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Featherweight 221

celkalee | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Just wondering, anyone else have one of these little beauties? I just won her on EBay. Right now she is on the kitchen table so that I can piece quilts and cook dinner at approximately the same time without burning the dinner. Because it only weighs 15 lbs with case, it is very easy to manage for quilt classes. I have found that much more care needs to be taken when matching small seams with this machine than with my computerized models. I think it is the presser foot pressure. I am going to loosen the screw at the top and see if that helps. Any ideas would be greatly appreciatted.

Edited 10/19/2007 10:42 am ET by celkalee


  1. sewchris703 | | #1

    I have one at home (made around 1950) and the bridal shop has one (made in 1965).  I use it for bridal alterations.  I haven't had any problems with the pressure though.  Mine has the seam allowance markings on the plate but the one at the shop doesn't.   I can go through 10+ layers of tightly gathered tulle on both machines and the roll hem foot works like a dream.   Clean the bobbin area of lint first.  Take off the plate and check for lint around the feed dogs.  I think it was Clotilde or maybe Nancy's Notions that offered a book about the Featherweight in their catalog.  I remember seeing it some time ago but that was before I got my Featherweight (handed down to me from an aunt.  She is now my favorite relative).  I didn't buy it because I didn't have one then.  Now I wish that I did.


    1. celkalee | | #2

      Thanks so much for your reply. I did order a book about history, maintenance etc. Mine did not come with one, apparently lost along the years. Mine was made between 1946 and 1948, does not have throat plate markings. I found a shop that does do maintenance I may send it over for a tune up if I cannot figure out what I want. It is very clean, no lint. Nice to hear how you use it. Thanks again.

      1. stitcher | | #3

        I have my mother's 221, which my father gave her as a wedding gift in 1949. My husband recently purchaded one at an estate sale for $5. When I asked the gals at a local quilt shop to suggest a repair person I told them of my acquisition. Needless to say they were green---did they want my machine or my husband??? The repair/reconditioning cost $40 and it runs great. I also purchased a book recently called "The Featherweight 221 and I" by David McCallum. His web site is http://www.featherweight221.com
        His e-mail is [email protected]I have not contacted him but these addresses appear in the book, which, according to him is the last word on di it yourself care and feeding of your 221. Looks good to me

        1. celkalee | | #4

          Smile...While your very special DH would certainly proclaim the "green" look was for his benefit, most of us know it's for Miss Feathers!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the info, signed up for the book.

  2. solosmocker | | #5

    I have a 1952 white Featherweight. It is just a prescious little thing that I hope to eventually give to my granddaughter. I worked in a fabric store about ten years ago and we had this darling little machine left for repair. It came back and we called the customer and could get no answer on the phone. We sent mail it came back undeliverable. Eventually some one picked up the phone and said the elderly lady that dropped it off had passed away and we could do whatever we wanted with it. No one in the family sewed. I picked it up for the 39 dollar repair cost. Best 39 dollars I think I ever spent.


    Edited 10/21/2007 8:41 pm ET by solosmocker

    1. Lilith1951 | | #6

      Not only did you get a great machine, but check out eBay and see how much a white 221 is going for!  I was just looking at them myself.  I have two black ones and lots of other machines (yes, I collect them), but I would still like to have a white one.  I want a bargain, though, tee hee.

    2. celkalee | | #7

      Dear Solo, you lucky lady! Needless to say, I went a bit above that to get mine. Right now everybody in my quilting world wants one. I bought it on E-bay... but could not help but notice that there are currently 3 people bidding on the machines. I suspect that they are being collected, reconditioned and re-sold at even higher prices! Who knew???? Mine was made in 1948, in the fall. My year of birth actually. I also got a book written by a Featherweight historian and collector. It includes a copy of the operating manual. Mine did not have its book with it. Facinating history on these little workhorses. What type of work do you do on the meachine? Do you use the attachments?????

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