Sunday, December 17th - Saturday, December 23rd
Date: Sat, 16 Dec 1995 22:00:13 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Congratulations Dawn!
It looks like your diligence has paid off. Congratulations on your
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 08:58:11 +1300 (NZDT)
Subject: Anyone interested?
NATAL QUILTERS GUILD
Seasons National Quilt Festival
THE PEACE QUILT
Natal Quilters' Guild will be hosting "Seasons", the National Quilt
Festival in Durban, South Africa from 7-14 July 1996. At the festival we
would like to exhibit a "Wall of PEACE". This quilt will be "built" of
fabric "PEACE bricks", a concrete(!) show of commitment to PEACE.
If you would like to take part, here is what to do:
1. Make a fabric "brick" in the PEACE QUILT, any size rectangle up to
30cm x 15cm (12" X 6") - Finished size.
2. The colours to be used are BLUES &WHITES - remember that white is a
many-splendoured colour and blues range from green, turquoise, indigo,
cobalt to purple and mauve.
3. Your fabric PEACE brick can be made by using any technique (pieced,
appliqued, painted and stitched designs) with something on it that you
relate to PEACE - symbols of PEACE, inspiring music, words and poems of
PEACE, events and people of PEACE. Let your creative, PEACEFUL ideas
4. To complete - each rectangle must be backed and quilted. Please use a
very thin batting. Bind the edges and you now have a mini-quilt PEACE
5. Write or stitch your NAME and TOWN somewhere on the front of your
PEACE brick. Send completed brick by 28 February 1996 to:
THE PEACE QUILT
P-O- Box 412
Republic of South Africa
Overseas Quilters: We suggest you send your brick via airmail - surface
mail to South Africa can sometimes take up to three months!
Any funds generated from this project will be donated to a worthy South
African educational fund. We look forward to receiving PEACE bricks from
Quilters all over the world. Help us to "build" the PEACE QUILT and show
your personal commitment to PEACE in our world!
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 1995 16:01:13 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Got one!!
We got our 3rd FW on Saturday. It's a 1953 and has more gold on it than
my 1955. Very nice condition and came with everything but the oil can.
Krisi, I'll be sending in the facts.
One accessorie that came with it is one that I don't recognize and doubt
that it belongs with the FW. It doesn't say Singer or Simanco. Its part
number is 28915. Almost looks like it could go with a slant needle. Does
anyone recognize the part number?
Congratulations Dawn and Pam.
I saw two Griest buttonholers at a local thrift store. At the time I did
not know that anyone was interested in these. Went back Saturday but the
store was closed. It's connected with Otterbein College and may not open
until after Christmas break. Haven't opened the boxes. Don't know if the
connector part is there. If anyone is interested, tell me what to look
for. I saw one at my dealer's and it looks like there are four types to
fit different machines.
Baking cookies today.
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 1995 18:03:14 -0600
Subject: Re: FW foot pedal
I was wondering if anyone has an answer to a problem I had with the foot
pedal on a FW. I had just cleaned it up and left it plugged into a power
bar that I didn't realize was still on. I had the FW light switch off but
it sat at least a day plugged in to the power bar. When I got back to it
and started to sew I noticed the foot pedal was hot. On picking it up I
discovered it had scorched a brown spot into tan carpeting in my sewing
room. Has anyone else had this problem? I don't know if I will need a new
foot pedal or if it is an electrical problem I can get fixed. I would
appreciate any thoughts on the matter.
Subject: Toy machine ramblings....
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 95 13:49:14 +1200
Did I ever put my foot in it this morning! I went to pick up my new
glasses and walked into a second-hand shop choc-a-block full of the
most absolute rubbish, I stupidly asked the guy if he had any old
sewing machines, he said no but he'd take my name and phone-number.
While I was giving it to him another guy (the owner I think) scrabbled
around in a box and came up with the most gorgeous Singer toy machine!
My eyes nearly dropped out of my head, and I always thought I was an
excellent poker player, hah! It had a needle which moved up and down
perfectly, a lovely Singer motif and quite a bit of rust, I could have
sworn it was the one I stupidly sold in a garage sale about six years
ago! Anyway, the miserable old sod wouldn't give me a price, he said I
would know how much it was worth better than he did, I think he smelled
a collector and big bucks! I told him I had no idea and it was the
first one I've ever seen since I'd starting looking for old machines,
he didn't believe me though, he said gone are the days when you can
walk into the local op-shop and pick one up for a song and if I really
wanted it I'd offer what it was worth! How could I when I had no idea
but he was sticking to his guns and so was I, I reluctantly had to walk
out without it knowing I sure wasn't going to get it for the $5 which
was my top price :). But I'll be back.....making a nuisance of myself
until he gives it to me just to get rid of me! Well I can dream can't I?
Anyone know what a fair price would be? I didn't really get to see it
close up to see if it had any other info on it anywhere, I still didn't
have my glasses!
>be like so I sold it in a garage sale for I think $25. I could just
>kick myself now -- especially after reading this digest and about what
>everyone has to say about treadles. Oh well, maybe again some day.
You're not the only one D(? no sig on your email)! I sold my mother's
old Singer for a measly pittance a few years ago before I went mad
(everyone tells me I'm mad so it must be so) and would you believe also
my own toy machine that I'd had for some 40 odd years, probably for a
couple of dollars!
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 00:09:30 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Love my 99
For a while I was running to house sales like a lunatic looking for a fw.
After I missed out on two I was in despair. But then I found a 99 -- and
honestly, I love it. The manual with it says 99-31 on it, but someone told
me there was no such model. Can't be! Anyway, it sews like a dream and I
love piecing on it so much that I've put my practically brand-new Viking 210
aside for the time being. Actually, the Viking is so light (less than 15
lbs) that if I were ever to take a class, that's the one I would bring with
me. So I don't need a FW, right? (how's that for rationalization?).
Love this group! If there's anybody else out there who is lighting candles
this week -- Happy Chanukah. And to our friends who will be celebrating
Christmas next week -- have a beautiful holiday.
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 10:16:09 -0500
Subject: Dawn's machine's birthday
Dawn's machine (serial number EH010688) was born 44 years ago TODAY on
December 18, 1951.
My DH called Singer this morning (7:00 a.m. PST).
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 11:38:38 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/17/95
Hello fellow fanatics,
I took the 1947 FW I had for sale to our guild meeting on Weds night and it
sold right away for the $250 I was asking. I guess it is kind of hard to
properly describe a sewing machine, even with it's few little faults, via
email and expect to sell it right away :) I was trying to be so accurate
that I think I discouraged some potential buyers. The lady that bought it,
fell in love with it right away and happily lugged it to her car. She told
me how Singer gave her a $50 trade in allowance a few years ago when she
traded in her own featherweight for a floor model!!!!
In other news, I made a swap today with an antique dealer. I had some
depression glass he wanted and he had a featherweight and two child's quilts.
The new fw is #AF075543 and she is a little beauty. Yes, there is a little
gold trim worn off from the lady's ring finger I would guess. But she runs
great and is so pretty that I think I will keep her. Her cord is badly
disintegrated :( and she is missing her bobbin case, but it is not like I
don't have 4 more that I can substitute for her if I really want to actually
sew with her. She also has the older model case with a leather covered
handle, not plastic like my others. She seems like such a nice old lady,
that I am going to call her "Lady". I have the Princess and the Queen at
home. I haven't named the white one I bought for my daughter yet, nor the
other black 1950 model I am still hiding from my husband.
It's funny, but when I find these machines, I always know right away if they
are for me to keep or to sell. (I have sold 3) There is just this friendly
feeling I get from some of them, that says, take me home and love me.
Anyway, in the case, there is an old manual but it is not for a
featherweight. It says it's for Singer Electric Machines #101-4 and #101-12
with S.U. Motor (attachments 120606) Lock Stitch for Family Use. The inside
of the manual shows a picture of a cabinet which says "Cabinet 40" under the
picture. The manual is copyrighted with date 1936. It says it is for
Horizontal rotary Hook machines. The pictures look like a 99 machine with a
drop in bobbin - it also pictures the machine either in the table or in a
bentwood case like the 99 and it shows a knee lever. This manual may go with
someone's machine out there - if so - I'll take $10 for it including postage.
It is in mint shape. Also in the case is a green box which says "Singer
Needles" trademark Simanco U.S.A. The Singer Mfg. Co. Quite a large box it
seems because it has a ruffler attachment and 4 other feet in there. Seems
like kind of a large box (1.75" X 2.75") to just have held needles.
Guess that's all for today. If I don't get a chance to post before
Christmas, I wish you all the happiest of holidays.
