Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sales and Servicing Your Featherweight




Hi again, I'm lucky..when it rains it pours.  I'm sorry I lost
Mrs. Pickens' phone # (address follows)..maybe someone out there has it.
Mrs.  Pickens' hobby is FWs.  She goes on FW safaris..fixes 'em, sells 'em
and has lots of attachments.  Last heard:  she had 45 of these beauties
and price ranges from $250 on up.  From what I understand, Mr. Pickens
will also be mentioned in Nancy J-Srebro's upcoming revised book on FWs.
She's a very nice woman and loves to talk story about FWs.  Her phone: 580

Subject: Luv these FWs

I consider myself lucky.  The owner of Calico Cat fab shop has a Singer
201, and she gave me 2 referrals, one of whom is an old Japanese man who
services and restores old Singers exclusively.  Get this---this is all he
does and has many old parts available.  Larry's the last of a dying
breed--he makes housecalls (NO CHARGE).  If it's just normal maintenance,
he does it there on the spot.  If it's a big job, he takes it home for
fixin'.  Best part..he's reasonable and his only ad is his claim check and
word-of-mouth.  The other service guy is younger, does it only part-time,
and Larry recommends him when he's swamped.

Be sure to let us know what's causing your FW to complain.
Subject: The NEW Featherweight

If you are interested in finding out more about the "Little Giant" or just
talking old machines, I told Frank that I would list his address & phone:

Frank Smith

The Antique Sewing Machine Museum

804 W. Abram Street
Arlington, TX  76013
(817) 275-0971
Subject: bobbin

Someone asked about the bobbin case for the FW, others have asked about the
green boxes and I have found a sewing machine store here in Kansas City that
has both.  It is Missouri Sewing Machine Store.  Curt is the third generation
owner and is very knowledgable about these machines.  He has a love for them
just as we do.  He has an 800 number and I will post it.  I am only a
satisfied customer and wanted to find a place where we could get parts and
etc.  His number is (800)257-4989.  They have been in business since 1932.

He said he would be glad to send parts, answer questions, etc.
From:  (Gordon D. Jones)
Subject: Misc FW notes

Sue M. asks about Jim Slayton, you most likely mean Jim Slaten (sp) - I
bought two sewing machines from Jim last year, so have met the man face to
face several times.  Jim's business card reads "Singer Dealer Museum,
Authorized Singer Dealer, Restoration & Appraisals"  He has two places of
business, one at 3400 Park Blvd., Oakland, CA 94610, PH: 510-261-0413, and
the other at 1589 Solano Ave., Berkeley, CA, PH: 510-527-0140.  He is the
author and publisher of the book "Antique American Sewing Machines, A Value
Guide by James W. Slaten".  He claims to be the oldest (number of years)
independent Singer Dealer in the country.

As Karin T. in Alaska found out, he can be a little unpleasant at times.
The first time I visited him, he was pleasant enough, another time, he was
a bit nasty.  I was trying to buy an antique Singer fiddle bed machine and
we differed about the price.  He has an extensive antique sewing machine
collection but wouldn't show it to me.  He also collects literature about
sewing machines.  In the last page of his book he states: "If you have a
sewing machine not listed in this book and would like to know its value,
you may obtain a free appraisal by sending your name, address, and a photo,
if available, to : SINGER DEALER MUSEUM, 3400 Park blvd., Oakland, CA
94610".  So you might want to get his book before you ask for a free
appraisal.  His book is OK, a lot of the material is the same as in the
Smithsonian book.
From: Robert Holland
Subject: FW Dates

I have started collecting lore and info about FWs for a fact sheet I maintain,
and I've had several reports from FW owners of significant discrepancies in
the accepted dating wisdom. Apparently some scrollwork faceplate models were
issued after WWII. I know of one dated 1947, and apparently Judy Godwin's 1948
has the scrollwork plate. Singer made a transition to the striated
plate after the war, but must have had some of the older plates they used up.

