Sunday, December 3 - Saturday, December 9
Subject: Foot for OLD New Home
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 95 02:06:00 PDT
FF>I've been going through all my quilt books yet again but this time with an
FF>eye to finding pictures of old machines. I think this is a sickness... Katy
Yes...it is a sickness, and it gets progressively worse. Soon you will
FF>2. I have a 1948 New Home, in perfect meachanical shape. All
FF>decals are gorgeous. I had purchased it in a old beat up
FF>cabinet, 4 years ago for $25 from
FF>a man who made motorcycle helmet inserts.
How did you find out it is a 1948? I have a 40's vintage New Home, and
I have not been able to get a date pinned to it. What color is yours?
Mine is gold, and it is gorgeous too.
I am trying to find a
FF>walking foot for it. The New Home company says we don't have any.
FF>DO any of you?
I hate to disappoint you, but I don't think you will find such an animal.
Take the foot off of your machine and measure it from the U thingy that
hooks to the machine to the bottom of the foot. It will either measure
somewhere around 1/2" or somewhere around 3/4". I suspect it will be
the high shank (3/4), since that is what mine is. I have found many
sets of attachments for Low shank machines using that style foot, but
only a few scattered feet for the high shank which my New Home has. Do
you have a manual for yours? I have one if you would like a copy it
doesn't cost much to copy and mail it.
There are a lot of neet attachments made for the machine...I should say
were made, since no one makes them anymore...but as far as I know, a
walking foot was never made, and I don't know of any way to attach one
to the machine. That thumbscrew does not come off as it does on some
models of machine using that style attachment. By the way, Greist makes
If your machine uses the 3/4" shank feet Sewing Emporium has a couple of
hemmers and a zipper foot available for it. They sell them for $4.95
each. That's where I found the few I have. If it uses the 1/2" feet, I
know my localsewingmachineguru has an entire set which I think he is
asking $25 for.
Subject: Fran's Workshop
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 95 03:06:00 PDT
Well, I've been busy again tonight. I had been into my favorite thrift
store yesterday, and they had an old electric White Rotary in their bid
case. I knew I wouldn't be down for their weekly auction, but I figured
I'd put a written bid on the poor thing, and if I got it, the machine
was meant to be mine. Well guess what, I got her for $25 dollars. I
called tonight to check, and she is mine. I guess the other people
couldn't see beneath the grime. She isn't rusty, but she is VERY VERY
dusty. I mean you can probably stand a ruler up in the dust. YECH!
But, I saw her potential. She must have wanted me to buy her, knowing I
would fix her up and make her purr (we hope).
Well, knowing DH would be less than pleased about the prospect of
ANOTHER sewing machine in HIS basement, I figured I had better get back
to work on my current projects.
I can't finish sandblasting the iron yet, because it's raining too much,
and you can't sandblast in the rain, so I brought my centennial model 15
upstairs for her facial and clean up since I have finished refinishing
I had originally thought her finish was cracking, but when I got her
upstairs and on to the examination table I realized my initial diagnosis
was incorrect. When her previous owner had put her away, apparently
aware she would sit somewhere for a long time, they coated her entire
self with oil. This oil had turned yellow, crustified, and cracked. I
was (and still am) ELATED!
OF NOTE TO THE PERSON WONDERING HOW TO CLEAN HER MACHINE WITHOUT
REMOVING THE PAINT:
I figured I had better try this before I recommended it to anyone else,
even though my DH said it was wonderful stuff, and would do the job
without damaging the finish. He was right, it did. I am a convert!
This stuff is AMAZING!
I have spent the last 5 hours disassembling, cleaning and oiling her.
She now has a coat of wax drying for me to buff her to a beautiful
shine. The finish isn't as perfect as my featherweight, but my hands
are sore, so I decided it was good enough.
The fine coating of crusty oil was everywhere! Some places very fine,
in others downright thick. I got out some 0000 steel wool and sprayed
her down, then I rubbed gently, wiped her off, sprayed again, rubbed
some more, wiped, sprayed, rubbed...etc....for 5 hours. I took off all
easily removable parts. WD-40 will eventually loosen most screws, you
just have to be patient and very liberal in your application of the
wonderful stuff. All of her innards and outards are now clean and
oiled. I will add a few drops of real sewing machine oil, just for good
measure, when she is all back together and in her cabinet.
She is a centennial model 15, with Singer painted on one side, and
Made in Canada, The Singer Manufacturing Co; on the other side. Her
serial # is JC274826.
I paid all of $20 for her...that seems to be a magic number for me. I
think these machines find me, for such good prices, because they know I
will fix them up and love them, and even try and use them for their
intended purpose from time to time. Or I will try to find good homes
for them. This one I am keeping though, since she will be my first
completed restoration from pathetic to beautiful.
This whole project will be peanuts compared to the White I just got. It
is in REALLY pathetic shape...at least it is REALLY dirty. The cabinet
and machine actually seem to be in pretty good order. I better buy a
CASE of WD-40 for this project.
By the way, DH has given up. He just sighed and said "another sewing
machine" weakly. He didn't even protest. I may even be getting him
hooked...he did spend 6 hours, a couple of weeks ago, helping me
sandblast one of my treadle irons...and tonight he was amazed at how
much better this machine looked when it was cleaned up. He was (dare I
say it) actually impressed.
The disease is, after all, highly contagious. It's just a matter of
Subject: ORANGE and BROWN
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 95 00:08:00 PDT
FF>Well my Darling Dad (King of the Garage Sales) has done it again - two
FF>machines for $15.00!!!!! (I think at the current exchange rate this is
FF>about $US 8)
What a DEAL! Do they work? What era is BROWN and ORANGE? Straight
stitch, or zig zag. What fun! A featherweight with its case would be a
bit less than 15 pounds.
Subject: featherweight ramblings
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 95 02:08:00 PDT
FF>Another weekend, another garage sale, ANOTHER machine, another $5
It has absolutely no redeeming features at all
FF>but I just had to rescue it!
Dawn, you are making me feel guilty. I got a treadle machine with no
redeeming qualities, except the iron base, and the only thing I am
redeeming is the iron base...so far. I paid $5 for it too. My plans
were to put another cabinet I am refinishing on the iron, and a
different model 66 in it. Now you have me thinking that I should try
and save the machine and maybe even the cabinet....sigh...
And who was that strange man that pointed
FF>it out to me and who pounced on it to get it going as soon as we arrived
FF>home - the same one that said to me last week 'oh no you are NOT going
FF>to start collecting sewing machines'!
Guess what strange man spent 6 hours tonight helping me work on my
sewing machine cabinets. Of course he did get to play with his new
sandblaster to clean up the iron bases, but I am VERY grateful. He also
sandblasted the paint off of one of the cabinets. I wouldn't recommend
this for anything you want to have a nice smooth finish, but if you want
a "distressed" look, or the cabinet is already so distressed you think
you may trash it, go for it. Once I hand sanded it with some fine
sandpaper the cabinet came out looking great. The true test will be to
see what it looks like when I stain it. We think it will look cool.
Jim is trying to convince me to go at the cabinet with a bag of nuts and
bolts, hammers etc...to further distress it. The sandblaster was
definitely a lot easier than the palm sander or stripper. There was
almost more paint than wood on this poor cabinet.
Sigh....I guess I will have to re-assess the condition of the cabinet
and machine that are sitting on top of that iron treadle stand I was
going to mercilessly rob from them.....maybe sandblasting would make
that beyond hope cabinet have hope....of course the veneer would still
be cracked and it would still be missing a drawer, but hey, it would
have character....sigh....don't tell my husband what I am thinking...
FF>Dawn - still featherweightless in Auckland....
You will find her!
FF>PS It did have one intriguing feature, the bobbin holder is _exactly_
FF>the same as the one in my Bernina 830 (19 years old).
That is interesting!
In your vast collection, do you happen to have any drawers to treadle
cabinets? Not the larger beautifully ornate ones, but the plain ones
from the later treadles. My centennial model 15 also has these type of
drawers. I would love to buy one from you if you have one, or I have a
beautifully ornate and refinished drawer which I bought in an antique
shop, and is too big which I would be willing to trade for a plain jane
drawer. (I would have emailed this to you, but I am not sure you got my
last email...or I may not have gotten yours....)
The case is that acryllic, plastic looking affair.
FF>This machine looked brand new and was priced at $225. You could never
FF>mistake it for the old black ones at all.
I saw one of these in my localsewingmachineguru's shop...he said it was
a joke...he sold it to someone for $39.00...
Subject: 99K help
Date: Sat, 2 Dec 95 03:01:00 PDT
FF>Hi again! Spent the evening with my 99k and Sincere's Sewing Machine
FF>Repair book. I'm getting a stitch...but have BIG loops on the bottom of
FF>the fabric. I'm still messing with the tension though I'm thinking of
FF>adjusting the timing...anyone have any thoughts?? Should I confess that I
FF>really don't know what I'm doing and take it to the repair place? ;-) It
FF>is fun to tinker. I did not know that the 99 is just a smaller version of
FF>the 66. Any advice gratefull accepted!
I would think if it was the timing you wouldn't be forming stitches at
all. I would mess with the tension some more. Either the lower tension
is way too loose, or the upper tension is way too tight. If you are
brave, take the upper tension assembly apart (1 very careful piece at a
time, laying the pieces out in the order they came off in), clean them
and oil the bejeebies out of it.
Actually, you might try spraying a bunch of WD-40 in the tension
assembly...in fact, spray the whole machine with it. It did wonders for
the machine I was working on last night. Still oil it with sewing
machine oil when you're all done, because it's heavier than WD-40.
I wouldn't give up yet. Just keep tinkering, and remember if you take
something apart to lay the pieces out in such a way that you can
remember how to put them back together, and in a way they won't roll
away and disappear. This is good advice I learned from my mechanic
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 1995 04:10:55 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 11/30/95
Still looking for my featherweight. I stopped into a machine shop who's idea
of an 'old' machine was something from the '70's. Sheesh, that's MY new
machine. When I tell them I have a series 6000 they tell me I "should see
what they can do now". Yeah, yeah, tell it to someone who cares. I'm
becoming such and 'old machine' snob. I've also realized why a lot of these
shops aren't selling any of the "old black Singer's" as I refer to them.
