What kind of machine do you sew with?

Jo on her blog mentioned today that her sewing machine only does a straight stitch and no zig zag. This lead me to wonder what kind of machine everyone sews with- especially all of you crazy quilters out there! What do you sew with and what is your dream machine?

I know I have posted this pic before but I shall do so again. (It is MY blog! VBG!) I love my Centennial featherweight 221! She is a Singer Featherweight machine with the serial number of EH 009469 she was 'born' between Sept 1950 to Dec 1951. Made in Kilbowie, Scotland and traveled to France, I decided to name her after the kind lady who I purchased her from- Julia Helen. I thought (and might be wrong) that Julia sounded like a name that might sound like my FW's birthplace and then I tweaked the Helen to Helene to give it a more french flair to go with her travels.

My Featherweight sews wonderfully! She has a wonderful straight stitch (reputed to be the very best) and every time I pull her out of her case I admit that I smile! She has a wonderful smell (I know that sounds strange but it is the honest truth) and I have amassed various attachments for fancy stitches and she does wonderful buttonholes.

My machine measures 11 inches from left to right, 71/4 front to back and is 9 1/4 inches tall. She fits snugly into a specially made (just for her) case that measures front to back 8 1/2, 13 1/2 left to right and 11 1/2 inches tall. She might be small and lightweight (weighing in at under 12 pounds for machine alone) but she sure packs a punch! No plastic on her- not one bit- and she was made to last a lifetime. I have heard stories on the FW yahoo group that there have been FW's pulled out of landfills that still worked. They are awesome machines made to last.

Over the years we have moved many times and I have bought and sold many machines... but my FW is a keeper!

My first sewing machine was used
second one was a Joan's special that I took to the Philippines on the plane
third one was a Pfaff
fourth one was an I can't remember... lol- maybe Kennmore?

The featherweight is hopefully the last machine that I want to buy. (Unless I upgrade to a Singer vintage 222!) =) Another plus is its small size and it can be put in a carry on bag and taken on an airplane.

But I love the vintage appeal of my featherweight and would love to suggest a featherweight for anyone who wants to sew and have a lovely vintage machine that is a workhorse.

And I have to mention Graham Forsdyke of the UK and his wonderful site. He has been so helpful to many who have both purchased from him and not purchased from him. He has some wonderful machines.
http://www.singer-featherweight.com/ And I have to mention David McCallum who wrote 'The Featherweight and I' has also been so kind with helping as well as Bill Barnes. They have been so kind to answer queries about my machine privately via e mail.

So, Come On Ladies- what do you sew with and is it your dream machine? If it isn't your dream machine, what is and what features would it have? I have found mine! =)


  1. Hi Lillian,
    I really like to swap a heart with too.
    I try to collect hearts with a butterfly on it.
    Any color background is OK except black.
    Which bird will you have? I can make an other also, I have sewn a
    few but I have to embroider them. So that will take a day or two before I
    can place them on the COH site. I can give you a message if they are

  2. LOL Lillian . Your comment made me laugh, I can just image what you are thinking. One of those dinky kids jobs you buy at toy shops that doesn't even have a bobbin. It's not that my machine can't sew different stitches, it just won't. It is a very old ( 30yrs) Husquavarna Viking. She just needs a good old service and she'll be right as rain. My grandmother has the same machine, and it's good as gold.
    I must say, that at least the straight line is in a forward direction at the moment, it is a great skill to sew everything in reverse, which I have had to do in the past as well!!

  3. Very nice blog post, Lillian.... very nice. :)

  4. I forgot to mention what kind of machine I sew with - is it any wonder or question, which? hahaha :) My 222K "Tootie".

  5. Depending on what I'm sewing, I use either a White Quilter's Star, a Brother XL-3010, or a White Speedy Lock.

  6. Love the pic of your Featherweight! I started out with my Mom's 1970 Singer and it still works great. Shortly after I got married, I got a $100 basic White sewing machine. Later I got a computerized Viking-Husqvarna which, unfortunately, was a lemon. I have been sewing on a Bernina 1090S since 1995, and wouldn't trade it for anything. I also bought a compact Singer I bought a couple years ago to travel with. If I did buy another machine one day, DH says he likes Pfaff, but I sure wouldn't turn down a Featherweight as much as we globetrot! :-)

  7. I have two FWs, and I love them both! A white and a black. I want a tan one to complete the set, but every time I find one, I can't bring myself to spend the money, just to put it in storage. =(

    I learned to sew on my aunt's black FW. It was one of the early ones - no numbers on the tension wheel. I was so surprised to get to high school home ec and find that they had numbers! LOL!

  8. I love your writing. Great machine. Are you sure you want to use it and not just look at it? I have one to use and one to look at. I was compelled to read your blog but have to convince my computer to download all of the beautiful pictures. Thanks for your words. Barbara in Saint Louis (mother to many machines)

  9. DH gave me a Janome Memory Craft 9500 (combination embroidery and regular sewing machine) for my birthday nearly two years ago and I absolutely love it! It’s a solid little machine, comparatively inexpensive, and very easy to use.

  10. My grandmother had this sewing machine, my aunt has it now and she LOVES to still sew with it..sometimes using it more than her new one...

    Thanks a bunch for sharing the link sweetie..your blog is just DELIGHTFUL.

  11. Not sure if my first comment went through, so here it is again,,LOL

    My grandmother had this sewing machine, my aunt has it now and she LOVES to still sew with it..sometimes using it more than her new one...

    Thanks a bunch for sharing the link sweetie..your blog is just DELIGHTFUL.