I am blessed. I own two featherweight machines.
I can remember the day I found this machine at a City-Wide Garage Sale, here in Austin. I saw it and drooled on it a bit and then walked away. I shopped, and looked, and it was one of those rare days when I just didn’t find anything that I liked. So, we went back and looked at the featherweight again. And, I ended up bringing it home. I knew nothing about the featherweight or about the craze that surrounds them.
Then, one day, while hoping I’d find a Singer 501 “Rocketeer”, I found this one in a Goodwill auction case.
They wouldn’t let me take it out and look at it before the auction, but they assured me it had been tested by them and it worked fine. There was another lady there and she wanted it and it turned into a bidding war and we went crazy and the bidding went higher and higher and when I won, the audience applauded. I’d paid just under the full price for it. (Let that be a warning.)
They offered to let me test it out while we were there and I declined. That meant I didn’t get a warranty. I got it home and there was just something wrong. Turned out it had been dropped. The handwheel was slightly chipped, but it wobbled like heck. I took it apart and replaced the main drive shaft and broke a connection. I replaced that and the new drive shaft didn’t fit the old stop wheel. I replaced that and thought it was just ready to go and set it back up and was about to start sewing on it and the motor housing fell off, broken from the post that it requires to mount to the machine. It must have been cracked in the fall.
A white featherweight housing can’t be found without a motor and together, they $100, including shipping, and took months to find.
So, I named her Alba Tross, and I’ll never sell her because I’ll never, ever, ever get my money back from her.
Now, she’s a great machine, and the new motor was even stronger than the old one, so she’s got plenty of power. But, she is not as good as the black machine, and it doesn’t have anything to do with her fall or my repairs. And, please note, I didn’t say anything is wrong with her. She’s just not as good.
The black machine is from 1952. The white one, from 1967.
In those years, lots changed. The company went from gears
To a belt drive.
She just lacks the…sureness and solidness and quiet of the gear driven machine. There will always be a whir from the belt and if you sew for a really long time, the belt gets hot and stretches just enough that it gets hard to control her speed.
The other thing I don’t like is the non-detachable power cord.
Doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, except when you’re trying to put her in her case and you have to deal with both pieces. It’s easier for me to avoid scratches if I can put one piece in at a time.
So, that’s my thought on a featherweight. I’ll say this, I’ve only heard from one person of the many that I’ve encountered that owns one that didn’t like it. She couldn’t say why. She just didn’t like it and said she had kept it and tried and tried to use it and ended up selling at a loss. But, she is the only one.
Everybody have a great Sunday. It’s Rob’s birthday and I don’t know what we’re going to do. Last night, we had dinner with my boss and his wife, and a co-worker at his level and his wife. My boss is from India and they cooked Indian “home cooking” for us. We had shrimp for appetizers and a dish of chips made from chickpea flour, broken up and topped with seasoned potatoes, yogurt, and two kinds of chutney. Dinner was Turmeric colored yellow rice, delicious meatballs cooked in onions and tomatoes, Kashmiri sweet and sour eggplant, Chicken Korma (who knew the ingredients I can’t find and leave out made such a difference) and Paneer, which was ricotta cheese, cooked in tomatoes. MMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmm. We all stuffed ourselves.
It’s so nice to have a kid that is an adventurous eater.
She sat and visited with the adults, and later went and played with the little kids so their parents could visit with the adults.
Rob and I took her dress shopping yesterday for her Basketball banquet on Thursday. She had a style in her mind and I disagree and I swallowed my thoughts and helped her put together a cute outfit, sandals, skirt, and top. The top in the picture above was the alternate that I had to replace because it overpowered the skirt.
I really wanted to say NO, you CAN’T have that. I hate it and I won’t pay for it.
It was hard to let go of that and help her make it work instead. And, she gave some, too and was open to my suggestions.
In the shoe department, we coined a new phrase.
“Shop like a man!”