Sunday, October 15 - Saturday, October 21
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 1995 11:25:57 -0400 (EDT)
I'm new to this list, so forgive me please if this question has been asked
before. Does anyone know about attatchments for the old featherweights that
are currently manufactured? Do attatchments made for any other brand or type
of sewing machine fit on the old featherweights? ARe there catalogs or sources
for attatchments anywhere? I have a FW (1935/6) but almost no attatchments
came with the machine, and I'd love to get some. Thanks in advance for any
info. I'll also be glad to compile answers to this question and post back to
the list, so e-mail me privately (or is there already a FAQ on this?). Also,
Thank You to Sue T. for taking the time and effort to manage this list!
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 1995 13:50:00 -0400
Subject: Did I get a good deal?
I love this Digest and all the great info. I do not own a FW but after
reading this for a while it seems as though life wouldn't be complete w/o
one. I love garage sales but haven't gone to many in the last year. Fri. I
saw an ad in the paper for one that had sewing machine and quilt frame. I
went and almost fell over when I found a 99K! I wouldn't even know what it
was without this digest. It is in terrific shape, only one small chip in the
enamel. It has been used a lot but well cared for. It is in a mint condition
cabinet, original. It has the original manual and all attachments in the
green box, all in perfect condition. I also got the Zig Zag attachment with
the 4 cams as well as a box with 4 more cams that apparently was sold
separately and the button hole attachment. All of these have original boxes
and manuals,even the original cardboard packing pieces. I believe the machine
is a 1954 but will call Singer for sure on Monday. I Paid $40 for all. I know
it isn't a FW but still I am in heaven. It sews beautifully. My 1/4" foot
fits perfectly. If anyone has any more info on the 99K, I would be forever
grateful. Thanks for listening. Katy
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 1995 18:15:36 EDT
Subject: FW Fanatics Digest 10/14/95
Special thanks to Terry S. for mentioning the spring on your spool
pin. Since reading your note, I have discovered my spring too is
removeable. By lifting the felt pad off the pin, sure enough, the
spring came with it. You're probably right...many of these springs
have been carelessly tossed away along with an empty thread spool.
Subject: FW Case Keys
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 95 16:10:38 -0500
Several of my FW's were missing the keys to their cases so I took one of the
keys to a locksmith and he was able to pretty closely match the key. A FW
key cannot be "cut" from a blank key. These keys are ordered from a catalog
and come pre-cut. Both locksmiths in my town had the same catalog. One had
the keys in stock for $1.00 each; the other had to order them and said they
would arrive in four days (I'm in Montana). The only difference: The
original key is about 1/3 thicker than the new key. Because of this the new
key fits like one of those cheap keys in children's tin banks, but it works
. Ask for Ilco T60 (that's ilco T60). Take your box with you to make sure
it works. Both locksmiths asked to see my box. If anyone else has info on
keys I'd like to know about it. I have two styles of cases.
Krisi, I like your database idea and will send you my info soon. Is it too
late to add information about the various FW manuals? I have at least three
styles: dark green; blue; and the later booklet with a turquoise, white and
red cover. They all have various copyright dates. Any others out there?
Carol H.: One reason why FW's ceased production (I think) was due to the
popularity of the zig zag machines. By 1972, when I sold Singers, they had
many exclusive patents for front drop-in bobbin, push-button bobbin winder,
horizontal spinning wheel thread delivery (the spool pins are horizontal,
not vertical), built-in embroidery stitches and buttonholes, cams, etc.
FW's were obsolete like the Model T's. My boss would take FW's in on trade
and take them home where he is probably hording them to this day. He said
that the FW 's and the 40l's were the best machines Singer ever made. I
know of another retired Singer dealer who claims to have a basement full of
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 1995 17:53:35 -0500 (CDT)
What is the best kind of thread to machine applique with? I don't know if
I should use 100% cotton or use what I have on hand.
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 1995 18:58:57 -0400
Subject: Another one's come home
I was lucky enough to find another FW today--this is a 221K made in Port
Clyde Scotland. It's in very good condition, but it doesn't have a case.
Don't know the birthday yet. I did have to pay a little more for this one,
but it's still not the most expensive one I bought. I found it at a flea
market and the seller had it labeled "child's sewing machine." I got her
down but I could kick myself, though, because she told me it worked very well
and I took her word for it. I should have found a plug and had her plug it
in, because I had to mess with it quite a bit before I got it going. It had
power, but just wouldn't go. I bet I could have gotten her down quite a bit
at that point! Ah, the chances we miss! Anyway, it just needed a good
cleaning, lubing and oiling, and then I had to run it for several minutes to
work the oil through. Makes a lovely stitch. My little 8 year old daughter
(who has named her's Starbright) helped me work her over. She pulled out
hard grease with a tool, squirted lubricant all over the gears, oiled every
moving part, all the while murmoring "this will get her humming." I held the
flashlight. Then we named her "Jewel". So now we have Blackie, Starbright
(And yes I sent my survey's in!)
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 1995 20:28:30 -0400 (EDT)
For those of you who plan on responding to the Featherweight
survey, let me try to clear up one of the items.
Item #6. stitch length indicator: I know of two different
indicators. The earlier version (a.) is a silver colored metal with the
numbers stamped into the silver. The later version (b.)is a silver metal,
but with black paint and the slightly raised silver numbers were
created when the plate was made, not stamped afterwards. E-mail me if you
have any questions about this.
I tried to think of all possible questions to put on the survey,
but have apparently missed a couple (Thanks Kris, Lynda and Jean). Please
16. Foot pedal (a.) early model -silver metal knobs
(b.) late model-black plastic knobs
17. Price paid and year purchased (optional)
I think I "forgot" to add the price question, because hearing about $5.
Featherweight finds makes me cry.
Response has been very good to the survey, and I'll give you all
about another week before I start posting results. If anyone needs a copy
of the original questionaire to fill out, please e-mail me.
May your Featherweights all hum happily,
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 95 14:02:59 EDT
Subject: My first Featherweight
I started subscribing to this list last Thursday, and bought my first FW on
Saturday. It's an AG (1941) in mint condition, and came with the case, all
attachments, manual, even the key and tube of grease. I swear this machine was
cleaner than my Bernina. I bought it from an antique sewing machine dealer
at a local (Ann Arbor, MI) antique show. I paid $375. I spent all weekend
playing with it. My husband just rolled his eyes.
Just a couple of questions. The manual that came with my FW said to use 15x1
needles. The Schmetz needles that I use on my other machine say 15x1 on them,
so I tried one of those in the FW. It seemed fine. Is it okay to use those
needles? I assume that there isn't a way to disengage the feed dogs on the
FW for free-motion sewing. Is that true? And finally, at the bottom of the
FW case, there is a metal C-shaped clamp mounted on the wooden cleat. What
the heck is that clamp for?
Thanks for all the great info.
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 1995 11:04:53 -0800
Subject: A Stitch Back In Time
I now have the address and phone no. for A Stitch Back In Time. Here it is:
A Stitch Back In Time
3815 50th St. #41
Lubbock, TX 79413
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 1995 11:44:29 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics DIgest
Still loving all this fw talk. This weekend I drove down to Whitehall NY on
the way to Rutland VT. I stopped at all the sales and some antique shops but
found no fw's or quilts. I did however see what I took to be a 99k in a
wooden hood type box. It had a fancy scrollwork faceplate and tons of gold
decorations but alas it was missing the plate that goes over the bobbin ( a
drop in type), the foot control, the light and the power cord. They wanted
$25 for it but I couldn't bring myself to buy something with so much wrong
with it. And they wouldn't take less so I moved right along.
