernina.  Of course, in the mock French handsewing, zz
stitches are used to join gathered fabric or lace to entredeux.  I used
the Rocketeer for this.  It's zz is much better (smoother) than a
Bernina's IMO, even on Swiss batiste.  I have access to a Bernina but
always end up using the Singers.  They are just a better fit for me.  If
I buy a modern machine, I will probably get a Pfaff and/or a serger.  I
have done some machine quilting on the 301, which worked great.  I also
lend my machines out to friends to use.  One guy needed a machine for
the weekend to make some curtains and mend his jeans.  I let him use my
301 and he decided he really likes sewing, because this machine was so
easy to use.  Another friend is borrowing a machine to make drapes.  She
has a Brother machine, so I'm sure the 301 will perform much better than
the Brother.  
	My mom's Bernina is acting up.  She's had this machine for less than a
year, but while she was machine quilting, the stitch changed from
straight to zz.  This happened to her more than once.  One thing I won't
have to worry about with my machines is electronic parts! 


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