Featherweight sewing machines were first made popular in the 1920s when a domestic sewing machine was marketed as portable.
These machines were very lightweight, and the portable cases they were sold with were made of metal. These metal cases were lined with hardwood and usually had a leather handle.
In the late 1940s, the metal case was replaced by a two-tone white and tan leatherette case. As far as mechanics go, the featherweight sewing machines are well-made and work very well.
They are very easy to use, and their simplicity makes them very popular among beginning sewers.
Featherweight sewing machines are the type of machine most people think of when they imagine a sewing machine.
They are small, quiet, easy to use and very portable.
The idea for the Featherweight sewing machine came from an engineer named Walter Hunt. He had the idea for the first sewing machine in 1829 but didn’t have the funding to make his dreams come true.
This changed in 1845 when he was able to get an investor.
Featherweight Sewing Machine Maintenance
A featherweight sewing machine is one of the easiest machines to maintain, and it will serve you well for years to come if you just perform basic routine maintenance. A regular maintenance routine will not only help you avoid costly repairs, but it will also keep your machine running smoothly and quietly.
It’s a good idea to give your sewing machine a quick once-over at the end of every project, even a small one. Allow plenty of time to clean the parts you can access, and if you’re impatient, at least give your sewing machine a good dusting.
Cleaning and Oiling
Oiling a sewing machine is an easy way to keep it running smoothly and prolonging its life, and can be done at home by almost anyone.
Dust and dirt can be your sewing machine’s biggest enemies. The accumulation of lint and other debris can create problems with the machine’s moving parts, and the buildup of oil and dirt can clog up the machine’s oil hole.
Replacing the Rubber Feet on the Bed of the Machine
Rubber feet are an important part of a sewing machine which are interchangeable. They protect the machine from the surface that it sits on, such as tabletops, desktops, etc. and they keep the machine from rocking.
Over time, the rubber feet may become worn or go flat. If you find that your machine is rocking on your tabletop or desk, you will need to replace your rubber feet.
Troubleshooting the Tension Mechanism
If you have a featherweight sewing machine, you may have run into problems with your tension mechanism.
This is the metal bar with several different settings to control the tightness of your stitches. The first step to fixing a tension issue is to identify what part of the tension mechanism is causing the problem.
Before attempting to troubleshoot the tension mechanism of your Featherweight sewing machine, make sure you know the proper way to thread it. Otherwise, you might accidentally damage your sewing machine, which would be sad.
Adjusting the Handwheel so that the Needlebar is Disengaged When Winding a Bobbin
If you have a Featherweight sewing machine, adjusting the handwheel so that the needle bar is disengaged when winding a bobbin, can be a very useful tip.
This prevents the needle from falling into the bobbin case. It is a step that you may find that you need to do when using a new bobbin case, as they may need to be adjusted to fit your machine.
Fixing a Loose Spool Pin
Loose spool pins make it difficult to wind the thread around the spool pin. If the spool pin is too loose, the thread may “catch” on either side of the spool pin as the thread is pulled around it. The thread can also break if it is pulled too tightly around a loose spool pin.
This is a very common issue with all featherweight sewing machines.
Putting Away Your Featherweight
Whether you have a vintage Featherweight, or a ‘new’ one, there are some things you should do to keep it operating at its best. First, always unplug it before you store it.
Usually, you should keep your machine clean, and properly oiled. (It’s best to call a shop, if you don’t know how to properly oil a machine. All machines are different).
Replacing the Belt
So you’ve finally found a featherweight sewing machine to add to your collection! Your first task is to replace the belt. Most sewing machines are equipped with a tension dial that allows you to adjust the amount of tension in the thread and the feed dogs.
This is necessary for the proper tension on the needle thread to form a stitch on the fabric. The belt is responsible for transferring the motor power to the rotating hook.
The belt’s job is to pull the hook and presser foot in the direction of the front of the machine.
While it often goes unnoticed, the belt of your featherweight sewing machine plays an important role in the smooth operation of your machine and the quality of your finished sewing project.
The belt is responsible for transferring the power from the motor to the machine’s transmission, which in turn helps to move the needle.
If the belt breaks while you are working on a project, you will need to replace it immediately to avoid damaging your machine.
Choosing the Right Bobbins
The first thing you need to know when choosing bobbins for your featherweight sewing machine is that bobbins for your featherweight sewing machine can be made from either metal or plastic.
Although metal bobbins are much more durable than plastic bobbins, they are also expensive. Plastic bobbins, on the other hand, are cheaper in price and can be found in many different colors and designs.
The only disadvantage of plastic bobbins is that they can break easily, so you must be very careful when using them.
Choosing the Right Thread
The best way to start sewing is to choose the right thread for your featherweight sewing machine. That way you can avoid getting stuck and frustrated.
When you go to a fabric shop, you will notice that threads come in different thicknesses and colors. The thickness of the thread is referred to as the ‘weight’ of the thread.
The weight of a thread is usually given in terms of the number of strands of fiber that it is made up of. A heavier thread will be made of more strands than a lighter thread and therefore will give a thicker stitch.
Threading Your Machine
When getting started using your featherweight sewing machine, you will need to thread your machine for the first time.
This can be a little complicated because you will need to wind the bobbin and then thread the top of the machine.
The needle and threading on your machine should align with the top of the needle and bobbin, respectively.
Make sure the presser foot is in the lowest position. You may need to adjust the tension on the machine, but it’s better to get it threaded correctly the first time.
Sewing machines are a delicate piece of machinery. They are essentially motors that run on belts and pulleys. Over time, humidity and dust can be accumulated in these belts and pulleys, and can cause the motor to struggle and even break.
It is important to clean your machine’s parts regularly, so that your machine continues to run well and to avoid any damage to the machine.