Do you ever go out to buy something and come back with something entirely different?  Come on, I'm sure it's not just me...  Anyway, I went out to get some vintage photo props yesterday from Love Salvage over in Govan, most specifically a crate of some sort, and came home with... well... a Singer Featherweight (and a few other wee props, but no big crate).  I'm totally blaming the IG peeps that made me do it.  It was all Fiona's fault really...


I've managed to find out the following about her:

  • She was born in Clydebank between July and December 1917
  • She's a 99K model
  • She has the original stitch length knob which has, helpfully, no numbers on it whatsoever (and never did have)
  • She's totally hand cranked
  • Other than a little filigree wear and tear, she's remarkably undamaged given that she was sitting out like this in the middle of a massive warehouse of all sorts of things, and people potentially playing with her all day, I only wish I would look this good at 97
  • In her tool box she has some needles and (plastic) bobbins, along with a receipt from 1992.  I'm assuming that not long after that she was permanently packed away somewhere
  • I suspect her base and case, while obviously build for a 97, are not her original, as the original cases I can see online seemed to be wooden, while mine seems to be of the same material as those vintage little brown suitcases, although maybe that depended on factory?
  • I'm thinking Featherweight is a misnomer, she weighs a ton! **edited to add, turns out, that's because she's not, she's a 3/4 size model of the 66
Thanks to a lovely friend, I also now have a set of feet for her in the US (those sets seem to sell at lightning speed!)  The deal on eBay was fab, the shipping policy not so, but we got round it and I'll collect in May :o)  Here's what it has in it:
  • Ruffler Foot
  • Seam Guide
  • Multi Slotted Binder
  • Edge Stitcher
  • Binder Foot
  • Adjustable Hemmer
  • Foot Hemmer
  • Tuck Marker
  • Gathering/Shirring Foot
  • Tension Screwdriver
  • Flat Blade Screwdriver
Given her hand crankiness, I'm not planning to switch mainstream production over to her, but I think that:
  1. She'll make a fab photo prop
  2. With all the specialist feet, I'll be able to try things that I can't on my other machine because I don't have a second mortgage to buy the equivalent feet for it - like $42.50 the set for the Singer versus £54.95 ($91.36) for the Brother ruffler foot alone
So, err, brought anything random home from the shops recently?  Tell me it's not just me...

38 comments:

  1. Welcome to your new home lovely lady! Katy will be good to you.
    Don't feel guilty about buying this lovely beauty, it'll be a better prop than a crate, and you may just run into a crate sometime soon anyway.

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  2. What a treasure. Who would want to pass up that machine? Have fun with it.

    Hugs

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  3. Of course you had to buy her!! Her hand crankiness will come in handy if the power goes out and you're on a deadline.

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  4. She's a beauty! My parents once went shopping for a dining table and came back with a car. And a friend recently went to look for (bathroom) tiles and came back with a car...be grateful you only came back with a sewing machine!

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  5. That's an exciting buy! Probably a bit late now but I answered the comment on my blog about looking for a crate so here's a copy of what I wrote:
    Hmm, well for that kind of thing which is between charity shops and proper antiques I'd recommend the monthly antique and collectable fair at Kelvin Hall (see the Scotfairs website) or some of the antique places in the west end. There are some reasonably priced antiques places in the new centre off Byres Road (up near the Queen Margaret Drive end) or also I did actually see some antiques wooden boxes and crates yesterday at a place on Otago St which is beside the 'Retro' clothes shop at the Gt Western Rd end. Didn't look at prices though. There's also the Glasgow City Antiques Centre on Lancefield St in Finnieston. Or also the Barras of course as there are a few similar places there. Hope that helps!

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  6. I don’t see how you could have passed on Fiona to be honest ..she has great curves. She would have been calling my name too.

    Cant say I usually bring home such fabulous finds...but I’ve been known to go out looking for a lamp and bringing home a piece of furniture instead...

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  7. Good for you, enjoy that beautiful machine, and no you aren't the only one who goes in for something and comes out with something else!

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  8. She's beautiful. I completely understand - I just bought a much newer featherweight (with money left by my Grannie who died in the autumn), I love her to bits, she sews beautifully and looks wonderful too. I really love the fact that they are made in Clydebank. Yours has very pretty filigree. Have fun! As Nessa says, crates are much easier to come by. Juliex

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  9. So are you naming her Fiona?:) I'll have to unearth what is in our basement....mom-in-law gave it to us!:)

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  10. Oh she's gorgeous. How could you not have bought her home

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  11. We went out for a tin of peaches and came back with a chest of drawers and a wardrobe. We still have the chest of drawers 30 years on!

