Saturday, July 21, 2012

Featherweight Case

        Case Information for the Featherweight

Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 17:04:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: Kristina Santilla
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 9/13/95

> my only featherweight is a 1938 model (very early) with an older case (for
> some reason i can't figure out).

I find all the minute differences between the machines facinating.I don't
know what you mean by an older case, but the earliest cases I
know of (early AD) had a hanger inside for the foot to hang on. The piece
on the footpedal that gets pressed down was a knobby metal ring, not a
plastic knob. The earliest case I have (for a later AD) has a green inside
and tray, and gold colored locks. The handles were leather til sometime
between AF & AG. And the lift out trays seem to have disappeared during the
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 1995 11:08:54 -0500
Subject: Featherweight info

Saw the item about clips in the FW cases.  There are two types of FW cases one
with the lift out tray and one with the tray fastened to the left inside wall.
 Both types have a clip which takes an oval shaped oil can.  Also on the
inside of the tray are some little hooks.  These are for hanging the Singer
screwdriver, which is formed from heavy wire and looks something like a button
hook.  I've found both items in antique shops usually the oil can is pricey
and the screwdriver can be found in the "smalls" box with button hooks and
bottle openers.
Date: Wed, 4 Oct 1995 11:15:54 -0400
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics Digest 10/3/95

Karen Nantz was asking if anybody knew of the FW carrying cases....Well, I
just bought one manufactured by C & L Enterprises.  It's a padded nylon case
with a double zipper.  It also has a zippered front pocket for foot pedal,
book, etc., plus heavy duty handles and a detachable padded shoulder strap.
 It comes in red and black, costs $55 plus $5 shipping/handling.  I really
like mine and would highly recommend it.  Their address and phone number is
as follows:

   C & L Enterprises
   P.O. Box 289
   Quincy, IL  62306
   Phone: (217) 222-8910
   Fax:    (217) 222-6053

Hope this helps!
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 1995 13:20:57 -0400 (EDT)
From: Marilyn Root
Subject: Soft Case^?^?

Someone was asking where to get the soft case made for FWs.  I found an ad
in the current QNM.  The price is $55 plus $5 s & h.  The address is:
                        Jean S. Lyle
                        P.O. Box 289
                        Quincy, IL  62306

Phone is 217-222-8910.
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 1995 01:35:02 -0400
Subject: Carrying Cases

I just got back from spending the day at PIQF including 4 straight hours of
"white-gloving"I was disappointed to only see 3 or 4 featherweights for sale.
None of them were very exciting and the least expensive was $450.  There were
2 tables for sale, both with metal legs , priced at 400+  incredible.  only
one of the machines was scroll faced.  But the intereesting thing that I did
find was the "About case.  It's a pack cloth padded case with full zipper
designed to open like a bakery cake box so that you dont have to lift the
machine up to get it out of the box.  It is also sized so that if you have an
older case, it too will fit inside the carrier.  My AG machine case fits, but
my AM case does not.  The carrier also has a belt inside to hold your
featherweight securely if you do not have a case.  The carrier has 2 pockets
suitable for books, but not for the foot pedal, but thats no problem,because
with the extension folded up in the normal carrying position, there is room
to put the footpedal safely on the base of the carrier.  It also has a
shoulder strap as well as handles.  I liked it so much that I bought one even
though my cases are in good condition.  I figure that when i travel I can use
the extra protection for my treasure and I know that the shoulder strap will
come in handy.
Now, after that glowing review, believe it or not, I am not related to the
manufacturer. I just thought that this was a great product that you might
like to know about.  The carriers come in 3 colors, NAVY, PURPLE AND BLACK,
and cost 56.00           the 800# is    441-9168.              Please
remember that it will not fit the AM and later cases, but if you have a
machine with no case, this just might be the solution for you.       Lynda
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 1995 12:44:09 -0800
From: (Gordon D. Jones)
Subject: FW's and other Singers