Actually stopping at yard sales saved me from getting a speeding ticket. The
road I was on was deserted and I was doing like 65 or 70 mph when I spotted a
sale. Stopped, looked, etc went to get back on road and waited for a white
van and a car to pass that were going very fast. I followed slowly behind
them and came over a hill to find that they had both been stopped by the
State Police for speeding. I watched my speed after that.
One final note, I have noticed that the dates that the Singer toll free
number is giving are different from those in Nancy Johnson Srebro's book - am
wondering why that is. The FW I just sold should have been a 1941 according
to that book but found out it was made 9/16/46 according to Singer number.
It had an AG number. This is puzzling.
Subject: Hemstitchers, New Bobbin Cases, Etc.
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 95 14:36:53 -0500
A few years ago I traded a buttonholer for a hemstitcher that a Singer
dealer had gathering dust. I haven't heard mention of a hemstitcher on this
list and am wondering if anyone has one and has used it. For those
unfamiliar with them, they come in a green box marked: Singer Sewing Machine
Company, HEMSTITCHER, No. 121387, Made in U.S.A. The box is the same size
as the FW attachment box. The manual also says PICOT EDGER for Lockstitch
Family Sewing Machine and the latest copyright date is 1942. It has
pictures and instructions for attaching the Special Throat Plate (S.T.P.)
to machines 15, 66, 99, 101, 201, 127, 128, and 221-1. The HEMS. is
attached by a special long screw to the pressure bar. This gadget is used
to pierce a row of tiny holes and surround them with stitches, sort of like
a closely spaced row of mini-round eyelets. Lace may be crocheted along
the edge of a pillowcase (for example) single-crocheting into the holes. It
is a beautiful decorative stitch with many other uses.
If anyone has one of these and has successfully used it on their 221's,
please tell us about it. I cannot seem to get the long screw to attach the
HEMS. to the bar. On the last page of the manual it lists the numbers of
the parts which correspond with each machine (listed above). All parts are
compatible with my 221's but why am I having problems attaching it? What I
need is a description of someone else's "special longer thumb screw" to see
if I have the right one.
If this sends any of the rest of you looking for a hemstitcher, I would
be glad to tell you the number of the throat plate that fits machines listed
above. You want to check this number before investing; it is stamped on the
plate. The HEMS. itself fits all models and so should the screw.
Jill G.: I found a paragraph on the Davis Sewing Machine Co. in my
Smithsonian book. Please e-mail to me and I will send it back to you if you
want it. Terry S.
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 1995 17:06:50 -0500 (CDT)
I just found a FW but the needle was broken. I told the lady $450 was alittle
much for one with a broken needle. I'm sure she will get her $450 but not
Someday I hope to be a proud owner of a FW but the price is going to have
to be a little less. I just sent a package to my daughter in Tokyo. Maybe
after Christmas I can really start looking. Although I now have 3 people
looking now-they do sales I don't.
I work with children with disabilities and hope to have a FW to show our
students. Last year I luged a machine up to school every week. I helped
one of our students make a pillow for her mom for Christmas. This year I
have a computer class. I told the principle about Quilt-Pro. He got it
for me. That is for my lab. We are going to learn how to design quilts. The
students can print what they have designed and take home.
Date: 16 Oct 95 18:09:20 EDT
I have just found a fw for sale &may look at it tomorrow. Lady says she
already has one; got this one from an older friend (couldn't pass it up).
Couldn't tell me much about it except that it sews well -- no case, no
attachments, serial # is AC; she thinks it is late 40's. She says the machine
is in good shape but there is a little wear on the gold scrollwork where fabric
has been fed through -- not worn off to black, though. She wants $400 for it,
which I realize isn't a rock bottom price (I live in a metro area where there is
a large and active quilt guild).
Any advice or information for me? My house is in shambles from remodelling so I
can't find my NSJ book, and I have never actually seen a fw up close. Any and
all comments appreciated.
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 1995 18:08:00 +1200 (NZST)
Subject: An fwf newbie
>it isn't a FW but still I am in heaven. It sews beautifully. My 1/4" foot
>fits perfectly. If anyone has any more info on the 99K, I would be forever
>grateful. Thanks for listening. Katy
Hi FWF's, I'm a brand newbie to old Singer machines and to this mailing
list. I must echo Katy's delight in finding my very first 99k machine
and thanks to Wendy P in finding this mailing list the very next day! I
too would be interested in more info on the 99k although I have already
gleaned bits and pieces from one week's digest posts. I picked them up
last night on my WWW visit to Sue's home page and tonight I'm getting
I grew up with a mother and a sister who were dressmakers and very
clever with their hands, my bent was more towards maths (long since gone
I'm afraid) and I just hated sewing! I vaguely remember using my
mother's Singer machine on several occasions when she stood over me with
a whip but all I can remember about it now was that it had it's own
built in cupboard in the dining room and that it had a knee thingi - I
think! Unfortunately when she passed away 10 or so years ago I stupidly
sold it, doesn't it make you cry! At that stage I still hated sewing and
was glad to get rid of it, however, somehow I forgot about the box of
attachements that went with it. They were hanging around the garage for
years and years but now that I want them do you think I can find them?
So to cut a long story just a tad shorter last year I took up quilting
and found (to the astonishment of my whole family who had learned VERY
early on in life to do their own sewing because they knew Mum wouldn't
do it) that I quite liked sewing a straight seam after all! Now that
I've managed to more or less master my dh's Bernina 830 (inherited when
I remarried 13 years ago) I'm into quilting (well more buying of fabric
really, I've yet to finish my first quilt!) in a big way.
On Saturday I went to the local school gala day even though it was
drizzling with rain all day (typical spring weather down under) and what
should I see sitting out in the rain amongst all the old beds and broken
chairs not one but two little Singer sewing machines all forlorn and
looking for someone to love them! I walked around them for awhile
wondering in my ignorance if they were the featherweight machines I'd
heard talk of so much on the Internet but never heard of until then. One
of them had a very pale green plastic case with a price of $35, the
other one was without a case but had a price of $40, it looked in much
better condition so I suspected that maybe the other one wasn't working
and this one was. At this stage I was really umming and ahhing as I was
by myself without a car to take it home in and believe me I knew as soon
as I picked it up it wasn't a FW! Finally I said I've got to have it it
was so cute so I offered the man $5 and to my surprise he said yes! (Why
oh why didn't I get them both, darn it!). It turned out to be a 99k
machine and with the present rate of exchange it cost me US$3.35.....
Mind you it needed a darn good clean and the power cable needed
shortening by about a foot where it had rotted clean away, but the light
works and after an oil and grease it is humming along just fine. Now all
I have to do is get used to the speed of either flat out or stop! It
didn't have any attachements or manuals so it's going to be very
interesting tracking things down, looking forward to the challenge. And
to find out how old it might be, possibly the 1950's as that was about
the time plastic was invented wasn't it? The serial # starts with a K
(only one letter), it also has this: CAT.NO. BAK 4-12 and it was made in
Just one last thing, when we were cleaning it we found a little piece of
red felt like fabric stuck in a spring right next to the little button
you push to release the bobbin, we weren't sure if that fabric was
supposed to be there or not, it was really jammed in so we left it just
in case, anyone know please?
PS How did I get it home? I had to ring my dh to come and pick me up,
groans all around when he saw it.....he knows me better than I thought -
I feel another collection coming on ;-)
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 1995 08:44:49 -0400
Subject: re: Where do you find FW's?
