Over the summer a neighbor posted on the community listserv that she was destashing fabric as she prepared for a move. Never one to turn down fabric, I went over for a wee looksie. Turns out she’d been a one-time reader of my blog (pre-graduate school) and collected vintage sewing machines.
And, then she showed me this:
I immediately began trying to figure out if I could talk her into selling it to me. She wasn’t particularly interested in selling. And I was a motivated buyer. I knew I was leaving my job soon and finally merging bank accounts with my husband. So, now was the time to spend money any way I wanted. Plus, it was literally in my backyard. I kind of felt like it was meant to be mine.
Now, despite being lucky enough to buy a black singer Featherweight in 2009, I’ve *always* wanted a white one. But, they were too far away and too expensive.
Short version: it took about two months of gentle prodding, prying and begging emails before she put a price on it. And, I took it. Happily.
Meet my squad.
It’s a 3/4 sized Kenmore 1040 (Kenny, acquired in 2007) , my main machine a Bernina 830 (acquired 2013). My new-to-me white Singer Featherweight and my black Singer Featherweight. I just realized that each of those machines has a sewing community connection! How cool is that?
The first project I decided to make with my new machine was a random carrying tote and sewing pad. So, very crafty of me, eh? I’m not prone to craft projects. But, I was housesitting the weekend I bought it and thought would be a fun thing to do that didn’t require my full sewing room. The pattern is available from The Singer Featherweight Shop.
My fabric is a fun Dutch postal fabric I bought while in Amsterdam on our honeymoon three years ago. I think I thought I was going to make shower curtains from it. Then realized I wasn’t going to make a shower curtain from anything.
To be funny, I decided to line it with orange fabric. Because, Netherlands = House of Orange. Get it? I often amuse myself with totally nerdy stuff.
There’s one piece I didn’t finish, the folding bed cover for storage. I may or may not get around to it. For now, I have the unfinished piece just sitting there, heh.
I am officially the cat lady of sewing machines.
That machine is a beauty!
You are the nerdiest! In the awesomest way!
Great new addition to the family! I bought a bag with an orange lining a while back and thought it strange but the manual explained it’s so items in the bag stand out and can easily be found. And it works! So a brightly-colored lining is now a feature I look for in a bag. Yours looks super handy!
I’ll remember this! I have a UFO bag and it needs lining. Maybe I can switch it out to orange!
Congrats on the 2nd featherweight. I have both also. I’m definitely getting that case cover pattern.
Since I made it several months ago I’m not sure on all the specifics. But, I think it’s a good pattern / outline for putting it together. And, is a nice way to preserve the case and not stress it with using the handle. I really should finish the third part! I also found this other pattern that’s free that seems a nice way store it inside the case: http://craftyhipster.typepad.com/craftyhipster/sew-a-singer-featherweight-tote.html I have fabric to make a second carry bag, etc for m black one. I just haven’t gotten around to it!
On Sat, Dec 10, 2016 at 11:08 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:
beautiful and I love old Singers, they just purr so nicely. but a cat lady – no I think you have to have 10+ machines to be the cat lady of sewing 🙂
I second the motion. But you should know you are showing strong signs of SMAD sewing machine aquisition disorder. Wait till the first time you rewire or replace a gear or reset timing and feel like a total BEAST!!! It’s a fun addiction. And that collection is sweet, the white featherweight is beautiful!!
Great! I just won’t count my cover stitch, serger and blind hemmer…
On Sat, Dec 10, 2016 at 11:33 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:
Love it! “Cat lady of sewing machines!”
Too funny! But I think you need to acquire an actual cat to guard/keep your machine herd lightly adorned with fur to warrant that label. Linus would not be pleased I imagine.
You have impressive powers of persuasion!
I think Jordan would lose it if I bought home a cat. Linus is solidly still my dog. And, I’ve committed our next dog will be at least 20 lbs heavier, lol!
On Sat, Dec 10, 2016 at 2:07 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:
I recently inherited my grandmothers (black) featherweight. Case has a broken handle so that pattern looks great. One question though, does it zip or does the top fit on like a box?
Hi Lesley, it fits like a box top. But, I saw a version where they sewed a fabric hinge on the back so they stayed attached. They do sell replacement handles too if you’re interested in that too.
On Dec 10, 2016 3:09 PM, “Miss Celie's Pants” wrote:
Hahaha – Cat Lady of Sewing Machines. Maybe that should be your handle on social media or some forum.
Great machine! I have wanted a Feathermate for the longest time but I can’t find one in good condition that I can afford. If anyone knows a good place to get one, please let me know.
I just got really lucky the first two times I bought a featherweight. A blog reader locally kept tipping me off when they were well priced on Craigslist. And, I’ll be honest. The first time I think they were selling grandma’s machine for drug money. The second time the woman had inherited it from her grandmother, didn’t check prices on line and had a nicer electronic machine. So, really, luck.
On Sun, Dec 11, 2016 at 1:24 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:
I’m sorry about the typo above…..of course I meant Feather Weight.
Oh my, I envy you so much!!!
I love it! I’m so happy for you ;-).
But I agree about the cat lady thing: you need a few more, at least a hand crank and treadle!
Hilde, if I ever come back to the Netherlands, I’m leaving with a hand crank in my carry on luggage.
On Sun, Dec 11, 2016 at 4:35 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:
Wow that is so beautiful, I didn’t know white ones existed!
Right!? I remember the first time I saw a black one. An acquaintance brought it over for me to help her sew something. Then, I started looking for one for myself. I thought the white ones were just so *pretty*. Apparently, they are technically ‘pale turquoise’ with a slight green / blue cast depending on the light. But, with time they are just called ‘white’.
On Sun, Dec 11, 2016 at 4:50 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:
gorgeous, and a fine job on that carry bag!
I have never seen a white featherweight before. Lovely little machine..
Congrats on your new baby! I picked up one of these white beauties about 20 years ago for 35 dollars! Long story! A couple of Christmases ago I gave it to my ten year old granddaughter who loves to sew! It is in appreciative, loving hands now and I couldn’t be happier. It’s the perfect machine for her to learn on. Those whites are awesome.
That is so sweet, Bunny! It did occur to me that if I had children, I could eventually gift them a Featherweight. That helped ease any guilt I had about buying this one!
On Mon, Dec 12, 2016 at 6:51 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:
Crazy cat lady of sewing machines? Nah. That white beauty was worth it. And yeah, sewing a shower curtain doesn’t hardly seem worth it–it’s not like my shower has big boobs and a booty to match making it hard to find a curtain that fits.
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