Thursday, February 16, 2012

My sewing machines: Featherweight 221

For my birthday a little over a year ago, I bought myself a Featherweight.  I'd wanted one for a long time, so I stalked ebay and got really lucky!  She's beautiful:

I've been taking it out of the box and sewing with it lately, just practicing.  The tension seems finicky and I'm wondering if I have it threaded correctly.  I wish someone would make a youtube video!

Every now and then I run across a box of attachments or other goodies at a flea market or on etsy.

I keep all of my attachments and the (reproduction) manual in an old green tackle box I got at a garage sale. I've seen vintage "attachment cases" to match your sewing machine case, made by Singer.  Too pricey!  My tackle box works pretty darn well.  And matches all the attachment boxes too.

Something I bought had that original Singer 66-18 manual in it...I don't have that machine though.  If one of you has that machine and would like the manual, leave me a comment or email me and it's yours.

Thursday...that means Friday is TOMORROW.  Woot!


  1. seriously, these flea markets of yours are just ANNOYING. Actually, I wish I had the patience to figure out how to use a machine like that (let alone stalk eBay to find it).

    Hmmm... google's updated their verification process. They're asking me to 'prove I'm not a robot'.

    Um. I can't do that.

  2. I bought myself a Featherweight 221 several years ago, for my birthday too. It was made in my birth year, so it is very special to me. I suggest that you do some research and see if you can find a local repair person to go over your machine. In my area there are a few Quilt Shops that have certified repairmen and some even offer classes to teach you how to care for your machine and do minor repairs. This machine is a sturdy little work horse, but with age the rubber washers and the belt dry out and stretch. That is frequently the problem with stitch irregularity. If you have a manual that shows you where and how to oil the machine you are already one step ahead. Examine your power cord closely for dry rot and cracks. These can be easily replaced as well. There is a Yahoo group that deals with questions and help for the Vintage Singer machines as well. Good luck, she is a beauty!

  3. I love my Featherweight! Yours has such pretty detailing on the front, though. So jealous! Mine is more plain :)

    My Featherweight came with the buttonhole cogs & manual, but not the actual mechanism. I've been stalking Ebay & Etsy in search of one, but it seems that no one is selling a cog-less buttonholer... waaaah haha.

  4. It looks gorgeous! I love my Featherweight too. I learned to sew on an even older Singer (a huge metal contraption that is bolted to a table) and this machine definitely reminds me of it. Whenever I go back to my more modern machine (a Janome Hello Kitty machine for children) for invisible zippers it always feels like a toy and so insubstantial.

  5. love my 221. okay, i'm sure you're doing this already... but featherweights want the needle inserted with the flat side facing left, and you thread the eye from right to left (being careful not to burn yourself on the light in the process). also they get pissy if you don't use the exact same thread weight in the spool & bobbin. if that's not the problem, i agree with corrine on the belt, super easy to replace... also check nicholas out for a great oiling tute:
    and this has great info too:

    now google is TOTALLY going to think i'm a spambot.

  6. Corrine - Thank you!! I do have a new power cord and belt, and the entire thing was refurbished and serviced when I bought it. I really do think it's "user error", haha! I will definitely look for the yahoo group, thanks again!

  7. I love feather weights, congrats, looks like a great machine. The pictures are even more impressive, well done displaying your machine and the layout. Love the vintage look.


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