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Jan 13, 2013

Coming this month to MPB...



Can you identify this mystery item?

1) storage box for old tax returns

2) vintage Samsonsite vanity case

3) 1950's handbag

Guess again!

OK, one more hint:



Give up?

Answer here and here.

My new baby should be delivered in about a week.  Till then, look out for Mr. Stork.

And please, I know I violated a few of my rules (Sunday night bidding, sewing machine purchases, among others).  The way I see it, this is a better investment than a bank CD at 0.32%.  Plus, let's face it, I have poor impulse control.

Anybody have one?  How does it compare to the black machines?

Have a great day/night everybody!
 
PS - I'm going to have to break this to Michael carefully.  Strategies appreciated!



30 comments:

  1. This, is my dream sewing machine. I'm going to have to not read you for a few days until I get over the SHEER jealousy. I have a black FW and it's lovely. But, it's a substitute for a white one.

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    Replies
    1. I understand, truly I do. MPB looks forward to your return, when you feel ready. ;)

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  2. Who's a lucky duck? Don't get me wrong, I love my black 222K, but you found the holy grail of featherweights!

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  3. Nice! I do have one. I can't say how it compares to the black, as I have never owned one of those. I was really excited when I bought mine too! You will have a lot of fun with it, and it is a beautiful straight stitcher.

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  4. You lucky dog!!! I have the matching case (have had it for years - more than I care to tell - but I've never had the white machine.

    What's to worry about with Michael? They're tiny, they're adorable, they're useful, they're collectible, they take minimal maintenance (as opposed to, oh, say, 2 dogs...), and you don't have NEARLY as many as them as....some people.

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  5. I had a roommate in college whose mom had one. I was totally jealous because at the time my mom wasn't giving up her black one for me to take to school. (I managed to con her into letting me have it the following year.) Anyway, I asked my roomie's mom if she would be willing to part with it but she said no, since it was the machine she learned to sew on.

    I agree with Jilly Be, especially on the maintenance. And remind Michael that, unlike dogs, they don't need to be walked in the freezing cold!

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  6. It's much newer version of my mother's Featherweight that she bought new in 1952. I believe this one that you won bid was manufactured out of the US like maybe in Canada or Scotland, but I am not sure about that. You getting a lot of neat stuff with it too. Like the case too. Is there a lift out accessories tray? My mother's has a tray. You will enjoy the convenience of that little work horse.

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  7. I like it better than the black one for two reasons: the foot controller is electronic and it is easier for my eyes to sew on a clear surface....:-)

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  8. i just bought a white one two weeks ago and i love it! mine didn't come with a case, though. looking forward to the big reveal...

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  9. Oooh how fun. As for Michael, you could always post about it on your blog, and then when it arrives, bat your eyelashes (all innocence) and say "oh, gee, honey, since I blogged about it, I thought you knew it was coming."

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    Replies
    1. I think I'm going to start off with simple denial: "Sewing machine, what sewing machine?" and take it from there.

      Delete
  10. Oh what the heck-better bidding than sitting in a waiting room someplace with cabin fever catching another strain of flu. I have a black fw and think it's really cute. I will enjoy seeing the white one from afar. I can't talk I bought a bunch of stuff online yesterday. For once it wasn't sewing stuff or my usual oop pattern buys. I must get a sewing project started before buy it now mania fills up what space is left in this house. Enjoy the cute fw.

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  11. Be sure to update the body count in your profile's headline (at 15, an intervention will be staged - on Michael's behalf).

    Is there really a difference between the two machines? Isn't it just a paint job?

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    1. There are a few differences. You can read about them here:

      http://www.featherweight221.com/fwrx/blog/blog.php?id=2360758204483780159

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  12. I have heard that the white ones aren't as good mechanically as the black ones - something about Singer skimping on the quality of the parts? I'm very interested to hear your take on their comparisons! Also: JEALOUS. SO SO JEALOUS.

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    1. Lauren, I'd heard that too, but apparently that is not the case:

      http://www.featherweight221.com/fwrx/blog/blog.php?id=2360758204483780159

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  13. I don't have impulse control either. So go with a classic line. "What? This old thing? I've had it for years." ;)

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  14. I've had good results with the "I'm keeping it out of the landfill" approach.

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  15. My strategy would be to simply to pretend it's been there all along. I mean, you have so many of these machines he can't possibly keep them straight.