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 12:06:37 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Setting a price
Dawn, I think the second hand shop owner is nutty. It is up to the seller
to set a price. Then you haggle. If he had a FW you wouldn't offer him
$450 just because that is what they are going for. I think I would have
offered him 50 cents and then if he still wanted to play games, I would
Subject: 301's sewing quality
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 95 13:27:16 EST
> By the way, Dad says that the 301's should be rising in popularity. Its a
> little bit heaver machine, and can do a little bit more than the 221. Its
> not quite as portable as the 221, but apparently according to Dad, sewing
> people really like the 301 for sewing as opposed to the 221. Anyone else
> come across
> that same feeling?
I thought the 301's weren't as good as other old singer machines at
sewing because they were slant needles rather than straight. Is this
not the case?
I am looking for a good machine for machine quilting and piecing for
my girlfriend, and I just passed up a slant 301 because I didn't think
it was as good.
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 15:11:01 -0500 (EST)
Subject: They know me!
I just called Singer to get manufacture date and paper on my latest FW.
Guess what? The rep I talked to recognized my name, knew I had written a
letter, etc. I must be calling too often. My latest little black one was
born 5-4-53. I think her name will be "Number 15". When the DH walked in
and saw that little sweetheart on the lady's dining room table, he knew
that was going to be number 15 in our collection. Right now we are trying
to find places for all of them before the kids come for Christmas.
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 15:42:56 -0500
Subject: Greist - again!
I decided to do some sleuthing when I learned that the Greist Mfg Co. was in
New Haven, CT. I mean, wouldn't it be wonderful if they had a warehouse full
of attachments we are all searching for just 30 miles down the road??
Anyways, although they have not produced attachments for 30 years, Greist
is still listed in the phone directory and is part of New Haven Mfg now. I
spoke to a lovely woman named Angie McDonald who told me that all that she
has left are templates for buttonholers and one buttonholer for a slant-shank
machine (1-203-387-2572). She also said that assorted buttonholers were sold
to Mid-South Company in Tennessee (1-901-373-5202). Hope this is helpful
into to those of you interested in buttonholers!
I have a little manual entitled 'How to use Griest attachments' which I can
copy for $5 for anyone needing this info. Published in 1957, it is about 4 x
4 inches, 36 pages and contains pictures and detailed description of how to
guide, attachment foot, adjustable zipper/cording foot, scissors cutting
gauge, gathering foot, quilter, narrow hemmer, hemmers, edgestitcher,
multiple slotted binder, ruffler, buttonholer/templates, overcaster,
decorative zigzagger, and tucker.
Emailwith address if you wish a copy.
I have a 301 question. Is this a portable machine? Full-head? I have
someone anxious to sell me a package deal - 221 and 301. Don't know what I
am getting into yet! Thanks. Millie
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 95 11:43:53 -0800
Subject: featherweight newsletter
Please send me information on your featherweight hotline. I live in
Juneau, Alaska and am a member of a very active quilt guild whose members
own many featherweights. One member only machine is a featherweight and
she does machine quilting with a walking foot and recently found a darning
foot (a new one) and now is doing free motion machine quilting. She has
produced a lot of quilts over the years all on that one little
featherweight. I have several featherweights and recently purchased a
featherweight table which is really cute! Looking forward to hearing more
about featherweights. Mary Ann
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 15:56:23 -0500
Subject: A gem of a fw
Only you will understand this excitement.
My parents bought me a fw for christmas this year. I asked, and they checked
around and found one. They said it was in nice condition. They lied it is
PRISTINE. IT looks like new. The machine looks unused, came with the
original manual, and a box with some - but I don't think all the feet.
The storage case is gorgeous and came with TWO keys in an envelope.
I have never recieved a better gift. The machine is one year older than me.
It is an ES from 1961. I am a KM from 1962. (sorry for the bad joke)
Of course I can not sew on it until I finish all my christmas sewing.
That is a tortuous agreement I made with my husband.
Mom and Dad are glad I am happy with my gift. They were afraid I would
be disappointed! I do have a question. My storage box has a black
/black-silvery brocade on the inside of the top of the cover. Really
pretty, but not something I had heard anyone mention before. It
Is this original? It doesn't look like an addition.
My 1940 fw is also changing tension as it sews. There were no responses
to the original question. Does anyone know what would cause one of these
beauties to lose tension as it goes along? At least I know one other
FWF is also experiencing this problem. I have a one year warranty on
the machine, but I would rather know what the problem is before I
take it in.
oh what a wonderful holiday!
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 13:22:13 -0800
Subject: singer address
does anyone have the address for the singer company? i can't seem to
find it in the digests anywhere. tia...
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 13:44:43 -0500
G'day! Sorry to have been lurking rAther than participating lately, but
it's been quite hectic here at work.
Dawn - congrats!! you lucky thing.
I'm still looking and hoping....my dh is out at second places even as I
type this, so you never know!
Anyway, to all who have helped me with info, thankyou thankyou!! Catching
up on this list made me realise how much I'd missed this chat.
Happy holidays, all
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 19:59:04 PST
Subject: Featherweight Advertising
Browsing in an antique mall today I found two Christmas ads
(probably from 1948 and 1949) for Singer Sewing Centers which
featured various singer products, including our FWs. The same FW
photo appears in each ad, sporting a large red bow that matches the
spool of red thread it is wearing. The caption under the FW says in
1948(?), "Singer* Featherweight Portable, an 11-pound wonder that
does work of a full-sized machine! Stitches forward or backward.
Has handy carrying case. Always a favorite, so order well
(italicized) in advance." In 1949(?) the caption reads, "Singer*
Featherweight Portable, world's most popular machine. Weighs a
mere 11 pounds (without red bow), yet does the work of a full-size
model. Sews forward and backward. Comes in a luggage-type case."
From the size of the ad I thought it would have come from a gagazine
like Ladies Home Journal or McCalls, so I bought at the same time a
December, 1951 McCalls (sealed). Guess what? Another Christmas
Singer Sewing Center ad. This time our FW is unadorned, dressed in
blue thread, but the black case is also pictured. The caption is brief:
"Singer* Featherweight Portable. An 11-pound wonder with all the
features of a full-size cabinet model."
The full service nature of a Singer Sewing Center as portrayed in
these ads is interesting ... vacuum cleaners are no less important than
sewing machines and cabinets are featured more prominently than
the machines they hold.
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 19:46:02 -0500
Subject: 99-13 machine
help!! I called on what I thought was a 99k machine and it is a 99-13. Can
someone tell me the difference? Is the 99-13 also a 3/4 head? Thanks.
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 22:13:27 -0500
Some of us participate in this activity often. Some participate regularly,
but silently, as I do. But I want to tell you all how much I've enjoyed the
Featherweight Fanatics. Reading about your latest "antics" has inspired me,
and that's how I found my second gem (DH gave me the first one). When I had
a problem and asked for help, Gretchen McKinsey-Clarke and Gordon Jones
responded immediately, and I found I only had the old girl threaded
improperly. I really appreciate the response from both of them.
This is the friendliest and most fun-to-hear-from group I've found on the
Internet, so far, and I really enjoy you all. I think it's great we're
really hearing from people from as far away as Australia and New Zealand
(places I really want to visit). I'ts just like living next door!
Hope you all have terrific holidays, whether you're getting rain (we finally
got enough to pur out power in some areas for over a week), snow, of record
high temperatures. good hunting to you all in the New Year.
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 02:46:40 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/17/95
Well, I decided to go ahead and get the 301a. I was so impressed with it's
motor and abilitiy to sew through heavy cloth and widths. I just kept seeing
my denim and corduroy crazy quilt under that little presser foot. Beige is
not my favorite color, but it's ugliness spoke to me.
I went in to look at the Sew and Vac machine again. It is such a tempting
little FW. It has a slew of attatchments with it, ruffler, gathering foot,
rolled hem, bias tape binding, zipper foot. The carrying case is in good
shape, and has the drawer in the top. The decals are in excellent shape and
I believe there's a manual that comes with it. AL series '53 and he has it
priced for $450. He's just serviced the beauty she's ready to go. City Sew
and Vac 707/526-2155. I told Len I'd mention the FW again as he'd received
no calls on it from my last mentioning. The place my DH picked the 301a up
from had another FW too. They wanted $450 as well.
I have to wait to play with the 301a till xmas. Not that long off really.
I've just had to rearrange my sewing room for the holidays and that room is
a mess too. Filled with machines on the floor. And I still want a treadle.
What is it with me. Thank goodness I'm not alone on this one.
Oh, BTW, congratulations Dawn. She sounds wonderful.
Date: 19 Dec 95 11:52:18 EST
Subject: FW Fanatics 12/18/95
I have a FW and have had it for 7 or 8 years but it didn't come with any
attachments at all. It had bobbins and the green manual.
