Featherweight Fanatics Archives



Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 02:12:27 -0600
From: Shirley Weitz 
Subject: How to start with new machine?


   I found it!  After years of looking, I finally found what I hope is
the machine of my dreams:  AK396951 (1952 according to the Nancy
Johnson-Srebro book), looking to be in mint condition with everything in
it (including the Christmas card giving it to the recipient).  It was at
a flea market for $45!   Question is:  what do I do now?  I don't want
to mess it all up now by breaking something first time I try it.  The
manual says:  221-1 "Lock Stitch for Family Use with Foot Control", so I
have all the directions plus Nancy's book.  Do I just plug it in as if
I'd gotten it new, or should I bring it to a sewing machine repairman
first to get all the "cobwebs" out?  (The carrying case just has a
slight mildew odor; it is all in fantastic-looking shape!)  I don't want
to do anything that will ruin the machine before I start.  Help!  Also,
does anyone know of a good repair person in the Princeton, NJ area if I
go the repairperson first route?  Thanks, I can't wait to start!


Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 02:12:27 -0600
From: "J.C. Elliott" 
Subject: What is it?

I recently purchased a Singer 128-23. Included with it was a box of =
accessories. I was able to identify most of them except the following,

*) huge contraption #121704 6" long - appears to zig-zag
*) #120983 - what is it?
*) #121706 - what is it
*) #121387 - pinker - but do you know what I can replace the small brown 
wrappings that go around the front feet with - there was one 
and it was very brittle and
broke off
*) these and numerous other accessories came in a 8 1/2'x 11 1/2" box 
fitted for the accessories. On the latch is "Eaglelock Co. - Terryville, 
Conn. USA" - was this kit made available by Singer?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, J.C.

Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 05:59:46 -0400
From: Mark & Linda Heminway 
Subject: FWF challenge

Sandy in OK said:
>  I am finishing a Quilt for the Kosovo project , Please everyone get 
> involved , the need is clearly a must for all Americans, For ,By the Grace of 
> GOD! there gos all of US.
>                               Sandy in Okla

Just a reminder, if you use your FW for this project, it qualifies for
the FWF challenge.  Just remember to take lots of 35 mm photos before
you send it off.
You can find guidelines on the new challenge at:
> http://ttsw.com/FWFanatics/Challenge99/Challenge99.html

Happy sewing!
Linda Heminway
Kingston  NH

From:  (Patti Cullins)
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 05:31:36 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 4/9/1999

Heard there are new F.W. models being made. Any owners out there? How do
they compare with old ones-like mine? do they sew good, what attachments
are included? Thanks Pat in Ohio.

Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 03:11:27 -0700 (PDT)
From: Barbara Owens 
Subject: RE 401A Problem

For Marilyn with 401A  problem - I had the same problem with the
decorative stitches on one of my 401s and went to Glen Williams (thanks
again Glen) for the solution.  This is another example of "if you don't
use it you'll lose it."  The 401 and 401As have built in metal cams for
decorative and ziz-zaz stitches. They can "freeze up" if not used.

Before you run to the repairman, try this:

First clean, oil and lube the machine.
If this doesn't solve the problem -
take the top off of the machine again.  
1. Use a penetrating oil on the cam area. (This can be purchased at an
auto supply or hardware store.)
2. Run the machine using the different decorative stitch settings.  
3. Clean the area.
4. Oil the area using a good quality SM oil.
5. Check your stitches.

Steps 1 - 5 may need to be repeated.  Mine worked after the second time.

From: "Bill Mitchell" 
Subject: Hostage W & G
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 00:10:10 -0700

Paula and Feathers,

A flood of letters from the FWF members would probably give the antique lady
holding the Wilcox and Gibbs hostage a heart attack. Then, I would have to
go to the probate court to get to bid on the machine. Perhaps a Kosovo style
aerial bombing would make her  want to come to the negotiating table? We
could enlist the British, Graham, and drop old derelict (1 rated) sewing
machines and parts from various countries on her.