Didn't get  this posted yesterday, spent the day at the Pacific
International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, CA with my Wife.  This is one
of the biggest and best of the quilt shows.  Lots and lots of beautiful
quilts.  The "best of show" was won by a lady I know, who teaches at the
same quilt shop I do.  Her prize is a new Bernina of her choice and some
While I was there, I ran accross another case for Featherweights. This
looks like a well made case, it has soft padded sides, and a stiff bottom
with lots of pockets for accessories.  Comes in Navy, purple, and black and
sells for 55.95 plus shipping. Can be ordered from:
P. O. BOX 2294
I also bought an oval Singer oil can for my FW.
Date: Sat, 7 Oct 1995 21:35:42 -0400
Subject: re:  About Case

This case was described in todays (10/6) digest, and is the case I chose to
replace my FW case cause the bottom was falling out.  I really like it.  I
had the opportunity to compare it to Jean Lyle's case while at the Lancaster
show and felt that it was a better case because of its heavier construction
and padded sides.  While a very nice case, Mr. Lyle's seemed more like a
square bowling bag with only one layer of material on the sides.  They were
approximately the same money, so I chose the About case.  I've been very
pleased with it.  Just remember NOT to put your little tray in it on top of
the machine.
Subject: FW Case Keys
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 95 1:10:38 -0500
From: Terry Sampson

-- [ From: Terry Sampson * EMC.Ver #2.5.03 ] --

Several of my FW's were missing the keys to their cases so I took one of the
keys to a locksmith and he was able to pretty closely match the key.  A FW
key cannot be "cut" from a blank key.  These keys are ordered from a catalog
and come pre-cut.  Both locksmiths in my town had the same catalog. One had
the keys in stock for $1.00 each; the other had to order them and said they
would arrive in four days (I'm in Montana).  The only difference:  The
original key is about 1/3 thicker than the new key. Because of this the new
key fits like one of those cheap keys in children's tin banks,  but it works
.  Ask for Ilco T60  (that's ilco T60).  Take your box with you to make sure
it works.  Both locksmiths asked to see my box.  If anyone else has info on
keys I'd like to know about it.  I have two styles of cases.
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 1995 09:27:56 -0500
Subject: Replacement cases & FW Prices

Last Christmas, DH purchased a very nice replacement case for me and my FW,
because I take her to classes and wanted to keep my original case in good
condition.  He purchased it at the Pincushion Boutique in Davis, CA for $75.
 It is a wooden case, the size, shape and weight of the original.  The number
for Pincushion Boutique is 916-758-3488.  Everytime I take my machine out
with this case, other owners ask me about how to get one.  I am sure the
cordura bags are nice, too,  but this case is as classy as FW.
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 16:54:55 -0800
From: Lisa Yee Estrada
Subject: wooden replacement case for Featherweights

Ricki ( wrote:

> Last Christmas, DH purchased a very nice replacement case for my
> FW, because I take her to classes and wanted to keep my original
> case in good condition. He purchased it at the Pincushion Boutique
> (916/758-3488) in Davis, CA for $75. It is a wooden case, the size,
> shape and weight of the original. Every time I take my machine out
> with this case, other owners ask me about how to get one. I am sure
> the cordura bags are nice, too, but this case is as classy as FW.

I just called Pincushion, and they do not sell these anymore.
However, they are going to find out if they can get them in
stock or let me know who makes them (someone in southern California).
Also, the $75 was a markdown. She believes the original price was
between $125 and $200 (!!!). I'll let the list know more when
I get a call back from them.

Do any of the southern California list members know about this?

I was hoping that this would be my Christmas present but at that
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 1995 16:34:47 -0500
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.