Since I picked up my 99, I haven't touched my fancy cam Viking. It's just
so much more homey, and it runs beautifully. Not to mention it's familiar to
me since I learned on one as a kid. Not that I'm not for the advances of the
newer machines. But there's just so much a machine can do for me before I
feel like the machinery is getting in the way.
I know what you mean about looking at the pictures of the sewing machines in
the quilting books. This is getting rediculous. I think I saw the one
you're referring to today when I was out quilt book hunting. BTW, that QQQ
was at a shop for $11 in paperback. I've been reading a lot of books lately
and didn't see anything especially fascinating about it, but then I didn't
read it, just flipped through it. And I think it was recommended as a
quilters beginner book, yes.
Found a black and a white FW in another Sewing Machine shop here in town.
They had one that looked exactly like a FW and it said MINI across the front
of it. It was black. Anyone know anything about this one. It wasn't
recommended by another shop I was at.
Finally called Singer and found the birthdate of my 99. It's April 10, 1934.
That's seventeen years before I was born. Wow.
I love those Singer buttonholer's. As I've said before, I haven't found a
machine yet that makes a better buttonhole. Speaking of Singer buttonholers:
My Singer buttonholer is a 160506 model. The feed cover plate that came
with the buttonholer is #160543. I've tried to attatch the cover plate over
the feed dogs, but the screw doesn't seem to want to screw down far enough to
make the plate fit tight enought to keep it from moving and thereby causing a
needle breakage/jam. Terry tells me I'll need a #32589 cover plate for the
99. Anyone can give me more information for this?
BTW, I have a Kenmore buttonholer too. Anyone know about the
interchangability of these with a Singer? It looks just like my Singer's,
and the cam's look interchangable. I'll get a model number and check it out.
Still on the FW search,
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 1995 21:05:45 +1100
Subject: Restoring an old machine Lesson 1 answers
Last week I wrote about my newest 99K. She's a 30s lady, covered in grime,
and I asked help on cleaning the grime off, as Lesson 1.
Here are my questions, and the answers you suggested.
Should I use dishwashing detergent in warm water, and a toothbrush to
remove grime, when it appears it may be removing the decals? What would you
No-one commented on the method I used, but here were some suggested
alternatives. I haven't had time to test any of these yet. When I do, I'll
let you know.
Use WD 40 to dissolve some of the grease.
Use eucalyptus oil and a (makeup) sponge brush. We use this in Australia
for removing the sticky residue after removing stickers etc. Easily
Use Goddard's Metal Polish
When it's clean, polish with
Turtle Wax (car polish)
baby oil or
Future floor polish. Future is not available in Australia - can anyone tell
me the main ingredients so I can look for something similar?
Would you remove the motor, light fitting and maybe bobbin winder before
the washing procedure?
How would you get these screws out? WD-40 didn't loosen them.
The only suggestion was more WD-40
Instinct says to clean the surfaces before oiling and lubricating. Is there
anything else I should do before oiling her?
I was surprised there was so little input to my questions. Usually people
are tremendous with suggestions on a list like this - I think the digest
format may lead people to feel that someone else will answer, as it seems a
less personal way to communicate.
Please feel free to join in - the more we all know, the better.
So Daisy, as I call her, is sitting quietly in a corner waiting for my
attention. She's not at all surprised or put out that I bought another
machine today. She knows I'll get back to her, so I can do the best job I
can of fixing her up.
where the kids splashed so much in the pool today we lost a good 6" of
water off the top
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 1995 21:34:22 +1100
Subject: Singer Model 190
At the markets today I was looking at an -ugly- brown and cream machine,
when the lady said it was going for A$10. It's a Model 190. While I
inspected her, I noticed a good half-dozen feet, screwdriver and threads.
The lady knows a sucker when she sees one, so said "$5 and I'll carry it to
the car". Well, what could I say?
My justification is I bought her for parts. Well, I found the model 190 has
high shank feet, so they won't fit the 99Ks I have.
But I am wondering about the bobbin case in particular. We have already
heard on this list that model 301 or 301A has an identical bobbin case to
the FWs. Does anyone know if model 190s bobbin cases fit? Unfortunately, we
the Featherweightless can't try it for size :-(
I called her Susan, and was very surprised to find her insisting on being
called Princess Susan. She's a very plain housewife in her brown and cream,
but after I cleaned the mountains of dust out of her, she sewed so
beautifully, and by far the quietest of my machines. But she insists on me
using her title of Princess, and who am I to say a housewife can't have
So if anyone out there has a model 190 manual they'd like to share with
Princess Susan and me, we'd both be very happy. The only thing I can find
like a serial number is a hand-written J next to a stamped A8 on the
underneath. Anywhere else I should look?
Bye from Sarah Jane, Daisy and Princess Susan,
oh, and Wendy
Subject: More FW ramblings....
Date: Sun, 03 Dec 95 20:46:57 +1200
Well this week it's sad news I'm afraid, I didn't get to go to any
garage sales or school/church fairs at all, I'm devastated! No $5
bargains, no poor old machines to save! I've been extra busy going to
son's surprise 30th birthday party (oh my aching back, I'm getting too
old to dance so much) and helping out for three days at my local flower
show where I won two cups for my pelargoniums (oh my aching feet!). But
next weekend I'll be back on the trail again.....
Yesterday I thought it funny that both Katy and Marilyn mentioned books
with photos of sewing machines in them, it reminded me of a beautiful
treadle with the most gorgeous scrollwork on it that I'd seen in a book
I had taken out of the library. Which set me to thinking, I wonder if I
have anymore around the house, I collected up all my quilting
books/magazines and went to bed early last night to search through them,
this is what I've come up with (haven't finished looking yet), the start
of yet another FWF list maybe?
Photos of Singer/old/antique sewing machines in Books/Magazines
Australian Houses in Patchwork by Margaret Rolfe &Beryl Hodges - page
18, beautiful Singer treadle and cabinet. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Australian Patchwork &Quilting magazine Vol 1 No 4 - page 37, black FW.
Australian Patchwork &Quilting magazine 1995 annual - page 24, 3 black
toy/miniature machines one of which is a very ornate treadle.
ditto page 54 - antique hand-cranked machine.
ditto page 70 - old black machine in background of a woman sewing on a
modern machine (philistine!).
ditto page 76 - part of an old black Bernina. (email@example.com)
Better Homes &Gardens Applique 1978 - page 61, appliqued Singer machine
quilt, model 15- (?), excellent close up very detailed picture
(quilt made by Jerdee 1976). (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lady's Circle Patchwork Quilts July 1995 issue #105 - white &black FW's.
Lady's Circle Patchwork Quilts Oct 1995 issue #107 - machines in the
Antique Sewing Machine Museum of Arlington, Texas.
New Ideas For Lap Quilting by Georgia Bonesteel - page 4, toy Singer
circa early 1900's (email@example.com &firstname.lastname@example.org)
QNM July/Aug 1985 #171 - page 21, two photos of Judy Martin in her
studio with her FW. (email@example.com)
QNM Feb 1988 #199 - page 30, reproduction of an old advertisement from
1876, for the 'NEW Wilcox &Gibbs Automatic Silent Sewing Machine,
includes picture. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
QNM Sept 1994 #265 - page 31, B&W picture of old treadle and
Scrap Patchwork and Quilting by Marti Michell - page 100, hand crank
Singer portable. (email@example.com)
Date: Sun, 03 Dec 1995 10:30:39 EST
For Amy L, with the big loops under the fabric. That was the exact
phrasing in the article in Quilting Today everyone has been talking
about. Although the article is about fixing the Featherweight, maybe
it applies to yours. It says "There is a trick to putting the throat
plate back on. (If it isn't correct, giant loops will form on the
underside of the fabric.) When the throat plate is off, the arm in the
bobbin area swings freely around. For correct operation, this arm must
be in the 12 o'clock position to fit in the notch on the underside of
the throat plate. To achieve this: 1) place the arm at the 12 o'clock
position while the bed extension is up and hold it there with one hand.
2) with your other hand, put the bed extension completely down and slip
on the throat plate. Check the arm to be sure it is in the notch
before putting the throat plate screws back in." Good luck with yours.
I actually started a project on mine, while my regular machine was
being R&R'd at the shop, and it works great. Thanks for all the great
ideas about a 1/4" ridge, because that wasn't working very well.
Has anyone seen Debbie Mumm's Quick Country Christmas Quilts book? It
has some great ideas that would work great with the FW. Also, that
Quilting Today, with the FW article had some good quilt ideas -- I'd
never even looked at the magazine before this.
Enjoy the week, I've been putting up panelling rather than sewing and
I'm sorry I lost the weekend away from my machines. Eileen
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 1995 11:55:50 -0500
Subject: Attachments &etc.
What a quick response to my post about the Greist attachments. Linda
was the first one to ask for the box.
I have an old advertisement for a Singer toy machine. I would be happy to
make copies and mail them to those who want to take a look at a picture. I
found the advertisement in the bottom of the case of a 128.
Yesterday, my DH found a toy machine called "Romance" at a garage sale. He
snapped it up for $20. It is black cast iron with red roses on the bed, and
it sits in a solid wood bottom case. It is a chain-stitch machine. Cute. Made
in Japan. The woman who sold it said she got it 40 years ago for Christmas.
I don't think she used it much, maybe three or four hours. She still had the
original cardboard carton, in perfect shape. Perhaps it is younger than she
Still searching for another FW, but what treasures we find along the way.
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 1995 14:30:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: model 201-2
Any info on this model? Its seller thinks it was made in the early 50s.
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 1995 14:47:39 -0500
Subject: Quilting Today and Norwood machine
I located a copy of Quilting Today magazine after trying numerous stores.
Lucked out at Barnes &Noble bookstore. (2 other larger bookstores -
Borders and Books Unlimited - did not carry it). Hope this is helpful to
some of you!
I answered an add for a small portable. Turns out it is a NORWOOD and the
is asking $25. Does anyone know anything about a norwood? Am I wasting my
time? Thanks. Millie.