Do you all know anyone who sells the attachements and if so do they cost as much
as the machine? I don't use the machine all that much anymore but I would like
to have the attachments for the FW.
I have an old 1930 White that came with a metal box with every attachment under
the sun. Most impressive.
BTW I have a hint for everyone. I learned this by experience unfortunately. I
put the foot pedal in the lid before I put the machine in the box and the case
tipped backward on a linoleum floor and the handle broke. My husband was able
to fix it so you can't tell but that could have been a major disaster. So
always put your machine in first.
Thanks ahead of time.
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 13:42:31 -0500
Subject: FS a featherweight
I have a featherweight for sale: AD model, although not dated, I understand
it dates back to about 1934. I have a new case for it and the motor was
overhauled or replaced a few years ago. At this point I'm asking $400ppd.
As I am in mail order, you need not fear that the sewing machine won't be
I also have some DMC chests at $20 each.
It works, but since I have an Elna, lightweight itself, I do not need
another machine. I also have my grandmother's machine, on which my daughter
made a 3 piece outfit at age 7 and for nostalgic purposes we won't part with
On the 25th my husband and I will be celebrating out 29th anniversary. This
certainly is a day for all to celebrate.
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 14:27:13 EST
Subject: FW Fanatics 12/17/95
To Marilyn: Hi! I'm in Dublin &share your intereste
in Featherweights &lots of other machines, too. We need to talk &
compare notes! I think I have 5 right now!
All: I'm looking for a Sears Kenmore Model 158 machine. Very Basic.
Plastic carry case is embellihed with a floral pattern. Please let
me know if you have one to sell or see one somewhere (Model # is on
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 14:10:00 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: 301 facts
To Gail, Millie and Bryan, re: 301 Singer Sewing Machines.
There are several 301 converts out there. I am compiling a 301 Fact
Sheet, (need more input from you 301 owners, PLEASE) but here is what I
know so far:
Flat bed machine manufactured between 1953-59
Same bobbin, and bobbin case as FW
More powerful, gear-driven motor, better lighting system
Straight stitch, slant needle (Singers' first model with slant needle),
reverse stitch, drop feed dogs
Can use as portable or cabinet model, built-in handle in head
Weight: 16 pounds
3 colors: Black (has gold, decorative painting on base), Tan (no
decorations), and two-tone beige and cream.
Everyone I have corresponded with is very impressed with how well the 301
sews; it has a very smooth operation and is very quiet. Any of the
current slant needle attachments for Singer fit this machine. The
styling is very different from the 221; "boxy" and yet streamlined.
If you have an opportunity to get a 301, do it. My bet is that you will
be as surprised as I was at how enjoyable it is to sew on it - if you
don't like it, let me know. I have a list of people looking for them!
I also enjoyed Rayna's comment about how well she enjoyed her model 99.
It makes me want to search out one of these to see if I like it. It is
one of the things I enjoy so much about reading this list; the FW's
reputation is well established and well deserved but pricing on them is
getting out of range for many (making the rare bargain a true
treasure!). I like hearing honest comments about other machines that are
well crafted so when I see one I can appreciate it, or at least take a
301 owners - please e-mail me so I can send you a survey. I am trying to
determine what a 301A is - later series? certain features? specific
color? I also heard rumor about a 301 straight bar (not slant). Has
anyone actually seen one?
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 22:07:22 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/18/95
Dear Nancy: Singer Consumer Affairs Dept
P.O. Box 1909
Edison, N>J> 08818
1 800 877 7762
Hope you can reach them. It takes alittle time to call. I talked to one of the
girls and can you believe that when they look up your serial numbers that they
do it in a "BOOK" No computarized list. So be ready to give her 2-3 numbers
only. Good luck. Claudette
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 23:06:04 -0500
Happy Holidays All !
My DH and I looked for a tan or green machine for quite a while and the
first thing out of Singer dealer's mouths when we would inquire about them
would be "Oh, you don't want one of those, they aren't the same quality."
Well, I want you to know that Pam and I each took our tan machines apart and
they are both gear driven and I could see absolutely no difference
mechanically. The white machines I have are belt driven, but other than that,
in my un-expert opinion again I could see no difference. Of course on the
outside of the white ones especially, you can see where Singer was trying to
keep the costs down, but I don't believe that they are junk, like I have been
told. Besides, if they are junk, then why are repair people using them for
Some time ago a Singer dealer told me that Singer would be reproducing
the 221 manuals. He sent me one, and I don't want to doubt his word, but I
can't believe Singer put these out. The front says "221K Portable Sewing
Machine", it's only 12 pages long, and no where does it say Singer, not even
on the machines in the pictures. But then the pictures are so bad that it
might and I just can't tell. Anyway, don't bother putting out money for one
of these, you would be better off finding Nancy's book if you need
He also sent me a service manual for a 221 dated 5/66. Now this is
something to get excited about. It states that the differences between 221-2,
221K4, etc are the different motors and wiring. This is what it says:
221-1 has a series 3 motor.
221K4 has a CAK7 motor and is equipped with R.F. Suppressors and grounded
wiring. This machine has the light switch built into the light socket.
221K5 has a CAJ6-8 motor.
221K7 has a CAK8-8 motor and is equipped with a belt linkage between arm and
hook shafts. And the wiring diagram for this one shows that the foot pedal is
hard-wired to the machine. (This is what most or all white machines have)
Of course, like every thing else, this has actually raised more questions
than it has answered. I checked all my motors and have more variety than the
ones listed above. Anyone else crazy enough to care to look ? They are:
3-110 100-110v. .4a 25/75 cyc.
3-120 110-120v. .4a 25/75 cyc.
CA6-8 110-120v. .4a 25/75 cyc.
CAJ6-8 110-120v. .4a 25/75 cyc.
CAK7-9 150-165v. .35a 25/75 cyc.
CAK8-8 110-120v. 0-58 50/60 cyc.
CAK9-8 110-120v. 0-58 50/60 cyc.
At least there is some consistancy. The ones with a K all say made in
Great Britain, and the ones with a J all say made in Canada. Actually though
this is one of the areas where I am really confused. I have three or four
British machines with serial numbers beginning with E or F that have motors
made in Canada. Even my tan machine which has a riveted plate that says it is
a 221J and has a motor made in Canada has a serial number that begins with E.
Thanks to Dale Pickens with over 50 new surveys there are now over 250
Featherweights on the database. But Pam's tan 221J machine is the only one
whose serial number begins with a J, which would be Canada. It's really a
shame that Singer hasn't kept better records. Pam was told her machine was
made sometime between 1961 and 1966, and when I called about a newer British
machine I was told that the Clydebank, Scotland (Kilbowie) factory started
production on 10/10/35, and it could have been made anytime after that date.
There is a hints section in the service manual that addresses some
problems I've heard discussed on this list.
When machine is noisy check: a) excessive play in hook driving shaft. b)
throat plate incorrectly seated. c) excessive end play in horizontal arm
shaft. d) excessive end play in feed shafts
When thread snagging, skipped stitches or other thread handling difficulties
occur check: a) position of hook to or from needle. b) correct pressure and
tension settings. c) needle bar height. d) hook timing.
When machine runs sluggish check: a) machine may need cleaning and
lubricating. b) horizontal arm shaft or hook shaft binding. c) binding in
Hope you all get what you want for Xmas!
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 22:46:09 -0800
Subject: Slightly green
Hello- I think this list has given me a fever. I just bought my second FW!
It's hiding from the family in the closet until the holiday season is over.
Our accounts clerk's mother in AZ was selling one (we live in Northern
California) and hearing that is was white, or maybe green I told the a.c.
that I would take it, sight unseen, for $250. She shipped it and it arrived
within 5 days. It's very slightly green, it's similar to a drop or two of
green food coloring in a glass of milk - I know that's too vague to
imagine, but I can't think of anything that is this pale of green. The ac
and I surveyed the office after it came to see what color people would say
it was and comments were: beige -y green, creamy white with green tint,
etc. I haven't sewed with it yet, and won't for a while yet, but I have 3
young daughters, so I figure I can collect at least 4 FW's.Merry Christmas.
I thought about cancelling my subscription to FWF for medicianal reasons,
but it's the first thing I read too.
Happy Holidays, from Trinity County, where it's 39 degrees and we wish
it would snow.
