leondumoulin.nl/language/historical/immediate-spanish-303-numeracy3.php For those who collect toy machines, it's too big, weighing in at 11 lbs 1 oz. For those who collect antiques, it's too new, having been manufactured in the United States between and with the white-colored K version made in Britain from For modern seamstresses, it's too basic, sewing only a straight stitch without even a reverse setting on early models.
Even during the years of its manufacture it was sometimes ignored by the sewing public, as looking too much like a toy, and being too expensive for depression-era and wartime pocketbooks. For modern-day quilters, the Singer Featherweight, like the baby bear's bed in Goldilocks, is "just right". Quilt tops are pieced together from small scraps of fabric using quarter-inch seam allowances. Quilters, therefore, value a machine that can sew a straight lock stitch without the slight zig-zag that characterizes the straight stitch on most modern machines.
The featherweight, although constructed of aluminum and thus very lightweight, runs smoothly and quietly due to its well-balanced rotary-hook mechanism. This lightweight machine that comes with its own handy case resembling and roughly the size of an old-fashioned cosmetics case or record case is also valued for its portability, by those who attend classes and conferences with fellow quilters around the world. Finally, its sleekness, elegance, and mechanical simplicity appeals to the design sense of women and men who appreciate the beauty of color, line, and texture in their quilts.
Now collectors are starting to take notice, too. While many existing machines were well-loved and thus well-used, Featherweights are by no means rare. Machines in good condition can still be found at bargain prices in garage sales and auction houses. Advertisements in quilters' magazines bring higher prices. The highest-priced machines are in good condition with little wear on the gold leaf, complete with case, attachments, and original manual. The predominant finish on the is a shiny black. The K was black or a shiny white and has a shorter bed.
A smaller number of machines in other colors exist, including a light tan color produced in Great Britain and a matte black produced in the United States. The rumored mint-green Featherweight is apparently an alternate description of the white machine, which can have a slightly greenish cast. It may be that these stories are based on the existence of colored versions of the Singer toy model This quick and easy method for dating black Singer Featherweights uses only the 2 letter prefix and the first 2 digits of the 6 digit serial number.
For purposes of identifying the date when a particular serial number was reserved, it is necessary to decipher the 2 letter prefix and only the first 2 numerals of the serial number. For instance, every Singer model produced in at Elizabethport had the same prefix AD.
Very diligent shopping should turn up one or more Featherweights in your local area, and they've been known to travel in packs, and reappear miraculously out of grandma's closet or attic! Finally, its sleekness, elegance, and mechanical simplicity appeals to the design sense of women and men who appreciate the beauty of color, line, and texture in their quilts. Having said that, many quilters on the internet report that they successfully machine quilt using their Featherweights. Featherweight Attachments Featherweights come with six basic attachments: The machine 'looked' right though and did not appear to be a re-paint job.
When a new production run began for a particular model, several thousand serial numbers were reserved for each model. After 1 million serial numbers for a given two letter prefix were reserved, the next alphabetical prefix was begun.
Models and were originally equipped with volt motors. Model K Featherweights were originally equipped with either volt or volt motors. Except for the motors, the mechanical components of all Class models , , and K were fundamentally unchanged from through Those made before World War II and apparently a few after the war had an attractive "Egyptian Scrollwork" pattern on the faceplate, while most of those made after the war had a simple, striated pattern of vertical stripes.
They were further decorated with gold decals and the Singer name, but nowhere do they say "Featherweight" on them.
In Great Britain a white Featherweight was sold, which was made in Scotland. Some "mint green" machines are also rumored to have been made, but opinions vary over whether this was really a green machine or merely a white one with a green tinge to the paint. Larry Oliver, a Featherweight collector on Compuserve, wrote to me: They were Great Britain models. He had a government contract model made during WW2. The finish was mil-spec black crinkle non- glare. These were used, according to him, by our armed services.
He lost the case but said it was the same case as the commercial model without the leather covering. It was Army green with the appropriate military issue numbers stenciled on the box.
I have not doubt his story was true, but I've never been able to confirm it. The machine 'looked' right though and did not appear to be a re-paint job. Darla Trenner has done some research on these unusual Featherweights, and has posted her findings at her "Crinkle and Blackside Machines" website at http: Both American and British models are characterized by a fold-up extension of the bed, or platform, to add more sewing surface on the left side of the needle.
The fold-up aspect allows the machine to be tucked into an almost cubical wooden case, along with its attachments. One variant is a model made for a short period in which the bed is detachable to allow "free-arm" sewing of cuffs and darning.
The Featherweight is an excellent machine for piecing, but it is not recommended that machine quilting be done on it due to the possibility of burning out the motor. Having said that, many quilters on the internet report that they successfully machine quilt using their Featherweights. Since the feed dogs cannot be lowered, it is necessary to cover them up with plastic or cardboard in order to machine quilt.
Some Singer attachments, such as the buttonholer, come with a feed dog cover that can also be used for machine quilting.
What is the birthdate of your Singer Featherweight? Dating your machine is quite easy -- locate the serial number and correlate it to these dating charts!. Singer & dating, history, tutorials, maintenance, attachments, and so much more -- the old-fashioned schoolhouse for Featherweight learning.
Featherweights come with six basic attachments: The best instructions on how to use these attachments are in the Singer manual. Featherweight users also report that they have successfully used the "Little Foot" on their machines, as well as some brands of walking feet. The Featherweight is a low-shank machine.
Featherweights, in spite of their cult status, are not rare.
A great many of them were made and are still available through used sewing machine dealers, from individuals, at garage and estate sales, by mail order, and through sellers on online services and the internet. Since the machines are not labeled "Featherweight" they are often advertised for sale as "old Singer" or "antique Singer" machines and some detective work is necessary to sort the Featherweights from the other antique machines being sold.
The light weight and the fold-up platform are two indicators. Very diligent shopping should turn up one or more Featherweights in your local area, and they've been known to travel in packs, and reappear miraculously out of grandma's closet or attic! You will probably pay more to a dealer than you will at an estate sale, so it is worth combing the weekly Advertiser or classifieds and doing some driving if you want a bargain. Pricing criteria vary from location to location but are based on the running condition of the machine and its appearance, as well as its rarity.