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Vintage Sewing Machines


Vintage Sewing Machines

A group for vintage machine lovers. A place to exchange information and talk about machines we love.

Members: 41
Latest Activity: Sep 22, 2020

Discussion Forum

Featherweights, Anyone?

Started by Peggy Stuart. Last reply by Joanna liguz Dec 26, 2014. 6 Replies

I have a 1950 Featherweight (Singer 221), and it's my go-to sewing machine for piecing. Anyone else here have one of these little gems? More than one?A friend had hers painted:Is this cute? The…Continue

Tags: 221, Singer, Featherweight

Comment Wall


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Comment by MsDesigns on September 22, 2020 at 8:24am

I am a long time member of "Quilting With Us" (QWU). I used to give virtual workshops here. Like many others, I have ventured out as QWU became more quiet.

We are getting the warning that QWU is at risk of being disabled. I fear this is a sign that QWU will one day be no more.

It has become like family here and the thought of losing the friendships we have developed has giving me a sad heart. Like many dark clouds, there is a silver lining. When I ventured out, I created a quilters social network, much like QWU. I never mentioned it, for it was a conflict of interest. However, in this dark hour, it is time to let others know there is an alternative. It does not have to end here.

I would be honored for QWU members to join "Pattern Pastiche". If needed, we are more than happy to create a group for your new home.

Your "Pattern Pastiche" code: QWU

"Pattern Pastiche" is at


Comment by Sandy Larkey on March 20, 2019 at 2:21pm

When I found this group, I was going to ask, "Does anyone consider 50-year old Necchis to be vintage machines.  After reading a few of the posts, I realized "Not."  I do have a real vintage machine, though, but I've not used it since I was a small child.  It was my father's mother's first sewing machine, purchased in 1918--with the original paperwork and "lifetime guarantee" certificate.  It's a Mason Rotary in a two pedestal cabinet (it has two stacks of drawers either side of the knee hole.) with a third smaller drawer above the knee hole.  The drawer pulls are those old composition or paper machie (sp?) fancy shapes and the entire cabinet is covered with a veneer, which has dried out and wants to fall off.  I did some sewing on this machine when I was a small child and visited my grandparents each summer.  I hadn't even known it was still around until my brother, husband and I had to clean out my Aunt Audrey's house (last surviving member of Dad's family) after her death.  I don't use it, except as an end table in the living room, but I bet with a good cleaning--and a new belt--it would still work.  However, I do prefer my old Necchis. 

Comment by Georgia A Goebel on November 25, 2017 at 11:45am

Comment by JB on April 14, 2014 at 10:13pm
June, beautiful machine and cabinet. Should be relatively easy to rehab yourself. I used sewing machine oil on my recent purchase and it did wonders for the appearance of the machine. My decals were silvered from the prior owner using who knows what so be careful what you use and how hard you rub.
Comment by oldhag on April 14, 2014 at 6:24am
Beautiful 27 with Persian decals. I wouldn't trust someone to service that machine as the decals are in good shape and it's not often you see that design near me. Cleaning slowly and carefully with sewing machine oil or baby oil will do wonders for her. It's relatively to get these machines to work. http://www.treadleon.net/sewingmachineshop/cleaningmachines/cleanin... here is a good start. Jump in a roll up your sleeves. Price is a fickle thing is I won't comment on it. If you are happy then it was a good purchase.
Comment by June Johnson/Wi on April 13, 2014 at 8:24pm

By chance found this site this eve.  Very exciting for me as my DH bought a vintage Singer with beautiful cabinet for me recently; paid $75.  Is that a good price?  It is a treadle; checked serial number on Singer website and found it was made in 1895 (I think).  Other than learning to sew on my Mom's treadle 55 years ago, I know nothing about vintage machines.  I don't know if this one is functional as it has no belt.  It really looks pretty good; no crud nor even thick dust.  Decals even look good.  I hope to get it checked by someone who is experienced in vintage machines.  Hope to learn how to care for it on this site.  Sounds like some of you are experts to ask for advice. 

Comment by jane johnson on April 6, 2014 at 8:14am

Hello to all of you. I am so happy to find others are sewing machine addicted too. I am in an apartment so am down to 10 or so machines, but to see them abandoned by a curb or used as "boat anchors" was more than I could take. Around 10 years ago I started adopting some and getting them going. My dream would be to have a studio with all set up and working, each with its specific job.

by children include 2 newer singers, a 1940's Singer 201, a treadle 15-31(I can't remember exact number and she is folded up under something), a 66 in bentwood case with knee bar, a 247, a green 185, my pride and joy a 431G and 2 featherweights, one 1950's, one 1940's. There is also a White machine with alligator finish and beautiful chrome in a cabinet. They all have accessories and my closets are full of fabric. Only other machine lovers could understand, so that is why I joined this group.

Comment by Michelle K on March 27, 2014 at 1:11pm

I just got a new baby to add to the 11 I have.  Not all are vintage but I now currently have a 15-91 in bentwood case, 2 301's 2 221's, a tredal and a knee pedal all singer.  the others are not vintage.  I can not wait to get the new 301 out and get the tension set and give it a whirl.  The 301 are much harder to date than the 221's but I think it was one of the first 10,000 made in 1951.  Either way  I love it


Comment by oldhag on March 19, 2014 at 6:09am
To clean the mechanics of the machine I use kerosene and/or a good penetrating oil like PB Blaster. Once the crud is removed from those parts I move on to the head. Starting with sewing machine oil or baby oil, if I feel it needs something stronger I do a patch test in an inconspicuous spot and on the decals. I wait 24 hours after the patch to see the effect on the machine after 'drying' as that sometimes changes the appearance or shows that the clear coat may be compromised. After cleaning I test spot with a good for clear coat car wax and if it passes the spot test then I will polish with the wax. For the shiny bits I use Nevr-Dull as if you accidentally get it on the painted areas it does usually damage the paint. Remember that it took decades for the dirt and crud to accumulate on the machine so it sure won't take an hour to clean it off. I use cotton t shirt scraps or makeup remove pads and a gentle hand. No scrubbing! Throw out the pad as soon as it soils to prevent scratching the clear coat. Do not use water or harsh cleaners esp ammonia based as they will damage the finish and decals. I also use non pumice hand cleaner Gojo, non mentholated shaving cream for stronger cleaners. Always test first as each machine reacts differently.
Comment by JB on March 18, 2014 at 10:25pm
I picked up a couple machines over the weekend. A sweet Singer with bentwood top (I already have one but it was sitting there looking at me with a $25 price tag and I figured I couldn't pass it up for that price) and a White Family Rotary treadle in a really nice cabinet. The treadle didn't have the bobbin shuttle but I was able to locate that on eBay. Can't wait to receive it so I can see how she runs. Any of you rehab machines? What do you use to clean the machine itself that doesn't affect the decals?

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