 Date: Fri, 01 Mar 1996 11:05:08 EST
Subject: Featherweight Case Handles
   If you need a handle for your Featherweight case a possible source might
be your local music store.  We have a music store which sells instruments
to the local high school and they have a guy who repairs the instrument
cases.  He comes in once a week to pick up broken cases and leave the ones
he's repaired.  He didn't have any handles but let me look through his
catalogs and I found some made of leather that are very close to the
originals.  The only problem was that he rarely orders from that company
and their minimum order was $50.00 so I now have 3 extra handles which I
will sell for $12.00 ea. if anyone needs one and can't get it locally.  He
also had latches which work just fine but don't look like the originals.
                                Al in IL
 Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 20:36:35 EST
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 3/18/96
Hi Fanatics-
For anybody that may not have a carrying case for their featherweight, I
can supply black foreign made cases that are very similar to the original
case. They are leatherette covered and have key-locking latches. Pretty
good quality for the money and quite sturdy. $36 plus shipping.
E-mail to if you would like more information.
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 1996 17:33:29 -0400
Subject: Featherweight's black box

Hello Fellow FWF's!

I just wanted to tell everyone what I had done to my "black" FW box.

 The carrying box that came with my FW machine was totaled out.  A real
mess!!!  It had sat in a mildew basement for a long time by the looks and
SMELL of it!  PHEW!!
Anyway, the black cloth was very loose and barely attached on the edges only.
 Amazingly enough though, both the latches and handle were intact.

I've heard that a few people have refinished the wood underneath, so I gave
it a whirle.  After ripping (holding my nose at the same time) the mildewy
black cloth off, I had to re-glue most of the box.  It had come apart all
over.  The bottom was out and the lid fell off, along with a lot of places on
the sides.  Each side of the box is made up of about 4 sections of wood in
varying widths and then glued together.  The corners are "finger jointed"
(notches that interlock together with the other side corners).  This helped
in the re-glueing process.

After glueing, I sanded it well and stained it with "Min-wax" puritain pine
color, painted the inside with black paint, then varnished it.  WellAhhhh!!!
 I now have a beautiful wood stained box for my FW to reside in.

It really does look nice and smells a whole lot better too!  It's not "black"
anymore but heck, it's still my FW box, and now usuable.

So don't give up hope if your FW box is a disaster.  I'm here to say "What's
underneath is just as beautiful (if not more!)"   :)))
Date: Sun, 06 Dec 1998 07:23:51 -0500
From: Mark & Linda Heminway
Subject: Re: smelly machine
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Cheryl said: I have a featherweight that I love but my family thinks it smells. 
If I have had it out during the day and put it away before husband comes home, he says he can still "smell" that machine and I haven't even told him I was using it.
> This weekend my 12 year old daughter and I are going to a quilt camp and I
> want her to enjoy the sewing time - how can I make my featherweight smell
> "fresh"?

First, leave the machine out of it's case for awhile.  Most of the
machines pick up the odor from their cases, I believe it is the glue
used in the cases that creates that lovely smell.  Put the case with an
opened box of safeguard soap in a sealed plastic bag aside for at least
three weeks.

Then, if you want to to eliminate the odor from the machine, take off
the plate from the bottom of the machine.  You will find a felt like
gasket under that plate.  Take it out and trace it onto an old pizza box
or other similar cardboard.  Cut out the new replacement gasket and put
it in place of the felt like one.  The felt like material can absorb
odors and make the machine smell badly, also the spool felt can absorb
odors as well.  You can get replacement spool felt discs at any Singer
dealer.  Once you have replaced these felt items, and leave the machine
out of the case for a few weeks, the machine's odor should go from
strong to mild and possibly nonexistent over time.  This idea was
suggested to me a long time ago by the late Dale Pickens and it works
like a charm.

