Featherweight Fanatics Archives



Featherweight Fanatics A Service of Sue Traudt's Valley Brook Botanicals

Digest of postings from Tuesday, October 26, 2004 

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
To pay dues  http://ttsw.com/JoinLists.html
From: QuilterOZ@aol.com
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 20:23:14 EDT
Subject: odor removal and thread cutter 

When I got my first FW many years ago she had bad smell and case did too. I 
put her outside in sun, cleaned her  with all the many suggestions on list. 
Finally just left the top of case open in garage and forgot about it. Been a few 
years now and just checked and actually the smell is all but gone.  so guess 
patience pays off.  I want to be added to the list of using my thread cutter.   
I use it on any machine I sew with.

Peggy O. in IL


 Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 22:53:53 +0100
 From: Graham Forsdyke 
 Subject: Re: Featherweight Fanatics Monday, October 25, 2004
 To Janet who said
 >My Featherweight has begun skipping stitches. Can
 >someone tell me how
 >correct this problem.
 1) Check needle in correctly - flat to left- and
 threading from right to left
 2) Change needle
 3) Change thread
 4) Check for any lint build up
 5) Check tensions
 6) Check for any burr/rust spot on bobbin assembly
 To all re thread cutter:
 I thought I try it for the first time.
 Now I've a rather attractive Bandaid on my index
 To Pat B who wrote
 >Let's ask Graham how often he sits down to a sewing
 >machine and
 >actually sews
 >something?  (Graham:
 >testing the stitching of a machine doesn't count)
 So, why doesn't testing count?. You still have to
 cut the thread and 
 I guess I do that  a good few times with each
 machine. Also I reckon 
 you get a cleaner cut with a really good pair of
 snips and that's a 
 big advantage when it comes to threading.
 >Quite frankly I
 >doubt that
 >he's gotten into
 >piecing and quilting.
 What a cheek, I'll have you know that the block I
 made for the ISMACS 
 quilt contest was so highly prized that, at the
 insistence of the 
 organisers it was  auctioned separately for charity
 rather than being 
 included in a quilt..
 Cutting edge technology went into it  -- it's all to
 simple just to 
 sew a block. It takes real skill to make one with
 just a stapler and 
 a pot of glue
 >  Maybe we could talk him into
 >making a "blankie"
 >for his
 >dog Beckie?  How's
 >that for starters?
 She's got quilts. A couple of my customers have been
 good enough to 
 make them on their machines for her......
 To dutchrose
 Thanks so much for the kind words about your machine
 To Susan who wrote
 >Help!  My daughter will adjust her bobbin tension
 >her featherweight
 >the little
 >screwdriver) and it the stitch will sew perfectly
 >2 widths of
 >then it goes awry.
 The bobbin tension  adjustment screw is 
 deliberately deformed during 
 manufacture to keep it firm even when not fully
 tightened.  It should 
 have what looks like a little cross in the threaded
 end where the 
 metal has been slightly expanded. There is a way of
 fixing these but 
 it's a pain without the special tool so I'd suggest
 you try replacing 
 the screw.
 Not this Graham
 To all those who asked -- it wasn't me at the 
 recent class --- 
 another Graham from the UK. But if we are able to
 run the ISMACS 
 Convention next year in the US, yes, there will be
 Free Featherweight 
 classes for all.
 In defence of the white/green models.
 Yes, Singer did cut some corners cosmetically with
 this machine but 
 properly adjusted and serviced it will run and sew
 just as well as 
 any black machine --- and quite a bit quieter.
 All the parts that make the Featherweight, the best
 straight stitcher 
 are there..... and no corners were cut  on the
 mechanical side.
 Graham Forsdyke
 Purveyor of fine Featherweights to the gentry
 ISMACS London
 Bert's Vintage Repair Book Book: 
From: "ASheltra" 
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 10/25/2004
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 20:54:34 -0400

I am new would like the name of the bad sales? alma NH

From: BERNSMUS@aol.com
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 19:35:27 EDT
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 10/25/2004

Knitting is alive and well in naples, fl.
I am knitting a khaki hat and scarf for Israeli Soldiers in between my other 
I have also sent a quilt for a  victim of terror.
We have an on line quilting group who is doing this and we send batting, 
and rulers too.
lyn in naples, fl.

Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 16:07:25 -0700
From: ikwlt@cox.net
Subject: setting not held

does she then have to again adjust the tension on the bobbin?  the bobbin
isn't keeping the tension?  i'm not sure if this is the 'mechanical'
solution, but i'd bet that if she put a drop of clear fingernail polish on
the screw after adjusting it, and then allowed it to dry completely, it
would hold for her.

hopefully someone might have a better fix for it, but if not i think it's
at least worth a try.

Help!  My daughter will adjust her bobbin tension on her featherweight
the little
screwdriver) and it the stitch will sew perfectly for 2 widths of
then it goes awry. 
susan in Alaska

From: JennDevine1@aol.com
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 18:36:30 EDT
Subject: Re: How to sharpen the thread cutter on your machine

How to sharpen the thread cutter on your FW.  I used a sharpening stone on my 
1938 221.  It is a gingher brand, made for sharpening scissors but any 
sharpening stone that is flat will work.  You can find them at WalMart in the 
sporting goods department.  Do NOT buy a curved, or circular one.

Using a magnifying glass, notice the cutter has an angled edge on the very 
top.  Hold the flat side of the sharpening stone at the same angle as this sharp 
edge, matching the angle perfectly.  Move the stone back and forth smoothly.  
Work the stone around the curve and you'll get it done.

I did mine while it was on the machine (I covered the feed doggies, removed 
the scroll face, etc).   Now it cuts without hardly an effort!

Let me know if I can help with anything!

~ Jenn

Design Inspirations
Research Triangle Park, NC

From: "Frish" 
Subject: new machines
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 17:25:34 -0400

Hi Feathers, haven't posted in months!!!!!!!!   Pat your in my prayers.  We
go way back to the early days of FWF's I know I've ben here since 1996 and
you have taught me a few things!!!!!!!   I have been VERY lucky in the last
few months picking machines up at auctions.... I sell also but always like
to keep at least 2  of each in my personal
collection.....................lately I've done well, (I love the comments
especially with women....."nobody sews anymore".....who would buy an OLD
sewing machine...they don't even know if it works"...LOVE those
auctions....................well this is the only place I can brag so here
it is:

(2) 401's    total 5.00  (actually 1.00 for one because they passed on it)

(3) 201's one came in a portable case the other 2 I took out of the
cabinets...............10.00 total

(1) 500 portable complete ....2.00  gorgeous definite keeper its got the red

I also got 3 treadles cheap,  its been a good fall................frish in
s. jersey

got 13 treadles already in my collection its getting hard to decide which
one's to keep!!!!!!!!  I refinish and want them all................WOW what
an addiction!!!!  I like it because I can't smoke it or drink

From: "Elizabeth Wright" 
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 10/25/2004
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 15:02:10 -0500

Need help with a thread guide (not found on Graham's site)  .... the 
thread guide is a horizontal pin about one inch long, located above the 
numbered tension guide....

The one on the machine is broken off level with the frame of the FW..... 
 however, I tried to remove the remainder of the pin with a pair of 
needle nose pliers .  And  no luck.....It won't budge....

Has anyone removed/changed out one of these?  If so, how did you do it?  
And is the thread guide available anywhere?

Many thanks, Elizabeth

From: "Cynthia Garcia" 
Subject: thread cutter
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 15:14:22 -0500

I do use the thread cutter on my Featherweights.  I know Graham would 
agree that we should keep our sharp scissor points away from our pretty 
babies!  If we could only sew without pins and scissors our FW finishes 
would still be perfect.  But I think the marks add character.  I would 
like to see a photo of the FW that one of our members has that has a 
little child's drawing scratched into it.  My mother had a pretty maple 
coffee table that had  C I N D...carved on it.  I got caught right in 
the middle of the "D".  
Take care,
Cindy Garcia
in NE Illinois by the Lake
P.S. I agree that the older models with the silver handwheel and 
scrolled faceplate are very eye catching.  It would be hard for me to 
pick a favorite model though.

