Featherweight Fanatics Archives


Thursday, January 8

Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 05:29:14 -0400
Subject: manuals

I am trying to obtain instruction manuals for Singer Touch-n-sew models
640 and 750 , does anyone have these that I could get photocopies or
know of a source from which I can purchase these? Any help would be much
appreciated. TIA
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 07:23:48 +0000
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/1/98

Libertyville Sewing Center near me has great clothes making fabric of all
conventional kinds. Near you there is a store in downtown Barrington, not the
quilt shops, I can't remember it's name. The owner has a strange name
too...I'll email you back when I remember it.

I am going to work hard today to get my quilt done.Thanks for the breathing
room, perhaps I won't need it. I will report on my progress.

Does the Visions entry have to be there on the 15th? If so, I better not wait....

Man, a calendar in my studio would sure help. Good thing I got one yesterday.
I better hang it up.

Love RObbi
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 09:49:18 EST
Subject: Sewing Machine Graveyard located!

I have located a retired Sewing Machine repairman who also had been a dealer
for Singer, Pfaff, & Bernina over the past 40 years. He is presently wanting
to clear out his storage areas & sell his spare parts he had collected over
the years. I visited with him last night & was overwhelmed with all of the
bins just stuff with parts (new & used) for all kinds of machines. He said he
had several storage areas stuffed with over several hundred different
machines. (he had only one FW though) He has several 101 & 201 machines
stored. He has a brand new FW case still in the box...never opened & not for
sale....yet. He noted he had original brand new needle plates for the Singer
101 machines he'll sell for $10 each. He had 100's of new bobbins for the 15
class machines. Belts, lights, handwheels, and many, many more parts &
notions. I bought a Singer Walking Foot for the low shank machines...had never
seen the Singer Low Shank walking foot before in the box with the original
Since he is not on the Internet & doesn't have access to a computer, he asked
me to help dispose of his surplus supplies & parts. I'll notify him when
someone has a particular part needed & ask if he has it & how much. Just let
me know of your needs & wants....I'll pass it on to him & get back with you.
He is not at home most of the time & wishes to handle it this way. 
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 09:52:30 EST
Subject:  The Road Less Travelled?

After reading all the replies regarding Singers, Kenmores, and Berninas, I
feel like the rebel!  I too started sewing on a FW as a young girl.  My
husband was SO proud when he purchased a $159 Kenmore for me when we were
newlyweds.  It served me well.  I then picked up a Singer Golden Touch and Sew
at a garage sale that never worked properly.  A love for heirloom sewing
prodded my purchase of a Pfaff 1471,  6 years ago.  I never knew how relaxing
sewing could be till I got my Pfaff!  Of course one thing led to another, and
now I sell them for a living. This week I brought home a 7550 and I'm having a
ball! I do love the old FW's and the charm of the old black Singers, I wish I
had the room and the time (and the money) for one of
                 Happy New Year to everyone!
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 12:44:33 -0800
Subject: Sewing machine parts...

I am posting for my sewing machine repairmanwho has a lot of old parts
some which are no longer made. He would like to sell out lots at
wholesale to any interested buyers. If you are interested please send me
an email with your phone number and address and I will pass it along.
This man has been in the business for many many years and is extremely
knowledgable in all types of machines. Thanks
Date: Wed,  7 Jan 1998 13:01:15, -0500
Subject: FW Fanatics 1/4/98

Hi Everyone!
I'm un-lurking here with a few questions, but first I would like say 
how much I enjoy reading this list.  I"ve learned so much from it.  I 
have a small collection, a Grasshopper, a 99K, a 128 and my prize 
possession--a 1916 Red Eye treadle.  I have other machines too, but 
those are my babies.
Since I got my treadle, a friend of mine has been on the lookout for 
one too. Last night we went to look at a machine, it was a Singer 66, 
but the decals on the machine were a coral and green type flower, it 
almost looked like a tulip.  The cabinet was made from mahogany, or 
at least that's what it looked like.  I looked at the serial #, but 
couldn't tell if the first digit was a number or the letter "I".  I 
know if the serial # starts with a number, then it's pre-1900, were 
66's made then?  Also, there was some rust on the treadle itself, but 
it operated smoothly.  Is there a way to remove the rust and not 
damage it, and if so, how would we go about it?  We were thinking to 
have it sandblasted, but the rust is very light.  I would appreciate 
any information on how to go about restoring it.  My friend hasn't 
bought it yet, she wants to know if it's worth putting the time and 
money into it.  The seller is asking only $50, but she would have the 
head chemically cleaned and the cabinet needs to be refinished.
I would appreciate any information.  It really is a pretty machine, I 
never saw decals like this before.
Happy Quilting,
Cathy J
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 07:57:06 EST
Subject: Hello, I am still here

Christine. Alive and well. Thanks for asking.

Yes, I do have some quilting block patterns (FW & Book Block) back ordered,
but they should be out soon.  Thank heavens my order policy does not call for
payment in advance. I feel guilty about not shipping right away, but I would
feel terrible if I had the money first. New batch printed up.

