Featherweight Fanatics Archives



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

Digest of postings from Sunday, December 3, 2000

Welcome to all our new members!
From: "Gerald Holmes" 
Subject: EBAY
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2000 20:41:31 -0600

Good Morning All,
I'm going to get off sewing machines this morning,and get on ebay,I know a
lot of you as well as my self us it.Here lately it's taking me a long time
to down load the items I'm wanting to look at.So is my computer,my server or
is ebay just getting so busy that they can't handle it all?

Any one else having the same problem? I would like to know if it's ebay,and
if it is I guess I'll kiss them good by,I get sleepy sitting here waiting
for the stuff to load.
Gerald Holmes
Restorer of Singer Featherweight 221
Don't forget about the Arkansas Gathering of sewing
machine enthusiast in Hot Springs,Arkansas April 21,2001
At Cathy's Quiltin' Square 3256 Albert Pike
Albert Pike is highway 270 west.

Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2000 22:21:29 +0000
From: gf graham
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/1/2000

To cj who said:

>I love the purple or burble one what do
>you charge tooopaint one

I can't take credit for these -- you need to contact Gerald Holmes

To Barbara who said

>Graham said:
>  >Go see Jim at Tabics on  East Charlston, think it's number 1500.
>I thought the man at Tabics died.... didn't you hold an auction there a
>couple years ago??

Quite right, sadly Marvin Tabic is no longer with us but his 
right-hand man Jim is still at the shop.

Graham Forsdyke
Purveyor of fine Featherweights to the gentry

new dedicated Featherweight site

Diary date. Don't miss the first-ever ISMACS USA convention in 
Lowell, near Boston, on September 8-9, 2001

Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2000 21:18:44 +0000
From: gf graham
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/2/2000

To John who said
>A few years ago, I inquired at a sewing machine shop re: the value of a
>Featherweight machine I was told it was
>worth about $50,

Don't knock the dealer too much. He was probably going by the Blue 
Book -- notoriously inaccurate when it comes to older machines.

And that works to the FW fanatic's advantage.  You are much more 
likely to find a bargain price FW at a SM dealer than at an antique 
store or on ebay. And it will probably have been serviced and have 
had its vital electrical safety check.  Some of the best FW I've 
purchased in the US have been in small town Sew 'n' Vac stores

Graham Forsdyke
Purveyor of fine Featherweights to the gentry

new dedicated Featherweight site

Diary date. Don't miss the first-ever ISMACS USA convention in 
Lowell, near Boston, on September 8-9, 2001

From: "Kathy/Matt Vanacoro" 
Subject: Restoring
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2000 09:32:27 -0500

I am interested in getting my FW a nice paint job since I purchased it =
in a #5 position with chipped paint.  Do you know of anyone in the NY/CT =
area who does this?


Date: Sun, 03 Dec 2000 01:13:24 -0400
From: Jacque Johnson 
Subject: 201 Parts

Hello Fluffies,
First, I love the personal stories and would be really lonely without
them to brighten my day. Yes! we all deal with and love Singers and
Featherweights, but it is the exchange of ideas,  veiws, and experiences
that makes the whole thing hang together for me. Keep them coming- you
make me day!

Thank you everyone who responded to me requests for information
regarding the 201. I am forever grateful.

I have a really big problem now. It seems as if the machine was dropped
on the upper tension assembly, because the stud- part number 140178 is
bent, and part number 45241 is missing.  Anyone with these parts please
contact me.

Also I need instructions on how to get the stud out of the head, and
instructions on how to re-assemble the parts.
I have - up until today- been sewing with this old love, but keeping the
stitch tension right has been a bear!  It was only when I examined the
assembly that I found the root of the problem.  Help!

Gerald I love the 201 you refinished. How elegant it looks.  Captain
Dick was right the 201 is a fine machine. I love all four of my
Featherweights and I have lovely little steam irons that were made for
'airline hostesses' to carry with each of them if I go to class, and I
sew with them all on a regular basis, but I think it was love at first
stitch with this 201. She's a no-nonsense sort of a lady with high speed
and heart!