QUILTS, MACHINES???  take a look:

From: "Jo Reid" 
Subject: FWF care class in NC
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 15:37:32 -0500

BlankI too attended the class with Glenn, Tony and Graham on Friday.
They kept us busy taking apart things too small to see without our 
glasses!  Thank goodness they had fixed us a plate with a magnet on it!  

Had a wonderful time in the area with all the antique shops and a very 
nice quilt shop that stayed open late for us.
Thank you to Maxine for setting this up, I know it was alot of work.

So if you ever get the chance, take one of these classes.  It really 

Jo in Alabama

From: "Sharon Schiller" 
Subject: password
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 13:22:17 -0400

... I'm also looking 
for the person who sells tolex (case covering).

From: Pkgczarina@aol.com
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 12:23:25 EDT
Subject: Thread cutters

I am another who uses my thread cutter all the time.  Susan

From: Jane Driscoll 
Subject: Singer fashion cams/discs
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 11:44:27 -0500

I'm new to this list and enjoying it very much. I have a portable 
Singer 128 I bought 35 years ago and have just acquired a very nice 
503a in a great cabinet from a lady upstairs. I do volunteer sewing at 
the Woman's Club of Evanston and one of my jobs is maintaining our 15 
Singer 99s, most of which were purchased in the 20s.

My new 503a takes the drop-in top hat black fashion discs/cams. What 
beautiful stitch patterns they make! The machine came with the original 
9 discs and, with persistence, I found the rest of the 22 discs on 
ebay. I used a thread holder board and hung them all up on the wall 
above the machine. They make a great sewing room decoration and now I 
can easily find the one I want.

Jean Potocki wrote:
From: "jean potocki" 
Subject: roadside 500a
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2004 14:40:01 -0400
. . . Does anyone know if the cams from some of the other machines like 
503 603 etc. would fit this machine?

I have a pdf file from Bob Bannen I got from the website for sew2go. I 
can't seem to find the web link to get back to the file. If you write 
me, I'll e-mail it to you. It shows great pictures of three types of 
fashion discs: flat black, top hat black, and top hat white. Your 500a 
takes the same black top hat discs as the 400, 500, 600, and 700 series 
sewing machines. If you're using ebay, these may be called fashion 
discs, fashion disks, special discs, stitch cams, top hat cams. The 
discs were sold for the Touch n Sew. They should be relatively easy to 

Barbara Penn wrote:
Subject: Looking for additional discs for Singer Style-O-Matic 328
From: Barbara Penn 
     I did a search on the web for discs for the Singer Style-O-Matic 
328 . . . I
have the discs that originally came with my machine, but am trying to 
others that were available for purchase long ago that I now wish I had
bought . I am specifically looking for discs #4, 7, 8 , 11, 12, and 

Your machine takes the flat black cams. The pdf file from Bob Bannen I 
mentioned above will show you what they look like. If you want the pdf 
file, send me an e-mail. I didn't see the flat cams very often while I 
was hunting for the top hat ones on ebay. They may be more difficult to 

Here is some more information on the cams I found.

 From 2001, I found this on FW Fanatics:
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2001 11:57:38 -0700
From: Jim Sorrell 
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 8/18/2001

Hello All
Subject "Cams"

Singer has only used four  types of cams. The first was introduced on 
the 306. They are flat with a notch inside the hole that alignes with a 
pin on the top of the camstack. They have the picture of the stitch and 
a number. These will work on the 306,319,328,338,348,200 series 
"Fashion Mate" models, and some of the cheap Singer Merritt models. I 
may have forgotten one or two but you get the idea. The next was 
introduced on the 401 it has a grip on top of the cam for removeal and 
insertion. It also has a picture of the stitch and a number. It will 
work on the 401, 403, 500,503, all 600 and 700 series Touch and Sew 
machines. The third was introduced with the 700 series Touch and Sew 
machines that was when Singer introduced the "Flexi-Stitch" which was 
used on stretch fabric and special decorative stitching. The last were 
the ones used on the "Futura" series 900,920 etc. These were also 
"Flexi Stitch" cams. They are flat and dont have a grip on top and a 
picture of the stitch. I hope this helps. If any of you have a special 
question please email me personally and I will try to help you.

