Thursday, October 3, 2013

Introducing the newest member of the family

No, I haven't joined the pregnant sewing blogger club (as I constantly remind my son, there will be NO MORE BABIES IN OUR HOUSE, thank you very much).  Rather, I came home from work on Monday to an empty house, but a curiously familiar musty smell....

What do I spy here?



Why, I do believe it's a Featherweight 221!



(Please excuse the blurry iPhone photos, but I had to get it set up and tested before the kids got home and turned it into another featured post on "Shit My Kids Ruined".  Ask me about my brand new MacBook Pro that was purchased for me last month from our research grant.  No wait, don't ask me.  I'm still pissed off.)

The whole Featherweight story is: the week before last, my Husqvarna Viking was acting up and I had it disassembled all over the living room floor like some teenage boy with his motorbike engine.  If you've ever tried to repair your own Viking, you know that it is engineered such that all the moving parts are only reachable AFTER you've removed the bottom plate, all the casings, the strap cables connecting the computerized portions, and the motor.  It has got to be the most repair- unfriendly design for a sewing machine.



Anyway, I was taking a desperately needed beer break, when my man wondered aloud if it might not be easier to just buy a new one online second hand, since there always seem to be loads for sale in Montreal.  I said that I wish I had the Featherweight that I had learned to sew on, since they are reliable and relatively easy to service.  I then got to explain to my man what a Featherweight is, and told him the tragic story of how my mother had donated hers to the local Village des Valeurs (where I'm sure it was snapped up by some lucky SOAB for next to nothing).  I showed him a few overpriced machines for sale on Kijiji and eBay, and we happened upon a reasonably priced one for sale in the next province over.  It was listed as "sluggish; needs some work", but it looked pretty good from the photos, and Featherweights aren't the most difficult thing to fix, so he decided to put a lowball bid just for fun.  Knowing how they get auto-bid up to several hundred dollars at the last minute, I promptly forgot about it.  I went back to the Viking a few days later and managed to fix it so that it was running better than ever.

But lo and behold, he won the auction!

And can you guess the cause of the "sluggish movement"?



There's the culprit:  the bobbin winder had been shoved all the way down against the belt, and the seller didn't know any better, apparently.  Their ignorance was my gain.  :)

I gave it a quick look over, threaded it, and took it for a test drive.  Perfect.  Didn't even need cleaning or oiling, but I will do both just to start off on the best foot.

Ignore that wonky stitching in blue on the right; that's from my
Husqvarna before I fixed it.

So, now I have a Singer treadle, a Featherweight, a modern Viking, and a Brother serger.  I've joined the sewing machine hoarders' club.  Though I've got nothing on Peter.

Yet.

26 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the Featherweight! I love those little machines...

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    1. Me too. I learned on one back in the '70s, and still think of that as the benchmark for all other machines.

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  2. Wooot! Congrat as welcome to the club! I picked mine up at auction (I got my sewing machine guy look it over, I'm not as brave as you and Peter when it comes to cleaning/repair) and it runs like a dream. I mostly use it for buttonholes, I use one of the Singer buttonholer attachments and it is just perfect!

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    1. There are a few attachments included in the case, most of which I recognize, but there is one contraption that must be a buttonholer. I'll look it up!

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  3. So at this point I am wondering if there is an illness you get when you've been sewing seriously for a while...yesterday I was sat at my main machine with the overlocker beside it, when I thought, "hmm I could really do with my Singer out too" (it's a little newer than your new one though it was my Grandma's) and then I thought, "and I wouldn't rule out buying another either!" Frankly, I'm scared!

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    Replies
    1. I don't need any more now. I can stop. Anytime. Really.

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  4. Congratulations on your new baby! She's beautiful and probably more than the standard newborn weight?

    I don't know if I should be grateful or not that the Bay Area only has overpriced Featherweights...

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    1. It's about 27lbs. If I ever had a baby that heavy I wouldn't be around to talk about it ;)

      You can always find one out of state and have it shipped, can't you? Oops, maybe you don't want to think about that....

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  5. WOW what a great score! Congratulations on your new addition to the family.

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    Replies
    1. I'm going to give it a try this weekend while I muslin my #RedOctober dress.

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  6. Yay, congrats on the new 221! (Boo hiss about the MBP, though.)

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    1. You know I read too many blogs when MPB makes me think Male Pattern Boldness, not MacBook Pro.

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  7. Congrats on your latest baby! :)

    And wow! That's a neat looking machine! Glad you got it at a great price.

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    1. I was surprised too, but every once in a while you get lucky.

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  8. macbook pro? this has GOT to be the sewing gods restoring some sort of balance.

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    1. How do I appease these Sewing Gods of whom you speak of? Can I offer up my firstborn (who was the one who poured a hot cup of sugary tea into said Macbook Pro?)

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  9. I can't even deal with my jealousy right now. And I CANNOT bleieve your mum gave hers to V de V! L'HORREUR!!!!!

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    1. She's more of a purger than a hoarder, so I hesitated to tell her how much she could have gotten for it on eBay...

      Hey wait, why are you jealous? Don't you have a Featherweight too?

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  10. ooh fantastic :) What a winner. I love when a bid comes in :)

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    1. It's the first time I've ever won something. Usually I get outbid by robots.

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  11. Don't feel bad, I 've got three Bernina sewing machines, a featherweight, an industrial machine that was my grandmothers and three overlocks, although some need work I wouldn't give any of them up!

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    1. Well, my BIL recently changed careers and wants to get rid of his industrial sewing machine and serger / coverstitch machines. Believe me, if I didn't have an already crowded house, at least one would come home to live with me.

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    2. Nope. No garage, no attic. We do have a finished basement, but it's full of guest room, guest bathroom and office. :(

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