Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Quilting with a Featherweight




Subject: Machine quilting using a featherweight

Anyway, I recently did my first machine quilting on my featherweight and I
wanted to share my experience. I had read on Quiltnet about loosening the
presser foot screw on the top of the machine and loosening the top tension
AND covering the feed dogs BUT I didn't do it just that way. Yes, I loosened
the pressure on the presser foot and yes, I put the tension on top to about 2
but NO I did not cover the feed dogs.

And it worked anyway. I did a small wall quilt and I started by quilting in
the ditch with metallic top thread around all of the pieced buildings in the
quilt. This gave me some practice. Then I free form quilted clouds and moon
rays and mountain ranges and falling stars. And it came out wonderful. I
did however backstitch all of the stitching lines at beginning and end just
to be safe. I found that the little bit of traction of having the feed dogs
up actually helped me to keep the quilt moving along and I held the quilt
securely in both hands at all times. It was fun and I might even do it again
sometime - therefore I have kept that machine set up that way - don't want to
mess up my tension adjustments etc.
Subject: American Quilts

Found several interesting quotes in "The Smithsonian Treasury AMERICAN
QUILTS" by Doris M. Bowman...which has recently been reprinted.

"But the Sewing Machine is an American invention. Machinery is the grand
necessity of the United States, for population has not augmented to a point
which renders the number of needlewomen adequate to the demand upon their
industry. America almost denudes Germany of her Sempstresses, and still
production falls short of her requirements. She is thus compelled to employ
Steel and Iron to do the work of humanity...." quoted from "On Stitching
Machines" Journal of the Society of Arts, London, January 20, 1854"

A fascinating perspective, but I am sure glad that the sewing machine,
in all its various forms, WAS invented!
Another quote (from the same book):

"Quilting on a Grover & Baker's sewing machine is no trouble at all,
and the rapidity with which it is accomplished enables us to apply it to many
things which would cost too much time or labor for hand sewing." The
Ladies Hand Book of Fancy Ornamental Work by Miss Florence Hartley
Philadelphia, 1859"

According to The Smithsonian Treasury AMERICAN QUILTS "The
invention of the double-threaded chain stitch is attributed to William
Grover. In 1851, he and William Baker received a patent for a machine that
sewed with this stitch. .... In the 1860's, the Grover and Baker
double-threaded chain-stitch machine succumbed to competition from lockstitch machines that used one-third the amount of thread and made less bulky seams.

The lockstitch remains the standard stitch of home sewing machines to this

On pages 64 & 65 of the book, there is a photo of a quilt in the
Smithsonian collection which is partially machine quilted, with a double
threaded chain stitch, estimated date of origin, 1860. Ther is also a small
reproduction of an advertisement for Grover & Baker Sewing Machines, and a
photo of one of the machines in a wooden cabinet.

The book is a collection of photos and supporting information on 60+
quilts from the Smithsonian's collection. I found the references to sewing
machines quite interesting.

Featherweight Tables




From: Kristina Santilla
Subject: Table variations

Also, no one has mentioned the tables! I am aware of at least
four variations, does anyone know of any others? There's the wood folding
with wood legs, the wood folding with metal legs, the folding with an
extension, and a burl maple desk type. I haven't actually seen the last
two, just heard stories. Apparently the serial numbers on the folding
tables can even match the serial numbers of the machines!
Subject: Featherweight Tables

On tables there also seems to be two 4 types. The variations are walnut or
gummwood veneer tops and wooden or metal legs. I have 3 tables for sale if
any one is interested. I sell them for $200 refinished. I don't sell them in
the rough or ship (I think you should see one before you buy it) and take only
cash. If anyone is in the Mpls./St. Paul area I would be happy to show them
the tables.

Jim Aysta
Phone 612/430-1292
Subject: Reproduction Featherweight Table again

Ok, here's the whole message-sorry for the error.
I found a flyer advertising reproduction featherweight tables at Houston but
never found a booth displaying one. Thought I'd pass the information along
anyway, in case anyone wanted to pursue it. The flyer says the table was

drom original Singer "Featherweight" table Model 312" and is all wood with a
natural birch top. Black enamel rame and legs, 31"x31"x27 1/2" high. Specify
if for black or colored model 221 machine.

The name and number to contact is given as Andy Fields, 913,566-3788

Has anyone seen one of these? No price given...what do the originals go for?
Sandy Wilcox
From: (Kim Mehalick)
Subject: interesting things I learned at the singer line today

2. The Singer customer service gave me the name of a man in Kansas(?)
Andy Fields. His number is 913-566-3788.
He makes both a reproduction wooden case, and a
reproduction table. His cases are wooden, with a handle and painted
black. They sell for $55 plus shipping and handling.
The reproduction tables are $198. They have wooden legs with black enamel
trim and the top is a natural birch top. I have not
seen his stuff, but would love to know if anyone has seen his
case, and if it is worth the money.
From: "Shirley E. Senitza"

Speaking of Singer FW you know that Singer also made another type of
FW cabinet? It is a Cabinet 68 and is described as "...a simple and
attractive, early American Cabinet especially designed for use with the 221
Machine. Strongly constructed of fine hard maple and smoothly finished, this
cabinet combines beauty with utility. The oval top is quickly removed and
replaced and provides a spacious table when the cabinet is closed. A spool rack
is attached to the left door and there is ample storage room for attachments."
This description is quoted from Singer's own "Machine Sewing" book--a Treatise
on the Care and Use of Family Sewing Machines and Their attachments, dated 1948.
(If you can find any of these books that Singer published for Home Ec teachers,
get it!) My Singer people have only seen one of these maple cabinets, in a
client's home, and they say it is good looking. Ah, another thing for we FWFs
need to look for!
Subject: Tables
From: Terry (

LAURA: You wondered if your FW would fit any of the cabinets you are
seeing in antique stores. I adapted a cabinet that held a 3/4 head Singer.
The Singer was in the base of a bentwood case and this whole unit fit into
the cabinet. In other words there were no hinges holding the machine. I
removed case and machine, bolted two 2x4s down in the opening of the cabinet
, and the FW was perfectly flush with the top of the cabinet. You can fill
in the remainder of the opening with a wood cut-out. I cut styrofoam to fit
the opening, covered it with shiny black tape and it matches the machine
Subject: Info about new FW table

Dear Leslie, Becky, Barbara and everybody - This address for the reproduction
FeatherWeight Table was originally posted to this List by someone else but I
have no record of who it was. I do not know this man either but he does
beautiful work. The table is like a very sturdy wooden card-table with
folding legs, black trim and a birch surface. There is a neat cut-out that
clips in place for a flat smooth table, or lifts out so your FW fits right
down in flush with the table top and sits on a little dropped platform inside
the hole. The whole thing is really nicely made and those of us who
appreciate crafts(wo)manship will be very pleased. When the FW is in place
and sewing the whole table is steady as a rock - this is a piece of furniture
- but when folded up I can easily lift it. Needless to say I am thrilled.
Other people on this List have had some luck finding the original tables for
anywhere from $35 to $200. I never find anything! These tables are made by
Andy Fields, 742 Shawnee Road, Pomona, Kansas 66076
(913) 566-3788. (No CCs, this is your original Mom & Pop operation) There is
a short waiting list - about one month. I paid $198 plus shipping and worth
every penny to me! No affiliation, blahblahblah, happy customer etc
From: (Carol Austin)
Subject: FW Tables

The reproduction FW tables are made by Andy Fields, 742 Shawnee Rd. Pomona,
KS 66076, phone 913 566-3788. Very nicely made and designed from original
Singer FW table Model 312. All wood, natural birch top, black enamel frame
and legs. Insert locks into top when machine is removed. Hinged legs fold
like a card table. Measures 31" x 31" x 27 1/2" high. Specify if for black
or colored model 221 machine. He also makes a very nice black wood
replacement case for FWs for $55. The table sold at Paducah for $198. The
table is a really nice addition to your FW and fun to use. Nice man,
excellent accessories.

Shipping of Your Featherweight




From: (Carrie Bryan)
Subject: oiling; shipping; attachments box

WRT shipping: I live in CA; the woman who sold me my FW lives in upstate NY.
She shipped it to me UPS and it came through in perfect condition. She fil-
led the inside of the case with styrofoam peanuts, every little nook & cran-
ny, under and over the tray. She then put the case in a box that was also
filled with styrofoam. On the UPS form she described it as "machine parts",
because she thought it might disappear en route if she called it "sewing ma-
chine", and she insured it. And as my cats don't take delivery and I didn't
want the box sitting on my doorstep all day, I had her send it to me at work.
This worked out beautifully.
Subject: UPS

i have mailed a fw by ups blue, and packaged it with insulation around it. i
suppose you could use bubble wrap or even fabric. put the machine in its
box, then wrapped box with insulation (fiberglass, can you believe)! it
arrived safe and sound; i had insured it for $500 just in case.
good luck. have it sent because the one that went to gainesville has made
several wonderful things already!

ellen b.
From: (Gretchen McKinsey-Clarke)
Subject: Re: Shipping & manuals

I've shipped a couple of FW's and had them arrive in perfect condition. I
used a box that had plenty of space all around the machine, especially at
the top and bottom. I recently got a new printer and the styrofoam inserts
were perfect to put under and on top of the FW case. Inside the case I
packed with lots of wadded up newspaper, especially around the spool pin.
Outside the case was also packed with newspaper. The box was marked all
over with up arrows so it would never be on it's side or upside down.
Mainly I think the box must be large enough to do some serious packing. If
you let someone else do it for you (like Mailboxes USA) make sure they use
a large enough box.
Subject: Packaging

There is not perfect way to pack to insure absolutely no damage. However,
there are some important guidelines to save injury to the machine. There is
a packing material called "ethafoam" (a DuPont product) which is relatively
inert and very stable. It is siimilar to the pellets used to package
material and is often used to pack items such as computers. It is a shiney,
white and slightly sticky foam. It comes in various thickness and the
different sizes can all be used. The 1/4" can be used to wrap the heads of
the machines, while the 6" pieces can be cut to stabilize the base. Someone
hit on the correct idea last week when they mentioned packing the case
separately. The machine should be packed in one container and the case in
another. If the ethafoam cannot be found, use lots of the pellets. Surround
the head to a thickness of at least four inches with the pellets, between
the head and the box, that is. And be sure to put a four inch layer on the
bottom of the box, to keep the base from being near an edge of the box.
There is not a lot anyone can do to make sure a box stays with the intended
top side up during shipping. Too many people, time limits and variables.
The case should be packed in it's own box, using the same guidelines. Fill
the interior with pellets and surround the case with at least four inches of
pellets or foam.

Lights on Your Featherweight




Subject: light problem on fw

Regarding Pam's problem with the light on her featherweight.
I had the loose light problem on one of my fw's last winter. The light just
wouldn't stay on as it should. I was in Montreal visiting a friend and doing
some quilting with him and showed the problem to his Dad. His Dad said that
the light bulb was not making good contact in the socket. He got out his
soldering kit and put a drop of solder on the end of the bulb and screwed it
back in the machine. It has worked fine ever since. I recently had the same
problem with a machine and the Singer Man did the same thing. Put some
solder on the bulb to build up the contact point.

From: (Gordon D. Jones)
Subject: FW 221 light bulbs

I saw a posting about FW lights flickering. The bulbs Singer now sells are
different than the old ones and may not make good contact in the socket,
hence the flickering or no light at all. The bulb is of the bayonet type,
meaning it has two small pins on opposite sides that fit into slots in the
socket. To insert the bulb, line the pins up with the slots and push until
it stops, then turn to the right (clockwise), to lock it in place. To
remove the bulb, do just the opposite, push in to unlock, turn to the left
(counter clockwise), and then pull out. Sounds simple enough, but these
bulbs are very difficult to remove and install. Let me explain why.