Thanks and happy collecting Jim Sorrell
Chico, Calif
http://www.sew-rite.com  --

From: "Barb Brummond" 
Subject: case interior
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 12:40:44 -0400

My featherweight case doesn't appear to have any lining in it.  I think it
may have been repainted at one time.  Should it be lined?  What fabric and
method would be recommended for doing this?  The leather handles appear
original, there is wear at the bottom of the handle were it links to the
case.  This is showing a bare, exposed paper like area.  Should I cover
this?  The handle appears study and firmly attached to the case, but should
I limit how much I actually use the handle?  Thanks everyone!  I've learned
so much!  Thanks to all who sent me info on my Baby's birthday, 12/10/48 and
it's chatter.
Barb Brummond

From: "Carolyn F. McElrath" 
Subject: Knitters all
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 09:02:32 -0700

I have enjoyed reading of those who knot socks!  Years ago I was as 
smoker, worked in an insurance office, and had to have a smoke whenever 
I was on the phone.  A serious bout of flu (Hong Kong was its name then) 
convinced me I had to be a non-smoker, and probably saved my life.  I 
figured if I could just not smoke anymore after recovere I would hav it 
licked.  And it worked, except what to do with my hands as I watched TV 
at home.  That's when I took  up knitting, and eventually came to knit 

My favorite kind of socks to knit now are fingering yarn washable wool, 
just classic ribbed top, and stockinette stitch for foot.  If made to 
fit over a pair ofcotton anklets, these are wonderful for those who 
suffer from cold feet, or arthritic feet.  the cotton anklets inside the 
wool socks make sure anu moisture is wicked away from skin.  I have to 
have this luxury foot covering all winter.  And I have given many pairs 
of to friends and family.  Kids who wear boots ( I have four 
grandchildren in Alaska) enjoy them in a style with longer ribbed top.  
They will wear for many years if treated well. 

Thanks for sharing about knitting socks.  Carolyn in North Texas

From: JennDevine1@aol.com
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 11:18:54 EDT
Subject: repeating my post about the refurbished 222

Just in case anyone missed the first post...

NO, it was not Graham who sold me the refurbished 222.  So stop writing him 
and asking him if it was.

NO, I will not tell you who it was.  I wrote to the seller 2 days ago, and it 
is a bit early to roast the guy, don't you think?  I do realize you are 
trying to help me, but lets let a little calm reign here?

If I am anything, it's FAIR.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto 

~ Jenn

Design Inspirations
Research Triangle Park, NC

Subject: Captive FW
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 08:36:25 -0400
From: "Brenda Crumpler" 

I have a captive FW in a case that won't open. I have opened and closed
this case many times - and for some unknown reason last night one of the
latches must be jammed - but the latch won't open and I can't get to my

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I might persuade this latch
to move.  I don't have a key for the case - so I will be contacting
Glenn Williams to see if I can get one from him.

Is it possible that the one latch "locked" without a key?
I would appreciate any ideas of how I can set my machine free.
Thank you,
Brenda in NC

From: AlexSussex@aol.com
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 06:18:34 EDT
Subject: Alex

Hi Fluffies
Jenn, if you are unhappy with the  repainted featherweight, which by the post 
I assume you are if only a little.  Rather than demand a refund or send it 
back why don't you come to a fair  agreement with the seller and pay a fair 
price for the machine. If they are a  reputable dealer it will be in their 
interest to keep you happy, you know what  they say about the customer always being 
right! I am sure you will be able to  work it out, keep the machine and get a 
good deal.

Pat, you are in my  thoughts, keep strong, remember to smile at yourself in 
the mirror, always works  for me. As soon as I seen my ugly gob smiling at me I 
just have to  grin.
In England

 World Wide Quilting Page * Featherweight Fanatics Home Page