by Katie, a graduate student in Irvine, California, who keeps a personal blog here
Love it, hate it, or something in between? Love it! It's so small and pretty and uncomplicated.
When did you buy this sewing machine? My mom bought it somewhere in early 2005.
When was it manufactured? Not sure, but the latest copyright date on the instruction manual is 1950. However, the instruction manual didn't actually come with the machine, so the date could be off.
Where did you buy it? My mom bought it at an antique shop somewhere in San Diego.
How much did you pay for it? I think she paid about $600. Not sure if that includes the tune up she got after she bought it.
How many projects have you done on this machine? Probably around 30-ish. I'm not a real big sewer, plus I'm in graduate school.
Describe the kind of work you've done with it. Mostly patchwork and quilting, and a few simple sewing projects. I've put together a lot of quilt tops, and have actually quilted a bunch of placemats. Also, I've made some simple bags and clothing items, including a denim skirt. Apparently, Featherweights are highly prized within the quilting community because they are portable and thus ideal for communal quilting. My mom is a quilter, which is why she picked up the machine when she found it.
What do you like and what do you hate about it?
-- It's small and light and portable and comes with a carrying case. It requires very little setup: Just plug it in and thread the needle.
-- It comes with a bunch of crazy looking attachments for hems and edgings, as well as a gatherer and a ruffler. I've only used one of them, ever, to make a narrow hem, but it's nice to know they're all there.
-- Since Featherweights are so popular among quilters, you can find additional parts for them and lots of information about them on the internet. One of my local quilt stores has a whole section of stuff for Featherweights, and I was able to get a foot for it to do a quarter inch seam (standard in quilting).
-- **It only does a straight stitch** This is absolutely NOT the machine for you if you need to do a lot else. You can control the length of the stitch and go forward or backward, but that's it. It's not a problem for me since I mostly only quilt, but I have had to drag out my mom's old Pfaff to do a zigzag stitch on bindings. However, I put the Pfaff back after that because I really enjoy the simplicity of my tiny Singer.
-- There's a light on the machine, but it gets hot really quickly and it's located near where my hand is when I'm sewing, so I can't even use it.
-- The motor is old and gets tired after a lot of sewing, so you can't go really fast for a long time.
-- The sewing space is sort of small, which makes it hard to sew in the middle of something large (though it's not really that much smaller than on a normal sized machine).
All told, this is a great machine for simple sewing. Probably good for learners, too, because it doesn't have anything you could accidentally press to screw everything up.