Before I share what has been going on in my studio, I wanted to show you what I found while taking a road trip at the end of last year with Peter. Peter did most of the driving on this trip so to pass the time, I began my search for Singer Featherweight sewing machines online with my trusty iPad. These compact sewing machines are a true American classic! The first machines were manufactured in the late 1920's and I believe the later models were made up until 1968.
I had been admiring these machines for some time as many of my Fiber Art friends own Featherweights and bring them to classes and workshops. I began my search and spent several hours researching and comparing machines and models that I found online for sale. After a couple of hours I found this package out of Canada:
What a beauty! This machine was made in the early 1960’s. It is a Red Letter Model 221K and was manufactured in Great Britain. You can see the "Red S" on the gold decal on the lower right hand side of the machine. All the original parts and accessories were included in the sale. I have a great appreciation for all the special feet and attachments that came with the machine. I probably will rarely, if ever, use them but they are a treasure nevertheless. So many of the machines I found for sale did not include the original accessories. I got this package for a great price!
If you know anything about these machines, they sew a beautiful stitch. I wanted this machine for the compact and portability features to take to classes, etc.. I can take it with me when I travel or attend a workshop and don’t have to cart my big Bernina machine when all I need to do is sew a straight stitch. The little leatherette case is original and still has it's key. It is in excellent condition. Everything you see here fits beautifully in the case, compact and organized. I was also pleased to get the original instruction manual that came with the machine. It was fun to read as it was definitely a flash back in time.
On the bottom of every machine is stamped a serial number into the aluminum bed casting. If a machine was made in Great Britain, the number will begin with the letter E, F, or J. The numbers help with determining the approximate date the machine was manufactured. The ES models were manufactured from 1960-1961. So when this machine was brand new, I was 5 years old! This is a picture of the bottom of my machine and the serial number.
I recently took it in to be serviced at Ace Sewing and Vac in Newberg, OR. They do such a nice job on servicing machines. It is the only place I will take my machines for service. I highly recommend them! When I picked up the machine, they said that this Featherweight was like new as it had very little wear and tear. They questioned if it had ever been used.
Today I set it up to sew. I am in the beginning phase of a new small piece. How appropriate to use my new little workhorse and take it for a test drive don't you think? I did buy a new 1/4" presser foot to use with this machine. There are retailers online that sell a variety of items and accessories for Featherweight's specifically. I will use my new Featherweight in addition to my Bernina sewing machine that has also served me well.
Check this out, here is an original package of needles that have never been opened that came with the machine.
I got a kick out of the price of the needles, 30 cents! I wonder if needles have a shelf life?
I have always appreciated things that are well made and designed. Singer did a great job back then. As a young girl I learned to sew on my mother's Singer Sewing machine that was a later model manufactured shortly after the Featherweights. It was a brown and beige machine, all metal parts, and sewed beautifully. Unfortunately, not all machines are made this well anymore. Many of the parts and pieces in machines that are mass produced today are now plastic instead of metal.
I don't need a lot of bells and whistles on a sewing machine, just a great stitch, and this one meets that requirement hands down! I think I will really enjoy using this machine for years to come. If this machine could talk I wonder what history it could share?
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