I have tried so many methods, in the past, to get my case to smell
better, including airing outdoors, activated charcoal, baking soda,
fabric softener sheets, baking soda, cedar, etc., etc. and nothing works
like the safeguard soap - no other brand seems to do the trick.  BTW,
the odor won't leave completely, but I keep the opened box of soap in my
case all the time and it is just "ok" with that.  I only put the machine
in the case to transport from one place to another, then it is taken out
immediately once I am at my destination.
One other thing, I saved the original felt gasket from the underside of
my FW, the pizza box remains in place.  I sealed it in a zip lock bag
(so it didn't smell up other things) and just left it.  I didn't want to
discard any original parts to my machine.
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 1997 14:32:48 -0700
From: (Lynn Laughrin)
Subject: FW case odor

I have been following the trail of  FW case odor and offer these hints
from my experience. I too am highly allergic to molds and have a violent
sneezing and shortness of breath when opening the FW case, so I am pretty
convinced that white powdery stuff is mold. My guess is that in the
history of these FW cases that most were stored on the floor of a dark
closet until needed. Not likely that the original owners kept the case in
a dry, airy place for too long if the machines were originally purchased
for mending.

(we make much better use of them nowdays!)

POSSIBLE SOLUTION: I wiped the inside and outside of my FW case with Lysol
and put it in the sun to dry. This was not too effective since in near the
beach in SO CA near it is never really "dry". Baking soda had only minimal
effect and did not get rid of the odor.

BETTER SOLUTION: So I came up with the following for mild mold cases based
on a theory about glue.

1.Keep the FW case in a dry upstairs room, up off the floor, with lots of
air circulation. Never in a dark closet or on the floor.

2. Place GEL SILICATE packages in the case when it is closed. I got
several in boxes along with new shoes. These little packages absorb the
moisture inside the case. So far, the odor is greatly reduced and no new
white mold has grown on either the inside or outside of the case in 2
years. The odor is very slight and I can live in the same room with the

3. Perhaps those of you who have had success with other remedies live in
dryer climates for at least part of a year. Near the beach we experience
dampness and fog daily so there is no way to get the case completely dry,
but providing the gel silicate bags seems to do a pretty good job in
creating a better environment for the inside of the case. It might be
better for the machine too as it would cut down on moisture trapped inside
and prevent rust to machine parts.

This is just a guess, but I think the GLUE used in the case construction
is the reason why FW is the culprit. My case has a vinyl cloth on the
inside and that would certainly trap moisture between the box and the
cloth. Hide, rabbit skin,animal hoofs and blood are often used in
woodworking and to "paper" or size canvas. I remembered that in art class
we learned to prepare rabbit skin glue/sizing for our oil paint canvases.
Each can of dry crystals came with a gel silicate package inside and we
were instructed to keep the glue crystals in a dry place. Our instructor
told us that rabbit skin glue (and I would guess this is true for hide or
hoof glues too) tends to mold easily. This type of glue is effective in
sealing the linen canvas from the paint oils and in drawing up the canvas
tight to the frame.

It occured to me that perhaps these older FW cases might be made from
pressed cardboard, wood or pressed sawdust and they may have used this
cheap and effective glue. All the hide glues are still used in industry
and for woodworking, although there are better glues available today.
The glue crystals, prepared with hot water, will deteriorate quickly and
mold when cooled--they must not have been stabilized with an agent to
prevent molds. It is highly likely that these cases were made with animal
glues, but even if wheat paste glues were used, the result would also be
mold formation. Anyway, that's my two cents worth. Hope it helps. --Lynn

Lynn Laughrin (
From: Sue Arnold
Subject: Soft, padded FW Case


I just returned from a 5-day weekend (the best kind) with my mini-quilt
group.  Four of us transported our FWs by plane.  In order to cut down on
weight I put mine into a Rubbermade File box (they fit perfectly), but the
handle is VERY uncomfortable.  As I plan to take my machine away for
weekends often, I'd love to locate one of the soft padded cases I used to
see for sale at big quilt shows.

I apologize if I could find this quickly looking at the various web sites,
but if they're still available and someone could let me know where. . .I'd
certainly appreciate it.  I haven't kept up with the list for months, so
I'm sorry to ask if I should know where to look.

BTW, I had a wonderful time piecing on my FW--hadn't used it for
years--since I got my Bernina 1130, I guess, but it's heavy!

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