Subject: My New FW
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 95 09:21:17 -0600
I thought I'd update you all (y'all) on my recent FW experiences. If
you remember, I last left you with the news that my non-sewing
girlfriend in Ohio had 3 in her closet and was sending me the one she
can't remember acquiring. (!!!!!) So it arrived last Friday. She's a
Centennial model, born 1/29/51. The case is decent (maybe had termites
or dry rot?), there are no attachments, only one bobbin, original
manual, the bobbin case it still there, but there was no foot. Annie
said it didn't run but was getting juice. The light works and in fact
it runs just fine (had to turn the wheel by hand a bit). It still
needs cleaning and oiling, but she's a dandy! In fact she's quieter
than the ones I "test drove" at the repair shops here in town.
Needless to say, I'm thrilled. Cost me $50. She thinks she picked it
up at a garage sale for no more than $25 because she knew her younger
brother wanted one "just like Mummy's". Turned out he already had one
and she just tucked it away in her infamous closet. Lucky me!
Go figure -- what a family. Mummy has one (late 1930's), as does
youngest son and both daughters. Annie's is a 1957 model, and her
older sister's is a white one from England. Cool, huh?
So last weekend I went to a bunch of antique shops on a quest for a
foot, even tho' the one from my 99 fits just fine. I found another set
of Greist attachments but no extra foot. However, I did stumble on a
lady who had three FW tables for sale! She didn't know what to ask --
kept saying that one sold at quilt festival for $280 (which is probably
true -- they get incredibly high prices for stuff there). So I had my
choice and gave her $125. Did I pay too much? It's a darling table,
light wood top, dark wood edge, dark squared legs. The other one I
looked at had a prettier dark wood top but pitted metal edges and legs.
So now my little cutie is sitting in my living room in her little
table just waiting for someone to clean her....or throw tinsel on her.
Isn't this fun?
So now I too am looking for an original set of attachments in the box,
perferably with the felt pads and needles, and an extra foot. I'm sure
the foot part is easy -- any ideas? I spoke to Mr. Pickens who will
sell a complete attachment set for $50. Can I do better?
Thanks to all of you who wrote with words of encouragement and who
shared in the thrill of my discovery. This really is a great, fun
group with a load of knowledge to share. Thanks so much and Happy
Holidays to you all!!
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 09:30:42 MST
Subject: RE: FW Fanatics 12/19/95
Re the "J"...it is the letter in the model number not necessarily the
letters in the serial number which indicate country of origin...for instance
as we all know the 221K is Great Britain...if the model number has a J
for instance 185J then the machine was made in Canada....I have a 221K
whose serial number starts with E and the motor was made in Canada. My
DH thinks that the machine was shipped here and then the motor was installed...
not sure but it could have something to do with different electrical setups.
Just a guess but it could be likely that because of Canada's relationship
with Great Britain when these machines were being produced that the serial
number letters were the same...I have really learned a lot from this list
and want to wish you all a very happy holiday season.
Subject: 201 vs. 301 and 221
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 95 12:34:43 EST
I am curious about Singer model 201 vs. the featherweight and 301.
Are the featherweight and 301 a lot better than the old 201 machines?
I have had a 201 for ~5 years now. It is from Singer's anniversary
year (maybe 100year?). I use it basically just for mending, hemming
and the like. It sews great, and I really like how solidly it is
built. But after hearing on this list about how well the
featherweights and (more recently) how well the 301s sew, I'm
wondering if I'm missing something. Do they sew even better?
By the way, the reason I'm thinking about this (beyond general
obsession with old machines) is that I have been thinking for a while
now of getting an old machine like mine as a gift for my girlfriend
who pieces and quilts by machine. She has been wanting a new machine
that will have better speed control than her fairly new machine. I
just got a 301 that might be just the right gift, but I don't know if
it works yet. It is missing the foot controller and cord. And when I
was sewing with my machine last night, with the 301 sitting nearby but
without me being able to test it, I became curious if it (and the
featherweights) sew even better than my 201 that I've been so happy
p.s. Does anyone have a manual for the 301 that they could xerox for
me? My 201 came with a complete manual, but I didn't get anything
with the 301. And if anyone needs a 201 manual, I would be happy to
copy mine and send it to you.
Subject: p.s. to message: 201 vs. 301 and 221
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 95 12:51:18 EST
Thanks Kolleen for the information on the 301. I went back and bought
it. It is a beautiful machine. I took it apart a bit and cleaned it.
It looks much better now. I love how all of the fragile parts have
been protected by either hiding within the body (as the bobbin winder
does) or by being better designed (as the thread holding pins are --
being springs instead of hard pins).
Unfortunately, (as I mentioned in my last message) I am still not sure
if it works. When I went back to get it, it turned out not to have a
foot peddle or cable. So I am looking for those to test it out. The
gears turn easily, and the motor seems to have been recently replaced,
so I have high hopes.
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 07:25:33 +1300
Subject: FW bobbins
I do love reading this list each morning! I am now on holiday - whoopee!
I've only been on holiday one day and most of that was spent shopping - but
you should see my dining room now... Thread and fabric bits and sewing
But the reason for this message is to ask does anyone have a part number
and/or source for FW bobbins. I know there has been some discussion about
these already but I have done something daft and can't access the FW files I
have been saving! I only have one bobbin for my FW and it's driving me crazy!!!
Have a great holiday everyone The weather forecasters are predicting we
will have a wet Christmas Day so there goes eating Christmas dinner in the
garden!!! I do envy those who will have a white Christmas.
Hugs and stitches
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 10:32:33 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FW For Sale
My 128 long Shuttle came yesterday. She is a 1925 with gold embossing
in a floral pattern, totally different from the 1924 in design, and the
gold flowers are just great. The case is in perfect condition and the
little turn screw key is still with it. The knee lever works on both
of them. I have one of the Sale Machines left it is the AG 1938 Chrome
Wheel Featherweight with case, and many attachments, also zeroxed copy of
the manual. $425 Both mechanics and cometics are top notch on this
machine, the case is missing one latch which can be replaced. I would
like to thank all for the very quick response to the sale machines
listed. May all have a blessed Holiday. Zsuxxa
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 10:02:35 -0800
Subject: Cleaning your machine
Just a quick message that this is the bottom line in what to use on your FW
machine to keep it clean without damage. My sewingmachinefixitguy says "OZ
cream polish is the only thing to use". He showed me the can and it said
"cleans, polishes and preserves". A antique clock dealer told him about it
and my FW guy buyes it at a antique store. Has anyone else seen OZ? I do
not have a sorce at this time but if we all want some the OZ company will
be happy! Santa is going to have fun this year giving out all the FW's.
Merry Christmas from Washington State where we wish we had snow!!!
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 13:40:27 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 301's and 22 new fw babies
My Dad has 3-4 301's, so I'd be interested in the 301 survey.
Also, I'll be inventoring (is that a word?) Dad's 22 new fw
babies, so those can be added to the featherweight database
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 95 09:13:57 +1200
> The ones with a K all say made in Great Britain, and the ones with a J
> all say made in Canada. Actually though this is one of the areas where
> I am really confused. I have three or four British machines with
> serial numbers beginning with E or F that have motors made in Canada.
> Even my tan machine which has a riveted plate that says it is a 221J
> and has a motor made in Canada has a serial number that begins with E.
> Thanks to Dale with over 50 new surveys there are now over 250
> Featherweights on the database. But Pam's tan 221J machine is the only
> one whose serial number begins with a J, which would be Canada.
Krisi, if the machines made in GB were for the US market then I can see
why they have Canadian motors on them, they were probably sent there to
have the 110-120 watt motors put on because of GB using the 230-250 watt
motors. Are you/Pam _absolutely_ sure the serial number she gave you is
off the fw itself and NOT the motor? When I found my 99k I was confused
enough to give the motor serial number as the machine serial number to
start with, later on I realised what I'd done and found the machine
Is there anyone else making a 'peace brick' for the Natal guild? I've
just about finished mine and I'm so pleased with myself, it's the FIRST
quilted thing I've actually finished, apart from hundreds of exchange
blocks of course!
Thanks to everyone for their congratulations on my FW, would you believe
the first time I plugged her in to have a play with her she was dead? My
dh found a broken wire and fixed it but still nothing, he then replaced
the lead and now she's working fine. The next time I plugged her in and
left her with the power turned on while I hunted through some books for
a pattern, about 10 mins later there was this loud noise like running
water and smoke was pouring out of the plug! When dh looked at it he
couldn't find anything wrong, since then she seems to be working okay
but now I'm dubious and make sure I have my rubber soled slippers on
when I'm using her! It takes a bit of getting used to using a small
machine after my Bernina 830. I don't seem to have 'the quilter' foot,
the guide is there but there is no foot that it will fit into, I don't
suppose anyone has a spare one they don't want do they? I'd also be
interested in a darning foot too, is there such a thing for a FW?
