Use It or Lose It: Singer 221

This is sewing machine #7 as I'm taking inventory of my machine collection, a Singer 221 (a.k.a., Featherweight).

This machine was manufactured in 1957, and purchased on April 21, 1959 by the original owner up here in Waukeegan, Illinois. I picked it up all the way down in Carbondale, Illinois about 20 years ago (because I'm just THAT old, y'all) in a thrift shop. Actually, there were TWO Featherweights in the shop, this one and an older one in rougher shape. They were both priced at $50, and I talked the shop owner into letting me have BOTH for $75. He knew I got a good deal after I handed the cash over, dropped my poker face and did a victory dance before leaving the shop. I'll never forget it, he said "Uh oh. What just happened here?"  Luckily we were on good terms and there were no hard feelings, but that is by far my best thrift store find story!

Judging by the decent shape the machine was in and the fact that the original owner's reciept was still in the carrying case with the manual, I'd say I'm the second owner of this sweet little machine.

The only issue with this machine is a slight power problem, it just doesn't sew very fast. Not as fast as my other featherweight at all. I had the electical cords replaced a few years ago, and the original foot control is in great shape. In fact, the foot controller works like gangbusters on the other featherweight. I've also replaced the belt and had it properly adjusted, but it still just doesn't sew as fast as it should.

I do remember that the grease tubes were bone dry when I bought it, and I'm afraid the motor may have been run dry in the past. But, since I only use this one once in awhile, I'm not ready to try replacing the motor yet. I guess it's a case of if it ain't broke don't fix it!

If you'd like to see some of the other machines in my collection, you can click back to read about:

#6. 1934 Singer 99-13
#3, #4, and #5. 1922 Singer 66, C.1900 Vibrating Shuttle, and Singer 114K103
#2. 1919 Singer 128
#1. 1901 Singer 15-30 Custom


Sarah said…
Again, you have me green with envy over your beautiful machines!
Michelle said…
It could just be that the brushes in the motor need to be cleaned up. My hubby does that for the machines I find all the time. Then they run like a jackrabbit! Nice machine.
Donna said…
My 1948 Singer Featherweight was my mom's wedding present AND the machine I took to college with me in 1967. Currently my sister-in-law has it along with your painting suggestions. This machine is definitely a family heirloom. And yes, you got a great deal!
Anonymous said…
This is the machine I learned to sew on! Brings back some memories.

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