I have been involved in a discussion with santilla about where featherweights
are found. My own pet theory, based on my limited experience, is that fw's
are most likely found in poorer neighborhoods. I've found 3 fw's in the last
14-15 months, and I agree with N J-S that featherweights themselves are not
really rare things. I bought one in a slum sewing shop specializing in used
machines (had I wised, I could have bought crack and a sewing machine on the
same block!). I would note that 30 years ago, this area was probably working
class or lower working class. I bought another one in an immigrant (very
ethnic) lower working class garage sale. The last one I bought at a flea
market did not give me info either way as to where it originally came from
because the seller was not from the selling area (I would describe her as
working middle class but she was at least the second owner). I've heard some
say pawn shops were a good place to look. I figure this was a reasonably
priced machine buyable on payments, and who needed to sew anyway? I reason
that sewers were those who needed/wanted to stretch dollars. I live outside
NYC in an urban area (so I don't know if my findings would apply to those who
lived in rural area where everyone had to stretch dollars). So, I throw this
out to the wind: "what kind of area (socioeconomic) do you have luck finding
Subject: WANT TO BUY: FW Table
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 95 09:02:00 PDT
I believe I read in the September digest that a gentleman in the
Minneapolis-St..Paul area had a few FW tables for sale. I'm looking for one
and will be in the area. If he (or anyone else who might have one for sale)
could e-mail me, I would like to discuss the purchase of a table.
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 1995 10:24:18 -0400
Subject: Dawn S - 99k
I'm jealous about your terrific deal! $3.25, WOW! If you need a copy of the
manual, e-mail me and I will copy mine for you. Also, DO NOT remove that
little red felt piece near the bobbin. I was wondering about it too but it
belongs there. It is one of the places you should add a drop of oil, directly
on the felt. The serial number on mine begins with EK. I called Singer and it
was made in 1955. E-mail me if you want to chat about it.
I also have a few questions for the veterans out there. I've read that some
of you use Turtle wax or baby oil to polish up these little beauties but what
do you use to clean up the black first? Mine is quite clean but I really
want to preserve it without preserving the dirt. Also, is it okay to use
these machines for paper piecing? I don't want to damage it.
Thanks a bunch, Katy
P.S. Dawn, I think I would go back and knock on that guys door to see if he
still had the other one :).
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 1995 11:00:07 -0500
Hello all! My FW has a birthdate of 5/10/51. I did not get an owner's manual
with the machine. I had a friend show me how to thread it. Works great! There
are many attachments that came with it. I have no idea what they are or how to
use them. I will give the part numbers on them and if any of you can tell
what they are and can let me know I would really appreciate it. There are
four different feet and the numbers on them are 120598, 160359, 36865 and
35931. There is also a plate with the number 121309 and the word, Simanco.
Any info at all would be appreciated. The real challenge will come after I
find out what they are when I want to know how to use them! Isn't this daily
inspiration wonderful? Thanks!
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 95 09:29:35 -0500
The first FW I purchased in 1984 had a touch of rust in the bobbin case
and the bobbins didn't turn smoothly. Through a friend I was able to
purchase a new bobbin case wholesale for under $20. It is a TOWA Bobbin
Case, Made in Japan. Unfortunately this never worked properly causing
thread jams so I went back to the original case, wiped the inside with a
touch of Singer oil and it has worked perfectly ever since. The rust itself
isn't rust-colored, just a black, rough spot in the silver finish. Has
anyone else had trouble with a TOWA Bobbin Case? Any solutions?
If plastic thread spools bounce around on your spool pin, making a lot
of racket on your otherwise perfectly quiet FW, try using a cone thread
holder behind your machine. You can purchase them in large fabric stores or
in shops selling sergers. The spool or cone sits on a separate base and the
thread feeds up high through a guide. I then attach a paper clip to my FW
spool pin and feed the thread through, continuing to thread the machine as
usual. If you use your FW for piecing quilts, a cone of thread lasts
forever. Monofilament nylon thread cones also work.
Be sure to ask at antique stores for attachments. More than once the
shop owner surprised me with a box of Singer attachments which were tucked
away in a drawer. Theft is a problem so many shops lock them up. I once
purchased a green box with full set of attachments for $5.00.
Recently someone asked about "roadtrips with your FW's". Several times
I have taken one by plane to attend classes or returned home with a new
acquisition. The beauty of a FW is that the case fits under the seat and
isn't too heavy to carry between planes. I always protect it with a bag so
it doesn't get scratched. Of course, the minute I find one on a trip I have
to run to the nearest sewing shop to get oil, lube and a brush so that I can
clean it up in my motel room!! And I always carry a bobbin, needle, fabric
and thread when looking for FW's so I can try them before purchasing.
Well, must go down and complete surveys for the FW database. What a
great idea. Also must finish foundation-piecing a miniature cat quilt on
Her Royal Highness. There is nothing more precise than a FW for paper
piecing, is there? I never know if my computerized machines are going to
take an extra stitch, but a FW does exactly what you tell it to do.
Perfection!!! Terry S.
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 1995 13:12:32 -0400
>- no case, no
attachments, serial # is AC; she thinks it is late 40's. She says the
is in good shape but there is a little wear on the gold scrollwork where
has been fed through -- not worn off to black, though. She wants $400 for
Way too much money in my opinion for a FW with no case and no attachments.
I'd think $200 to $250 more appropriate.
About the Hemstitcher - sounds interesting - anyone out there have one for
Where do I get this Smithsonian book I hear mentioned?
The clamp in the box is for holding the oil can.
The buttonholer has a cover for the feeddogs to do freemotion quilting.
My supposed 1941 turned out to also be a 1946 - I think the serial nos. span
a few years, NSJ's book mentions the beginning year, but you will notice then
a few years get skipped My 1938 turned out to be a 1940.
I use my Schmetz needles - no problem - which is why I say a broken needle
isn't much of a bargaining point, but $450 is alot of $$$, too!!!
Sorry this is disjointed, I've yet to figure out that cut and paste thing,
(if someone can teach me I'd love it!!)
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 1995 10:15:29 -0700
Subject: needles for Featherweight
> The manual that came with my FW said to use 15x1 needles. The
> Schmetz needles that I use on my other machine say 15x1 on them,
> so I tried one of those in the FW. It seemed fine. Is it okay
> to use those needles?
Funny you should mention this...
Last week I bought my first Featherweight. I couldn't get it
to sew without tangling the thread, so I took it to my local
quilting store. The woman who teaches the Featherweight
maintenance class looked at it for a few minutes and said,
"You don't have a Singer needle here. *Always* use a Singer
needle in your Featherweight. I bet that's your problem."
Sure enough, it was the needle!
Here is what she gave me as her recommendation:
Singer Regular Point Red Band Needles
for lightweight woven fabrics
I told her I was going to use the machine for piecing quilt,
so I assumed that's how she picked the needle.
I'm not an expert, just passing along information.
Subject: FW Fanatics DIgest 10/15/95
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 95 09:00:00 PDT
My boss would take FW's in on trade
FF>and take them home where he is probably hording them to this day. He said
FF>that the FW 's and the 40l's were the best machines Singer ever made. I
FF>know of another retired Singer dealer who claims to have a basement full of
I have a featherweight and a 401...(among others)...the dealer I bought
my 401 from said the same thing. I couldn't pass up the 401 cause it is
sooooo cool looking. I call it my rockrtship machine because it reminds
me of something out of the rocketeers with all of it's wild curves! It
sews great too! I bought it (aside from it looking really cool) because
I wanted a machine that would do decorative stitches for less than 3
Randy used to be a singer dealer, but now he sells Elnas. He has a free
arm Featherweight which is his pride and joy. I was talking to his wife
today to see if he has the manual for the free arm for another list
member, and she mentioned that in Florida there is a shop one of their
customers saw, which was wall to wall featherweights! Apparently they
are common there.
Also Randy had a General Electric sewing machine until recently. The
person who bought it from him said it was manufactured by the Standard
Sewing Machine Co, and was the precursor to the Featherweight. Also
known as the Sewhandy. Wish I would have known that...I would have
bought it! I think Randy wishes he would have known that too...I don't
think he would have sold it!
Thanx for the info on the keys!