If anybody wants a copy of my fact sheet (some of the info for which has been
provided by the wise ones on this list) just e-mail me at

Rob Holland

From: Dawn Subject: Bits & pieces.....
Southeast Sewing Products

We carry a large selection of new and used sewing machines, parts, and
needles. If you are in the market for anything related to the sewing
industry please E-mail us or contact us at the address and phone #
listed below.

Southeast Sewing Products
485-c Commerce Park Dr
Marietta Ga., 30060
404-422-4066 Fax

Please direct all inquiries to: or use our email

Subject: FW Parts List

People looking for FW Bobbin Cases:

A Stitch Back in Time carries them in the catalog at $57.50.  They
are now in Lubbock Texas, phone # (806) 749-0966 or (800) 352-1174.
They also carry numerous other parts for older machines such as
treadle belts.
From: Lisa Yee Estrada
Subject: teachers for FW Maintainence Workshops

Karan ( wrote:

One thing I would like to see added is a list of teachers who
teach the FW Maintainence classes.

Corinne Baumbach
teaches at the Quilting Bee (415/969-1714) in Mountain View (San
Francisco/Bay Area)

Mimi Vaeth
teaches at ThimbleCreek (510/946-9966) in Walnut Creek (San
Francisco/Bay Area)

Gordon Jones
teaches at Going to Pieces (510/462-9340) in Pleasanton (San
Francisco/Bay Area)
From: (Yvonne Jones)
Subject: FW's and more

I would like to tell Washington State FW Fanatics about the sewing machine
repair person that I know, he has worked on many a FW and has great respect
for them.Yesterday I took two of my machines to him for a check up.  It
takes 1-1/2 hrs to drive to Port Townsend from our home to Steve
Bergstrom's Sewing Center (360) 385-5050. Port Townsend is a unique little
town with historical buildings everywhere, bed and breakfast's, lots of
shops, and good food. I just can't hold back, the Fountain Cafe we like the
best.I got off the subject, sorry---anyway Steve's only work is sewing
machine repair, he works on the old ones and the new ones as well.  He also
repairs toy sewing machines and had 4  of them for sale.  There are several
antique shops in Port Townsend so we always have to visit them also.  This
digest has me looking at the older machines in a much diffrent way.  I
wasn't going to buy an old machine but I did look and admire. The one
machine that caught my eye was a very old sewing machine called a
"Greyhound" with a picture of a Greyhound Dog. The machine was decorated
with red and gold designs, in pretty good shape, and the price was $89.

My relatively local sewing machine place, the Gloversville Sewing Center,
keeps treadle parts in stock.  Not necessarily for the Amish, although they
are in an Amish area.  Their phone # is 1-800-336-9998 or 518-725-4919.

From:Subject: Various

    He also sent me a service manual for a 221 dated 5/66. Now this is
something to get excited about. It states that the differences between 221-2,
221K4, etc are the different motors and wiring. This is what it says:

221-1  has a series 3 motor.
221K4 has a CAK7 motor and is equipped with R.F. Suppressors and grounded
wiring. This machine has the light switch built into the light socket.
221K5 has a CAJ6-8 motor.
221K7 has a CAK8-8 motor and is equipped with a belt linkage between arm and
hook shafts. And the wiring diagram for this one shows that the foot pedal is
hard-wired to the machine. (This is what most or all white machines have)

Of course, like every thing else, this has actually raised more questions
than it has answered. I checked all my motors and have more variety than the
ones listed above. Anyone else crazy enough to care to look ? They are:
3-110     100-110v.     .4a     25/75 cyc.
3-120     110-120v.     .4a     25/75 cyc.
CA6-8     110-120v.     .4a     25/75 cyc.
CAJ6-8    110-120v.     .4a     25/75 cyc.
CAK7-9    150-165v.     .35a   25/75 cyc.
CAK7-9    150-165v.     .35a   25/75 cyc.
CAK8-8    110-120v.     0-58   50/60 cyc.
CAK9-8    110-120v.     0-58   50/60 cyc.