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 1995 14:41:21 -0600 (CST)
Subject: "Another Sewing Machine"
Hello to All,
I haven't written in a while, but have been reading and enjoying all the
My story is very simialr to those I've read. I've added another sewing
machine to my collection. I had read so much about the Singer 301s on
this list that when I ran across one on Friday, I was hooked! The price
was $125 for the black 301, the mahogany cabinet, and sewing chair. I
couldn't see paying this much, so I waited and returned on Saturday. The
machine kept beckoning me. You folks know what I mean. It called my
name all night. When I returned to see the machine I sat and checked out
the stitch. All seemed to work. All she needed was oiling. I offered
the people selling her $40 for all. They said sure and even helped load
her in my car.
All the way home I was trying to figure out how to tell DH that I found
"another sewing machine." You see I already have 7 featherweights, a
99K, a 201, two treadles, a Free Westinghouse, and various newer model
Singers. I bet all of you can relate to this!!!!
Well, DH didn't say much he just watched as I fixed her up. I used baby
oil to make her shinny and pretty. After a good oling, she purs. I
can see why all you 301 users sing her praises. I haven't decided where
she will be placed in the house, but hope to do some major moving of
stuff in the sewing room.
Question for all you black 301 owners. What color are the numbers on the
tension knob? My machine is covered with a yellow film, due to the fact
the owner was a heavy smoker. I suspect that the brassy looking numbers
on the knob are supposed to be silver. Please advise to firstname.lastname@example.org
And does anyone have a 301 book that they would be wilin gto sell or copy?
Thanks for listening to confessions of a sewing machine fanatic.
Date: 03 Dec 95 15:48:35 EST
Subject: Featherlite, Safety Ruler, etc.
I was lucky enough to find a copy of the Singer "Machine Sewing" manual for Home
Ec teachers a couple of weeks ago. Now I have come across the student version,
called "Student's Manual of Machine Sewing". It is worth having, too, and is
another thing for FWF's to look for. The student version is much smaller, only
60 pages long, as compared to the teacher's manual of 182 pages. The student
manual is a paperback book, so it isn't in as good condition, as the hardback
teacher version. It has photos or drawings and text on the Class 15-30, 15-88,
15-91, 66, 99, 115, 127, 221-1, and the 20-2 (toy) Singers. There's also
several pages on the various feet attachments, cases and cabinets. It has a
section on the Singer Single-Thread Chain Stitch machine--Class 24-80. It
describes it as "...the smallest and simplest of all electric machines." At
least at that time, and the book is dated 1941. The last two pages show "Fashion
Aids that every student can use, and they are the pinker hemstitcher, fagoter,
ripper &threader &material gripper, Singercraft guide, the 4.5 pound Singer
electric iron, etc.. Interesting information in it!
To Susan who asked about the Featherlite machine on 11/30/95. I
saw one yesterday for resale in my local Singer store. It is a small,
contemporary, straight stitch machine; not an antique. I believe it was made
outside the USA, and not by Singer. It's accompanying manual was generic in
appearance. It did not originally come in a cabinet, and the only type of case
it had was a fitted beige soft vinyl cover with the machine's built-in handle
projecting out the top of the cover for carrying. It is a little free-arm,
black metal machine, with a plastic accessory case that snaps off the back of
the freearm. The Singer dealer sold it new about a year ago to a lady for $199,
and 6 months later she traded it in for a "heavier machine". Now they are
asking $99 for it. I really prefer our FW's, IMHO, but it would be a good
machine for a young person or someone who does light mending. Susan, I loved
your description of "...standing in the shrubbery after hours, peering in with a
flashlight...". That's funny--aren't we FWF's driven? I think we can all
relate to your story!
To Joe H. - I will try to go get your manuals next week. Didn't make it
But, Saturday, I did go to a sewing and crafts show, and I found one very useful
tool for quilters. Quilters who use rotary cutters, that is. (And who have a
fearful respect for them, like I do.) It's a "Fingerguard Safety Ruler". If you
have ever cut yourself with a rotary cutter or know someone who has, this safety
ruler is wonderful! It has a vertical 3/4" high plastic (or acrylic) safety
barrier, that runs the entire length of the ruler, to protect your fingers from
a run-away rotary cutter. The 12" ruler cost $13, and the 24" ruler was $20.
If you are interested in getting your own, I bought them from House of Quilting,
Route 31, Box 572J, Fayetteville, North Carolina 28306. Phone 910-868-3842. I
cannot, of course, guarantee any prices, but this is what I paid for mine.
There was an explanation included with the rulers that said they were designed
by Lisa Kidd, who herself suffered a really terrible rotary cutting accident.
She is from Ocean Park, Maine, and she says she'd like to know what people think
of her ruler after they use it. I think she is a potential finger-savior for
all rotary cutters users, after I saw a friend of mine experience a hospital
emergency room visit last month after a rotary cutter mishap. They are great
tools, if we use them safely, and these rulers will help. Thanks so much, Lisa
May all your 221's and other favorite sewing machines be humming a happy holiday
tune about now.........Shirley S.
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 1995 16:50:10 -0600
Subject: Quilting Today magazine
Well I found the Quilting Today magazine at our "Super Walmart" here in
Victoria Texas. I looked at the book stores, and other obvious places, but
I found it. Interesting, like whats been said before, article.
Today I've been updating my homepage. Looks like some of the articles have
been cut off, and I've been spending some of the time today correcting the
Web syntax that I've got for the home page. Over half of it is corrected.
Up to the articles about maintenance on the featherweights--thread stuff.
Next week, I'll expect I'll do a little report on my new fw....whenever it
gets delivered! (Maybe I'll take up sewing then, huh!)
Date: Mon, 04 Dec 1995 08:55:14 -0600
Subject: FW Fanatics 11/30/95 -Reply
This is a note to Kim M regarding the masking tape on the plate to
keep a 1/4" seam. There is a product in the sewing/fabric stores over
there where the gadgets are that is a magnetic seam allowance. I forget
what it's called, but it is magnetic and therefore will fit anywhere on your
sewing machine. I use it all the time and it's wonderful. It has a ridge
that's about 1/4" high and can move anywhere you need it to. I use it for
my 1/4" seams on quilting and last night I was sewing curtains and used
it for the one inch seam. The last time I saw it in the store I think it was
on a tan/orange cardboard. Check into it -- it's wonderful.
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 09:57:35 -0500
Subject: Machine Cleaner
Thanks for the 99k advice, folks! I had decided to put the little lady
aside in order to finish up my holiday gift making, but I think I'll pull
her out one more time and see what happens. :-) Anyway, I read the other
day a recommendation to use a "non-reactive" cleaner like Murphy's Oil Soap
to clean machine heads (i re-read this a few times to make sure they
weren't referring to cabinets...). Maybe this will save on WD-40 bills.
Amy ...wishing I were home tinkering
Subject: FW Problem
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 95 10:57:23 EDT
Hi. I'm asking for your expert opinions on a problem I've had with one
of my FWs.
About a month ago, I bought my second FW, a l953. I "test drove" it
before buying, and it seemed to run well. I didn't get a chance to use
it until this weekend. I used it for quite awhile, and noticed the
following problem. Most of the time it runs very well, but every once
in awhile, when you put your foot on the pedal, nothing happens. If you
move the wheel with your hand, the machine starts and runs normally.
At first, I thought something might be wrong with the foot pedal. I
switched pedals, but the machine continued to act up. My husband
thought that there might be a "dirty" spot on the motor. We made a
small pencil mark on the pulley that turns the belt, but the failure to
start did not just happen when the mark reached one particular point;
it happened at various spots.
Do any of you have an idea about what might be causing the problem? And
what can I do to correct it?
Thank you for your expertise. This is a wonderful group--and I've
learned a great deal about these terrific little machines.
Subject: The Hunt
Date: Mon, 04 Dec 95 11:35:56 -0600
Hi Fellow FW'ers!
Well......the term "fellow" is meant more wishfully than actually,
since I haven't found my FW yet.
Thanks to all who replied regarding my find in North Carolina. My new
machine is indeed a Model 99 born, according to the Singer Hotline,
June 26, 1928. Neat, huh? A manual is on the way (thanks Shirley!)
and I'm looking forward to a purring machine in no time at all! I also
am enjoying everyone's reports on how to clean and adjust things and
have printed everything out for my husband (lucky guy).
I also want to report on my FW hunt here in Houston. I decided to get
serious last week and began calling around to every shop and repair
place I could find. Now I know that isn't the place to get the best
deals, but I was trying to increase my understanding of the market and
the machines. I had some really interesting conversations but didn't
turn up anything for under $300. Most of the repair people said that
they haven't seen a cheap machine in a few years.
I did visit a machine out in the little town I live in. It was in a
Sew &Vac type place and was a beautiful little thing. Scrolled
faceplate, 1938, lots of bobbins, all attachments, case, sews great,
$350. The man was fun to visit with but I'm convinced that there's a
machine out there for less with my name on it. I did hear of one in a
less-than-good neighborhood repair shop which I haven't visited yet.
All they could say was that it was an old Singer protable, so there's
no telling what it is. However, if it really is a FW they didn't seem
to know what they had. Always a good sign.....
One question: What does the Greist foot attachment look like? I have
a bunch of attachments but have no idea if I have the attachment piece or not.
Thanks to you all.
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 13:16:58 -0500
Subject: Re: Fran's Workshop
Thank you, thank you, thank you for keeping us up to date on your projects. I
used WD-40 to remove tape residue on the bed of my 301 but wasn't sure it was
the right thing to do. I feel better now. Think I feel confident enough to
clean my already quite clean 99k. Then do you use Turtle wax? Thanks so much
for sharing your experiences with us. I am learning much. Katy
Date: Mon, 04 Dec 1995 13:18:58 -0600
>Found a black and a white FW in another Sewing Machine shop here in town.
>They had one that looked exactly like a FW and it said MINI across the front
>of it. It was black. Anyone know anything about this one. It wasn't
>recommended by another shop I was at.
I believe this is the machine I saw this week at the Singer Sewing Center in
Columbus Indiana. It is called Mal's Mini, says Mini across the front. The
store owner described it to me as a newly manufactured replica of the FW.