Subject: Dawn's fantastic find
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 95 00:09:00 PDT
Congrats on your 99K! Are you sure it's a 99 and not a 66? I called my
local Old Singer Guru, and he said a model with a serial # starting
with a K, and only 1 letter, was born in 1902. I don't think they made
the 99 that early. If the serial # is correct, you have a treadle which
has been converted to electric, which is probably why it has no case.
What color is the painted decoration on it? Lucky you! Keep your eyes out
in garage sales and thrift stores and you will eventually run into some
attachments for it. A 99 is a 3/4 head...actually maybe they did make
them that early, as a hand crank machine and not a treadle. I know I
have seen a 3/4 head with a hand crank in Randy's shoppe. A 3/4 head is
3/4 the size of a full size head...and neither of them are light!
I have a photocopied manual for a newer 66, and all but the 1st few
pages of the manual for a 99. It would probably cost me less than 5
dollars to photocopy them and mail to you. If you would like me to
let me know, and send me your address. Be patient though, because I
just had surgery on one of my hands and won't be able to drive until the
23rd to get it out to you.
Can you call Singer's 800 # from the UK? If not, email me the full
serial # and I will call them for you and see if I can get more info on
it for you. Sounds like you got a great deal though!
FF>PS How did I get it home? I had to ring my dh to come and pick me up,
FF>groans all around when he saw it.....he knows me better than I thought -
FF>I feel another collection coming on ;-)
hehehehe....It was an old 66 converted to electric that got my rapidly
expanding collection started, and now I have 9 sewing machines...
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 1995 16:08:14 CST
Subject: fw and table for sale
I have a pre-WWII (AE serial number)featherweight and a featherweight
table with metal legs for sale. The machine sews well, comes with a
case and an extra bobbin. Unfortunately, there are no attachments or
manual. The machine is in good condition. It has the beautiful
scrolled face plate. Most of the gold paint is in excellent shape, but
there is a bit of wear right in front. The case has the upper tray
characteristic of the older models and is functional, although the edges
are a bit worn. The table has metal legs and is structurally sound.
The insert for the machine is lined with leather and the table is
sturdy. The top is in generally good shape, but would look perfect if
it were revarnished. The black paint on the sides is generally intact.
I'm asking $165 for the table, $340 for the machine or $450 for both.
Please e-mail me if you are interested. Michele
Subject: GE Featherweight
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 95 06:02:00 PDT
I would have sent this to you personally, but I didn't see your email
address in the digest. Do you still have the GE featherweight? How
much do you want to sell it for? I think it would be kind of neat to
own. I quilt, and have too many sewing machines.
Subject: mdel # for zig-zag &buttonholer
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 95 06:08:00 PDT
or anyone else who can answer my question....
has anyone found out which model # zig-zag attachment or buttonholer
attachment the featherweight uses? I run into them at thrift stores
sometimes, and if I know which one to buy, I will buy them, and if I
find more than one I will share them...
Date: 17 Oct 95 22:24:35 EDT
Subject: Singer 206K questions
Greetings: I posted a question in the CompuServe quilting forum preserving the
gold finish on a 1951 Singer 206K I recently acquired... and frequently use. A
very nice person provided your group's name, and suggested I subscribe to the
free FWFanatics digest. I would appreciate more information about your group.
Any suggestions that apply to my machine would be gratefully appreciated. Many
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 01:13:22 -0400
Subject: You know!!
Hi Fellow Fanatics,
Just had to get my 2 cents in about my Wonderful Machines. I am the proud
owner of an Anniversary model FW born aud 23, 1950. I knew she was a pretty
little girl but didn't know how special her little blue &gold medallion made
her until I read it here. She sews like a dream and I get perfect 1/4" seams
with by putting on an Elna ankle and using the Elna 1/4" foot. I originally
bought the ankle &foot to use on my Pfaff 1473 but it works sooo much better
on Miss FW.
I also own a Model 66 treadle born on Jan 8, 1910. This is a venerable old
lady who still works like she's brand new. I just had to buy a new leather
belt for her to get her acting like a youngster again. I found her in the
basement of an antique store in Ogden Utah and I understand that she was
originally owned by the owner of a tailor shop. Her gilt is beautiful on the
head but is completely worn off on the bed. I can't help but wonder how many
pants and suits she altered &hemmed. In her cabinet drawers she had all her
attachments and pages 6-26 of the original (wore &yellowed ) manuel. She's
Beautiful!! She was well used but not abused and now she has the place of
honor in our living room. Our ambition is to make a whole quilt using her ( a
log cabin, I think,would be appropiate). I'm sure she's up to it but am I?
I'm hoping that someone out there can advise me on how to remove almost a
century of gunk off of her without removing her gold. I tried to wipe the
grease off but lost some of the gilt and immediately stopped. Help!
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 1995 22:25:48 EDT
Hi again, FW people!
I would like to thank Kristina S, who is making a
copy of her 222k free-arm manual for me. I would still very
much like to find an original 222k manual. If anybody knows
of one for sale, please E-mail me. I am also looking for a
tan colored featherweight in nice condition and would
appreciate any leads to help locate one.
I have found volumes 1 through 4 of the Singer sewing
library, dated 1930-1932, in very nice condition. Vol 1 is
short cuts to home sewing and shows how to use many
accessories. Vol 2 is how to make dresses, Vol 3 is how to
make children's clothes, &vol 4 is how to make draperies,
slip covers, and cushions. I will sell the set for $24 ppd.
We really like this newsletter, read it everyday!
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 09:16:50 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/17/95
Please help me! I'm going to see my first Featherweight tomorrow night. It
has a pretty decent case, almost all of the scrollwork, the manual, and "all"
(I think some) of the attachments. The woman said she has two, and she is
selling this one because it runs rougher than her other one. She said she
always planned to have her husband take it apart and fix it, or take it in
for service, but she just never got around to it. She can't justify having
two machines. The price is $260.
My question is: when a featherweight is running "rough", how rough is TOO
rough on a machine that admittedly hasn't been oiled in a long time? Can I
oil it while I'm there trying it out, and get a good idea what shape it is
in? If so, exactly WHERE should I oil it?
Also, what else should I look for as contemplate buying this machine? I have
no basis for comparison, since I've only ever seen one or two other
featherweights, and I don't own one. Are there problems I should look for?
Any help anyone could give would be much appreciated. Thank you. JILL G
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 09:57:26 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/16/95
Can someone please give info about the "Smithsonian book" I've seen mentioned
several times. I just bought the Toy and Miniature Sewing Machine book (and
loved it) and also the Antique American Sewing Machine book (which I was less
than thrilled with - I want info on machines made after the book ends). About
the red felt on model 99 machines - don't try to remove it (as I did,
fortunately without success), it's supposed to be there and is used for
oiling (put a drop there when you're oiling your machine). Does anyone know
if the Spartan machine is a model 99, seems to be lots of similarities? Keep
that wonderful information coming - everyone seems to have such great stories
to tell. Sue M
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 09:42:33 -0500
Regarding Margaret in NJs query of socioeconomic locations of fws:
middle class neighborhood in northwest Chicago--$5 yard sale purchase
middle class WDC suburb of Arlington, VA--$70 purchase from eclectic shop
ditto above--$120 purchase same shop
small town southwestern Wisconsin--$220 purchase, retired home ec teacher
ditto above--$219 &change purchase, retired man whose hobby is
Road Trip (which also happens to be the name of my younger dog...)
I have gone on a rt and used my mil's fw on Palomar Mountain, CA
I have gone on a rt without and returned with a 99k and a fw (same trip)
Having shared my Sept digest with fellow fanatics, feedback was that they
enjoyed knowing where everyone was from...
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 09:48:19 EDT
Subject: FW Fanatics Digest 10/17/95
Yesterday's shopping venture did not provide any new finds, machine
wise, but I did manage to pick up two old irons. I'll be busy
getting those cleaned up today.