The electrical contacts in the socket are two spring loaded brass pins of
small diameter. The contacts on the bulb (old one), are two spherical
drops of solder. When you try to install or remove the bulb, the brass
pins gouge into the soft solder instead of sliding over the surface of the
solder. This causes the bulb to hang up and not turn properly. The new
bulb, Singer item # 2118, has lower profile contacts, designed to slide
over the brass pins easier without hanging up. However, the new bulb does
not always make good contact because of this lower profile.

So whats the solution? You can buy a GE #15T7DC appliance bulb, available
at hardware stores (this bulb is similar to the old bulb). Or, if you are
handy with a soldering iron, you can add a little solder to the contacts on
the Singer #2118 bulb. Lets hope you don't have this problem. Generally,
the new bulb works fine. In any case you will find changing the bulb a
trying experience.

Subject: FW Light

I have had good luck solving your light socket problem by using a very
high quality European-made bulb that is Brewers part number 669. It costs
about $3.00 which is much more than the standard bulbs and was made for
Singer by Phillips. The base is ever so slightly larger. I don't think
most dealers carry it but you could probably get Stepping Stones Quilts on
St. Simons Island, GA to order one for you. Their e-mail address is

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Featherweight Belts




From: (Gordon D. Jones)
Subject: Featherweight 221 Belts

Just a note about Featherweights and belts. Some machines run faster than
others and this can be partly attributed to the belt. The belt uses some
of the motor energy. The trick is to minimize this energy. Energy is used
bending the belt around the pulleys, especially the small diameter motor
pulley. The tighter the belt tension, the more energy consumed. Ok, so
just adjust the belt tension to be as loose as possible and not slip.
Slipping is not good! Another consideration, is the belt itself. The
original belts are black rubber, Singer part no. 194144 or 194144-001. The
numbers are printed on the back side of the belt, but old belts will have
them worn off by the bobbin winder. These belts are OK but hard to find
anymore. The replacement belt is Singer part no. 194144-007 or 194144-701.
These belts are also black rubber, but are heavier (thicker in cross
section) and are not as desirable because they consume more energy. The
best belt, for two reasons, is the Bando 1712. This is a plastic toothed
belt, tan or pinkish in color. It is more flexible than the rubber belts
and also has a higher coefficient of friction, thus you can run it with
less tension and it won't slip. I have found the Bando belt labeled 1712
and also a similar looking belt with the number 1712L 194144. You will
need to go to a sewing machine repairman or Singer dealer to find belts.

Another benefit of the Bando belt - the bobbin winder will work better.
The bobbin winder runs off the back side of the motor belt and if you have
an old belt, chances are, it is hard and slick on the back side and does
turn the bobbin winder wheel without pushing down while winding a bobbin.

To adjust or replace the belt, loosen the motor screw just one turn or so,
don't remove it all the way, then the motor will slide up and down on it's
dovetail mount. Sometimes you'll need to rock the motor back and forth, to
get it to slide up or down. The screw is located just to the right of the
machine column looking from the front. You'll need a fairly large
screwdriver, preferably, with a long blade because some gorilla has
probably tightened it last time.
Subject: Belt Shopping

Last week I went shopping for belts. One shop recommended the "701"
replacement part and another shop suggested the "Bando". I bought
both in order to experiment with Gordy's advice. What would we do
without Gordy?
Subject: Replacement Belt

Ellen B. - The leather replacement belts that I have purchased for
my treadles have come equipped with what looks like a rather large
staple. I use an awl to create a hole at the appropriate spot
through the strap, slip one end of the staple through the hole I made
and pinch it closed with small pliers. It always takes a little
trial and error for me to get the tension just right.
Subject: treadle machine belt

Hi, Fanatics! For ELLEN B - you attach your belt for the treadle machine
with a clip that looks rather like a huge metal staple, like from a staple gun.
They are usually gold-colored, and come with the belt. You poke them carefully in
to each side (end) of the belt, after it is in position, about 1/4" or so from
the end. If the holes are too close to the end the belt may rip. You adjust
belt length by trimming the belt and making a new hole. In other words, you
can always shorten a belt but you can't lengthen it! Once the "staple" is in
place, bend the ends over as you would if you were putting a staple into a
piece of paper by hand (with no stapler). Sometimes it takes pliers to do
this. Sometimes you need an awl or other "poker" to start the holes. Lots of
luck! Ruth Allen in Newfield, NY
Subject: tan-pinkish belt

With respect to the tan-pinkish belt... When I first got my FW I took it to
my repair man because the cord was frayed through and I wanted to make sure
it was in peak condition. He suggested replacing the old black belt since it
had a flat spot which made it difficult to wind the bobbin correctly. He
replaced with the tan one and it appears to work perfectly.
Subject: Belts

Sorry I missed the info on the tannish pink belt. The featherweight I purchased
from the dealer in Brainerd, had the original belt replaced with one of these.

He apparently had robbed the origional from one of his bookends. It works
fine, and since he is a Singer dealer, I have confidence that it will not hurt
the machine. My replacement belt has little teeth on the under side. This
looks un-authentic, but it works great...
From: Sherry Gardner
Subject: Different Colored Belt

To Flat5: I recently bought a pre-war FW. Someone had replaced the belt
with one of those tan-pinkish-tooth belts, and it works fine. I'd never seen one
before, and was a little put off by its looks, but oh well.
Happy stitching!
Sherry Gardner in CO
From: Graham Forsdyke (
Subject: Oily Belt Problems

To Betty W with oily belt problems
Take the belt off and soak it in water and detergent overnight. You might have
to repeat the process a couple of times. On no account use very hot water.

Cleaning Your Featherweight




Date: Mon, 11 Sep 1995 09:30:43 -1000 (HST)
From: CC and D Weisbrod
Subject: Luv these FWs
my machine seems to run more noisily than others i have sewn with or
tried. any suggestions for fixing this?
ellen b.

Ellen, it sounds like your FW needs to be lubed or the maybe the brushes
need changing/cleaning. Try lubing first. If you don't have the original
manual, do you have Nancy Johnson-Srebro's manual on FWs? Do you know a
shop that services FWs? Don't prolong the need to get it checked, and
heed Nancy's advice on lubing.
Subject: Re: FW "grease"

As far as cleaning the machine, Mimi basically had us gently scrape off the
old crud and replace it with new. Some of the things we had to bring to
class were newspapers to open the machine on, a Hat Pin so that we could
clean some of the really hard to reach areas and clean lint free cotton
fabric to gently rub off the old grease. And Yes she did show us how to
change the belts. The motor is held on with a screw that is directly under
the belt on the base of the machine, kind of straight back from where the
light switch is. That screw is lossened, not taken out, and the motor will
then slide and loosen up the tension on the belt. the old belt is taken off
and a new belt put back on. the motor is then adjusted so that there is
about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of play in the belt. Kind of not too tight and not too
loose. this part takes a few trys to get right. if the belt is too tight
the motor has to work too hard and if it is too loose, you dont get the full
power from the motor. Mimi also has all of us carrying around a 3/16
screwdriver that has a 9" blade, I got mine from Sears. this makes it simple
to remove the throat plate so that you can clean the lint. because the
screwdriver is soooo long, the handle doesn't get hung up in the machine.
From: (Gail Pickens-Barger)
Subject: Cleaning a featherweight.

Cleaning a featherweight. My Dad says, take the needle plate off...and
that is about the only place that needs to be cleaned. Look around the
shaft, too see if any thread is wrapped around the shaft. Once a year, you
should do this. Use a tooth brush, or any kind of a brush...brush the lint
from under the needle plate. On the whole machine, you can run Baby oil.
It makes the featherweight shine, then take a dry rag to wipe most of the
Baby oil. This will not hurt your fabrics.
From: (Mona Gollan)
Subject: Needle Movement while winding bobbin

I have had this needle movement problem with a couple of the old
machines. Oil has a tendancy to shellac when it is old and unused. So,
it becomes sticky and the mechanism drags. In order to dissolve the
hardened oil, put a few drops of kerosene on the mechanism and work it.
Kerosene is nothing more than very thin oil. After working the kerosene
in, give it a good lube with regular sewing machine oil. This has
worked on all my machines having this problem.
From: cc and David Weisbrod
Subject: Bobbin Winding

The advice from Mr. Pickens in using an itsy bit of baby oil to shiny up
our babies is the same advice my Singer man gave me. He said the finish
is not enamel paint; it's a varnish finish, and a little oil will
preserve it.
Subject: fw - misc

I read in a sewing machine book to use an artist oil called Grumbacher on the
machines. Does not remove the gold paint.
Subject: Responses - clean featherweight now!
From: Terry

Sharon: I oil and clean my machine frequently, at least after each large
project. The first time you really clean and oil your machine you'll hear
how nicely it runs. After awhile it almost tells you, "Get that oil can and
brush out NOW". The more you use it the easier you will be able to hear
"It's time". After awhile when you hear FWs in a class (for example) that
obviously aren't oiled and cleaned, it will drive you nuts that you can't
grab the owner and give her/him a lecture on the value of her/his FW.
That's when you know it's time to get a new hobby! (By the way, several
people have said NOT to lube the motor; Singer repairmen say that's a no-no.
That might explain why the white FWs do not have lube holes in their motors

Anyone out there having noise or grinding sounds in their FWs might check
to see if all the screws are tight. I tried a FW out in an antique mall and
purchased it. When I oiled/cleaned it suddenly it made the most horrible
grinding noise. Three people had three different opinions about the noise.
I just stuck it away for a year and finally was in the mood to try again and
discovered the screw next to the gears under the spool pin had loosened just
enough so that it rubbed underneath as the handwheel turned. That machine
is a dream now. Had it made that noise in the shop I never would have
bought it.
Subject: Remember the squeek?

Remember I complained about that squeeky sneaker noise in my featherweight?
Now, this one I purchased from a dealer who claimed to have cleaned it
up...... And, I know I have oiled and lubed it up..... Well, I decided to
find out what that blasted noise was. It sounds to be coming from under the
throat plate. So I ripped it to shreds. No I didn't find the squeek, but I
did find that this guy had never (and neither had I) cleaned inside the cover
under the thread spindle. Inside was some horrible brown axle grease type
gunk which had hardened to little pellets! UGH!!!! Well, I cleaned it out
nicely and figured while I'm at it, I'll just de-grease the entire machine.

After it was all cleaned, re-oiled, re-lubed up, it ran so nicely, but it
still squeeks. By this time I'm about to pull out my own hair!

Jill, regarding, cleaning the outside, I've looked at lots of different metal
polishes, most of which say not for use on laquer. I did find one, and used
it on a lovely treadle, without the kind of result I was looking for. I've
also tried Armor all Bug and Tar remover (for use with any finish), again
without the result I wanted. Some gunk did come off--but not enough. I also
sprayed the machine with WD-40 (a degreaser). I've also tried plain
degreasing Dawn dish soap and water with a soft bristle brush and have gotten
some gunk off, but again, not enough. I did find that scraping with my
fingernail (a nice soft thing) did help somewhat. I wonder if scraping with
orange sticks would be a good idea. I finally just said "the heck with it"
and turtle waxed it (noticing that some dirt came off when I rubbed off the
turtle wax). One of these days, I'll try some Kerosene (just hope I don't
get mad enough to put a match to it!). Can we get a little help here from
someone in the know? How do you cut through that resinous crusty crap that
creeps out of nooks and crannies and across this lovely gilt?
Subject: machine restoration

FF>Should I use dishwashing detergent in warm water, and a toothbrush to
FF>remove grime, when it appears it may be removing the decals? What would you

I did use a toothbrush on the one I gave a WD-40 bath to. I didn't use
it on the decals though. On the decals I used a toothpick covered with
a piece of cloth, so I could sneak around the letters.

FF>No-one commented on the method I used, but here were some suggested
FF>alternatives. I haven't had time to test any of these yet. When I do, I'll
FF>let you know.

