Friday, December 2, 2011

My little workhorse

This is my little Singer featherweight.  I haven't posted about this yet, actually, I haven't used it much yet, up until a couple of weeks ago.

During the summer I was searching through the listings of the garage and yard sales around town and found one that said they had an old Singer sewing machine.  From the description in the ad, I had a pretty good idea it might be a featherweight, and recruited my girlfriend to head a little ways out of town to check it out on the Sunday.

I was betting that someone had already picked it up on the Saturday, so I wasn't very hopeful that it would still be there.  Having absolutely no clue how much these should sell for (at the time), I checked a few ads on kijiji and usedottawa.  There were two available then, one going for $299 and one for $275.  That at least gave me a range to shoot for.

When we arrived, I did the curteous thing and browsed through all the tables and stacks out on the lawn, all the while keeping an eye out for a little sewing machine.  In the garage, in the back corner table I spotted it.  Honestly, I didn't know much about featherweights then, but looked it over enough to see it wasn't very scratched up, didn't have any chunks missing from the bed, the decals on the front area are a bit worn, and it looked fairly clean.  Even the case it came in had oodles of feet, a few bobbins and the original owners manual and can of Singer oil.

I asked the lady how much it was selling for, she went and grabbed her husband.  He said $250.  He also said it worked.  I didn't have any opportunity to test that but took him at his word.  

To not look too interested, I continued browsing a few other tables in the garage.  They had at least two dozen oil lamps different sizes, ages, glass shapes, etc - and I love them!!  I have a few really nice ones at home.  They remind me of very happy days and nights as a kid when we lived out in the country and would be snowed in, no power, just the pot bellied wood stove and oil lamps to play cards by.

Of course, since there's a picture, you know I went back to the table and picked it up.  The gentleman happily took my cash and asked if I knew of anyone else interested in one.  Apparently he comes by them on occasion.  I didn't know of anyone who was looking. 

I got the feeling this wasn't so much of a garage/yard sale as it was a sale of estate items that he seems to gather to sell.  Maybe I'll have to check out his house again next summer.

All in all, the machine works like a charm.  I did my research on the internet to find out how to properly clean it, oil it, grease it, and what to look for in the way of damage, smells, oil build up, etc.  I made a short list of things that should be taken care of.  New oil drip pad for the bottom, new needles, a new belt, and a tube of grease.  For about $30 I was able to order all the things I needed. 

Before these things came, I tested it on scraps of fabric.  A beautiful straight stitch, runs quietly and is just soooo cute!

Two weeks ago, when we went to Jim's mom's place on the Sunday for her birthday celebration, I took my old Universal sewing machine with me, a sewing kit of supplies and a bag of scraps of fabric.  She wanted to learn how to sew.  My idea was to get her started on crumb blocks.  My featherweight came along with me.

I didn't take any pictures, but suffice it to say, between Jim's mom, his sister and I, we completed 10 little 6" crumb blocks.

Jim's sister has since told me they're running out of scraps... LOL

On another note, still in regards to my featherweight, Jake doesn't like it when I spend too much time in my dungeon (basement office/sewing room) and reminds me of it constantly by coming down and planting his head on my leg.

So a few nights ago I took the featherweight and my box of neutral strings and planted myself at the dining room table.

First I wanted to wind a couple of the bobbins up with new thread, but to do that I had to remove the old threads from the bobbins.  Do you see this?  The lady who owned this machine had a wide variety of threads on one bobbin!  Some were a couple yards long, but most were only three or four feet long.  And different colours!  I guess it didn't matter much to her if she sewed with all the same thread colour... talk about needing to be frugal.

So I now have 45 little string blocks (4 1/2") done for my Jamestown Landing quilt.  Only 123 more to do!  (another story on that coming soon)  :)

PS.  do you see my RRCB on the wall in the background in the first photo?  I didn't even notice it until I viewed my post.. LOL  (it's on my quazi-design wall - but it's not big enough to fit the whole quilt).


  1. I love that you found a machine that works and you like it!! And I am making string blks too - I think I will like them when they are done, but never having done them before, I am not to sure how I feel about them!!! lol!

    You have alot of strings to make - but I bet they will be soooo pretty!!!! Hmmm. Off to get mine done. Can't get them finished if I don't work on them can I???

    Have a great weekend and while I am here, Merry Christmas!!!

  2. What a find! I would love to stumble on a Featherweight. fingers crossed. I'm glad you mentioned about the pricing. Your string blocks are so cute. My fav thing to sew.

  3. Somehow I had missed this post, but belated congratulations on finding your Featherweight! If you ever choose to let go of it, I would be happy to buy it. It's gorgeous!

  4. I am glad you were able to pick up a cute featherweight and that you like sewing with it. I've had mine for a while and just love it!


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