It looked just like my 1949 era machine. The $299 price also includes a
replica case which looked a little bigger than mine (eyeballed anyway). The
store owner told me the case can be ordered separately but could not come up
with a price.
I made a rapid round trip to this store because it is the nearest place I
can buy Sulky Rayon thread. Its a half hour trip one way, as is my nearest
(chain) fabric store. One of the few things I miss about city living. Of
course there is a benefit to having Walmart as your only local fabric source
-- I can buy thread in the middle of the night!
Connie Jo O
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 13:16:59 -0500
Subject: Bobbin cases
In a message dated 95-12-04 09:04:33 EST, you write:
>We have already
>heard on this list that model 301 or 301A has an identical bobbin case to
>the FWs. Does anyone know if model 190s bobbin cases fit?
Look and see if it has a part number on it. Then I can tell you if it
matches my 301 bobbin case and if it will fit a FW. Katy
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 13:17:02 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/3/95 part 2
In a message dated 95-12-04 09:04:33 EST, you write:
> I had read so much about the Singer 301s on
>this list that when I ran across one on Friday, I was hooked!
Congrats! You will love her! The numbers on the tension knob are definitely
silver. BTW, did you know that this machine can be removed from the cabinet
and used as a portable? I was thrilled to discover this. Mine came with a
cabinet too and thought I would get rid of it when I discovered I could
remove the machine since I now have two cabinets but I reall enjoy the knee
pedal set up and the kids like it too. I guess it is here to stay too. Katy
also still Featherweightless
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 19:50:10 -0500
Subject: Assorted thoughts
WOW! I have only been getting the list for about a week now and I can't wait
to check it each day. I own 2 featherweights - a white one and a black one
that I haven't dated yet. With all of the information I now have it
shouldn't be too difficult. I purchased the white one first. Then when I
found the black one in perfect condition with a table in perfect condition, I
thought I would sell the white one and the net result would be that the black
one was free!
However, that was 4 years ago and I still haven't been able to let go of
the white (really more of a cream color) one. It is so cute. Everyone tries
to tell me that the white ones don't sew as well, but I think it is a dream.
In the past year I have run into two additional tables.
In my attic I have a Singer 319w. I don't even remember where I found
it. It is really unusual. I understand it is titanium and it has all of
these extra levers at the top. I haven't really looked at it in several
years. Does anyone know anything about this model?
If anyone finds a teacher sewing manual or student sewing manual like
Shirley described, I would die to have one. I am a home economics teacher
and when I began teaching, the room had all 201's. I think I am remembering
the the model right. I appreciated the drop in bobbin many years later when
I had to teach junior high students to use a bobbin case and to make sure
that none of the little dears walked off with one in their pocket. That made
it difficult to teach the following class!! I am always looking for
childrens sewing books. My prize possession is a Mary Frances Sewing Book -
with all of the tissue patterns intact!
My mother just gave me a 99k that she picked up at a garage sale for $2
to replace one that was stolen. My business partner and I are vendors at
quilt and sewing shows and we just had my van and our trailer full of display
and merchandise stolen on the way home from a show. One of the "magnets"
that drew people to our booth was the sewing machine that we used to
demonstrate on. From reading the postings, it must have been a centennial
model 16. It looked far older that it was. It had the centennial emblem on
it, but it had a spoke handwheel that I loved to use. I had tried to find
one like it for several years, but with no luck. Now, after our loss, we are
both looking. It drew so many comments, and showed everyone that you don't
need a $3000 machine. Any leads would be appreciated.
I had also purchased a beautiful hand crank Singer at the aforementioned
quilt show, that I think was about 1880 according to Kim H (the person
who told me about FWFanatics), but, of course it is gone also. Kim has found
a replacement machine for me. I can't wait to see it!! I can't believe she
is willing to let me have it, when I know she loves it too. I'm sure she
must have wings and a halo. I have truly fallen in love with the old hand
crank models, but I NEVER see any around here. I know what I will be
searching for next summer in addition to toy machines and pincushion dolls.
One thing certainly leads to another.
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 95 11:27:08 +1200
I've been adding to my list of Singer model #'s regularly from bits &
pieces gleaned from you all, it's coming along quite nicely although I
would guess there are still lots of model #'s I/we don't know about yet!
I won't keep posting the list to FWFanatics as it is getting rather long
and it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but please feel free to ask me
for a copy of it in email. I've asked Shirley if she can give me anymore
info from her books so if there is anyone else that has any Singer books
that might have model info in them I'd love to hear from you. The only
information I need is: model #'s, year of manufacture if possible and a
short description of said machine, I don't need serial #'s thanks.
Penney in Texas has already sent me an excellent list, thanks Penney.
I'd also love to hear from anyone that has/knows of books/magazines with
pictures of old Singers and any old machines. I think I'll just stick to
clear close-up pictures or old advertisements.
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 21:15:12 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Rotary Cutter Safety Ruler
The rotary cutter safety ruler sounds like a great idea. I have only
nicked myself once, but a member of my quilt group (who shall remain
nameless) has so far: 1) put a substantial gash in her Oriental rug, and
2) cut the ties off her bathrobe. We were seriously considering taking up
a collection to send her to a "remedial rotary" course, assuming
we could find one somewhere.
Subject: machine restoration
Date: Mon, 4 Dec 95 03:04:00 PDT
FF>Should I use dishwashing detergent in warm water, and a toothbrush to
FF>remove grime, when it appears it may be removing the decals? What would you
I did use a toothbrush on the one I gave a WD-40 bath to. I didn't use
it on the decals though. On the decals I used a toothpick covered with
a piece of cloth, so I could sneak around the letters.
FF>No-one commented on the method I used, but here were some suggested
FF>alternatives. I haven't had time to test any of these yet. When I do, I'll
FF>let you know.
Let me know what works well for shining her up. I used some car wax on
Robbie (my son named him yesterday...he is sure it's a boy) but the
finish still isn't quite as shiny as my featherweight. I am thinking
some metal polish may help rub it out a bit more. I just finished
putting him back together last night, threaded him up, and he sews a
FF>Would you remove the motor, light fitting and maybe bobbin winder before
FF>the washing procedure?
I didn't remove the bobbin winder, but I removed everything else you
mentioned, including the face plate, presser foot, bobbin cover,
flywheel and anything else I could unscrew. I just made sure I kept
everything together, and put pieces on the table in such a way as to
remember how they went back on.
FF>How would you get these screws out? WD-40 didn't loosen them.
FF>The only suggestion was more WD-40
I used even more WD-40 on some screw which were rusted onto another
machine I have, and they eventually loosened up.
FF>Instinct says to clean the surfaces before oiling and lubricating. Is there
FF>anything else I should do before oiling her?
The only other thing I would do is make sure you have gotten the dirt
out from the inside of the machine, which is why I removed the faceplate
and flywheel. I also gave the inside of the machine a WD-40 bath. My
husband, the mechanic, said it is wonderful stuff. It will clean
lubricate and protect metal, though he still recommends oiling with
sewing machine oil when you are done, since it is heavier. He and my
localsewingmachineguru both say NOT to lubricate the motor, just to get
it as clean as possible. The both agreed they had seen more motors
ruined from overlubrication then from lack of it. A motor needs very
FF>I was surprised there was so little input to my questions. Usually people
FF>are tremendous with suggestions on a list like this - I think the digest
FF>format may lead people to feel that someone else will answer, as it seems a
FF>less personal way to communicate.
I waited a while before my 1st reply, because I wanted to have more
personal experience with the methods I was going to use before
recommending them to anyone else. I added more in this post, because I
have done more to the machine since the last post. I hope some of my
suggestions help you, and please share anything else you learn with me
too. I have 3 more machines waiting for similar treatment. One is
pretty clean and the other 2 are REALLY REALLY dirty. I mean REALLY!
FF>Please feel free to join in - the more we all know, the better.
FF>So Daisy, as I call her, is sitting quietly in a corner waiting for my
FF>attention. She's not at all surprised or put out that I bought another
FF>machine today. She knows I'll get back to her, so I can do the best job I
FF>can of fixing her up.
And I am sure she is grateful to have an owner who is doing the best she
can to fix her up, rather than sitting unused for countless years. I
always feel like I am rescuing them. That's why I can't bear to pass
them up when they are priced low enough.
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 09:29:30 -0500
So, once again, the culprit is an incorrectly threaded machine and Gordy
comes through again. :-) The 99k is humming along just fine (although I
am paying attention to any responses to Janet Dando's question about her
"sticky" motor...). I had the thread going straight from the tension
spring up to the take up lever instead of over to the slack thread
regulator first... Oops.
Have fun! Amy
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 09:52:20 -0500
Subject: On the Trail
I spent yesterday (3 hours) visiting various antique/junk shops in Lancaster
and Berks Co. I did find a buttoneholer-minus box, feed dog cover plate and
instructions-for $35. I declined. The man told me that he doesn't buy the
things usually when offered because he can't get rid of them. I suggested,
tactfully I hope, that he only buy complete attachments as without the cams
and feed dog cover, what he had was totally useless.
In Reading I did get to look at a lot of OLD machines-from various mfgs. The
really neat ones were not for sale. The store manager told me he hadn't seen
a FW in years. Wanted me to let him know if I found one-so he could buy it.
SURE I will.
I do not have the toy machine disease and do not plan to get it, but if I
did: I saw at least a dozen toy machines yesterday-most of them Singers.
They are beautiful-but very pricey.
No-I did not find another FW-not even a set of attachments.
BTW, I got my Kenmore buttonholer out. It sure does look exactly like the FW
buttonholer, and the feeddog cover could fit. However, I tried and the
buttonholer does not fit onto the FW. The feeddog cover was so flexible I
broke a needle trying it out. I guess it could be made to fit snugly if you
really worked at it. But the cams for both buttonholers appear to be
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 10:15:24 -0500
Subject: My New FW
I am very new to this group (and the net) but I just had to share my
excitement and good fortune with you all--I doubt anyone else would
understand. I just bought my first FW and I don't know what to do first--sew
or tell you all about it. It sews like a dream and came with the original
lock case with key, original instruction book, oil can and many feet and
bobbins. It is a Singer 221-1 with a serial number that begins with AK (my
maiden name initials). I am still looking for one from 1941 (the year I was
born) as well as a treadle machine. But they will have to be as wonderful as
this one is.