About Alex's stories; they are wonderful and keep me feelin' homesick
for England. When  the 'Summer Fayre' is published we can all say, "I
know him"  and perhaps we can buy autographed copies. I hope so.

Pat Bergman- I enjoy hearing from you and know that if we were nextdoor
neighbours, I would be proud to call you neighbour, and I would enjoy
your company as much as I enjoy reading what you write.

Daniel- you know who you are- God Bless you. Write!

Wishing you all the best of holidays, peace and good health.
jacque- now it is too cold Delaware!

Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2000 15:56:54 EST
Subject: Alpha Foot

I like this foot better than the plastic foot I had previously.  The 1/4 inch 
seam seems truer to size and it is easier to go around a curve with the 
Alpaha Foot.

Bonnie McLain

Medford, NJ

From: AlexSussex
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2000 10:30:36 EST

DEC 2000

Hi All
This will be my last Country Ways this year. With Christmas and our busiest 
time nearly upon us, writing will have to be put on the back burner until the 
New Year. I must take this opportunity to thank you all for so many kind 
words sent to me about my ramblings. It has made the effort worthwhile and 
bought the possibility of a book containing short stories, ever closer. It 
seems like ages ago but this time last year hundreds of you were receiving 
your Millennium Calendars, and we were working all night to get them out. So 
here goes for my last story of the Millennium year.

Dawn was still a while away as I set off up country, toward my first call in 
Maresfield. The relentless commuter traffic was ploughing the highway before 
me. I hate all the rush, rush, driving at this time of the morning, `White 
Van man` was sitting on my tail trying to get passed at any cost. An Alfa 
Romeo Twin Spark roared passed through an impossible gap, disappearing round 
a bend ahead. Shortly followed by White Van man, risking his life for a few 
extra inches of tarmac. In England, statistically, besides teenagers, the 
drivers of white vans are the most dangerous people on our roads. I was glad 
when I had arrived at my first call. I parked and headed past a beautiful 
cottage garden into the corner flat of a large detached house. The house had 
been split into four flats each named after the four winds, South, North, 
East and west. I was visiting Eastwind.

A curious young tabby tomcat with huge bright eyes surveyed my every move as 
I entered the home. The cat was not allowed out before 9.30 until the rush of 
traffic had calmed a little; he had decided that I was obviously there to 
amuse him. A Toyota machine sat on a poorly lit table in the corner of the 
room. It was locked solid. "What has happened to this", I asked trying to 
turn the beast.
"Oh I dropped it off the sideboard" she told me in a matter of fact, you can 
fix anything voice. I suddenly remembered the last time I called when she had 
broken pieces of her machine. A Policewoman, she had asked some of her over 
zealous colleagues if they could repair the machine, then, she called me. 
They sure did fix it good and proper. The extra broken parts, snapped off 
with their heavy hands, they kindly left in a bag for me next to the machine. 
It had taken ages getting the Toyota stitching again.

"Oh you must know what a dozy tart I am by now," she shouted out while 
washing her hair, " I went to answer the phone and pulled the machine off the 
I slowly removed the hammer from my tool kit. The one tool I hate to use on a 
sewing machine. After a few well placed whacks on the top shaft the machine 
started to move. "She lives" I shouted to Mrs Earl. At the same time the 
tabby, which could no longer contain its excitement, ran up my back using me 
as a pincushion, I squealed like a pig at the butcher's door. The cat that I 
was calling a few names then decided that seeing as it could not leave the 
premises it might as well have a dump under the table where I was working. I 
was greeted by the warm smell of yesterdays digested cat food as the stench 
filled the flat. Then if things were not bad enough, out marches Mrs Earl, 
head wrapped in a towel turban and Hyacinth deodorising spray in her hand. 
She attacked the room with her spray like a German panzer group, moving 
endlessly forward till the whole room was fumigated. I sat amongst the 
mayhem, covered in a mist of spray, like early dew. But in true professional 
style I kept at the machine. A headache was now upon me, much like the cat, 
which had gone back to crawling up my back. 