From: (Reynolds, Carolyn)
Subject: Singer 66 treadle
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 01:22:58 -0700

I have inherited my grandmother's machine which was unfortunately =
sitting in a barn some where.  I think it is a model 66 treadle  with =
the serial number G8027715.  My husband and I were able to free it to =
run smoothly from the rust.  But unfortunately some of the finish is off =
of it,  and it needs the decals replaced.   Does anyone know where I can =
have this machine restored,  if possible?  It made me cringe to know it =
was like this.  Any help will really be appreciated. Thank you. Smiles =
to all my fellow collectors.  Carol in W.V.=20

From: Alice.Hayden
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 08:45:15 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 4/8/1999

<< Jacqui in Canada wrote:

Also, another question I have for eBay users....I cannot for the life of me
figure out why someone would start the bidding at $25.00 when the reserve
is $600.00 or $625.00! With my logic, I would figure out that if I bid
anywhere under $600.00, I would not get that machine.  Am I missing
something here?  I'd love to be enlightened on this. >>

I agree and find it frustrating; but the vendors rarely tell you what their
reserve is.  I say that they should forget reserves and just start the
bidding at their 'reserve'.   When I've 'won' bids under the reserve, upon
occassion I will meet the reserve and buy the item; but other times I feel
the reserve is too high (at least for me it is).  I suppose it is part of
supply & demand.

I'm not bitter    ;-)
Alice Hayden
( who started making a Quilt for Kosovo this weekend with her niece &
nephews, many hands & scissor make for swift work)

From: MMquilts
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 12:51:30 EDT
Subject: Help

Hi Feathers:

	Thanks to all who helped with my 401 problem.  The machine is up and 
running great!  Now, I need an original manual for it and for my 301.  Does 
any one have the original manuals for these machines that they would sell?

	Thanks so much.


Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 12:25:05 -0500
From: Loretta Milliken 
Subject: Freebreeze

Someone asked about using that new "mildew-smell-good" product called
Freebreeze.  I bought it and found that I didn't like the 'slick' it leaves
on things.  Everything I sprayed it on I ended up washing it off!  I found
it is one of those products that sounds good, but wasn't worth it.  On an
extra info note:  after I used the product my birds died (perfectly healthy
and just went!) when I called the pet store the first thing they asked me
was if I had ever used Freebreeze!  They had people calling with problems
with that product and their birds.  So you know I won't be using it.  Apple
cider vinegar on a damp cloth will get rid of most smells. I've used it
with great sucess, works on skunked dogs and really ripe male goats.  If it
can kill the odor on those two  it can work on anything!

A comment about asking what someone will take for an offer on a machine.
Rule of thumb: "he would mentions price first looses!"  The only time I'll
break that rule when the deal is so good and I know it and they don't.
Like the time someone was selling the FW table, to him just a 'sewing
table', didn't want to bring it back in the house, I asked him the price:
$5.00 and gave him the $ and left dancing!

Happy Hunting everyone!
Loretta, sewing by Buzzards Bay

Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 11:28:24 -0400
From: Liz Richardson
Subject: part needed and question

My son, bless his heart, found a FW at a flea market several weeks ago,
hidden under boxes of old tools and pretty beat up.  I've congratulated him
repeatedly on his sharp eye and have even greased his palm for his find
(shame on me).  In addition to looking pretty bedraggled, the machine is
missing a presser foot but, happily, does have the bobbin case!  I am
searching for part number 45321, original not reproduction, and would
greatly appreciate any leads you can give me.  Also, I am very lucky to
have two other FWs, one a Centennial, in absolutely beautiful condition,
but this is not the case with my most recent acquisition.  I hate to post
this question since it has probably been answered so many times, but could
you please tell me the best way to clean the exterior of the machine?  It's
not incredibly dirty, just kind of gummy and brownish.  I've taken apart
the innards and done the oiling and lubing, and she sews right along,
albeit with somewhat of a "clacking noise."  I really appreciate your

Liz in northern Vermont

From: PaulaFOH
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 14:51:50 EDT
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 4/9/1999

Hi all,

I just received an old , all metal, Singer oil can from ebay. It arrived with 
oil all over  it due to the spout being loose from the can. When I try to 
tighten the lid, the spout turns also. Were these made this way or have I 
purchased a bad can? Thanks for any help. Paula

From: "Bill Mitchell" 
Subject: Visualizing and Acquiring a 221
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 08:12:32 -0700

To All Feathers Searching Out FW.

