Monday, 3 July 2017

Joining the Featherweight Fan Club

The Singer Featherweight 221K

Featherweight - not!

 Cute - definitely!

This pretty little sewing machine was given
to me a year ago by an old friend down-sizing from a 
huge Victorian semi to a small bungalow. 

A few months before her wedding in the 1990s,
my friend's fiancee moved into their new home
with all his stuff, dumping several surplus-to-requirements
items in a damp garden shed at the bottom of the garden
- including his mother's precious little Featherweight.

(I'm carefully not mentioning any names here in case the 
Featherweight Fan Club seeks vengeance.)

When my friend moved in the following Spring and found the
sewing machine mouldering in the shed, the damage was done.
It was completely seized up, and for the next 25 years 
it was only good for propping doors open.

When it came to me, I cleaned and oiled it as best I could
but it remained stubbornly stuck -
and though people might service a Janome or Bernina, 
no-one seemed interested in tackling a vintage machine.  
So back in the cupboard it went.

Twelve months later, I hauled it out again, 
hoping that my neighbour, a restorer of vintage
 motorbikes, might take a look and tell me to stop
flogging a long-dead horse.

Just one last check on the internet before popping next door...
and that's when I discovered

Carmon and April Henry 

Carmon and April have created a brilliant website
with all the FAQs, advice, and video tutorials needed to
begin restoring and using a Singer Featherweight, 
from threading the needle to 
taking the machine apart, piece by piece.
With free downloads of the instruction manuals
and a list of spares available to buy from the website,
it's a really comprehensive service.

 With Carmon's video assistance, I've removed and cleaned
loads of fiddly little bits and, importantly, put them all back together!
And though I still don't know whether some of the attachments
are for sewing or for taking out someone's appendix, 
and it did take two of us twenty minutes to get one 
teeny-weeny screw back into its tiny hole, 
my lovely little Featherweight is now working well.

Not bad for a machine that's nearly 60 years old -
and not bad for an owner who can give it at least a decade!

Many thanks, Carmon and April!