I escaped, with "thank you dear" ringing in my ears and a gleeful cat staring 
from between her ankles. The fresh morning air cleared my muzzy head. I set 
off for my next call in Nutley. The traffic along the main road had come to a 
halt near the village, probably White Van Man smashed into the back of a milk 
float I thought. I turned off the main drag onto a small country lane and 
escaped the mayhem of modern life. In an instant it was as if I had travelled 
back in time. The noise and speed and smell left behind on the main road. I 
knew I was near my next call and made my way through the narrow roads toward 
her house. I passed two riders, one on a lovely chestnut mare and the other 
on a dapple-grey. Dressed in moleskin breeches and Barbour raincoats, they 
nodded a greeting as I slowly crawled passed.

A watery sun began its daily walk over the Earth, throwing shafts of silvery 
light into the forest, reflecting of the bare wet branches like a spider's 
web in the moonlight. Late autumn winds had thrown leaves to the forest floor 
and laid the vegetation down in blankets of browns and gold. A large Stag 
watched me as I passed nearby. Sitting in the woods well disguised, chewing 
on fresh bark. His majestic frame supporting large antlers, showing his proud 
pedigree. He had been ruler of our English forests for a thousand years. 
Surveying me with little interest, like a King might a servant. His antlers 
blending in so perfectly with the branches. He eyed me more suspiciously as I 
stopped and took a few pictures. If the stag could talk he would have said 
"How dare you interrupt my breakfast, be off with you peasant, before I have 
my manservant give you a good whipping." 

I made my way to the next call. Goldfinches were busily chasing each other up 
the lanes, darting from the hedgerows as I drove. Up and down dirt tracks I 
went, over potholes and through the mud, eventually arriving at her house. I 
had to demonstrate a new Frister & Rossmann machine that her husband was 
buying for her Christmas present. Within the hour I was off to my next call 
and she was off to Bluewater shopping centre with her friend for a day's 
shopping. The endless stamina of women and their ability to shop never ceases 
to amaze me. I have always thought that if the world were really run by men, 
we would all be sitting in caves eating the deer I had passed earlier, and 
passing wind.

My next call was a beautiful and impressive Georgian house set in its own 
grounds, with a large pond in front. The private drive led past a field with 
three horses, their thick winter coats covered from head to foot in mud. 
Behind the mud, large eyes stared lazily back at me with little passing 
interest. I was greeted at the front door by laughter as I had called at the 
vet's house in Ringmer. " You look just like me on a call". He spouted, a mug 
of piping hot coffee steaming in his hand, it looked a welcome sight. His 
wife was in tears from a letter from her son, away at boarding school. They 
were tears of joy as her son had written at his excitement of Christmas and 
all the wonderful things that were going to happen. She read the letter aloud 
and I was in awe at the grasp the young boy had about the meaning and love, 
Christmas meant to so many. With two thousand million people on our planet 
getting ready to celebrate one of the greatest moments in our history. This 
young lad had put into his letter feelings that I had long forgotten. How 
blessed we are to have the vision, simplicity and clarity of children.

Before long her Brother VX910 was purring along and I was off to my last call 
of the morning, a haunted house in East Hoathley.

At East Hoathley I found a pretty little cottage built from the ruins of an 
old chapel.
A Riccar professional machine lay waiting for my help on the dining room 
table. The timing of the hook had slipped out after Mrs Brough had jammed her 
grand child's Christmas pantomime costume into it. Over a cup of tea she told 
me a ghost story, quite true. 

Not long after she had first moved into the cottage, she was sitting in her 
living room; it was getting dark when she heard a thud behind her. A small 
man dressed in a long dark coat with short curly hair came out of the 
cupboard beneath her stairs; he walked across the floor in front of her. He 
passed by her then to the wall of the cottage, where he went straight through 
it and disappeared. Mrs Brough never felt threatened or scared, by her ghost.