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  16. Hi, Peter. I have one. It is fun. But, it's a belt driven machine and I don't like it as well as my black one. As I understand, all the whites were made in the 60's and they all have an internal belt. If you sew with it a lot, that belt will get hot and stretch and the machine gets hard to manage. But, it's cute as the dickens, eh? Lane

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  17. OK, since you asked, here goes..... From my experience, the OLDER black models having the steel gear innards (yes, there are newer black models with the infamous rubber cogged timing belt), are the best.

    Assuming the machine has been properly maintained, the older models simply run smoother and quieter because the parts are made better and are a little heavier to dampen the sound/vibrations. Yes, a machine with a rubber timing belt CAN run quieter and smoother than a metal geared machine that needs servicing, but I don't encourage ignoring the simple maintenance needs of any sewing machine.

    The older models have a lined steel bottom cover (sometimes referred to as the "oil pan") instead of a piece of flimsy cardboard.

    The newer models have a plastic knob on the stitch length lever instead of being made of finely machined metal knob - I know, for some this is not a big deal, but the plastic ones feel/look cheap by comparison and they can rattle and make noise.

    Most of the newer models have a plastic wheel on the bobbin winder unit. On the older models it is made of stamped metal. The wheel on the VERY OLD first-series models (1930's) is made of solid machined metal (VERY nice touch!) and runs exceptionally quiet and smooth, even at high speeds.

    The older model motors are definitely of a higher grade design and manufacturing - no comparison in smooth, quiet running, at all speeds. Compare the pulley and the slack of the armature/shaft. Humming versus growling.

    I prefer the detachable cord of the older models over the permanently attached cord of the newer models. Makes for less stress on cord and easier replacement - these machines do last for more than five years!!

    The older models have a lacquered finish to protect the decals and paint. The newer models have decals over enameled paint with no additional protective finish.

    I've had the opportunity to work on hundreds of these little beauties, from all series. About a year ago I had an early issue model (with solid metal bobbin winder tire), a model from the late 1940's, and a "White/Celery" model. The oldest machine had seen a LOT of use. The middle-aged machine had seen average use. The while model had been used very little (still had the original white motor belt in "like-new" condition) but suffered from the dreaded stink of a moldy case.

    After properly servicing all of them, I set them up side by side for an inspection and test drive by a few select customers and friends who I knew would appreciate seeing them together.

    To be continued.....

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  18. Part II

    Their observations were unanimous - the older the machine, the better it was in terms of quiet smooth running at all speeds, feel and quality of manufacturing, and the fit and finish of appearance. Even the very oldest, which visibly looked worn from heavy use, was still the smoothest and quietest running machine. The "new" white machine clattered, shaked and growled by comparison (yes, I'm exaggerating, but it WAS a noticeable difference).

    Although this was a comparison of only three machines from different eras in their manufacturing, it is still consistent with my experience in having worked on hundreds of Featherweights.

    I've also worked on a few Featherweight replicas made by Alphasew. They are based on the design of the white Featherweights having the rubber cogged timing belt. They are OK, but I'd take a white Featherweight over the Alphasew replica for the reasons stated above - newer is not necessarily better when it comes to quality design, materials and manufacturing.


    Having experienced and said all this, in a heartbeat, I'll take a Featherweight of any color and age over anything being made today. They are a wonderful little machine.

    Anyone who has a Featherweight, of any age or color, should be pleased to own one of these special machines. In many ways, they are a gift of our industrial heritage. And I thank you for honoring their place in history.

    Congratulations Peter! Now go enjoy your beautiful little special machine and sew something for us to admire!! And take good care of it so it will endure for many more generations of sewers in the future.

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  19. Michael may surprise you. While showing DH my inventory last week I proffered that I was going to sell my FW and its table.
    "I think you should display it in the living room with the others. Its cool looking."
    Who'da thunk it?

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  20. Great machine. I just purchased another machine, one that most of you might hold your nose up at, so I haven't blogged about it yet. Once I get the courage up I will.

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  21. Véronique in MontréalJanuary 14, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    Oh Peter, what a lovely addition to your family. If you must break the news to Michael, do something fab for him just before. Otherwise, I agree with K.Line : how will he know anyway, one more or less, at this point, and such a cutie pie machine, what the heck. Impulse control, what's that?

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  22. I have one and love it. As the old song goes "...I am a fool for beauty...."
    How could you be expected to resist? Elle

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  23. The white ones are supposed to be a bit more lightly built than the black ones. I have a black one so I don't know if it really makes a difference! Sew pretty! Enjoy. :-)

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  24. Peter,
    Isn't it time for an update on your collection? Your Vogue article was how I discovered you and your blog. I have a smaller collection. Since I name each of my machines, I cannot ever sell one, so must exercise extraordinary self control. EBay may be the death of me yet.

    ReplyDelete

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