    At least there is some consistency. The ones with a K all say made in
Great Britain, and the ones with a J all say made in Canada. Actually though
this is one of the areas where I am really confused. I have three or four
British machines with serial numbers beginning with E or F that have motors
made in Canada. Even my tan machine which has a riveted plate that says it is
a 221J and has a motor made in Canada has a serial number that begins with E.
Thanks to Deloris Pickens with over 50 new surveys there are now
over 250 Featherweights on the database. But Pam's tan 221J machine is
the only one whose serial number begins with a J, which would be Canada.
It's really a shame that Singer hasn't kept better records. Pam was told
her machine was made sometime between 1961 and 1966, and when I called
about a newer British machine I was told that the Clydebank, Scotland
(Kilbowie) factory started production on 10/10/35, and it could have been
made anytime after that date.
Subject: Re: Service centers

I would also like to recommend my local service center, the Gloversville
Sewing Center.  They are very knowledgable & carry parts for every sewing
machine every made, even the really old ones.  Not too long ago, I bought a
needle for my 1870's treadle, which they had IN STOCK!  I also had a FW
checked up, cleaned and a bobbin case replaced for under $100.  I believe the
bobbin case was $65.  I don't know how much they do by mail order, but you
could always give them a call.  1-800-336-9998 or 518-725-4919.  They also
have a tremendous variety of quilting fabrics, books and tools.

Subject: The little things count!

My tan baby FW is sitting much more comfortably now.  I called the NY State
Singer 800 number listed in the FWFanatics a week ago.  I spoke to a very
nice man.  His father had been a Singer dealer.  He knows lots and lots about
FW's.  Even about the white one...the real white one with the geared works,
not the belt drive.  For $.50 each, I ordered the little rubber feet.  I just
screwed them into the tan baby, and for the first time ever it sits perfectly
level.  [my repair man was using feet from another machine, I guess, and
never was able to find four that fit.]  Here is the information on the New
York State Singer Repair:

B.S.B. Sales and Service, Inc.  3056 Burnet Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13206
(315) 433-5215   (800) 321-7397

Subject: The source of tons and tons of antique sewing stuff is the following:

Antique Complex of Fleetwood
Fleetwood, PA.  19522
owners: Jerry & Elain Arak

Over the years I purchased from them: several zigzag attachments, many
buttonhole attachments, two machines, (one a hand-crank Wilcox & Gibbs from
1860) and one monogram attachment, a gift to yet another Walla Walla friend
living here in New York City.

The shop covers at least an acre and is extraodinarily well organized.  For
example, all the kitchen stuff is in a huge room with stoves, tables,
cupboards, etc. and there is a pharmacy with antique pharmacy stuff for sale.
Best of all, of course, is a huge sewing center with lots of machines,
attachments, quilt frames, darning socks, knitting needles, buttons, ironing
boards, etc.

To Sweigak - My concern would be if the FW has been dropped the shaft may be
bent.  Do not but it if the shaft is bent.  Unless you can get the wheel to
turn freely it won't be worth your money.  I bought a 301A and the wheel
would not turn. When I took it into the shop they found the shaft was bent
and very expensive to replace.  Good Luck.

For what it is worth my favorite sewing machine shop in KC is Missouri Sewing
Machine.  They have or had a Black 301A for $200.00 and 201K English 125.00
with a wooden case.  They also have green boxes and every attachment you
could want for our old machines.  Also they have an 800 number which is
1-800-257-4989.  I really like visiting their shop and they have been in
business since 1932.  Very good people to work with and I have no affiliation
to them.
Subject: Re: Belts and knee levers

