Approximately 100,000 222K Featherweights were made worldwide and are one of the best sewing machines ever made. Sometimes referred to as the "Free-Arm Featherweight" by those who are not familiar with the model 222K, these Singer Featherweight sewing machines were manufactured identically to the original 221 but with some additional and highly desirable features.
14 7/8 inches
7 1/4 inches
9 3/4 inches
222 Free-Arm Model
14 7/8 inches
7 1/4 inches
10 1/4 (highest point at top of spool pin)
The bed is not designed to be removed on a 221 model.
However, on a 222 Featherweight, you can unscrew the bed screw (seen just below the oval badge) and the bed slides off, exposing one of the smallest free-arm sewing machines. Perfect for sewing small: doll clothes, baby clothes, pant hems and many hard-to-reach seams.
There is only the stitch regulator lever on the 221 Model.
On the 222 Free-Arm Featherweight, there is a Sew / Darn Lever. Pull the knob straight out and then lower the lever to the darn position. This will lower the feed dogs on the 222, enabling free-motion quilting, darning and embroidery.
The width of the machine area under the presser bar lifter varies slightly on a 221 compared to a 222. The 221 measures 21/64th inch.
The 222 measures 23/64th inch. Even this minute but measurable difference can affect a proper fit for some vintage mechanical attachments.
Attachments for the 221 varied over the years depending on Singer engineering and availability, but the basics are always included: Ruffler, Narrow Hemmer, Adjustable Hemmer, Edge Stitcher, Shirring Foot and Bias Binder, plus Large Screwdriver and Small Screwdriver.
Available attachments & accessories for the 222 included two extras that were model specific: the Embroidery Darning Foot and Hoop.
The 221 manual changed in style over the years, but the information remained basically the same with about 55 pages. The photo above shows two examples.
The 222 manual did not change from 1953-1961 and was pretty in depth as it contained so many more pages for the added machine features. It was 95 pages in length.
The dimensions for a 221 case varied over the years, depending on case style, but the height of each style case is most significant. It is important to know that a 221 Featherweight can fit in any 222 case, but a 222 will not fit in many 221 case styles because of the slight increase in machine height on a 222.
Case heights ranged anywhere from 10 3/4 inches to 11 3/4 inches for 221 cases and from 11 1/4 inches to 11 1/2 inches for 222 cases.
1933-1969 Black 221 Featherweights were made in the US from 1933 to 1957. A 221, 221-, 221-1, 221K, and 221J are all the same 221 model. The meaning of the dash and number suffix remains unknown, but the letter indicates place of manufacture (K = Kilbowie, Scotland, J = St. John's, Quebec, Canada).
1947-1969 Black, white and tan 221 Featherweights were made in Kilbowie, Scotland. It is believed that some machines were partially assembled in Kilbowie, Scotland and then final parts assembled in St. John's, Quebec, Canada.
1960-1962 Tan Featherweights were manufactured in St. John's, Quebec, Canada.
1953-1961 The 222 was made in Kilbowie, Scotland. (The 'K' in the model also indicates the place of manufacture -- 222K = made in Kilbowie)
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