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 06:48:15 -0900 (AKST)
Subject: attachments and my present to me! (fwd)
I was reading the Penny Saver (local newspaper) the other day and
what did I spy but an ad for a Featherweight. Yea (finally)! It ended up
being at a sewing/vacuum cleaner shop in the area. I went down to
at least get a look at her. I've been avidly scouring garage sales,
auctions, estate sales...for 6 months but I had never seen one in person.
Well, she was just so cute! No wonder everyone loves them so much.
She is in gorgeous condition with all the beautiful gold work still
in tact and the pretty face plate. She had a case (the bottom of
the case needs work), the original book, attachments but no
oil can. I decided then and there that I needed to give
a wonderful Christmas present so I whipped out that checkbook and
bought her. She is mine, mine, mine! The next featherweight
purchase will be that $25.oo garage sale special I've been
looking for. Merry Christmas to me, Merry Christmas to me!
While I was at the store I asked the owner if he had any sewing
machine attachments...he did have a box of Griest attachments but
no t the foot you need to attach them to. If any of you know where
I can get one or if you have one to sell, let me know.
He also had a Greist Rotary buttonholer and the
Greist decorative zigzagger. Will these attachments fit the
Thanks for all the advice. I can't wait to go back and
reread all the digests (now that I actually own one
of these wonderful machines).
Happy Holidays to everyone!
Subject: Model 190 and 99
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 95 08:56:55 -0500
Wendy, you said, >> Does anyone know if model 190s bobbin cases fit?>>My
Singer "Machine Sewing" book covers 33 machines from 1915 to 1950 but the
Model 190 high shank is not mentioned. I think we are all reading your
questions but we just don't have the answers! Perhaps someone with a Blue
Book can help you.
Maureen, you said, >> Terry tells me I'll need a #32589 cover plate for the
99.>> YIKES! I think after five letters, you got totally confused. #32589
is a Feed Cover Plate for a Singer 99 machine for use in darning and
embroidery. It has NOTHING to do with a buttonholer.
Buttonholer #160506 fits a Singer 99 machine but my reference (Singer
"Machine Sewing") says nothing about needing a specific throat plate with
this buttonholer. Would someone on this list please help Maureen? If you
have been able to use Buttonholer #160506 on your 99 machine, what is the
number on the throat plate attachment and HOW do you get it to attach to
your machine? Thanks.
Amy L.: A few weeks ago I, too, was getting big loops under my fabric. It
was right after I thoroughly oiled my FW. Evidently it caused the tension
screw in the bobbin case to loosen. Once I tightened it, the stitch was
perfect. My brain kept thinking it meant the upper tension needed to be
tightened but that was not the case.
Connie Jo, you said>> It is called Mal's Mini>> We talked about this
machine in October but I know that there are many new people who didn't see
that information so I repeat, AVOID this machine at all costs. It is a
piece of junk in my opinion. I reviewed it several years ago for a quilt
newsletter after sewing on it and making a comparison to my real FW. It is
nothing but a cheap knockoff. If it isn't a real FW, I wouldn't buy it no
matter what they are calling it. It is an attempt to grab people desparate
to find an old Singer FW.
Terry where power has been restored. [I know...none of
you heard about Montana's 110 mph wind gusts because if it doesn't happen on
the east and west coasts, it doesn't happen! :-) ]
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 08:32:43 -0800
Subject: LOOK-ALIKE WARNING!!!
It has been a while since I've posted anything to this list, but in the last
couple of days, I've seen several messages about "Look-Alike" machines.
Let me warn you off of both MALS MINI CLASSIC and the FEATHERLITE. In my
non-Featherweight owning days, when I despaired of ever finding a real one,
I owned both of these machines. Mals Mini Classic looks for all the world
like a real featherweight, and it costs nearly as much. But that is where
the similarity ends. This machine sews very poorly. It is very frustrating
because you keep thinking that it is your fault, after all it is "just like
a featherweight" how could it be the machine? If you look closely and are
able to compare the 2 machines side by side, it becomes obvious how junky
the Mini Classic really is. I bought mine at a reputable Sewing machine
dealer. Of course, he sang it's praises, but he could never get it to run
properly. I sold mine at a garage sale for almost nothing, and was glad to
get rid of it. As for the FEATERLITE, this very small machine sews
adequately, but I found it difficult to use because of the very small
sewing bed. I originally bought it to teach my 6 year old daughter to sew,
and it was adequate for that purpose. Just Adequate...... the one thing
that it is excellent for, is that it can fit in most small lockers at work.
Please save your money toward a REAL Featherweight.
featherweight Lynda C
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 11:19:25 -0500 (EST)
Subject: plug for FREE WESTINGHOUSE
Hi to all the FWF's out there!
I really enjoy reading the posts everyday. I made a copy of one and
let my MIL read it. She said it was great! She is the one who gave me my
I ran into yet another problem with my new found joy. I started to
sew yesterday, but nothing happened. No sound, no little hum, nothing. I
checked to make sure her plug was properly in at both connections, the one
in the wall socket, and the one in the socket box in her cabinet. They were
plugged in o.k., but still nothing. Than I noticed that her cord, right
near where the wall plug is, was cracked enough that a wire was visibly
broken. Once again she is on sick leave. Can anyone tell me how to get
a new cord for her? My husband was going to put a new plug on one end, but
the cord is really dry and has tiny cracks in the outer casing, that I am
afraid of getting shocked or burning down my house!
I am looking for a supply source for the Free Westinghouse.
Again, as the same with other parts I have needed in the past, I am getting
the strange looks when I mention her name. Is this such a strange machine
that no-one has ever heard of her? One person told me to re-check the name,
because Westinghouse never made sewing machines. My DH said it's just where
we live, nobody knows anything! There aren't really any dealers around here,
it shops. It would be nice to have a catalog or something like that, where I
could order parts through the mail. Than I wouldn't have to go through this
every time I needed something. People can really make you feel like a fool
sometimes. My DH said there were dealers around here, but a lot moved way
out of town or out of state. What's left here, really don't know much,
and giving out the bill!
If you can give me an address, or a supplier name I would be grateful. Even
if there is a similar machine that this plug would fit.
My library had a good book on older model machines, and this was one. It had
the name of supply sources, and everything. Someone borrowed it and never
returned it. It's been missing for a year now.
Thanks for all the help!!!! Marilyn
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 08:59:36 -0800
Subject: More possible answers
I guess this is my day to post to FWF. Janet Dado, It sounds as if your
machine is having a problem when it stops at "Top Dead Center" the next
time that it happens, make a mark on the balance wheel, You can do it with a
small piece of tape, not the pulley, if it consistently happens at the
same mark, then it most likely is encountering one of the laws of physics ,
ie, the lever that is attached to the balance wheel that transfers the
circular motion of the motor and the wheel to the up and down motion of the
needle is stopping equidistant from the angle of the motor. There fore it
takes more energy to overcome inertia. When I was learning to sew back in
the dark ages, we were taught to put our rt hand on the balance wheel and
start it towards oursleves, in order to overcome this inertia, every time we
started to sew. Every time. If you've ever sewn with a Treadle machine,
you pick this up right away.
The Dr Scholls product that I posted about months ago that I use to keep my
seam allowance is Dr Scholls Foot Cushions. It is White peel and stick. A
package costs about 3.50, but it is a lifetime supply. With an old rotary
blade, you cut it up into pieces about 1/4" x 1" , take a good ruler and
put it under your presser foot. Then with your hand, slowly lower the
needle dont to touch the ruler at the 1/4" mark. make sure that the ruler
is straight, then lower the presser foot. Peel and stick the strip of Dr
Scholls next to the ruler. This works wonderfully, the peel and stick is
only on the throat plate so it doesnt affect the finish of your machine. It
doesn't slide around or scratch your machine like a magnet can. When it
eventually starts to show wear and tear, you've got a million more. Sharyn
Craig showed me how to do this in a workshop this summer. I swear by it.
Subject: RE: FWFanatics 12/4/95
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 12:41:50 -0600
I've asked my Santa for a white featherweight, but he has no idea what I'm
talking about. If you know of anyone who has one for sell, please email me
at dcmann @ingr.com so I can drop him the "hint".
Thanks a lot!
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 15:24:39 -0500
Subject: history of my machines
well, i just got the info that my AF760071 is a model 221 (as though there
were any doubt) and was manufactured on January 7, 1941. That makes it older
than me (thank g-d, something is OLDER than me).
also my G9224001 is a model 128 and was born January 31, 1922 -- a real
flapper, this one.
just thought i'd let you all know.
i have a treadle and will call about that soon.
thanks for all the info i've gotten here. absolutely love this list!
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 19:28:50 -0500
Subject: Re: Stalled motor
Most of the time it runs very well, but every once
in awhile, when you put your foot on the pedal, nothing happens. If you
move the wheel with your hand, the machine starts and runs normally.
This is exactly the symptoms I experienced on my now Turbo-221.
Additionally, however, my motor ran pretty slowly and without alot of power.
I had multiple problems with my motor, but this particular problem was that
the electrical current was not flowing on the particular spot the brushes
stopped on. When you step on the pedal, no current flows under the brushes,
and the motor is dead. As you hand turn the motor, the brushes move to a new
spot where current is flowing, and the motor runs. The brushes have enough
power to glide over the dead spot as the motor turns, even though they don't
pick up any power at that dead spot. The next time they stop at that
particular spot again, the motor will again fail to turn.
Visualize the inside of the motor. Inside your motor is a bunch of little
copper plates in a sphere called the Commutator. These copper plates can
become dirty, interfering with current. Between the copper plates are lines
of rubber which interrupt the flow of electrical current between the copper
plates. As these copper plates are spinning around in there over the course
of years, they wear down. Eventually, the wear becomes measurable. Your
little rubber things are proportionally too high from the plates and might
interfere with the electrical current. I had alot of trouble finding a
competent person to work on my motor. Not only did I have to have the plates
cleaned, but I had the rubber insulators ground down.
