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What accessories originally came with my Featherweight?

The Featherweight is like many other vintage and collectible items; having all the original accessories makes the item more desirable and possibly even more valuable.  The question then must be asked, "Do I have all my original accessories?"  We know the machine would have originally included a foot controller, case and manual, but what else?  Some have screwdrivers, some have five, six, or seven attachments, and some have oil cans.  This post should provide you with the information you need to determine whether or not you have all your Featherweight's original accessories.

Attachments:

We'll start with the attachments that were originally supplied with each Singer Featherweight.  The actual attachments included with each machine changed throughout US Featherweight production, and the Featherweights manufactured in Scotland had varying attachments as well.  There were as many as seven attachments included and as few as five, but the most common number of attachments included was six. 

{For further review, you will be able to easily identify, download instruction manuals, as well as see the function of the attachments listed in this article (along with several more) on the Singer Attachments Identification chart here.}

 

1933-1940 US made 221 Featherweights:

Singer Featherweight 221 Boxed Set of Attachments #1

The Featherweights manufactured in these years had six and sometimes seven* attachments included with each machine:

1. Tucker
2. Edge Stitcher
3. Shirring/Gathering Foot
4. Bias Binder
5. Adjustable Hemmer
6. 1/4" Narrow Hemmer
7. Ruffler

During this time period, the attachments box provided was a short green box.

*You will occasionally find the Ruffler and Tucker together making a total set of seven, but sometimes only one or the other will be included making a set of six.  

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1940-1947 US made 221 Featherweights and 1947-1961 UK made black 221K Featherweights:

Singer Featherweight Attachments Set #2

These machines came with just six attachments because the tucker was no longer included.

1. Ruffler
2. Edge Stitcher
3. Shirring/Gathering Foot
4. Bias Binder
5. Adjustable Hemmer
6. 1/4" Narrow Hemmer

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1947-1957 US made 221 Featherweights:

Singer Featherweight 221 Attachments Set #3
Singer Featherweight 221 Attachments Set #4

The Featherweights from these years had the same type of attachments, but Singer redesigned the bias binder, giving it several slots for varying widths of bias tape as well as adding two guide pins.

1. Ruffler
2. Edge Stitcher
3. Shirring/Gathering Foot
4. Multi-Slotted Binder
5. Adjustable Hemmer
6. 1/4" Narrow Hemmer

The boxes during this period were both long and short green boxes.

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Tan Featherweights:

Singer Tan Featherweight 221 Attachments Set

With tan Featherweights Singer appears to have omitted the Adjustable Hemmer from their attachment line-up.  It is missing from the back of their 221K & 221J instruction manuals, and from our observation over the years it has often not been included in the attachments box.  That being said, if an Adjustable Hemmer was included, we presume that it was either sold separately or included by the Singer salesman originally.

1. 1/4" Narrow Hemmer
2. Seam Guide
3. Bias Binder
4. Narrow Zipper Foot
5. Ruffler
6. Edge Stitcher
7. Shirring/Gathering
Foot

The tan Featherweights came with longer pink/red and green boxes.

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White Featherweights:

Singer Featherweight White 221K7 Attachments Box Set

White Featherweights had fewer attachments than its predecessors, and those that were included with each machine seems to have varied.  You will find variations of the following attachments, in sets of about five or six.

Narrow Zipper Foot
Bias Binder
Seam Guide
Shirring/Gathering Foot
Edge Stitcher
1/4" Narrow Hemmer
Quilter
Ruffler
Adjustable Hemmer

The boxes for the white Featherweights came in a few colors and sizes - from blue and white boxes to pink/red and green boxes, with the latter being either short or long.

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222K Featherweights:

Singer Featherweight 222K Attachments Set
Singer Featherweight 222 Red Attachments Case and Accessories
Singer Featherweight 222 Attachments Set in Green Box

Featherweight 222 machines also have their own little attachment differences.  While the green cardboard box with red lettering was most common for 222 Featherweights, occasionally the attachments container was a bright red vinyl box with front clasp (see above photo).  Also, because the 222 had the ability to lower the feed dogs, Singer included an embroidery foot specific to this feature.  Additionally, you will sometimes find a Featherweight 222 specific embroidery hoop that would have been purchased separately from the Singer Sewing Centre.  

1. Ruffler
2. Embroidery Foot
3. Edge Stitcher
4. 1/4" Narrow Hemmer
5. Bias Binder
6. Shirring/Gathering Foot
7. Adjustable Hemmer

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Screwdrivers:

All Featherweights would have had two Screwdrivers originally included - a large screwdriver and a small screwdriver.  The two sizes never really changed, but the style, shape and composition varied. 

US Featherweights:

Singer Featherweight US screwdriver Set #1

The larger US Screwdrivers had a narrow teardrop shape. 

Singer Featherweight 221 US Screwdriver Set #2

In the US the screwdrivers would have been either chrome or Blackside.  

