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BROWSE SCHOOLHOUSE

| Posted by Carmon Henry

How to Fix a Stuck Hook Assembly

After removing the hook assembly screws on a Singer Featherweight 221 sometimes the assembly will still remain stuck on the shaft. This quick tip will help you remove it easily without damage to your machine or that expensive original part... just be sure to watch all the way to the end of the video for complete instructions and explanation.  


| Posted by Carmon Henry

How to Adjust the Handwheel

If your Singer Featherweight 221 or 222K has a needle that won't stop going up and down and still moves when winding a bobbin, then most likely your handwheel needs an adjustment inside. This easy to follow video tutorial not only shows you how to fix the annoying problem but explains the process of how your stop-back-motion knob works.  Wind a bobbin with no needle movement, once again.     


| Posted by Carmon Henry

How to Adjust the Stitch Length Lever

Yesterday, there was a question on our Facebook group about the stitch length lever (or sometimes called the "stitch length regulator") and so this video tutorial was made to help answer that question as well as addressing a couple other things, too. I will show you what to do if the lever is too loose and rotates around or if it is too stiff and difficult to raise for reverse and lower to adjust the stitch length. There are a couple of places to oil once you get it adjusted and with this tutorial, you will learn where those spots...


| Posted by Carmon Henry

How Thread Affects Maintenance, Tension & Bobbin Tension

Hello everyone, Carmon here. There has been a lot of discussion about thread brands the last couple of days on our Singer Featherweight 221 & 222K Sewing Machines Facebook group so I thought I would weigh in. As a teacher of Featherweight Maintenance Classes and Workshops, and the owner of The Featherweight Shop, it is a general assumption that I should be able to get your machine sewing properly, regardless of what thread you choose to use. This is a fair assumption. I was on the phone today with Dave and Sharon McCallum, who are dear friends of mine. My...


| Posted by April Henry

How To Properly Set the Needle (Getting To Know Your Featherweight, Part 3)

How To Properly Set The Needle Part 3 of the Getting To Know Your Singer Featherweight 221 series will show you how to properly set your Singer Featherweight needle.  This tutorial by Ruthie will be especially helpful if you notice your machine having skipped stitches or even if your bobbin thread won't pick up easily.  Be sure to watch the video all the way to the end because she includes a couple of troubleshooting tips for you, too! To begin to set the needle properly on a Singer Featherweight 221, you will need to turn the handwheel towards you to...


| Posted by Carmon Henry

The Giant Schmetz Needle Tutorial

Using a giant needle as an example in the video far below, you will learn the various parts of a needle, as well as the importance of having a smoothly finished eye. One of our favorite needles to recommend is a Microtex Schmetz.  They're sharp and they pierce exactly at the point of fabric entry, allowing you to be as accurate as possible with your piecing.  While the Universal needle is great for everyday sewing, the stitch is less than perfect on a high-thread-count, fine cotton.  It is neither sharp nor ball point and has a tendency to pierce the...


| Posted by Carmon Henry

Troubleshooting Stitch Problems (Skipped Stitches, Thread Looping, etc.)

This is Singer Featherweight Stitch Formation 101!  If your Singer Featherweight is skipping stitches, not stitching at all, won't pick up the bobbin thread or perhaps the thread is looping or causing an awful thread mess on the underside of your fabric, then this video tutorial will show you the easy tips for what you can do to fix it and save you a trip to the service technician. If your machine is actually jammed, the handwheel won't turn and the needle will not go up and down, then see our other tutorial on the Featherweight Schoolhouse for How To...


| Posted by Christian Henry

Capacitors - Why Did My Featherweight Start Sewing By Itself All of the Sudden?