In answer to several who wanted to know more about "Visualizing" and

Try "visualizing" a featherweight. While visualizing it, imagine yourself
receiving it and paying the $25 for it. See yourself doing this. Then,
imagine yourself putting it in your car and driving home with it. Cut out
pictures of a featherweight and paste them up on your bathroom mirror, your
refrigerator and on your auto dash board. Then, just let it go and relax and
forget about it. Keep watching the classifieds and go to garage sales.
One will come to you that way. This is how a professional salesman helps to
boost his sales. I was one time the No. 1 in sales at IBM in the U.S. by
using this technique. After I left there, I helped an IBM salesman friend
become tops in sales in the U.S. by using the technique. My son became the
top Saleman in the U.S. at Lincoln National Life Insurance Co. in his first
rookie year there. He remains on top all the time now. In later years, I
became the top lister in La Jolla in real estate, using this technique. It
really works. Sometimes I forget and bring it out again. It works every
time I work on it. Try it, you will like it.

Bill Mitchell in San Diego

Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 22:42:42 -0400
From: Nadine Thompson 
Subject: darning foot

I have what looks like a darning foot - NOT part # 160717, but
121094...It is a smaller version of the darning and embroidery foot you
find(160717)...Is this a darning foot for a FW?  Thanks!!


Subject: darning foot

Just sent the message re: the darning foot...I've researched (thanks,
accessories page on FWF), and it is a darning "spring" foot.  Did this
go to any special attachment?  Like, the stocking darner or some other
such thing?  Can I use it for mending or can I use it for free-motion
with my amoeba footplate...(not that I would, I love my FW for piecing


Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 06:54:04 -0700
From: Shirley Weitz 
Subject: Nancy Johnson-Srebro book


  The edition of the Johnson-Srebo book I have is from 1992 and I
noticed a posting mentioning a 1997 edition.  Is the new edition that
much different from the old?  Where can I get a copy if it is?  I just
bought a 1952 FW (see my previous posting today) and can't wait to
start!  (You can see how long I've been looking for one, from 1992 or so


From: Mary Crowley
Subject: RE: FW Fanatics 4/8/1999
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 20:51:24 -0400

If anyone lives in the DC/Balto area and is interested in a FW, I saw =
last weekend in an antique market for $225.00.  email me at
marygbmd and I will give you directions.

Subject: Re: Featherweight question
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 99 07:15:46 -0500
From: Lisa  

Sharman Neel said:

>I am considering purchasing my first Featherweight and the model I'm
>looking at says ES649355.  Would this be a good one to start with?  Just
>nervous about getting the right one.


That's the serial number.  From it we can tell that the machine was made 
at the Scotland plant.  If you call Singer, they can probably provide you 
with an approximate date of manufacture.

Other than that, the number doesn't tell us much about the machine.   
You'll have to judge for yourself whether the machine is a "good one."

Lisa in Illinois

Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 10:42:06 -0400
From: Rena Tolbert 
Subject: New find with a happy dance..

Hello All-

    Had to share my newest find- a Singer 503.  Saw an ad in the local paper 
called.  Went to see it and there it was.  Kinda dirty but in very good
condition.  I tried it out and it sews a nice even stitch.  Cabinet is solid 
with 3 drawers that are dovetailed in the construction.  It has all the cams, a
load of bobbins, lots of needles includes a Boye wooden case with several
needles, the original manual and tons of attachments.  There is the original
lubricant and lots of little sewing items.  I was excited to see 4 thimbles, 2 
which I think are sterling silver.  And the cost for all of this--$50.  I am
definitely doing a happy dance.  I plan to clean it up and see what this baby 
do.  Just had to share with my friends.

                                                        Rena in Delaware

From: Feathrwate
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 08:47:02 EDT
Subject: Re:more sewing stuff

One more thing:  I have a manual for your 66

From: Amdezo
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 09:59:10 EDT
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 4/9/1999

In a message dated 4/12/99 1:35:38 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
FWFanatics writes:

<< s there any sort of support group
 forming for addicted SM collectors in Upstate NY?)
 Doug Marlow >>


This IS your support group, except that we just make each other want MORE and 
MORE. . . . .sort of the opposite of AA.


Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 08:31:56 -0500
From: Richard & Sharman Neel 
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 4/9/1999

For some reason Mar 8th email is arriving for April 9th.

Thank you for those who responded to my message, however it is now a
month old, and I did purchase this machine .

Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 06:33:50 -0700
From: Nancine Pike 
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 4/9/1999

Why would you trade a 319w for a FW?

This machine was Singers first attempt at cams, etc.  I have two, somehow.
Picked one up inside a 301 case!  If you want a copy of the manual, let me 
Value is nowhere near an FW, I've seen them go on ebay for $65.   If you try to
get this machine, you WILL need a manual to work the stitches, and there are
cams, and a box of the normal attachments (the box for 306 and 319 are
interchangeable).  Make sure you get that!




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