Spotlight: Singer Featherweight

Spotlight 1: 1961 Singer Featherweight Sewing Machine

Meet the machine that powers 昔のSewing!

Welcome to 昔のSewing’s first spotlight! Spotlights are for for fun vintage or antique items in my possession that don’t require any restoration work, but that I still want to share with you. Today’s spotlight is extremely important to the blog since it’s the sewing machine I do all my machine sewing on!

Aerial shot!

My Singer Featherweight 221K was born on January 10, 1961 in Kilbowie, Scotland, UK. It may seem a little unusual to have such detailed information, but these machines are easily dated by their serial number. I checked mine at the Singer Featherweight Shop – an incredible resource that also has tutorials, sew-along events, and a whole storefront for Featherweight accessories (which is where I acquired the pictured reproduction instruction manual!).

The machine itself was a gift from my aunt, who is an expert quilter.

Seriously, how does she get all those teeny tiny points to match up perfectly?!

I’ve actually been sewing for what seems like my whole life – my mother taught me both hand-sewing and machine sewing when I was a young girl. (Thank you, Mom!!) I started out by hand-sewing clothes for my troll dolls (one of my trolls had over 100 different dresses in her wardrobe!), and when I was a teenager I got some help from a next-door neighbor in creating a dress and cloak to wear at SCA events. I’ve always enjoyed hand-sewing, but didn’t have a machine of my own until Aunt Sue came to my rescue with not only this gorgeous machine, but all of its original feet and attachements! (Thank you, Aunt Sue!!)

That crazy torture device is actually a ruffler! I have yet to be brave enough to try it out…so look for some ruffling in a project soon.

My Featherweight also came with a gorgeous case designed and built by artist Sarah Crumly (thank you!!).

It’s pretty much perfect.
Not pictured: the baggie of silica packets I keep in here with my machine when it’s not in use to prevent rust in my boggy environment.

I keep it maintained myself, for the most part – it is in perfect condition – but if it needs any love I do have a local sewing machine & vacuum shop I go to. They know me as “the girl with that case,” haha! When not in use it stays in its case which fits perfectly into the shelving I have set up for my sewing projects:

Crates are my jam for organization!

However these days it usually just stays set up on my sewing desk next to the Brother embroidery machine that was a gift from my husband (thank you!!) so I can quickly attend to any phase of a project!

The spool holder visible in the bottom left belonged to my husband’s grandmother, as well. Lots of history in my sewing room!

Honestly although my Featherweight has very few stitch options, I have never felt limited by its capabilities. I love its simplicity and sturdiness, and sewing on such a lovely piece of history is very aesthetically appealing as well! So far I’ve been able to do everything I need on it, so I’m quite happy to keep stitching away on my 60-year old machine.

Zipper foot attachment in action on the obi makeover project.

I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting my Singer Featherweight in this spotlight as much as I enjoyed introducing it to you. I look forward to sharing some of my other vintage/antique items in future spotlights!

6 thoughts on “Spotlight: Singer Featherweight

  1. Thanks for sharing all the memories and photos of your old singer sewing machine, also grandma’s spool holder.
    I used to be able to sew on a old treadle sewing machine.

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  2. I didn’t know you had such a snazzy case for your Featherweight!
    I enjoyed the article. Thank-you!

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  3. It was a very interesting read! My sewing machine is already a modern kind and “only” 30 years old, but since my mother never used it much, it’s almost like new! For my machine you could also buy a ruffle foot but my mother didn’t bought it as she didn’t need it, and nowdays I can’t find it anywhere. It would make sewing so much easier (^o^)”’

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    1. I’m really excited to try it out! For a long time I was anxious about changing out the feet at all, but when I used the zipper foot for piping I realized it wasn’t any big deal. So I look forward to ruffling in the near future! 😂

      Like

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