Happy New Year.

Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 10:00:13 -0500
Subject: Cults???

On 1-2-98, Linda   wrote:  ...but (no offense Sue) I think
Bernina people are rather in a cult type relationship with their
machines and others who own them.

......and SINGER collectors and FWFs AREN'T???!!!????

Thanks for the side-splitter, Linda!  :)

Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 10:06:56 -0500
Subject: Oakland Museum update

For all those interested....I received a lot of email about "The Oakland
Museum"....so much in fact it really has turned me off checking it out.
From what I've gleaned from the Email & local people who've been, it seems
he has some machines, is rather rude. Getting to see the machines is a
feat. It's questionable if there's enough to call a museum, but
interesting. I'd certainly not take a special trip to see it.

I will make it a point to get there in the next few weeks. He's not there
until after 2:00 PM & I've only got 2 days a week I possibly could get
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 11:45:55 EST
Subject: Re:  Fabric moves freely under presser foot

I had a wonderful Christmas........hope you did too!!  My DH bought me another
FW.  He says it is white. Guess it just doesn't look real white on my white
sewing cabinet.  Came in a light green & cream case with attachments and a
book.  After the rush I took it out to give it a try.  For a moment I thought
the feed dogs were down.  I can move the fabric while sewing.............like
free motion quilting.  I don't think this is right.  He got it from Dale
P .  I tried to email him with the address I found online but it didn't
work.  Does anyone have an email address for him .  Isn't he the father
of Gailee?  I want to sew on the little beauty, but his is annoying.
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 11:19:04 -0500
Subject: Kanmore 158***


>> 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). >>

How synchronistic...I just posted about the same machine in my last post.
BTW there are several models of that machine with different extras.

It hasn't come up yet, but you'll be reading about that soon. From what
I've learned it was made by Jaguar for Sears. It's a very nice gift. I'm
using mine more & more. It's so easy to carry from place to place. I sit on
the floor & work with it while watching TV. I like the class 15 shuttle.
It's easy to clean and unjam if needed. Mine hasn't jammed though to think
of it, but if it did cleaning it wouldn't be a problem.

TTYL   Carla
Date: Wed, 07 Jan 1998 15:14:57 -0800
Subject: misc

Re: Christing , I too ordered a pattern and did not receive a
mailing. In a subsequent email Christine told me of major computer
problems so I think she might still be fighting that battle.

I found an unusual sewing machine collectible yesterday. It is an oval
oil can, green and yellow with WHITE SEWING MACHINE OIL written in slant
on both sides of can. Lead spout with screw-on cap. Also, original box,
pretty much intact but it has absorbed a lot of oil in its day! I'm
curious if anyone else out there has one of these....???

Thanks to all those who offered a connecting plug for my model 24. As
soon as I get a moment, I'll do the connecting and get the machine
stitching again!

All for now. Millie
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 12:53:28 -0600
Subject: Model 99 Lunch Box

Hello everyone,

I hope you folks aren't growing tired of my questions on the lunchbox
singer I spotted in that antique store.  I didn't get a real good look at
it when I was there.  The town it is in is about an hour away, and this
Saturday will be the first day I will can finally break away from work to
get back there to get a better look at it.  I remember the case is in worn
condtion with a battered cardboard box full of attachments.  The machine
seemed to have the gold trim in good condition.  I can't remember there
being a knee or foot switch.  If this is missing would it be hard to aquire
one, and for how much money?  Would the switch for my FW221 work for this
machine also?  What would you pay for what I described with or without the

Thanks again,

Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/5/98
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 18:41:56 +0000

To Kay re Willcox and Gibbs

Kay wrote...... 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?  ..................

Short answer is no. The movement of the rocking arm is controlled by a cam
inboard of the pulley wheel and a connecting rod. I have never experienced
this problem in hundreds of these models. If something is bent is can only
be the arm, yet I can't understand how this would happen. Check that the
pivot  screw is tight  and that the small guard between the rocking arm and
the frame of the machine is in place -- the pivot screw goes through this.

Your oiling program sounds excellent

Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 14:02:52 -0500
Subject: Post

Hi All, hope your holidays were pleasant!
I need a replacement motor for DW's Pfaff 1471. I'd prefer a new motor, but
a good, used one would be OK. The Pfaff pn is 902-1002-703. This machine is
12 years old. DW wore the first set of motor brushes out in eight (8)
years. Then she opened Stepping Stones Quilts and wore out the second set
in less than four (4) years. Trouble is, she wore the brushes down to the
springs and scored the communtator, but good. I tried resurfacing the
communtator, but the phenolic interspace between the copper pads is
bubbling in places and is deteriorating the brushes enough to rescore the
pads... Alternatively, if someone had a good, used 1471 for sale, that
might be an option too! Thanks, regards, and Happy New Year! ...Chris
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 14:09:47 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 1/5/98


I have a question - I keep seeing "eBay" - what is that?

Please advise 

Also I know you want to keep this to fw's but does anyone know anything about
the old "white" machines - this is so old that it has oil cups????

Any clues, books, values, etc..