I did find out that a Stitch Back in Time will take your motor for
rebuilding, but I was lucky enough to find a local man.
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 1995 21:55:32 EST
Subject: Mixed Nuts
The sun was shining today, so I ventured out. I bought a "Blind
Stitch" attachment, #160616 with box but NO MANUAL. Can anyone here
help me out? Please E-mail to my address if you can provide a copy
of the instruction manual. I also bought a Hemstitcher attachment,
(didn't have one of those) 1927 and a Simanco Part No. #32622 USA
which appears to be some sort of feed dog cover, though I am clueless
as to which model of machine it belongs to. Please advise!
Also, I grabbed a "mint", (in orignal packaging) White Zipper Foot.
"W Germany" is stamped on the attachment but the packaging says "made
in Japan". "for White, Domestic, Dressmaker, Kenmore, American Made
Models" I would be happy to send this to a fellow subscriber here if
wanted . . . my compliments!
Other. . . saw a Necchi Red Plastic toy machine in nice shape. All
suction feet were in place. Price $12.00 but the spool pin was
broken off. I passed this up. Also, there was a red metal Muller-
not too bad a shape, but too rich for me, priced at $100.00. Lastly,
a GORGEOUS "Dressmaker" but displayed with a large card, "not for
sale". She was really pretty!
I plan to hibernate tomorrow. The winds will blow at 30mph+. Wind
chill factors expected to reach 15 below here. Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 19:12:19 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FWFanatics 12/4/95
I have three new FeatherWeights to sell that are all in superior
AJ - Blue 100 Year Anniversary Medallion-case is missing one latch, no
attachments, a scant wear on the filigree, no attachments, manual/copy
AJ - comestically superior, all are well managed mechanically, layered
case, attachments, and manual. $550.
AF - 1938 Chrome Wheel, attachments, case (good condition), manual, very
good looking machine. $550.
$20 Shipping and Handling in US
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 95 15:38:22 PST
Subject: old machine booklet
I found an interesting little British book in the library: Sewing
Machines. A Science Museum illulstrated booklet. Her Majesty's
Stationery Office, London 1970. it has photos and descriptions from
various machines from their collection. e.g.:
"Singer New Family Sewing Machine
The original Singer machine (No. 5) was uncomfortably heavy and
intended for industrial use, but in 1858 the Company brought out a
lightweight Family machine and in 1865 the more substantial New
Family machine. This machine was manufactured for about 20 years,
in which time over four million were built."
There is a photo of an ornate hand crank machine with a wavy shaped
"Moldacot Pocket Sewing Machine
A very small but effective lock-stitch sewing machine was patented
by S.A. rosenthal of Berlin in 1885, and manufactured with some
improvements by the Moldacot Pocket Sewing Machine Company of London
in 1886-7. the machine was supplied in a metal case measuring only
8 ins. by 2 3/4 ins. by 1 1/2 ins. and was intended to be clamped to
a table. ... The presser foot is rocket by a projection on the
needle bar at each extremity of the stronke, so providing a feed
motion, which is towards the operator."
There is a photo of a small hand-crank contraption that reminds me
of an old meat grinder, clamped to a table. It's really cute.
There is a picture of the first style of Singer machine patented in
1951, which looks like a big doorstop! "The machine was packed in a
box, which, when opened, served as a stand... Singer did not realise
that he could have patented the treadle, but when this was pointed
out to him, it was too late, for it was then already in public use."
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 1995 23:51:50 EST
Subject: Hello Fanatics
Hi fanatics- I have decided to sell my Singer Spartan, model
192. It is in very nice condition, sews great, with copy of
instructions. Price $100 plus shipping. Email to
email@example.com for more information.
Thank you, Joe
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 01:49:43 -0500
Subject: Re: FWFanatics 12/4/95
So the Mini is a FW repro, eh?
My DH just picked up a 99k at a second hand store for $12.50. It's made in
Canada and says Spartan across the head. It says Made by Singer Mnfg Co and
the serial # is EP078541. I'll call Singer's 800# tomorrow and check on the
date of birth.
The head is set onto a black plastic tub sort of thing. It screws off and on
like the FW base does, and it has no light, and no gold leafing anywhere.
Does anyone know anything about these machines? I think I remember hearing
about Spartan's on this list or a faq somewhere.
This baby is going to need a new base of some sort, but I'm not quite sure
what yet. I'll check to see what my sew and vac place has to say.
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 09:07:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: FW Tension and Bing
The good news first! At an auction this weekend I found a Bing toy
machine. It is cast, in real good shape, has the box and clamp and when
my husband is finished with it, it will look even nicer.
While talking to a guy who didn't get the Bing, he told us of a story of
someone who bought 3 suitcases at an auction, but really didn't want the
one with the sewing machine! Well, it wasn't a FW, but was a 301 and he
gave it up for $1!! Woe is me....I'm never at 'those' auctions.
Now, my question. The tension on my 1934 FW seems to change in the
middle of stitching. I don't think this is my imagination. When I
tested it before starting, it seemed fine, but when I was finished, it
definitely wasn't fine. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Is this
something that the Singer man needs to see or can we fix it with the manual.
Hope everyone has a very happy holiday!!!
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 10:32:26 -0500
Subject: Sincere Books
Both my wife and I are addicted to reading this list. It is by far the most
friendly and interesting list on the internet.
I am hoping that someone out there can help me. I am looking for the
Sincere books "Sincere's history of the Sewing Machine" and "Sincere's
Sewing Machine Service Book."
Directory assistance in Phoenix has no listing for Sincere Publishing Co.
(evidently they are out of business). I have tried several large book
dealers and several companies that specialize in hard to find books all to
If anybody has either of these books that they are willing to part with or
know where I might be able to find them I would really appreciate hearing
Thanks in advance
Date: Wed, 06 Dec 1995 13:45:07 -0500
Subject: Re: Fwd: FW Fanatics 12/5/95
I'm out of work, I'm out of my head... out of self control, I'm out of bread.
I'm overworked, I'm underfed, I waanaa go
hhhhhhhhhooooooooooooooommmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. . . It never rains in
California. . .
These may not be the words, but I know the song. Have fun tomorrow. What
time do you leave? When will you be back? What are you doing? Inservice?
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 16:47:30 -0600 (CST)
Subject: She's here!!!!!
I was so excited when the office at school called me today and told me
UPS had come. When I left the room on my way to the office some kids
really gave me a funny look. But you know middle school kids. I'm not for
sure if I was running or just looked excited. I just told the UPS had come.
She is beautiful. Joyce, Thanks!!! Maybe I will wrap her for Christmas maybe
Now I have to fine the 1-800 number so I can call Singer and get her
birthday. She is an AL.
Now I can start looking for another one!!!!!
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 95 15:08:36 PST
Subject: 5 stages of fwfanaticism
I really had to laugh at Margel's story of thinking she would sell
her first FW when she bought her second, and, four years later, she
still has it! I have finally convinced myself to sell my 1952
Featherweight and keep the second one I got -- and, now my boyfriend
has caught the obsession!! HE is now trying to convince ME to keep
both!! It has been quite amusing watching him go through a
transformation into featherweight mania! I saw on tv the holiday
Barbie is sold out - little do they know what the REAL xmas gift
of 1995 is!
Perhaps we could analyze the "5 stages of spousal fw fananticism" :
denial (why do you want that old thing), anger (do you really think
we need another one of these?), curiousity (reading the manual,
starting to help with the cleaning, learning about prices),
acceptance (let's go to the auction this weekend, bringing home one
he has found himself), fanaticism (you can't sell that one! It's so
nice, you should have a -fill-in-the-blank one too!).
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 16:01:22 -0800
A few years ago a program was presented to our quilt quild on sewing machine
maintainence. A mummified leather glove was shown that a can of WD40 had
leaked onto. She said never, never, never use WD40 on your sewing machine.
So perhaps a word of caution is in order here.
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 21:03:54 -0500
Part 1 of 2 Merry Christmas!
First of all, I want to tell you all how much I've learned form this digest.
Thanks, Sue. This FW hunting is really contagious. My DH is getting into
this. We're looking all over feverishly for anything to do with sewing
machines. I've found some fun things.
About cleaning machines. Has anybody else tried At Ease by Shaklee
products. It does a great job! I originally bought it to clean the hood
over my range and my toaster. Its a mild degreaser. I also use Simple Green
to clean but it doesn't always prove to be quite as effective. Between the
two products and a toothbrush, I've been ale to get a pretty clean machine.
Question: After sewing awhile on my FW, my machine seems to slow WAY down.
Almost down to a snail's pace. What could be causing this? I checked the
belt to see if it is too tight and it didn't seem like it. I hope its not
something serious. I've had loads fo fun with her. TBC...Jacque
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 21:07:15 -0500
Subject: Questions,part 2
Question: In my travels picking up a 387 for my daughter, I also got a
few bobbins that I can't for the like of me figure out what kind of machine
they belong to. These bobbins measure about 15/16 in diameter and the same
depth as a FW bobbin. They are metal and have only one small hole on the
sides for the thread. Can anyone indentify these?
Speaking of identifying, at the local thrift sotor there is an old
machine that says Grand Electric on it. It is small without a case, stand,
or anything. I has the little shuttle bobbin under it. Its been there for
about a month now. Is original price was $49.99. It disappeared for a few
days and then returned with the price lowered to $35.99. I'm assuming it
doesn't run. Someone had probably purchased and realized that maybe it
didn't run and returned it. Does anybody know anything about a Grand
I heard so many of you talk about your zigzag attachments and buttonholers
I finally found them. I have two zigzag attachments. The first one is
rather primitive. It is in its original green and orange box, part no.
160620. It did not come with a manual so I had a hard time figuring out what
I had here. Well, after working with it, I'm not impressed. Anybody
interested in having it? Let me know. The second must be the "new and
improved" model. This is bigger than the later and used cams. I got a
manual with this one and its alot of fun.
I still have a couple of buttonholers that I don't want. One is a
Kenmore, part no. 206736. Complete in box in new condition. The other is a
Domestic also complete in the black marbled plastic box.
