Featherweight Fanatics Archives



From:  (judy peters)
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 23:28:33 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Precision Built Manual

I was refer to you, that you might be able to help me.  I have a
Precision Built zigzag sewing machine, model #5401
MEP was also on the plate and also TN.
I figure the  TN-is Tennessee.  I realize it was made in Japan, but it
has been a good machine.  But I do need a manual.
I seem to have lost mine.  It is about 20 + years old.  

Thank you.

in Nebraska

From: princess
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 98 06:48:58 -0500
Subject: FWF: 306K

All my friends are seeing action recently (and not me). My friend got a 306K
yesterday and wants to know if anyone has a manual/copy. It seems like this
machine has cams (?)...does anyone have any accessories for sale?


Anne in Michigan


From: "Sarah Trainer Fish" 
Subject: RE: FW Fanatics 10/12/1998
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 08:47:09 -0400

Moonsage made reference to photocopying being illegal. I think it's only
illegal in this country  if you sell it.  Not sure about giving it away. It
runs in my mind that there was a Supreme Court decision several years ago
(involving video taping) that copying stuff for personal use was OK.
Anybody out there a lawyer?

On machine preferences, if I'm not using a treadle or a cranker I use one of
my Featherweights to piece. They stitch wonderfully and I can use the
machine anywhere as long as I've got a power source. If I'm doing something
that requires speed or heavy power, I use my Pfaff 230 or one of the "old
black Singers".  Will give an opinion on the 301 later...I'm picking up my
Mom's this weekend. I learned to sew on it, but haven't used it since I was
in High School.  Neither has she, which is why I'm getting it! I'm looking
forward to having it and using it. I've got a nice accessible spot all
picked out for it (its in a cabinet). I already have my paternal
grandmother's 66. Now both sides of the family will be represented in the
collection. Hmmm....maybe I'll have to do a quilt using both machines?

Sarah Trainer Fish
Saratoga Springs, NY


From: "Jeff & Sheri Lesh" 
Subject: Coats & Clarks Calendar
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 08:29:00 -0500

I am delurking long enough to ask if anyone on this list has a Coats &
Clark Trading card calendar that is old, but has the same years calendar on
it that will be 1999.  Someone on one of the lists that I belonged to a
year ago, scanned it and put it on a web site for us to use.  It was very
neat, and I copied it to card stock and laminated it and have used it at my
desk all year.

I thought since many of you collect sewing related items, it might have
been someone on this list.  I hope so, I would really like a new one for
the coming year. :)

Thanks, Sheri

Jeff & Sheri Lesh


Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 09:18:37
Subject: Re:  301 spots/rubber feet

Hi everyone:

All this talk about spots on the 301 had me run upstairs to check mine.  I
have a "mocha" coloured 301A with an NA serial number and it has no spots
on it that I can find.  Also, someone asked about the rubber feet?  DH just
goes to our local hardware store (the kind that sells everything from soup
to nuts and still has creaky hardwood floors!) and gets them there.  They
are reasonable in price and work great.  However, the chain stores such as
Canadian Tire (oops, just realized you guys don't have Canadian Tires in
the States :-), should also have them.  Mine were all worn off on my 301
and another 478 machine we had and DH replaced them and they're as good as

Jacqui in Canada 

From: Amdezo@aol.com
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 10:23:56 EDT
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 10/12/1998

I have been looking for an old sewing machine to sew slipcovers on, and told
my sister to keep her eyes open.  Well, she found a Singer 185J for me, it is
two-tone green in a green plastic case, I LOVE the color!  Even the belt and
little thing on the bobbin winder are green! (green is my favorite)  It seems
to sew well, and the only foot it has with it is a zipper foot (which I needed
to sew the welts!)  Does anyone have any attachments they would like to sell,
I don't want anything expensive, mainly just a straght stitch foot, would like
a darning foot sometime for quilting.  How do you all like this machine?  I
don't think I've seen any mention of it on FWF, is it a good one?  It was only
$15, so I'm pleased!  Also of interest to the quilters, I found an old quilt
top for $23 (I love bargains!)  It is 1930's fabrics, in great condition.
Grandmothers Fans, machine top-stitched down on a wide piece of muslin, will
fit a double bed if I ever get it quilted, the handles of the fans are bright
pink or bright green.  Really a pretty quilt!



Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 09:29:17
To: Featherweight Fanatics 
Subject: Re:  cool find

Hi all:

Went to clean windows for a little old lady in my Church yesterday.  We got
to talking about sewing machines (I wonder how that could happen?) and she
showed me her sewing machine.  She has a green, rough finish (don't know
what that's called) Husquvarna handcrank machine in a bentwood case with an
original oil can (the cutest little thing), screwdrivers, some feet, a
screwdriver with a wooden handle, lint brush and some old needles.  She
bought the machine brand new in the Netherlands 51 years ago just after
they got married.  It is in mint condition...I don't think there's a
scratch on the wood anywhere.....she's reallly, really fussy.  Used to do
housecleaning for her every week when she was sick and I couldn't miss a
thing, or she'd notice.  Here I am dusting and thinking about my next quilt
project or sewing machine and I forget where I've dusted.  The house is so
clean I can't see where I've been either.  Don't you just love cleaning a
clean house!!!  At least the windows were reasonably dirty, so we could see
the difference.

She also gave me a whole pile of sewing pattern books (the "Marion"...any
Dutch Fanatics on this list?).  It figured it would be fun snooping through
them at the old styles of the early 60's....however, what really ended up
being fun was all the sewing machine ads in there.  There were even some
ads for the Singers....401 and I believe some of the Touch and Sew kind of
machines.  The ad with one of the machines said you could get a free teak
sewing table to go with it if you bought the machine.  There were some
issues from 1954 and 1956, and I had hoped there would be an ad in there
for a 301, but it looks like Singer didn't start advertising there until
the 60's.  There are Pfaff ads and Elna and Husquvarna ads in there as
well.  There were ads for Pfaff 90, 92, 94 and 230.  One ad, (I believe
this was for Pfaff) said this machine was so quiet your baby would sleep
right through it and your husband would be fascinated watching you operate
this machine with the flick of a button....just like magic!!  Hilarious.
I'm thinking of colour photocopying a couple of the ads and enlarging them
and hanging them up.  

Well, those were my interesting finds for this week so far :-).

Jacqui in Canada

Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 09:13:34 -0700
From: Karen Moss 
Subject: Futura manual

Hello to all --

I was cleaning my closets and drawers over the weekend and found an
original and one copy of the Futura manual.  A machine I used to own and
-- gratefully -- no longer have taking up space in my house.

If any of you would like the manuals, I would be more than glad to send
them on to anyone.  Many years ago, I sewed clothes on the Futura and
thought it was okay, although I never had any luck keeping the tension
right.  I thought you were SUPPOSED to have to fight with your machine
all the time.  

Anyway, maybe some of you have one you got at a yard sale and want to
teach a kid to sew on it.  I'll send these to you if you want.

Karen in Tucson

From: Suetheob@aol.com
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 12:53:40 EDT
Subject: 301 serial number  --  Where?

Hi folks. I picked up a tan 301 a few weeks ago. But I don't know where to
find the serial number on it? It's not in the same place as on my 201. I have
looked all around the top of the machine. Is it on the bottom somewhere?
Thanks for your help, Sue

Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 14:26:09 -0500 (CDT)
To: FWFanatics@ttsw.com
Subject: new FWF

I haven't had much time to go hunting and I'm having trouble just keeping up 
with the digests as a new FWF was born on 9/27/98!

She was 2 weeks late and after a difficult birth for both of us, Abigail and I 
are doing fine.