Date: Wed, 7 Jan 1998 18:09:50 EST
Subject: Re: Sue's Survey

I have a modest collection of seven FWs and a Bernina 1260.  Since I bought my
first FW last March, I do all of my piecing on them.  Also, I take classes at
Guild every month and at all the Quilt Shows I attend, and always use my FW
because of its portability.  I still use the Bernina for machine applique and
some of the decorative stitches on Crazy quilt work.  I would like to learn
machine quilting - so far I have done all my quilting by hand - and will use
the Bernina for that if I don't find a 301 that  I can buy.  The class I took
using my FW is the first one in which I could keep up with the pace of the
rest.  It seems to sew faster than the Bernina, as well as more accurately.
Also of note:  I don't have a cat, but my dog curls up on the bottom of the
quilt while I am hand quilting
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 20:14:42 EST
Subject: old machines

I am a strong believer that all my machines must sew or go.  The ones we are
talking about are not that rare.  If I had one that was rare I would still use
it.  If it is rare then I would keep or work on it.  I do not strip the paint
nor make them "show room" ready.  I want them clean, working properly and with
all the parts used as they were when bought.  Mods are made only if it would
have been done at the time period I got it.

All of mine are used.  At least 1 time per month.  I prefer the tredle as it
is not as noisy as the electric.  Those that zigzag are a little louder than
the straight stitch.  That is because they zz all the time,  for a straight
stitch it is zz at 0 width.  

If the finish is pretty I keep it protected with a good grade of auto wax.  I
watch them carefully as this is the easy thing to damage.  I keep a small
basket next to me with the scissors and pins in it to prevent damage.  A lot
of trouble....no I have alway done that.

Date: Thu, 08 Jan 1998 17:52:54 -0800

I recently purchased a Singer New Family SM.  It is like the one on page
173 of Carter Bay's Encyclopedia of Early American SM's except the
machine I have seems to be smaller.  The first patent date is Sept 10,
1846 and the last date is Oct 9, 1855.  There are two numbers on the
right side of the machine on a plate.  The left hand number is 479543
and the right hand number is 378543 which matches the number under
the patent plate and elsewhere on the machine.

I've tried repeatedly to get through to Singer on the date of
manufacturer and to obtain a copy of the manual but have been unable to
get through.  Can anyone tell me anything about this machine?  I have
only the machine, treadle cabinet, top and key.  No manual or
attachments.  I'm wondering what attachments should have come with the
machine and how to thread the shuttle up.  This is different then my
other treadle because the shuttle looks like half a shuttle with several
little holes (very confusing for someone who doesn't know a whole lot
about the machine).   

Any help would be appreciated.  Kay
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 22:21:03 -0500
Subject: What to look for...

I've been following the discussion of Bernina vs. FW with interest. For a
couple of years, I've been thinking (dreaming!) of buying a Bernina (to
replace Grandma's Touch-N-Sew).

My question is for those of you who have a Bernina, is there any model or
feature you DON'T like; or, a feature you don't have, and desparately wish
you did?
The Bernina is so many light-years ahead of my machine, it's hard to know
just how many bells and whistles I really need...!

Please reply with any advice...

Susan K,
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 22:08:50 EST
Subject: Re: elna grasshopper

I have recently noticed a couple of postings for the elna "grasshopper"  - one
on ebay as well as a couple of others for sale rather than auction .  Visually
they are charming in an ugly sort of way  .I decided to contact my local Elna
repairman to see if he had any -- this is a person I feel is trustworthy and I
could actually SEE the machine.  He told me some very interesting problems.
He had never heard the term "grasshopper".  We concluded that it was the elna
#1 made around 1940+.  He says that they no longer make parts for this machine
and so it would be impossible to keep in running order if used.  One problem
was the plastic against brass gears.  This was done to make the machine
quieter but the plastic gears wear out and deteriorate.  None are available.
Does anyone  have one and what are your thoughts on the subject?  We discussed
the Featherweight and he said that all of the parts are still available -
pricey but available.  I asked about getting parts from other machines and he
said that wasn't feasible as the same parts wear out.

Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 22:46:54 EST
Subject: Berninas and FW

This is my first posting but have been happily lurking (and learning) for a
while.  I have two FW's and a Bernina 1260--all much adored and much used.  I
used to have a (very good) Viking and, in fact, taught at the local Viking
dealer.  I must say, though, if Bernina owners are cult-like in the admiration
for their machines, I'm a cult member.  When I first bought the Bernina, my
husband said "Was it worth it?" ('cause they are pricey and I had to pay
retail rather than the almost wholesale for Viking)--I replied that it was
like sewing on a real sewing machine after using toys all my life.  

Two granddaughters (ages 6 and 7) are learning to sew on the FW's.  They are
the  third generation to learn on one machine.  Tomorrow they are going to 4H
with the FW's (and grandma) and will probably delight a lot of little girls.
I use my FW's for classes but have just purchased a 301 which I will be taking
to classes in the future, I imagine.

Thanks to you all for all your invaluable posts.  You led me to the 301 as
well as maintenance on my FW's.


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