Let me know what works well for shining her up. I used some car wax on
Robbie (my son named him yesterday...he is sure it's a boy) but the
finish still isn't quite as shiny as my featherweight. I am thinking
some metal polish may help rub it out a bit more. I just finished
putting him back together last night, threaded him up, and he sews a

FF>Question 2

FF>Would you remove the motor, light fitting and maybe bobbin winder be
FF>the washing procedure?

I didn't remove the bobbin winder, but I removed everything else you
mentioned, including the face plate, presser foot, bobbin cover,
flywheel and anything else I could unscrew. I just made sure I kept
everything together, and put pieces on the table in such a way as to
remember how they went back on.

FF>No-one commented.

FF>Question 3

FF>How would you get these screws out? WD-40 didn't loosen them.
FF>The only suggestion was more WD-40

I used even more WD-40 on some screw which were rusted onto another
machine I have, and they eventually loosened up.

FF>Question 4

FF>Instinct says to clean the surfaces before oiling and lubricating. Is there
FF>anything else I should do before oiling her?

The only other thing I would do is make sure you have gotten the dirt
out from the inside of the machine, which is why I removed the faceplate
and flywheel. I also gave the inside of the machine a WD-40 bath. My
husband, the mechanic, said it is wonderful stuff. It will clean
lubricate and protect metal, though he still recommends oiling with
sewing machine oil when you are done, since it is heavier. He and my
local sewing machine guru both say NOT to lubricate the motor, just to get
it as clean as possible. The both agreed they had seen more motors
ruined from over lubrication then from lack of it. A motor needs very
little lubrication.

FF>I was surprised there was so little input to my questions. Usually people
FF>are tremendous with suggestions on a list like this - I think the digest
FF>format may lead people to feel that someone else will answer, as it seems a
FF>less personal way to communicate.

I waited a while before my 1st reply, because I wanted to have more
personal experience with the methods I was going to use before
recommending them to anyone else. I added more in this post, because I
have done more to the machine since the last post. I hope some of my
suggestions help you, and please share anything else you learn with me
too. I have 3 more machines waiting for similar treatment. One is
pretty clean and the other 2 are REALLY REALLY dirty. I mean REALLY!
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 95 04:05:00 PDT
Subject: WD-40

After reading the note saying NEVER to use WD-40 on your sewing machine
I nearly had a stroke, since I have gone through a whole can of it
between the 4 machines I have restored this week.

I dashed to the phone and called my local sewing machine guru and asked him
if I had done something horrible.

What he said is similar to what my husband said; WD-40 is a light oil
with some solvent properties to it. Keeping that in mind, he said to be
careful of the gold decals and belts, and be sure to clean it all off
when you are done. He said it is fine to clean the inside of the
machines with too, as it loosens up accumulated gunk and ick, but to
make sure and oil the machine well with sewing machine oil when
finished. He also talked to another sewing machine mechanic, who
commented that WD-40 was a lot less caustic than some of the chemicals
they use to clean old sewing machines.

My conclusions are to use it cautiously, clean well, and that it is not
a substitute for sewing machine oil. My husband, who seems to know a
lot about oil, agrees. He said WD-40 is a cleaner and lubricant, and
that's why it crustified the leather glove. He wouldn't get any on the
belts either.
From: Lydia Pratt (
Subject: light surface rust...

If the attachments have light surface rust only and are not severely
pitted, my suggestion for cleaning up the rust is 0000 (yes, all four
zeros) steel wool. I've used it with good success. If you're careful,
you can sort of pull a pad apart and twist it slightly, and you'll get
almost a "thread" of the steel wool which you can work into all sorts of
little crannies on the hemmers. (I suppose that's why they call it
"wool".) Anyway, it also leaves a nice sheen on the nickel plating.

If the attachments are very dirty or gummy, you can dip bits of pad in
alcohol or spray with WD-40 to dissolve grime. Do NOT use alcohol on your
FW body -- I think it's one of the things that can dissolve the gold decals!
From: Lydia Pratt (
Subject: A request; walking feet

To Bob Campbell (if you're still out there):

In browsing through my printed copies of the Digest, I believe I noticed
that you were contemplating stripping down a FW completely and restoring
it in some other color than black or pale turquoise. This leads me to
believe that you understand the processes that were used to finish the
machine in the first place, and I was wondering if you could describe to
the rest of us (in more or less plain English) just what we're dealing
with here. For instance, I think your basic naked FW is some form of cast
aluminum alloy. Then there would be the initial finish (black or pale
turquoise, oil-base paint or baked enamel finish?), then decals, then
something protective over everything (varnish? shellac?). Could you tell
us what each of these layers would be? Then we might have a
better understanding of the "crazing" and other finish problems that occur.

Also, in one of your submissions, you mentioned NOT to use "solvent-based
cleaners such as Lestoil". From my reading on Gaillee's Re-Digest and
Diane Close's restoration suggestions, I gather the following:

On the machine itself:
Armour All = Good
Baby oil = Good
WD-40 = Good
Mild dish detergent & water = Good

Alcolhol = Bad (dissolves finish and decals)
Lestoil = Bad (same)

Can you tell us what common household cleaning agents (Fantastik(R),
Windex(R) qualify as "solvent based", maybe in one tidy page?

On the metal parts/attachments:
Lestoil = Good (loosens rust)
Alcohol = Good (dissolves grease and gunk)
WD-40 = Good (same)

Anyone else want to add to what works/what doesn't??
From: Lydia Pratt (
Subject: Patience in cleaning...

As to cleaning up your Model 127. I'm discovering that in addition to the
WD-40 you need a LOT of patience. The gunk doesn't necessarily dissolve
right away. I have #0000 steel wool which I'm using with a cleaner on the
chrome stuff. I also have Armour All, which was recommended by someone on
the list, but I haven't tried it yet. You might try wrapping a small area
of the machine with a paper towel or two, tilting the head so that the
area you want to clean is parallel to the floor, then saturating the paper
towel (cheesecloth, gauze pad, what have you) with the WD-40 or the
Armour All and going away for a couple of hours. If you can keep the area
you're trying to clean in contact with the agent for a longer period of
time, you might have better luck.
Subject: Armour All not recommended

Do not recommend Armour All use on FW machine; however works wonders
on black after dirt removed with damp soapy brush. Naptha is good gunk
remover on underneath parts and works well on nicotine stains; man, how some
of the FW users smoked. Be advised use naptha in a well vented place with no
open flames about. FW machines appreciate a good waxing using a good
quality car wax. Cases that have frayed corners, droopy inside material etc
can be returned to acceptable with a little white glue on the frayed part
and a covering , after glue dries, with liquid black shoe polish. The kind
with a sponge on the end. Just a few tips from a finder of FWs, 99's,
tables and martha washingtons.
From: "Karen Phelps - (
Subject: Armorall

I just have to laugh at the things I do. The minute I use a product, I
find out there's something wrong with it. Anyway, I agree with Graham
about the shine and protection Armorall offers. I have thoroughly
cleaned all of the featherweights that have passed through my hands with
baby oil including Q-Tipping all of the exterior nooks and crannies. I
then clean the inside with WD-40 and various small tools if things are
really caked. Then lube and oil. After I get through these stages and I
feel it really glistens, I have used the Armorall. It makes them look
like new and shine, shine, shine. It also provides a tough layer of
protection. I think it's a great product and have used it on the FWs and
my 66 treadle with what I felt were exceptional results. I'll look
forward to hearing what the drawbacks are. I haven't found any. Thanks
for the continued wonderful input. I'm addicted to this newletter.
From: Lydia Pratt (
Subject: Treadle Work

Best way to remove gunk so far has still proved to by WD-40, but sometimes
it has to sit for a couple of hours or overnight. To clean out the oil
holes, try pipe cleaners. To de-gunk screw threads or free up joints, try
dental floss. I've been using a chrome cleaner made by Turtle Wax with
good success. I got it at a local auto-supplies store for less then $2 a
can. You wipe it on, let try, then polish off. Serious corrosion (black
stuff similar to silver tarnish) requires repeated applications to get
down through the build-up. By the way, if your machine is pre-1920's the
"bright" metal isn't chrome, it's nickel (according to Graham). Surface
rust may require the use of 0000 steel wool. I've found it doesn't hurt
the metal but DON'T use it on the machine surface -- it leaves tiny scratches.
Genuing pitting, however, is there to stay. If you can get the rust off,
the pitting isn't really so bad -- just proves your machine "has a story
to tell". If the throat plate has trouble fitting back in, be sure the
parts of the plate and the machine that make contact aren't also gunked
up. I had the same problem with the rear slide plate on my machine.
Burnished off the side of the slide plate with 0000 steel wool, and
cleaned out the machine surfaces (very gently) with either a tiny screw
driver blade or a large straight pin. After so many years, what looks
black like the machine's surface can really be solidified gunk that really
doesn't belong there.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Featherweight Survey Results


Featherweight Survey Results

Fill Out Survey at the following web location:

For the latest survey info, over 2600 featherweights registered as of
3/1/99. Take a look!

From: Kristina Santilla
Subject: Survey Update

There are currently 1753 Featherweight on the database owned by 1028
different owners.

This is the breakdown:
120 people have 2 machines.
31 people have 3 machines.
21 people have 4 machines.
4 people have 5 machines.
5 people have 6 machines.
7 people have 7 machines.
4 people have 8 machines.
1 person has 9 machines.
3 people have 10 machines.
1 person has 13 machines.
1 person has 14 machines.
1 person has 19 machines.
1 person has 27 machines.
2 people have 37 machines.
The rest have one machine.

There are machines representing all 50 states, New Zealand, Australia,
Taiwan, Great Britain, the West Indies, and 7 Canadian Provinces.

If you change to a proportional font this chart might come out evenly.
Date*Quantity on Database*Serial number range*Additional comments


AD 73 on database
10/3/33 - 13 - AD541550-AD551534 Original price $84.
9/10/34 - 14 - AD720934-AD730704 One of these has a Chicago World's Fair
11/27/34- 14 - AD781921-AD791611
3/18/35 - 8 - AD880807-AD886344
6/24/35 - 16 - AD937987-AD946230
9/23/35 - 6 - AD996956* to AD999999*.

AE 113 on database
9/23/35 - 7 - AE000001*-AE006956 Foot pedal changed to all plastic
midway through this run.
12/30/35- 14 - AE054399-AE064320
3/25/36 - 10 - AE076812-AE083652
7/13/36 - 11 - AE207784-AE222356 One of these has a Texas Centennial
9/10/36 - 2 - AE240396-AE258254 Singer's records show these are model 15
11/5/36 - 12 - AE295457-AE308557
3/15/37 - 16 - AE408785-AE422865
6/11/37 - 15 - AE538252-AE555917 Beginning of numbered tension knob.
12/8/37 - 8 - AE770934-AE784170
5/24/38 - 16 - AE977277-AE990767 Faceplate changed to newer scroll around
this time.

AF 174 on database
10/10/38- 14 - AF070706*-AF090705* One of these has a Golden Gate Expo
2/15/39 - 24 - AF161806*-AF181805* One of these has a satin finish.
7/11/39 - 15 - AF244207-AF263689
12/5/39 - 14 - AF372202-AF391406 One of these has a wrinkle finish.
1/24/40 - 2 - AF416629-AF425009 Singer's records show these are model 15.
4/10/40 - 12 - AF480501-AF493096
5/15/40 - 7 - AF493281-AF496659
5/15/40 - 4 - AF541842-AF544631 Singer's records show these are model
6/19/40 - 5 - AF551518-AF556564 Singer's records show these are model 66.
8/15/40 - 28 - AF571881*-AF596880* Stitch length indicator changed to new
style during this run. These sold new for around $105. Five have a wrinkle
1/7/41 - 20 - AF740751*-AF760750*
4/1/41 - 16 - AF864720-AF883842
5/14/41 - 9 - AF932859-AF940317 Singer's records show these are model 15.
7/1/41 - 0 - AF998751-AF999999* Balance wheel changed from chrome to
painted around this time.

