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Monday, December 16, 2013

Light as a Feather ~ updated!

I am dizzy with excitement 
over my new OLD Singer Featherweight sewing machine!
(oh, well maybe I'm just dizzy from this woman's shirt pattern, 
...or I'm just plain dizzy ~)

no really folks ~
I have wanted a Featherweight for at least a hundred years....
I have read about them, have seen them on websites and blogs, 
have heard the wonderful things owners have to say about them 
....and have secretly been jealous of those that were fortunate to own one.

I have & use frequently my ca. 2008 Brother machine,
and I also use my ca. 1910's Pfaff treadle machine....
both are wonderful to sew on ~
a few years ago, 
my father-in-law came for a visit down from CT 
...and brought along with him a little brown & black folding table...
I thought it would be perfect for my Brother machine (and it is) 
except that I continually had to 'chase' the machine around the table-top.

Since the said table had a removable piece where a machine could drop down into it, 
I tried desperately to cram my Brother in there (ha! that sounds funny!!)

My Dear Friend Joan saw my table, 
and promptly told me it was Singer Featherweight Sewing Table
(and soon after that I promptly forgot that she told me that...
**I will blame that mental relapse on menopause**)

I had a revelation the other day ~
when I remembered that the table was one built specifically for a Featherweight machine...
I would now need to find one for myself 
...to incorporate with my table and then all would be well in my little sewing room!

I dialed up Miss Joan and told her I 'needed' to buy/find/beg/steal 
a Singer Featherweight for my table.
I could no longer chase my Brother around....

Joan replied to me
"why don't you buy one of mine?"
really Joan?

I had forgotten that Joan has an addiction problem 
vast expanse when it comes to antique sewing things.
...what was I thinkin'?
so on Saturday, joan brought me my new little treasure.

Long story short 
....(I do apologize)

Here is my new OLD Singer model 221-1 Featherweight machine ~
sitting snugly down into the sewing table that was designed for each other.

she is a beaut. 
she sings and whirs and purrs & hums along ....
she has a couple of scratches, a few wrinkles (don't we all?)
but otherwise holds her beauty still.

I did a little online research on her, 
and found out by her serial numbers that she was 'born' on January 22, 1948
which makes her 65 yrs old.
15 years older than I am at the present....

...her birthplace was Elizabeth Port, NJ
and since I name everything, 
she will now affectionately be known in this household as

I wonder how many projects she has made...
how many aprons, prom dresses and curtains?
how many pairs of slacks or pajamas?
how many quilts.....

I would love to have a magic pair of glasses that I could slip on 
and see her at work back then.
how fun would that be...

Peter has to dust her a bit, and then she will receive a good drink of machine oil.
her cord is a tad brittle so me thinks a new one might be in need.
her little lightbulb is burnt out, but will be soon replaced and shining brightly.

...then she will begin once again to help make memories out of fabric & thread.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

here are a couple of wonderful resource for Singer Featherweights:

alot of you are commenting about the little black painted chair I sit on while I stitch ~
truth be told, I found it in a dumpster here in VA ~ it is painted black with gold trim, 
has an orange and blue stenciled motif on both slats, around the trim and on the lip of the seat and is signed on the bottom in grease pencil the words:
"Jacob Stauffer - 
coller (color) BLACK
Design No. 18"
there is also another signature in pencil that looks like it reads something like:
"Boston Fern" but I can't really make it out ~
I was offered 150.00 for it from a dealer in town when she spotted it in the back of my car :)

* Blessed be *


Barb said...

Oh my, Bess is three years my junior, almost to the day and I believe I made my first apron in "home ec" class in 7th grade on one of her relatives. I look at your Bess with tears in my eyes and a warm heart. Treat her well and she will return the favor. :)

backporchcarver said...

She is so beautiful. It was meant to be, first the table and now Bess. You are both very lucky to have found each other.

Pat said...

My Lizzie was born in Elizabeth, NJ on October 3, 1933. That makes her 70 years young!!!

Congrats on Bess!!

barb said...

Re4ading your post today brought tears to my eyes. When you think of how hard they worked and they are still going. Something to be said for "Made in America". Happy sewing Lori.

Mugwump Woolies said...

Bess is a beauty! I learned to sew on my Mother's old treadle machine...how I wish I still had that lovely old gem...she had a beautiful stitch. I bet Bess has a beautiful stitch as well! What a union was made there!

Janine said...

I am so Jealous. I want on and I don't even use sewing machines. Have wanted one for ever

Anonymous said...

I love mine and wouldn't trade it for the world. Now I'm jealous of you for having the table!!!

Colleen said...

I'm SO envious!!! She's a beaut :) Enjoy.

HomeSpunPrims said...

Welcome to the featherweight club Lori! I am blessed to have a 1951 (which is older than me!) and it's pretty much all I use unless I need to zig zag and then I use my Jenome. You are lucky to have the table. I understand they can be hard to find. Enjoy your little treasure. I was lucky to get mine over 15 years ago for $50.00 which is a steal! Happy stitching, Lori

Margaret said...