Many Featherweight owners have asked, "what are these silver cylinders inside my foot controller?"  For several of the Featherweights manufactured in the UK, capacitors were added inside the foot controller, motor, or the machine itself.  The purpose of capacitors was to cut down on electrical feedback with old TVs and radios.  We no longer have this problem with present-day electricity, and nowadays the capacitors end up being quite the nuisance, if not potentially dangerous.  We often get contacted by frightened customers exclaiming that their machine just started sewing all of the sudden without the foot controller being depressed at all.  The cause?  Those capacitors! ...


| Posted by Carmon Henry

How to Easily Remove the Handwheel Collar Bushing

If thread or debris gets pulled behind the handwheel, it can lodge around the shaft behind the handwheel collar / bushing.  This can greatly slow down your Featherweight by causing undue stress on the motor.  The handwheel collar is actually pretty difficult to remove and damage often occurs when doing so with improper tools.  Following the video tutorial below, Carmon will show you how to easily remove the handwheel collar bushing as well as show you our newest tool to help you do so. Tools needed: Long Wera Maintenance Screwdriver Handwheel Collar Puller / Remover 6mm Allen Wrench from any...


| Posted by Christian Henry

How to Smooth a Burr or Rust Spot on Hook Assembly, Tension Disks, etc.

Watch Video Tutorial below . . . Is your machine skipping stitches and you've tried every possible troubleshooting suggestion?  Do you feel a small burr on your machine's hook assembly or or loop guard?  Do you see a rusty corroded spot or two on the tension disks?  Well, this simple but useful tool is one of our Featherweight Shop secrets and a necessity for any sewing machine maintenance and service kit.  The Rubber Honing Stick is a tool is used for cleaning rust and burrs off parts like the Featherweight hook assembly, the bobbin case, and the tension discs.  The...


| Posted by Carmon Henry

Featherweight Motor Brush Replacement Tutorial

Today, we are going to be learning about Motor Brush Replacement. Although they are frequently overlooked, carbon brushes are a critical element of an electric motor. Not only is it important to be aware of the motor brushes in a Featherweight motor, but knowing what to look for in a replacement can help with your motor's longevity, too.  So, let's dive in! NEWSFLASH!  We now have the exclusive Motor Brush for your Singer Featherweight 221 or 222: perfectly sized, shaped and with proper carbon density for optimum motor performance... just like the vintage originals! CARBON MOTOR BRUSHES  The carbon brush,...


| Posted by Carmon Henry

Superbelt - the New and Improved Belt for the Singer Featherweight +UPDATE

The belt on a Singer Featherweight gets a technologically advanced improvement!  Softer, faster and better for your Featherweight motor performance.  Learn how to install and adjust the Superbelt in the video tutorial below.   Update!  One of the advantages to the Superbelt is its superb grip to the handwheel.  In the two years of testing, though, we have discovered that there are a few handwheels that may have a slight variation in their original manufacturing, and because the belt grips so well, it is possible that this will cause the belt to climb slightly to one side.  No worries at...


| Posted by Carmon Henry

Tension Unit Post Removal Tutorial

Learn how to properly remove the Tension Unit Post or stud in this step-by-step video tutorial by Carmon Henry from The Featherweight Shop.  The transcript of the video tutorial, as well as all products needed to follow along are below. Please contact us with any questions or comments. Enjoy!   There are a few reasons to remove the Tension Unit Post.  These would include:  performing a deep cleaning to the machine, preparing the machine for repainting, or if the Tension Unit has been damaged. The first step is to locate the set screw that is holding the tension unit stud in place. To do this,...


| Posted by Carmon Henry

Stuck Stop Motion Knob & Handwheel

Today we are addressing a Stop Motion Knob that will not turn on your Singer Featherweight 221 or 222.  Loosening the Stop Motion Knob is necessary to wind a bobbin, but being able to tighten it so that regular sewing can resume is just as important. There are two causes that prevent the Stop Motion Knob from functioning properly.    Handwheel washer is positioned incorrectly. Stop-Motion Knob has been overtightened. Follow along with the video tutorial below as Carmon explains how the stop-motion knob works as well as troubleshooting these two common issues. Tools and Parts Related to Video: Wera Long Maintenance Screwdriver Stop-Motion Set...