BTW seeing as my FW is a xmas baby I just had to call her Eithne
(pronounced Ena) Holly, Holly for short. She had her birthday the day
_before_ I found out what it was!
__/\__ 'Tis the season
\ / to be jolly....
Subject: Help! Thread Loops Driving Me Crazy
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 95 14:02:03 -0500
Once again I was sewing on one of my FWs and began having a major thread
looping problem. Both times this has happened to me right after I removed
the throat plate for lint removal and followed the manual for oiling the
bobbin case area. At no time did I adjust the tension upper or lower and
everything was in the correct position when I replaced the throat plate.
The bobbin thread lies fine along the fabric but the upper thread is leaving
big loops underneath. The last time this happened I tightened the screw on
the bobbin case and it fixed everything perfectly. It's as if the screw
loosened itself during cleaning/oiling. This time it doesn't seem to help.
I have eight other FWs and have never had this problem in 12 years of using
these machines. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am using very good
thread and a Singer red band needle (installed correctly) on quilt-weight
cotton, something I've done a million times. I'm beginning to think that
this machine does not like oil (the little bit that the manual calls for)
and loves to run on lint! I think Godzilla has been contaminating the other
machines the way this one has been acting.
Dawn, I'm so happy that you finally found your FW. All the letters have
been so fun to read and so much interesting information is coming forth from
all over. How many countries are represented on this list now?
Whoever said slant needle machines are no good needs to have their head
examined!!! They are gear-driven and that combined with the angle of the
needle means you can sew through thicker layers of fabric. We used to demo
on eight layers of denim without the needle hesitating. It also means the
needle is closer to you as you sew making it easier to see what you are
doing. This was a patented feature on Singers along with the push-button
bobbin winders, gear drive, horizontal thread delivery, etc. Do the 301s
have a vertical or horizontal spool pin? I hate it when the thread spools
bounce around on my million dollar Berninas. Good old Singer slant needles
with horizontal thread delivery are so nice because the thread never gets
tangled. I laughed when I saw a hint on Sewing With Nancy where she
actually put a tinker toy on a vertical thread spool pin to convert it to
horizontal. Look at the new embroidery machines and you will see that they
are using horizontal thread delivery.
Santa is bringing a 99k I've been told. I've never sewn on one before and
my FWs are clucking about with jealousy. They don't like the fact that an
interloper is invading their territory so we will be having UN peace
negotiations. One FW is from Britain so perhaps it can persuade the others
that another British citizen will fit in even if it does need to go on a
diet to get rid of that excess weight. Been eating too much plum pudding.
Godzilla, of course, thinks he will finally have a girlfriend. Think again
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 17:50:41 -0500
Subject: 301 dates
In a message dated 95-12-20 08:10:53 EST, you write:
>Subject: Re: 301 facts
I am compiling a 301 Fact
>Sheet, (need more input from you 301 owners, PLEASE) but here is what I
>know so far:
>Flat bed machine manufactured between 1953-59
Did you get my survey? Singer says my 301 was born may 29, 1951. A few years
earlier than I had expected. BTW, anyone know if and where I could find a
case for my 301? Katy
Subject: Sewing on a FW
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 95 18:16:23 -0500
Today I finished sewing a vest. It took two FWs but I did it! Of course
I've pieced quilt blocks, quilt tops, used a walking foot for binding and
made many dolls and doll clothes but except for a simple summer top, I've
never sewn clothing on a FW.
As I said in my previous post, the first FW started throwing loops so I
finished the project on FW #2. Since all the seams are enclosed in a lined
vest, it is the perfect project for a straight stitch machine. This was a
gift so the fabric was a batik and the silkie lining matched in a solid
lavender (the recipient's favorite color). I must say when it came to
sewing 5/8" seam allowances, I was so used to 1/4" seams for quilting that I
had to check the 5/8" line on the FW throat plate to assure myself that it
was accurate (it was). The vest came out just as beautiful as if I'd used
my best and most expensive machine. Considering what FWs cost these days,
they will soon BE the most expensive.
My second goal was to use the $2.00 buttonholer I found in the thrift store
a few weeks ago. I used antique buttons on this vest so just matched them
to a buttonholer template. It's been at least 25 years since I used a
buttonholer just like this so I decided to try to do it from memory on scrap
fabric. The throat plate cover seemed a bit springy but was securely
attached to the bed of the FW. It made me nervous because this was one of
my best FWs and I didn't want to scratch it. The buttonholer went on after
I figured out I had to lower the needle. I mistakenly used the presser foot
screw, not noticing there was a special screw in the container. Explains
why it comes with its own screw driver! Anyway, the buttonholes turned out
fairly well and I'm sure they will be perfect once I locate the $5 manual I
bought to go with the $2 attachment. Hopefully the manual will give
instructions for oiling as the thing was a bit stiff. All in all it was a
good exercise and it is a quick way to make buttonholes -- much quicker than
a Bernina 1530 but not as fast as a Singer Athena 2010 or 6268.
So now should I try the ruffler and make a broomstick skirt? I better think
about that...let's see...I'd need to also use a zigzagger to finish the
edges...mumble, mumble, mumble...foot hemmer #120842 to finish the bottom...
@#$%^&* Who started this crazy list anyway?
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 20:57:28 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/19/95
For Suzanne: ask at the nearest sewing machine store if they have any old
attachments. You should also check out flea markets and such. The most I
have paid was $15.00 but that was two full sets of attachments plus some
other odds and ends. The man I bought it from said that when he sells a
machine, if people only intend to use it as an endtable, he just dumps the
attachments out. That's why I got lucky. You should not have to go much
above 5 for a set. Good luck hunting.
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 22:52:59 EST
Subject: 301a sighted
Thanks for the particulars on the 301. I recently came across a 301a at a
local antique shop. Having never seen a 301 before, I couldn't tell you
what the differences are. This machine was tan, boxy shaped and had a
short fold-up bed and a built in handle. What type of carry case do 301's
have? I didn't see one with this machine, but didn't ask if there was one
available. What is the going price for 301's? Until I recently joined
this group I wasn't aware of all the other models that are apparently as
wonderful as our beloved FWs. It's been great fun to be educated in the
wonders and charms of the various models.
I haven't gotten around to calling Singer yet for confirmation but I have a
1941? (AG) FW. The face plate is the decorative "scroll" style but it is a
black metal, NOT silver/chrome! The area around the feed dogs is chrome.
The presser foot is also black. I also have black feet in the foot hemmer,
and adjustable hemmer. But the binder and ruffler are half black and half
silver. Any info on the reason for the black trim? Wartime "rationing" of
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 23:56:24 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/19/95
In a message dated 95-12-20 08:10:53 EST, you write:
> Beige is
>not my favorite color, but it's ugliness spoke to me.
The longer you play with your 301, the more beautiful it will become. Enjoy!
I know from whence I speak! Katy
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 00:13:08 -0500
Subject: A very nice little gift
You just never know where you are going to run into FW-
related things. My DH and I attended an employees'
Christmas party at a private home the other day. The house
was filled with antiques and there were five old sewing
machines (one treadle) scattered here and there. Naturally,
we went right to the machines and admired them. One machine
had several instruction books in the drawer. We looked at
them and found a Singer 221 booklet. We asked the hostess
if she had a Featherweight and she said she did not. I told
her I would like to buy the FW instruction manual and she
said "um hum." As we were leaving, she put the FW booklet
in my hand and said it was a gift. I was delighted. (My FW
came with just about everything except the instruction book,
now it is complete.)
Happy holidays to all from Christine T.
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 01:31:17 -0500
I have a tan Featherweight I obtained through a trade with a dealer/repairman
about fifteen years ago. I have searched for information on it for many
years. Recently I called the 800 Singer number, they referred me to a
Canadian number. No one had information on it. I have the serial #JE160854.
I am anxious to learn more about this wonderful little machine. It gets
lots of attention. It is definitely tan...brownish, I'd say, rather than
tan. I learned to sew on a 1937 Featherweight I bought for $25 in a Goodwill
Store in my hometown of Walla Walla, Wn. in the 1950's. I sewed my way
through college on it as I was the costume wardrobe sewer at the theater and
sewed shirts for my classmates...all on the trusty tiny black Featherweight.
Still have it and use it lots. As with the tan one. I am a Costume
Conservator at a NY museum and have lots of use of both. I also sew doll
clothes for extra $ on them..I now have a fancy big bucks Pfaff, but can't
live without my Featherweights. I had three for about ten years, but last
summer gave my best friend (from Walla Walla who now lives in NY) the 1950's
one. You all can see she's a very good friend...right?