New to the village Mrs Brough wanted to find out who her mysterious visitor 
was. She invited all the old women of the village for afternoon tea and the 
matter was thoroughly discussed. A plan was hatched and they all came 
together at the village hall with as many old pictures and documents they 
could find. All the pictures were of villagers that had lived locally. Sure 
enough amongst the old photographs, there he was a small man in a dark long 
coat, nicknamed Foxy. He had died walking over the frozen village pond. 
Something that he used to do every winter, to see if it was safe enough for 
the children to play on. Apparently he had only the one coat that was far too 
large for him. Nevertheless he wore it most winters. After his death the 
village pond was filled in so that it could never happen again. The story 
goes that he never had a suit to be buried in and thus was buried in his 
coat. So now Mrs Brough knew who her visitor was, although she has been there 
over 20 years, he has yet to call again. She never locks the cupboard under 
the stairs, "saves him knocking" she told me.

Work finished for the morning I pointed the Land Rover toward the Coast and 
home. A well-deserved lunch of beans on toast topped with fried bacon and a 
cup of tea was waiting to be demolished. And stories to be written. Happy 
Christmas everyone.

Dec 2000

From: "Darla" 
Subject: For Anne R re: crinkle and blackside machines
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2000 14:56:14 -0500

Anne R:  you wrote:
>Could someone please explain to me what is meant by crinkle and blackside?
>tried looking at the photos but still don't get it!
>Anne R


I have an entire site devoted to crinkle and blackside machines; along with
pictures there are write-ups on both variants. If you haven't looked at it,
please do. If you have and are still unsure of the differences, please let
me know how you
think I could present it better so that it would be easily understood.

Thank you!

Crinkle and Blackside Site:   http://home.cfl.rr.com/featherweight

Date: Sat, 02 Dec 2000 22:46:17 -0700
From: Sally Evans 
Subject: Happy dance - finally!

I'm finally able to do a happy dance for a machine I bought (by mail, sigh) 
many, many months ago -- thanks to the work of a true artist, Gerald 
Holmes. "She" is a wonderful AD Featherweight with all the old 
characteristics -- uneven scroll faceplate, unnumbered tension mechanism, 
chrome wheel and stitch-length indicator and wrap-around decals. A beauty, 
except for several huge pock-marks thru to the metal on the machine bed. 
They were so bad, I wouldn't have wanted to sew delicate fabric, for fear 
of snags. So, she sat, sad and pitiful while I pondered what I could do. 
She was plainly too special to waste.

Finally, I arrived on a compromise between myself and myself (perhaps you 
can relate) and packed her off to the kind and wonderful Gerald Holmes for 
repainting.  Then, I asked a local trophy shop to make me a small metal 
engraved tag saying "No longer in original condition. Of necessity, this 
machine was repainted and restored in 2000."  It will go just to the left 
of the bobbin on the machine body, under the extension table.  That 
satisfied both my longing to see the machine usable, and my desire to be 
absolutely honest about the re-do. (I plan to keep the machine myself, but 
I won't live forever.)

Well, she came back yesterday. Oh my, is she  gorgeous!  It is hard to 
believe that this was the sad old gal I had agonized over for so long. In 
fact, I had called her "Ancient Agnes" and Gerald emailed me to say that I 
would need a better name for her, as she had become beautiful.  She is now 
"Elegant Ellie" (tho I should have named her for Gerald, now that I think 
of it).  He also restored a tired and sagging old case to look just wonderful.

So, that was my solution. I'm happy with it. And I'm ecstatic to have 
Elegant Ellie in beautiful shape, suitable for both sewing and "oohing and 

     Sally Evans, Tucson AZ
and my 6 Canine Companions...
Chaco,Abbey,Oso,Walter,Camille & Bailey


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