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Posts Tagged ‘Featherweight’

Everything You Wanted To Know About Singer Featherweight Machines

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

Singer Featherweight

How did he become such an authority on Singer Featherweight machines? By accident of course. Twenty-five years ago, Lloyd’s wife just wanted a Singer treadle machine for “decoration” for their home. As they hunted for the machine, Lloyd became “hooked” on the history and background of the industrial revolution and the early Singer machines. His interest than evolved in to a business which he started while still working in the corporate world. He has since retired from his corporate job but continues to maintain his Aspire business that includes a Featherweight Museum in his home in Anaheim, California. He has on display over 100 machines dating back to the 1850’s (pre-Civil War) as well as antique cabinets and other early Singer products.  

Singer Featherweight Singer Featherweight Singer Featherweight

Lloyd enjoys sharing the history of early sewing machines. He related how in the early 1850’s, there were four sewing machine manufacturers: Wheeler and Wilson, Grover and Baker, Howe, and Singer. They were all fighting over patent rights for their machines and ultimately joined forces to form a “patent pool,” creating a monopoly on sewing machine manufacturing. Ultimately, Singer rose to the top and after 1860, they had blown the competition out of the water by not only offering superior machines (they developed an assembly line process before Ford) but also new business concepts like trade-ins and payment plans. Lloyd said, “Their marketing was “incredible.”  

 Singer Featherweight

The first Singer Featherweight machine was offered on October 3, 1933 during the Great Depression. It weighed 11 pounds and cost $125. Singer Featherweights were produced from 1933 until the late 1960’s. Lloyd often plans his vacations around getting Singer Featherweight “stuff.” He has traveled internationally to Paris, England, and Germany. In the States, he has the best luck in the New England States. Lloyd does not advertise his business nor does he have a website. Customers find out about him by word of mouth or when he has vendor booths at quilt shows like at Road to California. Because Lloyd doesn’t want “to leave my customers without service,” he currently has 2 apprentices that he is training including his grandson-in-law and his neighbor, Mario Ceballos aka “Mr. Featherweight.”

He also works with a painter who helps Lloyd customize Singer Featherweights to customers’ specifications like this beauty:

Singer Featherweight

Americana

 

Singer Featherweight

Tiny stitches on the flag

 

Singer Featherweight

Even the Declaration of Independence!!


For collectors or anyone else interested in learning more about Singer Featherweight machines, Lloyd refers people to the International Sewing Machine Collectors Society, of which he is a member. He also likes to refer Featherweightshop.com in Idaho, a family owned business that is very knowledgeable.
Two publications that Lloyd has found that have invaluable information are A Capitalist Romance: Singer and the Sewing Machine

Featherweight Machine
And, Featherweight 221- The Perfect Portable and Its Stitches Across History

Featherweight Machine
Of course, Lloyd also welcomes customers to contact him personally at laskew9243@gmail.com

Lloyd says he “enjoys immensely” his fascination and business with Singer Featherweights, helping customers find and maintain this incredible machine that has the “perfect straight stitch” ever made. If you’re interested in Singer Featherweight machines, be sure to visit Lloyd in his Aspire booth at Road 2019.
 

Machine Quilting On A Featherweight

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

featherweight photo: View 8 MW150006.jpg At Road 2017, Jennifer O’Brien from Sew Craft taught a $5.00 Lecture Class, Machine Quilting on your Featherweight. The first thing that the students learned was, yes, you can machine quilt using the small but mighty Featherweight. In fact, the principles are similar to any machine quilting project. [caption id="attachment_4904" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] In order to do free-motion machine quilting, there has to be free movement. Because the feed dogs on a Featherweight cannot be lowered, they need to be covered up so the fabric can move smoothly for quilting. Jennifer suggested using a Teflon pressing sheet cut the size of the arm of the Featherweight and secured to the machine using either masking tape or 404 adhesive spray. She also advised to cut a small triangle hole in the area where the needle goes in and out to avoid having the needle rub against the Teflon. Another adjustment to the Featherweight for machine quilting is trading out the pressure foot for a machine quilting pressure foot. She recommends a “big foot” because it has an oversize, clear foot. To start quilting on a Featherweight, start from the center of the project. With the pressure foot raised, put the material under the pressure foot then lower the needle down and up one time so that the bobbin thread just pops up. Pull the bobbin thread up to the top to prevent it from bunching up underneath the fabric. Once the thread has been secured on top, lower the pressure foot and begin gliding the material to free motion quilt the material. Jennifer made a video to demonstrate these starting tips: Because the sewing area of a Featherweight is limited, Jennifer cautioned that handling the fabric can be tedious. She recommended putting a table to the side of the sewing area to handle the weight of the fabric. [caption id="attachment_4907" align="aligncenter" width="440"] Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] As with all quilting, Jennifer said that Featherweight machine quilting takes practice, especially moving the fabric under the machine. She mentioned that quilting curves is easier than “stitch in a ditch” with a Featherweight. Jennifer suggested that the best way to practice is to make loops, L’s and C’s and even writing your name. Her final advice was to start small to encourage completing projects, pace yourself and don’t hurry.