Well, enough for awhile. Thanks ahead for any responses. Jacque
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 22:16:46 -0500
I spotted the 'Quilting Today' magazine at The Fabric Place. Are these
stores only in New England?
Also, just returned a booklet to the library a few weeks ago. Forget the
name and author - possibly just' Miniature Quilts'. Front of booklet was
picture of mini quilts and a to-die-for FW. I'll try to get the exact
name/author next week.
For the gal who WRITES helpful notes in a notebook, I'd suggestusing a
cut/paste feature in a word processor to do the work for you. As I read my
daily newsletter, I cut (actually I copy) items and paste them into other
files which I have created to house such info. Eliminates misspelling
mailbox addresses also if you intended to send email to someone. Hope this
helps. Certainly cuts time spent at the computer.
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 19:23:35 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/5/95
Do you think anyone would be interested in a 301 Fact Sheet? I'm a
fan of these "big sisters" to the FW - I've compiled some info and would
like more data from other owners. I would like to collect the following
information from 301 owners:
Model 301 or 301A
Birthdate (if known)
Length of fold-up extension
Carrying Case? Description
Folding Table? Description
Complete set of attachments?
Price paid (if willing to share)
Comments (i.e. what you like or dislike about it)
My goal is to put this together into a brief synopsis of this machine for
owners or Singer collectors. Please let me know what you think
Sew in piece. . .
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 1995 07:58:11 -0500
Subject: FWfanatics mail restart
I had a great trip to visit my SIL and help her move. We did a couple of quilt
shops and an antique mall where I found a working treadle with a very nice
cabinet - thanks to all of you that have talked about those. Peer pressure
created an urge in me to have one too! She sits in the garage until I am
finished with a brief round of company. Then we can bring her in and clean her
up. I did not jot down the serial number - can hardly wait to call and find
out how old she is! Thanks gang for all the chat about wonderful old sewing
And Sue, please put me back on mail - don't want to miss another day of the
talk. Thank you for hostesing.
Teresa S. B
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 13:10:37 -0500
Subject: 301 Fact sheet
In a message dated 95-12-07 08:50:47 EST, you write:
> I would like to collect the following
>information from 301 owners:
>Model 301 or 301A
I think this is a great idea! Just one question, how do you know if it is a
301 or 301a? Also does the serial number start with the letters NAO? That is
the only number I could find on the bottom of my machine. Katy
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 13:10:34 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/6/95
In a message dated 95-12-07 08:50:47 EST, you write:
> I am looking for the
>Sincere books "Sincere's history of the Sewing Machine" and "Sincere's
>Sewing Machine Service Book."
I found the service book at my local library. I copied the pages needed for
my 99k. It would be a great book to own though. Katy
Subject: RE: FW Fanatics 12/6/95
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 15:16:51 -0600
I found a couple of white Featherweights at a Singer dealer. He said that
the white models did not come with attachments. Is this correct?
I'm sure he's probably right, but I spoke with one Singer dealer who didn't
even know what a Featherweight was, so I wanted to ask you experts, first.
Subject: Got One!!
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 95 16:41:46 -0600
Hi Fellow Fanatics!
Now I'm really qualified to call myself a Fellow FW'er! After much
fussing about only being able to find $300 and up machines, I struck gold.
Yesterday I visited yet another gorgeous 1938 scrolled machine, but the
price was getting better. (The last one was $350; this one was $300.)
I nearly got it but went home to think about it. During the evening my
girlfriend from Ohio called me for the usual chat. Near the end of the
conversation I asked her if she would look for something for me in her
local antique shops and began describing FW's. She stopped me in
mid-description saying that she thought she had two. Can you imagine?
Indeed, she has her mother's 1938 in perfect condition with every
attachment and extra you can imagine, and it isn't available to me.
Okay, fine. Then she described wanting a machine while she was in
college, so she went to a Singer repair man for a "machine just like
Mummy's", and got a near-new mid-'50's with attachments, case, tray,
manual for $125 (1976, Bar Harbor, ME). I mentioned, between gasps and
screams, that $125 was a lot back then for a FW, and she said that the
man told her that they were hard to get because people were hoarding
them (no kidding). In fact, at the time it cost more than a new
machine. But she wanted one "just like Mummy's" and bought it. I
think she made some stuffed toys with it but that's all. I offered to
buy it for $125 + shipping and she agreed but told me to call back in a
little bit so she could dig it out of the closet.
When I called back she answered the phone saying that she made a
mistake she has THREE!! The additional one was one she doesn't even
remember buying. Must have gotten it at a tag sale for next to
nothing because it was "just like Mummy's" and then tucked it away and
forgot about it. Turns out it's a Centennial Model (gasp!) with case
but no extras. Bobbin case and bobbin are there but nothing else other
than the manual. It gets juice but seems seized up. I'm getting it
for the cost of shipping, but I sent her $50 because why not? She
seems to think we'll have no problem getting it to work just fine. The
paint is in great shape and in general it seems in good condition. The
previous owners must have thought that it was a goner.
I simply can't believe my good fortune. After hearing all of your
stories about wonderful finds, I can't believe I lucked out like this.
Now, as many of you have described, I'll probably find three more next week.....
Can't wait to see my new baby! I'm sure you'll hear from me when I need
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 18:20:18 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Erratic machine behavior
Last summer when I had my workhorse machine serviced, one of the things
the guy did while I was standing there was plug it all it and test the
operation of the foot pedal. Mine was doing the two-speed thing: almost
nothing and full tilt. Anyway, he recommended that I purchase a new foot
control, which I eventually did, and the problem went away. It seems the
foot pedals have mechanical innards which can wear down with use, just
like the machines and the motors. If you have a friend with a similar
machine, try swapping foot controls and see if the problem goes with the
foot pedal. If it does, there may be nothing wrong with the machine
itself or the motor.
P.S. The Singer number is: 1-800-877-7762. Prepare to be patient -- it
took me a day or so to get through.
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 07:02:43 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/6/95
Listing again what I have available as of today:
White FeatherWeight-EV serial, made in Scotland attachments - $375
Aj - 1951 - Anniversary Model with blue medallion, great condition both
cosmetically and mechanically
AJ - 1951 - Cosmetically perfect, runs great, case layered, all
attachments and original manual
1938 - AF Chrome Wheel, mechanically and looks great, case, attachments
and manual. Please e or call if interested in these machines.
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 22:29:38 -0500
Subject: FW Literary Sightings
Greetings, FW Fans!
Here are three books which feature Featherweights in photographs:
Working in Miniature by Becky Schaefer pub by C &T 1987
on the cover, and also in the author's photo, page 59
Lessons In Machine Piecing by Marsha McCloskey pub by That
Patchwork Place 1990, on the cover and also pages 21 & 23
Celebrate with Little Quilts! by Berg, Von Holt &Johnson, pub 1995
That Patchwork Place, shows a FW in a scene with their Little Quilts
on pg 18.
Doreen Speckmann, in her book Pattern Play, pub by C &T, 1993, gives
FW's an endorsement in her 'supplies' section: :
"Sewing Machine: Contrary to the sales pitch, you do NOT need a
state-of-the-art sewing machine. Any machine with a good straight stitch
wil make beautiful
patchwork. For thirteen years I made every quilt (and most of my
clothing) on a Singer 201 machine that only goes forward and
backward and was last made in 1955. Its little sister, the Singer 221
Featherweight, is well known as a good machine to piece with...."
Nancy Johnson-Srebro, in her 1990 book Miniatures to Masterpiece, states:
"In the Introduction, I explained that I do all my piecing with an
older White sewing machine. My students and friends use everything from
vintage Singers to the ultra modern machines that are on the market. Good
results can be had with all of them. ..." In the Introduction, she
explains that her husband bought her the White machine for Christmas in
In her 1992 book, Timeless Treasures, Nancy used a FW for the photos
showing how to put tape on a machine for accurate quarter inch seams, and
sewing techniques: pages 52, 54-55. Which was then followed by her
Featherweight 221: The Perfect Portable later in 1992.
I will stay on the look-out for more FW cover girls and endorsements!
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 20:39:34 -0500
Per Terry's suggestion, I have been busy trying to find old magazine articles
that might discuss Featherweights. So far, I have a list of about 50 articles
I'd like to someday find. The ones that sound the most promising are:
Consumer Res. Bul. Ja 53, p26-7 Singer Blind Stitch Attachment
Popular Mechanics Ap.47, p167 Tiny electric sewing machine
Consumers Res. Nov.49 p20-4 Sewing Machines
Consumer Reports My 50, p210-17 Sewing machines-tests of 26 models
Consumers Res. May 49, p14 Three sewing machine accessories
Readers Digest Ja.51, p41-5 Singer Sewing Machine that sews everywhere
If anyone comes across these let the list know!
Also, if anyone has access to old magazines e-mail me and as soon as I get a
complete list together I'll send you a copy.
I did find in American Heritage Oct. 58 a nice 12 page article about Isaac
Singer and his sordid life. It shows a color page of 8 of the around the
world trade cards and 5 comic trade cards (very poor humor, like someone at a
Singer sewing sewing two dogs' tails together - says "making ends meet") It
also shows a drawing of a wagon Singer had in Lincoln's second inaugural
Also found in Time Magazine June 25, 1951 a very nice article about Singer's
Anniversary. At that time Singer had produced more than 100 million sewing
machines, printed instructions in 54 different languages, had 1200 dealers in
the U.S., 5000 around the world and had 80,000 employees. It says the Wright
brothers used a Singer to make the covering for their first airplane wing and
that "India's Mahatma Gandhi, who learned to sew in a British jail, thought
so well of the sewing machine that he exempted Singer from his ban on Western
machinery". It also said "Singer makes close to 4,000 different sewers, from
a child's model sewing machine (three lbs.) to a giant industrial machine
(2,526 lbs.)." Apparantly they made a lot of special use machines including
ones to sew up sausage casings or finishing casket linings. The article
states that their latest gadget was a "seamer that binds plastics together
with an electric current instead of a needle and thread". It also tells that
the most popular model is the Featherweight priced at $137.50.
Please keep us all posted on any new finds!