However, as a side note for the many quilters among us revving up for
the holidays, I found some great Christmas Greeting Cards at a local
book store, new for 1995, based on an original painting by a Nita
Showers called "Quilting For Christmas", 1994. I do not know
if/where this painting displays, but briefly, there is a group of
teddy bears assembled beneath a decorated tree, quilting and piecing.
In addition to the quilt they are working on, a Baltimore hangs on
the wall behind the tree. There is a patchwork quilt draped over a
chair and another small quilt on the floor beneath a pointsetta plant.
You may want to keep an eye out for these cards this season in
your local card shops, etc. I bought one box and the info there is:
Lang Graphics LTD, P.O. 99, Delafield, WI 53018. The tel. no. is 414-
646-2211. I have no affiliation with the artist or manufacturer.
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 95 09:50:23 -0500
Item Subject: Message text
Had a wonderful experience last night! My husbands ex-wife had been
holding on to my mother-in-laws featherweight for 15 years. She is
moving again and agreed to give it back to my mother-in-law. (I can
hardly blame her... giving back a featherweight would be sad.) Anyway,
she had told me that it was not working and she had not been able to fix
it. So when she brought it over, I was ready to clean it up and take it
to the shop before giving it back to my mother-in-law.
It was DIRTY! She had never cleaned, oiled, wiped even. There were Gobs
of hard, oily dirt in the bobbin case and under the stitch plate. It
was unbelievably dirty. The motor was loose (wobbled) and there was 8
layers of very old, masking tape that the paper would seperate but the
sticky part was hard and not coming off easily.
Well me and my troops (we have 8 children) got to work. We got WD-40 to
clean the bobbin case, the bobbin case area and under the stitch plate.
AND to our surprise WD-40 was the BEST thing to loosen the dried on tape
goo. My handy son, Andy (17) reattached the motor and played with it
until the belt seemed to move correctly (like my machine). We Turtle
Waxed this sweet abused little machine until it shined. Then I oiled
everything and slowly turned everything to make sure that we weren't
missing a thread or someone gummed up. We threaded this little beauty
and plugged her in AND SHE HUMMED. Sewed beautifully! Before we
cleaned her the bobbin case couldn't turn and after a little TLC, she
ran like a trooper. WHAT A MACHINE! All it needs now is a new light
bulb (will get it today after I reread the archives about light bulbs.)
We will be giving her back to grandma looking mint and sewing
beautifully. My mother in law tells the story of this being her college
graduation present in 1953 and how she made her childrens clothes on it
and it moved all over the world with the Army. I feel so happy that I
was able to get it back for her and will be able to return it in happy
Smiling in Texas,
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 11:53:10 -0400
> There are
>four different feet and the numbers on them are 120598, 160359, 36865 and
>35931. There is also a plate with the number 121309 and the word, Simanco.
>Any info at all would be appreciated.
Three of these same attachments came with my 99k:
I have the manual showing how to use these on my 99k. If you want, I can
phhotocopy the appropriate pages and send them to you. Let me know. Katy
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 11:53:14 -0400
Subject: Where do you find FW's?
This is the question I have been asking myself! I'm very interested in this
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 13:56:13 -0400
Subject: New FW Owner...
Happy is the quilter who is now owned by a FW! Serial starts with an AH, no
attachments, and the case has a new bottom. But what the hey, it sews
Questions for those of you who have used and loved their machines.... How
often do you find yourself oiling it? (I have a copy of a generic
instruction manual, it looks like there are a whole BUNCH of oiling spots..?)
How often do you lube the motor, and what do you use?
Are there any specific tricks that one should know? By this I mean
ANYTHING; operation, care and maintenance, whatever....
Thanks for the assistance - this Digest is the high point of my morning,
before I go bury myself in my sewing room!
Date: 18 Oct 1995 09:12:09 PT
Subject: FW Fanatics Digest 10/17/95
I just found a mint condition GE sewhandy that I am looking to sell. It
is green and looks just like the picture in Nancy's book except that it
is in far better condition. It has the manual, which is hardbound at the
end of sewing book called 'Home Sewing Made Easy' which I thought was an
interesting way to do it. The only difference between the GE and the
Standard Sewhandy is the name on the side.
I spent some time talking to Dale Pickens, and asked him about bobbin
cases. He has some available, but the price is high - $50.
These Japanese remakes often need some grinding to make them work well.
Dale told me that he just wraps a bit of emery cloth around a match and
twists it in the hole and that helps a lot.
Dale also told me that he gets $50 for the green box of original
accessories. He gets $10 for just the box. He also can sell the original
oil cans for $50 and will pay $25 for them.
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 15:48:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: feather weights
I read someone's comment about FWs bbeing common in Florida and being
unemplyed at the moment, deceided to check it out.
Called all the consignment shops in Ft. Lauderdale - nothing
Called 10 sewing mchine stores out of 30 - Found 8 for sale. Price range
is $250 to $500 for a brown one made in UK.
If any body is interested. Drop me a line and maybe I can do something.
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 20:32:31 -0400 (EDT)
There are not too many thrift shops around where I live (Margaret, I'm in NJ
also -- where are you?? Take me to these impoverished communities...)
but I went to the warehouse of an organization that has thrift shops and
asked if they had any sewing machines. The guy went into the back and after
15 minutes came out carrying a little suitcase (no, not a FW, but a 66 #AM
something or other). Price - $10. Said it was all he could find, but he
knew there were lots of other old ones back there in cabinets; check with
him on a Saturday.
I took it to a Singer dealer, where I bought a new belt. It seems to run
fine but it is quite noisy. I threw a few drops of oil in the holes but
it's still noisy. Any suggestions, short of taking it to a dealer? Or are
all the 99's noisy? BTW -- do I have a 99K? It doesn't say K.
That same dealer had a lot of 66's with knee control, with carrying cases --
old ones with pretty decoration -- and they seemed to run about $125. He
also had a 301 for $120 (but I'm unemployed) and said when he gets FWs they
fly out the door about about $250. Evidently he hasn't caught on yet; says
the older people like them because they're not strong enough to carry the
heavier ones. Yeah. Ok. I'm still checking out the garage sales.
I ordered a new bobbin case for my 1924 White Rotary and am refinishing the
rather horrid cabinet to its beautiful cherry wood while I wait.
My kids think I'm out of control and my husband just looks at me. Hey, it's
how I deal with the stress of not having found a job yet..
This list is my absolute favorite!
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 20:53:01 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: FW Try It Kit
Terry, let's call your kit a Try It Kit. It's a great idea and I'm going
to get mine together tomorrow. Do you use a regular bobbin? Should I also
have a bobbin case with me? My goal this next 12 months is to find a FW.
I have about 5 people looking now. Friday after my Dr. appt. I'm going to
look at every pawn shop and junk place I can find. I may even go to Baird
and look at the Antique shops.
I have 2 Singer machines. They are both electric. The book with one is 1954.
The number on the cover of the book is 15-91. My other Singer has a small
plate on the front that has 201 on it. These are to heavy to carry anywhere
but sew like dreams.
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 1995 14:45:45 +1200 (NZST)
Subject: I found the serial #!
Wow, what a fountain of knowledge you all are! Thanks to all those kind
people that offered me photo-copies of the 99k manual, I now have one
lined up. Would you believe it belongs to a quilting cyberbuddy of mine
that lives less than 2 hours drive from me, I'm meeting her (and best of
all her FW :>) this weekend for the first time so I'm looking forward
I've just been chatting privately to Fran and giving her a full
description of my little beauty plus all the numbers on it I could find,
and what should I come across in my search but the REAL serial number of
the machine, it wasn't actually hidden but in a place that I hadn't
noticed before, it is: ER134582, obviously the K serial number that I
gave last time is the serial number of the motor, what an idiot I am! So
hopefully we'll be able to come up with a year maybe even a month and
day that it was born. Unfortunately the ER isn't on the list of years
that I have, where did that list come from anyway? BTW anyone know what
a 44K13 is, at least what year? It's an old treadle that was converted
to power and that was the number on the front of it. There is also
another number: Y7346089, maybe that is the one needed?