AG 124 on database
7/1/41 - 17 - AG000001*-AG018214 Two of these are blackside.
9/19/45 - 19 - AG527051-AG541687
2/18/46 - 16 - AG607254-AG621453
6/4/46 - 11 - AG689391*-AG709390*.
9/16/46 - 16 - AG804867-AG822796
10/25/46- 3 - AG853723-AG857760 Singer's records show these are model 99.
11/22/46- 24 - AG869669-AG888171
2/19/47 - 13 - AG971467-AG988311 Balance wheel (hand wheel) now painted black.

AH 191 on database
4/22/47 - 17 - AH050371*-AH070370*.
6/26/47 - 12 - AH111971*-AH131970*.
8/19/47 - 31 - AH193771*-AH223770*. Faceplate changed to striated around
this time.
10/28/47- 16 - AH316642-AH345306
1/22/48 - 22 - AH414609-AH443159 One of these sold new for $145. The cardtable
sold for $28.
4/20/48 - 24 - AH550998-AH580510 Motor changed from 3-110 to 3-120 around this
time. One of these was purchased new for $125.
6/18/48 - 27 - AH641016-AH670007
10/1/48 - 24 - AH799765-AH827702
12/9/48 - 16 - AH 973921*-AH999999* One of these was purchased new for $148.

AJ 218 on database
12/9/48 - 11 - AJ000001*-AJ013920*
3/15/49 - 31 - AJ103721*-AJ143720* One of these was purchased new for $145.
11/18/49- 24 - AJ189901-AJ227978
1/23/50 - 22 - AJ349359-AJ387117 Case changed from lift out tray to shelf
on left around this time
3/31/50 - 28 - AJ552938-AJ598653 One of these was purchased new for $140.
6/1/50 - 43 - AJ616333-AJ652718
8/22/50 - 29 - AJ784363-AJ820688
10/26/50- 30 - AJ890180-AJ935373

AK 169 on database
1/29/51 - 30 AK071321*-AK121320* One of these was originally sold in
Brazil. One was purchased new for $150.
5/10/51 - 36 - AK390162-AK439250
10/31/51- 46 - AK575934-AK626682 Medallion changed to black band around this
2/20/52 - 36 - AK746854-AK794948
8/11/52 - 18 - AK984876* - AK999999*. One of these was purchased new for
$154. Seam allowance gauge began being marked around this time.

AL 205 on database
8/11/52 - 27 - AL000001* - AL208500*. During this run seam allowance
gauge was added.
12/12/52- 35 - AL158501* - AL208500*.
5/4/53 - 31 - AL389869-AL437088 Riveted model number (221-)began to be
added below medallion.
10/14/53- 36 - AL525925-AL574437 Gold leaf changed from ornate to plainer
style during this run.
4/22/54 - 28 - AL689240-AL737129
1/17/55 - 47 - AL900891*-AL950890*. One of these was purchased new for $169.

AM 141 on database
6/10/55 - 51 - AM137761*-AM187760*.
2/27/56 - 40 - AM361808-AM407667. Around this time side-tray changed to red
1/29/57 - 41 - AM653582-AM701824.
9/27/57 - 8 - AM774051-AM821105*.


EE 18 on database
12/24/47- 1 - EE355176 One of these was purchased new for $140. Singer's
records show these are model 15K
5/14/48 - 1 - EE757919
9/16/48 - 12 - EE803069-EE811303
11/24/48- 1 - EE843332 Singer's records show this is a 128K
12/10/48- 3 - EE854764-EE857203

EF 33 on database
5/25/49 - 11 - EF154453-EF164154
8/17/49 - 11 - EF280789-EF285546
11/7/49 - 6 - EF552092-EF568289
2/14/50 - 1 - EF691609 Original receipt shows this was purchased for 43
4/24/50 - 2 - EF705863
7/19/50 - 2 - EF910065-EF914027 Case changed from lift out tray to
shelf on left around this time

EG 24 on database
12/18/50 - 6 - EG305050-EG312411
2/15/51 - 5 - EG345582-EG349933
3/29/51 - 2 - EG439063-EG439535
5/16/51 - 4 - EG639475-EG642779
7/17/51 - 3 - EG705892-EG710152
10/17/51 - 2 - EG957781*-EG967780* Stitch length indicator changed to
new style around this date. Medallion changed to black band style around
this time.

EH 27 on database
12/18/51 - 6 - EH001027*-EH011026
2/29/52 - 4 - EH134372-EH137508
7/22/52 - 3 - EH371407-EH372357
10/8/52 - 8 - EH628193-EH634706
3/4/53 - 6 - EH892062-EH899410 Gold leaf changed from ornate to
plainer style during this run.
7/53 - 0 - 100 Freearms made

EJ 11 on database
9/4/53 - 1 - EJ215767 Riveted model number began to be added below
9/53 - 0 - 150 Freearms made
11/18/53 - 2 - EJ268111-EJ271231 5000 Freearms allotted this date.
3/31/54 - 3 - EJ622009-EJ626073 10000 Freearms allotted this date.
10/18/54 - 5 - EJ910263-EJ917545 Freearms. One of these was purchased
new for $200.

EK 8 on database
2/14/55 - 0 - EK203130*-EK213138*
3/14/55 - 4 - EK319939*- EK329938*. Freearm. Seam allowance gauge added.
8/16/55 - 1 - EK636711 Freearm.
12/20/55 - 2 - EK987242-EK989974

EL 13 on database
3/2/56 - 10 - EL177459-EL186454 Freearm.
6/13/56 - 2 - EL539255-EL540631
9/17/56 - 1 - EL681869-EL684749 Freearm

EM 18 on database
2/26/57 - 4 - EM236028-EM239022 Freearm.
8/2/57 - 5 - EM601123-EM601328 Freearm
11/15/57 - 8 - EM957428-EM961079 Freearm.

EN 5 on database
3/17/58 - 2 - EN135599-EN138845 Freearm.
4/17/58 - 1 - EN235294
5/1/58 - 1 - EN327004
10/27/58 - 1 - EN827450

EP 6 on database
3/3/59 - 0 - EP131001*-EP133500*. Freearm
5/18/59 - 2 - EP256021*-EP257520*.
9/22/59 - 2 - EP541572*-EP544071*. Freearm. Medallion changed to brass
with red "S" around this time.
12/18/59 - 2 - EP758473*-EP760972*. Freearm.

ER 6 on database
3/15/60 - 1 - ER022034*-ER024533*. Freearm.
5/30/60 - 4 - ER316571-ER317565
6/16/60 - 1 - ER318063 Freearm

ES 37 on database
10/19/60 - 1 - ES165344*-ES167843*. Freearm.
11/3/60 - 6 - ES170544*-ES165543*.
1/10/61 - 9 - ES239244*-ES249243*.
1/31/61 - 1 - ES352344*-ES357343*. Freearm.
3/30/61 - 1 - ES522944*-ES527943*. Freearm
5/2/61 - 1 - ES627518 Singer says these are 328K's.
5/15/61 - 7 - ES648144*-ES658143*.
8/19/61 - 11 - ES873744*-ES883743*. One on database is black, the rest
are tan. Four are a 221-J, seven are a 221-K.

ET 0 on database
11/2/61 - 0 - ET06135*-ET071344*.

EV 82 on database
3/1/63 - 0 - White.
9/16/63 - 1 - EV386031-EV388474. From this point all machines are
white. Singer's records show these are 99K's.
3/3/64 - 6 - EV776991*-EV826990*.
4/13/64 - 4 - EV892928-EV895069. Singer's records show these are
4/21/64 - 4 - EV906211-EV907883. Singer's records show these are
5/5/64 - 3 - EV909763-EV913058. Singer's records show these are 188 &
5/7/64 - 8 - EV914362-EV918383. Singer's records show these are
5/13/64 - 29 - EV919198*-EV969197*. Singer's records show these are
6/11/64 - 20 - EV970681-EV988985. Singer's records show these are
285K's. Foot pedal changed from button type around this time.
6/22/64 - 3 - EV990388-EV994718. Singer's records show these are
7/3/64 - 2 - EV995387-EV999684
EW 4 on database
8/6/68 - 4 - EW061934-EW070170
EY dating unknown- 7 on database
FA dating unknown- 30 on database
JE dating unknown- 11 on database

The ranges of numbers above "prove" that were at least 1,821,464 American
machines made, at least 164,944 Black British 221's, at least 57,426
British 222 Freearms, at least 10,000 Tan British 221's and at least
153,909 British white machines. This brings the total Featherweights made
to at least 2,207,743.

Accessories: 16% of the respondents have the oil can, 73% have most or all
feet and 54% have the manual. 15% had none of the above.

88.1% are standard black 221 or 221K
7.1% are white 221K
3.2% are freearm 222K
1.2% are tan 221K or 221J
0.4% are wrinkle finish black 221

12.0% of the standard black 221 or 221K have an Anniversary medallion.
3 machines have medallions commemorating World's Fairs.

20% have the oil can
62.2% have most or all of the attachments
50.6% have the manual

1.3% of the machines are still owned by their original owners.

Prices paid in the last five years:
The average price paid for a tan machine was $330
The average price paid for a white machine was $223..
The black 221's and 221K's with the Anniversary medallion average $270
compared to the standard black machines with an average of $227.
The average price paid for a freearm was $653.

There are also 112 card tables on the database and 12 oval maple cabinets.

There is a set of true twins! They actually have consecutive serial numbers.
AJ566414 resides in Napa, California & AJ566415 resides in Ormond Beach,

Happy collecting!
Time for another Featherweight Survey update! If you would like to add
your machine(s) to the database please e-mail me at and I will send you a survey form, or you can fill
one out at
This probably won't line up in columns properly, but the following are
the Featherweight references that I am aware of from Singer's datapages.
There are at least 85 more that we need.

9/23/35 AD996956 AD999999 221 3044
10/10/38 AF070706 AF090705 221 20000
2/15/39 AF161806 AF181805 221 20000
8/15/40 AF571881 AF596880 221 25000
1/7/41 AF740751 AF760750 221 20000
6/4/46 AG689391 AG709390 221 20000
4/22/47 AH050371 AH070370 221-1 20000
6/26/47 AH111971 AH131970 221-2 20000
8/19/47 AH193771 AH223770 221-2 30000
12/9/48 AH973921 AH999999 221 26079
12/9/48 First AJ AJ013920 221 13920
3/15/49 AJ103721 AJ143720 221 40000
8/11/52 AK984876 AK999999 221 15124
8/11/52 First AL AL034875 221 34875
12/12/52 AL158501 AL208500 221 50000
1/17/55 AL900891 AL950890 221 50000
6/10/55 AM137761 AM187760 221 50000
2/14/54 EK203130 EK213138 221K 10000
3/14/54 EK319939 EK329938 222K 10000
3/3/59 EP131001 EP133500 222K 2500
9/22/59 EP541572 EP544071 222K 2500
12/18/59 EP758473 EP760972 222K 2500
3/15/60 ER022034 ER024533 222K 2500
10/19/60 ES165344 ES167843 222K 2500
11/23/60 ES170544 ES175543 221K 5000
1/10/61 ES239244 ES249243 221K 10000
1/31/61 ES352344 ES357343 222K 10000
3/30/61 ES522944 ES527943 222K 5000
5/15/61 ES648144 ES658143 221K 10000
8/19/61 ES873744 ES883743 221K 10000
11/2/61 ET061345 ET071344 221K 10000
3/3/64 EV776991 EV826990 221K 50000
5/13/64 EV919198 EV969197 328K(221K) white 50000

At an average of 20000 machines per allotment and at least 120
allottments, this means there were probably over 2-1/2 million
Featherweights produced!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Featherweight Attachments

Subject: Attachments and Part Numbers
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 95 13:56:45 -0500
From: Terry

Ruth A.: You've been asking for a list of attachments and part #s for the
FWs so I went through three of mine, two which seemed to be complete and
unused. I'm going to print this list onto card stock, laminate it, and
carry it with me for future treasure hunts.