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 04:03:00 -0500
I have a Singer G7986576, dome wood cover, lovely gold work on it and need
information. How to thread it, where to get a new light for it, and any
miscellaneous info available. I paid $199 and my local sewing repair man
said it was worth it. Has about six bobbins, round ones, screw driver to
open it, and a couple other things. I can get it to run but it is not right.
Need to know how the belt should be and also, there is no markings for
tenstion #'s, only the knob. If anyone can help, thank you very much.
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 07:55:47 -0500
Subject: Feelin' Hot Hot Hot
Actually, it's cold, cold, cold, here in Pennsylvania, but if I want to warm
things up a bit all I have to do is leave my 221K FW plugged in when I'm not
using it and things can get downright toasty. The gas pedal does seem to
stick a bit and I discovered that it does not come back up all the way when I
remove my foot; when this happens, the machine remains in a constant "go"
state. I am most dreadfully afraid I will burn up my motor so I turn off and
unplug the machine every time I walk away from it, even when I am teaching.
My 221K is a white one; I can understand why people think they're not exactly
white because actually it has a faintly greenish glow to it, like something
that is not exactly from this planet. Maybe they are made of kryptonite or
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 13:53:58 -0500
In a message dated 95-12-19 10:57:37 EST, you write:
>I have a 301 question. Is this a portable machine? Full-head? I have
>someone anxious to sell me a package deal - 221 and 301. Don't know what I
>am getting into yet! Thanks. Millie
Hi Millie and Bryan,
The 301 is full size but it is aluminum so it is light, about 15-16#s. It is
a great machine to sew with. I'd buy another for my daughter if I found one.
I don't have a FW yet but of my three sewing machines, I use the 301 the
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 15:40:32 -0500
Subject: bobbin case needed
Just found another featherweight, this one an AF, 1938 model. It is in nice
shape but missing the bobbin case. Someone mentioned knowing where to get
them for about $45 awhile ago, but I didn't think I would ever need the info.
So, please help, out there. If you have any sources, or ideas. Local
Singer store is telling me they are no longer available.
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 14:48:47 -0600
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/19/95
Hello All! Thanks again to Nancy S! I've updated the featherweight
home page with all of our information from Nancy. The updates include,
information about the 301's and Misc. information on the treadle, jones,
and the white machines. Come take a look. More information, after the
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 95 13:19:49 PST
I finally called Singer and found out my featherweight with the
Texas Centennial seal was manufactured on July 13, 1936! I also
found out my other old Singer is a model 128, manufactured on Oct.
15, 1946. I can't remember anyone saying anything about 128's on
this list, but if anyone has any info, let me know. It is a machine
that has one of those bullet-shaped shuttle bobbins. It's in a
nondescript wooden cabinet.
Date: 20 Dec 95 12:58:26 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/19/95
Bette, I am very interested in your DMC chests. Can you tell me more about them
(size, number of drawers, plastic or wood etc) Please contact me (preferably
email). OR if you give me a phone number, I will be happy to phone you.
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 21:09:23 -0500
Subject: Snow for Christmas
To all of you who are longing for snow, and regretting that you won't have
any for the holidays, we've got plenty to spare here-plus the sheets of ice
that go with it.
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 21:09:32 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/20/95
While you are searching for a set of attachments for your new FW (congrats),
go to the nearest sewing machine store and buy a lowshank presser foot. It
does fit and at least you will be able to play with your new treasure. They
probably will also have bobbins for you.
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 95 21:32:19 -0500
Subject: Re: featherweight alert! Columbia, Missouri
My apologies to all of you that this is slightly off topic. I don't belong
to the featherweight list and wanted to get the word out.
I believe I have spotted a featherweight for sale here in columbia mo. At
the local Salvation Army ( the one on Walnut STreet) store I spied an old
Singer with the serial number beginning EK9... The machine was black, in a
homemade sewing machine table and felt fairly light. I tried to lift it, it
felt light, but didn't want to lift the entire table. The price was $50.
I would have bought it except I'm not financially able to, plus we'll be
moving sometime this summer and I already have one machine that doesnt' do
anything but straight stitch. Sewing machine priority right now is a machine
that at least will do a zig zag..
Happy holidays to you all! I enjoy reading the posts and I've learned so
much, especially what not to do.
Date: 21 Dec 95 23:22:20 EST
Subject: DMC cases
A day or so ago someone advertised they had DMC cases/cabinets for sale. I
would be interested. Can you please contact me? Thanks
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 08:59:13 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/20/95
I don't know if anyone out there would be interested, but I saw a manual with
instructions for the attachments for the Singer model 15 machine. It was $10
and I don't have this machine, but if anyone is interested, I would be glad
to purchase it for you if it's still there. Just had to add yet again my vote
for the 301 machines - I always thought they should be as popular as
featherweights and it sounds like others agree. It's funny that I'm not the
only one that got one without its cords - luckily I had ones from my other
machine that would fit. Now we'll have to start looking for cords as well as
the other attachments. Is there no end to this disease?? Sue M.
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 09:22:20 -0500
Subject: 1961 ES fw
To Kim. Had to respond to your posting the other day on FWF. I too have an
ES featherweight - ES657173 bornMay 15, 1961.
My carry case also has that unusual black-silvery brocade on the inside of
the top of the cover. At first I thought it was not original too, but I have
another FW with a green/white case and an off-white brocade material. So I
concluded that that was the style at that particular time.
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 08:35:11 -0600
Subject: FW Fanatics 12/20/95 -Reply
Merry Christmas you all! I love reading this post (thanks Sue). Reading
all your postings about your FW finds makes me wish spring would come
so I could hoppity hop to all the antique stores -- and there are a bunch in
Des Moines with about three more coming to my neighborhood. I don't
have an FW yet, but I do have a 99k that I love.
Because of this digest, I have met two e-mail "pen pals" that I correspond
with now regularly. We have found we have a lot in common (Hi Katy
and Ginney). In fact one of them lives in the same city I live in and we
found out we know a lot of the same people!! It IS a small world.
Merry Christmas again to all of you.
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 09:48:27 -0500
Subject: Re: FW For Sale
I have a beautiful white FW with attachments &bobbins, manual, key, oil
tube, excellent case, &has been serviced by a sewing machine repair-person.
This 221K machine also has a 222K cousin for sale that is as pretty. The
221K price is $290 + shipping. If interested in the 222K, please E-mail me
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 10:42:11 -0500
Subject: Various FW news
Just had to write you all and tell you about my recent FW adventures. I told
you all that I picked up a 1938 fw last week, well, turns out, from reading
Nancy in Houston's note and calling Singer that my 1938, AF 075543 was made
on the same day as the AF 084003 she saw for sale, October 10, 1938.
As I told you, the cord was all messed up and I was quoted $30 at the local
Singer store to replace it. Well, a guy that I work with just fixed it
perfectly for the cost of the cord which was around $5. It took him all of
20 minutes to get it all rewired. The other problem I had was that the
bobbin case was missing. I was at Singer this morning and the dealer looked
the price up in his parts book and I was told that "wholesale" on the bobbin
case was $103 plus his markup, making the price around $140. Well, when I
got back to the office, I called the Singer toll free number and after she
looked up the serial number for me, I asked about the availablility of fw
bobbin cases, belts, etc. She gave me a toll free number to call for the New
York State Singer Service Center in Syracuse NY. I called the number and
talked to a very pleasant woman named Sue who told me I could get the bobbin
case for $72.50 + 7 % sales tax and $2.50 handling and shipping. They also
have the little rubber feet for 50 cents each and the belts for $4.95. I was
so thrilled!!!!! Now I won't be overcharged for these things!!! For those in
New York State the toll free number is 1-800-321-7397. If you are in any
other state, call the original Singer toll free number 1-800-877-7762 and
tell them you want the phone number of the Singer Service Center in your
state. It might pay off, especially if you need items for your
featherweight. I am checking a few places for "used" bobbin cases to see if
I can get the price down, but at least if I pick up any more machines with
missing bobbin cases, I know how much to pay and how much it will cost to
replace them. I should have asked about the availability of manuals but
clean forgot, maybe next time.
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday and many fw finds
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 12:17:36 -0500
Subject: Happy Holidays and Hello to all my new FW friends
Hello from Ken:
I just this morning got my first issue of this newsletter and I actually sat
on the sofa and read all the hard copies through and wished I had more!