My dealer here in Kansas City has the belts for treadles.  When I was in his
shop last week I asked about the knee levers for 99K.  He had one of his
employees go upstair where they store ALL the parts you could want. He was
gone maybe a minute and came back with two that he could put his hands on
immediately.  Call him and he has an 800 number.     Kirk at 1-800-257-4989.
I asked him if it was okay to post his 800 # and he said that is what it is
far.  I also saw several green boxes and lots of attachments for the FW and
301A, etc.  Give him a call, no affliation just a very good dealer in the
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 11:16:35 -0600 (CST)
From: "Daryl C. Youngman" Subject: Treadle Belts

Some of us have been discussing Treadle machines, so I thought it might
be appropriate to send this along.  I have a Davis Vertical Feed, a
Singer Model 27, and I will probably be buying a near-perfect Model 66,
all treadle machines (these are in addition to my other "electrics").  If
you live near a dealer that stocks older parts, you may be able to buy
the leather drive belts for your treadle.  If, like me, you do not, you
might want to get in touch with me.

The leather belting material and the special belt hooks are available,
and I will be making new belts for my machines soon.  If you would like a
new belt and are not able to get one locally, please email me with your
type of machine, and I will send you the particulars.  I will be able to
sell them at a pretty moderate price and the postage will be very minimal.

Subject: Parts

Hello group!  Caryl in Minneapolis was recently asking about parts.  I
think a good place to try would be C. W. Johnson in Apple Valley, MN
(612-431-7017).  He's a Singer dealer (I think) and sells FW's, but
definitely NOT the place for a bargain.  I haven't met him, but my
sister in the Twin Cities says he's pretty knowledgeable about old
machines.  Give him a try.
From: Judy 
Subject: Bobbin Case

Just today, I received a catalog and brochure
from "A Stitch Back in Time."  They may have what you are looking for, as
well as items that others on the FW Fanatics have indicated a need for.
They sell feet, bobbin cases, bobbins, and plates for old Singers, as well
as a lot of other neat things.  It shows a bobbin case for a Singer 66-4
although it's a little pricey at $59.95.  You may want to look aroung
awhile, but as a last resort it would be a way to get your baby working.
The bobbins are $1.59 (4 on a card).  They also sell motor belts for the 66
for $4.65.

I am copying this note to the FW Fanatics, so I'll probably give you much
more info than you want, but since I'm on a roll, I'll mention other items
in case others would like to contact this company.  There is a variety of
pressure feet, depending on whether you need one for a low, high, or slant
shank machine.  They have a blindstitch foot, adjustable zipper foot,
walking foot, shirring foot, welt foot, darner, overcast, button foot, a
ruffler, and a flower stitcher.  These are probably not original singer feet
(very inexpensive), but will work with them.  They also advertize a "Ruby"
automatic zigzagger and a "Ruby" buttonhole attachment for straight stitch
machines.  I wonder if they are referring to OUR "Ruby?"

They have leather belts and lights for hand crank and treadle machines,
shuttle bobbin cases, shuttle carriers, tension springs, and long bobbins
for the vibrator shuttle bobbin case (I read someone was looking for these
since she only has one bobbin).  Also have the book "Featherweight 221, the
Perfect Portable" that I've seen mention here, as well as many other books
about old sewing machines.

Well, I've rambled on long enough except for the most important information.
You can request a catalog by contacting:
       A Stitch Back in Time
       3815 50th Street #41
       Lubbock, TX 79413
       1 800 352-1174

This is a great source of information.  I hope that it helps you find what
you're looking for, as well as anyone else that may read this.
From: Lisa Yee Estrada 
Subject: ORIGINAL Featherweight manuals

Someone (I think Stan) mentioned a source for ORIGINAL
Featherweight manuals (the small green ones) about a
month ago:

   Jackie Gamage
   Nevada City, CA

I just received my manual after ordering it 3 days
ago, and I'm very pleased. It cost me $15 + $1 (shipping)
+ CA state tax.  If you are looking for original manuals,
sewing collectibles, Singer items, etc., give her a call.
No affiliation.
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