OMG -- I didn't know they made a table for the Featherweight! So cool! I have a Featherweight. Have had it for years and years and years. It was my workhorse for my quilting, for anything I needed to sew. I just recently got a new machine, but I still love my Featherweight! I think it's from the 40's but I've never dated it.

Love your new Featherweight and table! And the chair! And everything. :D

Val Reaves said...

Congratulations Lori! I received mine from my mother in law... She knew I wanted it, so one Christmas, she gave me a tiny box and when I opened it, there was the bobbin to it! I was thrilled... They are wonderful to behold and to use... I also have the table, and will set it up as you have... Thanks for rekindling the memory!

marly said...

I had three old black Singers that I donated. Have no idea what style or model they were - long gone! But I have two flip top cabinets that are empty!

Orange Sink said...

Oh Lori you must be "over the moon" happy with the new addition to your antique sewing collection. As I wrote that thinking Hey.. she's only 5 years older than me... so I guess that makes me almost an antique! LOL! I've heard they sew as smooth as silk and are many quilters dream machine! Enjoy... it looks fabulous in your home!!
Cathy G

Lauren said...

You can keep the fancy, computerized machines of today. I love my sweet little featherweight with her beautiful scrolled face plate. Congrats on your new treasure, Lori!

jean Carl said...

You are blessed, if stitches could talk she could probally tell you alot of loving stories...enjoy your new old machine, she's a beaut!!

Jacqueline said...

Congrat's to you and Bess.. she has found a home that will be good to her.

Lori Ann Corelis said...

oh you lucky little stitcher! the best machine, table and that chair to sew on! A feather weight is on my bucket list as well! One day . . . one day!
Happy , happy stitches m'dear!!!


Anonymous said...

Lori, My mother has a Featherweight which my dad proudly bought her in late 1951. Their first-born (me) came along earlier in the year which surely makes 1951 a banner year in their household:) When visiting my parents I tote along my Bernina but always end up quilting with the beautiful straight stitch on mom's Featherweight.

Merry Christmas to you and your family. Terri in NC

Pam in IL said...

I got my Featherweight when I went to pick up some freecycled quilting fabrics. The lady BEGGED me to take the Featherweight and a treadle machine she couldn't keep any longer. I didn't argue! Got them both for free!

Have fun playing with Bess!

dogwoodfarm said...

What a beauty she is and what fun times you'll have together!!

matty said...

A table, too??? OMGosh, I have already been on ebay looking for one! Isn't it cunning??

I got my little girl years ago as a Christmas gift. The giver is in heaven now, but I use the machine with a great deal of joy!

My favorite book is "Aunt Jane of Kentucky." She says in it that "cooking and cleaning don't last; quilting does."

Stitch on!

Saundra said...

Goodness but both you and Bess are youngsters. I have a featherweight that was purchased maybe 10 years ago and cost me $500 then. I'm wondering what the cost of Featherweights is going for now. Plus when I purchased mine there was a feeding frenzy.

Lucky you to have a gorgeous table to put it in. You and Bess will have numerous hours of fun ahead of you. Hugs and Merry Christmas.


Debra said...

I had Featherweight envy, too, until my husband gifted me with one for my birthday this year. Mine was born in 1953, the same year as me (so now you know how old I am). Enjoy Bess, there is nothing like sewing on a Featherweight!

Mary A said...

Hi Lori,
I love my featherweight and know you will love yours too. You can now buy a reprint of the owner's manual. It's a good investment. Enjoy, Mary A

Lady Locust said...

You are the second one tonight that I have discovered that names sewing machines:) I have company - yea!
She is beautiful.
Happy stitches,

Lee said...

Congratulations on the Featherweight. I love love love mine. It was born on my birthday in 1948. Matty, I, too, am crazy about "Aunt Jane of Kentucky". I first purchased the book because I liked the cover, but decided to read it. There is a quote from the book on the wall at the Abby Aldrich folkart museum in Williamsburg. The stories were originally published in Cosmopolitan Magazine around 1899. Then it was made into a book. With the proceeds from the book Eliza Calvert Hall purchased a home for her family. Just think 1899! The old books are getting hard to find, but you may find a more recent published one in paperback. Same book, but the antique book is worth looking for. Smell the lilacs, Matty. Lee

denise said...

I love your singer!!!!!!

Barbara said...

I have had a featherweight for the last ten years, but never saw the table that was made for it. Lucky you to have both! Now that I know they exist I will have to keep my eyes open to find one.Enjoy your Bess!

Joanne@ Desertmountainbear said...

I have one, and I sew my bears on it. It makes tiny perfect stitches that cannot be pulled apart. They are so simple and perfect these machines. Congratulations on your Bess, I am sure you will spend many happy hours together.

prims by olde lady morgan said...

WOW! Love it! I so would like a featherlight too someday .OLM

Cinlyn said...

Ooo...she is sew" pretty!

Macy said...

Bess has a younger sister, born Nov 18, 1949, a mile down the road! Read your blog and realized we had a Singer case with my mother-in-law's things that we are storing since her move to assisted living. Sure enough, it's a featherlight, in nice condition, with accessories and all. Sure she hasn't run in years, but am looking forward to trying her out. What shall I name her?

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