it started so innocently.
i didn’t get it.
i read his article on BurdaStyle. started perusing craigslist. when i hit my local flea market, i started keeping an eye out. i even made an offer on a Singer Spartan…but i still couldn’t take the plunge. it was a fling, a crush.
earlier this summer, while taking my second annual summer Sit-N-Sew with Kenneth King and Susan Khalje, Kenneth started talking about his flea market finds and a crazy lady named Gloria who sells at one of his favorite haunts on 26th street. i said, out of nowhere, “i think i’d love a singer featherweight.”
kenneth says, “do you want to buy mine? i have two. i just bought one from Gloria. it has a bobbin case, a carrying case and about 100 presser feet–even a ruffler.”
…yeah. put me right on the spot. the price seemed high-ish (since he told me what he’d paid for it himself) but also extremely fair once i started doing some googling. next thing i knew, i was stopping at the ATM on the way to class saturday morning to meet my new friend.
apparently, mine is a bit special. according to the fabulous LynnRowe on PatternReview, “The “SINGER” decal on the machine arm, instead of the machine lamp, is quite rare, and only a few 1939 Featherweights had it.” And she would know, being a bit of a Featherweight celebrity herself.
so now, here i am, with a new (old) sewing machine and only the barest hint of how to use it. which hasn’t stopped me…i’ve already made more than half of a tailored jacket on it and pieces of a 1950s dress. but in case there are others like me out there, i’d like to point out the following resources:
- PatternReview. i’ve had hit-or-miss experiences on PatternReview but my simple FW post in the sewing machines forum got so many helpful, excited responses in such a short period of time that i was completely overwhelmed! in fact, most of these suggestions are straight from the PR sewing machines forum.
- Featherweight RX. Dave McCallum has a book and a DVD on using and servicing a FW. i haven’t committed yet, but i’m leaning seriously toward buying this series.
- The Featherweight Factory. i’ve been particularly encouraged to check out the “question of the week” section.
- A Spa Date for Your Featherweight. PR user JillyBe has a lovely, thorough and humorous post on her blog about cleaning and servicing her FW.
- Graham Forsdyke’s Singer Featherweights site. slightly overwhelming, full of history and information. he seems to sell them, as well!
- April 1930s Sewing Shoppe. more about parts and machines for sale than actual information, but well-designed with loads of things to look at.
- MPB’s Featherweight posts. Peter at MPB seems to prefer other machines over his FW, but his love for vintage machines is unmistakable.
- Spare Time (For Sewing) also has a lovely collection of posts about her vintage sewing machines, including her FW.