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  12. She's a beauty!! You will have such good times together!

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  13. I love your find. I am so happy for you.
    Just right for a prop.
    Hugs Kay

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  14. What a cute little machine! I'm curious how you'll find sewing to be on it. :)

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  15. She's very nice but not a featherweight, which were model 221 or 222 and made of aluminum. Check out quiltville.blogspot.com she has a lot of links to info about vintage machines.

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  16. I agree with Lisa, Fiona's not a featherweight. I have the same 99K, mine's called Ellen after my Grandmother who originally bought her, she's anything but featherweight and was quite something to carry over from Edinburgh to Heathrow and on to JFK in my hand luggage! I got an American power supply and picked up some additional feet - 1/4" patchwork and free motion darning foot and much more for her from http://shop.sew-classic.com. There's lots of UK online shops selling modern feet, etc, too.

    Enjoy, they sew like a dream :D

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  17. Beautiful! I'm not surprised you had tobring her home

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  18. Been there and done that, but never with something as beautiful! Well done!!!!

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  19. Well you definitely couldn't pass her up, she is gorgeous and will be a brilliant prop and much more fun than a crate :)

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  20. she is indeed gorgeous, but as others have said, she's not a featherweight. They are electric and tiny. It's (unfortunately) not likely that your feet will fit :-/

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  21. Love her, no matter what her number is.
    My first Singer (making a coughing sound twice) was a Featherweight: did a bid on Ebay expecting to be outbid. But no, 30 min later she was mine ...
    I was shocked!! How do I tell my husband
    Now we're all one happy family again

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  22. Yeah you had to buy this, I did the same with a treadle machine a couple of years ago. I never used it and I sold it on now, but they are pretty things to just have about.

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  23. Well isn't that great fun! I hope you have a wonderful time getting to know her!

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  24. Very cool! I can't wait t hear how it sews. Also, is it really called a featherweight? My FW is electric. This machine is beautiful. :)

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  25. She's just lovely, you couldn't have left her there. I'm on the lookout for a treadle machine :)

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  26. Oooh, she's such a pretty little/heavy thing! No wonder she had to come home with you!

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  27. Oh goodness....I have her twin sister living here. It was my grandma's. I love it because it has such character. Good for you that you rescued her from a lonely life in a warehouse. I'm sure you and she will have many photo adventures together.
    My house is filled with "quirky and wonderful finds" that have flirted with me and made me by them. My husband says I'm easy.....lucky for him, eh? Oma Linda

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  28. Ah yes. I have a 1950s Singer stuck in my office at the university that I bought on a whim during a sunny lunch break when I made the mistake of passing by the flea market. She's been there for a month, taking up way too much space (she's on a table that pivots up), because I cannot imagine where on earth she would fit in our tiny flat... Ahem. Shall I ship her to Scotland? She's fine, but missing her outside motor. I guess finding one on Ebay won't really help my conscience -- and I have zero skills in repairing anything! I'll make tea and biscuits for anyone who wants to come and help (I'm in Switzerland!) xx JJ

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    1. Yes, she's not small - in her case she's bigger than Big Brother! I'm not sure what to do with motors though, hand crank all the way lol

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  29. she really is lovely and will look great whether you use her or not. My budding author daughter bought an old sit up and beg typewriter, an underwood, but found very quickly the old manual machines are sore on the fingers. But it does look great.

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  30. She is beautiful and you are totally set for a power failure. I was oiling and lubing my featherweight on the weekend, which made a big difference to how she operates.

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  31. If only your maternal grandmother had known, she would never have let Pappa convert her old Singer to electric and could have passed it on to you in it's original condition - it certainly wasn't featherweight either, mind!

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  32. You will have it forever and never think it was a purchase you shouldn't have made. Bet she takes pride of place.

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  33. Welcome to the club! I have a knee lever one! You are going to love it!

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  34. I am SO IN LOVE with your new baby!!!!! Congratulations!

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  35. I'm shopping for feather weights now. After my horror of having to check my machine in flight I'm not going to take anymore chances.

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Thank you for stopping by, it's lovely to meet you :o)