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Backstitching & Reverse (Getting To Know Your Featherweight, Part 7)

If your Singer Featherweight is missing its instruction manual, we have replicas available for both the Singer 221 and Singer 222

Singer 222 Featherweight Instruction Manual

You can then read along as you follow Ruthie in the Getting To Know Your Featherweight Series.


Related Products and Helpful Tutorials:

  1. Presser Foot
  2. Stitch Length Lever
  3. Stitch Length Indicator Plate (styles vary by year)
  4. Stitch Length Plate Screws (only)
  5. Presser Bar Tension Screw
  6. Thread Post
  7. How to Adjust the Stitch Length Lever - Maintenance Tutorial
  8. How to Adjust Presser Foot Pressure:  Part 1 and Part 2



  1. The Featherweight has a simple forward and reverse straight stitch. To feed the fabric forward (away from you), make sure the stitch regulator is all the way down, somewhere between 6 and 10 will provide good practice stitches.  To feed the fabric in reverse (toward you), raise the stitch regulator as high as it will go. 

  2. Backstitching is usually done at the beginning and end of a seam, however, for most quilt piecing, backstitching is not really necessary. Occasionally, it will be needed for certain types of piecing, but the patterns will indicate this for specificity.  Back-stitching is important to know for craft or apparel sewing, because it prevents seams from coming unraveled.  

  3. Backstitching can be done by stopping and starting the machine again, or it can be done all in one motion while sewing. 


  1. For ordinary family sewing, it is seldom necessary to adjust the pressure on the presser foot. But, here’s a good rule of thumb:  The lighter the material, the lighter the pressure, the heavier material, the heavier the pressure.  In other words for lightweight fabric (like silk), decrease the pressure by turning the pressure knob counterclockwise.  For heavyweight fabrics, like denim or even for quilting multiple layers, increase the pressure by turning the pressure knob clockwise. 

    For an in-depth tutorial on Presser Foot Pressure, review these tutorials here and here on the Featherweight Schoolhouse.