I had a problem with one of my featherweight sewing machines while at the quilt show in Michigan a few weeks ago. It was completely my fault, and although it’s a bit embarrassing, I want to share it here to hopefully be of some help to others.
I own two Singer Featherweights: one beige and one green ~ and I love them.
My grandkids have learned to sew on them, and I enjoy taking them on retreats. But I actually don’t sew on either of them very often ~ and that’s a big part of the problem.
I use my Bernina all the time, clean and oil it regularly, and take it in for maintenance when needed. When I bought my featherweights I had them immediately cleaned and checked. Since then, because I don’t use them often, they haven’t been back. I’ve known for years that machines that aren’t used regularly need to be maintained and taken in more often because they just sit, but I’m ashamed to say I completely failed to do this.
So, Cathy and I were sewing away on our sweet little machines
and she mentioned that she’s named all six of hers. Lucy was the one she’d brought along. I realized mine needed a name too and decided to name her Lettie Belle, after my husband’s grandmother Aletta Belle.
Things were going along well when suddenly Lettie Belle let out an unnerving screech. Cathy asked when the last time was I oiled her and I blushed with shame. Fortunately Cathy brought her travel pack of oil along. I had my manual and I turned to the proper page:
and oiled the top and bobbin area. Then I took off the face plate to the left on the head of the machine and oiled all the spots there too.
But the screech continued. Cathy asked if I’d oiled the bottom. The bottom? Oh – that would be on the next page. Duh.
I unscrewed the bottom plate:
and once again I followed the diagram to oil properly.
Well, at least I was now up to speed. We turned her over and ~ that screech again! Ugh.
We determined the sound was coming from the head and took the faceplate off once again.
Now I need to let you know how grateful I am for Cathy. She’s a featherweight whiz. She’s taken all the classes and has even bought a number of machines in pieces and rebuilt them. She waxes their outsides and lubricates their insides. And yet she was kind to me in spite of my foolishness. So, she sat in front of Lettie and was able to add some additional oil where she determined something was still rubbing. It worked! What a blessing!
Lettie hummed along beautifully for the rest of the trip. She’s now visiting Brad at Sew Much More and getting the tender loving care she deserves. I also took in her sister Ardis Mildred ~ named after my grandma. I guess I need to purchase two more featherweights so that our remaining grandmother’s names, Irma and Selma, can be immortalized 😊.
The moral of the story: clean and oil all your machines, and take them in for their needed spa treatments regularly.