ATTACHMENT BOX                         121901  or 160481  or 160809
Foot Hemmer 120855 or 35857
Adjustable Hemmer 35931
Multi Slotted Binder 160359 or 91245
Early Model Multi Slotted 121464 or 36594
Binder w/o guide pins
Edge-Stitcher 36865
Gatherer 121441
Presser Foot 32773 or 45321
Ruffler 120598 or 86742
Adjustable Zipper Foot 160854 or 161127
Zipper Foot 161127 (not shown in the manual)
Foot on early machines 125035
similar to zipper foot
Seam Gauge 25527 or 161172
(not shown in the manual)
Screw No number
Lg. Screwdriver 25537 (black)
Lg. plastic handled screwdriver 161294
(beige or brown)
Sm. Screwdriver 120378 (silver and black)
Sm. plastic handled screwdriver 161295
(beige or brown)
Singer Motor Lubricant 1/2 oz. No number
2 extra felt circles for 8879
spool pin (red or black)
Two green pkgs. needles:
three 15x1 size 11 needles; three 15x1 size 14 needles

FOOT PEDAL - American (95-145 v., .7a) 194584 or 195322
FOOT PEDAL - British/Brazilian
(150-250 v., .3 amp) 198997 or 199154
OIL CAN 120862
KEY TO CASE No number but replace with
Ilco T60 at the locksmith
or green/white/red)
6 BOBBINS - The older ones have 45785
an extra hole near the center;
some 1950 ones do not.
(specific to a FW)
DARNING FOOT for Free-arm FW 171071
DARNING HOOP for Free-arm FW 171074
(had to be purchased separately)

Other attachments to look for are:

BLIND STITCH ATTACHMENT                  160616
ZIGZAG ATTACHMENT 160985 or 161102
BUTTONHOLER 121795 or 160506 or 489510
BULB Replace with Singer #2118
or GE #15T7DC
TUCKER (has scaled crossbars marked 36583
from 0 to 8)
CORDER (looks like a general purpose No part number
foot bent to the right at a 90
degree angle)


Date: Sun, 12 May 1996 14:24:48 -0400
Subject: Singer attachments

I've complied the following list from FWF Digests, Terry's attachments lists,
manuals and anything else I could find. The numbers starting with 2 and 3
seem to be for the earlier machines. The numbers starting with 12 can be
associated with FWs. The 16 series associated with 301s and the 48 series are
the Jetson (egg case) buttonholers. BUT - some of the early attachments work
on later machines, i.e. the seam guide 25527 is also a FW attachment, so who
knows - here it is:


Bias Gauge 25525
Binder 25526 35930, 36594
Multi slotted binder 121464 160359, 160624
Seam Guide 25527
Hemmer 3/16 25528
Hemmer 1/4 25529
Hemmer 3/8 25530
Hemmer 5/2 25531
Hemmer 7/2 25532
Hemmer Foot 25533
Adjustable hemmer 35931 160626
Quilter 25534 35932, 35207 121718
Large screw driver 25537
Small screw driver 25538 120378
Stiletto 25539
Under Braider Foot 25542 121547
Under Braider 25547 35940
Ruffler shirring plate 25603 35938
Corder foot 25794
Darner (large work) 26088 36088?
Darner (stocking) 35776
Hemstitcher 120687, 121387
Foot hemmer 26152 35857 120842, 120855, 120856 160627
Ruffler 26156 35933 120598 160629
Complete ruffler 35939
Complete corder 26399
Corder attachment rt 125035, left 125429
Tucker 26515 36583, 35936
Embroiderer (1 thread) 26538
Embroiderer (2 thread) 35506
Tubular Trimmer 35985
Braiding Presser Foot 36067
Flange Hemmer 36333
Singer Craft Guide 121079
Singer Craft Fagoter 121255
Feed Dog Cover Plate 121309
Gathering Foot 121441 160628
Blind Stitcher 160616
Blind Stitch Braider 121614
Zig Zag attachment 121638, 121706 160620, 160745
Shirring Plate 121170
Buttonholer 121795 160506, 160743
Buttonholer (egg case) 489500, 489510
Adjustable zipper foot 121877 161127, 161166
Edge Stitcher 36865 160625


Date: Thu, 02 Nov 1995 19:42:15 EST
Subject: Singer Trade Cards & Etc.

The attachments that originally came with the Featherweight seem to
have varied by year. I have several original/copies of instruction books
which show attachments as follows:

1937 - Foot Hemmer, Adjustable Hemmer, Binder, Tucker, Ruffler, and Cloth Guide

1941 and 1946 - Foot Hemmer, Adjustable Hemmer, Binder, Edge Stitcher, Gatherer, and Ruffler.

1952 and 1955 - Foot Hemmer, Adjustable Hemmer, Multi-Slotted Binder, Edge
Stitcher, Gatherer, and Ruffler.

1964 - Zipper Foot, Binder, and Seam Guide. Optional extras are listed as
Buttonholer, Edge Stitcher, Gatherer, Foot Hemmer, Quilter, Ruffler, and
Tucker. This book is for the Standard white model 221K7 although it's
dated 1964 and other references to the 221K7 that I've seen say it wasn't
introduced until 1968.

1977 - Foot Hemmer, Seam Guide, Binder, Zipper Foot, and Ruffler.
Optional extras are Automatic Zig-Zagger, Buttonholer, Edge Stitcher,
Optional extras are Automatic Zig-Zagger, Buttonholer, Edge Stitcher,
Gatherer, and Tucker. This book says Rev 1177 and may be a reprint. The
machine appears to be white but is gear driven, has the longer bed
extension, a toggle light switch and a different bobbin winder than the
others. The face plate is painted like the standard 221K. The case is
like the standard 221K except that it has 2 closure latches. I think it
is for a model 221K5.

All of the above attachments are the same as the ones that came with
other straight-stitch low shank Singer models of the same year except for
the foot hemmer which was different for Class 15 and Class 66 machines.
The FW uses the Class 15 foot.

The only attachment made specifically for the Featherweight that I've
seen is the darning and embroidery attachment. It consists of a very large
feed dog cover and a darning foot. The box says it fits 15 Class and 221
machines. The date is 1952. The feed dog covers were either black or
Since we're using our FWs for patchwork. The Pfaff dealer over here
sold me a seam guide ($7.95). There are 2 kinds..the old one is all
metal. This one will mark your FW. The newer one has a nylon base so
when you screw it securely onto the FW platform, it won't 'bite' into the
enamel cosmetic. What I did is sew a sample of that all important scant
1/4-inch on the Bernina. Whenever I need to line up my seam guide for
ptchwrk, I just whip out the sample..presto!! Don't know about you all
but my FW was born on Oct 10, 1938 and I dread the use of tape or Dr.
Scholl's for seam guidance.
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 1995 16:01:28 -0400 (EDT)
From: Kristina Santilla
Subject: Re: FWFanatics Digest 9/10/95
From: Barbara Tricarico

I'd love to find myself a zig zag attachment (where the fabric moves, not
the machine! Have you ever seen one?

The best place to find the accessories is from Singer
dealers/repair people who have been in business a long time. Most of my
best accessory purchases actully come from retired Singer repairmen. In
addition to the zig-zag attachment there is also the button-holer and a
blind hemmer that work similarly.

Krisi Santilla,
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 21:26:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: Kristina Santilla
Subject: Re: FWFanatics Digest 9/11/95

My featherweight came with all sorts of lovely feet. I have tried to
use some of them but because of my deprived sewing background (mostly
hand work, no training with a machine), I am clueless about how to use
them. I did find someone who copied the pages from the original manual
for me, but the instructions assume a certain sophistication. Would
this forum be willing to discuss actual use of the feet? Maybe
eventually we could even get a FAQ on FW feet!

Nancy Johnson- Srebro's next book on the featherweights should be
out about April. Apparently she is going to describe in detail the
different feet and what they do. Mrs. Deloris Pickens, the avid
buyer/seller of featherweights is presently stocking up on these, assuming that
Nancy's book will create a demand. She purchased quite a few never used,
but original green boxes filled with the accessories recently.

Also, did you know that the british machines came with different
feet? And the free-arm came with a darner and darning hoop.

For anyone interested, Mrs. Pickens also has brand new, never
distributed manuals, I think they are dated early fifties. She got them
from a retired repairman who had a couple hundred just lying around.
Sorry, don't know her price. Her phone # is (580) 765-6125

Date: Wed, 13 Sep 1995 11:09:03 -0400
Subject: FW Birthdates

Look through your FW attachments for the fabric guide. It has a long
slot, with a thumbscrew. You screw it into one of the two small holes to the
right of the throat plate. Slide the attachment to adjust the distance from
the needle to the edge of the fabric guide. Then, tighten the screw to hold
that distance. One of my students in a Senior Citizens quilting class,
showed me this attachment and how to use it. It sure beats magnetic guides
and masking tape! And is easy to remove when you are doing a wider seam.

I bought a 6" C-Thru ruler at an art supply store, and have it stuck to
the front of my FWs with a bit of FunTac. Then I always have a ruler handy
to check seam allowances or adjust my fabric guide.
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 10:19:00 -0500
From: (Amy Lobsiger)
Subject: FW Chatter

For all of you notions hunters, the Singer oil cans are going for a premium
at flea markets these days...who would have thunk it, as they say?? My
dear-old dad bought a GORGEOUS (I'm-trying-not-to-covet-it) 1938 FW in
August but it didn't come with an oil can. He bought an oil can later for
$20 at another flea. We've since seen the cans for much more. Who could
imagine the fortunes of the lowly oil can would turn??
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 12:31:17 -0400
From: Thomas Roth

For Marti...the model number on my buttonhole attachment box is No. 121795.
I haven't tried it yet but I'm assuming since it came with the machine it
will work on it. The box says "For Singer lock stitch family sewing
machines"...which leads me to believe it was interchangeable amongst several
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 17:04:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: Kristina Santilla
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 9/13/95

Does anyone know the part number of the buttonholer that fits the
featherweights? I saw an old buttonholer, but there was no indication on
the enclosed information or the box if it would fit the featherweight. I
do have access to the part number from the box, however.
When Singer made attachments like these they would fit all of their low
shank machines, so over the years they changed part numbers due to style
changes. This is by no means complete, just what I have access to:

#121795 Dated 1941(on manual) in green box, works by adjusting
wing nuts to appropriate length and width.

#160506 Dated 1948 or 1951 in black, red, or green plastic
box.Works by putting cams the right size in the bottom of the foot. This
is the prettiest, meaning it looks like it matches the Featherweights.

#489510 Dated 1960 in pink or green egg shaped case. Works same as
above with cams, but is now ugly beige. Also, be sure that it doesn't fit
a slant-needle, as the box or manual don't differentiate. The word
"slant" is in very small letters on the metal of the foot. In fact if
anyone wants the slant-needle one of these I will sell it for
$5.00+shipping. As I don't have a machine it will fit on. The nice thing
about the buttonholers is that they come with a metal plate to cover the
feed dogs with, so you can do free-motion quilting.
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 95 23:59 EDT
From: (Martha A.M. Keefe)
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 9/14/95

A few days ago someone asked if the ruffler and the zigzag attachment
were the same thing. I don't think so. I have a ruffler included in my
green box. Today at a garage sale a found a zigzag attachment for the
221 and other machines. It comes with four cams (I only got three) that
allow you to zigzag and do some other decorative stitching.
Date: Sat, 16 Sep 1995 14:09:53 -0400 (EDT)
From: Kristina Santilla
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 9/15/95

Also I was interested to learn that you can use the cover for the feed
dogs that comes with the buttonholer for free motion quilting. What
about using the walking foot on the featherweight? Does that work also?