| Posted by Carmon Henry

Presser Foot Pressure Adjustment

Today we are going to be addressing the presser foot pressure, or downward force on the presser foot. Parts Discussed: Presser Foot Presser Bar Presser Bar Spring Presser Bar & Spring (for white Featherweights only) Pressure Knob Singer 221 Feed Dogs Throat Plate Hook Assembly Featherweight Schematic Servicing Mat First, let’s talk about why the downward force on presser foot matters.  When the presser foot is lowered and compressing the fabric, it needs a certain amount of pressure on it to both feed the fabric and assure that the thickness of the fabric is not stopping a stitch from forming. The...


| Posted by Carmon Henry

Presser Foot Height Adjustment and Alignment

Is the presser foot misaligned?  Is the fabric swimming or wandering under the presser foot?  Are their skipped stitches when sewing over thick seams?  Then this tutorial will help with troubleshooting these common problems.  In a previous tutorial we showed how to properly adjust the actual pressure on the presser foot.  Today we will discuss the proper height and position of the presser foot and how to set it accurately.   Parts Discussed: Presser Foot Faceplate Screw Faceplate Presser Bar Presser Bar Clamp & Screw Pressure Knob Singer 221 Feed Dogs Throat Plate Presser Foot Gauge The pressure on the presser...


| Posted by Carmon Henry

Tension Unit Proper Threading

Learning to identify the thread path following a routine servicing and maintenance will help diagnose initial stitch tension inconsistencies and give confidence about learning to service a Singer Featherweight further. Parts Mentioned or Used: Tension Unit Tension Disks Upper Tension Take-Up Spring Upper Thread Guide Presser Foot Thread Post Here is a featherweight properly threaded: Comparatively, this threaded machine will have stitch troubles: At first glance, it may appear that they are threaded the same. But, as you can see when comparing the photos, the thread has missed the retaining fork in the threading process.  Making a quick adjustment when threading the machine...


| Posted by Carmon Henry

Bobbin Winder Servicing

Do you have to hold the bobbin winder down in order to get it to wind?  If so, then the washers around the bobbin winder screw either need replaced or turned around.  Follow the video tutorial or step-by-step photo tutorial below to learn a few simple tips for servicing your Singer Featherweight Bobbin Winder. Relevant Parts and Products: Bobbin Winder Bobbin Winder Washer Bobbin Winder Screw Singer Featherweight Belt Bobbin Bobbin Tension Meter Bobbin Winder Tension Bracket Sewing Machine Oil Empty Oil Bottle (for easy use with kerosene) The cupped washer keeps consistent pressure on the bobbin winder arm, resulting in pressure...


| Posted by Carmon Henry

Part 1 of 3 - Featherweight 221 Light Wiring Series

Part 1: A Tutorial on Cleaning the Lead Sheath on a Singer Featherweight 221. Products & Tools Referenced: Light Socket with Sheath Wera Safety Screwdriver (also available in the Set of 4) Gear Cleaning Brush Low Odor Kerosene and Long-Spouted Bottle Sew Retro Grease Small Terry-Cloth Towel (for scrubbing) Felt Drip Pan Large Towel or Shop Rag (for collecting kerosene  drips and old grease) Gloves Mask Eye-Protection The lead sheath on Singer Featherweight 221 models (1933-1957 for US-made Featherweights and 1947-1951 for UK-made Featherweights) covers the light wires and often requires careful cleaning and maintenance if there is any white oxidation present. In...


| Posted by Carmon Henry

Part 2 of 3 - Featherweight Light Wiring Troubleshooting & Repair

Featherweight Light Wiring Tutorial Series - Part 2 In Part 1 of the Light Wiring Series, we did a basic cleaning of the light wiring lead sheath underneath the machine, which helps to remove some of the exposed oxidation residue that can build up over a long period of time.  Remember, this series is only for Singer Featherweight 221 machines manufactured in the US from 1933 to 1957 and for 221 Featherweight machines manufactured in the UK from 1947 to about 1951 . On the topic of oxidation, sometimes that residue, or corrosion, is not just on the area seen underneath...