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Restore Along Part 2: Stripping Down Tulip
by The Featherweight Shop

Singer Featherweight 221

Welcome to Restore Along Part 2: Stripping Down Tulip. Julia has done an incredible job in documenting each step she has taken in the restoration process, and we are happy to share her story! If you are just joining us, you can catch up on the last installment of our Restore Along here:

Restore Along Part 1: Introduction of Julia and Tulip

As many of you may recall, Tulip is the poor little Featherweight that Julia and her husband, Mark, rescued from an antique shop down in Kentucky. Julia's Featherweight is named Tulip, after the state tree, the Tulip Poplar. Today's Restore Along focuses on Julia stripping down Tulip and identifying the work that needs to be done. Let's begin!

*FEATHERWEIGHT SHOP DISCLAIMER:  This Restore Along of Featherweight restoration was a personal journey for the owner, Julia.  The products used and steps taken are not specifically endorsed or recommended by the Featherweight Shop.  However, we wanted to share her story for others to enjoy and follow along as she dismantles and learns about her Featherweight machine.  ("Tulip" was not starting out as an average Featherweight that just needed cleaned and polished; rather, it will be a complete  DIY restore.)  Nevertheless, it is still important for us to advise using extreme caution with any detergents or products on your own personal Featherweight. 

After determining that the machine's clearcoat was completely compromised and in need of repainting, the first step Julia took was to wash Tulip down with some Dawn dishwashing detergent*. Cleaning off the grime confirmed just how compromised Tulip's clearcoat had become. Now Julia gets to decide what color! (Candy apple red, by chance?)

Singer Featherweight 221

Next, Julia removed all the parts on Tulip. In her own words, "If you want to get up close and personal with your Featherweight, and really want to get to know her, strip her down!" As you all are aware, keeping track of the parts, and where they all go can be a chore. This was Julia's first time stripping down a Featherweight to bare bones, so she took meticulous notes to put her back together again.

Singer Featherweight 221 parts chart

Click here for more information on identifying parts on your Featherweight.

As a side note from Julia, "I'm thankful my husband supports me in my endeavors. He was able to get a few of the screws out that were really stuck. He also taught me how to use a swedge (a word I would have challenged in Scrabble!) to get bushings out. How sweet is that? Restoring a Featherweight is a team effort - from the research that is done online, to the Featherweight groups and the support that you get at home!" 

singer featherweight needle bar screw location

Needle bar screw location

Singer Featherweight needle bar bushing

Tapping out the needle bar bushing using Mark's homemade "swedge" tool.

Singer Featherweight 221 needle bar clamp

Julia used the needle bar clamp to help rotate the needle bar out.


Singer Featherweight 221 throat plate

A look under the throat plate (not too dirty, especially considering the condition of the rest of Tulip). 

Learn more about the History of the Singer Featherweight Needle Plate here.

Singer Featherweight hook assembly

Hook Assembly


Singer Featherweight hook assembly

Back of hook assembly - showing the gib hook, loop guard and assembly unit.

Singer Featherweight rotating hook shaft

Sliding the rotating hook shaft out


dirty hook-shaft, counter-balance and gear

Dirty hook-shaft, counter-balance and gear

hook shaft parts

Cleaned hook shaft parts - after hand cleaning with water and baking soda mixture*

bobbin works

Hook Assembly, Gib Hook, Bobbin Case Base and Gib Hook Screw (R) looking cleaner after the baking soda & water mixture*.


End of part 2

Thank you for joining us for Part 2 of Tulip's makeover.

Every Wednesday we will release a new part in Tulip's restoration journey. 

Next: Restore Along Part 3!