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Singer Featherweight FAQs

A collection of frequently asked questions surrounding the Singer Featherweight... from "Is my machine a Featherweight?" to "What is my Featherweight worth?" to "I just got a Featherweight, now what do I do?"... and MORE!  This set of questions will be a great place to begin if you are wanting to briefly familiarize yourself with some common inquiries.


Dating Your Singer Featherweight Machine

What is the Birthdate of My Singer Featherweight? To date your Singer Featherweight, you will need to locate the serial number on the bottom of your machine.  It has two letters followed by a series of six numbers.  Using the serial number you can use the charts below to find the date when your machine was given a batch assignment at the factory.  If you do not find your machine serial number listed in the charts, then further in the text below will be more references and info.    Most serial numbers are found on the bottom of a Featherweight...


Birthdate Featherweights

How great it would be to have a Singer Featherweight made in the very year you were born or the year you graduated from high school or college or perhaps the year your child was born. The data below, inspired by Graham Forsdyke's original reference chart, graphs the number of machines manufactured or commissioned in any given year throughout their production.  This may help you determine the ease of finding machines to perhaps coordinate with personal milestones or significance. Some years are easy, others difficult and, of course, many are impossible. Check the following chart for the possibilities of finding...


Grading Scale & Condition Chart

Over twenty years ago, totally frustrated with inaccurate and misleading descriptions of machine condition, Graham Forsdyke devised the Condition Chart for the International Sewing Machine Collectors' Society (ISMACS). It was quickly picked up by enthusiasts all over the world and is now the universally accepted way of describing a machine. No more "pristine", "mint", "like new", etc, but a method of honestly assessing a machine.  Graham commends its use to all and claims no copyright for this information; it may be freely copied, reposted or distributed in its original form. This scale takes no notice of the mechanical condition.  If...


Identify Your Manual

The Various Featherweight Manuals Throughout the years that Featherweights were produced, the Singer company produced some manual variations. The principal handbooks given with machines are shown here.       Above Left:  This manual is the standard handbook supplied with US-built Featherweight Machines.(This particular one has a copyright date of 1941.) Above Right:  This manual-style was supplied with UK-built Featherweight Machines.  It was also printed in the UK. If your manual is like those two above, you can determine the date of your manual by looking in the upper left corner.  The number in parentheses is indicative of a month and...


Parts & Details

Click here for a free download of all the parts, screws, and mechanics to the Singer Featherweight 221.  Two full pages are included for easy reference.


Service and Repair

Being located in the beautiful mountain country of Idaho, we hope you can join us at one of our up and coming Novice and Advanced Workshops, where we will teach you all you need to know about servicing and repairing your Singer Featherweight 221 and 222 Sewing Machine.  If you are near the Grangeville / Lewiston, Idaho area, and would like us to service your Featherweight for you, give us a call and we can give you directions to our new shop!


Packing & Shipping a Singer Featherweight Properly

Packing a Singer Featherweight seems like it would be simple enough, doesn’t it?  After all, it comes with a handy carrying case, right?  Well, I think after you see the photographed illustrations below you will understand that these small, portable machines need a bit more care than what you might expect.  After years and years of seeing machines shipped with damage (and having to help some of our customers replace those parts), we created this tutorial to help you and others learn how to pack a Singer Featherweight 221 and 222 properly.  This information can apply to other portable sewing...


Damaged in Shipment

The following photos will show you what happens when a Singer Featherweight is not properly packed.  If you are an eBay, Etsy, or shopgoodwill online seller and you are shipping a Singer Featherweight across the country or even across the oceans, please take these warnings seriously.  Replacement parts are expensive and sometimes exact originals cannot be found (e.g. white and tan featherweight bobbin winders, spool pins, early case designs, etc.).  Over the years we have emailed many online sellers our photo tutorial for how to pack and ship a Singer Featherweight properly.  Still, a few of them did not heed...


How Does The Featherweight Compare to Other Singer Machines?

  When Singer introduced the Featherweight in 1933 it was vastly different from most all sewing machines on the market.  This article will compare the Featherweight to the other common Singer machines of its era.   First, to be considered an actual Singer "Featherweight", the sewing machine must be a 221 or 222 model (more information about subsequent number or letter suffixes here), and to learn about the differences of a 221 compared to 222 model, click here.  So, while there were millions and millions of black sewing machine models made by Singer, the 221 and 222 models are the only...


What to look for when buying a Featherweight

"Is this a good price?", "How do I know if anything is wrong with the machine?", "Are some Singer Featherweights better than others?", and "What do I look for when purchasing a Singer Featherweight?" - these are all common questions we receive from those on the hunt for their first Singer Featherweight.  Buying a Singer 221 or 222 can certainly be intimidating, but we do have some tips and cautions that can help you make the right decision when searching for a machine. What is a good price? When gauging the price of a machine or comparing prices of machines that have already...