I bought the deluxe low shank walking foot from Clothilde, and
haven't had much success. The feed dogs don't line up with the pieces of
the foot, and the fabrics don't seem to be feeding at the same speed on
the top and bottom of the quilt. If anyone has any hints/tricks to make
them work better, or if anyone knows of a better matching foot, please
respond to the list. Thanks.
Date: Sun, 17 Sep 1995 18:26:05 -0400
Subject: quarter inch seam and other misc stuff

2. I had a Little Foot on my machine at the same workshop, Sharyn asked me
to try puting my original presser foot back on and giving it a try. I found
that the original foot in conjunction with the Dr scholls gave me a much more
even seam. She pointed out that on the featherweight, the little foot does
not make good contact with the fabric on one side of the foot and that the
original pressure foot does.
From: (Lois Frankel)
Subject: Little foot
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 1995 21:49:08 -0400
Anne wrote:

Also, I tried using a "little foot" (one of those clear quarter-inch foots),
and my machine did not like it at all. Has anyone else had this problem?

My Featherweight works fine with my little foot. In fact, the LF
wouldn't work at all well on my other machine, because of the location
of the feed dogs.
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 1995 20:00:35 -0400
Subject: My Mother's Featherweight

Re: Little Foot - I use mine all the time on the FW and my big old Kenmore.
This way I can switch machines if I want to and still have the same quarter
inch seam.

Re: Walking Foot - I use the long one. The local sewing machine repair store
ordered it for me - I don't know the brand, but it works fine.
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 1995 18:27:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: Kristina Santilla

Shelley: The oil can that fits in the clip in your Featherweight case is
about 3" high (half of this is the nozzle), painted green and says
"Singer Sewing Machine Oil" with the Singer logo. It is oval shaped, like
the bracket. I also have green tubes of "Singer Motor Lubricant" in green
boxes. I don't know if there may have been others. Apparently, the oil
cans are rather expensive if you can find one.
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 1995 18:37:34 -0700
Subject: Attachments, etc.

I spoke two days ago to the man who serviced my Featherweight last year
after I bought it. He runs a shop that repairs and sells old sewing
machines, and specializes in Singers. His shop has lots of old sewing
machines (no FWs) and he has lots of spare parts for them. He was also
the first one to tell me about the Centennial version. I asked him about
a zig zag attachment, but he didn't have any on hand. He took my name
and will call if he ever gets any. He did give me a few insights about
attachments. He said the Buttonholer and ruffler (originals) are going
for fairly hefty prices, between $75 - $100 each. I have no idea what
the zig zag will cost, he didn't quote a price for me. I asked him about
using the buttonholer for a zig zag, and he said it would be possible.
He also said that each one would not give you a "true" zig zag as it is
a straight stitch machine. It will look like a zig zag stitch on the top,
but the bottom will look somewhat odd, not like a machine that is capable
of a true zig zag where the top and bottom are imaged the same. Perhaps
anyone who has this attachemnt and used it can comment on this. He also
said that any low shank zig zag attachment should work on the FW.
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 95 22:46:49 -0500

From: sue
Subject: My, how things have changed ! : )
Hi Everyone,

I've been working on restoring several old sewing machines that I inherited and
I found a price list for accessories from the back of the manual for a 1920
National cabinet machine. I'm sending it to the Bernina list as well as the
Featherweight Fanatics, just to put some perspective on the prices we 'nina fans
pay for our accessories. Also makes FW fans realize just how much the value of
our old machines have increased. I've estimating 13,000% increase for the oil
cans =:0

Ruffler - 1.50

Tucker - 1.50

Foot Hemmer Sets, including Binder - .75

Braider Foot - .25

Thread Cutter - .05

Hemmer and Feller - .30

Presser Foot - .25

Bobbin Case - 1.25

Needles, all sizes, per dozen - .30

Guide Thumb Screw - .10

Oil Can - .15

Bobbins, ea - .05

Screw Driver - .15

Shuttle Screw Driver - .10

Quilter - .05

Edge Stitcher - .50

Date: Tue, 10 Oct 1995 20:43:13 -0400
Subject: FW Even Feed Foot

Several people have mentioned problems with walking feet. Singer sells
a walking foot for a low shank machine (which the FW is). It is called a
Smooth & Even Feed Sewing Machine Foot and used to retail for under $20. I
use mine for machine quilting straight lines and also sew all the binding on
my wall quilts with it. Works terrific. Singer's top-of-the-line machines
all had a walking foot as a standard accessory BUT those machines are slant
needle hence that foot will not work on the FW. Hope this helps.
Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 13:46:30 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Wonderful old book by Singer . . . . sent out a request last week for information about some
attachments she'd bought. I think I have found them in this book.

1. A 4" long tweezer/clip combination. I think this is something called
the "bias cutting gauge" It fits on a pair of scissors. You then slide the
bias piece (folded) into the clip to the measurement you want, and start
cutting bias strips!

2. A large U-shape with two screw knobs on the right side. this one may be
something called an "underbraider" which "is used in sewing braid to the
material by stitching through the center of the braid. Braiding is an
attractive trimming for woolen or sild dresses and is applied easily and
perfectly with the Underbraider. As no basting is required, a dress may
often be braided within an hour or two."

3. A presser foot with a halfcircle cut out on the right. No pictures
of this one.

4. Curved section like a hemmer foot to the right. to the left and in front
is a screw holding down a metal clip over a half curve. I think this might
be the "adjustable hemmer" but I am not entirely sure.
Subject: Hemstitchers, New Bobbin Cases, Etc.
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 95 14:36:53 -0500
From: Terry Sampson

A few years ago I traded a buttonholer for a hemstitcher that a Singer
dealer had gathering dust. I haven't heard mention of a hemstitcher on this
list and am wondering if anyone has one and has used it. For those
unfamiliar with them, they come in a green box marked: Singer Sewing Machine
Company, HEMSTITCHER, No. 121387, Made in U.S.A. The box is the same size
as the FW attachment box. The manual also says PICOT EDGER for Lockstitch
Family Sewing Machine and the latest copyright date is 1942. It has
pictures and instructions for attaching the Special Throat Plate (S.T.P.)
to machines 15, 66, 99, 101, 201, 127, 128, and 221-1. The HEMS. is
attached by a special long screw to the pressure bar. This gadget is used
to pierce a row of tiny holes and surround them with stitches, sort of like
a closely spaced row of mini-round eyelets. Lace may be crocheted along
the edge of a pillowcase (for example) single-crocheting into the holes. It
is a beautiful decorative stitch with many other uses.

If anyone has one of these and has successfully used it on their 221's,
please tell us about it. I cannot seem to get the long screw to attach the
HEMS. to the bar. On the last page of the manual it lists the numbers of
the parts which correspond with each machine (listed above). All parts are
compatible with my 221's but why am I having problems attaching it? What I
need is a description of someone else's "special longer thumb screw" to see
if I have the right one.

If this sends any of the rest of you looking for a hemstitcher, I would
be glad to tell you the number of the throat plate that fits machines listed
above. You want to check this number before investing; it is stamped on the
plate. The HEMS. itself fits all models and so should the screw.
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 10:25:18 -0400
Subject: Attachments

Sweigak asked about attachments. #120598 is a ruffler. It doesn't look much
different from the ruffler Singer sells today.
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 1995 07:20:49 -0800
From: (Gordon D. Jones)
Subject: Singer 301

Oil cans --- FW oil cans are oval in cross section, hence the oval shaped
spring clip in the bottom of many FW cases. I have one about 2" tall, with
a 1" spout and says SINGER SEWING MACHINE OIL in white letters. The can is
dark green with orange trim. I have seen oval cans about 4" tall also.
Subject: Responses
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 95 08:51:23 -0500
From: Terry

Mary Jane: In re FW oil cans. My FW (#AM) has original green oil can.
It is oval which fits the shape of the O.C. holder in the FW cases. It's
part # is 120862; holds 1 1/3 fl. oz.; "Singer Household Oil, Price 10
Cents" is printed on the can and it is for vacuums, too. The tip has
threads where a cap once was. Hope this gets you through the oil can
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 95 21:37:05 -0500
From: Terry

From a Spanish FW Manual: (or do they call it "Manuel" ? :) Sorry, I'm
getting punchy:

"Accesorio para hacer dobladillo de ojo y picot" makes decorative holes in
"Trencillador do abajo" for sewing on cording. This is two parts: One a
very short foot, and the other a guide that screws into the machine:
"Para zurcir medias a maquina" sock darner:
"Zurcir materiales lisos", Oval Darning Hoop:
"Coloca ell Pie Zurcidor" (Darning Foot?):
Attachment for scissors for cutting bias binding, marked with letters F, B,
No part number
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 1995 12:48:19 -0500From:
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/31/95
Terry in Montana,
You asked about the FW zig-zag attachment and what part number is assigned to it

According to the SINGER AUTOMATIC ZIGZAGGER manual it states: No. 160985 on
Singer Sewing Machines of Classes 15,201,221 and 1200 and No. 160986 on
Machines of class 301. This is right out the instruction manual copyright
1954 & 1955.
The form # is 20766 on the manual. I hope this info helps you. Let me know
if you have any other similiar questions
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 1995 13:10:58 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 11/1/95

Terry in Montana, ( Addendum to previous 11-1-95 Reply)
I found another Singer Automatic Zigzagger instruction book stating" No.
161102 on Singer Sewing Machines of Classes 15, 201, 221 and 1200
and No. 161103 on Machines of Class 301. Apparently there are two different
Zigzaggers used on Featherweights.

Date: Sun, 5 Nov 1995 16:21:57 -0500 (EST)
From: Kristina Santilla
There is also a really cute Singer bank from the 30's. It's shaped like a book and is covered in red leather.

The story I heard behind these banks was that Singer would give them to
women who put machines on lay-away so they could save their pennies in
the bank until they could make a payment.

There are also two banks that are tin. One looks like a wooden dome top
case sitting on a table and the other is a black machine on a table.
They have the red Singer "S" logo. They are both only a few inches tall
and apparently are quite scarce and command high prices> I'm on the trail
of one for only $400, but I know a dealer of tin banks who sells by
auctioning off his merchandise through catalogs and he showed me that he had
sold one of each for over $1000 a piece.
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 1995 08:56:41 -0500
Subject: Treadle belts

Did you know you can purchase New Singer treadles and leather belts for them
from Lehman Hardware in Kidron, Ohio? They cater to the Amish and put out a
very interesting catalog called the NON-Electric Catalog. The number is
216-857-5757. Katy
Date: Sat, 4 Nov 1995 03:38:22 -0500
Subject: Re: a different attachment
Hi All,
I've got a Singer attachment that no one seems to have mentioned yet. It came
with my first Featherweight, a 1935 AE which I use almost exclusively for my
quilts and clothes.

It's called the Singer ball bearing Pinking Attachment for use on all Singer
Lock Stitch Family Sewing Machines, No. 121021. "Adds a dainty finish to
seams and edges." It is in it's original green and white box and came with 2
feed dog covers. I also have the original manual, copyright 1933, 34 & 35.
It's really the neatest thing! There were also available strip cutter blades
(which I've not been able to find yet). It's really heavy duty and works

Now...if anyone finds a zig-zag attachment that they would part with, I would
gladly consider a trade.
Subject: 319
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 95 01:01:00 PDT
New Attachment!
I did get a real cool attachment which I have never seen before: a
Singer Stocking Darner part #35776. It came in it's box with it's
instruction booklet. The booklet is copyrighted in 1953.

The booklet gives the part #'s for the feed dog cover for the model 15
and 221 as #160719; and on machines # 66,99 and 201 as 160720; and
machine #301 as 160823.

