Machine for children

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Re: Machine for children

New postby Sancin on Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:03 am

Sewingmom - have you seen the price of little old featherweights these days!! :shock: I learned to sew on one when about 13, having hand sewn things for many years before that. Hand sewing is a good way to learn about fabric hand and the types of stitches. For those of you late to sewing what was the hardest part of starting to learn?

I would never buy a sewing machine for a youngster without the minimum of a zigzag stitch - too frustrating - but would learn how to over cast seams by hand, which may be an interesting learning experience. I traded my original featherweight machine for an early Elna when stretch fabrics became available. How I wish I had held on to both but had quit a very good university position to have a baby and we were poor. Several years ago I did buy a featherweight - thus found out the prices today. Even my old Elna is expensive these days (I have checked) as they were originally made in Switzerland.
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~*

God put me on this earth to sew and finish a certain number of things. I am so far behind now.....I will never die!.......If I stitch fast enough does it count as an aerobic exercise?
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Re: Machine for children

New postby LeapFrog Libby on Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:01 pm

Nancy,
I use my featherweight to take to class at shepherds ctr Adventures in learning classes when I lead the classes.. Everyone there loves it.. Sometimes someone will ask me what I would take for it.. I tell them a million might buy it.. I paid 150. bucks for it used from Singer in 1957, and that included the buttonhole attachment, the little box of standard attachments, and a zigzag attachment., the last one has since been lost.. I got it with a new machine guarantee .. It has now been in my posession 52 years.. My sons long ago named it "Old Faithful".. very aptly named, I think..
Sew With Love
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Re: Machine for children

New postby Sancin on Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:25 pm

I know how good the old featherweight are :) . I bought one 3 years ago, made in 1941, year of my birth. I got it on Ebay for $200 after researching and following prices for 6 months . It had been totally checked and cleaned. Some were selling up to $600. As soon as I got it I took to Montreal, to make baby blankets, as carry on. Imagine doing that today! All the security people were fascinated with my machine and case with many recalling machines they had seen. It makes lovely stitches, but I still missed the zigzag. At home I primarily use it for quilting. I don't have any attachments but have enquired into a zig zag attachment. They are rare and I think, pricey.
Last edited by Sancin on Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~*

God put me on this earth to sew and finish a certain number of things. I am so far behind now.....I will never die!.......If I stitch fast enough does it count as an aerobic exercise?
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Re: Machine for children

New postby Sew-Classic on Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:42 pm

The zigzag attachments aren't "rare". Granted, they aren't as common as the buttonholer. Why? You see, the BH attachments work really well, but the zz attachments only work on fabric with more body or that is stabilized or heavily starched. So, fewer zz attachments were sold.

There are many ways to finish seams besides a zz stitch. I suggest leanring some of those alternative methods rather than delving into a zz attachment.
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Re: Machine for children

New postby Sancin on Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:05 pm

Thanks. Zigzag is used for more than seam finishes. I think I know every seam finish known to man and then a few! As I have a wonderful Janome, I seriously haven't looked for an attachment - zigzag or otherwise. And I prefer to my button holes by hand. I came off the ark, don't you know ;)
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~*

God put me on this earth to sew and finish a certain number of things. I am so far behind now.....I will never die!.......If I stitch fast enough does it count as an aerobic exercise?
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Re: Machine for children

New postby MartySews2 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:10 pm

So Paula, what did you end up getting for your DGD? Inquiring minds want to know.
Marty ;)
Brighten each corner where you are ... smile!
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Re: Machine for children

New postby Sew-Classic on Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:09 am

Sancin wrote:Thanks. Zigzag is used for more than seam finishes. I think I know every seam finish known to man and then a few! As I have a wonderful Janome, I seriously haven't looked for an attachment - zigzag or otherwise. And I prefer to my button holes by hand. I came off the ark, don't you know ;)


Didn't mean to upset or offend, and certainly didn‘t mean to imply anything at all abut your personal level of sewing expertise, Silly me was just trying to share some personal experience and information about the zz attachments, and spare some disappointment.

