Sunday, January 13, 2019

SINGER FEATHERWEIGHTS....Great Little Machines

Do you have one of these?  Singer Featherweights?  They weigh about ten pounds and have a neat case.  Great for hauling to quilt classes, retreats, etc.  Or just carrying from room to room in your home.  I'm showing you the two I have.  There's a story.  (Of course!)


This is a Featherweight bought by my Dad for my Mother.  It came in black.  I don't remember ever seeing her use it though.  Then in the sixties, I learned to sew using this very machine.  Home Ec projects and so forth.  I loved the little thing right away.  I grew up...moved away, leaving that little machine.  Years later, when the old navy man and I moved to Silver City, New Mexico....I called my Mom one day and asked if I could have it next time we came for a visit.  Her reply was...."well, I had intended to keep it in the family, so no."  My dad had passed away several years earlier and I was her oldest child  (of four) and the only one even vaguely interested in sewing, so I was thinking I should have it since she didn't sew.  "I had intended to keep it in the family."  Hurt my feelings.  (Yes, there is more to the story, but just know my mother was a difficult person to live with.)  We were all shocked.
A couple of years later, she called to tell me I could have it.  A few months after that, we visited her and I brought it home.  Years later, she passed away.  I had seen some Featherweights people had painted and got the idea that since my mother loved the color red...I would have that little machine painted.  There was a man in Hot Springs who would clean your Featherweight, repair it and paint it.  Turns out you could paint it any color you could buy a car in....that's what I did.  And, you can still get the original decals, etc.  It's cute, don't you think?

A while after that....well, being a person who loves all things vintage and old, it got to bothering me that I had that machine painted, so I decided I needed one in it's original color.  The old navy man told me if I could find one at a good price, I could have it......I already knew that, but wasn't it nice of him to say it.  A year or so after that I did find the flea...for $125.  I bought it, not knowing really if it worked or not.  Brought it home and he checked out the electrics for me...not a thing wrong with it...and there you go....a lovely vintage machine! 

They are easy to clean, sew a lovely seam and are fun to use.

You can go online and check the age of your machine.  Just find the serial number and go take a look.  The red one was born on January 22, 1948.  I would have been four years old when it was manufactured. 

The black one is the one from the flea.  It was born on October 14, 1953.  So cute....I really don't know why I felt I needed to paint the other one.  At the proper time, the red one will go to my daughter.  As she and her husband are abstract painters...I suspect she'd rather have the red one anyway.  While she doesn't sew, she might actually do that some day.  But, neither will leave until I am finished 'playing' with them!


 I think this machine is DEAR!
In that Vintage way!

(By the way, the red is actually a bit darker than this photo.) 

They are just adorable!!! 

 until next time
Bird Nest Cottage


Shortbread and Ginger said...

These were certainly built to last!

Sheila said...

Love yoyy Featherweights! I have recently learned to quilt and several ladies that come to the quilt shop bring theirs. Last year for our anniversary, hubby found one for me on eBay.
It's really nice to read your posts again. Take care.

Jenny said...

Hi Pat...
I love your stories about your Featherweights! They are both so precious and I love the red! The first sewing machine I ever owned belonged to my mom. I remember her trying to sew when I was a little girl but she just didn’t enjoy it. I on the other hand loved to make quilts and pillows and things like that so she let me take hers. I used it for years! Now I have another vintage Singer which I treasure and which holds many special memories!

You know one of the things I really love about your blog are the stories that come along with your posts! I so enjoy reading them and to me it adds so much! So just keep telling the stories...I do that too! There is ALWAYS a story that comes along ....

I so enjoyed seeing your posts again. 2018 was a very difficult year so I am trying to catch up with all of my blogging friends! And you are one of the special ones! Sending lots of hugs and love your way❤️❤️

Sherry said...

So happy that you have those special little machines and so special to have you posting again!

Sherry in Little Rock

sandi s said...

I love your Featherweight sewing machines!! I have a black one born in 1952. I was born in 1951. I love your red one so much. My sews a beautiful stitch. Hugs,

Anne said...

Beautiful machines and wonderful stories about each. I particularly love the red one.

I have five Featherweights. One is in nearly pristine condition, as is its case. The others are in good cosmetic condition, save for my oldest one that I believe was lovingly used for many years. Still, I love it. I also have a white Featherweight that has issues with its tension. I need to work on it.

Of all my little gems, my favorite is a Centennial model named Tyson, so named because a child once used a straight pin to faintly scrawl his name on the extension table. I found Tyson on Craigslist for $25. I bought Tyson from the daughter of the former owner. We met at the Arkansas State Police Headquarters to complete the transaction. The seller was touched by the way I embraced the machine, cradling it in my arms. I inquired about the machine’s provenance and learned that the seller’s mother had passed away. There was no case or accessories.

I also got my feelings hurt over a Featherweight. It belonged to my aunt. I learned one day that my aunt had a Featherweight languishing in her attic. I wanted to see it, but she wouldn’t allow me to climb into her attic. She said she’d ask my uncle to retrieve the machine at a later date. My aunt was suffering from a progressive neurological disease and would never again be able to sew, though she hadn’t sewn in decades prior to the onset of her illness. My mother often sewed clothes for her sister. Sewing had been my mother’s passion, not so my aunt’s.

Months after learning about the existence of the machine, I offered my aunt $300 for it, sight unseen. Though she struggled to speak, she claimed she was still using it. I have a feeling that someone, with full knowledge about my desire to acquire the machine, had coached my aunt to say that.

My aunt has since passed away, and my uncle moved out of that house a few of years ago. I have no idea what happened to that Featherweight. Oh, well. I still have my own, and I love them all.

I’m thankful your mom eventually agreed to let you have her machine. Could there be a more close family relationship than mother and daughter? Sometimes relatives do and say things that are mind-boggling. Thanks for sharing your story, Pat.


Louise Doney said...

Hi Pat,
So good to see you back and blogging again. I have a featherweight in its' original gorgeous case.The machine is also like new and I do not use it, it just sits in my sewing room looking beautiful. As you know I'm not much of a seamstress, handwork is my forte. I loved your blog about all your sweet baskets. I'm on a kick right now of embroidering strawberries (the ones used in times past to sharpen our needles.)Erica Michaels has designed some for almost any occasion !
Best Stitches, Louise

http://thankfullga447 said...

Thank you for my lovely email. I had a featherweight and they are so precious. I sold it christmas eve to a husband who wanted to give it to his wife for a present. I regret it now. One day one will pop up again. I have been cross stitching and not quilting for me lately. I still do quilting for church, my group of ladies did 140 for 2018.
Have a great week.

Anonymous said...

I too live in Hot Springs National Pk. I have two old Singers. Both black. I need both repaired. One in cabinet needs a new motor. And the other needs a new piece that holds the needle. It's bent and won't let the needle go down in the hole to connect with bottom thread.

Anonymous said...

My name is Martha

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.