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So cute, and with what appeared to be all of its gear. The only ones I've ever seen up close have been worse for wear, and missing parts etc.
But this one had the original case, six feet and the seam guide..
..some old grease, the original manual..
..the screwdriver, pedal, etc. Plus an old burnt out light bulb. And then I found the keys to the carrying case in a couple of small blue and white envelopes, which are pretty old and brittle.
Swoon. Dust seemed to be its only problem. The paint was in great shape, too.
It looked like time had stood still. It seemed to have a pretty reasonable price, too, although I don't know much about them so if you have any knowledge, feel free to share. I'm kind of afraid to sew on her, but she did run like charm when I plugged her in. I was left wondering if this little machine had been with its original owner all this time.
So when I got home I started googling. I had no idea how old it was! I found this site, where I found out, according to the serial #, it was produced in 1939. When ladies may have been swooning over these hats and hairstyles. :)
I read on one site that the faceplate with the scroll design was created up until just after WWII, which would fit along with it's serial # date, too. I love history, and the WWII era kind of fascinates me, so I love it even MORE after finding out its birthday. :) Then I looked up more about what might have been happening in 1939.
It's just so pretty. I get it now. I'm hooked. I'm smitten. Everything about it is just so cute!
Maybe it rode home with its new owner in a car like this. ?
I guess if she's lasted this long and looks this good, I should try sewing a seam. There's something romantic about a little machine made in that era out of all metal parts.
Especially one that rolled off the assembly line the year that these movies came out..
..and women, happy thriving women, maybe even quilters like you and me.. their lives would never be the same. :(
I once had a patient in the hospital that had survived the holocaust..she had a number tattooed on her arm. So chilling.
That this little machine rolled off the assembly line in such a monumental year blows my mind.
Plus, it's also the year that my mom was born! I don't have a baby pic of her, but here's a pic of her from the 40's. :)
Yep. I love this little machine.
I shall take good care of her.
linking up with really random thursday
Wow, I have no idea what you paid for it, but if it works well that is a 400-500 dollar machine in the open market. The condition of it and that lovely scroll plate kick it higher than some.
I paid about 200 for mine and it has been used a lot and is not nearly as pretty. It does sew like a dream though.
Here's some pricing info on Featherweights that might surprise you - from a shop in California. (I could never sew on that polka-dotted one! Never!) I love the original black finish best.
My dad, Polish Catholic, was held by the Germans for all but the first three weeks of the war. 2.5 years as POW doing slave labor under horrible conditions and then three years, one in each of three concentration camps, including Dachau at its worst. It's a miracle he survived it all.
So incredibly cool! I too have never quite been interested in owning a featherweight, but you are right, this one is in such great shape and completely adorable; I would have bought it had it been me!
Do sew on it, though. And Judy and I have a friend who is an antique machine expert if you need any advice!
I know how excited you must be since I just recently found "my featherweight" at an estate sale. Mine is also in excellent shape, all the gadgets in the box, manual etc. According to the featherweight site, mine is a 1943 model. I enjoyed reading your post about all the happenings when your machine was produced. Enjoy and thanks for sharing
You really found a gem! The machine, the case, and even the manual look mint. I never saw a manual for a machine that old to look like new! I don't know what you paid for it, but you are one lucky lady to have found it. Find out all you can online how to oil and maintain it to keep it singing.
Oh, she is beautiful! Her case looks like it is in good shape, too. I bought one right after Christmas. But she was much used and the detailing is worn off. But she makes a beautiful stitch and sounds good. I haven't actually sewn on her other than the testing. I want to get her cleaned and checked out 1st. Anyway, congratulations on the new member of your family. Nancy: email@example.com
WOW!! You found an incredible machine in what looks like mint condition!! The best thing you can do is oil her up and use her. There are a ton of Featherweight resources out there - let me know if you need some links. They stitch like a dream!
I currently have two FWs - a 1957 and a 1949. The 1949 runs beautifully but needs a new paint job (hopefully this year). I even free motion quilt on my Featherweight.
The next thing you need to do is throw out the old grease, get some new oil & grease and find a vintage machine repair guy or gal you trust. Many of them LOVE these old machines as much as we do.
Welcome to the club! Oh, one warning - vintage machines, especially FWs - are like potato chips, you want more than one!
This is one of my absolute favorite posts that I have ever read on any quilt blog! :) What a great find! I would LOVE to find something like this. Like you, I also love history and I am fascinated by everything WWII era. What great luck you have to spot this little beauty! -Brittany
This looks great Kelli. I know you will really like her once you start using her. Great find! I have one and take her with me to Sit and Sew's and she purrs like a kitten. I was lucky and got mine off the curb. My MIL had put her out for the garbage. I came over and rescued her. I fixed her myself and she's been sewing ever since. This was a long time ago before they became popular. They are very sturdy machines and take a beating and keep on ticking. Oh, that's something else but you get the drift. Enjoy your find. I love your post with all the history too. Thanks for sharing.
Such a wonderful post, Kelli. Well I really hope you sew with this beautiful machine! I have two black ones and a green one. They are fabulous for taking to quilting retreats. I always take mine to Minnesota because it is much lighter than anything else since I carry it on. And it sews like a dream.
Oh, you just have to sew on your Featherweight! I was a bit intimidated by mine when I first got it, but once I started using it I wondered why I had waited so long. It makes such a pretty stitch. Price wise, I paid around $200 for mine. She isn't as shiny as yours, and the decals show some wear, but is still in very very good shape in my opinion.
Ooooooh... That ones a real beauty! How wonderful to think of it in the context of history Kelli. I had a Featherweight with the scroll plate, but the first time my daughter laid eyes on it I could tell that it was love at first sight, so now it is hers. By all means - use your Featherweight! Just keep her well oiled and in another 70 years you can pass it on to a grandchild!