Since I know I will be addicted to this newsletter I am saying hellos to all
and will tell you a bit more about my FW addiction which has lasted 40-some
As I mentioned in my query about my tan FW, I got the black 12/8/37 machine
in the mid-1950's, in Walla Walla where I grew up. I was about 12 or 13 when
I bought it at the local Goodwill store (my favorite shopping spot) so that
would have been around 1957. I was determined to sew, even though my family
was dead-set against it. We lived in a huge old 1890's house and my bedroom
had an 8' x 12' walk-in closet. I set up my sewing studio in there, bought
some robin's egg blue wool and using a pair of Sunday best slacks as a guide,
I sewed my first pair of slacks. On my Featherweight. To my surprise, they
not only looked good, but as all pragmatic teens do, I made them to fit me,
not just to copy the store-bought pair. Also, to my surprise, my father was
proud of my accomplishment and to this day..he is 80!..still is proud of my
That FW helped me pay my way through college and later, in 1973 when I moved
to Manhattan it paid for my rent, food and entertainment. It will always be
my constant companion. When I moved to NY and into this 37story hi-rise
straight from Walla Walla, I took my first photo's of me and blkFW at work
Other FW's have come and gone. They went because there were so many! They
only went to good homes. Most to serious sewers from the Fashion Institute
of Technology Fashion Design programs. One, as previously mentioned, went to
my best friend from Walla Walla who now lives here.
As you all can see, I am thrilled to have found this newsletter. All because
I one day decided to see if I could find the birthdate and hometown of Mr.
Happy Holidays to everyone and I now have a reason to read &drink a cup of
tea, quitely, every morning!
Date: 22 Dec 95 12:14:23 EST
Subject: WHY I LOVE FW'S
Dear FWF Friends,
Since it is the holidays, and I sometimes get sentimental this time of year, I
think I am about to do it again here. I just want to tell you how much all of
you sharing your thoughts and happy discoveries have meant to me, and how very
much more our mutual fascination with FW's means, than I have ever admitted to.
As many of you have said in your notes, just handling and working with our FW's
and other early model sewing machines gives us a feeling of connection with the
people who have gone before us and used them in their lives. But, on a personal
note, my FW's have given me a connection with my own past, that I have long
neglected. I have always been intent on looking forward and not spending much
time reflecting on my growing up years in a very small town in SE Indiana during
the 50's and early 60's. Where, indeed, it was a much more simple and easy life
than most of us have in 1995. These are good years, too, but so were those when
I really stop to think back to them.
When I got my first FW and started to use it and just handle it, I would find
myself tearing-up sometimes. Not about the delightful little machine it is, but
all that it represented of my early life. Funny thing is that I didn't even own
one back then, but I sure wanted to. I remember many-a-day standing with my
12-year old nose pressed against the display window of our small town Singer
Sewing Center, thinking they were the cutest little thing in the world. I was
just beginning to learn to sew then, and my mother did buy me a full-size
machine comparable to the Singer 201. But, being a child I thought there was
nothing in the world more desirable than a Singer Featherweight--MY size sewing
machine...probably my mother thought it was too toy-looking and not a serious
machine. Also, it was probably a bit too expensive for our family at that time,
because my father had just passed away unexpectedly.
Now, many years later I am the happy owner of several FW's, and they represent
much more to me than just the wonderfully stitching, cute-looking little sewing
machines they are. Through them I have started to appreciate many "antiques"
from my childhood era, which I had previously been intent upon ignoring. Thanks
to all of you who have shared your own funny, and sometimes touching, stories
through the year. I just wanted to take a few minutes to add one more to the
list during this happy and sentimental time of year. You are all precious new
friends, and we are bound together by our common interests...maybe even more
deeply bound together by our individual, underlying stories. I am so happy I
have discovered FW/301/99 collecting, and all they represent to me; because
they are a lot more fun to spend time and money on than maybe a therapist
someday, looking for my long-lost inner child. And, there it was all the time,
just waiting to come out of a small little old, musty-smelling FW case.
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 12:48:02 -0500
Subject: Happy Holidays
I never seem to get to contribute; but, didn't want to miss the chance to
wish everyone a Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New
Kolleen in yesterday's digest you mentioned that you have an AG - mine is
also an AG and the birth date is Sept. 19, 1945 and the face plate is
chrome. I haven't seen any other 1945's listed and was wondering if there
are any others on this list.
Since I first wrote in I have only used my FW and what a beauty she is. My
DH wants to know when I'm going to use my other machine again (probably never).
Just want to you all to know how much I enjoy the list and again wish
everyone a very happy holiday.
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 22:33:42 -0500 (EST)
Sandra: Yes, I do understand that the letters in the serial numbers don't
indicate the country of origin, but I am sure Singer used different
prefixes for different countries. In the United States they used numbers
alone, then single letters, then double letters beginning with A. (I
meant to look at a new Singer today and see what the serial number was to
see if they are still using the same method)And all British machines so far
begin with an "E" or "F". It would have been really confusing if they
started the British machines with "A" also. And now there are two tan
Featherweight owners whose Canadian machines begin with "J".
Dawn:Your husband's logic about the British machines with Canadian motors
could be correct. Maybe the British only made the 230-250 watt motor at
first. The list shows Britain did make at least two different 110-120
motors, but maybe they were later, since the numbers are larger. If the
tan machine I have was made in Great Britain though, it must have been
painted in Canada because the paint of the machine matches the paint of
the motor exactly.
Hope you all have a happy holiday season,
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 23:07:15 -0500 (EST)
Subject: An Adventure!
Well, folks, it must be Christmas -- that time of the year when unexpected
gifts can pop up in unusual places...
I have read about so many of you on your quests to
junk/antique/collectible shops, and it has sounded like so much fun that I
promised myself that one thing I would do on my week of vacation is go on
a quest myself. Given my luck at this sort of thing, I expected to have a
fun afternoon an come back with not much of anything. I had one or two
"real" errands to run, and I decided to stop at this secondhand place I
know on the way back home. The first interesting thing that happened was
that about ten seconds after I set foot out my front door, it started
sleeting. (Here we go, I thought!) But I did have things to do, and I
wasn't going all that far out of my way, so I persevered.
What I found in this shop (which, by the way, gives an entire new meaning
to the word "junk") was what the owner described as a "turn of the
century' White Rotary machine, originally a treadle but now converted to
electrical. The machine didn't interest me because I really don't need a
cabinet model (yes, I know I said Need has nothing to do with it) but one
of the cabinet drawers had two or three cardboard boxes plus the more
elaborate black and gold "Rotary" box of attachments. Of course for a
moment I felt like I had found the Mother Lode of Greist-dom. Then of
course when I asked, the owner said she would not sell the attachments
separately from the machine -- and in all honestly I don't really blame
her. Nevertheless, out of pure curiosity I asked her if I could look at
the stuff, since I have read lots of descriptions and now I had a large
collection of real attachments at hand. As I was rummaging through the
boxes, I realized she had two different types of attachments with the
machine: most of them were the slide-on-from-the-front kind, which the
ORIGINAL instrction book confirmed were the ones that belonged with the
White; the other set were the sort of forked-wrap-around type which seem
to be standard for the Singers.
The neat part is that I screwed up my courage, and with the help of the
illustrations in the White instruction book and a flashlight, I managed to
convince her that the latter set of attachments could not in fact be used
on the machine since they couldn't physically fit onto the attachment arm,
and for the princely sum of $10.00 she sold me:
a Simanco Standard Presser Foot #45321 (this is the most darling little
thing I've ever seen --it's barely 1/4" wide)
a Singer Adjustable Zipper Foot #161127
a Greist Ruffler #2593519
Four Greist keyhole-type fixed-width hemmers plus a keyhole-type
multi-slot binder, INCLUDING the ever-elusive ATTACHMENT FOOT
a Greist Seam Guide
a Greist Narrow Hemmer
a Gathering Foot (no markings), and
a Partridge in a Pear...... no wait, that's another story
something that looks like it's some sort of width guage -- a long,
narrow strip of metal bent back on itself, with a little S-piece
connecting between both ends that moves up and down on a scale.
My scale markings run from 1/2" to about 1-1/4". A friend of mine
also has one (she doesn't know what it is, either), and her scale
is something like,"B, C, F"
Have you figured out that I'm just a little euphoric here! I absolutely
NEVER have this kind of luck. Nancy in Houston take note: Nothing
ventured, nothing gained. I wish everyone the luck I had my first time out.
For Ann A: The Singer part number for bobbins which will
fit your featherweight is: 2137. I just bought a pack of four at my local
Hancock Fabrics last month.
Kim: How did your flannel quilts turn out?
I will now quit hogging the digest (but I had too much fun not to share!)
