My husband, I call him Sweetie, loves to tinker with stuff or build stuff and he’s pretty good at it. When we found this Singer 221 Featherweight a few years ago at a nearby antique mall for $125.00, neither one of us could resist.
It had been much used. The center decal was almost non-existent, and the paint was dull and scratched, bare in spots. However, when we plugged it in at the Mall before buying it, it worked. In our opinion, it was worth rehabbing.
The chrome was dirty and disgusting, along with about everything else on it.
He pulled it all apart, did some internet research about the mechanics of a featherweight and where to find parts, plus talked to a guy I knew who refurbished these little darlings to get any advice in the best way to tackle this job. He was in heaven.
We found dealers online with repair manuals, decals, and bobbin cases. He worked on it off and on for several days, loving every minute of it. After cleaning, oiling, stripping and painting, then replacing the missing bobbin case, it was almost as good as new. According to its serial number she was “new” in 1933. She’s a really old girl and her years had shown.
Now Ophelia, named after the middle name of my beloved Dad’s mother, is in perfect running order, just as sweet as she can be. Granny was a seamstress with a treadle sewing machine that was so much fun to play with when we visited her. It seemed an appropriate way to honor her.
Sweetie is a keeper, and so is Ophelia. Now if we could just get that awful musty smell out of the original machine case. Seventy-seven years of use, storage, old oil, and whatever else makes things musty, have taken their toll. We’ve tried airing it out in the sun and put baking soda inside for several days. Nothing worked so far. Next, I plan to try activated charcoal. Keep your fingers crossed.