Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Fantastic Featherweight

If you are a quilter, chances are you already know this title. Singer Featherweights are all the rage among quilters these days – and for good reason.  They are a sturdy, portable, easily maintained and competent little vintage sewing machine. 

We recently acquired a Featherweight for a fraction of the average pricing (around $200 to $600); it purrs quietly and has taken its rightful place in the sewing room.

Last year we began searching the net for information on Featherweights and other vintage sewing machines since we seemed to be collecting older Singers from 1946 through 1982 from local auctions. Today, I am amazed at the burgeoning websites and interest in vintage sewing machines – and sewing, even in the younger generation over the past year. Thread-banger websites are now popular among the younger folks and the notion of upgrading old garments into new ones is a blossoming idea.  With the economy in strained and increasingly painful throes of shrinking values, this idea will flourish and aid many people with additional inexpensive garments, as well as helping out our overflowing landfills.  

The fact that sewing and using vintage machines is spreading and growing warms my heart and reminds me of my grandparents' and parents' ideas during the Depression.  To my way of thinking, this mode of thinking is frugal and valuable during any economic turn.

We’ve found two books on the Featherweights, pictured below;
The Featherweight 221 and I , David McCallum

Featherweight 221, The Perfect Portable, Nancy Johnson-Sebro

The former book is extremely detailed with clear and precise diagrams and appears to cover most aspects of cleaning, repairing and refurbishing Featherweights.  David McCallum and his wife Sharon, host a wonderful website, filled with available Featherweight parts and information.  Their blog contains tips and tricks with this amazing little machine.  They are both avid quilters and I can vouch for their amazing customer service and genuine caring toward their customers and their business.

The latter book is less specific about repairs and much more detailed on the history of the Featherweight. Nancy addresses some Featherweight myths and explains each of the particular Featherweights in terms of their manufacturing, here and internationally.  Nancy's books are numerous and she is well known in the quilting arena.

As always, our purpose here is to share, learn, support and enjoy the sewing arena.  If you have thoughts, suggestions, sewing stories or any related information you want to share, please leave a comment or reach us at

On behalf of Potholdersplus and all the lowly potholders in the world, remember…”there’s always room for one more.”