This past year or so I’ve been wanting a vintage sewing machine. They were built better back in the day and looked so much more elegant. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Singer Stylist 7258 model and my new Singer ProFinish serger.I just wanted a machine that I could take apart and do my own maintenance. These old machines were built to last and it shows!
So here is my beautiful 1945 Featherweight! I know she’s from 1945 because of her serial number. If you go to ISMACS International website, you can look up your sewing machine date information from the serial number! I learned that mine also has some blackside properties. She looks like a regular Featherweight, but has some darker parts. The presser bar level is black not chrome, stitch length indicator is black, handwheel is black, and some of her accessories are also black. Some machines are blackside due to WWII and that chromium was in such short supply that it was restricted for war material use only. Click HERE for more information on the blackside Featherweight.
Basically last Friday (August 21st), a man posted on Craigslist that he had a Featherweight for sale and once I saw that advertisement, I knew I had to have a Featherweight. This started my obsession. I’ve since done plenty of research on these babies and man are they popular. I actually got a pretty good deal too compared to other Ebay prices and other Craigslist ads too. She has all original parts and all her decals are in perfect condition. You’ll see a lot of these have faded decals and the paint having some gouges or chips.
On Saturday, we headed to the man’s house (he was having an estate sale) and he saved the machine for me to come look at it. The motor worked and the light worked and so we came home with her. I named her Euphagenia (from Mrs. Doubtfire) or Effie for short.
We used q-tips and a clean microfiber cloth to clean her up and used kerosene to get rid of the old oil. Then we used Zymol wax to clean and put a protective coat on her decals. There are a few different places online to get info on cleaning and maintaining Featherweights. I personally like April 1930s website and Nova Montgomery’s website for useful information. I’ve also purchased from both sites. April 1930’s has excellent customer service and is extremely fast. Nova’s is great as well. They both have a plethora of information and love to help.
After waxing, we replaced Effie’s bulb and got her an LED bulb. We also oiled her and lubed her up. You can easily use the manual to teach you how to oil and lube the machine, but there are also blogs on it as well. I’d also recommend buying Featherweight 221 – The Perfect Portable by Nancy Johnson-Srebro and The Featherweight 221 and I by David McCallum. David McCallum also has a DVD and I do have it, I just haven’t used it yet. I purchased David’s book and DVD as a bundle set from April 1930s. I bought Nancy’s book from Amazon.