Thanks too, to all who told me the little piece of red felt in the
spring is supposed to be there.
Katy: it was actually a school gala that I bought this one at so I doubt
they would know what happened to the other one by now! I've certainly
learned my lesson anyway, next time I buy THEM ALL!
I still haven't found the box of singer attachements I had left from my
mother's machine, still looking! But I've had another flash of horror
since then, I used to have a little toy sewing machine that actually
sewed, given to me when I was a child and as far as I know I still have
it - somewhere! I have no idea if it is a Singer or not but I have this
awful sinking feeling that I've sold it in one of my own garage sales
over the years....my dh is NEVER going to make me clean out the garage
again believe me!
>where did that list come from anyway?
Don't answer that, I've just found it in one of the Sept Digests!
Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 09:59:07 -0400
Subject: A good deed rewarded...
Still loving all the fw chat. I emailed Michelle this morning about the FW
table but I am sure I am too late for it. It would go so nice with my 3
black and 1 white fw.
Anyway, on with the tale... A quilter friend of mine broke her foot a few
weeks ago and cannot get upstairs to use her regular machine. I told her to
call me if she needed anything and the other night she did. She bought a fw
ten years ago for $65 and stuck it in a closet and has never used it. She
asked me to come over and set it up for her. Well, I got there and this
thing had been stored in a damp place and you can imagine the mess it was in.
It took me about an hour but I got it all cleaned up and running nice for
her. I showed her how to thread and oil it and how to wind a bobbin. It was
an AJ model so I think a 1950 or so. In exchange, she gave me a narrow metal
plate with several little holes in the middle that has a screw to fasten it
to the machine bed. I found this in the old case and she said she had no use
for it. If this is what I think it is, it is the plate to cover the feed
dogs and will help me if I do anymore machine quilting with my fw. Later she
called me and is absolutely in love with her fw. It is small so she can move
it around on the table and arrange it where she wants it, so she is able to
sew using her left foot (her right is broken). She says she may never go
back to her Bernina!! And now she is able to finish all the dolls she is
making for the local college's annual fall craft show. We are both happy and
another fw is being loved and properly cared for.
Date: 19 Oct 1995 09:09:09 GMT
Subject: subscribe to FW Fanatics
Please add me to your list! Just discovered you on the Internet and
spent many hours (when i should have been working) reading the entire
Archives for September.
I have two old Singer machines, neither a Featherweight. One is (i
think) a model 66 with an AC serial number, in a nice maple cabinet
that at some point was painted grey, with some little flower decals
applied to it. My former boyfriend's mother found this for me at an
antiques barn up in Massachusetts in 1974--for $20! I've used it
constantly ever since. It only straight stitches forward, and it just
has a screw to adjust stitch length, but i've sewn leather, multiple
layers of denim, and fine cotton, all with no complaint from the
The other is a model 99K, made in Great Britain, with an EM serial
number, that i bought two years ago at a quilt show for $100. I
wondered why it was so much cheaper than the FWs they had, when the
guy was nice enough to tell me it was because it wasn't an FW! It
weighs a new ton but sews like a dream. It even backstitches and has
a real stitch length slide! There are all these women at workshops
that i go to with superfancy electronic Berninas, fussing over this
and that, trying to get the primadonnas to run, while my little Singer
is already clicking and clacking merrily along. (I almost bought the
very same machine, at the very same quilt show, three years ago, but
it looked like i was going to lose my job, and the only reason i could
justify buying the machine was because i wanted to take it to
workshops, and if i was unemployed i wouldn't be able to afford to go
to workshops. Luckily, the next year i still had my job and miracle
of miracles they still had the machine at the same price.)
Now i'm looking for a FW 'cause they're so neat, and i'd like a
machine i can fly with (the 99K is too big and heavy for carry-on and
too precious to entrust to checked luggage).
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 1995 12:27:28 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanantics Digest 10/18/95
Help please! My AF has just recently started skipping a few stitches just
after I've sewn over a seam. I don't know what to do about it and it's very
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 1995 12:40:43 EDT
Subject: FW Fanantics Digest 10/18/95
Could anyone out there help me with some info about the Singer
Fashion Mate #361, serial #MI-527991? I was looking for a FW and I
got a call about the Fashion Mate for $25.
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 95 17:21:53 -0500
Sue M.: The Smithsonian book covers antique machines and I am not sure
you would find the machines covered in which you are interested. I thumbed
through mine again and it's treadles, very ornate old ones, lists of all the
sewing machine manufacturers and lots of dates. Serial numbers of some are
covered but nothing as "modern" as 99K, FW, 401s, etc. Anyway, if this book
is out-of-print, try getting it through inter-library loan or go to a
bookstore and ask for a Book Search form. I've sent these in before with
great results. Also I found an antique sewing books-for-sale dealer while
wondering along Sue's WWQP web but don't ask me now how I got there.
And while I'm on this subject, in the Smithsonian book it says two
machines were manufactured with the name SAMPSON. One was by the Standard S
.M. Co. and one was by White S.M.Co. If anyone knows of one out there or
even has a picture of one PLEASE contact me. It would be nice to see my
maiden name on a machine. Probably some muscleman painted on it!
Nancy C.: Loved your story today about the FW you cleaned up to return to
your MIL. What a nice thing for you and your children to do. Liked your
idea for removing masking tape with WD-40. A friend told me that the word
going around is to use Avon Skin So Soft to remove the gunky tape. She
swears by it. (If it dissolves tape, what does it do to your skin?)
Sharon: I oil and clean my machine frequently, at least after each large
project. The first time you really clean and oil your machine you'll hear
how nicely it runs. After awhile it almost tells you, "Get that oil can and
brush out NOW". The more you use it the easier you will be able to hear
"It's time". After awhile when you hear FWs in a class (for example) that
obviously aren't oiled and cleaned, it will drive you nuts that you can't
grab the owner and give her/him a lecture on the value of her/his FW.
That's when you know it's time to get a new hobby! (By the way, several
people have said NOT to lube the motor; Singer repairmen say that's a no-no.
That might explain why the white FWs do not have lube holes in their motors
Kate: D. Pickens told you an emery cloth wrapped around a match twisted
in the Japanese-made bobbin cases helps them to run better. In what "hole"
does one do this? This might help my problem with the TOWA bobbin case.
Anyone out there having noise or grinding sounds in their FWs might check
to see if all the screws are tight. I tried a FW out in an antique mall and
purchased it. When I oiled/cleaned it suddenly it made the most horrible
grinding noise. Three people had three different opinions about the noise.
I just stuck it away for a year and finally was in the mood to try again and
discovered the screw next to the gears under the spool pin had loosened just
enough so that it rubbed underneath as the handwheel turned. That machine
is a dream now. Had it made that noise in the shop I never would have
Gail W.: About your "FW Try It Kit". Be sure to put a Singer 221 bobbin
in your kit. You can purchase one bobbin from a dealer for a quarter or a
package at a fabric store --many sell Singer items. I don't take a bobbin
case because if the machine doesn't have one I wouldn't buy it. (Well,
maybe if it was REALLY cheap.) I'm sure others would advise you otherwise
but, like I've said, I can't get my new Japanese bobbin case to work. And,
you asked about thread for applique. The most beautiful is Sulky thread but
it's expensive. Cotton and cotton/poly are fine but buy a good brand, not
some weird stuff that will throw lint all over inside your machine. Madeira
is another beautiful applique thread. Check out the Bernina Home Page
(Archives for Sept.) as there are lots of tips from the women who use the
Bernina Deco embroidery machines.