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Black 221K and 222K Featherweights and Tan Featherweights:

Singer Featherweight 221 and 222 UK Screwdriver Set #1

The larger UK Singer screwdriver was more of a wider, open teardrop shape. 
{On very rare occasions you will find the small UK screwdriver with a Blackside shaft.} 
Singer Featherweight 221 and 222 UK Screwdriver Set #2

These Featherweights initially included screwdrivers  that closely resembled the US chromium style, but Featherweights from later production (late 1950s through 1961) sometimes included screwdrivers with a brown plastic handle.  

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White Featherweights:

Singer Featherweight 221K and 221J Screwdriver Set

With the White Featherweights you would either find a set of blue or tan plastic handled screwdrivers.

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Oil Cans:

Singer wanted to be sure that the Featherweight user would be able to maintain the machine properly and including the proper sewing machine oil was of utmost importance, just as it is today.  Therefore, all Featherweights were supplied with oil in one style container or another.  Earlier year machines would have had an oil can included and later year machines would have had a small plastic bottle. 

1933-1950 US Made 221 Featherweights:  

Singer Featherweight 221 1933-1950 Oil Can

The Featherweights from this era had a short little green can that was held upright and stationary in the clip on the bottom left side of the case.  A photo here would be so helpful for a visual and answer the question that is immediately raised when reading the article and is often asked on the group.

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1947-1951 UK Made 221 Featherweights:

Singer Featherweight 221K 1947-1951 Oil Can

These iconic little cans are a neat collectible today, but originally quite useful as they were refillable.  If included with a Featherweight, to keep it upright and stationary, it was held in place by a curved wire clamp, also on the bottom left side of the machine case.  The edge of the can hung over the wood platform just slightly, but still had the perfect spatial constraints to accommodate the Featherweight base. 

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1951-early 1960s black Featherweights:

Singer Featherweight 221 and 222 Tall Green Oil Can
During this time period Singer included a tall green oil can with each Singer Featherweight.  The can was basically the same style for all the black Featherweights at this time.  It would have been held stationary and upright between two clips inside the case at the upper left side, behind the side tray.  

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Early 1960s Tan Featherweights:

Singer Featherweight 1960s Oil Can

In the early 1960s Singer included a more modern looking can with their machines.  In this case, the Tan Featherweight and possibly some later 221K and 222K Featherweights as well.  For black Featherweights this oil can style also would have been kept stationary and upright using the two clips inside the case. 

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Mid to late 1960s White Featherweights:

Singer White Featherweight 221K7 Oil Bottle
The white Featherweights didn't have an oil can, but they did have a much smaller, plastic bottle.  It is also easier to hold, and it was probably easier to fit into the hard-to-reach oiling points on the machine. 

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Grease Tubes:

Greasing the gears and motor (where applicable)   was a very important part of maintenance and the mechanical longevity of the machine.  Thus, Singer made sure to include grease with each Featherweight that had gears and / or a motor with lubrication ports.  

US Made Featherweights:

Singer Featherweight US Grease

The grease for Featherweight made in the United States came in a green lead tube and a small, narrow coordinating cardboard box.  

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Black 221K, 222K and Tan Featherweights:

Singer Featherweight UK Grease #1

Singer Featherweight UK Grease #2

The grease that would have been included with the black 221K, Tan and 222K Featherweights came in variations of the grease tubes shown above.

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White Featherweights:


Singer Featherweight UK Grease #2

White Featherweights were a little bit unique.  All White Featherweights had an internal belt drive rather than gears, therefore grease was internally unnecessary.  Moreover, some White Featherweights had motors that were sealed, meaning lubricant grease was also unnecessary.  That being said, it is important to note that some White Featherweights had motors with motor ports and grease was required.  When grease was supplied with a White Featherweight, the tube was pink, green and white in color. 

 

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Case Keys

Every Featherweight that came with a lockable case latch would have had at least one key.  The common 221 and 222 case keys came in sets of two, but the keys for the uncommon latches like the early 221 cases and some white Featherweight cases, we have only observed one key being supplied.  This would contribute to why there are so few of these other keys. 

Singer Featherweight Case Keys

Featherweight Case Key Types from left to right: Type I and Type II Case Key, a most common 221 case key, a standard 221K and 222K case key, a White Featherweight Case Key for the common green and white cases, and a White Featherweight Case Key for the blue vinyl cases.  {To review the various case types, visit the Featherweight Schoolhouse Historical Timeline for photos and more details.} 

Tan Featherweight Cases did not lock, so keys were not included.  Certain cream and green White Featherweight cases also did not lock, making keys unnecessary. 


NOTE:  There have been a few other peculiar latch styles occasionally found on Featherweight cases, but the keys for those are very scarce to find. We did not have any here in the shop to photograph at the time of this article.    

 

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In looking to make your Featherweight as complete and original as possible, this post can be a guideline for making sure you get all the attachments and accessories originally included with your machine.  Using the back of your Featherweight's original manual you will find the instructions for the attachments that were usually included with the machine and how to use them properly.  It is interesting to note, however, that Singer sometimes referenced other attachments that could also be sourced and purchased from the local Singer Sewing Center at the time.  These extra attachments were often called "Fashion-Aids".

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