On singer machines 66 and 99 it shows the thread being passed through a
hole in the slack thread regulator (instead of under it like usual
threading). I always wondered what that hole was for.

This darner is really funny looking...I don't even think I could
describe it. It's got a spring around it, and some curved finger

The book also lists a Flat Work Darner N. 36088, which is oval shaped
and larger than the stocking darner.

I also found a greist buttonholer and a package of 8 buttonholer
templates at my favorite thrift store.
Date: Sun, 12 Nov 1995 20:22:08 EST
Subject: Singer Stocking Darner
You mentioned a Singer Stocking Darner part no 35776. I
have one with it's box and instruction book and the book is
dated Sept 30, 1909. It makes no mention of any feed dog
covers and shows using it with no foot on the machine at
all. In 1909 it cost $ .75.
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 1995 19:50:30 -0500
Subject: Featherweight accessories

I went antiquing today and although I didn't find a single
Featherweight, I did find 4 oil cans and a zigzag attachment. I now have 5
different pre-60's Singer oilcans. There is the short oval can (120862), the
tall oval can (120861) the small silver round can, the large bronze round
can, and a big green chooch that says it holds 1/4 gallon of oil. It's my
guess this is what repairmen used to fill the smaller cans.

The zig-zag attachment is dated 1950 (160620-new number Terry) and was
priced at only $15. I was almost jumping up and down. Then when I went to pay
for all my finds, discovered this place discounts 10% for cash so got
everything at even better. While standing at the cash register, my DH decides
to look over the zig-zag. He pulls out the manual, then foot, then pulls out
the cardboard which holds the foot in place and when he saw a dollar in the
bottom he hurriedly put everything back before the salesgirl could see it and
claim it. When I got outside I looked and there was $43. Every bill was
dated 1963. Some woman must have stashed this away from her hubby over 30
years ago, knowing that he'd never find it there. That would have been a lot
of money then. I wonder if she forgot about it? Anyway, I never find
bargains on anything, so it was a nice find.
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 1995 09:22:50 -0500
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 11/19/95

Griest attachments:they slip onto the front of an attachment foot. The
attachment foot will fit on an FW, but they are very hard to find. I was
lucky enough to get one in the first set of Griest attachments I bought.
You need the attachment foot to use the hemmers, edgestitcher, binder or
quilter foot. If anyone wants a pix of this attachment, send me your snail
mail address and I'll send a copy to you. It is almost impossible to
describe, but the pix is pretty clear. Ruth:I am including a copy with the
other info to you. (I'll just retape the letter).
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 19:29:02 -0500
Subject: Griest-yet again (sigh)

I seem to have created more questions-rather than answers. Let me try one
more time. Griest made attachments for all sorts of machines-per Gordy. I
have some which are high-shank, some which fit my FW and then I have the
other sort.

The other sort should have in the set an attachment foot which fastens onto
your FW in the usual way. The foot part looks very much like a short quilt
foot-about 3/4" square with a small hole (for the thread) centered in it. If
the foot is on your machine and you look at it, on the right hand side, there
is a round blued steel circle-it sits in the back of the foot. It is
attached, by a rivet. IF, and only if, you have Griest attachments that have
a keyhole opening (hemmers, binders and edgers are all I have seen), that
attachment slides onto the attachment foot. You do this by pushing the blue
steel part forward and then the keyhole opening slips onto the rivet. You
need to form a stitch and draw the threads thru and underneath the foot.
they do work. I have tried them all out.

It just happened that the very first set of attachments I found in a junk
shop were of this type. The lady said she only wanted 4 dollars since she
wasn't sure it was a complete set. The set included an instruction booklet.
Without that, I wouldn't have had any idea what this strange foot was for.
Take a look at whatever Griest attachments you have. If they fit this
general description, look for the little attachment foot. If you need a copy
of the directions-with pix-and I haven't already sent you one, e-mail me an
address and I'll get a copy to you.

If you don't have them, keep looking. I'm sure there are more out there.
The only reason I have for thinking they are hard to find is that I've
picked up 7 or 8 sets of attachments this fall. I have yet to see a second
set like this. Should I find another one, I'll post it and whoever gets to
me first can have it for my cost.
Date: Sat, 25 Nov 1995 11:48:39 -0500 (EST)
From: Lydia Pratt
Subject: Attachment
For Joe Hurray:

Without a picture it's hard to tell for sure, but your "movable
bar" description suggests to me a foot with an attached quilting guide.
If this is the case, the bar should be L-shaped and can be moved in and out
perpendicular to the direction of stitching, to the right side of the
presser foot. The short end of the L just touches the surface of the quilt
and is used to keep a uniform distance between lines of straight quilting.

Just a guess on my part -- hope this makes sense.

Lydia, in Columbus, Ohio, where we have brisk cool weather and beautifully
clear skies this evening.
Date: Tue, 2 Jan 1996 06:33:06 -0500
Subject: Packaging

One of my favorite attachments for my Featherweight back in the 1960's was
the monogram attachment. Like the zigzag attachment, it moved the fabric as
the initial was being formed. I haven't seen much talk about either of those
attachments. I have seen several of each at an antique store in
Pennsylvania. I will call information later today to get their phone number
and see if they still have them. I have mine and love to use them, the
pleasant little click-click sound is very reassuring as the initials or
zigzag motifs are formed.
Date: 29 Dec 95 15:05:52 EST
From: "Shirley E. Senitza"

Hello FWF's! It sounds like many of you are looking for low-shank attachments
to fit your FW's or 99K's, and I know most people prefer to buy only Singer
feet. However, if you cannot find Singer feet and just need "some" attachments,
I have a suggestion. Last March I bought a low-shank attachment set from Sears,
and the entire box of 16 pieces, manual and storage box only cost $27.99. Seven
of the feet share one "adjustable holder" ankle, just like the Greist sets do,
and those are the narrow hemmer, 1/4" hemmer, 3/8" hemmer, 5/8" hemmer, 7/8"
hemmer, binder and edgestitcher. Four other feet have their own built-in
ankles, and they are the applique foot, overcasting foot, zipper foot and
gathering foot. There is also a quilting guide, a seam guide, a scissors
cutting gauge and a stiletto for hole punching. All these feet fit my FW and
99K, since they are both low shank machines. I thought this was a very good
deal when I found them. Yesterday I was at a New Home/Elna dealer, and I
noticed in their display case several new attachments for sale, including a
couple varieties of rufflers and walking feet. So, lots of the attachments you
may be looking for are still being manufactured, and they will fit our older
machines just fine.
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 1996 20:08:38 -0500 (EST)
From: Lydia Pratt
Hi All!
For Mary (in Idaho): On the 7th you wrote "But somewhere I read that
Singer didn't make a high shank..." I'm not sure that's correct. I went
up and checked my "retired" Golden Touch and Sew, and it's definitely a
high shank machine. I got this machine from my MIL lots of years ago; I'm
not sure of the date it was made, but the copyright date on the book is
1970. I know there are a couple of other Touch and Sews out there, so
maybe a couple more of us can check for you.

Terry: The "flat, two-pronged piece that fits toward the presser bar" is
called a "Type II" in the book that came with the Greist buttonholer that
I bought last weekend. The box on the other buttonholer (the one I didn't
buy) had better illustrations and a list of machine types to go with each
type of attachment foot. Maybe I can stop by again this Saturday and copy
down the list. I don't quite see myself explaining to the folks who run
this thrift shop that I don't want to buy the buttonholer, I just want to
borrow it long enough to photocopy the box (surrrrrrre, lady!).
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 96 00:09:00 PDT
Subject: greist attachments
with a nice green Rotary Attachments box with silver lettering (good condition) filled with 17 Greist attachments for $1.50. I also found it at the S. Army. I have the Greist adapter for the FW but that adapter doesn't work on these Greist feet. Can anyone tell me what these attachments fit and if there is another adapter? Each has a flat two-pronged piece that fits straight toward the presser bar as you sit in front of the machine. HELP!

That type of greist attachments fits machines with a knurled disc that
screws down onto the attachment after it is slid down from the front to
the back of the shank. There are two sizes, at least that I know of,
High shank and low shank. The low shank feet are 1/2" from the fork
thingy to the bottom, and they fit many old White rotary's, Sears
Kenmores, some New Homes...that I know of. The High shank attachments
are 3/4" from the the fork to the bottom, and the only machine I know
for sure they fit is the New Home NLB or NLC machines, which were made
in the 40's. I suspect the Free Westinghouse, which looks just like a
NLC or NLB, is also a high shank machine, but I am not sure.

The only reason I know the New Home machines are High shank is because I
have 3 of them, actually I gave one to my sister, and I have had a
difficult time finding the high shank attachments. I finally did find a
box last week though! HOOORAY!!!!! I paid 6.00 for mine, but she threw
in a couple of Simanco attachments I happened to be looking for, so I
felt quite pleased!

Anyway....I actually bought an old White Rotary, at least in part,
because I could use the low shank greist attachments with it....I have 3
boxes of them......
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 15:47:50 -0500
Subject: Buttonholers

Since there is too much snow to do anything interesting, like go to thrift
stores, I cleaned out my sewing room. In the process, I got out both my
Kenmore buttonholer which fits the old White and the Singer buttonholer which
fits the FW. I have a little mystery here. The templates for Singer and
Kenmore are identical-down to the little letter squiggle inside each
template. They are interchangeable between the two buttonholers. The
feeddog covers are also twins. The Kenmore was made by Greist-it says so on
the bottom. Singer has only the Singer name on it. The templates go in the
same way; directions are almost word for word; oil and lube directions and
locations are identical. The ONLY difference is that the foot for the
Kenmore is a highshank attachment. I have a funny feeling that Singer farmed
out the mfg on that particular attachment. So-if you need a feeddog cover,
or extra templates for a Singer buttonholer that you already have, keep an
eye open. If the price is right, the Kenmore might be worth considering.
BTW, I only paid $5 for my buttonholer. Can't remember what the Kenmore
cost since I bought it brand new years ago.
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 18:58:39 -0500 (EST)
From: Lydia Pratt
Subject: Attachment Feet

OK, so I went back to the Thrift Shop to check out the
buttonholer box with the pictures and descriptions of the different
attachment types. The good news is that I had misread the price and it
was much more affordable than I had originally thought. Oh well, what's
one more buttonholer among friends...

Anyway, this Greist buttonholer has a plastic casing (that could pass as
blue) and the date on the instruction book is Copyright 1966. The
illustrations on the bottom of the box define five different types of
attachment feet, as follows:

Model #1, Side Screw Clamping. This is the type with the bent horizontal
prongs that will fit the FW. The box says this type will fit: "Singer,
White, Brother, Morse, Atlas, Kenmore, Domestic, Free Westinghouse and
most all imported straight stitch sewing machines"

Model #2, Top Clamping. This is the type with horizontal prongs that
slides on from the front. The box says this type will fit: "White,
Kenmore, Domestic, Majestic, Franklin, Worlds, Dressmaster and all Rotary
machines made by White & Domestic Sewing Machine Corp."

Model #3, Top Clamping. Also the type with horizontal prongs that slides
on from the front. These prongs, however, appear to be shorter than those
shown for Model #1. The box says this type will fit: "Kenmore (49, 71,
76), Free Rotary, Free-Westinghouse, New Home (Rotary), Stratford, Most
all machines made by Free & New Home Sewing Maching Company."

Model #4, Top Clamping. Also the type with horizontal prongs that slides
on from the front. In the illustration, the slot appears to be wider (and
the prongs therefore narrower) than those shown for Model #1. The box
says this type will fit: "Eldredge, National, Montgomery Ward, all
machines made by national Sewing Machine Company."

Model #5, Slant Needle. The box says "Singer only" [surprise! surprise!]