Terry where the good news is, I found a treadle machine for $1.49
today. The bad news is it is a plastic refrigerator magnet from Wal Mart.
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 1995 23:18:44 -0400
Subject: Featherweight Heaven
I am a member of Penninsula Quilters guild on the San Francisco penninsula.
We often have workshops the day after we have had a speaker at our meeting.
Today we did Bargello Landscapes. The really exciting part was that there 9
featherweights in the class (15 participants) They ranged all the way from 2
chrome flywheel '38-39 to a white one. There was even a 222k in perfect
condition. When I asked the owner how often she used the freearm, she
looked at me as if I were speaking a foreign language. She had NO idea what
she had. She bought the machine at a flea market about 6 years ago for $100
complete with book, case, attachments, and oil can. She never took a
look at the book. I asked her if she had any idea what the machine was worth
and she said that she thought about $ 3-400. Imagine her surprise when I
told her that I had seen them ranging from 900 to 1200 dollars. Boy do I
wish I had been at the flea market that day.
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 1995 14:10:14 +1000
Subject: Reynolds (UK Machine)
Hey all! I'm so excited, my new (old) machine arrives today. Only
problem: I've never heard of this make before and I'm not entirely sure
what I'm getting...my Dad (King of the Garage Sales) bought it for me in
Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. It cost him Australian $5.00 (Which is about
$2.50 US $) and he bought a new belt for it from a new/second hand shop for
about a dollar. He says it takes standard needles and standard Japanese
bobbins, has a walnut veneer case so it's probably late 1940s. The brand
is a Reynolds, and it was made in a suburb of London. It's not a portable
- Dad reckons its a "luggable" so I hope it's not *too* heavy.I can't wait
to get my hands on it tonight! It's electric; the guy who sold it said it
broke shortly after his (now aged) mother got it - but Dad says the only
problem was that two wires from the foot control flex had snapped, and his
electrician mate just shortened and rejoined them, and it GOES!!!
Sorry to rave, but what a bargain!
Has anyone heard of this machine or know of instruction manuals or other
possible books which might help?
Thanks in Advance,
Caity in Canberra, Australia
(where it's supposed to be Spring already but my arthritis is convinced
it's still winter.....)
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 1995 08:37:46 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/19/95
Terry- I would LOVE more info on the antique sewing books for sale dealer
that you saw on Sue's Quilting Page. Yesterday I asked in a used book store
for that kind of book and the man acted like he'd never heard of such a
thing. Thanks for the info on the Smithsonian book - since it's out of print,
I'm glad to know that it doesn't have the info I want. If anyone knows of
books on newer antique machines (from the 20's - 50's or so) I'd love to hear
about it. I always wonder at antique shows how they can call things I
remember from when I was little, or worse yet when my daughter was, antiques.
I guess it's all in the way you look at things. Who'd ever think the Vietnam
war would be considered history?? Sue M.
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 1995 07:09:33 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/19/95
I always find it interesting in workshops that I book or ones that I
teach about the FW Group. They usually come in groups and are considered
the Mercedes of the workshop groups. I've seen these gals haul upstairs
FW after FW all so proud of their machines and as was stated in the
digest they are up and running faster than the new ones. I'm still
amazed at the stitch I get from mine and can see why this is the machine
of choice by many. Zsuxxa
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 1995 11:31:25 -0400
Subject: 99K manual
Does anyone have a manual for a 99K made in 1923? I have a manual dated
1951 but would like to have one that is at least close in age to the machine.
On another subject, finding machines around here is a time-of-year issue
rather than based on economic realities (speaking of which: I have the
original bill of sale for a 221 sold in 1942---at $108. they were not really
The "Singer blacks" fall into 2 categories here: still in use by the
original owner/family and those long since relegated to the summer cottage
(I live in New England). Those still in use categories rarely of course,
hit the market. But those in use seasonally get sent out at the end of the
summer season when folks close the cottage for the winter and decide they
will never use that thing. So I go on the prowl the week before Labor Day
and keep it up until a couple of weeks after Labor Day. SJC
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 1995 15:05:26 -0500
Help! I'm looking for a FW - good condition, working, with case. Maybe
with cabinet or table. If you have one or know of people who usually
have them, please email me privately. Desperate. Santa says I've been a
good girl... but I just have to find what i want! So -- HELP!
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 1995 16:12:22 -0400
Subject: New Home Cover
I was at an antique shop today and I saw a 99K &an old Davis machine. Boy,
they are heavy!!!!! Sure appreciate the FW even more.
Anyway, while I was there I saw something over in the corner that made me
curious. It turned out to be a cover for an old New Home tredle machine. A
very nice(!) looking box type cover.... no tredle machine... just the cover.
But that cover looked so good to me... actually it whispered to me.... and
came home with me. Looks beautiful. I don't know for sure what I am going
to do with it. An idea that I have is this..... I've really looked at it
good and the top piece (looks roofed shaped) looks like it could be carefully
removed.... my brother is really good at this type of thing. I would then
hinge the back side and it could then have a hinged top and I could make a
sewing basket out of it. I'd also have my brother put a piece of wood,
stained as close as possible to this original piece, and add it as a bottom
to this basket. What do you think of this? I really don't like the idea of
altering a piece from it's original purpose, but in this case... since there
is no machine I thought it would look nice if used somehow. From the outside
you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. But I could place it in my
sewing room and it would not only look great, it would be useful
I've looked in the books that I have trying to date this top, but no luck.
Any input on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Subject: Singer New Family (12K) Machine
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 95 15:54:45 -0500
Back in the early 1970's I purchased a Singer New Family sewing machine for
$35. This is the fiddle-based machine about which a few have spoken. It is
a beauty covered with gold scrollwork unblemished. Although some have a
hand crank, mine used to be in a treadle cabinet. It is mounted on a
beautiful wood base (mahogany?) with a matching curved cover with turned
wood handle. There is a space up inside the cover where attachments were
once stored. A similar machine is pictured on pg. 115 of the Smithsonian
book and an exact duplicate (with hand crank) is on pg. 10 of OLD SEWING
MACHINES by Carol Head.
Today while checking on some FW birthdates, I mentioned this machine to
the rep and she asked for the serial number. There is a set of two numbers
and she said the birthdate was Aug. 18, 1885. The most exciting thing
happened while she was looking up the date. I happened to notice there were
two throat plates and wondered why, especially since the one to the right
wouldn't move. I opened up the left one, turned the handwheel and voila! a
bullet-shaped bobbin case with a bobbin filled with green thread appeared.
It had been hiding under the other throat plate all this time. Guess I just
never had the left plate opened at the same time I turned the wheel. The
rep is sending a manual and I can't wait to read it.
I have some questions about this machine. It has one needle and the end
which clamps into the machine says MUVA 90. It has two flat sides and the
third is curved (unlike modern needles which have one flat side and one
curved). Does anyone know where I can buy these needles? Also, the
horseshoe-shaped metal bar which should be mounted between the machine head
and the handwheel is missing. Was this just to cover the belt or did it
have some function? Can a hand crank be added so that I can operate this
machine or must I find a cabinet in which to place it to make it functional?
HELP! It would be nice to use this for more than a dust catcher. I once
let it sit 6 mo. in a Singer shop so they could mount a motor on it but they
never did and now perhaps it was a stupid idea. Hope someone can help me.
Zsux, you said your boss had the fiddle-based Singer for sale for $700 so
perhaps he could answer my questions.