I know that many people, (esp. those without a serger) like to sew knits with a zigzag stitch too- again the zz attachments really perform poorly at this task as well. They are fine for adding decorative effects on stiffer, stabilized or starched fabric, and definitely a fun, vintage gizmo to own just for the sake of collecting.

My apologies if I rocked the boat with my comments.
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Re: Machine for children

New postby Sancin on Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:59 pm

Sew Classic - no offense taken - don't worry. I commented in case others see overcasting as the only use for zig zag. I have heard that the zig zag attachment for the Featherweight is noisy and while some seem to like, others don't. I expect it is another situation where experiences vary. I rather enjoy a lot of hand stitching as I can move to a more comfortable chair to sew and I can see better!! I may be wrong, but I think many machine users don't hand sew much as much as us old timers do, perhaps because they never learned. :think:

When I purchased my Featherweight, more for sentimental reasons than anything else, but do use it for straight seams, I didn't see many separate buttonhole or ziz zag attachments on line (didn't check shops as we have none here in town). For those who are looking if you are going to purchase an old Singer Featherweight and want attachments, try to purchase a machine that comes with them. A further thing to watch for if you shop ebay is that many sellers of antique machines really don't know machines and list 'comes with' as something really special. Needles being an example. I have always used just Schmetz with no problem. If you are an antique collector you may want the Singer Sewing Machine oil can, but there is nothing special about Singer sewing machine oil and generic sewing machine oil is much cheaper at any sewing shop. However, even that is getting 'a little rare' as most modern machines use little oil and repair/maintenance shops tell people to bring their machines in for maintenance and they oil them. I haven't oiled the FW I now have, but can recall that they seemed to need to be oiled frequently. The FW does use larger bobbins than my Janome or Elna's do.

Back to planning my sewing! :anxious:
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~*

God put me on this earth to sew and finish a certain number of things. I am so far behind now.....I will never die!.......If I stitch fast enough does it count as an aerobic exercise?
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Re: Machine for children

New postby plrlegal on Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:36 am

The older Singer Featherweights use a standard Class 15 metal bobbin. I tried using a Class 15 plastic bobbin in mine but didn't have any luck doing that so went back to the metal ones. I have a buttonhole attachment and a zig zag attachment for my Featherweight simply because a dear elderly friend of mine was cleaning some things out of a night stand in her guest bedroom and I happened to be talking to her and she was telling me what all she had found that she was going to throw away and said that she had found a green plastic box full of old sewing machine parts and did I want them, if not, she was going to throw them in the trash. I almost lostmy breath and told her "no, no, no, please do not throw them away until I've seen them" and behold, an entire original box of attachments for a Featherweight!

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Re: Machine for children

New postby Sew-Classic on Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:03 am

plrlegal wrote:The older Singer Featherweights use a standard Class 15 metal bobbin. I tried using a Class 15 plastic bobbin in mine but didn't have any luck doing that so went back to the metal ones.


Featherweights use Class 221 bobbins. They do have all those holes like many of the metal class 15 bobbins, so it could be easy to get confused.
Image

This is a class 15 bobbin:
Image

Regarding the "featherweight" buttonhole attachments- the Featherweight uses standard, low shank, screw-on attachments, and can use any of the Singer (or Greist) low shank BHer's for straight stitch machines. I think I have at least a dozen of them on my storage shelf. Yep- many sellers don't know what they have when they sell these things. Apart from some specialty, vintage attachments, feet and attachments fro a FW are very reasonable. The standard vintage, Singer low shank attachments are not rare at all, and new, low shank attachments are some of the most common and least expensive on the market.

The featherweight should typically be oiled every 6-8 hours of use and once or twice a year if you aren't sewing much. Oiling instructions are in the manual. Quality sewing machine oil or Tri-flow drip oil will work nicely. ($2 to $4 a bottle is all any of these should cost)

Guide on Products to Oil & Lubricate a Sewing Machine


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