If you own an actual machine, you may be able to distinguish among models
2, 3, and 4 by the shape of the the knurled knob and needle attachment
mechanism shown. I will be happy to photocopy the bottom of the box if
anyone wants the illustrations -- sorry, I don't know how I could scan
these in. I may even be able to enlarge them a little via photocopier.
E-mail me your snail mail address.
Date: 14 Jan 96 18:34:24 EST
From: "Shirley E. Senitza"
Subject: Monogrammer - Part Number

Per Terry in Montana's request: "MONOGRAMERS: Would someone please give the
part number on these and the copyright date in the manual?"

I just posted a note asking some questions about monogrammers, but I can tell
you that the one I have is No. 171256 for "slant-needle zig-zag sewing machines
for use with 750 series machines" It came with feed cover #161825 for "Touch &
Sew and Slant-O-Matic Zig-Zag sewing machines with elevator throat plates".

The manual goes into detail that other feed covers--#507661 or #86748--will be
needed for "Touch & Sew...machines with magnetic throat plates" and "zig-zag
throat plate of vertical-needle zig-zag...machines, respectively. The manual is
dated 1969 and was printed in Great Britian. Inside the hinged top door of the
monogrammer, one of the parts is also stamped Great Britian and has it's own
part unique number. Included in the box are 26 round disks for all the letters
A-Z. The manual also includes a clear plastic "initial placement guide". It's
very modern-looking, over-all, and I do not think it has ever been used! I am
curious if there were other models of monogrammers made by Singer, aren't you?
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 1996 09:21:32 EST
Subject: Marked Needle Plates

Some of you have had an interest in needle plates with seam markings on
them. You can get new marked plates for the 201, 15-91, 15-88, 15-90, and
15-125. It might also fit other 15-Calss machines but I'm not sure. It is
part no. 173585 and is available from Brewer if your dealer orders from
them. It will probably cost $10-12.
Al in IL
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996 11:23:27 EST
Subject: Pinkers

One thing I don't think I've seen mentioned are the Singer pinkers.
One type was called the ball bearing hand operated pinking machine. The
base and clamp are just like the Singer toy machines. It has a black
crackle finish and an adjustable guide.
The other type attaches to the machine in place of the presser foot. It
came in at least 2 versions. One has a black crinkle finish and is a real
contraption. The other version has a smooth finish, is smaller and doesn't
look to be quite as well made.
Al in IL
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 09:05:15 EST
Subject: Greist Attachments

Hi All,
I found the sweetest Greist attachment the other day. It's called the
Automatic Decorative Zigzagger and came in a green and blue box. It's the
same size and shape as the Singer blind stitch attachment except it's red
rather than black and has 6 tiny discs which snap to the side to change the
stitch pattern. It functions surprisingly well and produces the most
beautiful and delicate patterns you ever saw. The instruction book is
dated 1957.
Al in IL
Subject: FW Attachment & Parts List
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 96 12:31:54 -0500
From: Terry (

I've procrastinated in typing this list because I didn't know how to
combine it with the one I published in October. And, while this list comes
directly from MACHINE SEWING by Singer, I am working from two copyright
dates of the same book and sometimes the same foot on one list has a
different name and number in the other book. My book's copyright is 1950;
my other source is a photocopy of a list from a book published before 1950
which Krisi sent to me. Obviously if they changed, improved and added feet
during this time period, what must they have done between 1950 and 1970?

Therefore, I am limiting this list to what I actually find in these books.
Please refer to my October 31, 1995 list in the FWF Archives for numbers
that Krisi, I and many FWFanatics found on the attachments that accompanied
our beloved FWs. Between the two lists you should be able to identify most
of your feet. A word of caution: Don't assume like many of us have, that if
you have a low shank foot that it will fit a FW. MACHINE SEWING covers
Model 15s, 24s, 66s, 99, 101, 115, 127-128, 201 and 1200, and 221. Early
model 15s do not take the same Foot Hemmer as later model 15s but that early
model 15 foot will fit the FW! But then, often the same attachment will be
listed for ALL the machines and models. I'd be interested in hearing an
explanation for this!

The first number listed below will be from MACHINE SEWING copyright 1950;
any second number is from the previous edition. By 1950 six attachments came
with FW, but the earlier book only lists five attachments. I'm typing it
straight from the book including column headings. For your future treasure
hunts, I've included things that don't actually attach to your FW such as
Bias Cutting Gauge, Hand Pinker, etc. so you will know that they are out
there. Also, freearm FWs are not mentioned and probably weren't made prior
to 1954. Look on the Oct 31st list for those part numbers.

published by Singer Sewing Machine Co., 1950 & earlier - (Terry Sampson and
the FWFanatics of the World Wide Quilting Page)

Binder, Multiple Slotted 160359, 121464

Edge Stitcher 36865
Gatherer 121441
Adjustable Hemmer 35931
Foot Hemmer 120855
Ruffler 120598
[Note: Some earlier machines did not include edge stitchers or gatherers but
did have tuckers 36583 according to these sources.]


Braiding Presser Foot 36067
Blind Stitcher 160616
Blind Stitch Braider 121614
Buttonholer 160506
Corder - Left Toe 15429
Corder - Right Toe 125035
Cording & Slide Fastener Foot - Adjustable 121877
Darning Foot Spring 121094
Embroiderer - one thread 26538
Embroiderer - two threads 35505
Feed Cover Plate 121309
Flange Hemmer [Note: There is no flange hemmer for a 221, 101, 24, or some
15s but #36333 fits other low shanks.]
Gauge - presser foot with adjustable guides 121718, 35207
Hemstitcher & Picoter 121387
Quilter 35932
Shirring Plate 121170
Singercraft Guide 121079
Singercraft Fagoter 121255
Tubular Trimmer 35985
Tucker 36583
Underbraider 121547
Zigzagger 160620, 121638


Belt Hook 25027
Belt Punch 120616
Bias Gauge 25525
Cloth Guide 25527B
Cording Attachment 26399
Darner, Large-flat work 26088 (however the earlier book says 36088)
Darner-for stockings 35776
Finger Guard 121151 (attaches to presser foot screw for machines having
needle threaded right to left)
Material Gripper 121318
Needle Threader - Universal 121632
Needle Threader and Ripper 121634
Oil Can 120862 (supplied with machine)
Pinker, Machine Operated 121021 (cutter w/28 teeth 120993
Pinker, Hand Operated 121379 (same cutter number as above)
Pinker Cutter - 28 teeth 120993
Pinker Cutter - 42 teeth 121143
Pinker Cutter - No teeth 121242
Screwdriver, Machine large 25537 (supplied with machine)
Screwdriver, Tension small 120378 (supplied with machine)
Skirtmarker 160439
Skirtmarker Yardstick 121713
Skirtmarker Yardstick Base 121714
Stiletto 25539


Bias Cutting Gauge 25525 (fits on tip of scissors; early answer to a rotary
cutting wheel!)
Clamp Stop Motion Screw 51350ZB
Cloth Guide Thumb Screw 50053B
Hemstitching Attachment 120687 (evidently different from Hemstitcher listed
Key 124428
Motor Lubricant 190613
Rubber Ring (for Bobbin Winder) 15287
Spool Pin 2007
Tension Disc 2102
Throat Plate Screw 691A
Zipper Foot 121877
[Also listed are irons, folding or travel iron and sewing stools.]
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 09:34:59 -0500
Subject: for Lydia

I have both a 121795 buttonholer and a 489510. Both come with a feed dog
cover and screws. The 121795 feed dog cover is significantly smaller in
length, but the width is the same for both buttonholers. The 121795 does
NOT come with cams. There are adjustable ruler sections for setting the
desired width and bight of the buttonhole. Then you turn a knob to advance
the foot section ruler to its farthest point, hit the pedal and watch your
buttonholer appear. The 489510 comes with drop in cams, but again you turn a
knob to set the beginning of the buttonhole. They really don't look much
alike. I used to have a 121795 back in the dark ages when I owned a Spartan
(longer ago than I like to remember). I have one again. I can work out the
settings for the buttonhole size as I dimly remember the routine. What I am
in need of is the instructions for lubing the buttonholer. If anyone can
help, I'd appreciate it.
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 08:01:09 -0600 (CST)
From: "Daryl C. Youngman" (
Subject: Buttonholers

Someone asked anbout the differences in Singer buttonholers, and why all
the different part numbers. I hope this clarifies some of the questions:

Part Number 160506
This fits our favorite FW's and several other straight shank machines.
Many were produced through the 1940's. Thet are typically black with
white trim, a white knob, and usually come in the soft plastic boxes that
are green, black, or sometimes maroon (black and maroon are less common).

Part Number 160743
This is visually similar to the unit described above, but it fits slant
machines and was built for the 301 in the late '40's. I have used them
successfully on a Model 600 and a Model 744 (both slant machines). These
are less common than the unit above.

Part Number 489500 (or 489510)
These were produced in the very late '50's and into the '60's. The first
number fits straight machines and the second fits slant machines. They
can be identified by their plastic (not metal) covers, and come in
several colors, usually beige. Many of you will identify this version by
the oval or bullet shaped hard plastic box.

Part Number 381116
This is billed as the Professional buttonholer. It fits slant machines
of the 401 series and up. It is a more "modern" design than those above,
and it comes with plastic, not metal cams. One feature is the ability to
make round eyelets that are made similar to traditional shaped eyelets.
These units were made in Great Britain. There are two variations to
accommodate the magnetic needele plates that were used on some 600 series
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 20:28:01 EST
Subject: 121795 Buttonholer

Haven't posted for a while, but I read faithfully and thank you all for
the great information.

I have a manual for 121795 Buttonholer and if anyone wants a copy, send
your address via e-mail and I'll send it to you. Lubricating:"a drop
of Singer oil or Singer motor lubricant to" the following points:
Looking from the front right towards the buttonholer, 3 places -- large
wheel behind the screw at center, on top of wheel; toothed wheel; and
towards the front below and to the front of the toothed wheel. Looking
from the left, 4 places -- front and back of word Singer, top of wheel
with wing nut on side and below that wheel near the plate. "Wipe dry so
as not to stain the work." The book also contains part numbers for
all the pieces of the buttonholer.
Subject: Tucker and Throat Plate
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 96 19:13:39 -0500
From: Terry (
I cannot identify your part #160845 or #121893. My MACHINE SEWING book only
covers parts up to 1950 so perhaps these parts were manufactured after that.
They could have the same name as parts on my list but were changed a bit,
thus a new number. I have several feet that are essentially the same but
each has its own number.

The large contraption with the two measured scales is called a tucker. It
is for making tucks lengthwise in the fabric and then also crosswise over
the lengthwise tucks if desired. All of my lists have the #36583 listed for
that foot. Sometimes numbers are inside the area that screws onto the
machine but I do have feet with no numbers so that's possible, too.

Your throat plate #121392 goes with your Hemstitcher and Picot Edger. That
is the throat plate for a 221. In order to use that Hemstitcher with other
models, you would need a throat plate specific to that machine. There is a
guide on the last page of the instruction manual with a list of plate
numbers corresponding to machines.
Date: Sat, 03 Feb 1996 12:43:02 EST
Subject: It was me!

I learned a bit of trivia that I'd like to pass on. The little felt
circle that your spool of thread sits on on top of the FW, well,
there's usually another felt circle on the bottom of the machine (in
the middle where the bolt screws in). They say it's either a spare
circle or a pad to sop up extra oil.
Date: Sun, 4 Feb 1996 13:51:18 -0500
From: (Bob Campbell)
Just wanted to let you know that the small felt pad on the bottom of your FW
is not a spare pad for the spool, nor is it to sop up grease or oil ... it
is instead meant to act as a lock washer for the nut that holds the plate
onto the bottom of your machine. This was necessary due to the vibration of
the FW during sewing. Without this felt lock washer, the nut can eventually
unscrew itself and fall off. This was Singer's low tech way of solving a
problem that today would be solved with a metal or plastic locknut.