On another subject, the catalog from A Stitch Back in Time is filled with
sewing related items other than parts for old machines. There are cards,
thimbles, music boxes, sewing machine buttons, ornaments, jewelry, paper
piecing patterns and lots of rubber stamps of sewing machines including a FW
and two Singer toy machines (Model 20 from the '50s and the 1920 toy). It is
a great catalog for Christmas shopping. Even Singer postcards, tins and
many books on antique machines and collectibles. Excellent. Call 1-800-352
-1174. (I'm not associated in anyway.)
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 07:42:42 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/19/95
Hello Fanatics: I can't get to the archives to find out if this has been
asked before, so I'll just ask: What works best to clean the outside of the
machine (the black part)? Mine has some tarry gunk on the outside which I
want to remove, and I'm having some difficulty.
Thanks for any help you can provide. Jill G.
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 10:25:18 -0400
Sweigak asked about attachments. #120598 is a ruffler. It doesn't look much
different from the reffler Singer sells today.
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 11:13:15 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: antique machine
I'm really enjoying this list, and appreciate all the energy and enthusiasm
everyone seems to have. I wanted to mention another antique machine I own- has
anyone ever heard of the manufacturer: Minnesotta Model A? This is a treadle
machine from 1912 or 1913 in excellent condition, with the shuttle-type bobbin
arrangement underneath. It is in a cabinet that has some damage and is missing
a couple of drawer pulls (they look like lion heads!) I've had it for many
years, but only recently got it in working order. It sews marvellously and my
12 year old daughter Becky loves to sew on it. I can't use it when my back is
bothering me - the treadle is rough on my back - but it sure came in handy last
summer when we had a power failure and I wanted to finish piecing something! I
lit a lantern and went ahead and sewed to my heart's content, without
electricity! The family got a real kick out of it.
I'd still appreciate knowing how to identify featherweight attatchments - color
of case, part numbers, or something - so I can go looking for some for my poor
deprived FW. Thanks in advance. Happy stitching!
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 11:49:49 -0400
Subject: Re: Treadle for sale
Anyone in the Albany NY area interested in a Singer treadle? It is in a
really beautiful cabinet, lots of lovely scrollwork on the six drawers, an
"S" in the ironwork, (plus the Singer, of course), the machine itself is
really nice, works just fine. I bought it at an estate sale for $50, which
is all I want for it. It was in use right up to the last. I would offer to
ship it, but this thing is HEAVY! I have a manual from another treadle that
I could photocopy &send with this one. I seem to be collecting treadles &
have run out of room.
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 18:23:51 EDT
Subject: FW Fanatics Digest 10/20/95
Does anyone know anything about 1934 Singer modle # 66-6??? It has
attachments, two books, and original tube of lubricant. It's in
original cabnet. Thanks Nancy
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 19:06:38 -0500 (CDT)
Anyone that knows anything about the Singer 301 please let me know what
you like about it. I'm going to look at one Monday afternoon.
Do you like it better than, less than, or the same as the FW.
So far I've only found 1 FW in Abilene that is for sale. It looks in bad shape
cost $450. I may go see if it will sew Monday before I go look at the 301.
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 18:22:05 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: Singer oilcans
So, what is the difference in oilcans between the FW and other old Singer
I bought a 99-13 recently. I'm not sure why except that the price was
right, and I fell in love with the scrolled faceplate. It's in excellent
condition. The package included the "breadbox-looking" case, some
attachments, the Singer oilcan, and a rather tattered book. The machine
itself is in excellent shape--gold scrollwork still intact, very clean,
etc. The only thing missing is a key to the case. Oh yes--serial number
AE, so I must assume that it's about a 1936 model. The only thing I
didn't like was that it has a kneepress instead of a foot press. Does
anyone know if it could be converted to a footpress. And where could I
get additional bobbins?
But back to my original question: what would be the difference in
oilcans? Gordy? Are you there?
I have a FW, but it doesn't have an oil can.
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 95 20:26:59 -0500
Sue M.: Here is the 'map' to get to the used sewing machine books. It
seems to be a good place to request a book search also. Start on the WW
Quilting Page. Find QUILT BOOK REVIEWS and click it on. Scroll down and
find PUBLISHING COMPANIES &DISCOUNT BOOKS and click. Find HARD-TO-FIND
NEEDLEWORK BOOKS and click it on and that's it! Just read this page and you
should find all the info. What did we ever do before WWQP???
Caitlin: Unfortunately the Smithsonian book only covers American mfg.
machines but thought you'd like to know that two machines named Reynolds
were manufactured here; one by White Sewing Machine Co. and the other by
Free S.M.Co. Carol Head, author of OLD SEWING MACHINES (published in UK by
Shire Pub. Ltd.) has an extensive collection of machines and may be a source
Has anyone had to replace a FW bobbin winder (the piece you push against
the belt when winding the bobbin)? I'd like to know if the new ones work.
One of mine is missing the movable pieces that keep the bobbins from falling
off while winding. Also, on another one I have to hold the winder against
the belt while running the machine in order to get the thread to wind. It's
clean and oiled and moves freely but doesn't seem to grab the belt, as if
the belt is too slippery. The other machines work fine so what is the
problem? Terry (Tiny snowflakes fell today but my FWs kept me warm
Date: 21 Oct 95 18:09:35 EDT
I have just joined this list. I absolutely my little Gems. I have four FWs
and one FW Table. On compuserve there was interest in purchasing the table.
Since I am not especially attached to mine, I would be willing to part with it.
Can anyone tell me what a fair price would be? My table is in very good
condition but has been painted I think. The top is brown and the sides are
black, as are the metal legs. The insert is in very good condition and has all
its hardware. There are no chips or big dents or anything in the top.
I would also be willing to part with one or two of the FWs. What is a fair
price? All mine are in good working order. Cases are in various
conditions....from excellent to fair. A few even have attachments.
I paid way too much for a couple of them. Elderly women were selling them and
I felt they really the money, so I took the plunge. Heaven only knows why i
did! I can only use one FW at a time, right? :)
I look forward to hearing the various stories of the FWs
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 17:55:12 -0400
Subject: Subscription to Featherweight Digest
My wife Gail just started quilting, and was told to get a Singer
Featherweight. She remembered her mother
had given her a Singer portable about 15 years ago that she never took out
of the case. It is a Featherweight
built in 1941, and in like new condition, not a scratch on it. Needless to
say she is very excited, and has been
told by other quilters in our area that her machine is very valuable. She is
looking forward to receiving the Digest.
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 15:44:30 -0400
Greetings! Iíve enjoyed reading this digest for about a month now and really
have become jealous of all of you out there who have found a featherweight.
Iíve been to so many garage sales, estate sales, thirft/second-hand stores,
and antique stores looking for a f.w. and havenít seen a one. Iíve seen alot
of 66s and 99/ks but....oh well. I have a 66 that I bought back in 65 as my
first sewing machine and have always loved it. Now after reading so many
letters about it I appreciate it more. I take fairly good care of it but not
nearly as good as I should after reading what all you do to yours. A few
years ago while I was digging out all that lint that collects down by the
bobbin I noticed that piece of red felt that obviously was stuck from the
previous owner and I innocently tugged and yanked and pulled until I
successfully got that baby out!.....ARRRGH! I guess some people donít know
when to leave enough alone.
Anyway , onward. Just earlier I found a 99k , I think. Its serial number
begins with a Y. Singer put its birth date in 1923. Its in great shape. I
has the knee bar, georgous case and the key! I have a couple of questions
though. I paid $105. Was that too much? I havenít seen too much chatter on
prices of these things. And while playing with it I turned the stitch length
screw, I assume too tight, and the belt broke. As I took the belt off I
noticed it was a leather belt. Was this the original? My repair shop says
it was just a belt fashioned from an old treadle machine.
Iíd like to find attachments and an owners manual for both my 66 (1948) and
this 66k (1923). Can anyone help me with these and answer my questions?
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