25 July 2011

My New Featherweight

I've had a black Singer 221-1 Featherweight for a couple of years, but left it in storage.  I have a couple of other machines that are black and I really don't like sewing on them as I feel I can't see so well when using them.  My 'friends' at work call it CreepingOldFartism.  So when I had a chance to get a tan featherweight I jumped at the chance.  It arrived in the mail, just over a week ago, perfectly packed for the trip, double boxed and all.  What a cutie! I'm not sure yet but I think this is a 221-K7 and was made in Canada.  Everything is tan or that Singer beige color; machine, motor, cords, foot controller, and inside case lining.  The case exterior is two tone, brown and tan and does not have a lock, just latches. 

I learned from a couple of ladies in a sewing group to use a nylon strap to secure the case.  They made their own out of nylon webbing and a couple of D rings.  They even sewed a handle on it so as not to stress the main handle of the case and did 'x' stitching over the joins to reinforce those areas.   I can see the worth if you don't lock your case or if latches become bumped open.   At least when that happened to me as I set it down too close to the sofa it caught and opened only one latch.  I'll be making a couple of the straps.  The webbing strap can be easily got from JoAnn's or at our big Sport store.  I imagine the straps are good for any case  or case handle you are not sure of, especially those old plastic ones that are now getting to the vulnerable dry crackly stage as they age.  Just make them long enough. 

This past week I have been perusing the internet and checking out local selling boards and subsequently found a sewing table at a great under-market price.  This is the Singer kind that is a card table with an insert that pops out and you drop your sewing machine in so it levels with the table top.  I thought it might be for a Singer 301, but it turned out to be for a Featherweight!!  It needs some attention before I would want to use it for sewing, the top finish is dry and cracking and the sides and legs could use a going over.  It had been stored in a garage so it is a bit dusty underneath under the rim.   When I set the tan FW into the table and DH (dear husband) saw it, he commented (he was surprised) that it really was small [compared to a normal sewing machine].  

I reminded him that a friend of ours sewed all clothing for her daughter, herself, her MIL, costumes for school, local theatre costuming, home deco stuff, curtains, tote bags, doll outfits, and whatever on that FW machine, her only machine, for years and years.  She always said she did not need any other machine -- except once, when she was on a deadline for some costumes and borrowed my Kenmore 158.1941 for the blind hem stitch.  She normally hemmed by hand. 

Just for information sake, I retrieved the black FW from storage, oiled and lubed it and have it out right now too.   I pulled out fabric and  fiber fill from my stash to make padded bags for the cords and yet large enough for the foot controller.  The controller normally stays on the underside of the lid in a metal clip, but the cord and plugs hang down onto the bed of the machine.  The bags will prevent any more scratches from happening. 

I'm off now to research restoring the wood top of the table.  Pictures later.

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