By the way, her asking price on the White Rotary was $125.00. If anyone
out there is interested, e-mail me privately and I'll send you the address
&phone number of the shop. She also had one of those
miniature-but-not-a-toy machines that I've seen described here once or
twice. It measures about 12" long by 10" high, is hand cranked, and
appears to be a chain-stitch machine (no bobbin). Her asking price on
this is $175.00 (too rich for my blood). She must have thought I wouldn't
believe the price, so she showed me her reference. It's a book called
"Antique Iron: Identification and Value" by Kathryn McNerney. Our library
has both a 1984 and a 1991 edition. For those of you interested in the
scholarly approach, this book will probably be easier to find than the
Wishing a very Merry Christmas to all, and Piece and Joy for the New Year
(and signing off until Thursday, December 28th), I remain
Subject: Happy Holidays to FWFanatics!
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 95 21:24:00 -0500
Ann asked:>> does anyone have a part number and/or source for FW bobbins>>
Part #45785 or look for them packaged by Singer, four to a package, in
Nancy asked:>>will sell a complete attachment set for $50. Can I do better?
>> I have purchased a green box with six attachments for $5 and recently
purchased two boxes w/attachments at $20 each. Ask at sewing machine repair
stores, check with friends and co-workers, and ask at antique shops because
I've found they keep these things hidden due to theft problems with small
Dawn asked:>> I'd also be interested in a darning foot too, is there such a
thing for a FW? >> According to my 1950 Singer Machine Sewing book there is
a Darning Foot Spring #121094 but you probably need the Feed Cover Plate
#121309 in order to use it. Several catalogs sell darning springs for low
shank machines and maybe if you cover the feed dogs with the plate that
comes with the buttonholer, you could get one of these "springs" to work. A
friend of mine has used a generic spring on her FW for years for quilting.
Catalogs from Nancy's Notions and Clotilde are two that come to mind.
Oh boy, my 99k arrived this afternoon. Santa showed up early! I have to
wait until Christmas morning which is going to be tough. I've segregated it
in another part of the house so the FWs don't throw a fit. It reminds me of
bringing a new plant or pet bird into the house -- I have to keep them
separated for awhile so they don't contaminate the others and pass on a
parasite. After the way that FW has been throwing loops this week, I don't
want IT to contaminate the 99k!
Happy Holidays and I'll be thinking of all of you receiving "new" old sewing
machines this Christmas. I wonder if we'd all be getting machines if Sue
Traudt hadn't started this list? THANKS, SUE!!!
Date: Sat, 23 Dec 1995 01:46:35 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 66, old Kenmore, key, bobbins
Happy Holidays (no matter *which* holidays!) to you all--
Today I went back to an antique store I'd been in last summer. They
still had the model 66 in a well-kept but fairly plain cabinet. The
first time I looked at it, I was in a hurry, and I figured it had been
motorized since there was an add-on electric light (and the rather
unsightly clamp and scratched enamel that went with it) and of course an
electrical cord. Today I looked a little more closely and discovered
that only the *light* was electric--the machine itself is still
treadle-operated. Well, now it's considerably more appealing...at $98
including original manuals and several bobbins and a bunch of
accessories, what do you all think?? The belt is broken, but I believe
that would be easy to replace, yes? I think the serial # starts with AB,
and I remember (sort of) that the manuals had 1924 dates in them--does
this make sense? I'm thinking that if I end up with $$$ as Christmas
gifts, I'll thank the givers for the lovely piece of American heritage,
even though DH says if I get that treadle I have to get rid of the empty
treadle cabinet I already have. Any opinions, warnings, etc.???
The same fellow first showed me, when I asked innocently about "sewing
machine parts" (having learned before that this store already has a list
of people paying them to look for FW's :/ ), a box of Griest "Rotary
Attachments", a brown Kenmore buttonholer, and a pebbly-finish beige-y
brown angular Kenmore straight-stitch machine (knee controller, no case
or cabinet, missing presser foot &shank). $20 for the whole lot. I
checked through the Griest box and could not identify the piece
(adapter?) that would be needed to attach the rest of the pieces, tho the
rest of them looked fine (ruffler, binder, a couple of hemmers, etc.).
So far, the stuff is still at the store--don't need a Kenmore of
questionable ability, don't know if the Griest stuff would fit a FW or if
it's unlikely I'll find the adapter piece--your comments are welcome!
Nancy posted she'd come up with a FW born 1/29/51...I'm looking for one
also born on this date myself. If any of you have or discover one that's
available, p-l-e-a-s-e let me know!! I remember Kris had one listed on
her database, so maybe there's hope for me yet!
Can anyone help with a FW key problem? I have a 1938 AF, with no keys.
I've got an Ilco T60 key, which doesn't fit either. Is there something
else I need to do with this key, or is it just the wrong one, or what?
Just a reminder--don't overlook the little Singer depts of fabric stores
as a source for bobbins, etc. I found some at a House of Fabrics in
Omaha...meanwhile the two "repair" guys here in town are "still waiting"
for the bobbins they supposedly ordered for me months ago...
This is such a fun list! Thanks, Sue, for your efforts.
Date: Sat, 23 Dec 1995 10:57:11 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/22/95
Has anyone heard of a "Stitch Master featherweight" made by a company called
Raico. It looks similiar to the 99K machine, but doesn't weigh as much. It
comes in a portable case, doesn't have a fold up arm, is black &has similiar
gold scroll like the Singer featherweight. It has the name, as shown above,
across the front where Singer has their name &has "featherweight" on the
back side where Singer has Singer Manufacturing Company. I recently purchased
it, but know nothing about it. PLEASE check your books or reference material
&see if you can find out anything about it. I will be most appreciative.
Date: Sat, 23 Dec 1995 11:34:56 -0600 (CST)
Subject: toy machine
When I posted earlier, I forgot to mention that I found a Sew-Easy toy
machine in that same antique store...hand-cranked, fairly light
gray-beige (I think), $69.50. Email if you're interested, and I'll check
it out more closely. (no affiliation, etc.)
Date: Sat, 23 Dec 95 11:10:07 -0500
Marilyn, you said:>>I have a Singer G7986576, dome wood cover, lovely gold
work on it and need information. How to thread it, where to get a new light
for it, and any miscellaneous info available>>
First, call Singer at 1-800-877-7762 to find out the model and then ask them
for a photocopy of the instruction manual. (They did this for me for free
on a 1885 Singer I own.) Then call "A Stitch Back in Time" in Texas at 1-
800-352-1174 and ask them to send you a catalog. They carry many parts for
these old machines including bobbin cases, throat plates, bobbins, presser
feet, lights for hand crank and treadles, leather belts, etc.
Another good source for sewing machine feet, spool pin felts, machine oilers
with pinpoint tips, and every sewing gadget and supply imaginable at a
discount is SCS USA. Call 1-800-542-4727 in Portland, Oregon for a catalog.
Merry Christmas from Terry
Date: 23 Dec 95 18:52:47 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/22/95
Upon browsing in a antique shop today I came upon a Singer of some type.
Upon encouragement from DH we bought it (of course he looked at me and said
Merry Christmas). It has what appears to be a commemorative label on the front
of the machine saying Singer Hundred Years 185l-195l. It is in a wood carrying
case and has attachments in a compartment on the end of the bed (which the
machine is sitting in). Can any of you help me identify
this machine. I have two FWs (the first one bought not really knowing what I was
buying. It has the original oil and lubricant, plus attachments, instruction
book and a case, all in excellent condition, which I paid $l20 for at auction).
The next one cost me more and didn't have anything but the case with it. Oh
well, sometimes it pays to be dumb, but I soon figured it out upon getting it
home. Any help on the machine we purchased today would
be greatly appreciated. Judy
Date: Sat, 23 Dec 1995 20:14:13 -0500
Subject: Parts etc.
There are often quite a few questions about the availability of
parts for older sewing machines on this list. Many parts for older machines
are available through your local sewing machine sales/repair store. Even if
the store doesn't have the parts on hand they can order most parts for older
machines from their suppliers. A word of caution, some parts ie., bobbin
cases and needle plates for featherweights are expensive, but they are
Bobbins and bobbin cases for the 221 as well as leather belts for
treadle machines, special needles, long bobbins, shuttles and other parts
are also available from A Stitch Back In Time 800-352-1174. Call for their
catalog. The usual disclaimer applies. I am just a satisfied customer. I
have also found the above parts available at the Singer dealers.
Don't expect to get hard-to-find parts at discount stores like
Wal-Mart or the like. There just isn't enough demand for the chain stores
to carry these parts.
Singer still sells bobbins for the 221 and 301. There is a blister
pack of four bobbins available at a suggested retail price of $1.65 Singer
Item Number 2137. If your dealer doesn't have them they can certainly order
There seems to be some confusion about the letters J and K
indicating the country of origin. Those letters appearing in the model
number ie., 221K or 221J do in fact indicate the country of origin.
However, letters in the serial number don't.
I hope this information is helpful.
Betty and I wish each and everyone of you the Happiest of Holidays.
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