Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rate Your Featherweight Sewing Machine

   Rating your Featherweight!!

Date: 15 Feb 96 16:15:34 EST
From: Graham Forsdyke 
Subject: Condition chart
To Bob Campbell and all Fanatics

Yes I believe that a system of determining condition is a great asset.

I devised one some year back for ISMACS so that members could describe their
machines in correspondence. The following is a down load of a page that we send
out as part of a starter kit to new ISMACS members:

Condition chart

Graham Forsdyke's chart is now universally used to determine machine condition,
so that when machines are described among collectors, in member's advertisements
and in the auction reports, we can all have some better idea of the state of the
items than good, very good or poor.

This scale takes no notice of mechanical condition. If something is broken or
missing this should be stated, not hidden behind a number.

10:  Just like the day it left the factory. Not a scratch or mark upon it. I
think I have every seen only two machines in this category.

9:   As 10 but with the small, odd scratch or wear mark evident to very close

8:  Very good used condition. All paint good; all metalwork bright. What the
average antique dealer would call "perfect".

7:  Good condition but rubbing of paint evident and some nickel plating worn.

6:  As in 7 but more wear to paint and some surface rust to the bright work.

5: The average, hard-used, ill-cared-for machine looking for someone to love it.

4:  Poor condition, chipped enamel, rusty metalwork but acceptable for a
collection if a rare machine.

3:  In need of restoration but a reasonable job for a dedicated enthusiast.

2:  Total restoration needed to paintwork and bright metal. It's a brave
collector that takes it on.

1: Spare parts only and these would be in need of extensive restoration.

This system seems to have worked well over the past 10 years and I commend it to

Hope the above may be of some use


Anonymous said...

Can someone please tell me the value of a 1951 301A Singer Featherweight Sister NR with case and attachments in good condition.

Yoga with Gaileee, E-RYT said...

A 301 Singer machine isn't a featherweight. The 221 and 222's are the featherweights. The 301's are the big sisters to the small featherweight. I believe if I remember correctly though, the 301 uses the same attachments as the 221/222 machines.

Mom pays $100 site unseen for working featherweight machines. If they are in better condition, more money. There might be a site somewhere that has 301 Singer information.

Good luck!


=Tamar said...

The 301 is a slant needle and the 221 Featherweight is a straight needle. They won't use the same attachments.

Anonymous said...

I just purchased a Singer machine at a thrift store today. According to the various charts its a 1941 model. What is really curious is that it is in a cabinet. It looks like an end table with a handle. However when you pull the handle a seat comes out complete with drawers under the seat. When you lift the top a wooden bar comes out to support the bar and the sewing machine can then be rotated into place. I've surfed around a bit and have not seen another like it. Does anyone have any ideas? Feel free to email me back at

Yoga with Gaileee, E-RYT said...

Post a photo?


Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell m where the serial number is located on the Featherweight? This machine is a straight needle. Cat. 3-120; 110-120 volts; 4 amps; 25-75 cycles; 678-3.

Anonymous said...

first time on this site, but I know the answer. Disconnect the machine from power, hold it in your lap, then roll it over and the serial number will appear on the bottom (XX000000) in the casting.

michelle said...

I have a singer featherweight 221 in really good conditions plus oil can and attachments. i have the original book as well. How much do you think it is worth and where could I sell it?

michelle said...

I have a featherweight 221 black with case attachments and oil can. the book said it was manufactured in 1955 the serial number is AM700800. how can i find out what its worth?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I just purchased a Singer Featherweight 221-1 in white/green. It is in great condition. The SN is P132051. I cannot find that serial number anywhere. Can anyone tell me when it was made. Thanks.

Kristin Eisenmenger Stevens said...

I'm not sure but I think I may have a 1937 featherweight. the serial number is ae 665490. It's in the original wooden case and i have the original accessories (little green boxes and a light etc). I'm trying to find out 1) if this is a featherweight and 2) what it might be worth, ballpark