09 October 2012

Four Weddings and a Sewing Machine

This last weekend marked the fourth wedding I attended in six weeks.

First, we had my cousin on August 31st:

Then my boyfriend's cousin on September 8th:
 Then my boyfriend's friend on September 22nd (gotta love the Super Mario theme!)
 And finally, another of my cousins on October 8th.

This last wedding involved a long weekend in Wisconsin (my home state).  My parents, brothers, an aunt visiting from England, our assorted partners and I all stayed in a gorgeous house on Green Lake in Wisconsin.  It was awesome.

Also awesome?
Having taken in my sewing machine for a tune-up and learning it would take over a week for the shop to get to it, I was thinking about my need for a back-up machine. Plan A has been to upgrade to a bigger Janome and use my current machine (which you can see here) as a back-up.  However, I don't think that's going to happen in the near future, so I was thinking about going with Plan B: snatching up another small machine for the time being. Maybe something used.

Well, on our way to Green Lake, we stopped at my aunt and uncle's house and I was showing my boyfriend the art and furniture that they had inherited from Grandma--many of the pieces are the counterparts to things I inherited and all are infused with spirit and memories.  And then it occurred to me; Grandma had a sewing machine and it might by laying about unused.

Now, I didn't know what this machine looked like or how well it worked, but I knew she had one, because she made quilts with it in her later years (more on that here and here). I asked my uncle about its whereabouts and he said that it was in the storage unit and he'd bring it to the wedding in a couple of days.

Imagine my surprise to discover that this was my grandma's machine!
featherweight-1


A featherweight!
featherweight from 1948


I'm researching it now...trying to sort out how to clean it and thread it so that I can get to sewing!
halloweening So far the serial number reveals that it was made in 1948, so I suspect this was a wedding present! I honestly thought my grandma had some worn-down 1980s plastic monstrosity. Can't wait to get going on this thing!

26 comments:

  1. http://sewsitall.blogspot.com/ is a member of the Chicago Modern Guild and has a collection of working vintage machines. If you get "stuck" getting it back going, she's a great resource.
    --Sarah E

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    1. Thank you! I'll keep that in mind!

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  2. so lovely!! i have one just like it, that my mom picked up long ago. it has run like a charm... well, until last i tried. even the foot peddle is the same!

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    1. Everyone I know who has one, loves it!

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  3. And that is the Featherweight dream - Yay for you!

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    1. I know! It's so exciting! Thanks!

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  4. A lady in my quilt guild, Elisa, has one as well. Her blog is http://stitchoutsidetheditch.com. Good luck with your new find!

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  5. There is a PDF of the manual somewhere because my husband found it and printed it for me.

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  6. Congratulations. I have my great, great aunt's featherweight. I love it.

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    1. So far, so good on my new machine!

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  7. Yowza! That's awesome! Keep searching - all the info on the machine is out there. I can't think offhand where though. I recently went searching myself - after my dear landlords dropped off an unwanted singer that had belonged to their older friend -- it's a fabulous, perfectly working, speedy little Singer 301a! I blogged it here (http://mommysnaptime.blogspot.com/2012/08/reasons-why-i-love-my-landlords.html) it was really fun reading all about these old machines! :) So lucky that people thought to keep them around so we can play with them!

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    1. Thank you! And thanks for the link. It's amazing how good these old machines can be!

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  8. Oh how beautiful. My (adopted) Grandmother worked at a Singer Store when I was a child. She could make *anything*. I remember that she could embroider on a strait-stitch machine. You have a gem...well worth cleaning, maintaining, & SEWING! Best wishes & good memories!

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    1. Thanks so much! Embroidering on a straight-stitch machine....that blows my mind!

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  9. I grew up learning to sew on my mother's featherweight, which was a wedding present in 1950. In fact that is the only sewing machine she had until she bought a Bernina in the early 80's. Enjoy your new/old find. It will give you years and years of fine stitching.

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    1. Thanks! So far, so good, I've got her threaded and stitching!

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  10. Woo hoo. Congrats on the new featherweight! They sew like a dream.

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    1. Thank you! I love how quiet it is, too! We should sit next to each other with our featherweights at the next retreat!

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  11. I use a featherweight, too. It is a gem of a machine. What a work-horse for being so little. I was talking with Gwen Marston last week and she said she sews everything with it, even her jeans... When it is set correctly, It doesn't balk like other machines do. Glad you found one. Having Grandma's makes it even more special.

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  12. I got a Featherweight at an antique show last year and I absolutely love it. So quiet and it sews great. I only get my Bernina out now if I need to do zigzag or something besides straight stitch. Here's a link to some blown-up pictures from the manual you may find helpful. I discovered I was missing the oiling point in a couple of tight spots!
    http://thefeatherweight221factory.com/page25.php
    There's a great group on yahoo dedicated to the Featherweights, also. I've learned a lot from reading other people's questions and comments.
    Elizabeth

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