I'm glad to have this digest to keep me even remotely connected to SM's and 

Pam in Albuquerque

Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 15:34:52 -0400
From: Cindy Borodkin 
Subject: State flowers blocks

Help!  I have misplaced the instructions for returning my
state flower block.  Can someone please email those
instructions to me?  Thanks!


Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 19:31:10 -0400
From: Stephen R Poe 
Subject: Finishes and varnishes and more

Been doing doing some thinking and experimenting on the varnish coat that forms 
the final barrier on black Singers.  I have to admit that I have a lot more 
experience with varnish (45 years of keeping up wooden boats) than I do with 
sewing machines (only started to think about the varnish problem recently - 
somehow had been very lucky up till lately).  Varnish has no pigment to protect 
it, so it breaks down when exposed to UV light, and can be damaged by a lot of 
other things - look at any varnished surface that is outside for a while - or 
the white rings on a piece of furniture.  I think the same thing happens to the 
varnish that protects the gold decals on our machines - hostile environments 
cause it to break down and flake off, exposing the japan coat and the decals.  
As far as I can tell, the japan coat is not a problem - if you have an area on 
a machine where the varnish has flaked off you can use a cleaner (mild 
abrasive) car wax and get a really nice shine.  I have carefully removed the 
(remaining) varnish on an old 15-91, and got a very nice looking finish on the 
remaining black finish.  But the decals - arrrrrgh - that is another story.  In 
the process of removing the varnish, also removed most of the gold, leaving a 
silvery ghost of the decals.  I think if you have a machine on which the 
varnish is really far gone, and this is going to be a "basic transportation" 
machine (a user) - then removing the varnish and polishing up the remaining 
japan finish seems to be a reasonable solution.   I don' think it is possible 
to remove the varnish and still have a chance of the decals surviving in good 
shape - might happen, but don't count on it.  It is sad to see something like 
an excellent running 201 headed for the knackers because the finish has been 
let go - lately I seem to have seen more machines that were great, except for 
the varnish gone bad, than with mech. problems.

On machines where the finish is still in good shape, I think maybe the best 
objective is to protect the varnish finish - I have been thinking that maybe a 
goal is to think of this like any other varnish finish (furniture, boats, etc.) 
- what would you do ?  wax it, don't get it wet, don't expose it to severe 
environmental conditions (cold and condensation seem to be a pretty fatal 
condensation).  I have been very pleased with the results from Johnson or 
Butchers wax, or even Pledge.  The bad varnish on the 15-91 mentioned above 
appeared due to storage in an unheated garage for a couple of years - "it did 
not look like that when we put it in there".  One more reason to keep your 
machines in the house, not banish them to the garage or storage shed.  I keep 
telling my wife this, but she remains skeptical about having them tucked in 
corners around an already bursting-at-the-seams house.

I have been noticing lately a lot of "buggered up" screws on machines I have 
been working on - in most cases due to the use of cheap and ill fitting 
screwdrivers.  An excellent source of quality screwdrivers are gunsmiths 
suppliers - those folks take no chances with messing up screw heads or damaging 
the finish - couple of good screwdrivers are really good insurance.

Finds?  I second the advice about asking for what you do not see at garage 
sales.  Was by one on Sat. - couple of nice older ladies, not much interesting 
stuff, but asked about sewing machines, and came home with a lovely 15-88K in a 
very nice walnut cabinet (with the stool) for $25.  They did not put it out 
because  1. it was too much trouble to bring down stairs, and 2. thought no one 
would be interested.  Wrong!  Always ask.

A last thought - if you could only have one sewing machine, what would it be?  
For me, the  five  I would choose would be: my Pfaff 130 (for canvas and 
sails), my blue and white Elna Supermatic (for everything, and I just got a 
second one), my 301 (for  putting together quilts and and little stuff), and my 
201 and FW (just because I like them so much).  Oh well, I tried.

And now home to get my 2 year old to bed, and then work on a doll quilt for her 
birthday (sometimes I wonder if I am the only nearly 60 year old guy doing doll 
quilts on a FW?)


Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 19:44:00 -0400
From: Lynn Robitaille 
Subject: New Williams

Hi Feathers,

Good friend of mine has inherited her Moms Treadle sewing machine...a
New Williams and is interesting in learning about it. I have quickly
scanned a number of websites but could not find any reference to a New
Williams. Can any one tell me about this machine or of any website

Thanks, Lynn in very wet Newmarket Ontario.
Lynn Robitaille

From: "Zoback" 
Subject: sightings
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 19:59:58 -0700

Hi Feathers=20
Went to a local flea the other day and there was a nice 99 (later one =
with reverse) in a cab. 95.00 firm. it was in excellent condition. I did =
leave it (got one). Heres a ? for you all... Remember the old commercial =
for the tottsie roll lolly pop.."how many licks does it take to get to =
the center of a tottsie Roll lolly Pop"??   WELL...
We have all gotton featherweights is various stages of the machines life =
from MINT  to a  c3 I'm wondering how much sewing does a machine go =
throught before it looses the stages of...first layer of laquor to the =
gold..then the gold..then the laquor under the gold then to just the =
black japan finish then basically down to metal. Has anyone sewn that =
much to take their machine that far!!!!!!
frish in cowtowm Nj.......
 I haven't because I switch so much from machine to machine

From: "William Mitchell" 
Subject: Sewing Mach Feet
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 18:55:01 -0700


Someone, a long time ago, suggested to use the thick water faucet =
washers for the feet on the bottom of a portable sewing machine. The =
washers are the ones that have the hole in the middle the size of the =
screw that holds it inside the water faucet. Get the large ones for the =
biiiigggg faucets.

Bill Mtichell in San Diego

Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 22:59:33 -0700
From: millie mackenzie 
Subject: Re: the courtesy of a response

Millie MacKenzie wrote:
> I just read TR Kelly's query as to the need to respond to for-sale
> listing requests, and I feel compelled to add my 2 cents.
> Everything a person does online takes time, from writing descriptions of
> items, to taking digital pics, to creating web sites, etc. I feel that
> the time it takes to respond to queries (yes, even 100) cannot be too
> much for the good will that the COURTESY OF A RESPONSE will win,
> especially when measured against the bad will that the lack of a
> response will elicit!  For myself, if I do not get a response from an
> inquiry I have sent, I am slow to bother that seller again! However, due
> to the certainty that periodic emails are destined to float around in
> cyberspace ad infinitum, I will resend an email in the hope that the
> second one arrives even if the first one did not.
> To sum it up, I guess the Golden Rule applies....
> Thanks for listening, Millie
> --
> Millie In CT
> http://www.dualcom.com/millie/

From: "Judy Holmberg" 
Subject: More 201 Frustrations
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 22:28:31 -0500

Hi, Feathers.  Me again, with the frustrating 201.  You may remember I had
lots of trouble with getting the machine to stitch using polyester thread
on the bobbin.  Thanks to you all reminding me that some older machines
don't like polyester, I switched to cotton and had no further problems. 
Got the straight line quilting done.  Now for more frustration.

I changed to the darning foot, dropped the feed dogs and tried to do free
motion quilting.  Now it won't stitch again.  Top thread keeps breaking. 
On the few stitches it will make, the bobbin thread looks pulled too tight.
 All I did was change the presser foot and drop the feed dogs!  OK,
rechecked the threading of the bobbin.  Changed the needle.  Rethreaded the
top.  And it still won't stitch!  So changed back to a regular presser
foot, brought the feed dogs back up and it works fine, tension looks good! 
Put the darning foot back on, dropped the feed dogs and it won't stitch! 
The first time I tried free motion quilting, it worked fine.  Now what do I
do?  I'm definitely ready to pitch this @#$%$#@ machine, and I know several
of you offered to take it off my hands, but it's too blasted heavy to ship!
Now what?  I want to get this quilt done!

FRUSTRATED in Kimberling City, MO


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