Featherweight Fanatics List Archives

Featherweight Fanatics
Digest of postings from Thursday, October 7, 1999

Welcome to all our new members!
To post a message - send it to: FWFanatics@ttsw.com
To post a message to the For sale list - sent it to: FWForSale@ttsw.com
Hi Everyone

Sorry for the delay in FWFanatics.  We had our internet line go on Thursday & didn't get a new line put in till this morning.  I'll have everything cought up by Monday.  Hope you are all having a good weekend


Sue T - List Mom
From: AlexSussex
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 09:33:29 EDT

Hi all
I just thought I would throw in a little observation about these poor 
treadles that get thrown away.
For years I have called at a convent called The Sisters of the Visitation. 
The first time I called I was taken to an out house full of old treadles, 
many were Victorian. Sister Elizabeth asked me to sort out three good ones 
for the convent to use and the rest I could do with what I liked. I fixed 
three beauties using the parts from the other machines, and they were moved 
to the main house. I loaded another three into my car. I still have them they 
are tucked away around the place. All the rest they dumped, there was just no 
point then to keep them, I know now we can cry but then it was not unusual to 
see sewing machines in skips.  In fact that is what started me collecting 
sewing machines.
Although I had grown up in the sewing trade I had not paid to much attention 
to old sewing machines. One day I was riding home on my bicycle and I passed 
a skip with six lovely old hand sewing machines on it. I stopped and even 
that young thought it was a terrible shame. No sooner than I got home I 
organised a lift back down to the skip but it was gone. From that point on I 
started to save machines from a similar fate. I know a man that used to work 
for Singers as a crusher (the person who was employed by the shop to destroy 
old machines) but that is another story.

The sister that used one of the treadles at the convent was very old and 
going blind. The last time I visited she was 93 and still doing the repairs 
to their black and white dresses (someone is going to tell me what they are 
called). Although she had terrible eye sight once the machine was threaded 
away she went at the speed of light. She used to keep a little bit of beeswax 
next to the sewing machine for two things, firstly to rub along the seam of 
anything that stuck to the sewing foot (brilliant for leather) and secondly 
to wipe over the end of her sewing thread before she tried to thread the 
needle. She told me it made the thread into a stiff point that she could then 
jab at the needle until it went through. To see someone use a treadle that is 
proficient at it is wonderful, there is a fluid rhythmical motion that is 
almost mesmerising. She could go as fast as an electric machine and stop in a 
flash. After each visit when I leave she blesses me and adds that she 
probably wont be seeing me again. I first visited her back in the eighties 
and she said exactly the same thing, now all these years later I am starting 
to think it will be me that is going to bite the dust.
The last time I called I had to wait as one of the nuns was having her last 
rites given to her from the priest. We all had to stop work and wait in 
silence as she passed away. After about forty minutes as bad as it was we all 
started to get impatient even the nuns were shuffling around, eventually the 
priest appeared and in a matter of fact voice told us that she was not going 
anywhere today except maybe to lunch. They have a wonderful dry sense of 
humour that few people see. 
I confess to having one of the treadle bases in my garden as a seat, it was 
the base of a boot patching machine and perfect for sitting on. I think I had 
better hide it before I get into trouble, actually it has worn very well and 
could quite easily be put back into working order.
Date:  7 Oct 99 06:23:40 PDT
From: robert batty 
Subject: needles

I have three Singers, 201-2, 221 (AJ), & 221k7 Light green.  I believe all
three take the same needle.  Am I right or wrong.  The books say 2020 15x1.  I
have some needles that say that, but wanted to get some extras.  I went to
Wal-Mart and got some Singer needles in a yellow plastic made by Singer.  They
were red top.  I noticed there were others that had a yellow top and said ball
point with a number I believe 2045.  Will these work?  I am thinking the red
is a sharp point and the yellow 2045 ball point is rounded so as not to pull
threads.  I would like advise on this.  Thank you.

Sincerely,  Bob & Mary Lou Batty  
From: (Mickie Herald)
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 14:35:00 -0700 (MST)
Subject: cheap FW

I am new to FWFs. I can't believe how much information is on this site.
I have a 201 Born in 1948. I really like it, but it is too heavy to take
to work with me. I have a job that allows me to quilt in my free time.
My finances won't allow me to pay the prices I see on FWs. I have looked
at thrift stores & yard sales with no luck. I would really love to have
a FW. If anyone has a low priced one for sale please e-mail me.
condition is not important as long as it works. Thanks in advance for
any info.

Mickie, in warm & sunny Tucson
Date: Thu, 07 Oct 1999 10:15:01 -0500
From: Gerrie Barosso 
Subject: shipping and naming

Hi, all,

Shipping:  I'm considering buying a non-Feather, rather expensive 5-yr old
machine from a bulletin board.  (Just seeing that in print makes me really
question my sanity.)  The owner said she would take it to a packing/mailing
store for shipping.  I remember a few comments on those but can't recall
the nature, pro or con.  My instincts say to forget it.  What do you folks

Naming:  On the front page of today's STrib is a picture of a tailor
sitting at her older black Singer.  The caption reads something about
so-and-so with her machine of 46 years, "Aggie."  It isn't just Feathers or
collectors who name them!  These two have worked together for a long time.
Couldn't tell the model but now I'm thinking that there was no light on the
back side so maybe it's a 201.


Gerrie in MN

Gerrie Barosso

From: "Swanton, Nancy" 
Subject: FW: FW Table
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 15:51:13 -0700

I, too, would be interested in finding the serial number on my FW table.
Have a feeling it doesn't have one...
I've looked all over and the only thing I can find is U17 stamped in the
wood of the insert. It is the table style with metal legs and brown metal molding around the sides. The insert has a metal gizmo that turns to open it. I know it is authentic and has all the original parts... It looks exactly like the one in the FW instruction manual.

Nancy in Malibu CA
"Always get the money up front" Dr. Jack Kevorkian
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 19:43:15 EDT
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics for 10/6/1999

Hi,  Has anyone heard about the new FW's made in Japan by AlphaSew.  they 
look just like the original and sell for $340.  All metal.
From: "lindahieb" 
Subject: FW from Nanna
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 10:01:49 -0700


We have inherited a beautiful FW from family and I would love to display it.  However, as many discarded items are, it is in a very dirty state.  
I am scared to do anything to it for fear of ruining the finish, etc.  Also, I would love to have it working again so I will have to replace the power cords.

Can I bring this to any sewing center for repairs or should I only trust certain dealers?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 23:22:18 EDT
Subject: What would you do???

I want to display a precious handcrank & treadle head on top a 5 foot high 
bookcase containing toy sewing machines. Got any suggestions how to display 
the SM's without letting dust settle on them? Best idea I've had so far is an 
upside down aquarium. Any & all ideas welcome!

Cindy...in beautiful Indianapolis where the freshly renovated Soldiers & 
Sailors Monument Museum opens tomorrow

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