A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to come across a well loved Singer Featherweight 221. So I brought it home with me! I thought I’d share her with you and also document what I’ve done to bring her up to speed and resources I found.
The machine shows some wear but she is in good shape. Some of the gold painting on has been loved off and there are some small chips in the black paint. But all the parts are accounted for and in good working order.
Now, I knew nothing about Singer Featherweights except that they are pretty.
From what I’ve gleaned from the internets, this machine was manufactured in 1947. The post WWII machines are said to typically have stripes on the shiny side piece (AKA thingy), but some, mine included, still have the scroll work the pre-war machines have. (I say that but I can’t find where I saw that, so I could be wrong!)
When I got her home, I was happy to find that she sewed well enough, but I knew she needed a bit of love before I took her on the open road of piecing.
For one, she needed oil and lube. The oil that came with it had obviously been spilled at some point and was packaged in a greasy, sandwich bad. I tossed that and bought some new oil and lube.
Oiling is a bit more of an intensive process than I thought, but it’s fairly manageable.
I also gave her a good cleaning. She was linty.
I also replaced the felt drip pan (for freshness!) and installed a new marked throat plate [Edited to add: find it here] (don’t worry, I kept the original.)
|Is this my hand? Maybe I was washing dishes prior?|
Despite oiling, lubing, cleaning, and some new parts, when I sat down to work with her, the tension was way way too tight, even set at zero. So I had to walk away until I could figure out how to deal with the tension.
I’m happy and proud to say I figured out how to fix the tension! I disassembled and reassembled the tension unit; in doing so I adjusted the pin placement on the thumb nut (it was way off!). And now she sews happily!
Next up… polishing.