Date: Fri, 8 Dec 1995 03:59:15 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/5/95
In a message dated 95-12-06 11:32:31 EST, you write:
>When I was learning to sew back in
>the dark ages, we were taught to put our rt hand on the balance wheel and
>start it towards oursleves, in order to overcome this inertia, every time we
>started to sew. Every time. If you've ever sewn with a Treadle machine,
>you pick this up right away.
I remember sewing on my mom's machine (either a 99 or 66) and almost always
had to start the machine in this way. The 99 I have now starts beautifully
without this assistance and it is really nice. Of course I remember being
thrilled with my new Viking when it didn't need to be started with my right
I've heard that the bobbins for the 301's and the 221's are interchangable.
Is this correct? My sewing man mentioned that replacements for these
bobbins are $80.00. What have you folks got to say on this? I remember this
subject being discussed in some form before.
In regards to the buttonholer questions I have. I'm concerned about the feed
dogs. The cover plate I have for the buttonholer doesn't look like it wants
to screw down tight enough. Perhaps the scew is a problem. I'll try to
clean out the hole it goes into as well and see if that is the problem.
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 1995 23:58:37 -0800
Subject: (no subject)
I'm interested in having my name added to your Featherweight Fanatics
list! Have been looking for a high quality featherweight for some time
now. I'm envious of the quilters that walk into a class with their
sewing machine tucked under their arm - takes me three trips from my
car to the shop to set up my machine!
Date: Fri, 8 Dec 1995 06:57:23 -0500
Subject: Re: Sincere's Repair Book
I was told Sincere's is a very rare book to get. This is how I easily got my
copy. I went to my local library, which is a county wide library system, and
called it up on the computer, and ordered it to be brought to my library.
Then I took it to work and made a nice photocopy of the whole book and
placed it between two folders and bound it with an Acco binder.
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 1995 19:53:07 -0500
Subject: it's happening again....
Hi Everyone. I had to share because it's what we do...another
serendipidous sewing machine found its way into my life today. Going to
the quilt shop across from the antique mall was not on my list of things to
do today, but after having blood drawn for the second time in a week
(unplanned) I decided I needed to go to That quilt shop to get a gift for
the grab bag monday night.
Finding the right gift, a couple of things I needed, and getting out for
under $20 made me feel quite virtuous so I took my sore arm over to the
antique mall just to look around. Kind of get me in the mood for Christmas
shopping. I saw a couple of toy machines for $60 and $75 that looked in
good condition, but they haven't started calling my name....yet...
At the back of the store I turn the corner and dead stop. There in front
of my eyes is one of the most beautiful sewing machines I have ever seen.
It was like something out of a Dickens Christmas Card. OK, some of the
decal is worn, but it's a beautiful black, hand crank, wooden boxed,
Veritas sewing machine. I cranked the handle, it was smooth as silk. The
lid was on the floor behind--it has delicate turnings at the four corners.
I was in another place in time.
I took the tag up to the desk and found the key to the top, plus many
(unidentified) feet, the bobbin shuttle and a couple of bobbins. I thought
that it was well worth the $135 price tag, but asked if the price was firm
and received 10% off. She needs a little cleaning up, but sews a beautiful
stitch. I can hardly believe she's mine.
I am a true believer in fabric karma. Earlier this week I sent off an old
calendar/dish towel to someone who was looking for them. My fabric stash
is really obscene and I don't have that NEED to possess more fabric right
now, so I didn't really wish for something in return. I believe that the
fabric/objects we were meant to have will show up when we need them. I
sure didn't expect such a fabulous return so soon.
I will go to the library and get out those books on old machines again, but
if anyone out there knows about Veritas, or Clemens Muller Dresden (with an
umlaut (sp?) over the u) I'd love to hear from you.
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 1995 21:28:04 EST
Hi Sue- I was so sorry to hear that you were in the
hospital. I hope you are doing well. Please know that you
are in our thoughts and prayers.
The Singer Spartan is still available. This is probably the
nicest, cleanest, shinyist, prettiest Sparton you could ever
find. It is in very nice condition, with a xerox copy of
original instruction sheet. $100 + shipping.
E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Date: Fri, 8 Dec 1995 22:44:16 -0500
Subject: I think I made a big mistake
As I've been reading your accounts about cleaning up really,
really grungy machines I've considered myself lucky.
Yesterday, I found my own challenge. I fear I've made a
terrible mistake. The machine, a model 15 treadle, was
resting awkwardly on a table. Even though the wheel would
not budge, I was sure I could bring her to life. The woman
selling the machine took me to a narrow, dark shed to show
me the treadle base. The drawers had been spray-painted black, it was
missing one wheel, the top was loose from the base and
looked a little strange, but the treadle worked. In the
drawers I found hinges for the wooden top, an instruction
book, two attachments, and a bobbin casing.
I paid $100 and took the head home for the night. My hands
are grimy now and I smell of WD-40. My DH helped loosen her
up and the wheel turns and things go up and down. Most of
the rust is off now and the bobbin casing housing is clean
enough. This morning, we returned for the treadle base with
our truck. In stark daylight problems were revealed. The
wooden top is not complete, although all the hinges are
there. Someone cut a very large hole in it, probably to
install a larger machine.
I'm not a woodworker, nor is my DH. It needs a whole new
top. I talked with a woodworker friend and he said it would
probably cost quite a bit to have a top custom made. I feel
so discouraged. If anyone lives in the East Bay area of
California and wants the machine I'm willing to part with it
for less than I paid.
I'll go back to hunting for Featherweights.
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 1995 17:20:04 -0500 (EST)
Subject: RE: FW Fanatics 12/6/95
C.Y.: I just howled at your description of the five states of husband
addiction... this is great!
Question: Is there anyone on this list who lives in or near Greensboro, N.C.?
If so, please e-mail me if you'd like to meet; I'll be down thataway in early
January.! Ruth, where I just finished another
project on my 1936 Featherweight!
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 19:46:13 -0500
Hello my name is Lisa and I'm a FW-oholic. I'd like to share my story. Well
I was at the dentist the other day about to receive the dreaded DRILL,ugh!
While in the waiting room I was trying to busy my mind with thoughts of
sewing. I happen to glance at the magazines on the table and I saw one with
big bold letters FW on the cover. Ohhhhh, I said to myself finally a magazine
devoted to the beloved FW. Well on closer inspection the title of the
magazine was Financial World. Thats when I knew that I needed help.
Now some info on how I got my FW. I am a quilter and heard many people talk
about FW's. Did some research to learn about the machine. PC was most
helpful,books magazines whatever I could get my hands on. Started to do the
tag sale,estate sales,newspaper search but having three small children I
don't have much free time. Decided that I was willing to pay rather than
search. First I was going to order from the back of QNM ( a quilters
magazine) then I thought maybe on-line. I wasn't to confident with those ways
(wasn't sure about how the money part would be handled or if quality would
meet my expectations) but needed to buy a FW and get it out of my system.
Well this is what unfolded. Happened to be in my favorite quilt store and
they have a bulletin board of shows in the area. I glanced at the board and
what did I see you ask? FW for sale 350.00 with box and attachments in good
condition. Well I set a date to meet with the owner ( birth mother ?) and I
bought it in a heartbeat. One thing the owner showed me was the current tune
up receipt. This might be a good thing for all you hunters to ask for. Then
you know it probably runs well. So go ahead all you FW-less run to your
nearest quilt store!
Got all I need for Christmas already!
Sue thanks for feeding my addiction daily!
Subject: Various Subjects
Date: Thu, 07 Dec 95 20:32:30 -0500
First off I have to say that I am so happy that Gail in Abilene finally has
a FW. I have been reading your letters since I ordered the Sept. FW
archives a couple months ago and felt badly that you were having so much
trouble finding a machine. It was fun hearing your excitement over the
arrival of your machine. Congratulations!
Jim: I, too, wish I could find a copy of Sincere's History of the
Sewing Machine for my home library but today I settled for once again
ordering it through inter-library loan. Unfortunately they didn't have the
other Sincere book.
Carolyn Y. in Calif. who never has any weather: Come to Montana. Tonight
it is 10 deg. BELOW zero with a 40 deg. BELOW zero wind chill. I also
invite Floridians, Arizonians and Australians. Bring your long johns. Oh, I
forgot to tell you it is also snowing.
Terry: I'm interested in the reason for not using WD-40 on the
sewing machine. I agree 100% NOT to put WD-40 in the oil holes or anywhere
that the manual indicates using good sewing machine oil. But were you told
not to put it on the outside surface to clean the machine? Please clarify
Date: Fri, 8 Dec 1995 19:35:05 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 12/6/95
I don't know if others have noticed, but while going through my first Debbie
Mumm book, I saw a pretty old Singer (with red &green designs) in one of the
pictures and then later in the book (with her design for a sewing machine)
there's a picture of a toy Singer that looks like one of mine. This is such a
disease, but so much fun! I love all my old machines, even though I really
only sew on my Bernina and wouldn't trade it for the world. Sue M.
Date: Sat, 09 Dec 1995 07:56:24 -0500 (EST)
Subject: nutty antique dealer
Spent yesterday at the Mall helping wrap christmas presents for charity,
working with a local antique dealer. When I asked him about sewing machines,
parts, accessories, cabinets, etc., he told me they are not worth the space
needed to store them in. He added that when he purchases an entire estate or
houseful of goods, and is "forced" to take in sewing stuff, he trashes it. He
spoke of whole cabinets full of "sewing stuff" that he just dumps. He does
save the treadles, puts marble table tops on the treadle and frame, but dumps
the old cabinets, parts, accessories, and particularly the machines "as they
are so heavy".
Needless to say, the man needs some educating. He will start saving his
whatevers for me. I plan to bring my FW and show him what it looks like. I'll
offer him a % or something if I sell anything, as a "finders fee". Actually,
at the moment I want a FW table cheap (because of being fairly broke) and still
am looking for various attatchments.
Please tell me, in your opinion, which makes and models are most worth keeping
and trying to resell? I'd like to augment the kids' college fund if I get
anywhere with this, charging a reasonable markup only. I know the FW and most
of the toy machines are worthwhile, but what else? Thanks in advance for any
advice... Regards from Ruth A
Featherweight Fanatics Page *
Main Quilting Page